Roots

roots

I feel like posting a legal disclaimer declaring that I have no control over my post today. That my fingers are working with the keyboard without consent and I am somewhere in the bedroom hiding under the bedside table. Meh! That would be pointless, everybody knows I wouldn’t fit under that thing!

I’m in the garden, its cold but the suns shining. I’m out there to dig up some mature plants. I need to get rid of these things, they are ugly and taking over parts of the garden that I don’t want infected with ugly! I think that the common name for them is ornamental grass. These things are no ordinary ornamental grass, they are massive, the blades are sharp and they grow even uglier looking flowers. That’s my take on them anyway. The people that lived here before us obviously loved them.

Here I am, immersing myself in the swing of the mattock. One hit after the other and my mind is racing. I am in spiralling thought mode. That mode your mind gets into when it’s thinking feeling and knowing too much all at once. I’m breathing through forgiveness, as I watch memories pass through my mind, I’m breathing in patience as I feel pain, regret and resentment. I’m swinging that thing so hard my arms are wobbly, they are so weak from the weight of it all. I’m thinking that it’s a good thing its blunt, otherwise I might lose my balance the next time the mattock goes through my ankle and takes my foot with it.

Confused? I’m taking a walk the talk approach to dealing with addressing my fears, in an attempt to embrace forgiveness. I am smashing the crap out of this ugly, in my garden. It’s interesting isn’t it? That we know, we have this big old ugly freaky flower producing plant in our lives and it’s causing all sorts of imbalance, yet we leave it there! We let it sit, it serves more than one purpose to us and obviously a lot more to the outside world. I watched a sweet little frog get away, after a full on mattock swing. I considered leaving the bush for a bit after that, thought I should let any other little critters get out just in case I chopped them up or something. I didn’t stop though. I caught myself making excuses, who was I kidding. My back hurt, my arms wobbled, my mind spun and my heart felt sick. It had nothing to with the frog, his family or the bush. I looked back down at that thing and gave it another swing. It got harder, loads harder, I cut through some easy stuff and then I felt like giving up. I noticed the enormity of the roots. It’s been in that ground for so long that its roots are all over the place. I swung away as my mind shared my shame, revealing the raw energy of quitting and the story I told myself a long time ago about quitting, giving up! I am still shocked at what I uncovered. I leave things because I can, it’s my statement to the world and all of the ugly grasses in it, that I am in control of my life and my choices, despite any outside influence, I can quit at any time, I can leave, I can give up, I can change my mind, change my attitude, change my actions, behaviour, beliefs. All of it!  Your probably wondering what the deal is in that. It’s a pretty flexible way to be and could work. I have decided that it doesn’t. Not for me anyway. I have grown this little garden in my mind that’s got ugly grass in it and there are some big ones, I am struggling to get out. They are so ugly that they are impacting on other parts of my life. I have obviously found purpose for them, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Today, I started digging and now I am resting, exhausted. The aftermath of not giving up, of giving it everything until I almost fell apart, I gave that bush everything I had until it was gone, clear out of that bed. Once I finished smashing it out, it was time to take on the roots. I kept swinging, acknowledging to myself that this was a chance to remove a huge part of ugly from my life, a moment that I could choose to persist and not leave a trace of this plant anywhere, the garden would be pure again, free of its ugly.

I got most of the roots out, but then noticed that they (the roots) travel under a paved path, too many to mess with. So I made a choice to see it like this. I took on that grass, I took him out for the long haul, I wanted to remove everything that he left behind but I realised I couldn’t. I realised, that he has left a mark in that garden, these roots are everywhere, the energy and time it would take to rid the roots would consume my life. I had to make a decision to release the belief that the garden would not be pretty again until all of the roots where gone. I had to allow myself to process, that these roots are a part of the story now. They are there, they will always be there, it’s my call to decide what that means to me about my garden. I will plant more seeds and I will feed them, I’ll make sure they have enough sunlight, water and nutrients. The roots will stay. The impact that these roots have on the future growth of this garden remains with me. I could choose to think about them every time I look that way, I could focus on the fact that they are still there hidden under the surface of the ground, I could allow that energy to impact on the way I feel about the garden, the way I see the garden, the way I tend to it, or I could be ok with them just being roots. Roots that have no power to go anywhere, no power to grow. I could admit that this grass has taught me more about myself and how I see the world. I could write a blog about it and share my very bizarre way of looking at things with everybody and anybody who takes the time to read it. I could risk all future sound and conservative employment prospects with just one post.

I haven’t cleaned them up yet, the ugly grassy bushy bits are still lying out in the yard. I will though, I am about too. I can’t wait actually. I can’t wait to see what the soil will look like once I have nourished it with the right food and care. I haven’t decided what I will plant where these grasses used to be. As tacky as this sounds, I really think it will be fruit.

 

 

 

courage burger with the lot, hold the insecurity sauce!

Imagine this, a trip into somebody else’s mind! Imagine what impact this experience could have on your life, your love, your future.

How many times have you said, I wish you could understand what I am saying. When what you actually meant was, I wish you could get inside my mind and feel what I am going through. What you are saying, is that you are feeling so misunderstood that you desperately want a magic wand for her/him to just be you!  So that they could totally “get it”, without any preconceived notions of their own, simply pure, other persons brain time.

What if instead, we decided, to be them? To put ourselves into their minds? Understand how they are feeling? Wouldn’t it be true that they are just as likely feeling the same way? That they are at some level struggling with their own mountains. As a partner for life, wouldn’t it be great if we could honour that energy of commitment and partnership. I guess we all have our own opinions of what being a partner means, then we attempt to live out that ideal. I guess that’s probably a good time to add, that maybe that’s where we are struggling the most in  western culture. Choosing a partner based on similar values and morals, should make the journey a much more harmonious experience. Someone who supports unconditionally and compassionately, who is not always singing the same song, but never forgets that humming is acceptable too.

In my own mind, I am painfully aware of how people are currently struggling within relationships. The number of relationships ending in divorce seems overwhelming to me. It’s not that I disagree with divorce. I believe in love and that’s it. If a relationship for some reason is not loving, then to me, it’s not really a relationship. The thing is, what I honestly believe is that every single one of us, deserves to be loved and cherished for who we are. Every one of us, wants to feel loved unconditionally, I think that’s the driving force of our energy. I think the only thing that gets in the way, is fear. We fear opening up because that leaves us vulnerable, it leaves us stripped bare, raw for the taking, for the beating, the tormenting, the shame, the disappointment, the rejection, the abandonment. If we allow ourselves to truly give unconditional love, we open the front door to every insecurity our souls have ever known. As soon as that treasured choice (the partner we choose) begins to impact on just one of our insecurities, things change. Walls go up, games start, blame, denial, dishonesty and disillusionment begin to live and grow on the inside.

Maybe that’s when the wishing starts, maybe that’s when people start aching for the other to change, for the other to understand, to believe that this connection is worth it, valuable and true. Or perhaps that’s where the ego starts suffering and tormenting our hearts and minds with cracks in our confidence. Could it be that we are searching for another to fulfil our own need for self-approval and if this is the case, how can this ever be?. Considering that self-worth is internal, nothing external has any power over it without first applying internal permission. If we consider the first theory connected to making wishes for the other to change, then we might say that this behaviour was brought about based on a lack of acceptance, appreciation and understanding, but what if that desire for the other to understand you became a desire for you to understand them. What if you took a deep look within and challenged yourself to real courage, to conquer your own mountains instead of trying to climb theirs, you could just accept theirs. Understand that this person was a choice that you made based on love, based on your souls desire to nurture and be nurtured by this one person.

Having said this. I should point out, that if you joined together based on desire alone, on physical attraction only, or because a selfish part of you fell in love with how they made you feel, (there might have been other reasons that don’t have anything to do with love). In that case, this message is clearly not for you. Unless, there has been a true falling into love with that person since, common sense screams the obvious, relationships formed this way, will not usually stand for long.

It’s an interesting idea that we fall in love with somebody based on how they make us feel. I think this happens a lot, I think it happens fast and can be really damaging to the self. I think that honestly falling in love somebody requires knowledge of that person, an understanding of who they are, what they think and feel and know, and do based on everything that they believe. When we begin to fall in love, we daydream about each other, we wonder what the other person might be doing or thinking,  we smile, laugh and reminisce about things said or done. It’s intoxicating because we focus on a warm gentle energy that is that person. We treasure the insight that they bring into our own lives, the tiny gifts of pleasure through intimacy and respect. The deep appreciation and acknowledgement that comes with unconditional love takes that relationship to the next level. Despite anything that other person does, says or is. Unconditional love just is. It transcends fear. Fear cannot touch it.

So, I take a decent breathe in, because this to me, is the big stuff. It’s what really matters and I do believe that we all have the ability to go to that very scary and vulnerable place, the place you are laughed at by others, because he/she gives you reason to sing your own song to the world, even if they choose to hum, your love for each other will keep you in tune.

 

Meditation or peanut butter?

I don’t think that there are many people in the world that don’t like peanut butter. I could be totally wrong about this, but I think that most people would agree that its pretty “up there” on the special condiment shelf. There is something about the creaminess of it, the rich velvet tasting nutty sweetness that spreads joy throughout the taste buds, leaving a calm and buzzing hum in your mouth for some time after licking the plate clean.

For many of us eating is a drug of choice, it provides instant comfort and satisfaction and pleasure. If you are consuming something that you find delicious, your world tastes delicious in that moment. I read something interesting in the local newspaper recently, it was a report based on research that had been done in a lab at  Connecticut College. Basically, the research found that Rats liked Oreo cookies as much as they liked cocaine. I also remember reading that they ate the filling before the cookie. Which suggests that the high sugar content was what the Rats liked most. The post in the paper was brief in description, but I decided that the point. or theory that could be suggested as a result of this study, is that sugar is a highly addictive substance that could be as addictive as cocaine.

I guess peanut butter would be a little different as its sweetness would be created more naturally than a cookie, especially if it was organic and freshly crushed. I don’t know, I am just guessing. You see my point though? you see where I am going with this?

So I’m thinking as I sit here with a bulging tummy and belly button that has seen less stretched days. What tastes better than peanut butter? Not as a food, as an action, a thing to do, a hobby or interest, something that fills an instant requirement for joy and pleasure and satisfaction, that is not related to anything else with addictive and possibly self destructive potential. We all know where we are heading with high food consumption, large alcohol consumption, sex addiction or Gambling obsessively!  We don’t always talk about it, but these paths lead to misery not happiness, greed and anger, fear, anxiety and depression. Obviously there are more habits that are as dangerous for our minds and our souls purpose as the previous stated. Me, I am just trying to get beyond the peanut butter, but other people, they are trying to get beyond their own peanut butter, which might appear as a spending obsession or a strong physical need to exercise, to produce natural drugs, which are healthy and in most cases proven to be great for us, until that exercise becomes an obsession and our bodies begin to pay the price for the minds craving, for a natural shot of dopamine every few minutes.

I guess we all crave that instant relief, especially when we are suffering. Our minds race with questions and memories, the painful truth of secrets unshared, betrayal and the inability to heal through forgiveness. The only choice then, seems to be to embrace self love and understanding. To allow yourself enough space to feel what you feel without judgement and to make a decision about moving forward with healing and hopefully in a time frame acceptable to your needs. Of course there are many options available, a trained therapist is obviously one.  I guess most people choose this option, I hope that they do anyway. There is a little too much stigma attached with therapy for some. It can be viewed as a sign of imbalance or inability to cope. I know many male friends that feel this way. They feel a trip to the therapist,wether it be a councillor or psychotherapist is somehow related to who they are as a person, or more to the point who they are not. They tell themselves that speaking about issues is not masculine,but is for the weak. They consider that these things are really no big deal, so then they become a bigger deal, that are not healed, because there is a choice made to numb the mind with a substance, with an action that will produce this immediate feeling of relief and comfort and safety. An instant but fleeting escape from the tormented mind.

This is where listening to yourself can be of amazing benefit and consequence. Taking time to put yourself in a meditative state that is pleasurable to you, somewhere that you can hear the wisdom of your own mind. If you are still, you will receive that instant joy, that peace and calm, that safety blanket will rap itself around you and if you are brave, you can go further into your thoughts and discover, what stories you have told yourself along your path, that have led you to believe in something that has never been of true service to you. An abusive relationship, a crippling mind focus, an inability to progress. A fear of change a destructive habit an obsession that has taken over your journey. Your path, your purpose is still within you. Consider it a seed, it will always lay dormant in you until you give it the right ingredients to grow. Nothing outside of you can interfere with its growth without your permission , it is as present as the blood that runs through your veins.

I could write passages on why meditation is an awesome choice for an awesome life, why it will change the way you think and view the world. I could talk it about all day for a week, that would certainly keep me away from the peanut butter. The thing is, before we choose, we need to decide. Sounds crazy hu? I mean, we can tell ourselves that we need to change destructive habits and behaviours, for a better life, a happier more fulfilling existence. We can choose meditation, we can even make time for it and experience that blissful energy of peace. However, we need to decide that we are worth it, that we are capable and industrious and courageous. We need to decide to put the emphasis on what really does work, what really does serve us, that brings benefits into our life not only immediately but constantly and potentially, always. Something that will serve us through the long haul, so that we can break free from destructive attitudes and behaviours, preparing us to make room to decide what we will do to feed this seed that lays dormant within us all.

 

“It’s not good is it”?

I have a friend I walk with each day, I don’t have enough time to explain the complexities of her personality, lets just say that she gives me 1000 reasons to smile and as many reasons to write. Sometimes, in a week, she will become fixated on a topic (as we all can) recently, her topic has been relationship longevity.  Having a husband of 17 years and two children, she has life experiences to share, many outrageously funny, my stomach muscles usually ache from laughing not walking. She is a woman of strong ethics, eclectic humour and simple wisdom. She talks about her “disability” often, but I am still unsure what her disability is, I guess you could say that she is a 40 year old woman living with a 16 year olds mind and a 90 year olds heart. All she wants to do is care for people and be liked by people. She also has an amazing ability to humiliate, its a humbling experience some days !!!

My friend has a catch phrase, it’s this; …”it’s not good is it?”  I have a giggle with her about this, I have also adopted it in my own home for comic relief for anything we are not keen on. My whole family are on board with my connection to this women, she has a special place in our lives, yet is very unaware of her impact.

Her comments and our discussions on relationships have been interesting and usually end  with…”it’s not good is it.”  We discuss the lack of stick ability, the increase in violence and promiscuity. We don’t ever delve deeply into any of it, but her words are always true and pack a punch with weight that could straighten a few bendy bridges. Within her own relationship, she admits that she speaks carelessly often and recognises why she speaks this way and what harm it does to the relationship, she also knows that continuation of this behaviour will cause eventual separation. I wont get into details because I value her privacy, but to know that she is fully aware of her own actions and the impact that they have on her relationship with her husband and what that means for the future of the marriage, is awesome! It’s not just awesome because she is aware and awake to it, its awesome because she continues to be honest with herself about what she wants in this connection and what that means about the energy that she brings to it. She would never say it like that, but that’s exactly how it is and that’s exactly why they are moving into almost 20 years together. I have not once heard her say anything about her husband changing, she has not told me that she wishes he would not do this or that, or that that he shouldn’t do this or that, she just see’s that things are not good sometimes, then decides what might alter that situation. In every aspect of her own relationship, she focusses on her own self control or her own responsibility , her own energy within the family and how that impacts on the life she is living.

In consideration of our recent discussions around relationships and the impact that she has on me, I felt like sharing. It’s not just about marriage. People can live together a lifetime and be in love and content in a relationship. It’s about the need we all have to be valued and significant. I don’t have a lot of studied knowledge of relationship dynamics, how they work and why, but when I look at people and watch how they are with each other, I can see through what others might overlook. I work in consulting, I deal with people who are struggling emotionally, who love but want for something better. Sadly, the better, is usually about themselves. See, I think as we ache in desperation to have our partner “understand us deeper” or appreciate us more. What we are actually living is personal dissatisfaction of self. Of course, having a close connection to your partner is conducive with a harmonious loving relationship, one where both of you get to be you,  supported to develop in any way you choose individually and blossom into who you want to be. The love connection, seems to weigh on our hearts and the ego connection, plays with our actions and our decisions.  The ego connection being directly related to that desire for significance. Wow, I could share on this topic for hours, based on my own experience and future ideals. I guess what I am really trying to get out, but maybe not so flowingly, is that we all could do with an Amanda in our life, that friend that shares with black & white accuracy. That slices through it all, without trying, that is oblivious to her own wisdom.

I think that people are fascinating, I think we could develop and grow and love and share into something beyond what we experience, if we open up to facing our own self issues at the exact time that we stand pointing fingers toward our most treasured ones . This could be a remarkable change to the current social trend of separation.

 

words to the new management

When you raised your hand and pledged your truth,when you signed your name to seal their fate, when you planned your path, when you joined that club, did you know?

Did you know your role, did you understand? did you comprehend that you hold in your hands, the lives of people!

People that will bleed from their veins your choices, that will ache from the heart your choices, that will despair from your actions, that will cry through the night, that will release their gift of life.

You signed in, you showed up and now these people need you. They need you to lead, to believe, to champion in grace to support and recover them. To empower their lives, to show them the light.

Where is your focus and who are you? Where are your people? Who are your people and why are they your people?

For now, we will watch as you push our starving into the streets, while you toast to your power. We will add hours to our days to cover your choices, while you sleep into the night you have stolen from so many of your people. They will toss and turn while you dream, they will cry and bleed suffering,  fall to their knees as you adjust your tie to return to your role as their leader.

 

Being silly, fits of laughter and the joy of surprise!

I am a huge fan of laughing, it’s a healthy addiction. A sudden surprise will often send me into fits of roaring laughter. I can’t think of anything that changes my state faster than a good laugh. I guess I would like to share a few experiences of my own, but also know that sometimes, you just have to be there, so I’ll just choose the one!

I do remember a Friday, city streets are packed, swerving through people on the footpath, it’s lunch time and I’m on my way to work. I am late! I can see a colleague walking toward me. The path is packed. I am still weaving in and out, preparing to smile and say hi or something. He is walking toward me with his long grey trench coat thingy that he always wears, hunched around him like he is frozen (maybe because he is wearing shorts and actually is frozen). I was not prepared when he jumped right in front of me legs spread and so close to me, no other person could have possibly seen he was clothed, he spread his arms wide, but not far enough for others to see his top and shorts, he says nothing, covers himself up and moves on, fast! It happened all at once, bang, bang ,bang. I was silent at first but as soon as he walked away I fell into fits of cackling, it came from the solar plexus and I can’t say I saw one other person laugh or even smile at me. They looked horrified! Which of course, fed the humour of the encounter. What must these people have thought? I kept walking, it all happened so quickly.

When I think about that day, I still laugh a lot! I wonder what people thought, why they didn’t laugh. The element of surprise was powerful that day, something I didn’t expect took me to a very happy place. It wasn’t just that though. It was also the guy. We didn’t have a great friendship but we talked and our connection was real. He was a bit of joker, liked to lark about a bit, a grown man with a family and pretty handy feet for soccer (UK-football)  I still think about him and what he did that day. One moment that he chose to be daring and funny, at a time before daring and funny was trendy. It lifted my spirits and changed the way I looked at him. It also changed the way I looked at myself. The way I carried myself in the public eye and how “serious” I was becoming. I appreciated the ease of the action, that it was such a natural thing that produced so much happiness. I loved that this guy was so confident and free to be himself like that, it reminded me of me, of who I used to choose to be before I let the outside influences of my own life experience direct my behaviour. It was a little gift to remind me that its ok to laugh out loud, that its important not to take life too seriously and to always allow myself the freedom to be silly.