#19 Grateful for (More) Confusions

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I pulled the above card three days ago. I’m pulling a card every three or four days to help me with my buddhist studies from the Tibetan Buddhist meditation deck and boy, is it making me think.

I feel it would be the ‘right’ thing for me to insert here… ‘I feel this so deeply. I wish nothing more than to be able to alleviate suffering. To reach lovingly not just to those we hear about on the news but the hidden cries that many shield from even their families. Those who are abused, mentally, physically and sexually behind closed doors. The depressed who carry on with their 9-5 as they’ve children to support and fear what they’d loose if they put their health first. The artist who hasn’t the confidence to support their creative endeavours and therefor represses expression (and believe themselves mad in the process).’

I feel like my whole heart should be invested in ‘extinguishing the pain of others’ and in the words above however, in total honesty, it isn’t.

This is not because I don’t care. I do care, I feel others pain so much so it can cripple me. I’ve done what I believed would help, like working for a charity, I’ve donated, I’ve given all the clothes I’ve ever owned to charity shops. Although I feel the pain of those around me I also know that there is absolutely nothing I can do to neutralise their suffering. I can only offer a soothing balm but it’s their choice to apply and only their skin can do the healing. I know this from my own experience. I spent many years in pain, secretly, with a smile on my face everyday but tears pouring the evening. There was absolutely nothing anyone could do. Support me, yes but to heal… that must come from the individual.

Also, there are many unintended consequences that can arise from wanting to help another. Our intensions can be drawn from a heartfelt place, yet what we see to be medicine, others may perceive as hell. When I was at my worst with anxiety, I know the actions of those close to me grew from love but often decisions they thought to be best, were in fact not. I knew what was right for me and I think as a society we want to fix others, to steer them in the direction we believe to be their healing path. Yet, each one of us has our own journey, our own speed we travel, our own differing energies to work though.

So how can I extinguish the pain of others? Yes, to be of service is a wonderful and priceless gift but can this extinguish pain, or just lighten the load?

I love this study, as I know questions drive discoveries. Discoveries that lead to new questions… oh how life is a long string of questions and this question I may need to sit with for longer. I know it has struck a cord as I felt the need to write about it. Often when things sit uncomfortably, there is a reason. What this reason is, I shall have to wait to discover.

 

 

 

 

#18 Grateful For 10,000 Words

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I’m reading a book about Buddhist meditation at the moment. I’m not far into the book but so far, what’s resonated with me is that we meditate not to change who we are but to become friends with who we are – Being human is to be chaotic and feelings of discomfort will come but they don’t need to dictate our actions. This is a huge teaching for me.

Last night I read a zen reflection called The Four Horses.

‘The buddha told his followers there are four kinds of horses. The first sees merely the form of the whip and runs. The second reacts when the whip taps its hair. The third is aroused when the whip contracts its flesh. The fourth is animated when the whip touches it’s bone.’

The point explained was the first horse is so well bred he sees the whip and knows exactly what to do, whereas the fourth horse has to feel beaten, to be so close to death before he grasps reality. As humans we want to be the first horse but, well let’s face it, we’re more the forth. However, as much as I know it can be hard as hell, it’s through suffering that we learn. We make life-changing choices mainly when we feel beaten to the bone.

Meditation allows us to see all aspects of ourselves. Often the harder we fall and more painful the whack… well voila, the more we learn. The more we learn the more we can begin to understand how complex and chaotic we are and instead of running, we can make friends with ALL aspects of ourselves. This takes time of course, I am a mere beginner. However I can absolutely relate these teachings to writing my book.

When I started out i wanted to be like the first horse. I wanted to be the writer getting it right straight away, to write an exact amount of words everyday and create a masterpiece that will be fit for publication in only a few months. Yeah right! Truth is, all that planning went to shit. I am the fourth horse. I am the writer who has to feel confusion and disillusionment. I am the writer who has no clue which direction I’m going in, the story just seems to be writing itself at the moment which inevitable means, I have no clue what I’m doing. I’m just writing.

However, I am learning so much! This alone is keeping my spirits high. Some days I’ll write 1,000 words, some days not but the point is, the process is a continuous lesson. High expectations before the process begins is a waste of time, well for me anyway. I have so much to learn and I feel incredibly humble on this journey.

I have now hit 10,000 words and the last few thousand have been a labour of love rather than ‘how many words have I written today??’ I write because I love it and the thought of committing to writing a novel has scared the hell out of me for the past four years (which is why I am only committing now). I needed targets in the beginning, not that I’m saying I still don’t, oh boy I still do, but now I don’t feel the need to be so perfect and that has taken a whole heap of pressure off and I can enjoy, rather than beat myself up about word counts. Pressure is so debilitating and when we load so heavily upon ourselves, the result is never healthy, but then maybe I needed to bash the hell outta myself to get to this point. Like the reflection expresses, pain moves us.

I’m am grateful for being in the place I’m at right now, achieving no more or no less. I am looking to turn the tables from pressure to personal understanding, this seems to motivate me so much more and if times of turmoil lay ahead, I’ll keep the faith that empowering movements arise from suppression, even if my suppression is inflicted by me.

 

Knowing

Of knowing nothing I know more

than the nothing known before

And of nothing I can hold

Knowing nothing will unfold

And unknowing what is known

Knows theres nothing to be blown

Nothing comes

Nothing goes

Nothing up won’t stop the lows

So the nothing of unknown

Sees the knowing as a loan

And the nothing in unknowing is the comfort I am sewing

Into life I thought I knew

But I don’t.

Trust over Fear.

I don’t feel so crappy, so overwhelmed by anxiety like I used to. Those days of fretting about how to cope with unwanted yet invited fears tease me less and less. The fear is still there but slowly what once felt like a foot off deathly heights, now feels like softer footprints in the sand, I’m managing more comfortably.

Those ‘sick’ thoughts have taken a back seat on the bus, chilling with memories of youth.

What the hell do I do now?

Weakness and sickness has been my story, my velvet pillow to curl up on and prove to myself that limiting beliefs were my truth. Don’t we have such a wonderful ability to manifest anything we want, even truths that damage; they seem more real to us than intangible oxygen.

I was the woman to ‘suffer’ to blame anyone, anything for failings that I now see were never really failings in the first place. Even writing is hard at the moment, old ground is being covered and poetry doesn’t flow like it once did. I don’t want to write about pulling thorns from bloody flesh anymore, the wound is healing.

The word healing is also taking on different connotations. Was I ever really broken in the first place, was all that led me to this moment, to write this, all part of the perfect timing that is my evolution? If I wasn’t broken, where does healing come in? However, I’ve deeply surrendered to my intentions to ‘heal’. It has been monumental in allowing me the space to find love and unconditional support that fills every cell of my being.

Is that it, is self love all we need to find? (Or re-find as I don’t think it’s gone anywhere, we’ve just forgotten how to love ourselves completely). Not needing to worry about the words we use or the rituals we adopt, just finding a way to uncover the gem within.

I am different now.

I say no when I want to and I bless myself each morning with as much love as I can muster when I wake. I’m taking time to tune in and assess my wellness. I’m no longer ashamed to talk about my journey, my life, as it feels worthy, not so detached. In actual fact the more I share, the more connected I feel. Not so much on a physical level, I’ve certainly found much needed peace in my own company. Maybe that’s the next chapter, finding peace amongst the busy I’ve previously found so hard to withstand.

We are not living life detached from each other, even though we might want to think we are. We’re much bigger than that, connected on many levels, so mysteriously intertwined in ways we still cannot comprehend. I am only beginning to truly understand this and yes, I’ve still a long distance to travel but don’t we all. It’s the middle of a story that keep us intrigued not the ending. Each day as I learn something new about myself, I learn more about being human and how we thrive off the invisible thread that binds us together.

I’m scared shitless though, the ground beneath is violently shaking and patterns or habits that no longer serve me and disintegrating. I feel like loose tea in a cup of hot water, finding a different leaf and new taste sensations with each stir.

I guess we are more afraid of our power than our failings. There’s an illusion of security in our failings, like we know what we’re getting. Yet really all we’re doing is staying on our knees where our body gets bored and our joints stiffen, a painful position to keep. Faith in our power means trusting, it means standing up and loosening stiff joints. It means trusting we have all we need is within, not so easy when we’ve grown to believe that the tools to keep our lives enriched comes from external ‘stuff’. Who knows what can be achieved if we just trust and believe.

Home

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Many times I’ve doubted the strength I have to carry myself.

‘Am I enough or are broken pieces of me distributing weight unevenly?’

I wasn’t enough, or so I believed.

My knees ached as I dragged conflicting reasoning’s everywhere I travelled, not truly feeling safe anywhere. Mainly blaming environment or circumstance.

I’m claustrophobic because feeling confined within the dark space of my mind dampens my palms and revs up the heat, exhausting vitality. In the company of so many people I feel anonymous, I feel alone and my thoughts are deafeningly loud. Did I feel so unworthy that I never screamed, never vented any of my worries?

‘Fuck you life, Fuck you!’

I never did screamed, ever. I swallowed instead.

And anxiety grew, rooting deeply into my pelvic bone, unsettling every step I took.

The inhospitable me that I’d grown to accept, to misunderstand was the only reality I knew when I slept, when I roamed, when I sat to eat dinner at the kitchen table.

Safety in my shell, was this ever a possibility when attacks from within were so violently satisfying? Sharp blades of self-hatred pierced through my gut lining. I was a walking battlefield.

But not anymore…

I am fed up with fleeting doubts that poison my power.

So my shell is a little dented and scarred tissue decorates my flesh, so what?

I am unravelling restrictive bands from around my lungs, it is safe for me breathe as deeply as when I first arrived into this world.

Breathing life into the only home I’ll ever need to invest in

Investing in me

I am home.

Simple Life

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Cry when you want to

Scream when frustrations boil, don’t hold in scolding waters but don’t pour over others either.

Dance to get high. Let rhythm be the medicine oozing through your tired veins.

Create, always. Our imperfections mould landscapes.

Don’t search for pain, it will find you when it needs to and like waves against the cliffs, let raw forces erode pieces of you that would rot if they stayed.

Be naked more

Stroke every part of your body because you’re beautiful, even if you don’t believe it, you are.

Find more ways to be your own best friend.

Say no each time your gut tells you and don’t apologise for a decision that’s right for you.

You never need to explain why you deserve to feel happy, you deserve it because you’re alive.

Love yourself as much as you can and each day you’ll find more to love.

It’s that simple.

 

Mission to LOVE

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I’m on a mission to Love. Myself. Completely.

The kind of love that never depletes, love that overspills and never empties, filling density and space.

I’m on a mission to Love because there ain’t no medicine like it and as a woman who’s smashed her toes on the very bottom, Love was the only nectar that tenderly held my bones together for long enough to repair.

I cannot despair at the vicious behaviour of others if I am unable to witness my own destructive actions, the daily whips and slaps and disgraces that riddle my thoughts. What is the difference between my violence and theirs? Attacking internal landscapes only fuels disruption, when I hurt myself I want others to suffer, no soul is exempt from that.

Without Love I’ve dragged my flesh over broken shell and bitten the healing skin only to watch it bleed again. Without loving myself I’ve wanted the love of another to heal what I keep pulling apart, piercing their frailty in the expectation they’ll understand mine.

I don’t want to pick at open wounds anymore, expecting the needle of another to sew me back together. I am no longer a victim begging for another’s arms to save me. I have enough love to know I am already saved. Some days I believe this more than others.

I’m on mission to Love the crap as much as the good, merging the two into a golden thread used to strengthen the bond between pains and perfection.

To embody what’s already within me without fear or trepidation. To Love who I am utterly and completely with every cell of my being, every second of everyday – That is my mission.

 

 

 

I’ve No Earth in my Astro Chart…

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I rarely feel grounded and have spent 85% of my time staring, thinking, pondering, observing, mystified by everyday magic (with little grounding, everything possesses an ethereal quality). I have lived life with my ‘head in the clouds’, a phrase I’ve become familiar with growing up. I’d rarely hear the questions I was supposed to answer during the majority of my education and the worlds I’ve created in my head (and boy, there’s been plenty of those) have felt 100% real.

I’m generally floating and that remaining 15% of me not staring into space has been spent trying to cement myself to ‘reality’ but often not my reality, the reality of another wanting me to fit with their perceptions of life. I’ve mainly dated men with tons of Earth in their astro charts so you can imagine how each relationship ended, pretty much the same way… ‘You’re a dreamer’, ‘come back to reality’.

Reality? Who’s reality? I have no freaking clue and I’m floating on a cloud of I-can’t-give-two-craps right now. Often when I’m fretting to figure shit out I just park everything, whatever I’m doing I stop, I’m still. I used to wait but waiting is anticipating, waiting for something and believing we know what may (or may not) be coming is, most of the time, wrong, as we can never really know. Although saying that, I do believe that deep down we know what’s best for our wellbeing, we just don’t often listen. So maybe ignore this paragraph, or don’t… it gets complicated this trying to fathom our existence when you’re using language that’s been constructed and all constructions have their boundaries.

I’ve been hiding away, spending the past year in hibernation. Everything got way too much and I broke. I didn’t really fit, or feel comfortable anywhere so I guess breaking myself up and scattering small pieces down different avenues felt like the only thing to do. Of course that only lasted so long until there was nothing left to give and my feet were well and truly off this earth and venturing someplace alien. Basically, if I didn’t retrieve those pieces back my body and soul (not that they’re separate but for explanations sake, we’ll count the one as two) was gonna pack up. Spiritually I was zapped and physically I was sick. I had no choice but to retreat from the world and focus entirely on healing.

The more I listened to my own language – less words, more feelings – the more I realised I don’t need to be anything other than who I am. I can’t anyway, it’s impossible. I am who I am. I’m not always bad, I’m not always good, I’m me. This is no easy lesson, somedays I want so much to be anyone other than me yet I realise that on those days I need to love ALL of me the most.

I am a dreamer and I love stories and as my imagination continues to roll, these stories ain’t going anywhere. I may as well write them out, even if no-one reads them, the imagination is always gonna play and everything is better out than in.

I also know I have to consciously anchor myself, I have to bring more weight into my core by feeling everything that’s going on inside, (plenty is going on, 24-7 as I’m sure it is for all!) to recognise and acknowledge, not dismiss or fight as I’d previously done before. Finding a spiritual practice has vital for me, yoga has helped me understand my uniqueness and totality, that no part of me is separate from another. Buddhist teachings are resonating so strongly too, although my understandings are still basic, as I’m only a beginner on this epic journey.

So that’s where I’m at now, still foraging a path that suits me, although what I believe suits me often changes in ways beyond my control. Maybe that’s the next lesson, don’t try and build the path, just follow the sound of the birds.

Who knows… who really knows anything?

 

 

 

 

 

Whole

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I don’t want to do anything today

Maybe just stare at a tree

And savour the nothing of everything

Or savour the wholeness of me

 

But what if I don’t feel whole

As I stare at the tree and just be

How do I feel whole all by myself?

When I need more than me, I need ‘we’

 

But is that true as I don’t feel alone

And when was ‘we’ all I knew?

Because I honestly know me better

Than I knew the workings of you

 

So now I’m knowing me more

And ‘we’ is no longer my all

I can feel whole all by myself

And puff my own cushion to comfort my fall.

 

So I am glad I did little today

That I stared at the tree, just to be

These thoughts they ease my chaos

And strengthen my faith in the wholeness of me

 

Better

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Can I be better?

The the best I can be

Can I improve on this version of me

 

Can I be kinder?

I’m sure that I can

Can I be softer than the stiff that I am

 

Can I try harder?

And do so much more

Trying much harder than I’ve ever tried before

 

Can I do this tomorrow?

As I’m not sure how

To be someone other than the woman I am now.