Human

Dharma & Karma

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For the last few weeks, I’ve been walking round saying that I’m just going to spend 2019 getting over 2018. If that is all I managed then that is enough. It’s more about keeping an even keel than it is about making progress. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. How do we overcome ourselves when everything is a mess. Or we are moving backwards and forwards at the same time. When it feels like Karma is deeply influencing your Dharma. When that Dharma is endless in this lifetime. Sitting down to check on yourself and make sure you are all right, is as much as anybody can do on any given day to keep things on a straight timeline. What can we do for ourselves when life is chaotic?

This weekend I’ve been checking out youtube figuring out trauma and trying to get my head round the things that I am still trying to drag into future, keep in my present and file in my past. They say that staying present in this very moment is all we ever need. Yet how do we get to all those accumulated past projects when staying in your present is literally taking up sooo much time. It’s a crazy idea. And what is it that you just need to let go of. Fuuuuuuuck that might be the longest list in the world if you really wanted to sit down and keep it going.  All those things that are left unresolved.

I used to believe that life was just a to-do list and the quicker you could do it the quicker that you could relax. Now I wonder if that is true? If keeping busy is a distraction from the deeper work.  My ideas for the future, always seem to be caught up in the past. How long have I been thinking about this? This is a dream, a long time in the making. Will this ever happen? Do I dream too big? Am I kidding myself, when personal circumstances just seem to swamp you? What is this swamp all about? I certainly can’t seem to find Yoda. There are some great sign posts that seem to be leading into the either.  I wonder how all those unresolved things that we let slide affect your Karma. Is that what Karma is? All that stuff that you send out into the either that never gets done. Fuck me that’s a mental idea that if you can stay permanently in the present that you might be able to resolve everything right then and there, as it turns up. Is this possible? Is this something I’ve thought or written before?

Maybe I have enough. That being right here in this year is all that is required of me. That getting from one moment, one task, one day to the next is all that is required. That we must slow down and embrace what is. That it is good enough. It is all we know that there truly is. That we embrace the breath, the sweetness of time and the wonder of it all.

Fuck, Being Yourself Is Difficult

IMG-1561You may have guessed I’m trying to up my game, be deeply authentic, pretend that I know what the fuck I’m doing with my life in order to be able to guide you in yours. Yes really. So I’ve been reading some pretty awesome blogs of late where funny women with high standards and a heavy dose of reality are literally recording their daily fails to serve as an inspiration to us all. Me, Baby & The Beard.

My life which is very comfortable revolves round dysfunction that I’m still figuring out. In the last week or so I’ve been having flashbacks to my 24-year-old self who seemed very together and super capable of fitting into the capitalist dream. I was even using my anti-wrinkle cream a year early. I was soooo together and then whoops that millennial life crisis or should I say xennial life crisis hit. Since then it’s been a whole load of figuring out who you’re brushing your hair for? If Mrs Flemming isn’t going to scream at you?  Equally well who are you brushing your hair for if everyone isn’t going to fawn over you? Do you really have to pretend to look this good to get a job? To be noticed? To be valued? Is the amount of care I put into my appearance really representative of how much I love of value myself? Or am I really just buying into a value system that has been imposed on me rather than ascertained for myself? Or am I forcing myself to question something that should just be universally accepted? Would this idea then be dogma? Praise and blame they’re all the same. So that question [Who am I brushing my hair for?] alone has lead me down some long winding passages and thought trains, that have ultimately lead me back to the idea of nurturance. That we have to be able to invest in ourselves enough in order to create our own growth. It’s a step beyond caring. It’s practical love. At first, I thought of it as self-parenting. Lately, I was introduced to the idea that nurturance might be the process of learning how to mother. I think in many ways that nurturance is more radical than mothering. It’s a step beyond, as it releases the obligation of a perceived role that we may never have experienced. Why should we be mothering ourselves if we never had a mother? Why should we be re-mothering ourselves if the lead female in our lives didn’t meet up to the perceived norms of “mothering”.  Or that we should know how to parent when the truth of the matter is that anybody with an ounce of self-reflection will admit that parenting is nothing more than terrifying, experiment with no clear outcomes.  Self-parenting leaves us with nothing more than unpacking a parental programme that we have most likely survived rather than thrived through (that is certainly true for me, I’m open to the idea that I am projecting). Nurturance gives us an opportunity to ask a question of ourselves. What do I need right now? If I wanted to grow what would I provide for myself? If thriving looked a certain way, what would it look like? How would I feel? All these questions help us figure out what is true for us and find deeper alignment with ourselves. Making our lives easier in the long run.

Last year I thought I’d cracked it with a course in Dharma (My own personal course) which involved largely getting water in my mouth first thing in the morning. Resolving situations as they arrive and then realising that largely I was doing a very good job of doing an all singing all dancing performance of sweep it under the carpet. Humans -they don’t do what they say they will even the one you actually control.

Getting married will do that. Then, of course, the minor shit storm becomes a major one and oh well. Back to Dharma, Carry Water, Chopping Wood. Pay Attention to your feelings. They are fucking wild and take you on the craziest adventures without even leaving the room. The stories that we tell ourselves.

 

I Nurture My Human

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Do you every get to a point where you think I might never nail this? I think that’s where I am today. I’ve got unfinished projects, new progressions and self-nurturance projectories that I just can’t keep up with. Then I fall back let go, look around and realise my head is driving me crazy. My life is great. I have enough insight to know that my life is on a gentle upward trend. I have a secure homes, running water (Which this time last year might have seemed an impossibility. Find out more here) money in the bank. More importantly I like myself and for someone who often feels like that there personality seems to be bouncy castle embedded with hidden razor blades I love myself plenty. I just have no idea what that looks like to the outer world. For the most part I don’t really care much about that, excpet of course I’m always doing my best to serve and love other people. Cause after all who wants to end up with a personality that’s a bouncey castle with hidden razors blades. quite frankly that’s a lot of what I deal with – Yes my personality me. Sometimes I wonder how it is that I make it into the future and other times I wonder how I used to managed that so well way back in the day.

Working for yourself is such a different ball game when it’s almost entirely customer facing and perfectionism isn’t the end goal. That you need to keep it real that you need to say. You know life? It’s fucking hectic and messy. There are so many things that act and do exactly what they want and they are wonderful. Sometimes I just want to follow my intuition down rabbit holes or do what’s easiest in stead of what’s hardest. That sometimes placating a situation is far easier than drawing lines in the sand. Every day feels like a negotiations tournament of priorities of me, my clients, my husband and then the things you own that own you. And of course then there are such things as the greater good. The collective will. Collective futures and better ideas of how life is. Then you stop and take it all in for a minute. I’m here for you. I really am. If you reach out to me I’ll pick up the phone, I’ll answer the mail and I’ll get to you where every you are if it your fucking falling apart and it bits and their is nobody else to call.

So from here on in – with my consistantly inconsistant self I’m letting me off the hook. Cause I live a real life where Mondays aren’t predictable. I don’t know most days what time my husband comes home from work (cause he does shifts) and well feelings are important to me. That my feelings almost always come first because thye dictate everything that I am and am able to do in the best possible way. That if I can manage my emotions. It might take coffee, it might take sleep or even some kind of meditation. If I can make that time for myself then fuck I’m doing the best you can and showing you what that looks like.  That it’s part of a greater goal of what a wellbeing economy really looks like.

What’s the formula? Love

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First of all even though I preach love, light, compassion and nurturance you’ve got to know that I am human. I’m espousing about the mastery of the potential human condition that I myself have am still working on. I get angry. I’m far more likely to jump to angry than to sadness any day of the week and I have a reputation for resolving conflict somewhat aggressively, even in what should be serene moments of bliss. I kid you not. What has that got to do with love? The fact that I am able to love myself in that process. I don’t reject the feelings. I don’t judge anger bad, I don’t  judge aggression as bad and I also know that we all make mistakes. That although at times I can be a dick, it’s because I am not yet able to permanently tap into endless universal love. Yup that’s me. Imperfect. Fuck it’s wild huh? To find the solution is always love. In 2019 I have finally come back to myself and my way of thinking. Where my own personal mantra is “I trust myself”. Yes little old me. I trust me.

Trust isn’t exactly love though? Is it? No not exactly and yet most people would say that in any relationship that you can’t have love with without trust. So they kind of go hand in glove. The connection of love and trust  is far harder to put a finger on when we think about love and trust when it come to our own interpersonal relationship with ourselves. Through my own journey I am becoming increasingly aware that self-trust is the key to any kind of love. That we have to trust ourselves, our preferences, our feedback, our story in order to experience love. That if it feels right it is right. That something feeling right is only a hop skip and a jump into personal happiness. Happiness is only a 1/2 a centimeter from love. Any kind of love, love of a person, love of a situation, a place or even a thing. If we can create love by trusting ourselves, we can change our world.

Sooooo I trust myself.

This year after many years of trying to figure out how to be a coach I’ve made the decision to go donation based. Sounds crazy right? or does it really? I trained as a Life Coach as I wanted to find great tools in order to be able to assist the people that I talk to on a daily basis. I knew that if I  was able access conversational tools that allowed people to truly feed into their own potential, that there was totally new way of accessing how each of us engaged with the world. For a very long time I have always known that each of us has the ability to create positive change in the world. For some of us it’s a lot easier than others. There are a whole plethora of situations, family experiences and personal circumstances that can seriously impede our ability to thrive as adults in what can be a cruel world. Combine a few short term problems with that physical or mental health concerns and it can create a maelstrom of events that have the ability to rip lives apart. All to often the people who need the most help are totally unable to access any positive support systems. Where a small intervention for a little bit might constructively allow someone to simply make a few better choices.

This anomaly has been something that I have witnessed and experienced over and over again. That entirely capable people end up living hand to mouth as they do daily battle with painful negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. All fueled by spiraling anxiety based on a perspective of lack and scarcity. For people on the outside it can be mind boggling and frustrating to witness what they consider an intelligent person making the same mistakes over an over. So that’s what I’m doing putting and end to this bullshit for free. I’m here to help. All you have to do is turn up.

Authenticity v Positivity

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From where I’m sitting within the self-development community Authenticity and Positivity seem to be the two pillars of personal growth.  Through my own journey I am witnessing my responses to these two bath and found that I have a very interesting inner battle going on. In my role as a life doula I really dig deep to engage with people. Us self-help types, I promise you are interesting and diverse bunch, largely because there are so many different ways to heal. From laughing yoga to detoxing your yoni, there really is something for everyone.

Quite often I come across super smiley types who I can’t easily be mistake for cuddly fluff balls they might want to be mistaken as. I find them unsettling and I think my f-bombs might flatten a few of them. Consciousness asks us to be aware of our thoughts, our words, our vibration and what it is that we are actually manifesting.

Positivity is for me very much about trying to alter your inner dialogues. Changing the way you think, banishing the bad and focusing on the good. It’s a great idea in principle however for many of us it can sap a lot of energy trying to uphold a representation of yourself that isn’t exactly you. Unless of course it is. For twenty years I’ve been observing my dialogues and wondering how much the words and thoughts that appear in my head influence my feelings and how they impact others. There is a lot that can be tweaked. From gratitude diaries, to saying thank you rather than sorry (Which is a mini form of gratitude). Or even switching your words round…. I hate Mondays, to I love Fridays. I don’t like coffee to I prefer tea. What ever we say or do it is a reflection of our inner world including a grimaced smile.

I do believe that there is a huge amount to be gained from having a positive and loving outlook towards ourselves and the world at large. However the positivity trap seems to be adverse to the reality of the world that we live in. There is day and night and we have broad vocabularies so that we can identify a multitude of thoughts, feelings,  ideas, theories, or even objects. No object is inherently negative, not even a weapon. It’s the ways in which we use or label our language, dialogues, thoughts, feelings, ideas, theories and objects that can be either supportive or chastening.

Positivity is a lot different from authenticity. Authenticity is where I am at.

Authenticity is about taking the good with the bad and not having any judgement about it. As far as I am concerned emotions are the magic thread that takes us to our deeper truth. The subtleties of how our emotions connect is a language that has it’s very own personal code and only you know what it is.

I, like anybody, have my dialogues. As I work this process I find it’s more like ironing, some of those creases just come right out and then there are the folds that are stuck right on in there, like they are part of the sheet itself.  We can twist it anyway we like, we can silver line it, re-frame it look for the gifts and it still sucks. What we want is a pristine flat white sheet. The fold in the sheet has absolutely nothing to do with the sheet’s purpose or it’s ability to fulfill it’s role of protecting our bodies. We even get disgruntled at the experience of a sheet protecting our bodies. That it ends up with stains or holes as the result of protecting out bodies. We deny a white sheet it’s very being. Instead we have projected ideas of cleanliness, purity and our own moral value and even work ethic in the appearance of a white sheet. When actually it acts as a beautiful canvas of our lives. When really there just ain’t no way round all those creases and stains other than to accept them and love through the process. That’s true.

It’s the same for us. We deny ourselves the right to be human. We can’t even get the sheets dirty even though we have orifices that leak fluid and we have to sleep 8 hours a day. I’m more interested in being able to shit myself accidentally in public without shame, than forcing myself to view it as a positive experience. In truth all experiences that force growth in the end have a positive up-spiral. Those experiences can  still embarrassing, painful and traumatic. We can own that.

I’m happy to cry in public and say thank you to the people holding space for me. I’ll also happily lose my shit in a particularly pressing moment and again be grateful to those who continue to hold space for me.  There it is again though in the quest for the authentic how many of you out there are willing to hold space for sadness yet not tolerate anger?

We all play dress up with our emotions and appearance. Where do we draw the line between real and make-believe.

Dyslexia – It’s a thing

IMG-8166I’m amazed I can spell Dylslexia all the letters seem to fit together so beautifully that they paint a picture in a word. The letters seem to make perfect sense even though they are arranged so unusually.

I re-read my blog post and find the mistakes and have to hurriedly fix them before anybody notices. People have noticed, switched off to the inaccuracy and skimmed over the top deciding my work is inadequate. I invite the the reader to overlook them and consider the content.

Dyslexia has been given the classification by many as a bullshit diagnosis. Maybe it is? Then there is my diagnosis that is over a decade old and took the acceptance into university to find. I can’t keep up. Never have, and now these days don’t hope too. It’s a challenge  sifting through the thoughts trying to make the right connections to create something linear. How do you create something linear when linear doesn’t come naturally? When the dharma of trying to think straight, it is a full time job that that actually takes you in circles.

As I get older it is not just about the misspelt words or even the misread signpost it’s the continuing ways in which dyslexia still side blinds me. The planning, the thinking, the over working of a thought, the lack of execution and then the disappointment attached to endless planning and organisation. Maybe that is just life the, sods law of the missed spelling mistake. The big dreams in your head that formulate differently in in our earth space reality. I get still get confused between my ability and my barriers to participation and forget the constant, long and arduous reality of working to a standard that is often beyond my own scope. This shit is real.

My free thinking gets me considering discipline and routine in order to create structured life development. What does that mean structured life development? When is most commonly means acquire until you expire.

So much freedom, so much dharma. Progress is slow.

Dyslexia/Free/Creative thinking are they one and the same? Is an explosion of creative vision on a daily basis a good thing? Einstein seemed to know so. How do you manage your ideas? How do we know which things to follow and complete, and which things to abandon on the big to do list of life? Is it a feeling or a thought? A passion or a knowing? Reluctance or embracing? Or all of the above mishmashed together in 24 hour sun ritual?

 

Re-evaluation

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One of the most brilliant things about life is that you can always change your mind. Too often we are lead to believe that life has a rigid format that must be adhered to at all times in order for us to be validated, rewarded, or even better acknowledged. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

If we look at the planet that we live on for clues; we find that nature is rarely predictable, the seasons come early or late, the rain arrives when it wants to. And if you grew up in Scotland (as I did) it’s possible to believe that the sun refuses to shine. Even as babies us humans rarely arrive on schedule and are largely forgiven for not birthing in a timely manner, much to our own mother’s sufferance.

The thing is the sun is always shining up there beyond the clouds and the earth is always gliding through it’s orbit without us much noticing. Right now all of us are moving at an incredible 110 000 km per hour and will travel a colossal 940 million kilometers in one year, even if we never leave our beds.

Sometimes the things that seem glaringly obvious can elude us. Other times the obvious answer isn’t the right one. No matter where you are or how far along you are in the journey or even the lengths that you have taken to achieve something in particular, you are always entitled to down tools, and take some time for contemplative practice.

Re-evaluation is a valuable part of any human process. What’s right for one person is not right for everybody. What’s the driving force for one generation is the rejected by the next. What one season brings the next one takes away. Being alive is the perfect balancing act, where few things stay the same, if any. Embrace the process.

 

 

The Path Ahead

IMG-7315Another earth year is rapidly coming to an end again, at least in the western world. Where we begin and end seems for us adults to have already melded into a blur or birthday parties and end of year functions where we are all supposed to get long. Life is supposed to be taking us on one linear up cycle, the one that was predicted for us when we attended school.

We already know that life isn’t like that and as we sit considering the last earth year we might consider; what exactly is going on in our lives? and what next year holds for us? The end of year can be an important time to plan for the year ahead or change track completely. Many of us are so deeply caught in the cycle of production and consumption that we are barely able to give our emotional or if we are really getting advanced spiritual needs a thought. We believe that with more money that we will have the ability to buy the things we want to create our own happiness. Whether it be objects or experiences that we wish to purchase the idea of our happiness can often seem to be balanced in our banking account rather than our own deeper truth.

You can’t purchase your own truth you have to get deep down and jiggy with it in the wee small hours, doing the inner work. Now, (as it is always) is a great time to consider the path ahead. Life is simply made of up of choices and circumstances. We have absolute power to change what takes priority in our lives. There are also a multitude of things that we can choose to prioritise, whether it be health, family, friends, spiritual growth, work or finances.

Although we may not need to change everything in one day we do need to have a road map of how to get from where we are to where we want to be. Like any adventure, you may start out with no idea of where you going on what you might want to do. Getting started is as bold a decision as any, and you must congratulate yourself for it. We may not need to make a physical journey to find out what is important to us. It is important that we follow our joy. To long have we put off happiness in the hope that money can buy it for us. It’s time for us to consider what will make us truly happy and move towards what can take us there. There may be things that we need to find out along the way to know what is important to us. It’s time to evaluate. It’s time to take stock and think about what is truly serving us. It may be our work, it maybe the people in our lives, it may even be where we live or the basic rhythm of our daily lives. Maybe you get up to early or too late and you wonder where the secrets to an actual better day lies. What do you want? What do you like? These may have been questions you have never asked yourself. They may have been things that you have been denied your whole life. It’s time to ask those questions now. It’s time to write a bucket list and wonder what are you waiting for? Not only that who you want to share the experience with? Maybe there is nobody, maybe there is somebody, are you waiting for that someone to arrive?

There are a lot of questions to ask and a lot of answers to find as you begin to unpick what the next year holds. It’s time to design the life you want in the hope of appreciating what you have.

 

 

Growth

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Too easily we talk about change, building new lives or making drastic choices in order to move swiftly into the next stages of tomorrow. That all of a sudden everything will be different, that the slate is wiped clean and we can start again without a shadow in our minds or a cloud in a clear blue sky. That’s not reality and that is quite simply not how life here on earth has been designed.  To make radical change and to cut off what we were doesn’t make sense, especially when we look at an old tree or our elders, we see that those that we most respect embrace the age and status, the scars of life and are happy to tell their tale without shame or remorse. They have learned to accept who they are and their choices, they embrace the subsequent consequences as part of who they have become. Growth really is a process of integration more than anything else, where we learn to accept the things that cannot change, especially the past, no matter how painful or terrifying.

We have to learn how to embrace it as part of ourselves and then ultimately set boundaries as to how much power the past has to impact on a flourishing future. After all, it’s only our memory of what happens and our wilfulness to breathe life into that memory that gives it any power to persist to remain.

There is also a lot to be said for growth not being possible without a certain amount of decay or destruction. We only have to look at plants themselves in order to understand the order of things. Plants grow naturally in the debris of their own decay. Letting go of what no longer serves them, is the fuel that sustains their growth. It’s quite an incredible thing really when you think on it. Trees only grow in unison of the trees and plants that surround them, all growing together. Letting go and standing together, their roots and branches all intertwined.

The greatest growth happens as part of a symbiosis through friendships, families and communities that support and carry us. The greatest challenge can be to find those who are going to encourage and support you as you follow through your natural progression in life.

Embrace The Seasons Of Life

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I’m working on a new theory, that has no basis other than my own musings and some unsubstantiated references that I can’t fully remember.

The Seasons Of Life is something that has been bumping around my head ever since I first connected with Stevie Nick’s Landslide . Can I handle the seasons’ of my life? I’ve been carrying this lyric around with me for some time now it’s poetry captures something that we are all aware of, that we can’t quite put our finger on. We as humans have our own rhythms that follow a life cycle unique to us. Kind of like dog years. Our life cycles have less to do with earth years than we might imagine as our home planet circumferences the sun.

Our lives can feel split into very different stages and in fact we can feel like very different people to ones we we started off as. Yet very little in society is geared towards these changes, understanding them or accepting them. Instead we are programmed to be emotionally contained, financially viable, reproductive, ageless machines.

We are all expected to have family focused, connected lives without any guidance as to how, especially when we come from dysfunctional families ourselves. Yet respect is only garnered when we are raising families or indeed self-parenting ourselves in the perfect set up for our age. Whether it be a student flat in our early twenties, co-habiting partnership in our thirties, family homes in our forties and so it continues. Set one foot out of alignment with this carefully concocted materialistic display of how your life should be and you’ll feel the advert of human life short changing you. Unless you’ve been living on the family plot from the start? Then you just the centre of almost every movie ever made. You’re live is what has come to be expected of almost every film ever made, or lifestyle magazine. An established home of the upper middle classes that will allow you to flourish at poetry production and even get published (though it may not be any good).

So the seasons? Gestation, Infancy, Childhood, Puberty, Adulthood, Relationship, Parenthood, Elder, Death. None of them anything to do with money, all bringing their own emotional territory as we go along. Nought much to do with the planet either, Earth years just mark our supposed passages. When really they come in their own time. In their own season, not to be presupposed by our own human expectation.

After all “A swallow does not a summer make”

So there you have it the seasons of human life.