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

Challenge: Do Three Nice Things For Yourself…Easy Huh?

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How many of you were led to believe that it is selfish to put your own needs above others?

 

That it is wrong to put yourself first?

 

 

One way to tell is to ask yourself a couple of questions:

“Do I feel guilty when I take time for myself?”

“Does it feel okay to spend money on myself or do I do a mental checklist (But Henry’s been asking for a new jacket and Amy really wants a new ipod…) and then talk my way out of it?”

“When was the last time I treated myself to something frivolous or extravagant that was just for me..?”

 

 

Women in particular are really good at believing that focussing on ourselves is selfish.

Often we are brought up to believe that our role is to take care of the people around us – that it is compulsory, a fundamental part of our role in life as nurturers. Continue reading

Don’t Just Sit There….

 

 

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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… :)

My New Job- Watching Daytime Television And Drinking Vodka…

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“You can get so confused

That you’ll start in to race………….

Headed, I fear, for a most useless place.

                               The Waiting Place.

…..for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

Or a bus to come, or a plane to go

Or the mail to come, or the rain to go

Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

Or waiting around for a Yes or a No

Or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone just waiting…..

(‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr Seuss)

 

 

For the first time in my memory I woke up today free, with nothing I have to do, nowhere I have to be. Nothing in my diary, nothing planned….
Sure, I have a multitude of possibilities but each is sitting there as a choice to be made…or not.
There are of course, things that will crop up but essentially, from this moment, I get to choose what I do.

I quit.

 
I stepped out of the waiting room, out of waiting for the “right time”, out of the “have to/ must do/ should do/ urgent things” and into what I really want to do…

(Even if I’m not entirely sure what that is yet…!!)

 
Yes, it is inconvenient (for me and for others), it is scary and apparently it’s also “stupid/a failure/not sensible/ insane/ selfish/ another mid-life crisis/ and all-right-for-some!” but…..

I’m doing it anyway!!

 
I shut the doors, closed my business, finished my studies, said “No” about 500 times and I stepped out of the “World of Obligation” and into the “World of Possibility”- my favourite place in the whole world. A place very few of us ever give ourselves permission to  fully explore.

In fact, we spend our whole lives finding excuses about why we can’t go there- why it’s just too hard, why it’s not possible or sensible and why we just plain can’t!
Yeah, I have those too, but I’ve done it anyway and I believe I’ll be 100% okay.

 
I would never like my life to be one of regret- to wake up one day and utter those awful words….  “I  wish I’d……”

 
So, excuse me while I step out of life as it’s “supposed to be” and into a life of possibility.
Anything might happen, we might end up anywhere (and, let’s face it, you could be hearing my stories about being a checkout chick at the local supermarket in a month or two :) ) but I want to take some time to nurture myself, to be creative, to explore new ideas, to learn new things and to be fully present in my world.

And that sounds okay to me!

Stop The World- I Want To Get Off!

Stop the world-I want to get off!

If you’re human I’m presuming that you have, at some stage, gotten to the point where life becomes almost too much.

Where your brain overloads and begins to malfunction and there is a distinct smell of burning oil emanating from both ears.…

It’s called stress and it can be a sneaky bugger-creeping up on you even when you think you’re doing okay, that you have it all under control,  that you’ll cope because you have to really….

Stress has become such a common part of our everyday world, that we actually become oblivious to its presence. It becomes part of our definition of “normal.” Some of us actually become addicted to stress and its chemical effect on our body-the adrenaline rush and the associated buzz that brings.

Stress in small doses can be a useful thing. It is designed to move and to motivate us, to keep us safe. But, it is intended for short-term use because it puts such a huge strain on us-on our bodies, our minds, our emotional capacity and our ability to cope.

Too much stress distorts our capacity to see things clearly, to have a sense of perspective and to make wise decisions. It impacts us physically in relation to our health, our sleep patterns and our own self-care.

Eventually the cup overflows completely and we are overwhelmed so we stop, become stuck, anxious, depressed or worse.

We are stressed even when there’s nothing to stress over! Stress becomes our default setting and we have forgotten where the off button is.

But I believe that one of the biggest impacts for us that people  tend to overlook, is the fact that stress is a “joy-sucker.”

It robs us of time, energy and happiness. Stress saps our ability to enjoy and to truly live life.

Essentially, stress sucks big time.

One of the best bits of advice I ever received about stress was this:

 

Forget about the urgent things

and focus on the important things

 

Will talk more about what they are next time! :)

Time out from time.

I packed my swag and went bush. Jumped in the four-wheel-drive and headed west leaving behind all of the urgent stuff, the important stuff, the have-tos and the must-dos.

No phone coverage, no internet, no busy-ness.

Time out…..

Tucked in behind the sandhills.

Ancient melaleuca and mallee.

Woodsmoke and freshly caught fish.

Reading. Thinking. Sitting.

Indulging in the family tradition of spotting animal shapes in the coals of the campfire for hours on end.

A full moon and a gazillion stars.

Eerie call of the nightjar and the high-pitched bark of a fox….

How often do we put off “time-out” because we don’t have time?

Because it is not convenient?

Because there are too many other things that we have to do?

Because we can’t “afford” the time?

It is when life is at its busiest, when time-out seems least possible, that we most need to make it happen.

To step out of our busy everyday existence, to stop, to reconnect and to breathe. To rest and recharge and to shift everything back into some sort of internal equilibrium.

To simply just be…

(Trust me, the world does not stop if you do……!)

So, it’s worth the effort, the disruption, the plain old inconvenience to simply step outside of our busy everyday lives and give ourselves one of the greatest gifts of all-time…..

Time to simply stop and be.

Make it happen….after all, you deserve it!