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.
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.
Yup 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…….
Where 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.
I personally have been undergoing a rather profound transformation. In the most extreme circumstances. It will all come out in the wash, I’m sure. For now though its a privilege to hear my story and I am not ready to go public yet. Watch this space. What has been truly incredible as a result is taking time to get back to myself. What does that mean? It means sometimes due to work, circumstances or relationships we can actually lose sight of ourselves. The world gets under our skin and we become human doings rather then the beautiful human beings that we are. We lose our sense of joy, our emotional well being and thus our sense of purpose. This can be the result of our environment, the mistaken idea of what we are meant to do, or even be, in certain situations. Then everything changes and there is space for something entirely new.
I love listening to the radio. I far prefer it to the T.V and even social media. I love reading long rambling articles and even music. Somehow I forgot all that and instead for the last few years I have been reaching for the remote control or Youtube hit to just feel instantly good. What I was actually doing I was numbing. So that I could silently ignore my own feelings. Replacing them with somebody else’s. Mistaking other people trials and tribulations for my own. Taking on the motivational music as my response rather than a synthisised reaction from highly curated content.
So I’ve changed and then I realise that actually I haven’t. I have rediscovered something. That depending on where I am at, my vibration and alignment changes. That I like being outdoors. I like the radio because I can wash the dishes, or make the bed while I’m listening to it. It enhances my day instead of stealing it. Radio doesn’t dictate my mood, it engages my mind. Fascinating huh. It’s not just radio though. It’s spoken word media, podcasts, sound clouds or event the best invention ever voice notes. I love getting personalised radio broadcasts from my friends. To get to hear their uninterrupted trains of thought, their feelings and the way that we are totally free to express ourselves when we feel fully loved and supported. So that’s where I’ve been living for a while now. Feeling fully loved and supported. So all of a sudden I have been uncovering a relearning parts of myself that had been forgotten and I’m finding more and more of the life that I write about. A life filled with connection, love, abundance, ritual and peace. All amazing things right?
Well this is a funny one and it seems to follow on almost directly from my last post…..Conscious Consumption. Some times I feel like I don’t break things down well or enough. My blogging process is simply a matter of what I want to write about today. Then I find that what I have to write about can be broken down into so many other tiny pieces, and each of these deserves it’s own platform. That is what has happened here with Conscious Intake. Maybe you think I’m talking about Conscious Eating or maybe some kind of school screening programme. I’m literally writing about intake what it is that we intake into out bodies. So why not say eating? Well cause that is not exactly what I mean. So now I have to go on to explain it a bit more. What I say might be controversial and so maybe by writing this I might let you off the hook.
I smoke. Though I do not define myself as a smoker….Usually I smoke when I’m really angry and it’s actually the best way I know to calm down. (I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time at the moment, did I tell you that) Anyways after I’ve EFT’d the fuck out of myself or considered breaking something, screamed into a pillow or maybe just whacked a the couch with it. Well if all that hasn’t worked I smoke half a cigarette and then almost immediately brush my teeth and wash my hands…..oh yes that is me. The good news is that you know what it’s not a big deal. Because in that moment it’s the best possible chance I have of feeling better. That will prevent me from ruminating over an idea, situation or thought for hours. I have a cigarette change my state and then let it go. Sometimes I even smoke socially and I really enjoy it. How you feel is the key to wellness.
The reason that I write this is because there are endless lists of shoulds and should nots. Healthy and unhealthy. Only you know what is right for you. About 6 months ago I went to see a nutritionist because I was suffering from really bad indigestion and it turns out I am one of those weird people who is actually more naturally alkaline. Which means I have to make my body more acid to be able to digest my food well rather than the other ways round. Who would have thunk it? Drinking coffee, wine and even eating sugar (all in moderation) are actually good for me. As result of including these things in my diet my digestion and general well being has improved dramatically. Of course we do have to make the effort to find out what works for you.
Yes for the most part I do my best to get good quality locally sourced produce. I even collect mountain spring water regularly and use that as my standard drinking water. What I’m saying is if once a month I eat a chocolate bar on something equally suspicious; a can of coke to go with my burger and fries. Then consider yourself blessed that you can afford it, make sure you enjoy and be grateful for the experience. Creating contrast can make that experience all the more special too. Variety is the spice of life.
This week something very exciting happened. I found milk in a glass jar in my local supermarket. It was a little strange it was in a jar, it didn’t deter from the fact that the producer of the milk had made a conscious choice that they wanted to use a glass container as the receptacle for their product. I was excited. I have longed for the days of the old fashioned milk bottle since I started reducing my plastic consumption, milk has been a challenge. So when I find a product that meets my needs it enlivens me. As it frees up so much more time for my own personal brand of world healing.
As we attempt to satisfy 7 billion people, many of us grasp that drastic change is necessary. As we jump from one side of the boat to another trying to create balance we often find that we create further instability. Watching people plunge overboard in an attempt to save themselves, I have grown very self assure of my own approach. Softly softly catch the monkey. After all I come from a place with one of the worst diets in the world where even a few green vegetable might be considered radical.
I’m a flexitarian thank you very much. That means I retain the right to eat what I want when I want, if it’s appropriate. My own inner work includes doing my best to stay happy and keeping my alignment stable, while doing my best for other earthlings and the planet. My primary focus in my consumption is healing humans. I believe that if as humans we can heal ourselves, we are in the best position to create rich sustaining lives, that allow us to extend our joy to the people and communities around us. In turn we will then find way of enhancing the environments that surround us, finding natural ways of enriching our lives here on planet Earth.
For this reason I do my best to shop locally, using the nearby health food store, local shops or local markets. My preference is to use outlets that I can walk or cycle too. This also does a great deal to reduce my carbon footprint. It also helps immensely in building a sense of community and exploring local geographies.
I want to invest my energy into the people around me that are creating good things. I believe that by doing this I also enhance local inter-personal connectivity helping to create resilient communities, supporting economic stability and enhancing my own geographical area.
I want to be able to connect with the people that live round me and indulge in the contributions they make. I believe that building connections is the best way that way have as humans of getting back to our original design. We were intended to live connected relationship based lives. Using our food consumption as a base for creating those connections is one of the best ways we have of connecting with our local environment.
Sometimes I wonder what our inner guidance system would operate like if it was a GPS system and what kind of warnings it might give out when you were steering onto the wrong course. Would it say things “stop immediately”? Or would it say “A better decision can be found to your left” or even “reconsider current trajectory” or in the most desperate of cases “abort mission” I suspect if you’ve gone this far there isn’t much hope of finding a safe and effective exit route.
I often override what my inner guidance and then I wonder did I really? Hindsight is a wonderful thing and even when we have live clues it can often be hard to decipher what the next best step is. We’ve all be there, I’m sure, in that situation where someone says or does something that lets us know that we are not on the same path, have the same shared values. There are no mistakes and no matter where we are heading you better be sure that your GPS system is working overtime to get you there. When we ignore what we believe were tell tale signs of trouble ahead isn’t it just our own way of saying life is an adventure.
In the last few decades the rise in adventure sports of even excursions have been supposedly been the best way to get out of a comfort zones as we all try escape desk jobs and boring routines. The things is even with the life jackets and the bungee cords there is never any guarantee that we really will be safe, that we will get home safe and dry after a harmless flirtation with exhilaration.
When we override our inner guidance system it’s just our spiritual way of saying “I’ve got this”, come what may. That actually we have a belief in ourselves beyond what is explicable or even sane. After all what sane person would actually through themselves off a structure with noting but a rope tied to their ankles? As a kiwi friend once said to me “New Zealand the nation that invented bungee jumping. A nation in some serious need of entertainment”.
Recently when I am thinking about my own personal growth journey the book “The Four Agreements” has been coming up for me a lot. I find it very reassuring to look at them and use them as a tick list to see how well I have served my self in the process of life.
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always Do Your Best
If I read these four agreements and I know that I have applied to the best of my ability. Then my inner guidance system is totally in tact. No matter the outcome.