Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fear knot

those who read this poor excuse of a blog namely for its self-obsessed introspection will probably attest to the fact that most of my rants are simply that I'm a big old scaredy-cat!

I am CONSTANTLY afraid!

Why is that I wonder?

Its my Child (as in TA 'Child').

Going back into the dark realms of my early memories as a little kid, much of the world seemed a deeply scary place to me.

One such event occurred to me today as I mused on this topic. I remember not being able to sit next to my mum in church one Sunday as the place was full (churches can be full sometimes you know!), and I had to sit one pew in front of her, my sister and my father. I can remember feeling utter terror at the prospect of not being by the reassuring side of my Mum or my Dad for that matter! I remember weeping quietly and trying to hide this weakness of mine and spent most of that service "playing", with my eyes downcast, at my handkerchief, which was about the only thing I was allowed to "play" with in church in those days.

Terror formed a ginormous part of my dream life after sleep too. I mostly recall to this day consistent nightmares that replayed endlessly for what seemed like an eon. I learned to turn the light on quickly once slipping into one of these "dreams" and laying awake praying with all my might that they'd go away.

My earliest nightmare was of a giant red horse that loomed from out of the depths of the back dam on our property on the one day of the year my sister and I chose to walk to it! Each time we went there in my dream, to that dam on "that" particular day, I would "know" that that demon horse would arise from the depths and chase ME all the way back to the house, snorting its gigantic, foamy, furious mouth just behind my shoulder while I ran, in silent terror, for my life. That horse only disappeared when its great hoof "touched" the flagstone on the other side of the gate to our house. I would wake up sweating and panting from this dream and it haunted me many times throughout my childhood.

Somewhere, in the depths of my memory, before I knew the meanings of words, or that feelings could be described in words, I cast a "Life Script" that said I MUST be afraid!

And to this day, I remain abjectly fearful of pretty much everything. Hardly anyone knows how much courage it can take for me to do things: however, once I am determined to do something, nothing much will stop me even so.

Still - a lot does not get done either, for I allow the fear to dominate within my psyche to the point where nothing gets started.

I guess I was a timid little kid really. Overly imaginative and highly strung; sensitive and tender in spirit. I have always, always, always felt like I was outside of the World in some way, and it has always terrified me until I learned how to cope and do my best to at least act like I belonged to it.

Some would suggest that I "should" not be so fearful! Ach so! I agree!

But then, those who suggest such things have not seen the world from my Child either and therefore are in no place to suggest such notions of foolishness in being so fearful!

I am afraid! Of most things in life! It's my fact and one I own all by myself. Dealing with it is also my own, even though I will generally seek reassurance from nearly every quarter outside of my emotional centre as best I can! Finding reassurance from within myself is an entirely different puzzle and one I generally avoid, being so afraid to go there and all!

Arrogance is not my style but in a way, its a quality I may need to investigate to counter the fear within. Outright belief in ones sense of worth, ability and yes... pride, honour and beauty... may be the key to balancing the Fear Demons and untangling the knots of repeatedly stupid behavioural patterns that consistently set me up for merely circling around solutions instead of nailing them to the trees of my dreams... with my Warrior Princess' sword!

"Perfect Love casts out fear", so the Good Book sayeth.

Indeed, I have not yet known "Perfect" in Love, in Life. I have only ever known there is Fear and that this is the Truth of all that is imperfect in this inconceivable world upon which I stand just to the left of; me, who is the most imperfect alien of all of you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Empathic or emphatic?

I tend towards the latter in relationships!

It's a sad and sordid admission really but a necessary one. All or Nothing springs to mind as a sort of deeply embedded meme by which I have lived some of my closest relationships over the years.

Emphatically do I push and pull and urge and yes - manipulate - for that which I stubbornly hold true as my due in the too and fro of relating.

I BELIEVE I have empathy for other people but truth be told more often than not, I am not really being empathic at all. I don't genuinely feel what another is feeling even though I can sense it but the evidence of their feelings are clouded by my insistence on always having things go my own way.

I wonder how many other people do this?

Am I alone in my selfishness?

I'm currently reading the book "I'm ok - You're ok" by Thomas Harris M.D. Written at the beginning of the 1970's, this pop psychology book was, I recall, a big hit and more or less redefined much of the psychological and psychoanalytical function and understanding of human behaviour throughout that decade.

Many claim this book to be an extremely over-simplified treatise of Transactional Analysis theory but even so, Dr Harris did bring a new language to the ordinary layperson who was looking to break out of old patterns of behaviour and rewrite his "script" for a brighter future!

I have so far found the book interesting and even enlightening and it is proving to be valuable in accessing this demon within that I have labelled "Emphatic".

My Child rules!

In TA Theory, the notion of 'The Child' is a little different than you might expect. In a nutshell, The Child is the feeling response from external "transactions" imposed upon the little person before the age of five or thereabouts. It is the emotional centre of the human psyche where we learned to feel what we feel when we were small, helpless and totally reliant on our parents and others to care for us. It is from the time when we did not have the words to think with but only responded to the stimuli that happened to us through how we felt about it. Most of the time these feelings were those based in fear. The Child in all of us experiences fear, loss, abandonment, unhappiness. It also experiences those wonderful warm, cosy, cuddled up feelings of being loved and that awesome feeling of belonging when our needs are met and we feel secure. The Child in all of us learns to believe, in Dr Harris' opinion, to feel "I'm not ok!" and uses strategies in its transactions in order to get "Stroked" or get those warm, fuzzy feelings of being "ok".

I do think that much of my relationship life is very much coming from this foundation of belief where "I'm not ok - you're ok". In essence, I feel small and act small and believe I am small and that I absolutely and positively NEED to be stroked by you, who is bigger, stronger, more cluey and in touch with life than I am, so that I can feel better about myself.

I am therefore emphatic and not empathic although I may use a cursory attempt at genuine empathy on occasion in order to achieve my emphatic goal of self-assertion.

It's all very complicated and there are a raft of other factors involved of course. In TA, there isn't just The Child aspect of the human psyche, there are also The Parent and The Adult.

One hopes that one can predominately engage the rational and pragmatic Adult without losing the joy and wonder of The Child too, while the ever watchful Parent side carefully monitors that things are kept within the boundaries of safety and morality.

My goal as a human being is to be Serene. That quiet assurance of confidence that comes from a beautiful heart and mind where The Other is not just important for my own ends and needs but because they are who they are despite what they may do or say to me. I want to be empathic towards people and feel what they feel and understand it and them and share their load with them without becoming a pitiful martyr or scapegoat or manipulating to get strokes for myself.

I believe that somewhere in the centre of who I am, with all my flaws, abundant though they be, there IS a warm, loving and gentle Adult that deeply cares for and wants to engage with people in a profoundly empathic way.

Without misery, manipulation, or mastery, I hope to be someone who's Child within, finds pleasure in just being with people and playing with them with no other objective than Joyful Delight.

I will not feel okay all the time, my Child has entrenched habits of reaction to certain types of transaction, but... I am discovering that what I feel at these moments is not something to be feared so much as something to grow from and learn about. The more I learn about the way I am and the way I behave in the world, the more I feel that compassionate empathy for other people around me and that HAS to be a good thing yeah? :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

from the bank jingle to the Panda

It's funny how modern communications can lead you places you never expect.

We have an ad on TV for one of our local banking institutions and for awhile now, I've been captivated by the music track they had in the background.

On a whim this morning, I decided to do a bit of Googling and stumbled across an indie musician with a bizarre name, and who's music has just made me smile ever since!

I've been enjoying this simple but genuinely powerful emotive but lyrical music while making my bed. The style is heavy on the lyrics though and the music is probably not as "tight" as in the commercial market but that totally adds to its appeal for me! It's rough but its honest and above all its both fun and meaningful!

The track from the bank ad is called "Sleepy Tigers". The "band" is 'xoxo, panda' and even though it may be simple and pop in style, its so effusive and wonderfully joyful as to make my heart sing.

And that's the point to music isn't it? To make the heart sing with whatever emotion is being expressed through the song yeah?

The Aussie iTunes store doesn't yet have this music available to download so will have to wait I guess before I can add it to my library.

Lyrics to "Sleepy Tigers" by xoxo, panda

Oh I like you so very much so much in fact I gotta wake you up

It’s not that I have words to speak

I just wanna see you looking at me

In a way, that states

In an hour when the sun comes up

We’re gonna put on our shoes we’re gonna shake the dust

Open the door with your brand new key

We won’t be afraid of being sweet

to ourselves

Or anybody! anybody else!

Oh I miss you so very much so much in fact i gotta call you up

It’s not that I have news to bring

I just wanna make your telephone ring

So it shows and you know

In a week when I fly back home

We’re gonna jump in bed and be all alone

you’ll make biscuits and I’ll make tea

We’ll curl up close and then fall asleep

To the sound… of no one else no else around

And if Ive learned anything at all

In this short life of mine (it’s this)…

If you hear that joy has come to town

Track it down, take a picture and tape it to your eyes

Oh I love you so very much so much in fact I'm gonna switch it up

I'm gonna take this room that I built for fun

And burn down the walls in front of everyone

So they see, you and me

Dancing in our sleepy clothes

With two big smiles and a bowl of hope!

That we’ll drink down like ginger tea

The heat will help us forget everything

That you and I, that you and I have seen

And if Ive learned anything at all

In this short life of mine (it’s this)…

If you hear that joy has come to town

Track it down, take a picture and tape it to your eyes

[ Sleepy Tigers Lyrics on ]

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Old books

My daughter and I have just been out to the local Charity Book Fair in our church hall.

We spent a total sum of AU$6.50 and for that got at least 15+ books of all different kinds.

A gem we found was the classic Aussie book "They're a weird mob!" which I hope my daughter will take the opportunity to read at some point in the not too distant future. I may yet read it again after having done so many years ago.

I bought a few novels by the Author Julie Ellis

And one I am really looking forward to indulging is the old Transactional Analysis "bible" "I'm okay - you're okay" by Thomas A. Harris M.D. which I remember was a huge pop culture hit back in the mid to late 70's and which I never did get around to reading at the time! It will be interesting to see if the information in this book is as useful now as it seemed to be back then for many people.

I always feel a bit overwhelmed when venturing into a massive second hand book sale. The vast quantity of books is slightly unnerving to me. I never feel this way in a library. There are just as many books in a library - significantly more but I never feel the same kind of overwhelm as I do when I see large tables full of books waiting to be explored at a sale.

Don't get me wrong...I do love book sales, in fact in years gone by I would spend up BIG at book sales on classics of literature and the like. I've always been something of a literary snob though and used to have a somewhat disdainful approach to the mundane pop culture novel. These days I wish to just enjoy a good story and learn something from it anyway, even if it is a bit formulae in its genre and content.

The three novels I bought by Julie Ellis as mentioned above are a shift in my approach to reading books. To be honest, I really just was intrigued by the title of one of the books and because there were a few more by this same author I bought those on a whim anyway with no real clue as to whether they'll be any good. We will see.

Library books have always presented something of a dilemma for me. I rarely, if ever, borrow books. The pressure to return them is just too great and I am so sporadic in my reading habits since the advent of a working life and the computer, that reading solidly for days to get a book finished or because I just really got into it hasn't been my way anymore. I prefer to own books and let them languish on the bookshelf for years if I must before I get around to actually reading them. No pressure that way.

It seems that this character flaw of mine of not wanting to be IMPOSED upon by anything such as a return-our-book deadline or by any person for that matter is deeply ingrained. I will simply not be told what to do and when to do it by anyone or anything - if I can get away with it that is!

Hopefully, I can get most of these books read though before the next Charity Book Sale next May 2009. Then I can donate all these wonderful books back to the cause and let others enjoy them at their own leisure like I have :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

blogging in the nude

How much of ones Self does one reveal in a blog that is to all intents and purposes... a world wide publication potentially read and digested by "millions"?

I'm not actually sitting here in the nude blogging so to speak. What I mean is self-exposure in blogging.

I do a lot of self-exposure of the inner realms of my thought processing here but that's not exactly what I mean by self-exposure either.

There is a fine line between letting the world know what you're REALLY thinking and feeling and couching it in ways in a blog that on the one hand, debriefs where YOU are at and on the other clouds the details with just enough subterfuge as to not give anyone total insight into ones actual life.

A very fine line indeedy.

Prior to my marriage breaking down, many of my closest friends and family who know me very well could "read between the lines" of my blog posts and discern a great deal more of what I had intended to convey. I was a little bit aghast at exactly how much of myself I had actually presented in this public forum to be honest! Sometimes, I naively imagine that only a very very small handful of people can be bothered reading what I write so I tend to use blogging as a means of getting thoughts out in a creative medium, much like journalling when I was a young woman many years ago.

I have to my conscious knowledge never attempted to use my blog here as a means of hinting or manipulating people to get my wants and desires met! I certainly hope I've not done that subconsciously either!

Blogging is a mutable art form. It serves the purposes of creative expression, personal reflection and in some instances, idea swapping and in many cases info sharing. Some use their blogs as a mask to hide their real Self so they can explore their more hidden aspects of their temperament and interests. I confess to doing the same thing. Yes! I DO have a couple of "Secret Squirrel" blogs that will remain firmly anonymous for the time being. These blogs are for my own exploration of themes which do not sit comfortably within this blog. It's not dishonest that I do not publish them, its just I like to keep those ideas more private and secluded from all and sundry.

It is however, ironic that I still choose to explore those ideas on the open space of the Internet which is...well... Public! It's just a bonus that many blogging applications now have recognised that for some people, blogging in this open space needs to have a way of being private at the same time! A bit like having sex with your beloved in the outdoors I guess... the thrill of the open vista and the intense intimacy of private contact. Human beings so love that kind of dichotomy!

So how much do I reveal of the details of my thinking, my emotional state and my physical realm?

Only as much as I care to give at any given moment!

It's not strange or ironic anymore that blogging is actually BETTER when you cover certain parts of its anatomy through the leaving out of details that could incriminate, isolate, point out, hurt or expose. Much of the stuff I leave out of my blogs is designed to protect those I care about more than protecting my identity via my own stupid ramblings arising from my ego-centric angst!

Ben Elton wrote a sinister and rather insightful novel recently called "Blind Faith". In a future not too far from this one, the world is indeed a crazy mixed up and unbelievably stupid place! You think the worlds' gone mad now, well pray it doesn't end up like the world in this novel! People expose such lurid details about their daily lives over the net to the point of gross indecency and yet its accepted and even demanded that everyone TELL everything to everyone. It makes for compelling and slightly uncomfortable reading as much of the My Space'esque nature of this novel is already showing its stripes in the here and now. Scary stuff indeed!

I have no wish to contribute to a world where privacy issues are screwed down to the level of gutter journalism and everyone is a "Star" who "deserves" to be worshipped!

I'll probably be a blogger for a long time to come. The medium of expression suits me in many ways. I get to be a bit public without having to be ├╝ber committed to a vast subscription base. I get to share whats on my mind without too many people picking fights over my thinking (I so hate being labelled "wrong" but that's another blog for another day). I get to debrief my inner demons so that I release the energy from within into a place without.

Blogging nude is all about self exposure of the soul. I don't particularly care if people blog about being or actually being physically nude - more power to them I say! But when it comes to baring the soul, that's a whole different ball game and those who do it well without incriminating or hurting anyone - least of all themselves - then they deserve to be commended and applauded for being willing to put themselves out there so gently and wisely.

I pray I can do that too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

digging deep for blue skies

I'm about to go out and buy myself a big bag of St Johns Wort tea!

It is claimed that the ancient medicinal herb St Johns Wort can alleviate the symptoms of depressive illnesses.

We will see.

I know that lately, much of my mood state seems to have been on the more negative end of the spectrum.

Chemical imbalance inside my head/body? Who knows? Which comes first anyway... the chemical imbalance inducing feelings of a profound sense of loss and isolation or the sense itself causing the chemical imbalance?

Over to the "hex-spurts" on that one!

I do feel decidedly cynical today anyway. Who can give a flying &$@! about life, the universe and the high road to China? Not me today anyway. Not me at all, just lately!

It's as if I've been handed this large cracked platter and told to seal up the cracks with spit but so long as I don't take sips of water in between etc.

It all just seems like life's being a bit "unfair" so to speak. Perhaps its about "Lessons" I need to learn?

Ha! Today, anyone who mentions Karma, Destiny, Faith Lessons or Law of Attraction to me is going to get their sweet nose firmly centred to the nap of their neck! Grrrr! I am in NO mood for bloody "Lessons" of ANY description!

Just get me a cup of tea and a finger biscuit and at the very least something nice to look at out the window!

So what's a moody, mildly depressed and obscenely frustrated woman in her middle 40's supposed to do with this? Call it menopause?

Shit No! I am so not letting that stupidity rain on my parade! Life is supposed to be BEGINNING...not sliding into mediocre banality.

I'll try the tea for my chemical imbalance. The rest is going to have to be Faith, Hope and Love and a commitment to laugh at least once every day for the next ... few thousand or so I have left!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What would you do if you actually succeeded?

Oh my!

I don't often think of succeeding in things! I tend to WANT success but sabotage it at every opportunity.

Why would that be?

There's that famous speech written for Nelson Mandela years ago that says something along the lines of "We fear our success".

I know I do!

I don't "get" success. Success spawns responsibility I think. It makes you have to live up to a standard and quite frankly, I don't do ANYTHING I'm expected or obliged to do by imposition.

So - I self sabotage a lot. In my thinking, my attitudes and my desires.

I do not ever trust my intuition and second-guess it with rational thought superimposed over the top of the intuitive knowledge and get exactly the opposite of what I wanted or intended every time. I just do not believe I'm entitled to success I guess!

It is likely its a heap more complicated than that even. Success is HARD. It is! Just look at those shiny, beautiful actors and actresses that strut the worlds red carpets. Look at the sleek lines of any marathon runner or elite athlete and think about how hard they had to work to achieve that success.

Success means having to sacrifice a lot in order to get to where you want to go. It means having to slog it out on the coldest of winters and the hottest of summers and still you plod on indefatigably never ever letting yourself doubt you will get what you want in the end!

That's a really tough gig.

I tend to think success is something you just get handed to you without a lot of effort. That its a lottery of sorts that doesn't come with hard work, blood, sweat, tears and a whole lot of committment to the long haul process of achievement.

If I believe something hard enough I turn on a switch inside my head that suggests ever so subtly, that I'm being an idiot to want/believe/or hope for such a thing!

Its like I have this inner core of extreme cynic within that refuses to allow any chance for tasting success.

When I was a child, my mum used to occasionally purchase sweet biscuits - or even better, cooking chocolate pieces and put them into the pantry. We kids would plead once or twice for a handful to indulge ourselves on after school but the answer was usually the same "No! They're just for looking at!".

I think I've approached success from this angle ever since. Success is something you can only look at like those choc bits in the pantry - but it is not for tasting or having because you don't really deserve or need it.

How foolish!

How indefensible it is of me to deny myself the ability to taste and want success! Success is equal to and as equitable as Failure!

Now there's a statement worthy of debate.

How can Success be equal to Failure?

They are part of the same coin, just one face lands up and the other lands down. The odds on which will be which are most likely out of our control on the day. The fact is...both success AND failure travel in the same direction just as when a coin thrown or rolled along the ground, both faces - each very different and polar to the other - travel in the same direction.

I tend to bet on failure being the one with the most odds counting towards it. Stupid of me really. Success is likely to have pretty similar odds. Unless the coin is weighted and you're cheating... you get either failure or you get success.

The thing is...I understand and accept and even welcome failure! Failure seems so familiar and friendly as to be like a good pair of jeans you know you can just fit into even on "fat" days! Success always feels like its alien and uncomfortable somehow, like new leather shoes that are a bit pinchy on the little toe.

Its just perspective!

I CAN switch the two around to make success into the Jeans and the Failure into those new shoes.

But...will I?

If I succeed and get what I want - am I prepared to follow through with the consequences?

Ah! the rubber hits the road doesn't it? Success can be every bit as painful and as shockingly hard to manage as failure. Failure can be easy - you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, have a wee cry and start all over again. Success though - what the hell do you DO afterwards?

I obviously need some success experience to find out yeah?

Addendum: I came back after letting this post sit for a bit. I do feel as if I'm onto something with this idea of success and failure being two faces of the same coin in a way! But something bothered me about that too like I hadn't really dived deep enough into the conundrum of why I tend to view failure as my lot rather than accepting both as equal and available outcomes.

Then I realised what it was I was aiming for here.

No Expectations!

THAT is what I need to cultivate when I set goals, or dream visions or have aspirations for something I want and desire!

I need to develop the high-wire act of having no expectations on the outcome! Accepting either success or failure is what is at stake not craving one at the expense of the other or expecting one over the other.

The key then to any plan is to plan to succeed sure... but ... to actually develop within the character and soul of ones being an attitude of having No Expectations on the actual outcome. Then you can't be disappointed and nor can Success ruin you! You simply win or lose and it doesn't matter what comes afterwards because you'll adjust when you get there.

No Expectations!

Yeah! I know it ... can I do it? Let's try shall we?

Friday, August 15, 2008

bemusing sense of changes ringing

Something has to give - and soon.

I am feeling like there is this intense pressure building inside of me today, as if something is about to explode or implode. I can't decide which.

There are changes afoot. I can feel it, keenly like the distant smell of woodsmoke in the air.

Are these changes internal and only that which I, alone can sense from within?

Are they changes I can control for my own journey forwards into the future?

Are these changes going to be spiritual changes? Intellectual? Creative? Emotional? Social?

Or, are these changes external and as such beyond my control?

"SOMETHING" is happening and right now, I am edgy, emotionally vexed, anxious in the extreme and really frustrated too.

Creatively, I am on something of a "roll" right now. The urge to express and write hasn't been this strong for some time. But of course, paying the bills and working (yes... I have a new job, in a cafe of all places where I smell - and serve - a lot of coffee), and it means that my urge to write and create is curbed somewhat which has always been a frustration at times like these. I'd rather I could just sit here and type for hours without interruption but its not to be.

I have made a lot of changes to my life this past year. I've changed my marital status, my address, my job, my income, my outlook and a bit more of my body shape. I've not once had this feeling about any of those changes that have either happened to me or I caused happen to me!

This feels "different", like a sort of warning shot being fired across my intuitive bow so to speak.

Something has to give though and soon because I'm not sure I have the patience to endure this mounting pressure I feel and this heightened sense of foreboding expectation that something massive is about to bowl me over for six (that's a cricket term for non-aussies).

Will it be a joyful thing?

Will it be a heart-ache?

I sooooo HATE not knowing!

And that's probably the issue right there!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How the camel found the way.

Camel was a sensitive if a little moody by nature. His temperament was so predictably unpredictable as to cause his friends and loved ones to merely roll their eyes when he went "off" on one of his usual tirades over something very small or stood there, all steel and ice cold "Told you so!", when something big happened in the world.

Camel was smart in most things, there was no doubt about that. There was one thing though, at which Camel was decidedly stupid and that was in the area of understanding his true motives about things. In this field of endeavour he was decidedly dumb as the hump on his back! He could never really tell WHY he chose to go in this direction or that he just went there.

Luckily for Camel, he seemed to kind of strike oasis gold on most occasions but for the most part, it was pure luck rather than any determination on his part to get there. He just strode out into the desert, mumbling about his lot in life and when his friends asked him if he'd brought the Map, he'd go "What map? Where is this map? What do I need a map for?" in dumbfounded and blinking hysteria.

Camel made lots and lots of promises to himself that he would get a map and choose his next journey with great deliberation and careful planning and make sure he covered every detail and angle. He rarely kept those promises to himself. Instead, after a tiff with a friend, or a tangle with an oasis vine leaf, he'd stride off in a great humpfy mood into the hot, scorching desert and thus find himself a little lost a few days later and rather confused as to how he got there!

His friends decided after one such long desert spell that Camel best learn how to get organised and calm down and match his grand promises for once. So, instead of going out to reassure poor, lost and confused Camel each time he'd strode out into the desert too far, they left him alone a little bit longer each time he did this bad habit. No rescuing, no reassurance and no directions were to be given. He had to learn the hard way for once how much of a burden he was being to everyone else with his crazy impetuous and self-centred practise of just diving into the desert without a map after some emotional upset over nothing much!

Camel was all hot and bothered one day over some minor misdeed of one of his closest companions. He felt all bereft and abandoned and isolated and in a real downer of a dump, he departed into the hot blazing sands to get away "for a bit".

"Where are you going?" said his friend who neither understood or fathomed what on earth she'd done to make Camel so flustered and emotionally distraught.

"Somewhere where there's someone nice to me!" said Camel moodily and then humpfed off without any sense of which direction he was supposed to take. His friend shrugged and went off to do her own thing, thinking softly in her mind that she cared a great deal for Camel and it would be kind of hard letting him wallow in the desert by himself for a few days without water, food, emotional support and a nice palm tree to sit down under during the unfathomable heat of the afternoon. Still, he was being an Idiot really, so it was important he got around to learning this lesson in taking responsibility for his actions for once!

Camel walked and walked, sobbing and moaning and expecting his friends to come get him at any minute and tell him it was all a big misunderstanding and could he turn around and come home now as they really did love him and want him around!

No one came!

Camel got more and more desperate as time went on and the sand hills got larger and more dry and the wind was stronger and more insistent on pitting his eyelashes with stinging tiny stones of silicone quartz. Camel felt worried. None of his friends had come to get him and he was lost!

The wind picked up and soon became one of those frightening storms, hot - stupidly hot - and fierce with flying sand that whipped against the body like the lashing of a thousand cat-o-nines, each tipped with a poisoned spur! Oh, how that storm hurt Camel! He knelt with his back against the force of it and buried his nose under his front legs to protect its sensitive tip from the scathing sand blast. He would have cried but for the fact he had his eyes shut so tight, there was no space for the tears to escape.

Camel drifted into a kind of meditative state of altered reality in the middle of that storm. He thought back over his long past and noticed the Mostly, he learned that much of his moodiness and silly emotional clunkiness was more due to the fact that he was basically very selfish and just wanted to be the centre of attention most of the time! He didn't really care too much about other people so long as he himself was cared about! It was a shocking thought and very humiliating.

The sound of the stinging wind became a muted backdrop of sound as he saw himself in his minds eye, huffing and puffing over some triviality which he had blown out of proportion to all else and realised how selfish and egocentric he'd been towards his nearest and dearest.

Camel drifted into sleep as a deep grief enclosed his soul - just as the sand eddied around him like a kind of dry sea with waves of gritty, insistent unfathomable emptiness stretching out from every side of him.

Many hours later he snorted awake suddenly, blowing puffs of now still and very fine sand from his nostrils. Carefully, he fluttered his long luxuriant eyelashes to peer from his sandy cave that had built up around him during the storm. With a great deal of effort, heavy as he was with grief and lonliness, he heaved upwards, shifting vast quantities of sand from his hump, and neck. It slid off him like as if it was water.

He felt a little lighter but only a little. Sighing deeply, he looked around. Nothing! Only blazing sun and sand for miles. No signs of life. No signals from friends to guide him home. Not even a mirage to soften the harsh line of the horizon.

Camel burst into great wracking sobs that shuddered his whole body. Now his tears could flow and flow they did. He knelt there in the sand and his tears made little wet puddles beside them. Being the pragmatic soul at heart, he noted that his own tears were probably the last fluid he'd see for some time, so he scooped each tear drop that fell up with his tongue. Crying and lapping his own tears until he had no more to shed, Camel felt completely and utterly abandoned and with a rueful last sigh of grief he shuddered himself upright again and prepared to wander aimlessly towards the horizon to whatever fate lay ahead.

He was about to step forth, when it struck him, he was just repeating an ancient pattern of his! He'd seen himself do this very thing in his meditations during the storm. How silly of him! He stopped. He breathed. He waited.

This was a first for Camel. He'd never tried this tactic before. Just stopping, and breathing, and waiting. It was a new idea and one that seemed perfectly right for the current situation.

No thinking, just waiting. Camel had a very busy brain, so this bit was truly illuminating. He kept the thinking at bay even though it was very hard and allowed himself to just wait...softly...without any expectations for outcomes or ideas... just pure essence of Moment.

A "thing" crept under his skin not long after while he waited. It was hard to identify but it was a "Thing". It was neither a thought or a feeling as such but a sort of well... a Knowing if you will. Camel resisted the temptation to stop and think about it, and if his friends could have seen him then, they'd have laughed at the comical expression on his face, with his lovely big eyes all screwed up and his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth in total concentration on the act of NOT thinking about thinking about the Thing inside of him.

The Knowing Thing shyly grew in confidence and it seemed to be pointing to something strangely practical and obvious, the sun.

Camel felt as if The Knowing Thing was like a separate entity now, a sort of other part of him that was in him but not really actually him as such but still familiar somehow. Very tentatively, Camel asked The Knowing Thing a question, which felt embarrassingly mad of course as it would likely appear he was talking to himself under a scorching desert sun and thereby most passers by - if there had been any - would have concluded that this particular Camel had gone without water for just a wee bit long really.

"Can you help me?" asked Camel very shyly "Please?" he asked again, remembering his manners.

The Knowing Thing didn't really answer in words as such, it just somehow relayed another sort of Knowing to Camel which he knew without knowing why he knew or where that knowing had come from. He just knew that "Yes!" the Knowing Thing could indeed help and was wanting to do so very much.

"Which way is home?" asked Camel again with a little bit more confidence in his strange new friend within.

"Follow your heart" said the Knowing inside him. This of course confused Camel. He spent a bit of time switching straight back into his old habits of trying to over-think the concept and his feelings about it which of course, confused him even more than more.

The Knowing Thing had steadily grew in presence and well... loudness ...for want of a better word, for it didn't really say anything actually aloud as such.

"Shhhh! Still!" said The Knowing Thing, and Camel obeyed instantly somehow understanding that he needed to Shhh that very moment and be very still too.

"Following your heart is not about maps or directions or going off without thought dear Camel. Following your heart is going where you know its right to go but you have to stop and listen and hear which way is right to go. Sometimes others will tell you which way is right to go and you need to listen carefully to their wisdom. Sometimes, you know which way is right to go but you also need to listen carefully to your inner wisdom and believe it too. So now dear Camel, look at the shadow of the sun and tell me what you sense about it."

Camel turned and looked at the shadow of himself cast in the sand against the powerful sun overhead. His shadow was very short, almost underneath him which meant that the Sun must be somewhere around its zenith of the day, noon or thereabouts.

"About noon I suppose" said Camel carefully.

"Good" said The Knowing Thing inside. "Now Camel. What would a sensible animal do in the noon day sun when they are lost in a desert of sand?"

Camel gave himself actual permission to think about this one carefully. His analytical mind served him well on puzzles like this one. "They'd stop for a bit to see which direction the Sun travelled?" he asked with an almost immediate sense of being right about his question. So he sat down on the spot without turning or doing anymore walking and waited a bit until the sun shifted the shadow under him and it began to lengthen. He noted the direction of the sun as it set behind him. That was must be close to West he thought to himself and immediately felt a resounding "Yes!" within some place that wasn't brain or heart or soul or anywhere but inside nonetheless.

He waited a little more.

The sun sank lower into the western sky. Camel did some calculating. He wasn't sure exactly which way he'd come but he was reasonably sure his home was north of somewhere so he decided to maybe go North. He asked The Knowing Thing and it didn't say anything really, just "As you so choose" but with a quiet sort of confidence behind it so Camel rose and faced what he had ascertained was North and began to walk.

The Knowing Thing kept him company on his walk. It gave him confidence that everything was going to work out fine and it gave him a good deal of hope too, that he could solve some of his terrible weaknesses of character when he got back amongst his friends. Camel really didn't want to lose his friends and he vowed he'd be a better manager of his own emotions in the future. The Knowing Thing just smiled at him with a kind of loving knowingness that Camel couldn't really understand but which felt good anyway.

It was almost dark and the stars were lighting up the sky when Camel came upon his home Oasis. His friends were there in the middle around the waterhole all discussing whether they should abandon their Abandon Camel Campaign and send out a search party for him but given the recent sand storm, they'd been very dubious of ever seeing him again. When he turned up in the middle of their circle out of the dark, some of his friends shrieked with fright as if they'd seen a ghost. But soon everyone was laughing and crying and hugging Camel and declaring they'd NEVER let him out of their sight again because they really did love him despite his humpfy ways and his hopeless emotional outbursts over nothing much.

Camel smiled at everyone and a deep love welled up in his old heart for every one of his dear friends whom he'd so abused and mistreated with his silly habits over the years. He sighed deeply and without saying a word, he told The Knowing Thing a sincere and heart-felt "Thankyou" for showing him the way Home.

The Knowing Thing stayed with Camel for the rest of his life. Camel became known as someone very wise, very slow to anger, very deliberate and careful in the plans he made and the directions he took. He didn't always think, he sometimes just stopped, breathed and waited and that was often enough to find the answers to most things in life.

And everyone who met him, loved him even when he got a little bit humpfy.

The End.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Finding the "right" man

Even though I have left my marriage of 18 years, I still believe in romantic love and commitment. I am not bitter or twisted about men in general and I still look forward to a day when I can cuddle up to a man I deeply admire and who's company I respect and enjoy.

I am learning a good many lessons about my attitudes and approach to love while alone these days. There is much that is flawed in me when it comes to my attitudes and beliefs about love and romance.

For starters, I am way too idealistic. I project a lot of expectations onto my future partner, demanding and requiring the same level of commitment and attention I believe I bring to a relationship. In theory, I am all about equality but I have much to learn about respect.

My "problem" in matters of the heart is apparently to do with my assiduous determination to achieve my own goals and force the objects of my devotion and affection into reciprocating those same ideals back to me. I want and desire to be the centre of!

Ironically, as soon as any man begins to show signs of putting me on a pedastal, or elevating me into a position of Goddess status, I abandon him as an "idiot". I refuse to be possessed except on my own terms. This is a major flaw in me ever being open to receiving love from someone cool enough to accept me just as I come.

I am very happy to be in the drivers seat in relationships. I love loving someone. I love being affectionate and giving and will go to great lengths to make a man "happy" so to speak.

Rarely though, do I receive love well. Suspicion of motives and a slightly cynical attitude towards men who are "dumb enough" to fall for the likes of me, make me deeply dubious of any overt expressions of love or being cherished for myself. I simply do not trust men who express love the same way as I express love! Go figure!

I'm attracted to men who are just a little bit mysterious and who are determinedly non-committal towards me in many ways. It's like its a competition for me to "win" them over to my side but as soon as I do - I lose interest and that's really cruel and something I need to watch for in my future relationships with men if I ever have any. I want to find a passionate and wonderful love in my future, but on this point, I have much to learn and outgrow. Receiving love on nobodies terms but the person giving it is going to be difficult for me. I cannot give love where I do not respect and am not attuned to that person physically, emotionally and particularly, intellectually. If I do not trust them, I can little accept any offers of love from them.

However, I do need to learn and understand that being cherished and valued by a man is how it is from HIS perspective and is something that I must simply accept and not try to mould into my expectations and values and my own idiosyncratic interpretation of love.

I joined an online dating service awhile back but only lasted for about 2 days on it. The concept of meeting and getting to know men...aka potential romantic partners... felt tacky and icky in the extreme for me! I felt like meat on display and utterly desperate. The profiles of the men who winked at me seemed so pathetically contrived and I just could not bring myself to trust any one of them as a potential friendship, let alone a possible romantic dalliance. I took myself off the site quickly and won't go back to that kind of process unless I have a change of mind about it, if ever!

I have a lot of love to give. I am keen to give of the love that exists like a giant orb in my very soul. I love giving it full expression and I do not follow the "rules" of the game of love. I demand, expect and give full disclosure, honesty and am forthright and perhaps even a little bit aggressive in the way I express my love and affection. I want to be the centre of a mans world but I want to control it too. Not a good look really and probably one of the major factors in why romance is for me so hard to come by. I'm simply not soft or feminine or give a man the feeling of being brave and protective of me! I catagorically refuse to be possessed and yet I seem to be possessive myself and jealous to the core when in love!

For many years, I prided myself on being the very unjealous type. I think I allow my partner a great deal of freedom and expect the same in return...well, so I thought anyway. Turns out I have a deeply jealous core after all and its a shadow aspect of my soul I never knew existed until I loved like I've never loved before. Seems I expect to be allowed MY freedom so long as I remain firmly at the centre of my lovers world! Again... deeply confrontational and dark stuff I must address if I am to ever find happiness in relationships in the future.

Whilst I am extremely idealistic in romantic love, I'm also equally pragmatic and overly analytical in the expression of my feelings. Much of my inner world is caught between two polar opposite senses of intuitive feeling and logical thought.

I prefer to remain cool, calm and collected when in love but my feelings constantly betray me and I get so frustrated by that. I am either hot-headed, clinically ice cool or hyper emotional and quite frankly, I'm probably incredibly scary to most potential male lovers! *gasp*

It will take a man with a mature sense of himself in order to consistently and gently steer me into calm emotional waters I think. I need and desire to feel safe in a relationship before I can open up and become truly my Self with a partner. It is easy to shut me down emotionally to the point where I can turn off the taps of loving expression and become an ice queen like no other. I am a bully that way when it comes to love!

What a crazy mix of conflicting patterns, emotions and dichotomies am I? With this confused set of apparently conflicting values operating at my very core, if I do not change some of the fundamental patterns of my behaviour, I may well be doomed to being single for a very long time!

I refuse to be bored in relationships and yet I demand security and comfort. I hate being possessed and insist on my personal freedom and yet I can be as jealous and as possessive as any shrew. I want to express a deeply romantic, idealistic and sensual kind of love in my life but distrust and disown men who express that very thing toward me! I want to be free to be entirely myself within a relationship but I also need to feel like I am the centre of his world too.

I wonder if it is possible at all for me to find the kind of love I seek when I can barely contain all these conflicting notions within?

People will often say we just need to "let go and let God" in matters of the heart. I have a great deal of trouble with the notion of "letting go". For me, it seems apparent of late, that I have major control issues regarding my personal destiny. I'm not even sure I understand what "letting go" actually means to be honest! How and when does one "let go" and of what for goodness sakes?

When I fixate my heart onto someone, come hell or high water - and until all avenues of exploration are done and dusted - nothing stands in my way between what I desire and what I want. I set myself up for a lot of disappointment and heart break as a result. I project so much onto my love interest as to virtually eliminate any possibilities for its expression to become a reality. I demand so much from them, they run essentially for no man can make a woman happy... least of all me, as much as I'd love them to! *sigh*

What lessons!

What a journey this is proving to be.

I guess its time I stopped seeking love and just got on with my own life instead of pining for that which constantly seems to elude me...even in marriage! If the right kind of Love that I am seeking is so hard for me to grasp, I can little expect to find what I am looking for until I learn what I already have and believe in that for once.

The "right" man will be an extraordinary man indeed if I open myself to the possibility of his existence I guess... I have little faith that he exists sadly. As long as I get my own ego out of the way and can accept the real version of him in the reality of the moment rather than from my projections of an idealistic romantic future on my terms alone.

For now, love eludes me. It may or may not be entirely my fault - perhaps its a bit of what is...and what I am. I'm impatient and impetuous and so disgustingly romantic that I hope for this magic to come sooner than later into my life. It may when I am not looking for it I guess.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Random things that spin ones being

Two weeks ago, I lost Preciousss.

Preciousss (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings and you get the inflectional speech pattern behind all those s's) is my Macbook which I got just on a year ago. I have loved her and honoured her every day since then.

But alas and alack! She died.

Apparently she had a faulty hard drive!

And of being the idiotic "it'll-be-right" stupid thing that I am, failed to have EVERYTHING backed up to within an inch of its next byte so practically lost the lot.

15 gig and counting of music is a big thing to "lose". It means having to reload all those CD's, and plead with bat to re-send me all the music he's sent me this past twelve months (getting bat to a post office is about as easy as turning water into wine...only a very select few are capable of it... me ain't one of them!)

..... and NOT syncing the precious music still languishing on my ipod into oblivion when I next hook her up to the depressingly blank itunes on here!

I have Preciousss back as of yesterday, resurrected with a whole new heart and lung system.

All the thoughts, writing, photos, images, and many documents of the past year are lost to the ether. It will be interesting to see if I ever actually need any of it or miss it. I think the pic I have for my profile here in Blogger is now gone too, but will have to check what little backups I do have to make sure. Damn! It's a good pic of me too really.

This past two weeks have seen me "working" too. I was temping as a receptionist for three weeks and then landed a job as Manager of our local Wendy's Ice cream and hot dog stand in our shopping centre!

I am afraid to say that I won't be going back to the Wendy's job after this first week. Never in all my born days have I detested, despised and hated a job so intensely from day one! I'm reasonably astute I think...I had my doubts about this job even when I applied for it. My gut told me not to but failing to take notice as per usual, I did so anyway because I really don't have a lot of options when being unemployed after all. Or so I thought anyway! I shall be more careful from now on and listen to my belly speak its mind when it comes to a clear "no" about a potential job I think!

I landed the job and my new boss thought I would be "fantastic" at it! In fact, nearly everyone (those who don't me that well anyway) thought I'd be "fantastic" at it!

I refused to listen to my inner voice screaming at me inside "Don't think so buddy!". Instead, I thought "I don't have much choice - it's a job! What's to making ice cream!".

Even on my first day, the sight of all that soft serve dairy made me feel like puking on the spot. All that sweet, sticky, creamy, milky ice-cream arrayed in varying colours and flavours inside the front cabinet made me cringe with horror. I couldn't pour the five rounds of soft serve into a cup to make a thick shake to save my life and I hated every minute standing at that mixing machine! Making a strawberry banana split smoothie made me want to hurl it down the plaza floor with every frantic spinning movement of ingredient grabbing. Oh my Lordy! How I hated this job! Unbelievably so.

What a lesson in not listening to ones inner bean eh?

I landed a job! I thought I was happy to have a full-time job! I was instinctively cringing even before I got there.

I have sobbed every single night this past week as I went to bed, dreading the next day.

To feel such dread over a mere ice-cream job seems impossibly selfish and insane but I just couldn't do it! The culture of the franchised corporate fast-food treat industry just does not, apparently, suit my demeanour or style of operation. The thought of having to shove one more ice-cream coated lick-stick into someones face over the counter without their permission bordered on the obscenely rude and pretentious and my gut reacted with violent disdain over it all. The con of the "up sell" to customers to part them from their money and fill their bellies with dangerously high kilojoule readings was also cringe-worthy.

I should have known of course. My whole body reacted to the futility of me doing this work even before I began. Even my own dear almost psychic mother "knew" that it "would never last".

The boss was a cool dude though and I think I might have enjoyed working for him...even if he is a little bit of an energiser bunny on speed kind of guy; but still...he was pleasant enough and we seemed to get along okay. The job just didn't suit me.

Live and learn!

So now I'm back to churning out job application letters and revising my poor resume. Thankfully, I have that at least saved on a flash disk somewhere! I think!

Between, being so frenetically busy this past month, to losing dear Preciousss, to being totally blind-sided by an experience I never expected I would ever have in my lifetime aka hating a job to the point of slashing ones wrists with an ice cream scoop... I have to say, that maybe now it's time to focus on what I DO want in life rather than just grabbing at something just because it happens to be there you know!

What do I want to do?

I have no freaking idea!

That is the dilemma for me and has been since I gave up selling vast amounts of dangerous kilojoules to people in the meat pie industry!

I keep telling myself "I want to write" but quite frankly...I have no idea what and who for! If I write for myself, I might as well just blog for the rest of my days and I do that already anyway. Not expecting to shine in that department anytime soon though.

What kind of work do I want to pay my bills?

I guess being a receptionist is pretty cool so long as I had enough work to do! The temp job was great but I did feel a bit overwhelmed by the power of the group mind there in that place and the fact that I felt so out of my league. Even so, I'd have gotten used to that work if there'd been enough of it.

At least I have Preciousss back though :) That is very cool. It's a bit like getting a brand new exercise book in school where you promise that you'll write very, very neatly in it too. I've been vowing to keep Preciousss super organised etc. But as is the way with these things...we will see ;)

I'm so relieved right now that I don't have to go back to that ice cream job too. The boss rang me this morning and we both agreed to mutual satisfaction, that I was not suited to the position and he'll move on and so will I. I can comfortably go back to walking past Wendy's in the Plaza as if it doesn't exist again (I've hardly ever shopped there since my kids were toddlers and essentially walked past it without hardly noting its existence this past 10 years or so! That's saying something yeah?).

If People judge me for this decision - more fool them! As for me, if someone leaves a job after a week because they simply hate it and feel they'll never be able to be successful at it - I say More Power to them for the wisdom to know so soon!

Reloading my life as of now.