Saturday, 30 April 2016

A loss of Equilibrium - Dissertation heartache

Take five deep breaths.

Calm yet? No?

Take five more, maybe ten.  Actually, it's probably a good idea to just keep going until your equilibrium returns.

My equilibrium is somewhat elusive these days.

Replaced by frustration, anger, self-criticism and some serious self-defeating inner dialogue.

Did I say these days?  I'm being somewhat dramatic, it's actually only fully evident today.  The past week has felt like progress.  But today has felt like a grand cha-cha-cha backwards.  Suddenly I feel lost and hopeless.  Things aren't panning out the way I expected, and I find myself shouting and loosing my shit over tiny slights that wouldn't usually scratch the surface of my temperament.

And it's frustrating the shit out of me.

Why the hell am I so angry?  Why do I feel like today is the end of the world?

Is it a moon day?  Is my cycle due?

The last two are usually really reliable indicators of the change in my mood and sudden loss of equilibrium.  But they are not the influencers today.

Therefore I make an attempt to be reflexive - examine where these feelings are coming from and why.

I'm left stumped.

I'm left even more frustrated with myself for not being able to read my own intuition.

In tears I look upward and whisper, Please fucking help me out!?

As of yet, no bright lights or visions in burning bushes have occurred.

So I'm breathing.  And writing.  And sharing this sorry tale with whomever drops by my site today.

Then it dawns on me.  My dissertation is due to be handed in on May 5th, less than a week away.  The inspiration for the topic and content decided to disappear out of the door at top speed after only 950 words, and I've been treading water and slowly sinking under frivolous and superfluous sentences and bad structure ever since.

My heart isn't in it, hasn't been for quite some time.  The only reason I am making an attempt to actually complete it is to save face in front of my parents - they perceive me to be a starter whom never actually finishes anything.  Whereas my perception of the way I conduct my life is more along the lines of - oh that looks interesting, I'll give that a go - oh not really what I expected and not particularly working out, shan't waste any more time here...moving on!!  I haven't enjoyed university since I started there just under 3 years ago.  And I'm no longer willing to pretend that I did.

From the impending deadline issue stems the reality that university is basically over, and I have little to no idea how I am going to go about supporting myself and my little dude for the foreseeable future.  Scary shit.  On the other hand, a fine opportunity for new beginnings.

But a new beginning of what?  That I do not know.  Whether I graduate or not, I am still no clearer on what the next step to take is likely to be.  And my passions and dreams are not yet honed enough to generate an income.  

The breathing worked a little, it lead me to sit down and write this.  In writing this I see the light side of the situation, and the reality that even if I fail the degree it's hardly the end of the world, I mean I survived for 26 years and was gainfully employed for the majority of ten of those years prior to any university study.  Some of the roles weren't as fulfilling as others, but all provided a wealth of experience.

It's time to get creative and brainstorm/mindmap myself a solution.  One thing I am certain, even on the days when my equilibrium is compromised and I look set to traverse wildly towards the canyon of the self defeatist death river - there is always a solution.  There is always possibility and opportunity if one is willing to look beyond the tip of the nose and outside the box with imagination and an open mind!

The cynical fucker within me isn't fully behind the truth or validity of paragraph above.  The little sod would rather I sat in my tears, stuffing my face with chocolate and whining to myself.  

The chocolate part I might indulge - but cynicism and pessimistic attitudes are so fucking last year.

No accident

Self Reflection - Ugly Truth....

Photo - Oscar Keys/Unsplash

It was a Friday night.  Wintry, dark and cold.
The perfect time for melancholic examinations of self and purpose to commence.

Who the fuck am I?!?

The questions began to roll into her conscious mind.  Red wine, cheap red wine will advance this process and allow for the momentum required to get to the bottom of this matter.

Class yourself as a feminist?  What, because you read a bit of Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second Sex"?  And basically, it's just placed strategically upon a shelf on display in your living room?  That's keeping up (false) appearances my love, don't kid yourself!

So what, you know who Donna Harraway is.  Who gives a shit that you "think" you understand the concept of the Cyborg Manifesto?  You grasped it - barely - I use the term grasp in the lightest possible sense of the world.  

So she steals others thoughts.  An accumulation of theivery of other's ideas and constructing them into her own identity.  She's a basic mis-match of other's identities - masquerading them as her own.

Stealing thoughts and then proceeding to throw them around carelessly into conversations in an attempt to feel cultured and educated.  What a fucking delusion.  What a fraud!!


Who the fuck am I?

How many coke binges does it take until you can class yourself as an addict?

How many men do you have to sleep with to class yourself a slut?

Why the need for categorization?
Is it even important?

If you don't know who the fuck you are, I assume it provides comfort to be able to place yourself somewhere.  In some way it helps you make some sense of it all?

She played the part of the broken girl for years.  Damaged.  Starving herself, inhaling shit up her pretty little nostrils in an attempt to appear more interesting, less dull.

Ironically (but not surprisingly), all that shit just made her dull.  It dimmed her light, and extinguished her soul.  And now she plays the victim card, complaining that she is lost.

But she wanted to be lost?  

The Universe is confused by the manifestations of this creature.  She gave her all that she wanted.

Play a part for long enough, and the pretense becomes the person.

She sat uncomfortably with her thoughts.

She had created this life for herself.

So she did what any sane person would choose to do in such circumstances, she vowed to never again drink a cheap red and contemplate herself at the same time, ever again!

She also decided that from this exact point she was primarily responsible for her life.

She was done playing the damaged card.

She was done with judgement and harsh self-criticism.

She was done with the pretense.

What is Love ~ Poem

Photo - Mario Azzi - Unsplash

A life 
In which she is scared to love
To be loved
For she does not know
What love really is.

Is love sex
Is it lust

Passion and pain
for her
One and the same

The mundane
The day to day
The minutiae...
Is that love?

Afraid of allowing herself to be loved
Her imperfect self
Her completely human self

Afraid to give up autonomy
To be one part
Of another

"No Man is an Island"
Yet she keeps 
Surrounding herself with walls
Alone, Protected
Yet the desire for connection calls

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Flexibility and Strength ~ Perfect Partners

Photo - Christopher Campbell/Unsplash

Physical activity, there is no denying how good moving our bodies can make us look and feel.  The benefits are endless, and ours to enjoy once we get good old motivation on our side and create a habit out of engaging in some form of physical exertion a few times a week.

As a previous pilates devote, I was all for combining stretching with strengthening to achieve the toned slender physique of a dancer, but I got bored with the same old pilates sequences.  My insides used to groan every time I heard: Okay, so now let's get into position to do the saw.  I was sick to the back teeth of the bloody saw!

I decided to take a break for a while.  And generally didn't do much in the form of working out apart from walking everywhere - which is something that comes naturally to me, as I've always enjoyed walking (plus I don't drive - the DVLA don't trust me enough to grant me with a license, after three failed attempts at passing my test, I came to accept that I wasn't meant to drive).  During my exercise hiatus I began my exploration of meditation and its wealth of benefits, and as a natural progression, became really curious about yoga.  Yet I was put off, and slightly intimidated by yoga.  I have extremely tight hamstrings, and am no where near as flexible as I thought I needed to be to practice yoga. Don't get me wrong, I still gave it a shot, but I think somewhere along the road it became more about a competition with myself to see how deep into a stretch I could get - no longer yoga, more like torture stretching!

So I turned my attention to general bodyweight exercises, with some weights and HIIT thrown in.  And wow! did this shit work!  And once I got over the initial I seriously can't be arsed doing burpees today I experienced some wicked endorphin highs following my work-outs.  I felt like I could conquer the bloody world!


I got bored.  No matter how creative I got with my circuits, and no matter how much I switched things up, I just became super complacent with the whole shebang.

I was at a fork in the work-out road.  I didn't want to stop completely, because I had developed some seriously awesome oblique shit, and I didn't want to turn all jelly.  I also didn't want my work-outs to become a chore which I dreaded. As soon as that happens, my heart dismisses itself from the process, and then none of it ends up being beneficial to my well-being.

Here's where I revisited yoga, specifically Ashtanga yoga.  Well known for creating bodies of solid awesomeness, and a sort after toned physique.  And what I found this time round, was that due to the strength I had built up from engaging in bodyweight circuit training and HIIT I could perform the asanas in a much more controlled and engaged way.  I finally learnt that yoga isn't all about being bendy Wendy, and having the capability to wrap your feet around your head.  It really needs a foundation of strength to support that flexibility. 

This then led me to understand what my old dance tutor at college had told me about increasing the width of my straddle stretch - with strength comes the flexibility - and less the likelihood of injury.  

So for the moment I'm committed to maintaining a consistent Ashtanga practice - nurturing body, mind and soul.  

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Can you Walk your Talk?

Photo - Stas Svechnikov/Unsplash

Can you walk your talk?  Can you be brave enough to own who you are, unapologetically?

Seems simple, right?  Just be you.  Be authentic, be true to yourself and your values, and dance to the beat of your own drum.  And I believe it is that simple - once you've managed to rid yourself of the societal and parental conditioning which has molded you into a homogeneous identikit -conformist individual.  (If we are fortunate our parents embrace the cool individuals we are and nurture our uniqueness - but not always, and not out of malevolence, but simply because they themselves were raised to conform).

We want to be authentic, intentional and conscious beings.  The part that's the struggle is uncovering whom that person is beneath all of the shit that has been layered on top, and essentially embodied and internalized by us via the socialization process of growing up in modern Western society.

I had no fucking idea who I really was underneath all of the layers of whom I was supposed to be.  The inner me did a runner when she realised at a young age that who she was was definitely not going to be welcome round these parts. Therefore, I embarked on an ongoing mission throughout my early adult years, to either: become someone who does fit in, or attempting to imitate others in the vain hope no-one will realise I'm an impostor and kick me to the kerb of society where the tumbleweeds blow free and the wind whistles eerily.

Suffice to say, that didn't work out so well (fake it til you make it doesn't work with actual 'self' apparently- or I'm doing it wrong).  Nope, instead I most likely came across as unauthentic, lost, changeable, flaky and one hell of a social chameleon.  My friendships throughout my early childhood and adolescence had a rather high turn-over rate.  I decided I was simply anti-social, and likely didn't posses the social skills to maintain and nurture friendships the way others were able to do so effortlessly (all of which were not true).  As if being a teenager wasn't challenging enough, it's even more so when you're feeling like a misfit and you've no idea why you don't fit in the way others apparently seem to.

People-pleasing is one seriously damaging character trait.  But one which is adopted in an attempt to fit in and feel accepted.  But, in doing so we lose who we are in the process.  We crush our own souls and become filled with resentment and bitterness.  Why can't I just say no?  Why can I not say what I truly feel right now?  Because I need to fit in.  Because I need to feel accepted. But why do I need to fit in?  And why the hell do I not accept myself?  It's crazy, but not uncommon.  As Dr Suess quite rightly said, 'Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter' (unfortunately I never read Dr Suess as a child - I reckon it could have been life-altering if I had!)

My son is one of my greatest teachers.  If that child does not want to say hello or smile then he just doesn't.  He say's what's on his mind, and he lacks any type of filter.  He doesn't give a toot if anyone thinks he's impolite.  He truly does please himself- and I bloody admire that in him so much.  This is not to say he's a difficult child, nor is he unfriendly - he is one gregarious little dude who absolutely loves human interaction, but he will not compromise himself in order to be liked or well thought of.  He knows who he is and he will not bend for anyone.

Earlier this year my son and I were returning from a trip away, and on the plane on the way back home we were seated next to a lovely women who I can only describe as Little Miss Sunshine incarnate.  She was full of beaming smiles every time you caught her eye.  My son asked her 'why do you smile all the time?' to which she responded, 'because it's nice to smile'.  My son agreed with this statement whilst adding, 'yeah, but not all the time - only if you truly mean it, and you can't mean it all the time'.  The dude's 6 years old and wiser than most grown up people I've ever encountered.  

Let's not do things to be 'nice', let's do stuff cause' we mean it.  Let's be sincere and authentic.  Let's drop the sha-backle of people-pleasing and show it's boundary-less ass to the door.  Let's let go of those in our lives who only accept us under condition.  Let's show up and be us.  Be you.  Embrace you.  And when we aren't too sure who that 'you' is, follow the gut feeling.  Respond instead of reacting, instead of playing out a part that's pre-rehearsed from our mental archive of how we think we should act in a given situation - respond from the heart.

My intention from this moment forward is to show up every-single-goddamn-day as me, and only me.....

Cause' who gives a flying pigeons foot about fitting into a shape that's well outdated?  I'd rather walk my talk and live like I mean it.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Enough, the foundation from which to grow

Welcome each new day with an open heart

Sometimes, you awake feeling fresh, alive and ready to face all the exciting new possibilities which await you.  And then there is the rest of the time.  If your alarm clock/phone was a person on the mornings when you aren't a morning person, you'd probably smack them in the face for rudely awaking you (I'm not being literal here, I'm far too polite to smack anyone in the face ~ although I may secretly want to from time to time). 

I am a true lover of all things mindful, spiritual, positive and anything which leans towards the creation of a more authentic life.  I'm a self confessed Spiritual Junkie  I meditate, I journal, I self-reflect (and excessively over-think), I attempt to keep a daily yoga practice (in the physical asana sense)~ and I strive to embody all the qualities which I have categorized as being the qualities of the type of individual I would like to become.  Being a positive morning person, each and everyday from the moment I open my eyes is one such quality I believe I ought to possess.

Herein lies my first fatal mistake.  I have created an imaginary individual based upon my imagined perception of individuals whom live a life in alignment with their true path.  I set myself up for failure right from the get-go.


Because in my attempts to become I'm quite blatantly telling myself that I am not enough as I am.

And I am.  We all are.  

So why is it so challenging to accept?  Why do we struggle to accept that we are enough, right as we are in this very moment?

We could suggest that it is the very design of the modern world in which we reside that leaves us with an uncomfortable feeling of lack.  We could naively blame Capitalist society and the monster which is the media (this isn't my personal impression of the media, I simply adopt this expression as part of my creative license).

Imagine, if you will, a world where everyone completely accepted themselves as they were, without the desire to change a single minute detail of that which combined together created them as a human being, there would be no beauty industry, there would be no wellness industry.  The self-help industry would be surplus to requirements, because we would all be bobbing along, content with our present moment and simply going with the flow.  

But it's not as black and white as that.

It's also not as simple as shifting blame to external sources.  To feel we are not enough because others have insinuated that we aren't.  Because we were neglected, not heard, rejected.  Because a teacher at primary school once told us our dreams would remain just that because we talked to much, or we were too hyper (or simply too busy being children).

If we choose to believe the bullshit that the so called everyone external to us tells us, then we are choosing to tell ourselves we are not enough.  We have to drop the line of vision which looks outside of ourselves for acceptance and validation, and turn our eyes inwards.

Accepting that we are enough exactly as we are, right in this moment, flaws and all, is the solid foundation on which to begin carving out our path towards the highest level of ourselves we can be.

Without this as our foundation, any attempts to grow and better ourselves are based in delusion.  We will try and fail time and time again because we do not accept that we are enough as we are at any given moment.

It is easy to sprout off words, encouraging us to accept ourselves, to believe we are enough.  And reading such words and positive, inspirational messages can and do allow us to feel empowered.  But in the end it is up to us to take those messages, to indoctrinate them within our very core, and believe it fully with every ounce of our being.  Without fully believing with our heart and soul that we are enough, simply repeating it to ourselves at the level of the mind will not suffice. We have to embody that belief.

And how do we do that?

By dropping every single thing we perceive to be us.  By showing our ego the door.  By connecting with our source energy, our essential self.  The only way which I know of that directs me towards my inner essential self is meditation.

I have gone awry many times in my attempts to reconnect through meditation practice.  This usually happens when I approach my practice as someone other than my authentic self.  It happens.  It happens alot when a person is so in the space and habit of the mind.  My mind ends up taking over the show and telling me what it wants my most inner essential self to be saying.  Basically I end up being carried away in a dialogue between two separate voices within my own head.  It happens - just think off all the times throughout the day when you find yourself engaged in a mind argument - provoked from something as simple as making a decision or doing the grocery shop; those beans are the ones I need for my recipe, but no these are much better, but I always use these, so loosen up stop being so rigid......and so it continues.

The best advice I've ever come across to help the journey inwards, is the simple suggestion to which we just follow our breath.  In doing so we journey inwards to that blissful space within us.  It takes practice.  It takes time.  If we are new to the practice of meditation it will take a while to get into the swing of things.

Word of advice ~ drop all expectations of what we expect meditation to be.

Drop all expectations full stop.

In doing so, we awake in the morning and can simply be filled with gratitude at the fact that we have been gifted with the presence of a new day.  We can move forwards with fresh eyes and excitement if we drop expectation.  And we can change the tone of the alarm if it incites us with an irrational level of aggression. 

Without any preconceived ideas of how we think we ought to be feeling we can accept the present moment fully as ourselves.  And without expectations ~ we already know on a deep level that we are enough, exactly as we are.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

In Process


Enjoy 'hipster tabby' in the interim whilst I'm off creating engaging content.....

Back soon!