Monday, September 9, 2013
Crowing. Loud and good humoured, full-bellied crowing.
Yet not from a crow.
From a twinkling eyed, softly wrinkled man in a supermarket carpark. Hardly what I was expecting on a rather ordinary Monday morning, in an more ordinary than ordinary corner of ubiquitous suburbia.
Yet there he was.
And not even shyly.
As I looked up and around, my interest piqued by this nearly, but not quite, crow call, my eyes found those of Birdcaller. And we continued to hold each other's look for enough time to share a few sentences:
"It's true! I'm out here crowing loudly at a crow. And it's possibly a bit silly. It's probably even pretty silly. But I'm doing it, and I'm really having a good time!
"It's true! I caught you! I can see you out here crowing loudly at a crow. And yes it might be a bit silly. It probably is rather silly. But I can see you're having a great time, and I think you're fabulous!"
After exchanging those unspoken sentences, Birdcaller carried on crowing, and I carried on towards the supermarket.
But all day I've held a twinkle and a sparkle in my heart. For Birdcaller. And for his confident, possibly even audacious, commitment to do just exactly what was right for him. Without any undue concern for anyone else.
Do you crow? Maybe not with an actual crow like Birdcaller, but do you follow your bliss with confidence and enthusiasm?
Posted by life without mathematics at 1:32 PM
Thursday, September 5, 2013
I have long-loved the mystery and magic of a palimpsest. An ancient document weathered by time in the first instance, but kept and treasured for its intrinsic value. And for its unrealised, yet well understood, future value. Not only did these ancient documents contain valued messages, but they were valued as future receptacles of future messages. Even when their current value had passed, it was understood that they would be worthy of being reinvented, and reinvigorated. They would be valued and treasured in new and different ways.
The loyalty and respect that I have understood these precious documents were surrounded with resonates within me. I love that these parchments, so hard to create in the first place, had life, and then more life, and then even more life again. Not only are they so beautifully sustainable, with the eyes our resource-depleted world has given us for recycling and re-use, they capture emotional depth and integrity that touches me.
So, when I've looked at my blog, and wondered where I might take it, I've found palimpsests coming to my mind over, and over again. I've decided that my blog will become a palimpsest. I will honour and value, and retain, much of what I crafted in times past, and yet I will reinvigorated and reinvent it. It will carry messages from the past, and yet also fresh messages more fitting for the me that is now and today.
Since it is not only my blog that is a palimpsest. I am seeing myself as a palimpsest too. My Woman Journey has gladly taken me through career, and into motherhood, and is now moving me back towards career. Surrendering myself to mothering as fully as I could has grown me in directions and depth I never thought possible before the journey began. Though there were many days in that journey when I desperately yearned for solitude, actually experiencing it did not bring the relief and freedom I had hoped for. Instead, I was flooded with fear and grief. What would be lost from the me that I had grown to love? As our children now move so rapidly and wonderfully towards their own life scripts, what would my role be? Would there a role that would deeply satisfy me? Uncertainty surrounded me, and at times overwhelmed me.
After many months of feeling my way round inside the world that altered itself without my permission, and after poor health stripped me of energy for anything greater than life at its most basic Maslowian level, I have come to peace. Peace that reminds me that my life is diverse, and rich, and multi-textured. I am not a text telling just one story. I am a palimpsest. A valued, treasured document telling some dominant and more obvious stories pertaining to now, but also, and always, carrying messages and imprints from other stories that my life has told.
Two palimpsests, then. My blog, and my identity. I am releasing them both to be reinvigorated, and reinvented. I am re-scripting them both with a greater emphasis on my role in a bigger and more outward world. A world that is much larger than simply the world of my family. The counsellor script, which I think has never really slipped that far from the strongest messages embedded in my parchment self, is the one I now strengthen and grow.
Join me again as I begin the process of re-invention!
Have you ever been through a major reinvention of yourself?
Posted by life without mathematics at 1:01 PM
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I'm angry at the way we are all so uncomfortable with anger.
Our society is so uncomfortable with anger that it teaches us to suppress and repress our anger. We subdue this most messy of emotions until we trick ourselves into thinking we are calm and peaceful people whose feathers are never ruffled by anything Life throws up. Not ruffled, and certainly not, not never, ever angered. Peace is privileged. However, the peace that is achieved through avoiding conflict is not truly peace. It may bring calm in the short term, but in the long term, repressing emotions will damage us.
The deep irony to me is that while we are taught to repress our anger, our Society is overflowing with anger and violence wherever we turn. Anger towards children, towards partners, towards our animals, towards our environment. It seems pretty clear to me that suppressing and repressing anger isn't bearing fruit that's worth keeping.
I so wish we could lose our discomfort with anger enough to see that it's not anger that's the problem. Anger is a helpful and positive emotion, just like the ones we are comfortable with. Joy, Pleasure and Love. We are comfortable keeping these, and other feel-good emotions. Anger, however, gets pushed so far to the margins, that it's off the page. And the function of Anger gets overlooked.
Anger is energy. Anger is Energy to change things that are harming us. Without anger, we have no powerhouse of energy to repel things that harm and damage.
So, I say, anger is not the issue. Being angry is not the issue. Feeling angry is not the issue. Acknowledging our anger is not the issue.
But. Acting out in anger. Now that's the issue. Doing angry things in an out of control manner. That is the real issue.
So how can we allow anger to be present, yet manage it so it doesn't become a raging, terrifying inferno wreaking havoc? The familiar and well-known strategy of an "I-Statement" is simple, yet effective. It allows us to voice our anger, yet it's structured enough to assist us to keep our anger under control. This structured statement provides us with guidance and structure at a time when we can be vulnerable and stressed. It will help us manage our anger so we can have an outcome we can feel proud of.
An I-Statement goes like this: "When you don't listen to me, I feel angry." The key bits are,"When you...." and "I feel....". The "When you...." structure limits our comments to a specific event. Instead of a huge tirade towards the offending party that may become personal and critical, it is more appropriate to limit comments to a specific event. Then, once the offending behaviour is named, it is totally important for us to take responsibility for our feelings by naming them. This is the, "I feel...." part. Although it may seem simple, specifically naming our anger can be both uncomfortable and empowering.
If this is a new approach for us, it's quite normal to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable when speaking about our feelings. Especially anger. However, be reassured, it will get easier with practice. The structure and guidance of the I-statement will be like a parent holding our hand through a difficult time. The I-Statement will make it easier for us to navigate our way through anger if we are unfamiliar with it, and it will help us manage our anger so we can benefit from the energy it brings to keep us physically and emotionally safe.
Please reassure yourself after a messy session of conflict resolution, just as we would reassure our growing and developing children if they were struggling with a new challenge: "It's OK. That might not have gone the way you'd hoped, but you're learning." New skills take time to become comfortable and effective. Learning how to be angry might take many, many, many efforts. Each time, we will be getting better at it. Let's give ourselves the space to learn how to do this important thing.
The end result is so worth it. It's only when we learn to allow our anger to fuel us towards the resolution of conflict that we can truly and honestly engage with others.
Utilising our anger is the only way to truly land at the sought after destination of Peace.
What is your spin on anger? How do you manage your anger?
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thank you, BIG, for a lovely treat today. Last week, Jo and Lilly ran a giveaway....and I WON SOME TICKETS!
Movie going, actually at the movies, isn't something we've done much of. Actually, Five has been to one, Seven about two and Ten about four. It's all just a bit too pricey, the experience often threatens to be too crass, and the thought of attending a theatre crammed with rustling, chattery other littlies all just combine to seem too, too much like torture.
However, freebies do sweeten the deal, and a Christmas movie on the weekend we planned to 'get Christmas out' seemed just too appropriate. A grey and soggy day sealed it. To the movies!
Delightfully, every aversion I have to going out to the movies was countered with a pleasant antidote. Two complimentaries addressed the pricey factor, and since we only shared the theatre with a grandma and her two, and a mum, and her two or three, a relatively empty theatre addressed the chattery factor. Just leaving the crass factor.
Well. There simply wasn't any of that in this sweet film. What a gentle and innocent, truly sweet story this film tells. Ten, Seven and Five were engrossed throughout, as were Husband and I. Santa's Apprentice tells the story of the current Santa reaching the end of his 174? year stint, and his need to find a replacement. Unwillingly and reluctantly, he bows to the pressure of all the previous Santas who gather and implement the spinning of the globe to locate someone who will meet three criteria: an orphan, named Nicholas, who has a pure heart. And it's not much more complicated than that. An Australian Nicholas is located, allowing for some summer scenes and Aussie accents, and the apprenticeship begins.
My greatest take-away from this charming film is that efforts to preserve innocence for our children are truly worth all the effort and pain they can sometimes bring. Ten is surrounded by peers who talk of M rated movies ALL the time. Despite confessing to nightmares, and finding comfort through sleeping on the floor of their parents' bedroom, these oh so young people continue to batter at the door of the adult world, quite desperately trying to enter in and taste all they can of the expansive array of apparently desirables they believe fill the adult world.
And yet they are still Ten. And, after seeing ours at this movie, they may still quite pleased really to wear a Santa's hat at the movies, if there happens to be a free one given at the door, as there happened to be this time. And they may be quite content really to attend simple and innocent movies like Santa's Apprentice, if we can be brave enough to keep them in an age-appropriate world.
Be brave, fellow parents!
Do you find your older young ones are chafing to transition to an older world?
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Peace and quiet.
You are my muse. In the still and peace, my own quiet voice stirs again.
Peace and quiet, peppered with a good dollop of melancholy. I find I can write everyday if I am obeying some driving motivation that I have either implemented for myself, or that comes from 'obeying' some good idea that I'm following. But if I truly wait until the good ore bubbles its way up inside and hotly pours out over onto the page, then it's peace and quiet, and a good dollop of melancholy that are the necessary ingredients.
Up, and happy, and bubbly I enjoy. And that's where life has taken me recently. Extended family, busy children, and lots of lovely reasons to celebrate. But for writing, reflection and insight, I need the still and quiet. And the melancholy. I'm pretty good on the melancholy. Strong feelings that sweep me away, or some hormonally generated introverted thinking that draws me into myself like a warm, soothing deep bath.
Now is a melancholic season. And now, my voice stirs again. Stirs of its own accord. Beats to its own drum and wants to bubble out onto the page.
So, phoenix-like, here I am again.
What is your muse? Is it a single ingredient muse? Or a particular set of conditions?