Science project 1 vs Me 0

I read something somewhere and because I read it on two different social platforms I’m going to lie if I tell you I can remember where. But what I can tell you is that it stuck. It also struck me hard when I realised I was part of the problem.

What is the first thing we do when we open our eyes? We switch off the alarm ringing on our phone and immediately we are bombarded by notifications and communication. It is information and graphic overload and we haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. It makes me think of a youtube video from Motiversity titled You only have 24hrs. https://youtu.be/fLeJJPxua3E.

What am I spending my time and energy on? Who am I spending my time and energy on? Is it rendering any good fruits or does it leave me feeling like less of an achiever at the end of the day? Less of an achiever and I haven’t even touched the ice cold tiles yet!

So the analytical side of me comes to town to play hop, skip and jump and point fingers all knowingly at the evidence. I set up Samsung wellness on my phone and I start to allocate what I think should be enough time to spend on my phone. Because I have 24hours in a day right and I should use them wisely. I allot myself 12,5% of 24hours which is 3hours of my day. I also tell myself that somethings like watching my youtube motivationals or listening to music the entire day needs to come from other devices because it racks up hours which I wasnt really on my phone if that makes sense.

We have only the present and we should be present therein. I hear Eric from Motiversity say: The difference between Operah and the person that is broke is that Operah uses her 24hours wisely. So I think to myself what would I do with the rest of the time. My Atype personality immediately wants to start getting busy making lists of all the improvements I can do in the many facilities of my life. But a little voice from inside is begging me to use the time to do the things that set my soul alight like writing, gardening, reading, spending time with people I care for and most importantly spending time doing nothing in pure happiness. Because doing nothing for someone like me is like asking Hans Solo to stop flying the millennium falcon!!!

So I start a new morning ritual. I switch off the alarm without looking at the rest of the icons on my screen. I lay in bed, eyes closed and give thanks for the things I have and for the things I have asked for and haven’t acknowledged as received yet. I listen to my affirmations for 10minutes and then I get out of bed. And my day starts…. Kettle on, child up from slumber, pack lunch, give dog tugging at my gown sleeve attention and feed said attention seeking dogs. Take son to school, get ready for the work day ahead. All the while my phone is on its new do not disturb setting until 8h30am and calls may come, sure you ask yourself, what if its an emergency, a long lost friend calling or your son’s school? What if this and what if that to justify clinging onto the misconception that the world needs you more than you need yourself.

We have always had the rule that dinner time is spent at the table together where we talk and eat and connect. No cellphone may be on the table, near the table, under the table or even close by the table. I think you get the point. No TV switched on for background noise either. We connect with the people closest to us. The ones we choose to spend our every day lives with. The ones who are literally there for us when the camera lens of the world is switched off and the pretty filters have gone to bed.

So new bed time ritual for mother dearest once said son is put to bed…. no more falling asleep in front of the TV waking up with red lines on my face and drool on my chin at 2am. None of that! It is replaced with a reminder from Samsung that my bedtime is due and I should start my evening ritual. Glass of water next to bedside check. Some self care rituals check. Read two or three pages of a story book while soft mist fills my lungs check. Eucalyptus and lavender mmmmm calming to my hyper drive senses. Self care makes me feel calm and loved as I shuffle under the covers. Night time gratitude check.

And so this continues for the period of a week. During said week; I’ve swapped out rushed night time showers for 20min bath sessions with luxurious oils instead of plonking myself in front of the tv after a long day. I’ve been able to write more than one line and I’ve been reading and tending to my pot plants as winter rolls in. I have watched less TV and been happier this week. Instead of 30min of Facebook surfing I’ve spent afternoons walking the dogs while chatting to my son about teenage life for those 30min. All the things we tell ourselves we work hard to enjoy but never get to enjoy because we are tired or the most loved phrase: there isn’t enough time in a day. I’m one of the phrase loving patrons!

What came of all this after a week? Samsung sent me a notification saying I’ve spent 11hours and 47min less this week on my phone than last week. Can you imagine?! So almost 60% of my day was consumed via my cellphone. Sure I can justify it to say I’m listening to YouTube music via the tv, I’m reading a hard cover book instead of a kindle version, I’m banking from my laptop instead of my cellphone. I’m a very productive person that never sits still even for a moment. I would have never guessed that 60% of whatever I’m doing is on one little device. What would our tvs or our computers say about us if we made ourselves aware of these habits we have? Of always needing to stay connected and never appreciating our own silence or surroundings?

My little science project was for me. Solely to check in on myself and become aware of my habits instead of being an exhausted mom on autopilot. I’m not saying what worked for me will work for you necessarily. I am not financially rich as Operah yet, but this week I was richer in happiness than the prior week. What I am saying is awareness is a beautiful gift that reminds us our time is precious. Reminds us our bodies need rest to restore and our minds need a break so sleep won’t elude us. It reminds us that we can’t go to bed wondering if our lives will ever change if we don’t start to make small changes in our habits, our thoughts and what we spend our time on.

Do you ever hear a song my love…

Do you ever hear a song and it transports you back to our home with a blazing fire?

Warm and safe, tucked into the patio as the wind gently stroked the flaps to the floor

I would feel home there, where I was with you once more.

You put another log into the fire and looked over at me happily “This is what I live for”

Do you ever hear a song and it knocks the breath out of your lungs?

You literally choke and it took you back to the times where we were yelling at one another?

I wonder if I ever heard your side of the story or if you cared for mine, my lover.

When we both got so unhappy that we chose silence, we could no longer bother.

Do you ever hear a song that makes you smile at the time where I demanded you dance with me under the moonlight?

Even then I grabbed a hold of your hand

You laughed and said questioningly “I don’t dance?”

Somehow your feet would make little movements to ease my demands.

Do you ever hear a song and one lonely tear rolls down your cheek before you can wipe it away?

The Lumineers sing “It is better to feel pain than nothing at all”

Now I tell myself it will get easier each time I fall

Now it is only my voice echoing when I call

Do you ever hear a song and want the world to swallow you as you sit looking at the stars?

I think of you often as I nurse my wine and my scars

The tune lingers “Caused by absence of you” Milky Chance

we don’t talk about it anymore, any day now it will all go away I think, but I know that’s a farce.

Do you ever hear a song and feel that you still love me dearly?

I remember that feeling when I hear Kansas City – Bob Dylan.

“And I love you dear, but just how long can I keep singing…?”

Our tragic love story, both as villains

A dedication for each time I get into my car thinking of you, and “I will be missing you” by Faith Evans/Sean Combs plays.

My circus ring

I sat staring at the “My development” vision board I created for this year – it is filled with the many interests I have in my career and the quarters of well thought out courses I wish to attend. But my eyes are tired and all I see is a bunch of symbols swarming around in the sea of quarters. I close my eyes and lay my head against the headrest of the office chair.

Something…. I think to myself. Some message, coming from this as I sit nearing the end of quarter 2. A lesson. Perhaps a math lesson: I started with zero, I added three activities suggested for quarter 1 and 2 and it equalled one. If my math teacher could see me now!! I only had capacity to do one of those activities really well. So, I relooked at the formulae and found that I created an enormous amount of pressure and expectation on myself to complete three activities when I really could only do one. The pressure was not only undue but totally unnecessary. The only thing that it did was made me feel guilt and then anger at myself for even attempting a math sum so full of upfront let down. Because if I faced the music what I set out to do was impossible given the time I had.  

I remember my spiritual friend telling me in January when she saw the image “Mmmmm…..busy.”

I also remember her telling me “Maybe you have an issue with the concept of time.”

Maybe she was right…. Maybe I didn’t pay attention to my degree in management accounting and how to manage constraints on resources. Clearly the Time resource was a boundaryless concept to me. Pretty much the same way my expectations are of myself.

 

I think I may have boundary issues. I snort at my own thought of this – what are boundaries to me even? I am the child that tells their mother they will sleep when they are dead. I can’t even respect when my body yells I am exhausted, until I pass out from it. I have been to therapy sure. I am currently reading books on the matter too – just to educate myself more, yeah. I am starting to understand the concept with each page I turn. Not only because it is being laid out for me – word for word and I would have to be a complete idiot if I didn’t catch on. But also, as I become more aware of my own feelings and actions.

 

I have a personal, LITTLE gripe with the lady “Competence”. She has good standing in most circles, she is known to get things done, with a smile, and she almost never says NO. She is likeable, she juggles in the Circus, and she never breaks a sweat doing it! She is so good at execution that she is your first stop when things are going utterly wrong with your life. She enjoys the “doing action” for people she cares about, it’s her love language you see. But more than often, she secretly wishes for some “doing” from her circles too.

“It is the curse of Competence.” My spiritual friend says throwing her hands in the air, head back, blonde hair cascading down her back as she laughs deeply.

“Remember to tell lady Competence, not my monkeys not my circus.”

 

The issue here is lady Competence never asks and never complains – so none in her ever-expanding circles are the wiser to her needs. In the evenings she lays her head to rest, bones and body tired of the burdens juggled for the day. Tomorrow she will try again to say “No, I can not take this on.” and not feel guilty. To say “No.” and “I need rest.” Let’s be honest, in her defence, those monkeys are everywhere it is kind of difficult to tell where she ends and they start.  

 

Back to the boundaryless life that is the circus…. There is a show that usually comes on, moments after lady Competence. She stands juggling in all her glory and three little men appear, one for one, through the thick black curtain. Compliance, Avoidance and Resentment comes to paint, spray and spit on the towns people in the front row seat. You can’t have the wow factor of lady Competence, without the three stooges from hell. This hell being her own making. You see, when you allow lady Competence to execute under the pretence of free will, you end up having to deal with either Compliance or Resentment, because Avoidance well is doing what he does best, avoiding the conflict. Lady Competence feels like she is letting you down if she doesn’t entertain you and whisk you away from your problems. At times she has so many balls in the air, she is forced to say “Yes, add another.” in fear of the looks she may get upon declining. The more she adds balls, the more the pressure builds for her to drop them and then she leaves the stage feeling unheard or cared for.

 

Resentment in his little green tweed coat and pointy shoes pops onto the shoulder of the ring and says things like:

“Actually, you know what, I resent these people for the things I do for them, because they don’t laugh at my tricks the same way.”   

“I resent that I am always the one they call on when they need something to cheer them up, but they never call to ask how I am truly doing.”

“I resent that I go to great measures to fit into the idea of who they think I should be for them, but I am more than just this funny hat and pants.”

 

Compliance runs out onto the shoulder and immediately gives Resentment a hug. “Don’t fear” he whispers, “just give them the laugh they want, and it will all be over soon.” Compliance knows how to do things in such a way that doesn’t rock the boat or tip the boat over and keeps the peace. He takes on too many responsibilities, not by choice, but by fear that he will be replaced or disliked if he stepped out of ring masters’ line.  Compliance calls Avoidance over and hands him a flower to make him smile and open up a little. Resentment comes and eats the flower. Avoidance withdraws immediately from disappointment and doesn’t move a muscle even though Compliance is begging him to put a smile back on his face to save the show.

From Resentment I have learnt that expectations and assumptions can cause a lot of unhappiness in relationships. From Compliance I have learnt that you will survive the storm if you swim, so throw on your own life jacket first when you find a hole in your boat. You’re also allowed to yell, kick, scream and cry because the storm comes to save you from yourself.

From Avoidance I have learnt that keeping quiet is like an illness that slowly eats you from the inside. I have learnt I need to stop what I am doing, ask myself to question the feeling I have attached to this choice and rethink the choice before I give an answer to a request. If I do things because I am scared of their back lash, then there is a lack of boundaries. Mind you, a lack in a healthy friendship to start off with. If I do things because I feel obliged to, then I am creating space for the snarky Resentment to come kick me in the shins with his pointy shoes.

 

I struggle with many things such as boundaries all the while trying to be a good, supporting, caring and generous mother, sister, colleague or friend. I struggle to vocalise my own needs at times. I am aware of these little circus creatures called boundaries and I don’t have to do much else. I have to be present in each moment, acknowledge my feelings and decide to act, staying true to the boundaries of my circus ring.

Dirty thirties and NOT counting

During my 20s, I was told by a colleague of mine that you would know you’ve reached 30 when you bought your first kazebo and got excited about it. Anything really, that’s homely that got your juices flowing apparantly, would suffice as indicator enough. Well I’m 33 years old today, no kazebo yet, and for my birthday this year I got to shit into a container for the second time in my life, both occasions being for allergies that reared its ugly head after the big 3 zero. 

I really do have quite a bit to say to that colleague should I ever see them again🤔 dirty thirties, well boy oh boy, they have no idea how dirty shit can get. Literally, I think as I wash my hands and continue typing this out in my head. Especially if you only start having those two legged creatures a little later in life, like a normal person should. Stay young while you can folks, stop counting, get your mind swept or become illiterate by any means necessary! If you can’t count the fcuks then you shouldn’t give a fcuk right? However they say the phrase, I’m sure I’m butchering it. 

I was also told 30s is where you’ve found your crowd and you’re kind of living your best life so that by 40s you really just don’t care, they take you as you are or they leave you. And you have a choice to smile politely at them as they walk by or flip them the bird. You also have a choice to pretend to like them and their opinions in case you’re not entirely  “there yet” or haven’t exactly found your tribe. No hurry we all get to the destination eventually or for some special cases the next after life. 

Then, before you know it, collagen and elastin are standing on your nightstand, alongside bulky sister petroleum jelly (and not for the fun kind of use, oh no!) More for preventative measures like thigh chaffing. Preventative is what I call the spandex fat pants that have now found a home for themselves in one of my drawers. The standard colours black, beige and navy with lace trim, you all know the ones I am talking about ladies. Just for the days where you are feeling a little sassy and in need of a nip and tuck into your skirt suit.

You also loose 5min a day just trying to get your bathroom vanity closed, which starts spilling at the brim because your 3 step facial regime has now become a 12 step nightmare. I will elaborate that in your 30s you also get bombarded with either wrinkles or some saggy chin-neckline horror story that just hits you out of nowhere. Like all of a sudden people start commenting on your grey fly aways, even though you tell them Julia! “It’s highlights!” Mental note, never having tea with her again. No good story ever started with we had tea my friend always reminds me. That’s just proof of the 20s lingering….. (eye roll)

I mean you can blame bad genes sure, too much sun, alcohol, late nights, sleeping with your makeup on and cigarettes even. Blame all the shit that makes life worth navigating through your 20s, while it rips you a new one as you enter the Era of self care. Cause fcuk,you’re aging all of a sudden at the speed of a freight train according to the 20 year old that just called you aunty. THAT literally happened overnight. Oh, and have you heard the latest from Julia? Panama hats with bikinis are out for more broad brimmed partners and exotic sarongs. Well unless it’s skinny dipping Julia where everything goes, literally goes, as in the way you entered this world and shall leave it, goes! Then I say to heck with those societal norms! Go where you can become intoxicated with your natural beauty at any age again. There where you can find and appreciate yourself as you are here in the present. 

And so I smile and wave as I welcome the next Era of my life’s show and all to the stage. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my 20s where I could bounce back from shit after one wild night out, is that in my 30s, I regurgitate and relive the experience atleast twice before promising myself and God never to repeat the mistake of thinking I’m that resilient again.  Clearly what you put in your body from your 30s onwards: food, emotions and energy wise is super important folks and if you haven’t been your authentic self, well, 30s is going to strip you bare in a reveal all before she dresses you up like a dirty trollop for the cabaret show. 

Cheers I say to myself as I screw the lid of the specimen shut. Cheers to you and living an authentic life to the fullest. Life starts this year at 33, that’s a story for another day,  but whose counting anyways?

Be intentional

It has been noted by many and just reaffirmed through my own experiences: opening up to reveal the feelings or experiences gnawing at our insides brings freedom. It no longer holds the power over us that we have been afraid to face. It no longer saps a part of our energy. That precious energy we are required to use to play our parts in this universe.We are at our most vulnerable, revealing the darkest moments or parts that have hidden in our deepest crevices. Mostly we don’t like looking at those parts within us, we don’t want to acknowledge the things we bottle up. We walk with these burdens and with every step weighing heavier and heavier on us. But if it were easy, if it didn’t cause waves or require intensity to enforce the carving of our true forms, we would not have kept it inside for so long. Allowing it to change the way we speak, see, feel and react to the environment around us. It’s easier for us to silence the voice within and keep a form of peace. It’s easier, but the deeper down that reality we go, the farther away we go from ourselves.The good news is there is a lightness once it hits the air! The cells in our body sigh an internal relief. There is some form of freedom through the way we offload and allow things to hit the air. It’s our responsibility in the way we offload. We need to get one step closer to our true purpose without the intention to harm another in doing so.At the end of this year, which has been a tough year with lessons strewn all over the seasons. We need to learn to let go of that which does not serve. Let go of connections not complimenting us. It seems that that’s one of our most difficult choices to make. Keeping things the same, keeping traditions or acknowledging that even though we fear the unknown we do know we can no longer bottle these things inside us. We can no longer continue in the way that is untrue to our purpose. We need to sit silently and listen to our energy bringing these things to our conscience and act accordingly.It will not be easy but we will focus on the positive things we have in our lives. We will show and give gratitude no matter how small. We shall play our parts and it will be beneficial to our environment. We will honestly assess our situations, free of our wants and desires and we will lovingly send off all that which no longer allows us growth on the journey to our trueness. We will not allow only our minds to make the decisions but also our gut. We will listen to all of our soul and acknowledge that when we are open, messages will filter from the universe in many ways. We will be blessed with guidance once we have accepted to no longer hide. We will set our intentions and be present to practice them daily through our actions. We will ride this incredible wave of opportunity to a greater and better us. Because we are our universe.

Reflection

There’s something quite special about the dead of night turning into early morning hours….that silence, ever welcoming and enveloping. Sitting in a meditation position, legs crossed and palms facing upward together at center I start the road trip down to the coast. Feeling my toes wiggle, listening to the Eagles Hotel California as the music loosens my tightened neck muscles. “We are all just prisoners here of our own device”…. Wasn’t that true that our perceptions are sometimes limiting us and not the objects we perceive to be “blocking” our way. The white noise in the cabin a soothing background sound as thoughts drift and the body relaxes. It’s a warm cocoon of safety for me to just be. And yet subconsciously the emotions start to arise that I suppress during my day to day activities. Reflecting on the conversations had and what that means in my living microbe world. I imagine it’s like a warm clothe lovingly wiping my face, refreshing and renewed by each thought or feeling I deal with and move on from.

Regularly I remind myself that this body is a world of it’s own filled with micro organisms living in, off and complementing the form we take together. I am reminded that this body will be left behind and that the most important thing is that my soul would have grown and can freely rise and fly happily. The sun starts to show it’s face as the clouds turn from dark grey-black to a light grey-blue haze. Even though I can not see the sun it’s presence changes the scene subtly the same way that a thought or feeling can change a person’s demeanor. How easily we brush these things off and go on with our day… I whisper to myself promises of trying to be more present and allowing myself the pause to ‘feel’ things and throughout stay true to the inner voice within.

To love this form and the journey I am on with every part of my existence. Because thankfully this souls’ growth has been enormous and although I hunger for more I need to give back through my gift. Share freely the lessons before parting with this transformation to prepare in my cocoon for yet another leap.

One foot in front of the other

Sometimes surviving is all you can do

Put one foot in front of another

Stitch your smile in place

And if all you did today was drag your beautiful battered body out of bed

It is better than nothing

It is one step closer, tell that to your head!

If today you couldn’t get out of bed

Then tomorrow holds another opportunity

To wake up and feel the sun on your face

To take a step in creating a new reality

To find your place

And it’s not a physical one

It is within

The place where your strength lies

The place where your fears and tears gather in running brooks

Some days running and others just wallowing

And people will let you down sweet child

Be kind and forgiving

They can only give of themselves as much as they are aware and capable,

As much as they have given their own souls.

Be of the school of thought; expecting nothing

And cherishing everything received.

The Doer

The Baghavad Gita reads chapter 5 regarding the Doer: The man who has seen the truth thinks, “I am not the doer” at all times—when he sees, hears, touches, when he smells, eats, walks, sleeps, breathes, when he defecates, talks, or takes hold, when he opens his eyes or shuts them: at all times he thinks, “This is merely sense-objects acting on the senses.”

It is easy for me to fall into the trap of the doer. I make to do lists and create not only undue pressure when none is required, but have overly higher expectations of myself. Which is a vicious circle because when I don’t achieve the list, I am guilt tripped by my consciousness. I am then yet again a doer. Loosing myself in the mundane daily senses that numbs my soul and lessens my true focus.

When I keep doing what I feel is expected and not flowing in and out of serving, I am exhausted and drained of every creative ounce. When I get up, show up and just “be” available, productivity is just as great if not better than the doer. Because I am exactly where I need to be but it’s not energy sapping, it is energetic dancing throughout the days.

It is always so easy to get lost in the detail, become over obsessive, nit pick and forget the bigger picture. It is the cycle of many corporate resources. Sometimes you are taught this lesson by someone newer in the game than yourself and you are humbled again by the not so subtle Universe’s messaging “Tomorrow corporate will still be here….but will you? Will you truly “be” here?” Or will you be less of yourself, unhappy and robotic? Bleeding yourself out wondering what it’s all for?

Mario Savio said “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so audious, makes you so sick at heart, that you cant take part. You cant even passively take part. And you got to put your body upon the wheels, upon the gears, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop!!! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who own it and the people who run it, that unless you’re FREE the machine will be prevented from working at all!!!”

There is truth in this messaging: if we are not free, our souls are constrained and our energy drained from our true purpose – we are only half living and the machine is consuming us… We need to remain peace, balance and passion. Peace being: accepting we are the goal, balance implying we are nurturing all of ourselves and accept every part of ourselves as whole. Passionate by living out our soul’s purpose in this human existence.

Love learnt

I love fiercely as the lyrics of Mumford and Sons depicts: “And I will love with urgency

But not with haste.”

I believed in the concept of mine, until it was realised that there was no “I” either.

Fear and suffering had become part of physical scars, the beautiful strokes that Knowledge imparted.

Perhaps not as trusting as I could be, derived from chemistry-filled inclinations of flesh.

Not being able to rely on someone else, as lessons were learned about each souls’ needs.

Labeling sins as unforgivable and unacceptable, until I myself delved into them.

Arguing that loyalty like a shining katana was the way for the ever giving martyr.

Not accepting that souls can’t be more or less than they are, and learning to accept it with love.

Time and space a faraway concept, to my soul we are now one.

Touched souls share an energy and an ever lasting connection, regardless of how much distance they track in the opposite direction.

Mistakes made were treacherous yet beautiful, they provided growth to my soul.

They guided me to self care and love, accepting myself as Whole.

The goal

Ramana Maharshi said, “The idea that there is a goal . . . is wrong. We are the goal; we are always peace. To get rid of the idea that we are not peace is all that is required.”

I think I thought this thought before…

But it comes back to me in a much stronger form.

Perhaps another lesson to learn,

Perhaps it’s for someone else to be heard.

We are not broken to bits and pieces.

We are souls in acceptance.

We are not broken beyond repair.

We are all souls in training.

We are not broken in comparison to another.

We are souls in our own journey of enlightenment.

We are not broken at all.

We are souls in faith and peace.

We are not broken in any way that we perceive,

We just have enough holes for the light to shine in and love our darkness.

Our light and darkness in pure balance,

Pure peace.