Category: universe stuff

This was originally posted on October 23, 2009 – it’s one of those Bigger Picture posts that was time to bring back out and ponder. So here it is, freshly dug up and republished.

 

I have this friend at the moment who is presenting a lesson for me. It got me thinking yesterday, as I mopped the floors (oooh don’t I sound all domesticated), about how people present themselves in my life in order for me to gather information – not so much about them, for that happens as a matter of course and friendship – pertinent to learning more about who I am and how I act and react, how I “hold up” and how centred I am. This learning is synonymous with the colour Red.

It’s an interesting thing I have come to recognise. Where once I never realised how many similar friends I had in my circle, who I would allow to sap, push, pull and mould me, I can now see a definite course through my (at least adult) life; that there are those who have been a familiar “type” and these are the ones who always used to undo me at ten paces.

In my study at Peace Space of both the 13 Human Perceptional Levels (via colour rays) and the deeper aspects of the psychological, ego and psyche via the Masters Colours, I’ve been learning that we get tested (and how). We are given tests of agility, stamina, our will and just how sound that is…. and sometimes, the test feels endless: “Have you got that yet? Have you got that yet?” For instance, it is, mostly, the colour Magenta that will support you through this kind of repetitive lesson (also the colour of Mother love, unconditional Universal love), the vibration that will be recognisable within these lessons and be the ‘cruel to be kind’ teacher. Hey, it’s no coincidence my username (elsewhere) is what it is. It is a constant reminder, to me, that my journey to parenthood was a “Got it yet??” series of agonising months and years stringed together. And that it wasn’t merely about how well I held up while we waited and lost, waited and lost, over and over. No. There was untold learning in my lesson/s during that stage of my life. Hence, my online moniker in certain communities.

So I have this friend here at the moment. And I am keen to rush in and do and say what I normally would. Take the current crisis on as partially my own to carry with that friend, I suppose. But I have seen a pattern in these crises, as well, and I can’t ignore that now that I see it. I’m left pondering the ebbs and flows of people reaching out (and whether they are really asking for help or simply needing to be heard) and what I duty I have as friend to not only them, but to myself.

It’s an interesting thing, sitting still. OOH, gosh, I just realised something about that previous post and the card the LGBB gave me. Hmmmmm, maybe there was something not so random in that after all! Because I spent much of the afternoon yesterday, while I was cleaning, thinking about how my inaction may be perceived just letting it be as it will be this time, without even rushing in to smooth things over or defend myself for not giving more and all the rest of it.

Preservation of the Self first. It’s the most important thing, more important than giving, to me (for giving comes so naturally that I have had to recognise it more consciously)* – I have come to see that, since Ellanor came along – it’s been one of the biggest lessons for me out of losing her. Me, looking out for me. I never really did it before knowing her. And if she had stayed, I still wouldn’t have done it. Not that it’s a good enough reason, on its own, to lose my child. Of course! But it’s definitely in that suitcase of gifts that I rummage around in. I’ve tried so many things on from that suitcase and almost everything fits so far. What a lucky girl am I, to have it.

Have you ever found yourself waking up and realising you have unwittingly become a rescuer? What did/do you do? What’s your pattern? (You can email me if you like, if you want to share but not online – I’m always ears… er, eyes…)

 

* not that I’ve quite got that lesson, for I still don’t always recognise what I give and when, although I do now notice the sapping/draining/leeching of energy feeling and, I regret to say, sometimes that happens with my posts here which is why I often don’t post what I was going to, when I really need to conserve my energy is when you see a barrage of funny posts here.

“Well, we will be very sorry to see you go. You’ll be missed,” she said. “I’ll call Andrea in, she’ll want to see you.”

“Oh… do you have to?” I knew Andrea would try to convince me to stay. But Sandra was insistent. A meeting was set up and later that day I had to again face my team leader and the Area Manager, Andrea, to discuss my decision to leave.

“I hear you’re thinking of leaving us,” Andrea began.

I felt a bit ridiculous as we all sat there in our black power suits around the beautifully polished boardroom table. In such a relatively short space of time, I had grown out of this corporate world where I had always been so comfortable. Now it was holding me back, although I had no idea from what.

“I’m not thinking about it, I have actually made my mind up, I’m afraid,” I replied, somewhat apologetically. My logical mind, even then, was thinking things through. This had all been so hasty. It was as if I had my conscious awareness on one shoulder, reminding me of all the things I was giving up: A great career with a promising outlook – promotion appeared to be a given; a wage I had only dreamed of as a kid out of high school with no savings to my name and trying to find enough for rent; a wide variety of people-contact that never staled; a sense that I was doing something good there and really making a difference.

But on my other shoulder, here was this little presence.

“Just do it”, she coaxed, very simply. “Be strong.” And that’s all she gave me to go on as I made a life altering decision in the presence of my work superiors.

 Extract from “Having & Holding Ellanor” – my memoir

I went into a familiar fog on the weekend.

I was struck down with a weird “cold” that turned into nothing more than a cracker of a headache and an achy throat. A sensation that has persisted the entire week. I know enough to know by now that illness and body discomforts, yes, they come and go. But if I want to, I can look deeper into the wisdom that my body is surfacing. The choice is mine. This time, I chose to delve deeper and not just succumb to the common cold without listening to it.

Stabbing throat. What am I afraid to say? What am I stopping myself from expressing?

On Saturday, I was just quietly resting on the couch by the fire. Dozing, dreaming.
On Sunday, I was wandering the grounds of a local school with my little family, getting completely wrapped up in its magic.
By Sunday night, as I was tucking the LGBB into bed she said to me – without terribly much discussion and no definitive decision yet made – “I’m nervous about changing schools but excited.” I left her with a kiss and a “Good night” but was non-committal, there were still things to consider (like… am I ready for the emotional upheaval of taking on a whole new environment… because my mind was still playing catchup).
Then on Monday morning, it became apparent that Lolly was way ahead of us through a sequence of very short, quick events which set in motion the no-turning-back decision to change schools. Much like in the above extract, which occurred on a normal run-of-the-mill work day without so much as an inkling that I might resign when I had woken that morning, it felt beyond my conscious doing yet so easy to put in motion that it was simply… right. And it would all turn out okay.

As we backed out of the driveway, Lolly exclaimed enthusiastically, “I can’t WAIT to start at my new school!” I thought I’d misheard her.

We hadn’t even properly talked the idea through. Her father and I were still weighing up options and the timing of her moving now, although we’d planned to revisit the idea at the end of the year if the option of moving still held sway with Lolly.  She adores her teacher (we do, too). Her school is fine, we have grown very loyal very quickly – but this was confirmation that, for her, there was another, better fit. I have had a growing suspicion for some time now that there was, sometime, somewhere out there. She is an ever upbeat, positive child, enthusiastic and encouraging of her peers and their efforts – it is hard even for me sometimes to know if she is truly satisfied because genetically, she’s been given a double dose of the ability to make good from any situation. To ride things out, to just get through and retreat to the safety and warmth of home at the end of a trying day out in the world if it is too hard. I have seen her move through various times of deep dissatisfaction, socially, in the past few years and have always marvelled at her innate sense of “getting through”. It’s like watching a plane on auto pilot. But I have also wondered – and worried – more than once if it is ultimately so good to let a child this young learn to cope and adapt to environments that don’t properly nurture her and round out her unique personality.

When do we step in and suggest something different? Without influencing our child or giving in to them too much? It’s a fine balance sometimes, isn’t it? As it turns out, this time all I had to do was unlock the gate – Lolly has swung it open for herself to discover what is on the other side. All she needed was our blessing, which we’ve given.

Ultimately, she gave the indicator that spurred me into motion. So it’s settled: next term when she goes to school, it will be in a new space. One that, now she roughly has the hang of how “going to school” works, is a decision made by her and supported by us. I had expected to do this sort of thing with/for her when she was deciding on high schools, or perhaps jobs or university courses. Still, this is how we roll as a family. Boundary keeping for a child who knows where she is headed and who heads us there very gently but always with good humour and enthusiasm.

 

Have you ever moved schools? Have you ever moved your child? How did it go?

 

You know how you go on holidays and as soon as you open the front door, the feelings of relaxation and languid days and nights drop off you faster than a Labrador can catch a flying crumb? For the first time in my life, it didn’t happen to me when we came back from our latest adventure.

Last school holidays, we went on possibly one of our best family holidays yet. It was a brainwave of Steve’s to hire a campervan. So as well as our campsite, set up with tent, table and chairs and a bit of space for storing clothes and food, we had a ready-made living room on wheels. With the days still long but nights too cool for us wannabe hard-core campers to sleep inside canvas walls, we were set. It was brilliant. We toured half the Great Ocean Road in the week we were down that way, took in the Otway Fly, ate fresh fish and chips for tea and pulled off to the side of the road wherever the view took our breath away (we were spoiled for choice, let’s face it) to have lunch or play board games with an ever-changing panorama for a backdrop.

 

So what was different this time? Simple.

I’ve decided not to enter back into it since coming home. “It” being, of course, the drudgery of life. By keeping out of various things that eventually weigh me down, I’ve noticed I can avoid getting caught – slurped up – back in the circumstances that typically become boggy after a short while; those things I do where I interact with others, with places, with perceived duties and ideals. Of course it can’t all be avoided (well… it can, but I’m not ready just yet to go contemplate my navel on a mountain, never to return). But it’s amazing just how much of the unnecessary we allow ourselves to get immersed in. I know that I need to keep giving myself space, to allow space of time around me, in order to function in a healthy way within my family and those things that are important. It takes time. I blame technology for the associated feelings of guilt that typically creep back in, disallowing me to stay in my backyard long enough to let the heaviness of being “public” wash off.

I’m not talking of the heaviness of grief or depression. This is more a spiritual presence feeling, a density; gravity, put simply!

How do you like your beach? I'll take mine long and solitary, thanks!

This feeling, of simply being human with my feet firmly planted on the ground, is something I first noticed when I was stepping through the days and months after losing Ellanor. I felt it again when I experienced a profound journey through near death with a friend some years after that. My sensation of jolting back into my own body after visiting with her was undeniable. The most recent experience I had with this feeling was watching my stepmother drift further from her own physicality – she was so good at explaining and sharing the exhilaration as her journey towards death drew to a close – and I could feel again the immense amounts of unnecessary we are all weighed down with.

We really are heavy (no matter what the scales say!)…. if we weren’t, I guess we wouldn’t be physical matter. There are ways of remaining buoyant, of course, and this will be unique to everyone. For me, it involves providing my soul experiences to feed from. It sounds so trite – I know – but they are simple things, so simple that I often overlook or avoid doing them, believing (wrongly) that they won’t make any difference to me. Walks in nature (with no other sound but footsteps and birdsong and wind through leaves), rolling hills or stretches of sand – vistas that allow my creativity to expand, getting my hands busy in the dirt in my garden, planting new things.

When I lose this balance, I go grey. I go back to stepping day to day. Then I say, “We need a holiday!” and the family agrees. So we go, we holiday, we enjoy it and then we return. Step and repeat.

Breathtakingly tall

Something happened this time while we were away, though. We have made a promise as a family, a plan, a way to box and shelve (but keep) this feeling. We decided that a permanent place to take time out as a family with no distractions was a perfect way to truly unwind. I find now, after several weeks at home, that I am still expanding my thoughts into this space (wherever it is) and it is allowing me to look ahead to a new life. A creative fulfilling life, living off the land (if we plan properly) and living more simply.

The vision of the home away from home I have in my mind is one that is beckoning and getting stronger, so much so that I am almost yearning for it now.

 

Moggs Creek…. aaaaaaah

Do you have a permanent place to holiday every year or do you go somewhere new every time you get a chance to go away? Which do you prefer?

The day looks like any other.

I get up before the sun, pull on shorts and a tee, grab the dog’s lead, tie my laces and we’re away. Half an hour later, I check plants in the front garden. Check for new shoots on the baby gum we planted around Christmas time. Come inside, flick on the kettle and the radio.

After the school dash, I return home. Work a day. Pay some bills, hang some washing. Clean mouse shit out of the pantry from an unexpected visit – for when are rodents expected? Really? – and restack the shelf. Admire my handiwork with those Ikea shelving units I bought a few months back. Collect the LGBB from school again, take her to her after school sport. Come home, give her tea. Say goodnight to Dad via the phone, tuck her into bed and marvel at the skin on her forehead, all rosy-smelling from her bath.

I helped bring that skin to being. This flesh and blood. My own. My only. Her brow furrows. I forgot to read her the story of Little Ella, she reminds me. Ulp. Forgot or conveniently overlooked in the hopes you wouldn’t remember I had promised, I wanted to ask her. [It was the latter, by the way]. So I trudged up and got the story out, brought it back to her bedside and began reading.

Half way through, changing words and skipping some of the harder bits (for her) here and there, she sits up. “Where am I?” she asks. “I want to see my name in there.” I grapple with my maternal instinct that wants to tell her to give her sister a turn…. It’s impossible. I have to try and explain to this kid that sometimes, it’s right for us – her, me and her dad – to give Ellanor some of our conscious attention. Some brain time. A loving thought. A gesture like reading the story about her is one way we do this.

I’m not prepared for nights like these. There have been plenty in Lolly’s young life – but probably not as often as you’d imagine or expect – and they still grip me by the heart. Twist my insides. Keep me close to my fears over Lolly’s own mortality. It reminds me how close underneath the thin surface they lie. Lurking.

Today, I found out about a technique – kinesiology-linked, I believe? – that gets a body in touch with where it is holding its trauma. And helps the inhabitant of that body to actually release it. I’m thinking my current health issues are related to the ongoing post-traumatic stress I have. Most days, months, years, I can walk with it and I’ve learned to walk with it and chip away at it. Sometimes, I even pretend it doesn’t bother me that others in similar shoes to mine seem to be able to “move on” far more quickly and not bring these things to the surface.

Then I slap myself around a bit and remind myself this can’t possibly be true. They just choose to surface it in different (and likely more private than a blog) ways.

“I just want a sister.” My beautiful blonde-haired girl is sobbing deeply into her Scrapsy. His ear gets gently rubbed across her cheek, a comfort move she has done with her little soft dog since she was twelve months old. Thank God for that bit of fur and stuffing. Where would we all be without Scraps, I muse. And how the hell do I reply? So I tell her honestly.

“We tried, darlin’. And you were the only one who stayed. Out of all Mummy and Daddy’s babies, you are the only special one who stayed with us.” And now I’m dripping silent tears I hope she can’t see in the dark.

“I’m sorry, Mummy,” she reaches her hand out and cups my cheek, rubbing it slightly.

“What for?”

“You’re crying,” she says, crying herself. Damn. I assure her my tears are not for her to worry herself over. She goes to sleep knowing she is loved. Holding Scrapsy tight, a smile on her lips.

Each time I think I might turn away from this blog, that it is too morose, that I am not putting enough “fluff and light and funny stuff” here, I am pulled up sharply. By my reality, by my responsibility to actually help to balance out the rest of the privileged world’s crud and fluff and light (and gossip and obsession on material things and image and looks and gains and wins and competitions with each other). There are plenty of places for those things to be found and tapped into.

I’ve got to be real. This is my reality. I can’t say yes all the time, be all the things to all the people. The more peripheral, the more likely they’re the first not to be said yes to, their gaze not going to be met by my eyes. I can’t engage all the time. I’m in constant preparation for the energy it takes to sit by the side of my daughter who hurts in bursts.

I don’t begrudge any of this, regret anything. This is my daily grind. And it is – truly – beautiful.

 

It seems no matter how you try, you cannot stop the judging. Or… can you?

The old saying “What someone else thinks of me is none of my business” turned into something deeper for me around Christmas time. I was a captive audience to a loose acquaintance when she levelled me with the recounting of an alleged opinion of mine (which I had never actually had and never uttered, so, therefore, had never shared). When I rebutted and told her she was mistaken, she smacked me (verbally!) between the eyes with a counter-argument, which was, basically, “Yes you DID say that!” Given that it was a feeling I had apparently had towards another person, I was shaken to the core that I had no control over convincing this person otherwise. The story had already been shaped and decided, without my input (and despite my protests now).

I realised as the days wore on that, when I looked at it in more depth, not only are others’ opinions of me not my business to know or try and change, nor are their recollections of what I’ve said in any way mine to own. I can’t possibly own my own words or actions once they’ve been interpreted by another. Their perspective of me by then is so far beyond my control or power to change. Any number of varying factors – their upbringing, their historical family patterns (and their subsequent conditioning by same), their state of mind and their current environment (including whether any mind-altering substances are shaping their views and memory), who and/or what influences their view of the world, and any other subtle factors – too numerous to name – affecting their very state of wellbeing… – all go into how an individual is likely to reach their conclusions about you. The more familiar they are (or think they are) with you, the faster they will make up their mind.

The incident would not have even registered on this other person’s radar. The conversation continued in another direction and I threw a blanket over it energetically to douse any flames (or retaliations or objections in me that would have only served to highlight this as a sore point for me, which would have no doubt inevitably led to an even more inflamed situation where I would have had to argue my innocence to someone who had clearly already made up their mind about this fictional opinion I had [not] shared with them in the past).

The weeks went by and I was distracted by the busyness of occupying all spare space I had with my dying stepmother. Recently, I was interested to discover amongst her many things a document on verbal abuse. Many moons ago, I spent some years with her as a co-facilitator in the Alternatives To Violence Project (or AVP) and violence, in all its varied and obvious as well as subtle undermining forms, was highlighted in my everyday life. The document brought my awareness back to those times over my recent past where I may have relaxed any or all of these points below.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have felt the sting of any and all (mostly, all) these verbally abusive digs. As a child growing up, I heard them over and over. As a teen, even more. By the time I was flapping my own wings, it was under the weight of years and years worth of conditioning to expect hurtful comebacks – slights on my sensitivity, telling me what I was feeling, telling me what I was feeling was wrong or incorrect, trivialising whatever I did say when I got up the nerve to say it out loud, name-calling at its most horrific (delivered by a parent, it doesn’t get much more hurtful when you’re a kid) – and so I began adult life unwittingly very much hypersensitive to such abuse. So aware of it was I that I found much of it very easy to avoid inflicting on others.

But my respect has slipped from time to time. Nobody’s perfect – I’ll be the first to put up my hand and say I’m not trying to pull a shifty here and pretend I am! The time is now for me to remember this list, though, and get back to being mindful of my language. If I want my daughter to avoid being hurt by such abuse, she must not be exposed to it as much as I am capable of ensuring (so that the chances of being attracted to it are greatly reduced). I can see already the points that could quite easily become commonplace as a desperate/heavy-handed parent, even in my diligent and aware state, and it is simply not acceptable of me to justify this sort of verbal abuse. Whatever the reason.

Where once I could read that list and believe I was only the recipient and never the perpetrator, now I revisit it and discover I am, indeed, both. That if I am not perpetually vigilant and mindful, I too am perpetrating violence in what I say. It made the scenario with the acquaintance who now harbours this recollection of something I never said even more important as a lesson for me. What I can do – in fact, all I can do – is stick to the teachings of the 15 categories of verbal abuse and ensure I neither perpetuate it or put myself in a position where I am the brunt of it.

This will ensure I am taking a soul stance of rejecting that form of energy and simply not allowing it the space in my awareness or pattern.

Do you ever reach stages where the only option you feel that you have left is to mind, monitor and be diligent with your own behaviour? Do you ever stop to realise how much that helps not only you, but your neighbour?

 

15 CATEGORIES OF VERBAL ABUSE

  1. WITHHOLDING—“There’s nothing to talk about.”  “What do you want me to say?”
  1. COUNTERING/CONTRADICTING—always saying the opposite to what your partner thinks/feels (e.g., “It’s cold outside”/ “It’s not cold, its cool.”)
  1. DISCOUNTING—denying the experience of your partner.  (e.g., “I don’t think that is funny—it feels like a putdown to me.”/ “You’re too sensitive.”)
  1. VERBAL ABUSE DISGUISED AS JOKES—comments disguised as jokes often refer to the feminine nature of the partner, to her intellectual abilities, or to her competence (e.g., “What else can you expect from a woman!”  If the woman says the comment was hurtful, the man may respond: “You can’t take a joke”/ You have no sense of humour.”)
  1. BLOCKING AND DIVERTING—the abuser refuses to communicate, establishes what can be discussed, or withholds information.  The primary purpose in doing this is to prevent discussion and communication, or withhold information (e.g., “Did anybody ask you?”)
  1. ACCUSING AND BLAMING—blaming the partner for own anger, irritation, or insecurity: “You always have to have the last word.”
  1. JUDGING AND CRITICISING
  1. TRIVIALISING—communicates that what you have done or expressed is insignificant.
  1. UNDERMINING—not only withholds emotional support, but also erodes confidence and determination
  1. THREATENING—“Do what I say or I will get really angry”
  1. NAME-CALLING—all name-calling is abusive, even terms of endearment with sarcasm.
  1. FORGETTING—involves both denial and manipulation—forgetting promises, forgetting abusive episodes (“…therefore, it didn’t happen.”)
  1. ORDERING—denies equality and autonomy.  (e.g., “You’re not wearing that are you!?”/ “We won’t discuss it.”)
  1. DENIAL—“I never said that, what I said was…”, “You’re getting upset about nothing.”)
  1. ABUSIVE ANGER—angry outbursts, accusing and blaming the other person, making the other person the scapegoat.  Attempts by the other person to find out what is wrong do not work because the abuser will deny the anger (“I’m not angry”), or simply blame the other person.

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