Creating A Futureless Future

prissy

(“I Quit- Episode 2)

So, I had quit, walked out on work.  Now what?

I had a small parcel of shares. They were “for a rainy day”.

I looked out the window. The seagulls soared high in the cobalt blue sky and the geraniums flashed their happy, red smiles in the perfect summer sunshine.

Whoops.

Now, this is where I had Insight No.1:

 

If I was going to do this I had to completely change the way I looked at things, and that meant not giving any space to old, freedom-crushing beliefs, particularly all those around THE FUTURE. (*Please feel most free to insert your own “All Powerful Lord Of The Universe” music piece here.)

 

THE FUTURE is that mythical, illusory, fantasy place that has the sneaky knack of holding us hostage under its powerful spell – often without us even realizing.

It is a place of the unknown, a powerful, paradoxical mix of ominous doom interspersed with dancing little rays of hope and promise. Continue reading

Sh*t Happens

Oh well!

Oh well!

Sh*t happens.

To me, to you, to the stranger down the road.

Special things break, pipes leak, relationships finish, jobs end and quite often there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. There’s nothing it seems we can do to change things.

But we do have one choice. We can remain a victim of circumstance or we can let it go and get on with life….but that, of course, is much easier said than done…

Being able to practise acceptance and to acknowledge that sometimes things simply are what they are, can be a tough ask.

But, give this a go.

Write up these two simple words and whenever the poo hits the fan and you’re feeling hard done by say them out loud:

“Oh well..” Continue reading

20 Ways To Remind Yourself That You’re Still Alive!

kermit-383358_1280

Where did all of the silliness go?

How come people don’t seem to have plain, old fun anymore?

And just when did life become so damned serious?

Maybe it’s time to play…….

When was the last time you:

 

  1. Slid down a slippery dip yelling “Wheeeeee!!”?
  2. Had a serious phone conversation into a banana?
  3. Flicked your peas across the table at someone?
  4. Lay down on soft grass and watched clouds passing overhead?
  5. Accidentally-on-purpose fell into water with all of your clothes on?
  6. Totally-on-purpose jumped into water with all of your clothes off ?!
  7. Spun around in circles until you fell over?
  8. Stood on a warm rock with bare feet?
  9. Stuck your head out of the car window and barked like a dog?
  10. Blew a raspberry on someone’s tummy?
  11. Dared yourself to do something scary?
  12. Built a sandcastle?
  13. Played hopscotch with an ice-cream in your hand?
  14. Laughed uproariously at your own joke until you cried?
  15. Rolled down a hill?
  16. Learned something new just for the hell of it?
  17. Walked in the rain without shoes?
  18. Tried to lick your own elbow?
  19. Read your favourite childhood Dr. Seuss book out loud to someone?
  20. Had a long (loud) conversation with an invisible friend?

 

Chances are it’s been a while..

So, why are you still sitting there?

Pick one and go do it!

Yes, right now…..and then let us know how you went. …please!! :)

PS. Photos most welcome!

 

 

What If That Challenge Is Just What You Need?

What if everything that happened in your life- the good and the bad- was a gift? A wrapped gift created and packaged especially for you, individually tailored to meet your needs and to give to you what you most need in this lifetime?

Maybe the gift was a learning, a new awareness.

Maybe it was the opportunity to let something go in order to allow space for something new to bloom and flourish.

Maybe it was a possibility, a chance to step through a door you didn’t even know existed.

Perhaps it was the chance to resolve an old issue, to finally heal an old wound.

Or maybe it was a reminder, a chance to see with fresh eyes and remember what’s really important in life.

It may have been an opportunity to experience something new.

Or maybe the chance for you to discover something important. A hidden resource you didn’t even know was there. Inner strength, courage or compassion perhaps? Something that had been waiting a long time to see the light of day. Continue reading

Want Your Kids To Thrive? Just Add Some Adversity..

 

Source:Google Images

Source:Google Images

 

Scenario 1: A Time In The Past

“I feel so sorry for those kids.”

The police officer looks at the young pair, his face etched with concern and pity. “Their Mum’s been sent to the psych ward again? It’s so sad… ”

He’s right. These kids have had a tough go of it. Mum has a mental illness and has obviously been using drugs again –  that’s her pattern. She’s been sent off to the city once more for treatment.

The kids are waiting for someone to come and collect them.

Mum’s current boyfriend is in prison.

There are no relatives so it’s the Grandma of one of Mum’s ex-boyfriends who will make the trip down to collect them and care for them until Mum is deemed well enough to take responsibility for them again.

 

In the meantime they sit, busy with their homework, the older sister capably assisting her younger brother with his spelling list.

They are composed, matter-of-fact.

I know these two. They are polite, co-operative, yet guarded and protective of their Mum.

They call me only when they are in serious trouble. The rest of the time I am invisible to them – barely acknowledged.

They know I will not fuss or ask questions.

I know how much it costs them to have to ask for help – they have a fierce pride and sense of dignity.

I have enormous respect for them.

 

Our conversation is polite yet we avoid anything personal or emotional. Sympathy embarrasses them. They do not want pity. The girl sends me a grateful look of relief when I tell the police officer that I will wait with them until the carer arrives.

After all, we have done this all before… Continue reading

Stressed? Take Your Shoes Off!

Jan 2009 083

How often do your bare feet touch the ground?

How long has it been since you took your shoes off and walked on a beach, across some grass or squished your toes in a mud puddle?

I’m guessing for most it may have been a while…

Often it’s the simple things that can make the biggest difference in life.

I spend pretty much all of my time at home barefoot.

If I can get away with not wearing shoes I won’t.

Even if I’m running a workshop or attending a course you can guarantee the shoes will be gone by lunchtime.. :)

 

If I am stressed the first thing I do is to get my feet on the earth and “ground” myself.

I once read about a Swedish study that found those who took their shoes off under their desks at work lived an average of 3 years longer than their shoe-wearing office counterparts.

(I actually can’t find that study on Google so perhaps I made it up- it sounds good anyway…)

So, why should we get our shoes off?

Continue reading

Don’t Just Sit There….

 

 

shed trip aug2007 129

 

I was born an Energiser Bunny.

 

You know the ad for Eveready batteries where the toy bunny keeps on going and going…….and going…??

 

It’s hardly surprising.

My Mum and Dad are Energiser Bunnies too.

They are over 70 and they literally run- all day everyday.

 

I get exhausted just watching them….

 

 

Our family mantra was:

 

“Don’t just sit there- do something!”

 

 

Even “relaxing” always involved something active, something physical or something productive.

 

But I’ve stopped.

Still.

 

I didn’t run out of charge this time.

I simply made a decision to take out my batteries.

To lay them aside and just sit.

 

I decided to go all Buddha and find a new mantra:

 

 

“Don’t just do something- sit there!”

 

 

It’s taken me a while.

 

And lots of practice.

 

But I’ve stopped.

 

Now, where possible, I measure each step.

 

I choose what I do.

 

I do one thing at a time.

 

They call it mindfulness.

 

 

I went walking the other day with a friend.

 

She left me behind.

 

She was bouncing with energy to stride up the path- the same path she takes most days up past a beautiful mountain stream surrounded by trees.

It was stunning.

 

I kept stopping.

 

“Look at those autumn leaves!”

 

“Oh listen to that! What is that bird?”

 

“How clear is that water? Look at those pebbles…”

 

“What kind of plant is this one?”

 

“Feel these red seeds- they’re so smooth!”

 

I stopped to take photos- lots of photos.

Not all of them with a camera…..

 

My friend sighed in exasperation. She was here to walk godammit! She complained that walking with me was like doing a ‘vipassana walk ’ – a meditation walk.

 

 

Hmmm, I’m happy to own that….

 

 

She couldn’t believe that I could dawdle and call it walking.

 

I couldn’t believe she could walk the same path each day and not see any of it….

 

 

The world is full of Energiser Bunnies, all rushing through life in a frenzy of “busy”.

 

What is the hurry do you think?

 

Where is it they are going?

 

And how they will know when they’ve got there….

 

 

I wonder how many will ever take a moment to ask themselves these questions….

 

 

 

As for me, I know there are going to be times when I’ll need my fast shoes on….

But generally, I’m happy to ‘vipassana walk’ my way through life from now on and when someone looks at me sideways and comments on my lack of “doing” – I’ll take it as a compliment!

 

And when I’m not “doing,” I’m happy to just sit… :)

The Art Of Being Busy (Or Why Tornados Spin)

beingbusy

 

 

In my last post I talked about the phenomenon of the Human Tornado (Chaos Theory And The Human Tornado) – those people whose world is filled with chaos, with noise and drama.

Whose life seems to be an unrelenting pattern of lurching from one dramatic crisis to the next.

 

It’s provoked a lot of discussion from people. Most claim to know a spinner or two. Some of us are even brave enough to admit to being one, or at least to having been one at some point in our journey.

 

So, what is it that creates a Human Tornado and what sustains them?

 

We live in a world of Busy.

Busy has become the norm.

Busy has become a societal expectation.

If you are not Busy then you are not “getting anywhere.”

Busy becomes the standard by which we measure our worth.

Busy is also quite addictive…..it gives us a buzz.

 

Human Tornados take Busy up to the next level.

 

Human Tornados become addicted to Chaos.

They run on adrenaline, the thrill of the theatre of it all.

Drama injects their life with the high of playing the lead role- the attention they receive and the resultant sense of importance that comes with that.

The more chaos they create, the more important they feel.

 

Chaos becomes so important that it actually becomes part of the Human Tornado’s identity….and they feel totally lost without it.

Chaos also has another benefit….and it’s one Human Tornados are most reluctant to consider…

 

Chaos keeps us busy thinking – thinking of ways to solve our problems, thinking about how important our problems are, thinking about how to get help to solve our problems, thinking about the “what if” if we don’t solve our problems….

 

Thinking has an important function: thinking stops us from feeling.

 

Thinking overrides, thinking analyses, it searches for logic…and when we become so busy thinking there is no time or space to be with our feelings….and that’s just how Tornados like it.

That’s why Tornados panic when things start to die down.

What looms ahead is stillness and in stillness there is no outside stimulation.

Nothing to distract us.

Nothing to divert us away from ourselves.

There is nothing outside to focus our attention on….so we have to look inside…and that involves feeling…

 

Feeling can be scary.

Feeling can be confronting.

Feeling can be painful.

 

So many of us are not comfortable being with ourselves, of becoming still.

If we stop and feel we may have to acknowledge that we are actually not happy, not content.

That we yearn for more from life…

 

Feeling may also mean that we have to deal with the past- the emotions that we’ve managed to spin down, to conceal below the surface with the busy-ness of thinking.

To finally face up to the things that constant motion has kept us from.

 

Of course these things always present themselves somewhere along the line but many of us like to pretend that they won’t….

 

No wonder so many Human Tornados choose to continue to spin….

 

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Chaos Theory And The Human Tornado….

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

The chaos theory is real.

I know, I’ve seen it.

 

Have you ever encountered a Human Tornado?

I’m sure you’ve known one:

One who whirls through life in a frenzy of reactive movement and action.

One whose every moment is filled with noise and busy-ness.

One who always has something happening, something difficult going on, some crisis that needs to be dealt with….?

One who always seems to be smack bang in the middle of some drama or another……

 

Human Tornados can be exhausting to be around.

Their life is one of commotion and turmoil, one of constant fuss and upheaval.

 

They are like theatrical actors starring in their own endless Greek tragedy, waving their arms dramatically as they stagger through an eternal glorious death scene…..wailing hysterically and crying out:

“Look at me…Look at me…”I SAID BLOODY WELL LOOK AT ME!!!”

 

Human Tornados need a lot of energy to keep spinning.

They manage to generate a lot of that energy themselves.

I guess they’ve built up quite a bit of momentum over time.

Most of them, after all, have had years of practice.

 

The rest of that energy they get from anyone who happens to get caught up in their maelstrom, any poor sucker who happens to wander innocently past and utter the fatal words: “Are you okay?” or “Can I help in some way?”

One moment you’re feeling happy, calm and peaceful and the next you’re just another piece of the proverbial pooh that’s flying all around you.

Human Tornados love to share – chaos is how they love to do it.

 

How often do we get drawn into other people’s lives?

Swept up into problems that are not ours to be in?

How often do we allow ourselves to be caught up in the dramas of others and to become strained and tense and anxious as a result of this?

How often do we find ourselves swept up in a chaotic tempest that is not of our own making and then have no idea how to extricate ourselves from the debris of the aftermath?

 

Human Tornados can be downright dangerous.

They deplete those around them and they create undue stress and anxiety in those they come into contact with.

They also become so caught up in the importance of twirling magnificently, that they are oblivious to their impact on others and the destruction they leave in their wake.

(After all, being a Human Tornado is such an important job :) )

 

And the funny thing is, when you’ve rendered assistance to the poor Tornado, heard its desperate cries, when you’ve weathered the storm and done what you can, when it finally seems things are quieting down, that the end of the storm is approaching, that there will soon be peace and calm…

 

It is then that you will notice something quite strange.

 

The Human Tornado will grow increasingly uncomfortable and fidgety…almost as if they find the calm oppressive and the silence deafening…

And it won’t take long at all before you notice them start to spin, slowly at first, then gaining momentum like a Whirling Dervish until they are back doing what they know best, drawing in chaos and confusion in giddy ecstasy.

Until they are delightedly creating their next drama and inviting you into the carnage with a gleeful cry of delight:

“Oh poor me, poor me! Look at me, look at me! Come on in and help me…. Please??”

 

After all it seems, there is nothing more disturbing for a Human Tornado than stillness…. and the terrifying thought of having to be alone with themselves…

 

Just a thought…

Dealing With Disaster- The Power Of Editing

city on fire..

 

It’s been another big week in the world…one where the cold fingers of fear have been felt across the planet.

The ripple effect is profound- each event of carnage has a huge impact on the collective psyche.

Something that has occurred on the other side of the world can affect us greatly….

 

Living in a global world is not always easy.

Technology has made “news” instantly accessible- we are on 24/7 live-stream right into our own lounge-rooms…the place we are supposed to feel most safe.

 

Some days it seems like there is no escape from it all….

 

Human beings are strange creatures.

We have a fascination with the negative and an almost obsessive compulsion to know all of the details, no matter how distressing.

We seem to be unable at times to self- regulate incoming information, to discriminate between what is useful and what is potentially harmful to us.

We simply open ourselves up to the avalanche of incoming information and let it sweep over us in an unedited pile…

 

We are then hard-wired to try to make sense of things: to ask the question that often has no satisfactory answer…..

“Why?”……

“Why” often leads us down the garden path and right into the darkness of fear…

 

Put up your hand if you still have images in your head of things that you viewed on television years ago?

Or a vivid memory of something that you once saw on the front page of a newspaper that still disturbs you?

 

So often we allow other sources to fill our head with an emotionally toxic poison,  to immerse ourselves in it completely and then have no idea how to get it out of our system

Eventually it seeps through our entire being until we become paralysed with it- it’s called fear….

 

The media has a big part to play in the illusion of fear.

It’s generally only interested in the shock/ horror value of the “news” it selects.

“Good news doesn’t sell” is the old adage…I’d like to believe that there’s a time coming soon where that changes…

 

So, how can we protect ourselves?

 

Here are a couple of simple tips:

1. Edit Incoming Information:

How much do you really need to know?

Something terrible has happened…but how many times do you need to see the same footage over and over?

Turn the TV off. Once you know the general details that can be enough. Check in occasionally for updates but use the remote control’s off button- that’s what it’s for….

Skim read the headlines but avoid the gratuitous detail. How much suffering do you need to immerse yourself in?

Does knowing every traumatic detail make you feel better or worse? Often we keep piling the bad stuff in without even noticing the cumulative negative effect it’s having on our own wellbeing.

2.    Do A “Re- Edit:”

Bad stuff happens. It always will. But, like everything, it’s how we choose to see it that really counts.

We can view it through the eyes of fear or we can choose to see things in a different way altogether.

Sure we can see bad but if we take a different look we can also see good.

 

If the media chooses not to show us the good news we can create it ourselves based on what we already know about the human species….

Adversity often brings out the best in us!

 

The human spirit is one of the most incredible forces on this planet.

The acts of bravery, the kindness and compassion, the unconditional support and the outpouring of love that follows any tragic event is often life-changing. To watch a community, a nation, or a world, rally around those in trouble unites us all.

(The media usually gets to that part a week or so after the event, when the bad news has become old news…)

After working with so many people affected by disaster a common theme I’ve found is the overwhelming gratitude that people learn to have for those beautiful people who give so willingly of their time, their love, their money and their support.

The common feedback down the track is that something bad has been far outweighed by the good that follows it…that people’s faith in humanity is often restored in a way that they believed was not possible.

So, you have a choice about whether you see victims or whether you see heroes– what you choose will have a profound impact on how you cope.

Remember, we get what we focus on….

Just a couple of thoughts but ones that work for me! :)