Feel Good List

– Cold showers in the middle of a lethargic day

– Cold showers after a sweat at the end of a hot day 

– Lychees and Mangos and cold fruits in general 

– Cooking a meal 

– Watery porridge with coconut milk 

– Reading books that resonate 

– Diffusing the room with Rose and/or Ylang Ylang 

– Burning Palo Santo 

– Moving through Vinyasa Flows 

– Meditating 

– Working up a sweat somewhere 

– Writing about things that feel good 

– Driving long distances with the radio on 

– Taking a workshop 

– Learning from someone that inspires you 

– Listening to your body

– Making lists that feel good 

– Intuition 

– Following the impulses 

– Clearing the space 

– Buying re-usable beeswax foodwraps 

– Listening to electronic ambient music on repeat 

– Listening to mantra music when the mood strikes 

– Taking a nap when the body just wants to crash 

– Going to bed on time to be up early 

– Watching the sun dip up from the horizon 

– Yellow light on the wall at dawn 

– Yellow morning bathed rooms

– Morning air 

– Setting up new intentions for the day 

– Anything that tickles with excitement 

– Saying yes to life

– Dancing with someone and sharing a moments connection 

– Deciding that forgiveness feels better than resentment 

– Deciding that this is gonna be a new moment 

– Deciding that integrity matters the most 

– Setting into motion new habits of thought 

– Pressing play on life 

– Paying forward appreciation 

– Enjoying a buskers music 

– Remembering the moments that felt beautiful 

– Letting go of the rest 

Summer, January 2020

~*~

A part of something is only something that began within

I don’t want to be a part of anything that makes right something by making wrong another. 

I want to be a part of something that embraces growth, movement, holistic approaches to life. I want to be a part of something that takes a moment to question, a deep breath, a moment to ask… will saying this help anything? I want to be a part of something that takes that breath… holds that space… and remains deeply rooted in compassion and strength. 

I want to be a part of something that embraces the shadow as well as the light. 

I want to be a part of something that orients towards growth… that takes a breath and moves inwards towards personal growth… that expands and breathes out excitement, flow and clarity. 

~*~

You have a life that is yours to live

I like deep dives into anything and an open mind.

I like personal stories that touch the universe in us. I love humanness that I can relate to.

I admit… being in the trenches of life is what it’s about. I have lived so little of life and yet I feel like my caverns are deep, unmoored and ungrounded. 

I light up at the light pouring through the crack in the doorway. I like the idea that when one door closes, another door opens. 

I light up at the discussion of ideas… but more so… I light up when goosebumps ripple across my skin. When the only thing going for me is intuition and that intense body-mind connection. I know then… we’re on the same wavelength.

I light up when the dreamers scatter the night sky and resonance hums through me. 

I light up on the dance floor… dancing a dance from within and I light up at the little girl marching to the beat of her own drum.

I light up… at sheer honesty, radical honesty and strength. 

I’m inspired by strength and integrity, wool that is black, sessions on my yoga mat moving through vinyassa flows. 

I’m inspired by meditation and the awareness that I’ve felt, lists that don’t follow any particular rules, structure acting as support. 

I’m inspired by the concept of co-creation, nuance, sublety and detail along with the big picture. I love the process of expansion and I love the Winter cycles of renewal and root work. 

I love the idea of waking up every morning, purpose filled and ready to begin… and I love the idea of being gentle when I am not.

I love the way this gives rise to a new page, a new sentence, a new line… a new beginning, a new moment, a new lets try again right now. 

I love a new idea and I love a re-shaping of the old. 

I love the way life seems to flow with each rivulet moving me closer into the river and the center of the spiral. 

I love the thought of becoming. I love the thought that becoming happens to us when we allow ourselves space to grow. I love that allowing ourselves space to grow entails invitation. The new leaf of my orchid grows towards the sun as the old leaf at the bottom yellows. I love that the process of renewal and death can happen in tandem. I love that the new root of my orchid has sprouted on the side next to where I placed a rose quartz months ago. Pure delight to my inner child.

You have to love this soft human life of yours if you are to make anything worthwhile… even a cup of tea. You have to love the frowns as well as the successes if you want to live a life that is balanced. And you have to throw everything (or something) out the window and jump out of a plane, do something on the edge of your comfort zone… be embarrassed… if you want to develop courage… compassion… and whatever it is that will carry you through to the work of your life… that is… the work of living. You have a life to live that is yours. 

~*~

One of those weeks

I stopped caring. About all the things I lost, all the faces I forgot… and all the stories that were washed away… splattered ink… red and all horns like the devil. I stopped dying. Killing myself again and over again… for the sake of asking the same questions again and again.

I stopped falling in love with falling in love.

Instead I opened a new page, wrote a new chapter, prefaced it and let it end on a cliffhanger.

I stopped falling in love with my destruction. I stopped falling in love with romance gone ugly and began to really ask what I wanted, knowing what I very explicitly do not want. I stopped to admire the flowers, the beliefs with deep roots, spirits of trees with tall branches.

I hit pause for a while and asked why I write the things I do. I hit snooze for a while and sleepily listened to the storm outside my window. I get up, woozy and unbalanced and get on because I must do something important to me.

People rush to cram themselves into 7am trains. I feel sad for them. There’s an implicit feeling of being in the everybody else is doing this train.

I like the couple of travellers who aren’t part of this routine because they smile.

I fall asleep.

Worlds sift, change and emerge.

I’m here. Hours fly by.

I candidly speak of Saturn and Pluto meeting in the sky like two opposing archetypes getting into the same boat as the day comes to a mountain moving, slow yawning close.

Words and realisations come through with clarity for me. I didn’t realise Mercury could be on my side but there goes my propensity to personify. I know planets don’t take sides.

Someone asks me twice in the same day if I’m vegetarian. I say no. I prefer to avoid eating meat but I’m not a vegetarian, I explain.

I know the layers of my choice and the whys of them but what really matters is that I like the feeling of my choices.

And as the crazy week comes to a slow meandering, soft landing… I remember I cried three hours straight this week and felt raw and crystal clear the next day. Kind of like waking up with a clarity you can feel in your body. Surprise took a gentle hold of me as I observed this. It was like I cleared out the debris.

People don’t remember what you say to them… but how they felt with you. I remember thinking I’ve changed. For the first time in my life I gave myself permission to cry without forcing myself to stop. I hear my grief and I know deep down of its existential roots. Meaning made out of life’s events… and within them, my capacity to feel… surprises even myself. It never emerges until it really emerges… the human body’s capacity to carry and hold so much grief.

It’s familiar.

Briefly I encounter the notion of quitting this life again. It passes across my mental landscape like a tease on the breeze, gone the next day.

I remembered a lovely conversation in the park with the light dappling through the leaves as the very cliche phrase I was going to use to remember the feeling.

Cliches are shortcuts.

Respect. I felt so much respect for the wisdom of those here before me and the work they’ve done and continue to do.

Ten years from now, I will remember this as one of those weeks.

~*~

Symbiosis

When you feel a connection to the land, it permeates every part of you.

Imagine this metaphor, of threads, entertwined to form a cord laced with hints of gold, connecting us to life, in this sense, what nourishes us.

What if it has begun to sever and you are tethering by a thread?

Imagine… that the land calls to you… that the leaves whisper in the wind and the voices of the people echo the wisdom of the earth. 

You sink into it. You let go of all the knives that have been embedded in your heart, clenched in perpetual tension. Everything dissolves… Everyones light is reverberating back to you, into you and through you. You are a light amidst all the other lights reveberating to the frequency you are tuning into.

You inhale and sink into your heart, you inhale and drop out of your mind, you inhale and you see the world from this place. Suddenly you notice it’s different. You’re seeing it differently. You inhale and you exhale and the land greets you, around every corner and in the eyes of people. You feel the land and you recognise this feeling of belonging for the first time. 

It feels new and it feels like coming home. 

Some time later it dawns on you, how soul replenishing that journey was, how the land reached right into you and threaded you home, how… a place is made by its people… and its people by their love for the land. Warmth buzzes in your heart and goosebumbs ripple across your skin. It is a truth that resonates from the core.

~*~

Sand

What an Autistic boy taught me about being a rebel

I was teaching his older brother… who… had actually told me he was struggling at school. He was so candid about his mental health… I was taken aback. Then it felt natural, to briefly share some of what I had struggled with at his age and what I understood about our lives that might resonate or land for him, and hopefully, well… that says it.

One day, his young brother came up to me, seemingly transfixed by something. It turned out to be my earrings. Call it the rebel in me masquerading as style. A persistent and growing reluctance to buying fast fashion. Mostly because I love the idea of enduring, the sense of enduring, the feeling of enduring. And if I’ve come to the end with a piece, I want to know it’s not because it’s broken… or that the season has moved on and so should I, but because I’m ready to explore a new palette. I want to know that it’s not something I can easily discard. Love has transpired in the creation of it and love has transpired in the wearing of it. This sense of interconnection matters to me. 

So I was wearing a pair of earrings made out of wood. 

This little boy reached up for them and exclaimed, “diamonds!”. I was stunned because my wood earrings were in the shape of a diamond, a “geometric figure of four equal straight lines forming two acute and two obtuse angles,” but I hadn’t actually registered that. To me diamonds are expensive and shiny rocks with a sense of exclusivity about them. His frame of the world… constrasted so starkly with mine – the reality I shared with most people about what diamonds are, and there he was, seeing the world like a rebel. 

Now that I’m older, my avoidance has intensified into a reluctance to buying anything plastic meant for the fast lane and an interest in supporting businesses and artisans that make ethical practices and sustainability a focus. It gladdens me, that there are others who take this stance far more seriously than I. They keep me honest. And this desire, reminds me… wealth matters. Wealth matters because I want to be conscious about the choices I make in the world I live in, and to have the power to make them, I have to love the notion of wealth.

~*~

Sand

If nothing was unforgivable

‘All suffering is created from an illusion’,

someone said,

and before i could wonder if it were true,

i woke and it was dawn 

peeking through the blinds of my room,

haphazardly i wrote it down.

~*~

This is a Buddhist expression. The way I understand it… is that our minds are ferocious creatures. Abraham Hicks says that all subjects are really two subjects. And I feel that Taoism teaches the meaning of duality without actually teaching it. It’s not a philosophy in itself but a path of integration. Ironically, the moment we begin to philosophise on what it is, we’ve lost it. Nothing is more about a way of being in harmony. Alan Watts writes eloquently about duality – how the religions that have shaped western history, are dualistic. It was my first understanding of duality beyond the knowing of something by what it isn’t. But this pithy phrase catches it too. Sometimes, its fun, to go deep… but sometimes we can get tangled in the haywires as well.

Sand

When you said yes

i. 

I love the moments of silence that are here, 

the trebles and the wobbles, 

the tipped toes and the high brows, 

with the skin stretched over bones, 

over years 

like a cathedral – 

one brick at a time. 

ii. 

over there in the temple of flowers,

the leaves whip by in the wind

and soar into the tipped outline of feathered wings – 

they do this every day,

somewhat cheekily as they tickle by your ears

and ask, are you my tree?

iii. 

today your otherness is meeting the dawn,

all the other ness’s too –

your highness, your lowness, your softness, your hardness –

today they’re all awash with skin, fingers, eyes and lips. 

iv. 

the world looks fiery with the light of every human being 

in every way of being

why did you said yes,

to the possibilities and the drama?

v. 

You laugh and say, exactly. 

~*~

Sand

Kaleidoscopic human being

I do believe… you and I are deserving of kindness… I am in a process of learning what it is that I really desire… your presence, is an allowance of that desire, to exist. Be bold, be brave, hold it firmly within you and shine it like a torch. You never know… what stories, a person is carrying… whether that boy… you see… riding his bike, with his earphones in, has been bullied at school? 

Judgment: another kind thought – sometimes judgement comes from someones attachment to their sense of identity and what they believe about that.  

If they cannot allow the quality they see in you, in themselves, then judgment is a self-defence mechanism. If it bothers them, to what extent is that quality yearning for expression, in some form or other, in them?

You never know… whether the woman who sits down next to you… has attempted suicide. You never know, until you take a chance to welcome someone to share their story. You just never know, what’s going on in their life. You never know, who will resonate with your story… but you can be sure, someone will… and someone will find it empowering to hear. And believe me, the telling of stories can be deeply healing.

I don’t know if that boy was bullied, but I am sure, he has a story to tell.

Here’s what I appreciate about him… that his presence invited me to ask more questions. That I hope, whatever music he was listening to… soothes him. 

Why do we sit down here and gaze at the ocean? There’s the vaguest film of salt in the air, carried by the cool breeze… and the heat of Summer, is swirling through the air. It reminds me of those strawberry cream candies with the swirl of red/pink and white. It’s about a year since I was last here. Beaches draw up images of boisterous crowds out here for the sun and the sea. 

Isn’t that why I am here? 

You watch briefly, someone else gazing at the sea and this vague sense of discomfort steals over you. Their solitude feels sacred. It’s the realisation that they are fully here and present with their thoughts. It’s the sense that they’re not, at this moment, distracted by the world behind us, rushing sounds of vehicles, in a seeming hurry to be somewhere. It’s the sense that solitude here… is quietly shared. Is that why I am here? 

There is a pigeon looking at me, wondering if I will offer food, or perhaps, if I will leave crumbs of food behind. I don’t know. Is it a clever assumption or an assumption based on routine? Or both, that the clever is in the routine? That, for this pigeon, this routine works. This routine soothes its sense of survival. I don’t think it cares to know that the breeze is ruffling feathers on its back. But the thought makes me chuckle. 

Earlier this year, seeking solitude so I could write, distill and sift my thoughts onto the page, I found myself surrounded by mountains and a stream, a little way off… and a packet of hazelnuts. I demolished them and then I noticed… this ant, making away with the skin of a hazelnut! 

How hard and tirelessly it worked… to carry that skin across the earth. What I had carelessly dropped… was its treasure. This ant… had a work ethic and I admired it. I know, it doesn’t entertain these trains of thought. It doesn’t sit at a bench and ponder its work ethic, its nature. I don’t want to say it doesn’t think… that would be insulting to the intelligence inherent about ants and their colonies.

But I sit here and think… and someone would definitely ask… if they knew the nature of my thoughts… do you think about useful things? 

As I might’ve grudgingly realised, in their parameters of that question, the answer would be no. Yet because this thought has arisen… anyway… I’m inclined to believe that I valued their thoughts… and their parameters of seeing and thinking about the world… over my own. I valued them, their thoughts, their opinions and what they had to offer… but did they value mine? 

Did they decide… yes, I value you, but only if you are this, this and this. 

Were they cognisant of this? 

Of saying… I value you… but only if you are not you. 

The two parts of that sentence… form the two parts of an equation… and they cancel each other out. There is no value here. 

But I am here… suddenly wondering about the ghosts of the past. The part of me, thinking these thoughts arising from past conditions… and the part of me… naturally and instinctively seeing and feeling and offering the impulses that arise out of being in this moment. Are they one? Am I attempting to rectify cognitive dissonance? 

The more kindly, I think about judgment and what it offers… the more I’m able to embody what it is that I do want and desire, from myself and from others. People aren’t easily categorised by adjectives… people are a kaleidoscopic array of everything that is possible. 

That is a thought that excites me. 

Believe the best of others and the best will reveal itself. Believe the best of yourself and the best of you will show itself. There’s flexibility to those statements that I enjoy immensely… because they would be equally valid if I substituted best for worst. And since… no person is one or the other… life is a hodgepodge with everything. 

The clarity of that tickles me.

It seems ironic… and because, it lends itself to the next question: Out of this hodgepodge of everything that is life, what experiences do you want to pick and choose to live? 

~*~

Sand

Chaos

Life is messy and imperfect. We will always find what we are looking for if we sift through the sand. We will always find the treasures in the broken shells and the bruised edges. 

In improvisation, I found this edge:

The chaos captures my imagination. The chaos captures my heart and I painstakingly follow it for more, for something I’m not even sure I know I’m pursuing, in the lines and the details and the intricacies, I marvel at the big picture that comes out of the chaos… and on close inspection, realise I’ve been mistaken all along, the chaos weaved webs and lines and curves and threads to follow home. Chaos cried from the way I choked it. It yearned for blue skies and freedom. Chaos cried, for the wings of grace.

How could I kill you? My rawness. My scrapes, cuts, bruises, mistakes? The imperfections of life… is where we will feel the most.  

Piano improvisation – Chaos: Winter is Thunderous

Moments where we look up and see the moon glowing, hanging in the night, a dark blue sea swept starless. Moments where we look up in awe… there… floating back into the trees on an invisible thread, is a spider on its way home.

Beauty exists in the unfolding and the dying… in the cycles of the seasons and our bodies, in the shattering pain of being heartbroken. In the light falling through the leaves, in persisting… in learning… the act of surrender is sometimes an art. Letting go can be bittersweet and poignant.

30th of May, 2018

~*~

Sand