Seasons

Prioritising Self and Fluidity

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Negotiating the emotional landscape has got to be one of the most complex things that we humans have to do. If we were all robots getting on with our to do lists just think how boring that would be. Work schedules, family schedules and daily routines can be the glue that hold our lives together and then from time to time, the computer says no. Our conscious tells us other otherwise. Things don’t make sense and well life happens. We have to figure out how to navigate it. All of a sudden we are on unfamiliar territory and well as my old pirate self might say, “There be Rocks!!!” Even when we know where we are going there can be all sorts of hidden obstacles and emotional battles to overcome in order to make sure that we are ready for the task, journey or event ahead.

In the meantime if you are indeed engaged fully on your own personal journey you may well feel or in fact know, that this is all for a reason. That you are here to learn for yourself.  To share your journey, so that other way finders may just steer clear of the rocks.

We complicate the idea of getting ahead with helping others. That if we are caring, kind compassionate humans we priortise other people. Is that absolutely true?

It makes me think of a Gardener who spends his life planting flowers so that everybody can enjoy their blooms. For the advanced Gardner it’s about planting trees that will never reach their full magnificence in a human life time. So we wonder who is he planting them for? Only for the simple satisfaction that he has imagined something beautiful.

That we can’t possibly  support another person while moving at an incredibly slow pace, it might even be mistaken for being stationary. It’s bit of a double edged sword, personal work. We want to support and love others to heal themselves, while being continuously called to heal our own wounds in the act of serving. It’s and incredible balancing act actually.

It has taken me a long time to fully understand what it is to prioritise myself. In fact it’s kind of startling to me when I ever do some deep soul examination of how little I give myself and why. It also troubles me what spiritual observations that many of us take on the path to wellness. Chastity, obedience and poverty being three main ones. It makes you wonder what is left for joy, happiness and growth.

In today’s world where even in our own personal journey consistency is considered to be key. It can be challenging to think of new more relaxed ways to embrace personal growth, that don’t revolve round people pleasing, gym membership or a punishing daily regime that is guaranteed to push all the money juice out of you.

Then we return again to the Gardner where the seasons and the weather dictate their routine. They plan on rainy days. Plant and harvest on sunny days. Wait out the frost. Every day and changing season brings with it a new challenge of how and when they will get the job done and yet they always do.

Back With A Bang

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Social Media and tech in general would have us believe that we can have perfectly curated lives. Only showing what we want the world to see. Only allowing us to share what we want. Then sometimes not sharing is as telling as sharing everything.

However to have things curated in our lives to the point that our human lives become a seamless production takes a volume of extraordinary planning. Guess what though? Life happens. And as my mother often says “It never rains but it pours”. Here deep down at the tip of Africa that is the blessing that we are waiting for. I’ve been standing looking at the skies waiting for the rain to come not thinking about what to do with the rain when it gets here. So please excuse me while a run off and get some buckets.

 

Merry Merrymas

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Well it’s time for me to take a ritual break. It’s one of the wonders of being self-employed you know. That you decide when you work and when you don’t. And I’ve decided that I’m taking from the end of this week to the second week in January off. I won’t be off off because taking time off of from writing The Life Doula blog helps me create time for other things. I love what I do. This is just a way of making time for contemplative practice and making sure that what I am doing is in line with who I am.

I like to use December as an uber planning meeting. I clean out the house, I de-clutter, I make home improvements and I plan the year ahead. Sometimes I feel rather over ambitious with my streamlining and sometime the big goals wish list can feel rather whimsical. Yet the main thing is, is that I set intent. I know exactly what I want to achieve from the next year before I get there and honestly sometimes I amaze myself. Not just with the process of planning the year, also when I make my way into the future discover that I achieved far more than even I had hoped. I love that sweet sense of unexpected success that goes hand in hand with a year well lived.

I’ve created my own personal ritual that revolves around the end of the year and I love it.

Tomorrow night I will be doing my last talk of the year too. Which will help people discover and create rituals in their life. Ritual can sound like a whole load a fooey whoo whoo that involves dancing in the moonlight, washing your face in the midsummer dew or in some parts of Scotland setting fire to a Viking long ship. Yes that’s actually thing.

For me though ritual is about finding connection, most significantly with yourself.  Ritual can take on all sorts of forms, from cleaning your shoes to brushing your teeth. It’s find a way to get in tune, listen to our inner workings and making space for something new. It’s wiping the slate clean for another attempt with the best start possible. About putting everything in place, that we might gain clarity, wisdom and insight. You don’t need, candles, you don’t need crystals, you just need intent.

In Scotland my country of origin, New Year (Hogmany) is the best celebrated winter festival and probably the best loved. There is a real belief that on this night of any night of the year that we can all start again. That we choose exactly want we want from life, that we can decide to bring love, joy and laughter into the world and let go of all our yesterdays in the hope of a better tomorrow. Everyone is included and whatever you decide is totally personal just for you. So in this December I’d like to invite you to consider what do you need that is just for you….?

 

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.