“Consistently Inconsistent” My father said this to me once as an insult. it’s a terrible shame that it wasn’t actually true. Yet beyond this it has become a kind of mantra for me. Everybody has the right to change there mind, find another way, all in the hope of becoming who we actually are. In recent months I’ve picked up the pace a bit on my wee coaching business and as always adjusting course as I move forward and figuring out what it all really means anyway while attempting to be the truest and best version of myself all at the same time. Which means from time to time my standards slip life gets in the way and I have to consider How best am I serving my clients. If you are looking for a guru I’m not it. I’m as human and broken as the best of us and sometimes I’m envious of Mandela and hid imposed daily routine. Can you imagine enforced spiritual awakening by way of prison regime. That no matter how hard it is. How you might be feeling or even how important you are you have to get out there and get down to the lowly work of breaking rocks. If that isn’t dharma in action I don’t know what is.
In the meantime I’m caught between, I’m busy feeling. How much can I journal about this? Do I journal before I do the dishes? Do I do the dishes before I journal or the other way round. Which one is going to make me feel better faster? Then all the justifications that go with it. Never mind that I actually can’t do the dishes because I can’t find the ecologically friendly dish washing liquid I usually use in my local supermarket, that means I have to drive into town, which kind of defeats the purpose of eco dish washing liquid. Yes it’s the small things. How do you write inspirational posts when you can’t manage the basic and well you’re very busy feeling? The thing is we all have the right to be consistently inconsistent. We are humans. As much as we are drastically trying to reclaim our lives from the endless monotony of daily work for a corporate company we also need to reclaim our lives from the constructed demands of time. No one here is pulling in a harvest no one is going to dye if you Instagram feed is not up to date and should I really be Instagramming while spending quality time with friends. Personal work is for me the new work work. Prioritising me as a radical step in self-care. That doesn’t mean never commit it just means do you best and been happy with the results. Also please bare in mind here absolutely no-one has criticised me for inconsistency or praised me for my eco washing up liquid. This is all self-imposed limitations and critiques. The mind can be crazy even when it is well trained.
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.
Today as in today I’m not feeling so great and I’m wondering what I can write that will best serve you. I want to work on something that will be mutually beneficial as a navigate a some lingering emotional turmoil and wonder what is the next best step? If speaking our truth is really powerful, and what really serves us, and grants other people the right to be themselves; is it my job to tell you what going on with me? Or is it my job to pretend that everything’s ok and not to bother you with my business? When the business of healing and therefore healing myself is the business I’m in. It’s a question I keep asking myself. I like to belief that in holding space for myself I am holding space for you. That maybe, in my unorthodox approach you find some light relief from your own shit.
Reaching out for help is often one of the bravest things that we can do for ourselves. Talking about our shit, coming right out and saying it is often as little or as much as we need to say about a situation, our emotions or our thoughts. To remove the taboo. We can’t always be sure of how any one person will receive what we have to say. The truth of the matter is that we have the right to freedom of expression. It’s something that we often forget. That instead or being nice, kind or generous that we have the right to be honest. Honesty can serve us. Keeping up a facade hides us from what we want most. It stops us from being who we really are even if that might be perceived as ugly, inconsiderate or thoughtless. Other peoples feelings are not our responsibility. This is something that I often need to remind myself of as I pick away at the great puzzle of my life. That often I choose to be nice, kind or generous and betray myself in the process. That I don’t get what I want as a result and people don’t see me for who I really am. It makes me wonder if I am failing at being me and why I feel the need to protect someone from me. Aren’t all thoughts, feelings, emotions valid? I say all these things in safe spaces. Why not here? Why not now? Then I see that I am protecting myself as much as I am protecting the other person. That I want people to be kind to me, cause in some moments that is all I want to handle. That the person opposite me has their own struggles and challenges and we are all just doing the best we can as we work this deeply collaborative process called life.
Beyond drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. If there was one thing that I would recommend for a good life it is friends. Now first of all this might seem obvious. Second of all it wasn’t to me. I have spent much of my life chasing good friendships. If you really want to get to grips with what is going on for you in your life, friendships will act as a mirror to your challenges as much as any romantic relationship that you might have.
The impact that your close knit support can have on you can be profound, to the point that they may very well deny your basic needs, from a glass of water to unbroken sleep. It’s true and many of us humans are in deep denial about the impact that dysfunctional relationships can have on our basic survival even as adults. If you are indeed in a situation where none of your basic needs are met, where you don’t feel supported, then as challenging as it might be it’s time to leave.
Everyone is deserving of support. Everyone is entitled to a glass of water, a safe place to sleep and to feel connected and held by the people who surround them. Often time depending on how we have been raised we can believe that just because people are there that and that they have not chosen to abandon us that they are our friends. This is not always true. Often people try to hold on to us in there lives in order to feel powerful. They get power out of demeaning us, undermining our own thought and ideas, or belittling and berating what brings us joy or purpose. You may suspect that people don’t want what is best for you. As you feel that they corrode your self-worth.
You are in control of how you feel about yourself. You are always able to love yourself and as you take steps towards self-nurturance you will soon understand that although it is nice to have people in your life. You can choose who those people are and how you want to feel. The next time that you are in someones company, what I would encourage you to do is to become aware of how you feel. If someone backs you feel special than that is the person you want to be round, if someone makes you feel a little knarly round the edges, maybe it’s time to examine what going on there.
Like relationships, no friendship is perfect. You are in a friendship to give too. We have to accept another persons humaness and do our best to not make our humaness another persons burden.
If you genuinely have no friends, feel isolated, and have no support network it’s time to get out there and find your tribe. The exist and they are just as flawsome as you. The only way that you are really going to find the friends that your deserve is by being yourself. Only then can you attract people that are the right sort of weird to your irresistible flame. What you might also like to do is to make sure is that you are clear about what kind of friend that you want to be. Do I call people back? Do I keep in touch when someone is having a tough time? Do I remember peoples birthdays? Be the friend that you want to be and a beautiful human is sure to turn up with the right kind of food for you.
It’s a cliche, “You should talk to someone about that”. “About what? About how fucked up my life is? That it’s always been fucked up? My family could open a step by step guide of how to be dysfunctional if they’d only stop fighting.”
It isn’t what happens to us that necessarily matters to the people that surround us. It’s the way that we respond to the circumstances that surround us. So if we pretend that everything is ok and nobody ever gets a whiff of the problem, then it might be easy to imagine that that problem doesn’t exist. Especially when it comes to work turn up perform and nobody cares. Meantime you’re drinking yourself into oblivion. Setting fire to your anger with each cigarette. Rising above it all with each joint. You could even be so obsessed with your perceived rate of productivity as a human machine, that you might be denying yourself a much better quality of life.
Much of what we do masks our vulnerability, right down to the way we look. Few people enjoy being vulnerable. From women desperately dying there hair to conceal their aging to hiding tears about the death of a relative. Open emotion can be shaming for many of us. The visible demonstration of emotions are viewed as weakness, a character flaw, an inability to cope. Emotions highlight our vulnerabilities. Not all of us are ready to face them. That we love. That we care. That our humaness can often be uncomfortable and at times even painful.
In recent years and with the advent of Social Media more and more we are witnessing a change in dialogue about emotions, that seem to centre around mental health. More than this in my daily life I have discussions with people and sometimes clients who declare that they are getting depressed, or that they are suffering from anxiety. The truth is that maybe we went from summer to winter and there more likely having some seasonal blues…or maybe they had a fight with a friend that is getting them down. Or they are anxious due to a big project they are working on. These are normal human responses to everyday human situations. Yet we seem to believe that if we aren’t firmly grounded in the perceived “positive” human emotions spectrum, that it almost directly translated to a mental health issue. That all of a sudden we need to suit up, get medicated and fight a diagnosis. We’d rather fight our vulnerabilities rather than embrace them. We will do anything to protect ourselves from feeling.
The real answer is that we have to be open to our vulnerabilities and that our emotions have the ability to teach us as much as our physical sensations. When something feels wrong it often is. If we engage in our emotions they can teach us far more about the human experience than we ever imagined. That without a rich tapestry of all the emotions it’s hard to understand, our deepest purpose and where we belong. Sharing our vulnerabilities is one of truest ways we can show up in our lives and inspire others. By being ourselves and being honest about our personal challenges we give other people permission to admit and work through the same stuff. We find out flawsome.
If you go to my home page of this website you will find that I emphasis the importance of basic self-care. The importance of breathing, sleeping, hydration, eating and safety. I mean the absolute basics. One thing that has truly revolutionised my life was drinking water I spent years feeling exhausted and it was only once I truly committed to drinking 500ml of water first thing in the morning that I really noticed a peak in my energy levels. When before I might have rolled right over and forgotten that there was a schedule to keep. Instead I went to bed with a full water bottle next to me and when I woke up it was the first thing I reached for. I slowly began to realise that if I drank the water and continued to stay in bed by the time I really needed to get up I was refreshed, energised with a clear head. It was like finding the secret on switch to my body. I was far less lethargic and getting up in the morning turned to a joy rather than a slog.
Almost all of us are capable of self-care unless we already suffer from chronic or acute illness. Self-care is simply the process of keeping ourselves alive, which can be a lot more challenging than you might think, dependent on our physical environment, access to basic resources, family circumstances, access to education or healthcare.
The current westernised system attempts to propagate the idea of exponential growth, where monetary profits are more important than the human condition or even that of our fellow earthlings. Where the colour of money comes shining through, depriving many of us humans the ability to breath clean air, drink clean water or eat fresh and nutritious food. Much of the above is far out of a person’s reach. Safe housing is for many quite simply a luxury. Instead the majority of humans are eating poison, masked as food, that will take many of us to an early grave and where life expectancy in modern countries looks like it might start to drop rather than increase. Now when we look to these circumstances, especially when you live in a city like Cape Town, we have to dig deeper for an understanding of where we are heading as a human race. Survival is self-care at it’s most basic level. If we want to push through that and step out on the path for of personal growth it’s time to take a step towards self-nurturance.
Self-nurturance lies somewhere between self-care and self-love and for me is based in the idea, that we alone, hold the key to our prosperity. It’s about gently raising our vibrations so that we no longer experience the world as a hostile place and see the potential of love. Some of us have never felt this strange fluffy thing that is largely represented by a bouquet a thorny flowers.
I’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?
These days when we talk about healing, the subject of energy is almost certainly going to come up. For many not adept in the concepts of healing, energy can feel like a non-sense and hocus pocus that can be applied to almost any situation and can appear to be for hippy types a universal explanation for anything. Even for myself I often stand on the edge of a yoga class or spiritual practitioner listening to all this energy being banded about. From personal energy, other peoples energy, the energy of a space or institution to even talk about global energy. I can be a bot overwhelming not least trying to pin point exactly what energy you may or may not be tuning into. Never mind believing that energy can work in such etheric ways.
Learning to discern energy comes to be like understanding the flavours of a fine wine. Conversations about energy can make you feel like you are living on another planet, when people don’t feel as you feel, energy is a a deeply nuanced thing.
Really though, what does the term energy mean beyond burning fuel for your car or the electricity that conducts through copper wire? When we talk about ethereal energy that seems to be everywhere can it ever be a little more scientific? The answer is yes. On a very base level, every single human transmits their own energy force field. You can call bullshit on that if you want. However the science is quite clear, we would not be able to to operate our touch screen devices without one. The energy force field that we radiate comes directly from the energy that our hearts generates as it pumps oxygenated blood through our anatomic systems. The speed and power of your heart rate help dictate your frequency of energy you emanate. Sounds weird doesn’t it? Possibly a bit improbable? Then let me ask you to consider other energy generating or fueled devices or even something as simple as fire. We can feel fire before we touch it. A petrol generator we can both hear and feel before we see it. Cars too also vibrate and most animals, as well as humans are at the very least warm to the touch. When we think about it this way maybe then the idea of personal energy might not be quite so impossible.
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.
I’m a Xennial. In case you don’t know what that means I am of the generation x that became the generation y? and then off course it was the end of the alphabet and a millennium, so here we are Xennials. We grew up in analogue and fueled the digital age with our endless drive for new technology. The changed the way we communicated were a composite part of creating its culture. When SMS (Short Message Service) became text and well text is so l8r we depend on WhatsApp. We grew up with black and white television, had to teach ourselves how to plug in the internet, there wasn’t even a world-wide-web. We had noticeboards, forums and chat rooms. We started out local and rapidly became global, even if you didn’t live in London. It’s been wild.
Now this information download starts before you’ve even had coffee or tea or taken a piss. My morning journaling is rudely interrupted by Trump updates and app reminders, in order to navigate my best possible self. Planning, scheduling and productivity are the core components of human life as we now understand it. While we absorb inane information that rarely impacts change on our increasingly precarious species.
Does any of this matter? No not really as we will bumble along in our relentless lives regardless. It is making me search longingly as I realise that technology has deeper roots into our connectivity than ever before and the slow act of natural community is both corroded and enhanced by our digital age. I realise how hooked I am, I think I want to connect. Yet I am connecting with myself and others through the glow of a MacBook screen, or the flicker of a phone message in a room alone. If I walk out the door there may not be anyone to connect with. The local shop keeper perhaps? If you are lucky enough to have a shop nearby.
Which begs the question? How do we connect? Is it by WhatsApp message only? Is there something I am missing out on here? I still like to walk places. I still like to pop in, without an invitation. These days it’s becoming an increasingly rare activity; living your day fully connected with the moment as it is, information transmitted over the natural super highway of thought feeling and intuitions. I used to call it real time existence where I would wander off into town on an errand and find myself lost in the world of living. It was so liberating.
I am constantly seeking connection and I now wonder what more I can do? Switch of the phone? Work mornings only? Stop writing emails and start writing letters, to regain control of time. We should not be instantly available or constantly contactable. No, no, no.
So it’s time I think that I personally begin to claim my life from the digital database. Go rogue and pay cash. Like in the old days before every interaction was trackable on the cloud. Every instant message a fingerprint in time. Time to change, time to get out of the connectedness trap.