## Planting, Numbers and Daring Greatly

I’ve had a bit of a layman’s obsession with numerology and seeing recurring number sequences for quite a long time now, such as 2020, 1111, 3113 and so on. Over the years I have taught myself various calculations and ways of interpreting the results. My newest venture is to learn about Chaldean numerology, which is a much, much older system than the Pythagorean one, and some people feel it is more accurate. Of course there are those who think we’re all bat shit crazy, but to each their own. Learning about this new system, (following legally changing my name with guidance from a numerological genius named Psio ) has rekindled my obsession and I’ve been learning more about all of my friends’ and family’s numbers too. Just because single parenting isn’t enough work – why not add some pointless maths?

For those with no knowledge of numerology whatsoever, but enough interest to keep reading, numerology is an occult study of the impact of numbers in our life and psychological, spiritual, physical and mental make up. Like astrology is the study of how the positioning of numerous planets, stars and asteroids affects us, numerology is a sort of numerical practice along a similar vein. It predominantly uses the date of birth and a codified way of translating letters to numbers to calculate numerical values from our names. You can also work out other dates, house numbers and any numbers you see often or repeatedly, as mentioned above. I find it very fascinating and so do some of my friends. Others get really annoyed with me when I attempt to reduce everything to maths, especially because I suck at maths.

The numbers have characteristics, like the zodiac does. You have five core numbers (and much more) from your name and date of birth and these are considered to be the most influential, albeit not the only influences. They give insight into things like personality, what natural skills we might possess, themes that span our life and what challenges or obstacles we might face. I use them like information check points, or sign posts to help me understand how to grow, why I’m stuck or what I think ‘the universe’ (or my higher self) is trying to tell me by the things I notice more than others.

I had already known some of the info I learned tonight, but when I originally learned it, I did not understand the significance until now. Looking at the lives and numbers of others’ around me has made me much more aware of why I have been relentlessly stuck on the same lessons, seemingly aimlessly, for my whole life. You know, other than the fact that I don’t bloody learn and just do the same shit over and over and expect different results whilst not really aiming to arrive anywhere. *Side note: I once posted on facebook that this was the definition of insanity and a beautiful, kind friend replied that it could be an optimist too!* I have only two challenge numbers in my chart: zero and four. I have 4 three times, actually. The only other person I have looked at so far who has this same weird challenge pattern is my daughter. Zero then three of the same number for the rest of our lives. My father has a similar pattern but not quite the same. Everyone else’s has some variation. Not us. Nope!

What this means for me, is that for the first thirty odd years of my life, I had no pre dictated purpose – a zero – I had a free run to grow or screw up as much as I wished. I could have done the self mastery and great achievement thing, but instead I seemed to do the chaos route, or some sort of butterfly effect amateur dramatics (nearly a pro) and accidentally, only occasionally, got a little bit of self mastery out of it. Perhaps self awareness is more accurate. I have the next few decades for mastery. And I guess that is my punishment and reward – for the next 60 plus years, I get to work really hard to put all of the lessons and losses of the first thirty years to good use. Three cycles of 4…. lots and lots and lots of work!!! I also can hopefully prepare my daughter to use her time more wisely, but seeing as she has a lifetime of 1 challenge – a number strongly connected to leadership – and a life path of five – the number of freedom and adventure – I doubt I’ll have much power to sway or tame her. That pleases and terrifies me.

Below is a write up for the challenge numbers I am facing, as the pro’s say it better than me, and you can learn more about them here: https://feliciabender.com/pinnacles-and-challenge-numbers/

The 0 Challenge is called the Cipher Number. This number represents all or nothing, empty or full. You decide. With this number, you are given “a free pass,” so to speak. You’re being offered an enhanced dose of free will.

If you have a 0 Challenge, you can choose to amble idly along without a determined course or you can grab this profound opportunity to rise above your demons and achieve greatness. That is how powerful this energy can be for your Pinnacle. When you see a 0 in Numerology, it serves as an amplifier. To meet the challenge of the 0 vibration, you must have some sense of mastery over the constructive aspects of all the other numbers: independence, leadership, creativity, emotional self-expression, diplomacy, application, hard work, understanding, responsibility, wisdom, personal power, and humanitarian vision

It’s suggested that a person who has a 0 Challenge number on their journey is a well traveled soul, so the 0 offers opportunities for you to use your compilation of soul knowledge during your lifetime.

There’s great opportunity for expansion and growth under this Challenge. The obstacles you face during a 0 challenge may not be many or they may be coming at you from all directions. You can think of it this way: This is the Challenge of Choice. Therefore, choice feels more confusing and difficult during this period. The 0 is challenging you to have the utmost faith in your own abilities to the extent that you can form a healthy sense of detachment with which you can analyze a situation, make a choice, and then act on that choice with ease and comfort, unconcerned and neutral in feeling regarding the outcome.

Felicia Bender https://feliciabender.com/pinnacles-and-challenge-numbers/

And number four (for 60+more years!!):

When you’re met with a Number 4 Challenge, you are meant to learn about the value of discipline, organization, practicality, hard work, and thrift. Take this to heart: This isn’t an easy challenge. It’s full of restrictions and limitations that are demanding you learn how to succeed and work within these boundaries.

It’s also a time where you’re challenged with learning to set your own personal boundaries with others, learning to temper impatience, stubbornness, narrow-mindedness, and self-righteousness. With the 4 Challenge, you are being pulled to slow down, create a clear plan with obtainable goals, and then work tirelessly to achieve them.

The 4 Challenge also suggests a difficulty with work. Either you are challenged with not wanting to work at all, not liking the work you are “forced” to do, or problems completing tasks and working with efficiency. You may also exhibit tendencies to be careless and lack a sense of practicality. With this number, it’s difficult not only to focus on work and obligations, but equally as difficult even to see what the real issues surrounding work and obligations are. You might not feel that you’re being lazy. You might feel you’re just unlucky. Or make excuses about it. You get the idea.

With a 4 Challenge, it’s vital to learn patience, understanding, and the practical and effective way to deal with what you might consider mundane responsibilities. You’ll most likely also be challenged to learn the importance of working within the parameters of a time schedule, showing up on time and when you say you will, and managing your downtime constructively.

Felicia Bender https://feliciabender.com/pinnacles-and-challenge-numbers/

Revisiting my challenge numbers tonight gave me one of those blindingly obvious epiphanies, the kind containing knowledge that should have been accessible day to day throughout life. Perhaps it sounds a little nuts to even type this out loud (so to speak) on a blog about self growth and development and what not. Here it is anyway.

This isn’t a dress rehearsal – this is life. If I don’t step up now, I might never!

Tonight I realised with all of my being that if I do not put in the work, I will always be in this place of only talking about what I want to achieve. At some point, I need to stop talking about all the challenges I’ve overcome and all the things I have learned and actually do something with that shit. Seeing that I have 60 more years of the same damn lessons, I guess I’d better evolve. Like a Pokemon or something. Always the same Pokemon deep down, just a better version, wisening with experience, and only ready for play when freed from their little pokeball. What were they called again? pokepod? Pokedome? My talents are not in video game content writing, that’s for sure. I need to break out of my pokeball!

In other words…. step the fuck outside the box. Level up. DO SOMETHING!

Spring has made me powerfully aware that it is time to bloom. Single parenting has made me feel powerfully stuck in autumn and winter mode, though. Shedding and hibernating and eating lots of cake! Thats not strictly true, actually. I have actually been sweating rivers digging up my front garden, planting bulbs, painting fences, cleaning, clearing, rearranging and sorting out the house and trying to maintain my yoga, meditation and gratitude practices. I have been eating lots of cake though. The ‘healthy eating’ is so much of a struggle for me. The apple cider vinegar was seemingly triggering some weird histamine issue so I have stopped that to reset and I WILL RESUME. I have been using homeopathy to try and start off from a better place. I’ll write about that some other time – its been quite profound.

Writing that I WILL eat healthily has just reminded me of this old thing I used to write, where for years I wrote about stopping and starting and stopping and starting and stopping and starting smoking. I just couldn’t bloody stop, for the life of me. But I have now! For over 2 years, longest ever. So the moral of the story is that if I write about it for long enough, eventually I can do it. I WILL EAT WELL. I will do something with all of my hard work already clocked.

I have started to learn about gardening lately because I want a much more visually obvious manifesting lesson to my self: the more work you put in, the more rewards you reap. Simultaneously, nature reminds me that there are seasons for a reason. We can’t always hibernate and hide away eating pie. I want to see more instant results, more fruits of my labours. I am practicing my fours. Im getting ready to burst out of my pokeball and get in the poke-arena.

Incidentally, a few years ago I became aware of Brené Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. I remembered watching it and thinking “this!!! This is exactly what I’ve been learning to do – having the courage to be imperfect and knowing I’m worthy of love and belonging”. I found her talk on Listening to Shame, years later, after having to try and understand why it was so hard to grow at times. This just popped into my head because all her work is marvellous and she now has a Netflix original program called the Call to Courage, which I watched the other night. Somehow this stranger lady is always there calling me out on my shit and inviting me to participate in my life more fully. And it is there on Netflix still, inviting us all to date greatly, and she based so much of her work on Theodore Roosevelt’s quote.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt, April 23, 1910

Time to get back in the arena and get my Pokemon on!

## Absent Progress

Usually when I disappear from my ‘duties’ (like this is a duty, ha!), it’s because I am stagnating and not really committing to myself properly. For once, I’ve actually been upping my game fractionally every day on the self worth commitment front. Is my life better? No, i’m still grumpy and miserable and stressed and I moan and bitch all the time. Perhaps I could even say things feel a little bit worse, but that isn’t true. All that has happened through this process so far is that I have become more aware of what I am creating mindlessly. I am yet to return to a level of control over what I am making manifest in my life, but awareness and acceptance is a first step, as they say.

I am aware that I look for or expect the worst, I panic, I blame, I give up or don’t even start, I don’t believe myself or others (less of this latter one) capable of something big or small… I am basically a fucking doomer. I don’t feel unwell, I don’t feel really low… I just feel disconnected from my happy, wholesome source. And my absent progress is that every day I am doing something to step closer towards my core. There will come a time, as there has in the past, when I will be able to do this at the flip of a switch. I don’t feel there yet, and another thing that’s changed is I am more ok with that… I am more accepting of where I am at. Life can be better but I am taking steps to make it so.

January saw me do “Yoga With Adriene’s Dedicate 30 day Yoga Challenge”.

I stuck to it every single day. I had my daughter jumping on my ribs, pooping frequently, crying or doing her best to sabotage it. I saw it as an opportunity to continue to do my best to commit to myself even when everything feels against me and I learned a lot of things along the way. I highly recommend that woman’s work – she is beautifully in touch with what needs to happen for us to better connect with our purpose, and what she teaches us about our bodies applies all over our lives. I am still doing her yoga videos every day and I continue to do so for the rest of 2019 and beyond. Or yoga daily at least, maybe I won’t need videos eventually. So far I have only missed one day, because I forgot about it.

For February I have added in a daily gratitude practice. Every day I have been writing in some depth about something I am grateful for and the impact of that thing, or lack of, in my life and the life of others. I also will be starting up my gratitude jar any day now – I am sucking at this because its hard to put it somewhere the baby can’t reach but that will remind me. I will do better.

My intention is that for every month of 2019, I will implement a new thing to my life to go on top of the previous things. Some are actually old but forgotten. Some things I think I would like to do in coming months are to go for a walk every day, cook healthier meals, practice meditation (in multiple forms), be creative, do something kind, help the planet, meaningful connection etc. I hope to build up a healthier way of being and living and doing everything in my life month on month, adding a new ‘thing’ on top of the previous ones every month. A foundation of self worth, compassion, productivity and well being, built up gradually so it doesn’t feel impossibly difficult.

I have also started writing my fiction novel. I haven’t gotten very far, and I only manage a couple of a5 pages each time, because somehow my daughter can tell (even in sleep) that I am writing and then she wakes up. She has done so once already as I write this. But it is a start, and I feel good for having done it… for having done something… for having woken up my imagination!

The final thing I have been up to is going to Oxford University for a seminar with the Faculty of Law. It was on ‘consent to vaginal examinations in labour and birth’. It was majorly intense and a little bit traumatic, but I was glad to be invited and included, for my voice to matter; to have an opportunity to put right what failed me and what fails other women so frequently. It was full of remarkable people – other women like me, professionals, academics, activists and world changers. I will speak more on it when I can, when their papers are published and when there is more momentum, & when I am ready to share my story more. It doesn’t feel like an important time to tell it here. Not yet, anyway. I had some closure from a very long complaint too, which ended far more favourably than I could have hoped.

If you take one thing away from this rambling pile of twaddle, let if be that we are worthy of however long it takes to do whatever it takes to get to what feels good inside ourselves again. We start with acceptance of where we are at. We work through the discomfort of acknowledging all of the ways in which we are self destructive. Then slowly, bit by bit by bit, we rebuild into a healthier, happier and more whole version of who we always were. Underneath the accumulated baggage, suffering & burden of who we thought we were, there is the brightest, most soulful, powerful, courageous and fulfilled badass motherfucker that we have always been at heart.

But until then… I am sucking it up and trying my best to get on with remembering.

PS. I also just watched this on Netflix “Heal”

PPS. So now I am going to work with this to heal my trauma: “EFT”

PPPS. The photo above is of Tolkien’s bedroom window at Oxford Uni and I was so bloody excited to look at it. Feels a bit dorky now, though.

## Obstacles

I have had a burning desire to write for days but feel like I have absolutely fuck all to say. I feel pretty void of meaning at the moment and am still struggling to commit. Writing a big ol’ blog post about self selecting to partake in changing the world kinda put more pressure on the public nature of this ‘awakening’ shit.

Eughhhhhh!!

Here is the score.

I can commit to keeping the baby alive and happy, cleaning the house and feeding us decent stuff and going somewhere a few times a week. I can maintain this with ease. Some days the baby doesn’t make it possible for me to feed us and for me to shower too, though. Sometimes I can shower and dry my hair. Others a very quick wash is managed. Lately I’ve been trying to follow a 30 day yoga program and there is zero relaxation to the sudden smell of poo and a child jumping all over your plank. But I’m ploughing on. Some days are better than others. Most nights lately I can’t step away from her when she sleeps, because she wakes. I can’t make too much sound near her, because she wakes. Daytime naps are much the same. Some weeks I can put the bins out. Some weeks it’s easy to get up the town and buy nicer groceries for better meals. Occasionally I can make an effort with looking after myself more externally with clothes or make up or hair straighteners. Some days I need to see other adults and choose between that and any other of the above in a variety of arrangements but I can never do all the things I want or need. Sorting out the house that still doesn’t feel very loved? The laundry? The garden? Crikey. Writing? fuck… I don’t even know where to add that in, because I used to have a set sort of method for encouraging the motivation to do it. Ive had loads of exciting ideas bubbling up but they dramatically disappear whenever my brain finds reasons that I can make space to use them.

The method, or recipe, doesn’t work anymore.

Life gets in the damn way of self care. Or do we get in our own way? Or is it both?

I need to develop better strategies for maximising the time I do have to look after myself and cultivate ‘space’ in my heart and mind for well being. For ‘being’ something other than chaos and mother and despondent frumpy whinging bitch.

So tonight I hid my phone under the sofa, put some really chilled music on and just immersed myself in engaging with and observing my daughter. I did it really mindfully and paid attention to my breath, to my body. I employed all my senses to experience the whole thing completely and I ended up in floods of tears, just completely overwhelmed by how big the space in my heart is when I let myself sink into it. I felt so much joy just totally focusing on being as present in that beautiful moment with her. I saw her shift too, like she felt me change gears. Like she felt me grind still and just feel calm in a way I don’t all that often.

It’s so hard to be alone for most of the time whilst looking after such a small, demanding, bright and chaotic tiny human. It’s so so hard to do that whilst trying to meaningfully look after yourself. Every ‘technique’ I have for cultivating better self care has always required freedom and space and time to my self and other things that I just can’t bloody have all that often and it occasionally feels like a prison…

..but I’m reminded of what else I had before that I’m not using now and that’s my expansive heart and mind working together and for me, not against. The story I’ve been telling myself is of feeling trapped and waiting to look after myself when I’m more able but that’s not serving me. That’s a bullshit bail out excuse to avoid putting in work. I had years of training and working at being solutions focused, supporting people to change their lives their way. Working with what they were good, building on what they had to start with… that’s all I need to do…

I need to see things differently, maximise what I do have, find ways to adapt what I used to do to my new ‘routine’ (or lack of). What’s that goal bollocks people use? SMART goals is it? I need to do some of that! I also have to Google what it bloody stands for because I can’t remember.

My life has felt like it’s been on hold for two years. Just waiting and waiting and waiting for one thing after the other and then another and another. Always waiting. I need some more ‘now’ in my life. I don’t need massive things to change, I just need some awareness and some presence. I need to create some space to stop waiting and to start being. Being what? Being whole. I feel so spread out. I don’t want to be someone else,.I don’t feel like I’m not good enough, I don’t feel like I have to wait for happiness and all that crap, I just feel completely tapped out from never being here. Right now.

I just want to whine and whine in this blog, man. So very inspiring!! I don’t like writing on my phone. I want a pen and paper or my laptop but for paper I need light, which wakes her ladyship and the keyboard is too loud, which wakes her ladyship. If I try and write when she’s awake she steals the pen or becomes upset if I won’t give her the laptop. I need to let the writing swallow me up or the words don’t flow and I simply can’t just ignore her like that. Having people in my space and having to talk to them and prepare to go and have space alone just puts too much pressure and stress onto what used to feel like a fulfilling, inspired and enjoyable writing experience.

I’m feeling rather burned out at the moment I think! The chiropractor I’ve been seeing has been doing lots of work on my shoulders today so perhaps I’m emotionally feeling the physical burden being release from my body.

Permission granted to myself to end this blog without feeling like I’ve said something meaningful. It’s ok to say ‘fuck, having an intense time trying to navigate life and making it work for me’. Maybe next post I will have worked on some strategies to share.

So far she’s woken up twice crying just because I was sat up to write in the dark instead of laying down…I can’t write lying down either… It doesn’t flow. Nothing really feels like it flows at the moment!

## Choose

Its Yule, or winter solstice, here in the Northern Hemisphere. The shortest hours of daylight in the year and tomorrow marks the return of the light. I am welcoming that with big massive bells on!! There is also a full moon, a meteor shower and I just finished my second period in two years. LET IT ALLLLLLLL GO!!!!!!

I have been seeing a chiropractor to help with both historic and pregnancy related pain. There is physical, mental and emotional shite trapped in my bones, joints, muscles, tendons – all over the bloody shop – and I’ve decided to get some help for the stuff I can’t reach myself. Its like stirring up the murky bit at the bottom of a pond – it looked clear, but give it a stir and all hell breaks loose and you can’t see clearly. Throughout last night I experienced what I can only describe as a swarm of bees and electricity jolting through the tissue in my body. It needed to be wiggled and stretched out. The sensation is horrid, but the release and the freedom, the sense of greater clarity and better movement – both physically and spiritually – are worth the shit bits.

I waffle on about that, because that’s what has kept me from writing for a while. On my phone, since the last post, I have had notes about ‘cycles’. That is what I wanted to write about next. Cycles are the problem though, because this cycle of saying I want to write, but not writing is doing my swede in. I am doing my own swede in with my excuses! I tell myself I need the inspiration to write, and I do write better when I have it, but food also tastes better when I want it most and that doesn’t lead to me not eating any other time. Thats just stupid. Excuses are stupid. Self deceit about the reasons we aren’t getting things done… Get real wit’ yo’ self! What are the deep, dirty, dark, hidden or obvious reasons behind your self sabotage?

Beyond that is our ‘truth’, our worthiness, and that is probably where we actually want to be. There are so many things that can get in the way of us getting where we intend to go. Sometimes we have to check in with ourselves, perhaps frequently we should check in with ourselves, to determine if we feel like we are being true to ‘us’. Perhaps we should regularly problem solve any obstacles or resistance we are facing internally or externally and figure out what that shit is all about.

I’m still reading the series of books called Conversations with God. In them it is often said that we are given the experience of what we are not, of what we don’t want, of where we don’t want to be, simply so that we can experience who we truly are. And to experience creating that, of course… As ‘the creator’. That is to say, who we are, and what everything else is, is in constant motion – it is an active, continuous, participatory creative process. Driven by us, either consciously or not. We actively choose, in every single moment, who we are. Are we choosing mindlessly or mindfully? Are we happening to the world or is the world happening to us? Are we making our mark or are we being marked? Are we aware of what we are creating or should we beware of what we have created?

It can be hard to get your head around how we aren’t permanent, but are constantly shaping who we are. Example. One day we are not a pianist, we are not even interested in becoming one. In future we become interested and then we become a student. We keep practicing if we like it. We choose how long for and the level we reach. Perhaps we become a master pianist or we just play well for fun. Maybe we never got that great… but that is a small example of a changing identity. One facet of self. It is easy to see how we chose to add in this new part of ‘us’ though. Because we desired it actively.

Another facet, or many, come from our struggles and suffering. When we are in a terrible or sad situation, we might feel we aren’t coping, then once we pass through it we might feel shell shocked. Perhaps after time we feel strong for overcoming it. Maybe we resent it or maybe we feel like a warrior, but all through that process we were shifting ideas about who we are in relation to the experience. When you add lots of those experiences that shapes us even more. The ‘who’ we feel in any given moment also affects the ‘how’ of our behaviour. It changes our ‘why’ too – how we do things and why we do them. What we believe, desire, feel, think and do… they’re all shaped and shifted constantly by the ‘who’ we feel that we are as we navigate our way through our life experiences. Anything that comes to us from this creative process might feel less like a choice. This kind of stuff feels more like the world happening to ‘us’ and us adapting to ‘it’. We can participate more fully and have more control over how we experience who we are.

Our sense of a continuous self comes from choosing what to keep in the story we tell about, well, our self… our life. Our past, present and future can change completely and utterly, solely based on who we believe we are. We can tell the story of our life as a victim one day, and a survivor the next. Farther down the path we might not include either role in our story. We might not include that part of the story at all! Facts may not alter, but perspective can totally shift our reality and instantaneously alter the direction of our lives. For better or worse. It can keep us stuck or set us free.

The difference between a master and a student is that the master can purposely create what they desire without fail. They are constantly creating themselves as the best they can be, endlessly choosing to see past any obstacle to their mastery. The God Conversation is basically about how we are creators with massive power to dictate how we experience ourselves and everything else, and that there is only one thing to do in life…experience who we truly are. And that if we are creators, we can create ourselves within only the confines of our mind. If we can master our mind… we can choose anything.

If you could experience yourself as your grandest idea, who would you be? What, if anything, is in your way?

Can you choose to be them?

## Flow

Last night I was talking to a friend, about how we both felt a bit disconnected from our ‘creative flow’. We both like to write. Talking about it again today made me remember a few things I had planned to include in my last post, but that had escaped me. Pre baby, words would bubble up inside me and I’d rush to a pen or some device. There would be no thinking or planning, it would just flow

Post baby, sometimes I can’t even run the tap without being interrupted by my daughter, and her needs trump my need to write about 80% of the time. Maybe all %s of the time, or maybe less. Who knows. My point is that I can’t write freely like I used to. Not always at least. That had left me feeling quite stifled and it’s taken me until now to even attempt to break out of the writing rut. Even my new phone is against me, because I can’t type as fast as I used to without spilling gobbledegook onto the screen. It’s like some force is trying to slow me down and make me think more carefully, plan better and create more space and pace for self-expression. Based on the last post, that force will be me if I want to be liberated into sole responsibility for my life experience!

When I was pregnant, I had this overwhelming feeling that, as she was born, my body was going to ‘release’ all this shit I didn’t need anymore. That my birthing her was going to birth the end of carrying all this suffering around in my body. I’m not entirely sure why I thought that, but apparently that’s written into our ancestral heritage and belief structure, I recently found out. Perhaps I had thought it because I had come to understand the female menstrual cycle to be a beneficial cyclic build up and let down of potent and powerful energy like life force, creativity, emotional power, or hormones if you just want to be boring. I figured pregnancy and birth would be a massive version, and after 9 months without menses I was longing for such a release. Especially after my crap experiences.

I didn’t get my release, but I did get my beautiful daughter and I haven’t felt creative much at all for a little over a year. Perhaps because I’ve been busy looking after a wee one, or perhaps because I’ve missed the flow of womanly cycling. Breastfeeding and pregnancy left me without a menstrual cycle for just shy of two years and once it retuned, I felt alive again. Before I’d felt so disconnected, like I was floating out at sea, tethered to a bouy and unable to rise, fall or drift wherever the current took me. The return felt as if a dam had burst and everything trapped was swept away. Free flowing.

It is by no means exclusive to women, but I associate creative energy with ‘the feminine’, because of the uterus and breasts being designed to create and sustain life. We all know how babies are made, so I don’t need to explain the role of the masculine in co-creation. We all come from that place, so we are all ‘coded’, if you like, with the same ability to create and to be created just because we are alive. Not solely through creating a life, like a baby, but through art, cookery, science, building or by ‘simply’ creating our life in the way we want it to exist. That goes for animals and nature too. All of co-creation.

The reproductive organs are governed by the sacral chakra, which is an energy centre in the body and part of an extensive energy system that powers our physical existence (If you so choose to believe, as I do, but each to their own). The sacral chakra also governs relationships, and the last two (or thirty) years of my life have been teeming with deep, difficult life lessons associated with being in or out of an array of familial, platonic and romantic relationships. Its been a bloody hard slog – trying to heal myself enough to return to seeing in a more loving and harmonious way like I used to. It would have been easier to keep fighting, resenting, blaming and wallowing, but I felt exhausted of living behind so many barriers. I wanted to feel peaceful again.

When my life had felt like it was flowing the least, the most important work I may ever do has been undertaken day by day. I had thought ‘the shit’ would leave with our birth, but was wrong. From prior to her creation, right through to my body signaling it is ready to create again (no babies yet please), everything was flowing exactly as I was commanding it to, unconsciously, by steering with my past, pain, suffering, fears, shame, angers and so on. My life had not stopped flowing, I was just feeling that way because I was resisting the natural flow of growth and change. Some part of me, my heart most likely, had known exactly what I needed to do to get to the places I want to go. Another part of me, my ego, didn’t want to do the work and just wanted to get on with surviving.

Ego and I made an unspoken deal, unbeknownst to me, that it was allowed all the time it needed to make itself heard, to play out all the trapped trauma and to finally wear itself out. Like a small child that needed help to figure itself out. I have felt things that are decades old and full of shame and self loathing simply because I’m sick of it being supressed and repressed deep inside of me. All of the barriers to peace, happiness and well-being are the things I’ve been relentlessly picking away at. They are the dam that burst, the sludge that clogged my awareness and that blocked my heart from being open. They weren’t keeping me safe, they were keeping me stuck.

The only way I could have come to understand the weight of that burden is to have felt it, heavy, as I worked to set it down. If it popped out easily at birth I wouldn’t now appreciate its looming absence. Only as suffering ceases do we appreciate being free. When we’ve gotten used carrying so much shit for so long, we don’t realise whats in there, but we do know we’re exhausted. If we feel like things aren’t flowing, we need to look to where the obstacles are. What is impeding our flow, if anything? What if we are standing in our own way so that we cannot see a solution?

We cannot stop the flow of life. Like raging rivers it will rush on, changing anything lying in its path if you fail to work with it. Even the most stubborn object will eventually be weathered by a river’s force. The ocean will welcome all bits and pieces the rivers collect, and all oceans are inseparably connected to eachother. The air draws up the ocean and rains it back into the rivers. They ready themselves to have another go at the most stubborn obstacles, washing the earth clean and smoothing all its jagged edges. This repeats. Forever. Perhaps until there’s nothing, or all of the pieces in the ocean create a new cycle.

Our healing is this same journey. There is no point in resisting the flow of change – there is no obstacle great enough to beat the time and space river. We can choose to be the river or the rock in its way, the ocean or the air, or we can observe that we are made up of all things.

We are the flow of all life.

## Let’s get creative!

A few years ago I saw this idea written in an article. It as about abandoning new year’s resolutions and in their place you would pick a word for the year. I’ve done health, adventure, commitment, create and liberate. Last year was the create year and I ended up with another little human to look after, but I picked it because I wanted to be creative with writing and art. During adventure I got to the bottom of why I’d ever had mental health problems, after PTSD flashbacks shed light, but what I meant when I picked the word was to travel the world. I picked committment to focus on an open university degree but I found myself having to get really commited to becoming more self loving. Health was a bit more of that, as well as getting really politically active, but what I meant was eat salad and exercise more….

Be careful what you wish for, eh?

In create, which was 2017, there was also cataclysmic mess made, by way of the biggest circumstantial upheavals I’ve ever experienced. That gave way to the full force of the state and prominent people trying to tear me down from the inside out**. Perhaps I’ll talk more about that eventually, but for now let’s stick to a simple statement about what that created in my life…

Great big mother fucking walls, EVERYWHERE in my life, because I existed only in a fear driven reality of my unconscious choosing. I called them boundaries and I built them to fiercely protect the self worth I worked hard for in the other years. A lot of them I convinced myself were to protect my daughter too.

In the defense of my self, the bar was set extremely high for potential further loss, and survival mode was adopted to get through the days. When we experience traumatic things, often we cope by using the Fs… Fight, flight, freeze or fawn. They’re primal autopilot tapes that our monkey mammal brains play when we sense danger and need to survive it; we attack; try to escape; we play dead; or we pander to pacify the threat. I think the only one I hadn’t adopted for the last year was fawn, and that’s because it got me into trouble in the first place. Yet another blog for another day!

So 2017 made a life and a mess, and I felt like I haven’t created anything since! I suppose many people would be pretty chuffed at the level of creativity achieved in human building… Lots of biology stickle brick XP and all that. Lots of people would also be happy to remain blissfully ignorant to their role in creating their own shitstorms, too. *Raises hand!* Spent the past two years in that camp *ahem* and a few decades before. As you’ve read, I’ve been using the need to prepare for a talk and blogs to force myself to face the suffering created in my life, wherever it’s come from.

What I didn’t actually realise, or want to accept, or fail to admit I was daft enough not to realise…. Is creation is born from destruction. You cannot make something new without destroying something old: ‘Every action has an equal opposite reaction’. Was that Isaac Newton?

Just think about that… You can only create by destroying.

Creation sounds like a positive and destruction, a negative, when in reality they are the exact same cycle. They need eachother in order to survive. They are a duality that come as a pair, like all other things that exist in relativity to something else. Light can only be perceived in contrast to dark, up to down, empty to full, on to off, Yin to Yang and so on. Everything has its opposite, but they’re not separate like we perceive them to be. They’re on a scale, or a continuum. Imagine the tail of a snake and then the mouth of a snake in a loop or circle.. the beginning and the end are all the same snake. Good and evil? Happy and sad? Love and fear? Same snake!

When I was hoping to create my best life and a fresh start, I was not expecting intense destruction. Not at all! But it sure as shit came. It’s only now that i’m filling the huge crater where my old life was back up, that I can see more clearly. If we want to be our best selves, live our best lives and be the happiest and most successful we can, we have to let go of the way things are and our beliefs about the way things should be. If we want to create we have to destroy, and vice versa. Perhaps only our resistance makes that seem violent?

Before I understood this cycle fully, I decided that this year’s word should be ‘liberation’. **What a prick! That was a stupid-ass idea too, because you cannot be free from anything without realising where you give away your power. In other words, you can never be free without becoming aware of your own self-sabotage, self-destruction and self-ignorance.

You can never be free without being responsible, which by it’s very nature sounds restrictive!

This year has really fucking sucked because liberation is all about perceived power and who or what has it. I spent half of the year being angry and the other half ashamed, depending on who was most powerful – me or ‘them’. Anger was them destroying as much as shame was me creating. It was two sides of the same coin of my experience. The shittest part has been in trying to get my head around how perhaps it’s actually always, always, always me playing creator and destroyer of all things!

How fucked off would you be if I said you were responsible for how much you have suffered in your life? Pretty fucked off once you’d really thought about it, right? If you could ever get to a point of believing it, you might feel ashamed too, or just absolutely gutted at what could have been created instead. That would suck even harder to imagine and so it’d be so much easier to blame anything or anyone else. That’s what I did most of the year, whilst simultaneously knowing I had such a gigantic responsibility to change my experience.

There’s a good Will Smith video somewhere on the internet about the difference between fault and responsibility… Fault belongs to those who wrong us, responsibility belongs to us for how we experience, heal, overcome, react or respond to that. When we don’t take responsibility for our healing, we remain powerless.

Liberation is realising we are responsible for our experience of everything ever, but that not being a massive burden of anger, blame, fear, resentment, shame and guilt…

…it is realising we are responsible for our experience of everything ever and that being the key to creating the most badass fucking life we ever could dream of.

Maybe that is us created ‘in God’s image’.

I highly recommend a book called Conversations with God. I was meant to read it two years ago but I knew I needed to hold of… My understanding gleened through creating my recent experiences were well explained by this book that I’m just finishing!

Ps.

Here is how my creation has destroyed my wall paper today… Fortunately I had planned to destroy it myself in the new year to make way for better… And that’s a good analogy for life.

## Ego schmego

Well I went and disappeared, didn’t I? I started back on starting up again and then I stopped and flapped around like a fish out of water. Stop, start, stop, start. Three steps forward, two steps back!

I did my talk and suddenly nose dived into a bit of a despairing couple of weeks! First I had to contend with remembering all of the stupid things I said in my talk. I freaked out to my friend when my memory told me I basically said people need to just get over the Holocaust. That is totally NOT what I said, as she rightly pointed out, but my brain decided to shame me because it was feeling insecure. I actually said that people experience different levels of trauma and suffering across their life and across time and space, and the Holocaust would have to be on the extreme end. The talk on the whole was about how to start letting go of suffering.

Multiple things happened in the days that followed my talk that made me remember that you can’t let go of your suffering until your suffering is done being suffered. I tried to stress that in my talk, but it’s really rather hard to get it across. Its really hard to articulate that you can and will move past suffering when someone is in the midst of it, because during that dark place, it’s really fucking invalidating. When you’re the one in that hole, it feels like someone saying your anger or resentment or pain or shame or blame is not important, what happened to you wasn’t bad or was too long ago now, or aren’t you over that already? “Something is wrong with you for feeling this”, it feels like. Like saying your new reality, your reality that keeps you safe, is wrong, and you’re bad or negative for not being more well rounded or recovered or ascended and nun-like.

When you tell someone to let go of their suffering, it feels like they’re being told to let go of the strategies, mechanisms and safety nets they have used to survive. It’s like starving people of the wellness they have clawed back at. It can feel insulting and degrading. Dehumanising. It’s alienating and infuriating and it makes people think that we don’t have a fucking clue what they are going through. And we probably don’t.

We probably don’t have a clue, because we are not in their suffering with them. We are in our need to fix their suffering. We are in our shame about our historical struggles to just snap out of our pain, or we are in our self-appointed elevated perspective where we think we know what they should do or feel or think better than they do. Or maybe we do understand, because maybe we have been there before ourselves in a similar experience. Whichever of the above it is,or even if it’s something else, it doesn’t work to just try and end suffering before the energy has done it’s thing. Nobody is helped by being told to hurry the fuck up. It doesn’t just stop abruptly with jazz hands and drum rolls and celebratory fireworks.

It’s a hard old fucking slog to let go. I wish I’d stressed that more in the talk. Maybe the talk was some kind of foundation for this blog. Day one…talk…day seventy million and twelvety three…’and that, my friends, that’s how I let go of my suffering’.

I should have anticipated that standing in front of a room full of people, playing the greatest showman and basically saying ‘FUCK IT, LET GO OF YOUR SHIT!’ was going to bring up alllll of my shit, but I didn’t. I’d had this idea that after my shit year I’d do the talk and then my year would get all easy peasy, but nope. I had some of the deepest and most painful feelings buried deep in the bowels of my being show up for some perusal. For some space, fresh air, a cuddle and some cake. I even had a panic attack! That was completely random. There was such a violent surge of past swelling up inside me that I found it really overwhelming and I was trying to fight it away and bat it off for a while. Who knew a birthday could raise the dead feelings?

In the end I just dived into it and looked it in the eye… All my ugly feelings of isolation, shame and unworthiness… And I just waited. Then I cried a bit. Watched some movies cuddled up with baby, and then it was gone. Like it had never been there at all. Only I know too well that it will be back at some other random time when my ego recognises a series of emotions or events that made me vulnerable before. And I’ll work, again, to reassure myself that I don’t need the wall to protect what’s already worthy and loveable by default. I’ll be a bit more whole and a bit less bitter, twisted, wizened witch.

Past pain rises, crescendos and then falls away. It happens over and over so that we think it’s the same pain, that we’re not letting anything go, that we aren’t getting anywhere. Our pain is as impermanent as the seconds passing on our watches, changing bit by bit by bit. We are constantly shedding and shrinking it. We must incoporate it into our well-being, by learning how to love ourselves enough, not to deny huge portions of who and what we are. Our suffering is valid until we don’t need it anymore.

It’s ok to not be ok yet, or to not be ok for all of the time… We aren’t failing or fucking it up. We’re pausing for breath. Letting go of pain is very simple. It’s just not easy, not even slightly!