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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s all silent. Except for the wind, and the radio, sometimes. The silence wanders into you, like a river, seeping through the cracks of your thoughts, filtering everything… until these hours, stretched out over an entire afternoon, with barely anyone else in sight… feels like an exercise in meditation. Slowly, it becomes effortless… and the silence feels like the story of the gods churning the ocean for Lakshmi.
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?
There exists in me a desperate yearning sometimes that I wonder if it exists for others. It is not that this thought soothes me… but that I find the threads of grace in the knowing that… I’m not alone in this. There’s a kind of grace in the shared stories and histories that can exist and intertwine between our worlds. There’s a kind of grace, in seeing you as you are.
She said… what are you proud of?
And the word pride seemed too yellow, too much, too uncomfortable… to frame my words through this lens. I did try… and when it came to the page in front of me and I, I discovered this was my relationship to pride.
Nothing ever dies. Although, I speak of death candidly. In this context, I think, death simply re-animates, meaning. Takes something apart, disintegrates it… and soon enough, it will be something else. It will coagulate again… be part of something else, be different in its new expression… be more. Renewed.
Nothing ever ceases to exist… nothing… what does this word mean? No thing? It seems ironic, that here I am really referring to everything.
Repressed pride in my shadow still exerted its influence over my life. The obvious… felt like a moment of realisation, long in coming… and with it, memories of childhood, now infused with sadness and acceptance.
The way you see someone may not be the way they see themselves. Is it the years that are bringing on this sense of expansion? Or that I’ve arrived at a point where the pain of not expanding this exceeds the growth pains?
I’m not averse to the pragmatism of life… or the practicalities of reality… when in rhythm, I enjoy them greatly… like the making of a meal and the maintenance of a sense of structure… for the purpose of joy and clarity. I love structure when it serves me, when it works for me. It has been a joy to re-learn what structure means to me.
Some ideas haven’t blossomed and come to full fruition yet. Give it time. And in the meantime… find joy and daydream away. Because when the ideas do ripen… the action and the manifestation of them flows effortlessly.
I am feeling this decade come to a close. It was an intense decade for me and I wonder if I will experience this level of intensity again in my life, or if, it will always be the darkest decade of my life… with its lessons and beautiful moments but also its pain and darkness. I’d rather like to hope so.
I don’t feel like I have given up anything that matters… but I have given up a great deal of what does not. I really don’t know what the future holds and I don’t really… care to know… yet… like growing fruit… it hasn’t ripened yet… but I can feel the seeds have been planted, and what do you do… but tend lovingly to the watering and growth of what you have planted? ❤
2019, I am proud of:
– Quiting my role/job/work at the end of 2018
– Putting uni on hold at the end of 2018
– Spending 4 months in Spain
– Spending 6 weeks alone in Peru
– Getting a tattoo over my scars (nearly a decade long decision I finally commited to)
– Showing up on the yoga mat every day
– Commiting to meditation
– Dancing my traumas free
– Having the courage to show up to be seen
– Letting go of shame
– Letting myself cry – often
– Letting myself feel the pain fully
– Finishing uni / final portfolio
– A new role/job and work bringing and encouraging growth and expansion
– Confidence, Integrity, Alignment, Empowerment
– Acknowledging needs and boundaries
– Exploration of the esoteric
– Deepening yoga practice
– Continued commitment to meditation
– Courage, showing up, embodied dance
– To love my work and all that I do
– Flow and creativity
– Deepening roots, classical music, L.mus.A
– Seeking new ways of working with music and its connection to the emotional body
– Travel fund
Books I read in 2019 for which I am grateful to, in shaping my thoughts, inspiring me and inviting growth:
The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck
Awakening the Heroes Within – Carol S. Pearson
Blue Truth – David Deida
The Magic of Thinking Big – David J Schwartz
The 4 hour work week – Tim Ferris
The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason
The Law of Attraction – Ester, Jerry and Abraham Hicks
The Instruction – Ainslie Macleod
The Holy Wild – Danielle Dulsky
2020 Goal: Ikigai
To wake up fulfilled and to enjoy a sense of warmth for the day ahead. To fill the day with beautiful moments and reasons for being.
You are such a solid enigma. Filled with frightful colours, bold and daring and tender and hurt. It’s in your lips and your touch. You touch me with softness, like I am something precious, like I am a darling. Tender and worth loving.
Listening to Apricity makes me feel like crying now. I knew how it was and where we would leave each other. I stayed present for you, I felt your lips on mine, I felt the intensity of your lips on mine, your body, your weight. The feeling of you, how solid you were. That was amazing. I would have stayed if I hadn’t been learning how to love and respect myself. That’s what it was, but actually it really was a lot of things. I’ve made sense of them. We’re on a path heading towards different patches of blue sky. But I have known your depth, your warmth, your kindness, and in your darkness I see, you’re human.
I see, I’m human, that we’re all just in this life thing together, even when we’re lonely and coming apart on the floor, in a bottle, in the high, or the pain, or the scars, in the destructive things we do to run, to hide, to feel, to scream in silence, how much are we struggling beneath the weight of our world?
I can feel that, I can feel where mine ends and yours begin, where yours end and mine starts. I’ve met you in all the people I’ve met before you, and I’ll meet you again in the people I haven’t met yet.
Isn’t that a story?
When I started writing Apricity, I wrote these words down to anchor what the piece was about;
The present is past is here is gone. You build stories and worlds out of your identities. Make them beautiful. Make them truthful. Believe in yourself, but give your past a place of acknowledgement. It made you who you are.
I think things always get worse before they get better. Sometimes we do things to show other people that we’re decent human beings. I think all that reveals, is exactly how human we are. Apricity is the warmth of the sun on our skin in Winter.
You inspired this piece… because in the time we spent together, I felt so much warmth. When I looked for a word to describe the feeling, this was it. You sprinkled sunlight onto my winter soul, you met me in my vulnerability, and said, but I see you, and you are beautiful. In all those moments, you left me a little softer. I’m in a world of my own making. Deeply blue. Softly healed… and not ready to be broken again. I’m going to leave the rawness behind in this piece, for the reason that life… like love, is also messy. And when you’re alone… feeling all the depth of your pain, I hope you take a moment to feel the apricity in this world too.
This word provides us with evidence that even if you come up with a really great word, and tell all of your friends that they should start using it, there is a very small chance that it will catch on. Apricity appears to have entered our language in 1623, when Henry Cockeram recorded (or possibly invented) it for his dictionary The English Dictionary; or, An Interpreter of Hard English Words. Despite the fact that it is a delightful word for a delightful thing it never quite caught on, and will not be found in any modern dictionary aside from the Oxford English Dictionary.