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!

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.

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Let it go, let it in

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Tomorrow I am doing a talk at my friend’s spiritual health and well-being fair, Souls Awakening. I felt I had to volunteer myself for it towards the end of last year, even though I was in the shittttttest of shitty stressful times, heavily pregnant, essentially homeless, hating on life and angrily daydreaming ways to singlehandedly take down the state. I survived (so did the state) and I still don’t know much about what I’m going to say tomorrow. If I stand there whole-heartedly and talk as freely as I’m able, I know what needs to be heard will come out, because it’s happened before on many occasions…but it’s a little bit daunting…

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