MBT Menu Tabs JavaScript

Friday, May 30, 2008

Terrier Mind

Well, it's been a strange couple of days made all the stranger by the coffee throwing nazi who painted my car with his beverage for some imagined parking offence yesterday and whose aggressive and petty actions caused me a lot of anger, some fantastically graphic imagined retribution scenarios involving a sledge-hammer and a large amount of my urine and a rather swift descent into the awful 'terrier mind' syndrome by which I am often afflicted. I did rather cure myself of most of it last night be writing an Anger Letter - this is, of course, a letter in which you say exactly what you feel. I wrote mine in true technicolour detail and I have to say that when I had finished I was absolutely pissing myself laughing. It actually brought tears of mirth to my eyes. Who knew I was so funny when I'm angry? I let my husband read it because he wanted to know why his wife was cackling like something demented but the part that we laughed at most was the sentence 'you have all the personality and charm of a 12 day old sheepdog carcass, partially burned and then shat in by a hobo'. Ah, good times.

Anyway, despite laughter being the best medicine (which is something my mum always says), I still find my inevitably overanalytical mind revisiting the incident and worrying at it like a dog with a rag. I imagine what I'd say or do if it happened again and it is always invariably graphic, violent and, very, very angry. For all my explorations into the spiritual and in spite of my best intentions I still find it hard to deal with these situations in a rational or even-handed manner. Mainly because they fire up so many different conflicting emotions in me. I feel slightly frightened by the display of aggression, I feel powerless to do anything about it in case it escalates or people I love get hurt. I slip back into feeling like a victim because I am a woman and therefore physcially less able to handle myself. It drives me crazy and I have to keep consciously bringing my mind back to the present, disentangling my energy from the incident and trying to move on from it. The anger letter helps because every time I remember it, I have a little chuckle. However, I would really like to know how to handle these situations better, faster and so that they don't get a hold inside me that takes days to let go of. I also don't feel very inclined to send love in the face of aggression which I think is normal when one is feeling attacked. Anyhoo - the terrier mind is a bitch and I'd like to find ways to soothe and redirect her energies into something more productive and enjoyable than revisting past hurts. Answers on a postcard please.

Apart from this things have been ticking along nicely really. My wee wun and I have been spending more quality time with one another and by that I mean playing together and connecting more than is usually possible on an average day. We spent a lovely hour reading Hairy MacLary amongst other things.
I am particularly in love with The Gruffalo and The Gruffalos Child which Lily absolute adores even though they are a little old for her. i really recommend these books for children of any age as they are beautifully illustrated and so enjoyable for mums and dads to read too. Of course, in order to bring something of home with me to my mothering, I recently purchased the DVD of Meg and Mog who I absolutely love. Well, I would wouldn't I, all stories about a Witch, Meg, her cat Mog and her Owl, Owl who is voiced by one of my all time favourite writers from the UK, the fabulous Alan Bennett. I was once lucky enough to have my own writing mistaken for his at an audition for Bristol Old Vic Drama School. You can imagine how much that little comment buffed my ego when I still find it necessary to tell the story! If you haven't already do check out his Talking Heads stuff - funniest writing and best acting by some of Englands best talent including another much loved personage, Julie Walters. I digress - I was talking about Lily and me - she's now tucked up safe and warm in bed and I'm free to witter on in my usual fashion and empty my head so that the terrier has room to sleep or bite her fleas or whatever.

Before I leave, as indeed I must for my brain is becoming mushier than a 10 day old banana, I will just say that I have been listening to the most amazing music by Yungchen Lhamo a gorgeous Tibetan refugee who has the most achingly beautiful voice and with such longing that I am moved to tears whenever I listen to her. Her music is divine and since I'm already in love with all things Tibetan, including The Dalai Lama (or Daddy Dalai as I call him), I wanted to mention them here. I could add more but let's leave it for another time.
Nighty Night.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Dance of Becoming

I've been listening to Oriah Mountain Dreamer recently. I love the quiet yet intense way she writes. I love that for all her peace and self awareness she still struggles with the self same things that I struggle with. That her journey towards living fully and passionately in the moment and 'loving well' is still fraught with all the same dilemmas, habits and patterns that mine is. It's not that I am comparing myself to her (either favourably or unfavourably), its more that I have compassion for her struggles and find that they inform my own.

Today, as I drove my little girl to her nanna's for an afternoon of sultanas and gardening (and probably very little sleep), I listened to Oriah talk. In a culture obsessed with pro-active self development, knee deep in positive affirmations designed to 'change' and 'free' us (and I am an active surfer of this wave of self development), her question was not “Why are we so infrequently the people we want to be?” but rather “Why do we so infrequently want to be the people we really are?”. I found myself holding my breath. There was a truth to this question that landed in me with an almighty thump. I have (and am) fighting so hard to become a better person that it had never really occurred to me that it's not about changing myself as much as it is about allowing my truest self, my essential nature to unfold. Instead of trying to batter my stubborn mind, ego and patterns into submission, I could be surrendering, allowing my real self to manifest. And not towards any other end than that of self-realisation, the very thing that we are all limping along towards in our own strange and wonderful ways. The thought that maybe instead of fighting myself and my nature I could be exploring it in thoughtful, compassionate ways was new to me and I turned it over in my mind like a bright, shiny penny. Oriah's book The Dance is all about this - ending the struggle with the Self and finding the truth about who we really are. We are not flawed beings trying to become whole. We are whole. The struggle is really in letting go of the illusion that we are flawed. Our essential nature is like God's own, pure, passionate, shining. We need only to remember that in order for the struggle to be over.

The difficulty of course is in living with this awareness every day. I move in and out of consciousness of my essential nature with alarming speed and frequency. Sometimes I think that a more flawed human being it would be hard to find. Sometimes I become frightened at just how powerful my mind really is and how it can keep me running around the same endless tracks like a greyhound after the rabbit. Just when I think I have fully understood something it is gone from me like a snowflake in the snow - I know its there, I saw it land but no matter how long or hard I search, I cannot find it again. My mind tortures me endlessly with questions. It comes up with endless ways to touch God, Great Mystery, the Goddess, Great Spirit or whatever else you care to name it. It keeps me awake at night wondering if I have correctly carried out this meditation or that visualisation and asking when I will get the results I seek. The trouble is that focusing on the results we want, on the goal we intend, keeps us from truly being present, here and now. It keeps us from really being present with ourselves. I very rarely know how I am really feeling. I very rarely ask myself. At the first sign of emotional discomfort I am off. My mind comes up with a million different things that I really must do and, of course, there is my daughter. Strangely enough though, she is present to herself. That is why I find her needs so hard to deal with sometimes. They are so 'now', so immediate and there is no 'later' for her.

Ah Oriah, you do get me philosophising. My eternally questing nature seeks truth and then bolts at the merest shadow of it. I seek a more ready access to and connection with the Divine and then hide when it appears. I search endlessly and then pretend that I don't find because sometimes to face the truth of who we really are, to enter fully into the dance of becoming means giving up all our dreams of who we could be if we only tried a little bit harder. I am guilty of that every day. The thought that I might not achieve the lofty heights that I seek for myself, the prospect of not having 'something to show' for my life terrifies and depresses me. It is as though it is not enough to merely live a good life, we have to achieve, achieve and achieve some more. We must parade our awards, our gifts, our achievements before us, wave them ahead of our parade to let people know that we amounted to something. In my darkest moments I fear that I will simply disappear into the role of 'mother' and never reappear to 'become' anything more. I don't see the beauty of the work of the mother. I don't learn the lessons brought by my child. I see only an endless pit of need that I can never fill and I worry that I will be left with an empty heart where once there were lofty dreams.

That is not to say that we shouldn't dream. Of course we can and must (I don't like the word 'should'). I think our dreams are the Divine's way of showing us where our journey may take us and putting our feet firmly on that path. Without our dreams we would be chained to life, merely existing rather than living. I think the danger comes when we let our dreams become an excuse for not being here now. Then we are in danger of becoming caught up in that cycle of attainment - seeking always the next and brightest thing before we can be happy. I see it in myself all the time. Oriah's longing for being passionately present and loving well echoes my own. I think it is a universal thing. In each of us that longing cries out to be heard, to be noticed, to be assuaged by love and by the Divine. Our souls laments are keened into the desert of modern life and when our needs are not immediately satisfied, we think we have not been heard, that we have been abandoned and that we are alone and we give up. We are always heard. Our knock on the door of the Divine is always answered it is just perhaps that we don't always recognise this. It may come in a form that we had not anticipated or expected. It may come in a way that is not comfortable for us and so we dismiss it. We expect our journey to be straight and narrow with no unexpected potholes or speedhumps along the way.

For me, this journey is circular - or more accurately, a spiral. I dance into the centre of my own being, rest briefly marvelling at how different the world looks from in here, before being inexorably drawn back out again to dance with life. In I go again, sweaty and breathless from twisting and turning on the edges to find a tiny window of repose before the music draws me back out again. The Dance of Becoming reminds me of the fable of the Red Shoes, how anyone who wears them must, no matter how exhausted they become or how much they want to stop, dance until they fall down dead. I think that's how many of us interact with life every day. Maybe when we can stop seeing our spiritual journey as a dance unto the death and see it for what it is, a spiral dance of surrendering and becoming, being lost and being found again, we will truly be 'in step' with our essential natures. It helps me sometimes to remember that my dance of becoming is a dance with God, with the 'Beloved' and then I can sit back and let him lead.

So, if music is the food of love then let the dance be the eating.
Bon Appetite.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shamlessly Procrastinating

Well, here I am again after a long-ish absence, a result of the simple process of living and mothering and working and learning my new skills as a radio presenter for the darling community radio station up here in the trees - 3MDR 97.1FM. I've only been 'on air' since February and I'm enjoying it immensely but it does take up rather a lot of my (non-existent) spare time. Ah well.

I'm back primarily because my lovely friend, DocWitch, has inspired me to once more put fingers to keyboard and empty my overstuffed soul onto cyber page.

Life is somewhat (more) complicated at the moment due to my mother's ill health and the prospect of having to find a sensible time space continuum to fly back home to the UK for at least 3 months if not 1-2 years. The inevitable crunch time is finally upon us and I find myself incapable (not for the first time) of making any decisions as they ALL involve discomfort to someone but most especially me. Like most daughters, spending more than 2 days in my mother's company sends me fetal and requires serious post maternal visit therapy. I love her with all my lumpy, ill-used heart and would do anything for her. But I'm not sure I'd do that. Move home that is. The thought of spending more than a millisecond in Telford again sends me bleating back to my duvet with a stiff drink gripped betwixt my claws. I spent so long trying to get the hell out of there that I am, naturally, a little reticent to go back to do a 3 month long stretch - I simply don't believe that my karma is that bad! Anyway, as flippantly as i sound, I am under huge amounts of stress to decide mine and my family's (not to mention my businesses) futures. To complicate things further, we are currently trying for our second baby and I need to fly after my 1st trimester as I am unwilling to risk another miscarriage. And, Oh GOD, do I even need to mention the godawful flight? Australia to England - what a dreadful prospect. Especially as we finally flew over there at Christmas and are only now recovering full use of our ears and minds (and there is some debate about mine).

As if all of this isn't enough, I am experiencing something of an existential crisis. The landscape of my spiritual journey is changing and is bringing with it the inevitable quesitons about who I really am, where I'm really going and why I'm in this handbasket.

My daughter has spent the last two friday nights in our local hospital emergency room for two (thankfully) different reasons. First trip was after she disappeared down the rabbit hole ala Alice in Wonderland and from which I had to pluck her ankles first. She was cut and bleeding and it was a bit surreal. i'm surprised I didn't panic my arse off but I was relatively cool, calm and collected. Hospital visit took 5 hours and resulted in, well nothing actually. She was fine. The second visit was due to a very high temperature and a bout of uncontrollable shaking which distressed my poor wee bairn, which in itself is enough to have me heading for the nearest medical facility. Lily is a fantastic ill person (if you catch my drift), she is never distressed by illness and the fact that she was so last Friday was enough to have me grabbing my coat. I did phone my GP first (at 6pm), twice actually, and with increasing urgency. He finally got back to me at 11.40pm. He'd been to the Opera! It's not that I mind my poor doctor having a social life, it's that there is no system in place for passing the message on to another on call doctor when the call is obviously urgent but getting no response from doctor number one! Anyhoo, all was well in the end - we ended up home after a 4 hour wait. Here's hoping this Friday consists of a large bar of chocolate and an episode or 5 of Scrubs.

Interesting tidbit of information: Yesterday my astrological calendar said the following: Scorpio Moon plus a flowing connection between Venus and Jupiter in Earth signs, tempts us to fully indulge in sensual and sexual delights. Well, without getting too personal, me and my man ended up enjoying some of those sensual and sexual delights (together) last night as we found ourselves strangely pulled towards intimacy and loving. Strangely because anyone with children will know how loving gets put on a back burner when you are sleep deprived and about as sexy as week old washing. Earlier that day I had finally constructed my baby altar to welcome in the new soul and found myself being drawn to the royal blue and purples of Jupiter and when I finally cleansed and consecrated the space for the new baby, my CD was playing Gabriel by Lamb. This is significant to me as it is the song I walked up the aisle to and for one other reason which I will keep to myself. My hubble, for his part, found himself listening to the love dedications radio programme on the drive home and arrived all bursting with romance and love for his Kitty Wiff and daughter. That wonderful tiny enchantress Peru (the singing woman) provided a sensual musical background that was so magical and so perfect that it must have been the work of unseen hands. True synchronisity in action. So, here's hoping we will be welcoming the latest member of the AH clan in a mere 9 months time.

Best get myself off to bed now. All this writing is destracting me from the fact that I am, in fact, utterly exhausted. Still, it feels good to empty my busy head and I'll try and make this a regular visit from now on.

Namaste and may all your dreams be naughty ones...