Personal Development

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.

Lessons for 2018

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Really are we doing this? It’s kind of a must, to get a little bit of self-reflection into the programme. End cycles are such a crazy time for all of us. By the time we hit December we are already hitting 2019 hard and we are trying our best to get a clear idea of what worked and what didn’t. 2018 has been one of the hardest years that I can remember. I got married the planets went background and what was meant to be a clear trajectory to the finish line of life got all muddled up. Things were not what they were supposed to be and life long dreams coming true can mess with your head more than you can imagine. You don’t hear about this stuff much. That wedded bliss doesn’t last long or that a solution only presents a whole set of new challenges, it’s been a bit brutal. Add into the mix living on another continent from where your from, living in a dual language/culture family and well, these are a mix of challenges that a lot of people never have to deal with. For me I think 2018 has literally been the end of a 10 years cycle of wait and see. Yes 10 years of wait and see. What does that mean? It means if you are not sure what to do. Do nothing, it’s sitting back and letting it unfold knowing that the master plan may not be of your making. 2008 probably heralded my journey into personal healing after having ticked all the boxes and still not having resolved what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be in my life. Since I gave up the idea of an end game I can promise you I have over all been much happier and had a much more fulfilling life.

Saying that in that 10 year cycle I have moved continent, so I’ve done plenty. It might be better to say that life had other plans. Sometime we are dead certain on on thing and then whoops you fall in love with a man half a world away and you find yourself literally on safari. It’s been an incredible blessing.

On the other hand you adapt. You change you grow. You forget parts of yourself simply because they don’t get spoken about much being a #scotabroad experiencing #diaspora and all the complications that might bring. When even the person closest to you only occasionally see your true tartan colours a complex mix all woven together in a peculiar way that only a Scottish person might understand. Then on the other hand, doesn’t, cause after all how many Scots have lived in Cornwall and the South Africa, studied Art History and well married Boer. More people than I might imagine and then of course they aren’t here. All of the above can make for a very strange affair. Where we constantly have to negotiate our beingness to be. So very counter intuitive huh? The main news is I trust myself.

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.

MisGuided Guides

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As many of you who are members of my Healing Humans groups will have noticed I have been using a productivity system recommended by James Clear on how to improve systems rather than goals. As a result I’ve been reading all those email subscriptions in order to source amazing articles and insights for the group.

So I’ve been checking out Medium that seems to be written by a Millennial crowd. Millennials make me think back to other times and I like to think that every  youth generation has it’s thing The Beatniks, The Hippies and The Punk. Apparently I’m a Proto-Hipster with a Punk approach. That was sorted out for me several years ago already, to save anybody any confusion about my cultural origins. I dropped out of the idea of being classically successful probably round about the day I was born. Yet I still floundered in the public schooling system got an education (in the arts (What else?) ). I turned my hands, then lost my head doing the best I could to make sense of the incredibly fluid and systemised world that we live in. None of it makes any sense, it’s all bonkers, absurd, wilder than imagination and well like tripping. We go into offices, charities, start ups, NGO’s, governments and work at just about everything we can. To find that our bosses Dad left him at four so he has self-worth issues, that the girl two cubicles along from you is a refugee from Zimbabwe or lets here it for all the working mothers who are watching the clock all day making sure they gets to the school gate on time.

In the meantime we are trying to run logical no error systems with human robots, who keep bringing to the party exactly what they should. They bring there humaness. Their flawsome. We wonder why the system doesn’t work? We wonder how we can fit in? How we can get ahead?  How we can grow from criticism? How we can integrate feedback? How we can thrive through this? All massive challenges and questions and I wonder what I know about all this for sure. Lets be clear about this. It’s what I know. It’s not what I have mastered.

Turn Up

Just turn up endlessly without question. All the time. That shit gets noticed.

Set Boundaries

Know what your job is. If you don’t know what your job is. Your job is to do everything. Until such time as someone tells you it isn’t and changes their mind the next day. This is normal. Stay calm. It’s capitalism at it’s best. Be kind to everybody even when they are “challenging” – Step outside and scream and repeat.

Do Your Job

Yes I know it’s everything!!!!! Do it all. Don’t take toilet breaks. Don’t question your boss (Even though they ask for questions. If you do ask questions be sure to ask the ones they know the answers to). Don’t take on anybody else’s work until yours is done. Like totally done. Like you’ve been in the parking lot for 15 min thinking over what you’ve missed done.

If You Think Above You Pay Level You Have To Act On It 

You can only think above your pay level once you have mastered the first job you have. Everyone is busy. Make a job easier, faster more efficient you’ll get some fans. Yup start your fan base here.

Set Time Limits

Never take work home unless you have kids and their survival depends on your job.

Use Your Spare Time To Build Your Dream

It could be making floor cushions out of your pubic hair. If that’s what gets your vibe, do it.

THIS APPLIES TO EVERYTHING YOU UNDERTAKE WORK, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, HOME LIFE, EVERYTHING.

 

 

 

Take Care Of Yourself First

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This is Delphine clearly an Oracle looking badass while mothering hard. When the tough get going the tough drink tea.

Every so often my mind develops little mantras. This one “Take Care of Yourself First” came to me a few weeks ago while I was literally about to wet myself while trying to turn on the laptop to save time. Fucking ridiculous right? Right? Do you do this? I do this kind of stuff all the time and it drives me more then a little crazy too. Like many people I think that I am a multitasking god. Which I absolutely can be at times. Then you have moments like the one above where you mindfully facepalm yourself and decide going to the toilet is more important than productivity or in fact essential to productivity. I mean seriously. It’s the small things right?

Sometime in a my mid-twenties I remembered becoming so acutely aware of running on autopilot about many small tasks, only because I started to have “accidents” or lets say oversights. Not necessarily wetting myself more the inside out pants situation; cause you didn’t actually check. For want of falling into a stereo type things like leaving the hand break on and that kind of stuff. Then you remember I’m not God. I just need to be firmly assured in the fact if I’m not paying attention I’m likely to make mistakes. As are you. We are all human after all. That’s a humbling realisation for many of us. The great news is we can save ourselves deep levels of embarrassment and humiliation. If we pay attention to the small stuff, notate the it’s daily mastery is a minor lesser noted miracle and achieving beyond this is well worthy of note, recognition and possible some kind of award scheme.

A mate of mine Sonia Mather (a womanly demigod and my one of my personal gurus) often refers to this strategy as Oxygen Living. The principle behind this is that you have to put your oxygen mask first before helping anybody else. Being a mother she learned early on that as one of the main co-collaborators in her family life. She was personally responsible for holding that the family together (groundbreaking I know). Caught in the exhaustive and endless quandary of taking care of two young children;  she realised if she wasn’t taking care of herself who else would? Her two young children couldn’t do it and nor could her husband as if like here he wasn’t battling his own challenges, he two was wrestling with two small children. Other than taking turns at alone time there really weren’t any other option than to put personal care at the top of the list. Which is incredibly challenging with two small kids. Cause guess what you can’t leave them alone and personal control is a human skill that many adults have yet too mastered (me included). Mothering is a masterclass in personal survival (that’s why Mothers are amazing).  This also reminds me of my own mother defiantly drinking a cup of tea at the end of a long day at work before delving into our stuff. Or the many mother that have barricaded themselves into a bathroom for a long awaited bath with the music turned up. So there you have it. Taking care of yourself first is essential for the survival of future generations and the human race and thus very very important.

I Am Celebrated

4EDBF04E-2251-4EC4-BDD2-1A023FF077CDOctober was my birthday month. As another sun cycle has hit me it became clear that it was time to celebrate. I have made it to the humble age of 38.  Life is getting better and better and I know it. The past week has felt lit up by my achievements and personal power. I wonder what life has got in store for me next it’s got to be something exciting. After all I am excited to be here, now. The must be something up? This Birthday has been another great opportunity for growth. Where I break further and further away from the idea of a permission based existence. That I need to stand up, take what I want from the counter and give back what I can in return. Imagine if at Birthday time we didn’t mop about waiting to be acknowledged or loved and that we just celebrated the life and love that we have. Celebrating is a step beyond gratitude. It’s like a love explosion.

For years I waited for someone to notice or for someone to love me just they way I might want them to. It’s an impossible task to hand to someone. Who else could know or celebrate me better than I can. It’s only very recently that I began to figure out that my Birthday Celebrations were being dictated to by a bunch of people who actually didn’t like me very much. Can you imagine that. Who wanted me to be someone else. Aspirationally demure filled with elegance and discernment. Ha ha ha ha I now sit back and laugh at all those unhappy birthdays that had nothing to do with me and realise exactly why I didn’t enjoy them. They weren’t for me they were for everyone else. What everyone else thought I should be doing. Getting taken out for dinner, etc etc etc.

So do yourself a favour, take time to celebrate you just as you are. Invite the people you actually like a long for the ride. The maybe just maybe a Happy Birthday will turn up for you.

Life Expectations

IMG-0172Yup this is the big stuff right here. Maybe Leonard Cohen summed in up best with Bird On A wire Expectations, if you can crack this well, there is reason to believe you can crack anything. Seriously. Expectations? Seriously most of us are born into this particular segment of our lives well and truly fucked. First of all people are always asking you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Second of all we are all systematically bombarded by parents, media, the educations system with what the fuck we should be doing. Even Ted Talks ask almost every particpant to conform to “their” format of speaking. I mean fuck them. Really? Seriously? You want ideas to change the world yet we must all conform to your style standards. Right o then. I think fucking not. Can you sense my outrage. So here it is expectations. Born, Job, Buy a Car, Marry, Buy a House, Parent, Grandparent, Leave a Legacy, Die. And could you do all of that as gracefully as possible without upsetting anybody. No I don’t think so? Can you? No. Is this totally fucking unrealistic? Yes. What an excellent reason to free your mind.

Human Life expectations seem to present as some form of cultural dogma. That’s true. It’s fucking wild that our most basic of humans choices seemed to be being dictated to by some kind of cultural hive mind. That straying from the accepted norms may well fuck the system. God know that declining birth rates in the western world are freaking people out. We’re back to the feudal system here guys. Less people, less power (in case you haven’t figured that out, lets not talk about China. Look away now). The fact that any one of us does not manage to reach these “bench marks” is by no means a reflection on us. Most of us have no idea what we are doing here in this earthling experieince. Much less what we are doing here in the right now and seem to be completely boggled by the idea that there is already a pre-determined system that we should be slotting into before we’ve even figured out what our hands are for. Yes seriously people have decided that you will graduate university before you have even figured out how to use your hands.

Expectations for ourselves obviously have to become completely muddled and muddied as a result of the information that we are given. Now we have Facebook and Instagram I can only imagine how confused most youngsters are by there level of aspiration. Have you heard? They just closed The Beach permanently, our hedonistic quest for light relief in paradise is fucked also. So expectations? Really what do you expect? Is it realistic? And are you starting this quest with your self. I’ll give you an example? I expect people to be honest with me……..am I honest? Yes to the best of my knowledge. I expect to have beautiful things……..can I define beauty? Sometimes……Yup get right into your head and ask the big questions…….

The Ride of Your Life

IMG-0031Is it really all snakes and ladders? Is it a roller coaster ride? Or is it the hamster wheel of hell? I suppose that all depends on where you are on your journey. It also depends on what are the best choices for you. We all have patterns and any one of us has the right to make there own decisions. Anyone of us has the right to decide what is the best feeling for you. What I can tell you based entirely on my own experience is that we create our own reality. That your current reality might seem like the best choice that you can make at any given time. I absolutely believe you. At any given time you have the access to the best decision possible for you. The thing is that you are perfect just as you are. That the place where you are is exactly where you need to be right now. You can also choose to go somewhere else. Of course this might not be the case if you are experiencing some form of modern slavery. Yes that’s a real thing. Do you feel better now?

You see we can all allow ourselves to be drop kicked into next week. Any girl with PMT (and her unsuspecting partner) can tell you that our physiology, never mind environment or human connections have the ability to fuck you over. Throw you off the playful merry-go-round that we thought we were in charge of spinning for ourselves and leave us bruised, broken and temporarily scarred for a few weeks. If this happens to you then of course we will feel the searing pain of being thrown to the floor, literally hitting rock bottom. Then we can stay there and allow ourselves to bleed to death while picking at scabs at on our elbows. Crying for everyone else around us to help us. Then wonder why they don’t or in fact why they shout at us to get up, causing us even more distress. The thing is that we have the solution, other people can see it and we can’t. That’s fucking scary, I know. That we might not be able to see the obvious. Even more terrifying is that we might not able to feel the obvious. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to feel better. Fuck you for not helping me. Can you see the challenge. Few people want to have to tolerate another person’s pain. You know why? It’s painful. The truth is is all anybody really wants is love. All anybody really needs to heal is love and you can access that at anytime. All you have to do is think of something nice. Maybe it’s sunshine or rainbows or your favourite Death Metal Punk Band. Yes life experiences and your reaction to them (which you can’t necessarily control) can kick the shit out of you but if you can find something to reach for that makes you feel better. You are going to find it easier and easier to feel good.

The Healing Journey

IMG-0027Where might I begin with this one? That fact of the matter is the healing journey begins with the idea that you might be in search of something better. As simple as that sounds, it can be an incredibly challenging idea for anybody going through an existential crisis. After all many of us have fallen away from the soft doughy comfort that religion has to offer us, of eternal life, or redemption. All we can attempt to cling to is the here and now.

That life is both painful and pointless. That we all die that everyone of us will die. Buildings, communities and empires will decay and crumble. Collapse and decay are the only true values that persist in our material world. These concepts are something that many of us have succumbed to over the process of our human lives, not least when we seem to have be battered by the fates and we realise that despite our best efforts that we are not entirely in the driving seat of our own lives. That life happens. It’s ok to get lost here. In fact it’s ok to live here. You can even preach this doctrine should you be inclined, because it is of course a truth and unrelenting and brutal truth.

On the other hand we live, we breath and it is fair to say that only a sage few would claim to know or understand the meaning of life in it’s entirety. Even less of us might actually believe them. I personally have no idea what the meaning of life is and at my best might only be able to grasp at what it might mean for me. Your meaning and values might lead you to a different, explanation or conclusion entirely. What I do know, for me at least is that with death and destruction there is beauty, deep meaning, fragility and an idea of preciousness. That everything and anything can hold value if only for a spit second and the way that we know this is based on the way we, or, specifically I feel.  I have the power to choose something’s value. I also have the power to change how I feel and I also have the ability to understand things completely differently. If I am able to understand that which any particular moment might give to me. That the gift might not be material and that throughout my life I have always managed to adapt and grow. That pain can be the greatest gift of all. That what we can tolerate, becomes what we can endure and what we can endure becomes our source of strength. If pains become our strength then the fickle nature of life is only here to fortify us. So in the end every trial becomes a game, every test a quiz. We learn that approaching life with a sense of play does far more for our sense of well being than and idea of a predetermined game plan. That just like snakes and ladders winning a losing can be fun.