#28 Grateful for Being Able To Switch Off (for a week!)

 

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When I was doing theatre studies at school, we studied feminist theatre, which essentially introduced me to feminism and I guess you could say I’ve been a feminist ever since (I then went on to study feminist performance for my degree). I remember the term ‘The Personal is Political’ and it’s only been in the last year that I’ve realised just how much these words have driven my life. The decisions I make, on a daily basis effect the WHOLE system in one way or another.

So, I’m getting personal in my political activism. I’m going to turn my phone off for a week. No text messages, no phone calls, no social media, no nothing.

How is this political?

Seriously, our attachment to phones is kinda scary. On a personal level I check mine way more than I need to. It’s become a habit. An addiction, an addiction that is ruling my life, not me ruling it. So, I am going to try and go without it, to break this unhealthy cycle. An iPhone is not an organ, it doesn’t keep my alive. Political? The powers that be rely so heavily on our fixation with social media – it keeps us occupied, distracted and maintains a level of anxiety and fear. Plus Money is EVERYTHING and where is money? Technology. And what is money? Power.

Not only that but the natural resources being drained to keep this industry alive is astronomical. I wish I could sit here and write ‘I am giving up ALL forms of technology, forever!’ but alas, I am keeping my computer on as I use it to write, I’ll also stay on email. I’m seeing this as an experiment, to notice the small (or great) changes it brings to my life. I know we live in a time when technology seems to be the backbone of existence, and don’t get me wrong, technology has empowered so many and social media can connect in wonderful ways. I guess I just need to do this, for me, to break a habit that needs breaking, for my own sanity.

We are living in a time of excess – information overload and more hunger for power. This is effecting everything and everyone. How can we expect huge changes if we are not willing to change ourselves and patterns of behaviour. Change must come from within to then be mirrored externally.

I am so grateful to be in position where I can make this choice, that my job does not revolve around the phone – I am going to take full advantage of this while I can.

We can only do our bit. For now, turning my phone off for a week feels like the needed change, for me and our planet.

#27 Grateful for Riches

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Today I feel rich, abundant, up to my chin (and almost can’t move) in wealth because of… well many reasons but many reasons can be easily forgotten until the sky lights up to remind you that life is full of anything you want it to be full of.

This morning I asked for release. Just a few moments of release from my chatty thoughts, oh and also a reason to get out of bed and go running. This was my reason, the best reason a woman could hope for, the sunrise took my breath away and calmed me more than words ever could.

That is the definition of rich right? To be consumed in pleasure and joy and all things delicious.. well that was how I felt seeing the sunrise this morning and guess what, it’s free, every single day.

Blessed, blessed, blessed.

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#26 Grateful for Minimalism

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The past few weeks I’ve been hard on myself and the state of the world. The more I cradle into news feeds and environmental issues and animal neglect and… the general crisis we seem to be plummeting into, I just wanna cry. Brexit (Ahhhh) Trump (AHHHHHH)… I could list ALL the shit but I’m not gonna, you know the deal.

Anyway, last night, during my wallow I got into bed early, flipped open my laptop, logged into Netflix and headed to the documentaries.

“More ‘real life’ crisis, feed me more crisis”

I’d like to add here this post is headed someplace more upbeat, I promise.

Then I remembered my friend recommending the documentary ‘Minimalism: A documentary about the important things’. I pressed play and I got even more depressed during the first 20 minutes (btw it’s not a depressing documentary, it’s hopeful, I really recommend the watch, it sure inspired me).

Modern day consumption is insane! The rate at which we are filling our oceans and landfills with crap is just beyond belief. Hey there missy! (I address myself)… I buy stuff wrapped in plastic, I buy water in plastic bottles when I’m out and get thirsty. I have a mobile phone, I have a computer, I invest lots of my time on the world wide web, filling up on information I don’t need (mostly enjoy, sometimes not so much). I check my instagram everyday, and I’m blessed to have a huge choice of foods on my doorstep. When more is available, it’s hard to not want to take it.

A comment was made by… someone (a psychologist or scientist, one or the other) in this documentary about how things cannot go on the way they are, we’re in full destruction mode – of our health and our environment. Flash thought in that moment: 20 years. 20 years could be it. At this rate, we’ll be lucky to have an earth that can sustain us in 20 years time… once the CO2 levels rise and oxygen becomes more precious than diamonds, that will be it. 20 years! I know, it’s an extreme thought but we are living in extreme times. I freaked out.

20 fucking years!

I woke up thinking about it, I ate my breakfast thinking about it (even though I’m trying to be mindful when I eat, 20 years of life on earth is not something you can so easily put to one side as you crunch on puffed rice). What the hell is the point, of anything? I even said the words out loud.

“What’s the point, nothing matters!”

Light bulb – it ALL matters! We just don’t value matter anymore. If we don’t like it, if it doesn’t fit, we bin it and buy a new one. Disposable lifestyles R Us.

20 years? If I only had 20 years left on this earth, what would I do?

The calmest I’ve felt in very, very long time was when I thought about imminent death at the very moment I’d convinced myself we have 20 years left.

Shit, I got a lot of living to do.

And by living I mean loving and by loving I mean enjoying what I have and by enjoying what I have I mean enjoying this very moment, the now. I have sunrises to enjoy and wet grass to feel on my bare feet in the morning and animals to adore and people to connect with. So much living to do!

And what if it does turn around? We don’t know what the future has in store for us. All we can do is love what we’ve been given and boy, does the earth know how to share. We got mountains to explore (should that be something you wish to do) we got landscapes to paint, forests to walk through, oceans to sail, we got laughter to share and taste sensations to explode upon our tongues (from naturally grown natural foods). We got so much love to feel.

I gotta get loving!

I am going to get minimal too. I would love to be able to fit everything I own into a large bag, wouldn’t that be swell. It’s good to have goals. I am going to try with every fibre in my being to laugh more, to enjoy those moments that were once filled with ‘don’t enjoy this, panic instead as you know that feeling so well and it’s not safe to step outside comfort spots!’. I want to dance more, to smile more, to use my phone less (this is a big need I think) and to reduce my plastic consumption (a HUGE need)

Yea sure, some days are gonna be hard, some are going to be crap and grey and I might not want to even get out of bed on those days but as I may only have 20 years left, I don’t want to be miserable and hard on myself for too long. Besides, if everyone got minimal, well we might just have a good chance of beating my guess (based on unsubstantial evidence) of 20 years.

Cheers to loving the freebies of mother earth, she got us sorted, we just gotta show her some lovin’ and respect in return.

Warrior (I)

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I don’t see a broken woman anymore

I’m not the wreck I thought myself before

Yes, I hold the crap I’ve kept

I greet the fears I’ve always met

My heart still aches from shrapnel wounds

Still blinded by those darn typhoons

I wonder still where time has flown

Why seeds of doubt have stubbornly grown

But life stirs up the shit I hid

Those frets, they’re living, not stains to rid

I’ll loosen grip through daily strains

Nor question tears that ease my pains

I’m not shattered glass upon the floor

I am not a broken woman anymore

Find Me

Some people may find me annoying

They don’t like the way that I dress

Some people may think I’m too bossy

Others may moan ‘she’s an absolute mess!’

Some may say that they like me

The joy that I bring, they’re a fan

They think that I’m funny and laugh at my jokes

Hoping I’ll stay as I am

But hey, you can’t please ‘um all

I’ve tried but it really don’t work

And maybe the pleasing ain’t pleasing

Cos I’ll think good intentions yet sound like a jerk

So some people like me and others may not

The question is why do I care?

As I can’t change the way that they see me

But myself, I can change how I cope with their stare

#25 Grateful for Close Ups

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When the mind goes a little…

CRAP

THINK PINK

THINK BRIGHT HEALING LIGHT

THINK OF A STRAIGHT LINE

IT’S GONE!

FUCK

I CAN’T

I CAN

NOPE, I REALLY CAN’T

I DID IT ONCE I CAN DO IT AGAIN

You catch my drift.

Such chatter rides my waves, mainly storming up when I’m outside, when my anxiety roars ‘you’re agoraphobic, you can’t go outside without a fight!’

Screw it, there’s no fight to be had anymore. I don’t want to fight myself!

I don’t want labels anymore either. I don’t want to call myself something that doesn’t sit comfortably with me… and today I decided to think of myself as calm, at peace, able to go outside without feeling ‘weak’ (I think I may eliminate ‘weak’ from my vocabulary. No one is weak, we all have boundaries in different areas of life and these boundaries can always be expanded, should we choose).

So today, as I woke feeling particularly empowered, I thought ‘I’ll take advantage of this calm’ and went out for a run, then for a walk, then for another walk with the dog. High flying these days, ey? 🙂

As I was out with the pooch, I felt the worry rise – of course it was going to, I’ve become so accustomed to ‘the fight’, worry wanted to play the rebelling game. What helps, what always helps is noticing nature. The birds, the grass, the muddy patches on the grass and the trees. The trees are medicine. I know I’ve said this before, over and over. Today, as my anxiety wanted to perform centre stage, I was distracted by falling head over heels in love with one particular tree – anxiety didn’t stand a chance.

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… And the close ups, oh boy. The colours, the textures, the light reflections, the rough and the smooth. Calm had come in the shape of a tree. Ask and you shall receive.

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Thank you for up close and personal. For beauty that is often overlooked as we worry or rush or think of our ‘to-do’ lists. NOW was (is always) full of natures miracles and what better way to spend our time, loving all that we are a part of, art by Gaia.

 

#24 Grateful for One Step Back

A little entry today as words seem kinda flat.

This day has been slow and uncomfortable and I feel like this year might be 2016 all over again, like history is repeating! I know, it won’t be. One thing we can be certain of in life is change but at the end of 2016 I was feeling lighter, like I made two strident steps into the world of wellbeing. Now I’m not saying my wellbeing has gone to shit over the past week, it hasn’t but I do feel like I’ve taken one giant step back.

I wanna curl up and put dreams to bed. I don’t feel pumped about the year ahead and I did, I was ready for 2017 but today, I have felt slow and tired and discombobulated (that is such an awesome word). Writing is hard – words are meaningless, literally they just look like weird shapes on a page… oh wow… I am dragging my knuckles on the floor here!

That is my gratitude right there, reading what I’ve just written and not wanting to fuel the woe-is-me tone anymore. Journalling really does help! Yes today has been slow but that doesn’t mean tomorrow will be too… and some days words don’t pop and sentences don’t flow – it’s ok. I am always telling people that our feelings change, sometimes they mix around minute by minute and that’s.. well human. I need to listen to my own advice and settle into this contraction.

Grateful for one step back as now I can push off my back foot and sprint three steps forward. I don’t even think we go back or forwards anyway, there is no ‘place’ we’re supposed to get to, it just paints a fun picture in my head (me in a crouch position at the start of a race… an image I’ve yet to see become reality)