Passion – labour is not always fruitful

Call me a masochist, but it has been a revelation to my recent ‘self’ that you don’t have to always focus on the shitty, painful crappy things. That’s pretty obvious really, I suppose. What I actually mean is that I have very recently been learning that if you want to be able to work through traumatic and troublesome experiences in our past, present and future, then we need to focus more on expanding our capacity for pleasure.

That sounded backwards to me at first, and counter intuitive. I’ve had ‘solutions focused therapy’ training before, I knew that if you want to solve a problem you don’t focus on the problem, you focus on finding a solution. I knew this old chestnut too….

We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.

Albert Einstein

The bit I didn’t know was that perhaps thinking was the problem, as much as finding only problems where there could be pleasure is a problem. It seems more and more obvious, the more I am learning: the deeper the injury, the greater the healing balm needs to be to counter it. The more we have to heal, the better we need to learn to focus on any bit of good (or even just less bad) to anchor ourselves in this present moment. These ideas come from Somatic Experiencing and its founders, with those roots coming from ROLFing (I believe).

I wrote in my last blog post about Magamama and her free course I had embarked upon. It held mind-mindblowingly simple information that would change the whole world if only we could all embrace it. It reached me on such a level that I had to find the funds to start one of her paid courses. In doing so, I feel like I have been given back parts of my self I didn’t even know I had never met. Forever will I be grateful for this new area of information to digest and assimilate into my life.

I’ve offered to show some bits to friends, as it was said it was OK to use the material to help our loved ones work with us on our healing paths. Nobody seems to wish to engage, no matter how much I rave about how awesome it is. Its made me realise that some people may hold the view that I had held for so long – that healing and growth needs to be painful, sometimes excruciatingly so, or else you’re doing it wrong. Also that its not a life long set of practices, but a measurable task that you can check off a to do list – like Yo, I am all growthed up now, totally done in here and now I can just go all about my life being the lit up, growthed person I am with no skeletons in my closet.

And thats just bollocks. We don’t need to suffer anywhere near a 1/4 as much as we do often. Equally, we don’t need to hard pass and run a mile from opportunities for self reflection, responsibility and healing as much as we do. When we have the right tools and the right people around us, at the right time and when we feel safe enough… the doors just open. We don’t have to force ourselves into perfection. We just have to come home to exactly where we are, and to get acquainted with that place. And I don’t mean with mindfulness.

I mean bodyfulness.

That’s what I have been learning about since I last posted and I think its going to change my life forever, and anyone elses’ who will listen. I had absolutely NO idea how to be in my body. I am frequently completely unaware of it, of how my shoulder feels, of the buzz behind my knee, the warmth of my left calf and the breeze on my forehead. I don’t pay attention to where my body is, where I am, in the space I inhabit. Whats around me, what’s in my environment, what’s going on inside and outside of me right now. Even more so, I had absolutely no recent experience of seeking out what felt GOOD. Or just less bad. Past experience, a little but not much to do with my body and presence.

These words aren’t my ideas for the record, they’re my poor job of trying to very vaguely summarise small snippets of what I am learning here Jaguar Course. But for me, the gist is that how the hell can we heal our pasts and change our futures if we’re never really ‘here’, and never actually enjoying anything? We’re part animal, but we’re so desperate to distance ourselves from that, that we’re walking about with one foot in this world and the rest of us flailing about in trauma and misery or the pursuit of unattainable happiness behind moving goal posts. What is the point of this Earthly life, where we are ‘spiritual beings living a material life’, if we’re not truly here in this material place, in these incredible, intelligent bodies that are manifest solely (soulely) by source consciousness, the same stuff that makes our souls soul-y. If we aren’t going to be in our bodies, if we aren’t here to anchor in and settle down some beautiful, wonderful energies into this Earth, then why did we bother Being at all?

And if you’re of the mind that there is no soul, there is no collective consciousness, there is no purpose, then why not make the most of life too and expand your capacity for pleasure? I’m very grateful to Kimberly Johnson for that invitation, and for the information.

Expand your capacity for pleasure.

This subject is too big to fit in a blog, really, but I encourage you to look into taking the course or working with a Somatic Experiencing practitioner… or stick around when I expand on the changes it’s bringing into my life. I started it because I wanted to address trauma and stuckness, to free myself some how from my past cycles. It is doing that, but not in the way I expected. What I have learned is that our nervous systems constantly seek out opportunities to heal our traumas, which explains why people go full speed towards situations that are just going to repeat for them the same problems they thought they’d outrun. Its why we pick the same relationships, or return to or recreate harmful situations, or repeat painful habits. Our systems get stuck in trauma loops and are constantly seeking circumstances that offer us the opportunity to finish dealing with the threat or danger properly. We are constantly trying to rescue ourselves through other people and places and things.

This course has given me tools to finish trauma cycles that are embedded into my very existence. It is a code breaker. A prison key. A brand new way of being!

More excitingly, it made me permit myself to start enjoying life again. AND I started writing my novel!

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.

Who You Are

I know I keep harping on about them, but I’m still reading those books. I’ve nearly finished the fourth of the trilogy (there were only meant to be three) and I am loving the confirmation of what I’ve always felt I knew and understood but couldn’t articulate. The remembering of our truth. Of who we are and what we are trying to do…

They’re setting off fireworks in my heart and soul. Rejoicing at feeling closer to a home state, not a suffering, powerless and pointless one.

Our aim is simply to experience the grandest vision of our reality we can manage,and to keep enlarging that as our awareness of truth increases. Our aim is to be create the best design for life we can come up with. Literally … No limits. Apart from the walls we’ve built around ourselves and our knowing.

Book four…. An invitation to self identify as someone willing to awaken the species by publicly awakening themselves. Not because they’re better than others, but simply because they can and aren’t afraid to show the dirty, scary, messy route to realising were perfect as we are – the key to manifesting any change we desire.

I accept the invitation, God! Do you guys?

I want to know Who I truly Am. I want to experience my divinity. I want to evolve and unite with a collective conscious effort to create a greater, the greatest even, imagining we can for humanity. I’m happy to show anyone all the ways I have been exactly what I’m not to enable me to understand better who I am. Fumble along with me!

What if we all just view 2018, a master 11 year for numerology, as a lesson in what comes to us when we are not being true to our grandest vision of self. Where are we limiting ourselves? How? Where can we expand our minds and hearts to seek a bigger, vaster, more joyful, imperfectly perfect and magnificently, magically, magnetic 2019?

Did you love yourself fiercely enough? Did you take all opportunities? Did you surrender fear and invite courage into your heart? Did you let that shit go so you don’t have to carry it any more? Did you take a stand and say I AM WORTHY? Did you experience your strength? Did you uncover your deepest secrets?

Did you create masses and masses and masses and masses of space in your life in 2018? Are you feeling empty and lost? Lonely? Afraid? Maybe even stuck or stranded? Are you struggling to believe that change is coming for you after such a challenging year?

If this is speaking to you then it’s time. No more excuses, no more quitting on yourself. That space was made to fill yourself of all the things you were born to be and do. It is time. It is your time,it is our time. It is now!

This is what we have been waiting for….

Are you ready?

Steady..

GO, THIRSTY HEART!

Time to lead the way.

Ps. We all are following this path and what hurts us, hurts others. What hurts them hurts us. We are one… One great big thirsty heart and I raise a glass to all of us.

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.

Procrasti-wasting

It’s bloody hard work to commit to yourself when you hang out with a one year old for twenty four hours a day! Starting this blog was meant to be a step in the direction of being more productive, but it’s actually been more a step towards chastising myself for not being productive enough. Perhaps I should cut myself some slack, because these impish little children are hard graft when you’re on your tod. I don’t think it is a fair representation to say that I don’t have time for myself to write or meditate or better look after myself. Granted I don’t have much time, though I definitely have enough to at least get started.

Why then, if I have some time, am I not using it wisely? Because I am in procrasti-waste mode! When all your time and energy goes into looking after someone or everyone else, you put off looking after yourself to catch up on things, like chores. Or if you’re me, you put off doing that to catch up on soul sucking social media or Netflix or social media again. And again. And again. And againnnn!!

Fuck you Facebook.

And fuck me for shirking my responsibility to myself for my own well being.

The real reason I shirk that responsibility, if I dig deep, is to resist change by way of remaining distracted and disengaged from life in as many ways as possible. By keeping busy or by staying still, by always thinking or doing or by avoiding tasks and changes that would actually improve things if I made the effort. We all do it, I expect. Or maybe we don’t. Maybe some folk are just super efficient at self growth and always own their shit immediately and never ever dawdle on improving their experience of things in any way they can. Maybe some can give themselves a break. Maybe some folk wash, dry, fold and put away ALL their laundry in ONE DAY! I think it’s pretty common to avoid things we know we should be doing because change is uncomfortable.

Being present with our experiences, feelings, traumas, failings, hopes and dreams can be uncomfortable, because it throws a big massive spotlight on this idea that we aren’t good enough exactly as we are. Our egos tell us we need change to be enough, and on most days nobody really wants to face that shit. So we zone out and disassociate from our not-enoughness by being mind-full. Lacking presence in the ‘now’. This moment, here, just this one. In this breath. The in breath through the nose, the out breath through the mouth… Sounding like the ocean.

Do it.

Breathe.

That presence.

This moment now.

We zone out on ourselves because we don’t know how to be present with our worthiness – we are too busy focusing on avoiding or submerging ourselves into our unworthiness. And if there are things we want to do and achieve and change in our life circumstances, how are we going to do that when we tell ourselves we’re crap?

The silence of self awareness can be deafeningly painful on some days, but allowing that space is like defragmenting your harddrive. I’m going to acknowledge my procrasti-wasting is occuring – I’m shirking my responsibility to be loving to myself no matter what, because I am failing to be present with myself and also because I am telling myself that staring gormlessly at Facebook every night in my free time is all the self care I need….

I deserve more self nurturing. So rather than chastising myself for not being productive, I am going to invite myself, and all others, to make different choices… Not because we aren’t good enough….but because we are so completely and utterly enough as we are that we deserve to enjoy that more. I’m going to see making better choices for myself as a way to remember my inherent worth instead of trying to tell myself I’m not enough.

Short term goals just for me… Daily meditation, twice weekly writing, a walk a day, more music, more mindful presence, some yoga (even if it’s just ten minutes for the first time in 15 months!!!). What are yours?

“Stop spending yourself so unwisely


“I want to talk to you about energy. I don’t mean the energy that powers your home, though that is the same thing. I don’t want to talk to you about the energy that powers your body either, though that is the same thing too. I want to talk to you about the energy that you use the most unconsciously yet the most frequently: the energy of your mind and the energy of your heart.

You invest so much of your energy in rushing around to finish everything, to get everything done, to complete your work, your chores and your tasks. You spend so much energy on doing. Whilst you’re doing all that doing you’re investing the rest of your energy on feeling and thinking, but never about what you are doing. You will think of the next thing you must do whilst feeling you haven’t enough time or feeling resentful of having to do what you’re doing simply because you’d rather be doing something else. You are using all of your energy at cross-purposes. Your thoughts send energy one way, your feelings send it another and your actions send the rest somewhere different still.

The result of this is feeling hollow. The result is feeling too stretched, too dispersed or too thinly spread. This inconsiderate use of your own energy, the currency of life, is tearing you at the seams. You are dragging and pulling yourself in opposing directions at all moments, mindlessly spending all of yourself in your search for enough completion to establish happiness. I want to tell you to stop. I want to tell you that when you stop sending all parts of yourself in different directions simultaneously you will feel whole. You will feel present and you will feel peaceful and you will find all of the answers you seek.

I feel you will misunderstand me and think this too simple a concept. It is too simple a concept, I will grant you that. I am a simple being. I promise you one thing; one day you will come to learn that nothing ever need be as complicated as you make it. These vast pressures you put upon your heart and mind are wholly unnecessary. 

I know you are busy and I know you have lots to do but I can tell you a secret: the more time and attention you give to everything you do, the more time and freedom you will find for yourself. Spend more time focusing only on what you are doing in any given moment (that is heart, body and mind) without allowing any aspect of yourself to become distracted. Try this for one day. I don’t mean try it once on one day, I mean try it for one whole day.

When you wake up tomorrow pay attention to what you think and what you feel physically and emotionally. Notice sounds, smells and sensations. Soak it all up. When you brush your teeth think only about brushing your teeth. Notice how you feel before, during and after. When you wash, dress or cook think only about what you are doing and feeling as you are washing, dressing or cooking. Whether you go to work, college or some other place, think only of your journey as you travel. When you interact with people throughout the day pay full attention to them. Really listen. Don’t think only about your reply or how to lengthen or shorten the conversation. You can think about that after you’ve listened. Really invest your energy in listening and being present. Notice your feelings and notice their feelings. Connect!

In everything you do tomorrow, connect. Totally immerse yourself in whatever you do. Ensure your heart, mind and body are all engaged at once and focused solely on that one act of doing at a time. Try this for one whole day. If you notice nothing other than how unconsciously you live every moment of your life I will be happy. You need more presence. You are spending all of your energy so unwisely that you tear holes in yourself and wonder why you are stressed and unhappy.

If you are present in everything you do, if you really practice this, I promise you life will change. I promise you that you will find every last thing you are looking for. If you start living in every moment and sending all of your three focus’ in the same direction, you will eventually find a bliss that you never dreamed possible. 

Try it. Just for one whole day.”   – channelled writing from Blue, a wonderful energy that hangs out with me from time to time

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!