Monday, March 31, 2008

The Eye of the Storm

Its just before the discussion, and I’m feeling a little nervous for the out come. I don’t like confrontations, but this one has been brewing since we arrived three months ago.

It’ll be some kind of catalyst. A point that with the luxury of time will symbolize the kind of outward change I’ve never really hoped could occur for us.

We’ve all been dealing with our past the best we can. My sisters and my brother. We’ve been self focused in remembering the past. Its difficult enough to remember your own suffering, without having someone else’s memories to deal with. But its time. We all need it.

When our grandmother suddenly died, after a double stroke at the age of 89, it was like the storm clouds coming into sight. The clouds have been getting darker and heavier. The past is roaring into the present and I can see it all around me. Its time to address the issues of the past.

The timing wasn’t right before now. This kind of thing couldn’t be manufactured. It seems a preordained moment.

We’re going to sit our mother down and talk to her about a past she denies. We all remember it. We’ve all pussyfooted around her verging hysterics, her stubbornness, her denials, her lurking madness. Its enough. It time.

Wish us luck.

How your expectations ruin your chance of happiness in relationships

Ever heard the Taoist quote ‘No expectations, no disappointments’ ?

I googled it and everyone seems to have a post about their own take on this philosophy of life.

Applying it to my life, I want to pin point the real dangers of expectations leading not only to disappointments, but to unhappiness, bitterness, anger and lost opportunities.

Of course, it all starts with me. I’ve been reading spiritual texts for years and understanding them differently for every experience that comes my way. This journal is kind of a sythesis of things I've read and know theoretically, and events that force me to put my ideas to the test.

What happened this time?

Let me ask you a few questions. What do you expect from your partner? What functions do they need to perform? What needs (of yours) do they need to fulfill? What words do they need to say?

There are books out there that say you have to know what you want, so you can get it. But if you know what you want, does any one really measure up to your list? Are you actually happy ticking of their successes from a list they doen’t even know they are fulfilling. And perhaps, you don’t even really know what’s on your own list.

Do you know what I mean?

Why does your partner have to be romantic, remember special dates, hold your hand a special way, remember to hold the door, listen and say the ‘right’ things? These are your expectations and your requirements. How about seeing the person as they really are, and trying to be open minded and tolerant and loving anyway. Even if they don’t fulfill your list?

Why am I ranting?

Because no matter how much I know, in theory, this stuff, I still fall into the trap of thinking and doing things that are contributing to my unhappiness.

First of all, I want to be happy. I do. I admit it. I want a life filled with happy, harmonious moments. And I resent the things in me, in my thinking, in my patterns that create pain, disappointment, unhappiness. Because these things are my own doing. Its my goal to make myself happy. Partly positive thinking. Partly no expectations. Partly seeing the reality (NOT my own projections). And mixing it with a big dose of tolerance, patience, understanding, compassion (feeling WITH action) and love.

All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.

And a great coffee shop.

So. The nitty gritty and what you’ve been waiting for. The gossip.

I thought that an ideal, loving partner SHOULD

- Hold me with passion

- Give me lots of presents cause they want to shower me in LOVE

- Admire me with looks and words

- Understand me

- Read my mind (like my female friend), just from a look

- Never ever say the words ‘you sound like you’ve got your period’

- Respect me by not flagrantly allowing smelly, noisy air to be released from their body’s orifices.

- Some exceptions to this rule due to unusual circumstances (IE see, I’m not unthoughtful)

- Not fall asleep within 5 minutes when they come to bed

- Always speak respectfully about me to his friends

- Never be interested (much) in other females (because I am enough and satisfy, of course, all his needs)

I won’t continue with the list, but you get the drift. Do you think anyone could really fulfill this list? And then, if they do, do you think it would make me happy?

I doubt it.

Laying it on the line. My partner doesn’t fulfill my wish list. Absolutely not.

But you know what? He’s a really great guy. And its in my power to love him, as Darcy says to Bridgett, ‘just as you are’. ‘Just as you are?’ YEP. To see the real person. To love him for him. Not because he does what I want. But to learn to love and like him for the person he is, not the person I want.

And honestly, this attitude isn’t really for him. It might benefit him. It might support him and help him to feel loved and accepted and it might make him a happier person.

The fact is, I’m doing it for my happiness. I’m happier when I am not judging him. I’m happier when I look at the ways he expresses his love in his way. I’m happier when I am patient and tolerant and forgiving for the little hurts (unintentional as they are). He might be thoughtless. He might be crude in the name of humour… but he is him. And the whole package is loveable. (Of course, if you look at the reality and honestly can not learn to love it - then errr, don't sue me for inciting you to break up your relationship, please)

If I can do this, cause this is all in theory so far, I think the world gets another merit point. We all move forward.

I say to Jett, don’t let the bad one’s win. If people are mean, don’t let them make you unhappy. Fight the mean one’s with love. And if you love, maybe they will be influenced by you. And then we'll win a point for the good ones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Spiritual Journey

To understand my idea you have to be aware of a couple of concepts that underlie the theory. 

1 - I believe in reincarnation. 

2 - I believe we are here to learn something.
3 - I believe there is a reason that we are here.
4 - I believe that we ourselves and nature tells us everything we need to know.

We are here to learn all there is to learn about being a human. Everything. How it feels to be everyone. To have had thousands of lives and experiences. To learn compassion (cause we have once been and done that, so we understand).

Why? So that we know.

Why? Why do we know anything? Why do we go to school? So that we learn. Once we learn, and know it backwards, then we teach it. We become masters.

Why do we need masters of life? I don’t know. But we are going somewhere else, after we’ve learnt all there is. When we don’t figure it out, when we don’t pass an exam of life, we just get sent back into the same grade and do a repeat until we get it right. Then we move on. We are all evolving and moving on in our education of life. All of us are at different stages, different grades. And there has to be a higher stage. I think that our lives are a type of school. Yes, if you like, the university of life. And we’ll be guiding, teaching, helping someone else one day. It’ll be our job, and the purpose of what we are doing now.

And then? I don’t know.

The cycle of life. The seasons changing, the earth around the sun in circles, the exchange of night and day, the reproduction of the species.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We're like a pair of binoculars.

If Albert and I can have a successful relationship, I think the world has a chance at some sort of peace.

Our view of the world can be compared to a pair of binoculars.

I look at life through the close up, in your face, I can see you pick your nose, nitty picky, overly paranoid of a wrong breath type lens.
Albert looks through the ‘wrong’ end of the binoculars, where everything is rather over there somewhere, a bit blurry, at a distance, rather relaxed and not really urgent business kind of lens.

In other words.. I see stuff in micro with huge effects outwards (gyre, gyre, gyre) and Albert sees it as macro full stop.

As you can see, I’m a biased. I think my way of thinking is, of course, better. But that’s ok. The point of this little post is tolerance!

Remember, the success of a pair of binoculars is because it has two ends. It needs two ends. One to look through, and one to let the light in.

No matter what you think, no matter what you think of what you think, you still have to (at a bare minimum) tolerate what someone else thinks. If partners can do it, the world could have a chance. If friends can do it, the world has a chance. If families can do it, the world has a chance.

I honestly believe, that if we practice what we preach, if we practice the positives we want to see in other’s, then the world will, in direct consequence, change for the better.

So, getting back to the case at point. Albert and I see things from opposite ends of a pair of binoculars. We’re looking at the same thing. But we see something completely different. From different perspectives. From different view points.

Imagine if we harnessed both of our view points, and drew them together, to help us understand the world. Instead of one pair or eyes, we'd have two. And two from different spectrums. The possibilities expand and life opens up.

Tools of success for YOU

- I already know what I know. So please let me learn what you know too.

- I want to listen to your point of view, because I care for you.

- I am tolerant of your point of view, even if I think I am right.

- I have to admit, even at times when I was dead certain I was right, I turned out to be wrong, so I’m not going to say I’m right with 100% certainty.

- I hate it when you say I’m right and you are wrong, so of course, as I practice what I preach, I will never do that to you.

- I value your opinion.

- There are other ways of doing things and seeing things that are just as good as mine, and sometimes, better.

- We are a team, and your opinion allows me to see things from another point of view. And this is tough some times – ‘thank you’.

- If you say something I disagree with, it is not threatening to me or our relationship in anyway.

- Sometimes I just want to talk and for you just to listen.

- Sometimes you just want to talk, and you only need for me to listen and support you.

- I will listen first and talk second.

- If you say something that offends me, I will wonder what is wrong with my reaction, not what is wrong with what you said.

- You are allowed to say what ever you want and I accept and love you anyway.

- Everything is going to be ok, cause we remember, at all times, that we love each other and never want to hurt each other.

Macabre laughing.

Well. In an ideal situation. Can you do that stuff? Would it help?

Sometimes I am so flabbergasted (great word - the beginning of Tiffany’s favourite word list) by things that Albert says that I wonder if we are on the same planet. And sometimes, I react with anger and intolerance.

It doesn’t help anything. It only hurts us. And honestly, I’m sick of dumb arguments. Cause we live together. And we love each other. So if we believe that, then we have to work at having positive, respectful and tolerant talks together. About everything. About anything. And its ok. Its better than ok. It sharing. Its the really cool thing about being friends and talking.
Remember (Tiffany), there is nothing good or positive about reacting with anger, or sarcasm, or any emotion that is aimed at hurting another person. You are, in real fact, just hurting yourself.

If Albert says something that seems to me outrageous, the first thing I have to do is get some distance from the topic he has introduced. Maybe I could just say ‘give me a second’, with a meaningful look, so he knows that for some reason (often something they can NOT guess since they are NOT mind readers), he’s offended me.

Maybe I can take a deep breath.

Maybe I can say to myself ‘what he says is not meant to hurt me. If I react with emotion, how can I understand what he wants to say. I can’t be helpful to him and his ideas if I am crushing them with my intolerance and my judgment. My way is not the only way.'

And if you make a mistake, its ok. Its not the end of the world. It just part of the negotiation. The skill of relationships.

But the important thing is, and I guess you've heard it before, is that we are a team. We are working as one. No one is more important than the other. We support each other and love each other and want each other’s best. And so say all of us.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tips for Relaxation

Steps to Relaxation

- Relax your head. Feel your face muscles, your scalp and even your hair relax. Notice your jaw and the backs of your eyes.

- Relax your shoulders. Move them back if you need to. Feel the line from your ears to the ends of your shoulders become softer.

- Relax your chest and front part of your body. Let there be space in your chest. Mentally follow the curve of your breasts. Feel how natural your breathing is.

- Relax your back. Feel all the muscles loosen. Notice the back of your skull.
Relax your upper limbs right down to the finger tips. Wriggle your fingers to help them loosen up. Release tension from your mouse hand and forearm.

- Relax your lower limbs right down to your toes. Feel all your tension running out of the soles of your feet. Let your mind be aware of the groin and inside of your thighs. Relax your centre.

- After you have relaxed your whole body. Relax your thoughts. Breath deeply, and on every out breath, let your body softened and release.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

On Becoming Human

I was living in a caravan by a river. I had animals and trees and water. I was talking to God every day. But I was racked by intense pangs of loneliness. And a rising awareness that I was going slowly and irrecoverably mad.

It was at the peak of one of these experiences that I decided once and for all to become human.

Of course, looking back, I can see the stages of my growth clearly. The physical, the social, the mental. Learning about the intrinsic importance of relationships and how the past creates the present.

Where to begin?

Of course, at the beginning.

As a child of alcoholic parents (see the link for typical psychological results from alcoholic parents’ ), I felt ostracized from society. My upbringing was compounded by one of my guardians being a criminal, and teaching various versions of anti social behaviour.

I did not relate to the children at school, or the TV programs, or anything I was exposed to.

Surprising for me to remember, it was the little things that hurt me most. Like not getting Easter eggs at Easter, or presents at Christmas or remembering birthdays. This didn’t happen all the time. Just sometimes.

The little scratches of criticism. Being laughed at.

The obvious lack of trust and suspicion.

I relied upon myself more and distrusted the world to take care of me.

I put myself into my own hands at the age of 14. My guardians at the time left me with my grandmother. After two weeks they called and delicately explained that they didn’t want me any more, and wouldn’t it be best if I lived with my grandmother? It was the last blow to my self esteem, and pinpoints the final curtain of my childhood.

I hated just about everything.

I spent my time writing abuse or fantasy romance fiction.

I sneered at my friends in my mind while smiling with my mouth.

I read books.

I ate chocolate.

I watched old Hollywood movies.

I sat and seethed in bubbling bitterness.

I had terrible migraines where I couldn’t move my head and where the smallest hint of light was akin to a laser piercing my frontal lobe.

I had a few ‘crazy’ attacks… seeing things where they shouldn’t be and throwing myself down stairs and banging my head, literally, against a brick wall…

It all got too much for me and I decided that if I couldn’t live with humans (because their hypocrisy made me sick), then I would live far away.

And I moved to the country.

Being willing to change

If I wasn’t open to change, I would have stayed an embittered, arrogant, annoying and ready to self explode ‘wannabe’ human.

Instead, I recognized that the life style I was leading, and the way I was thinking was detrimental to my physical and mental health.

I opened myself up to a different way of thinking.

I admitted that I was not sure how to proceed with my life and I took some time out until I got my feet back down on the ground.

I read a lot of books and thought a lot about my child hood and tried to make a bit of sense from it all. I wrote a lot. I wrote all the time. I wrote when I woke up, while I was eating my lunch and I wrote before bed. I wrote down everything I could remember from my childhood. I wrote down the positives and the negatives and I thought about things from my parent’s point of view and from my friends point of view and tried to shift focus.

I stopped being a victim of other people’s lives and started to take responsibility for myself and my choices.

What I discovered

I discovered the importance of the past and memories and how the future is created by the thoughts we have about ourselves and our place in the world. And of course, how important it is to have a positive, loving and supportive relationship to our parents.

So what if you don’t have it?

Then you start by creating a new set of memories. I needed to be totally finished with all of the memories and to do the best I could at that moment of accepting my life so far, and being willing to start fresh with a new understanding of what I wanted out of life.

So where to look for books on how to live?

I looked everywhere. I looked at life (and I still do) look around me with eyes on HOW people are living, what motivates them, what their priorities are, what inspires them… and because I am creating my life as I go, I take with me what ever I find positive and helpful.

I am creating the tradition of me. I am creating a blue print on how to be human. I am writing the guidebook I wished I’d discovered when I was 21. The born again guide to life and living.

Of course, it was difficult. Especially since I had so many hang-ups about myself.
I set about facing my fears in a systematic and progressive way.

The first one was admitting that I needed other people. And trust. (an issue that comes up periodically – so yes, no matter how hard I have worked and for how long, sometimes remnants of the past still resurface. Instead of seeing it as hopeless and demotivating, I smile and work through it again and again until I see it through).

I had no social skills. I didn’t know how to small talk. I was insecure about my body. I wore baggy clothing. I didn’t feel comfortable with being a girl. I disliked older men in particular and disliked breasts and bottoms. I shied away from talking about sex and intimate words like ‘love’. I had zero tolerance on alcohol and drug use. I disliked children. I sneered at religions. I hated the word ‘fun’. I thought everyone in the world was stupid. I thought that the world, if it could, would hurt me and I had to keep vigilant at all times if I wanted to survive. I thought people could, just by looking at me, know that I hated them. And in return, they would hate me. I had dreams of killing my boyfriend. Hacking him to death while he laughed at me.

So, I had a long way to go. Every journey begins with the first step.

I moved back to civilization.

Little steps

I began by going back to university and becoming more involved in and respectful to my lecturers.

I stopped taking books with me to parties I was invited to, and began to at least look and listen to what was going on around me. I was fighting painful shyness and inability to know what to say to strangers.

I allowed people to speak about the weather and their children and their work without being rude or aggressive.

I began to engage in life rather than fight it.

And I began to notice I was happier and more relaxed and I didn’t suffer from headaches in the same way that I did before.

Finding my way

Slowly I began to open myself to change and I began to implement the new discoveries into my own life. Of course, it was very difficult at times. Of course I made mistakes.

It was important for me to accept my mistakes and learn from them, and move on. I had a previous pattern of berating myself severely for any stupidity I might have made. I had to give it up if I wanted to be happier.

After some years, I discovered that Buddhism made the most sense to me as a way of thinking. The world is suffering. We are meant to be happy. Happiness and health go hand in hand. The way to happiness is though understanding the ways of the mind. Our unhappiness is produced because we have unhealthy attachments to memories, to ideas, to material possessions, to everything we perceive.

Its honestly the only system of thought that makes any sense to me. When I read Buddhist texts, its like reading variations of my own mind.

I began learning about the effects of the mind on the body. I learnt about Chinese medicine and qigong, yoga, meditation, self healing, reflexology, massage, hypnosis, jains, symbolism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, revelation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the list goes on.

I drank alcohol.

I went out and made friends with absolute strangers. I kept contact with friends I made.

I learnt all the social rules.

I went to work and earned a living.

I leant to appreciate and like children and understand their importance in the future of the world.


The problems

I was shy.

I associated exposed flesh as sex.

I associate sex with ‘bad and stupid’. (partly because the teenage girls and boys who were my peers were absolutely no role model for me at the time)

I thought I was over weight.

I thought I was plain, unattractive.

I hated to show my bottom, my derriere, my tush, my behind, my bum. (even writing those words make me squirm)

The solution

I tried to become interested in fashion and what other girls my age were thinking. I bought and read fashion magazines.

I experimented with fashion and thought about clothes that might suit and even flatter my figure.

I bought and experimented with make up.

I forced myself to talk to the male of the species without imagining they were all sex maniacs. I pictured them as ‘human’ – with NO sex. It helped at the time. I ignored the negative thoughts in my head about men and tried to see what was REALLY happening, not what I THOUGHT was happening.

I trained my body and got to know it anatomically.

I read books about sex. I watched videos about sex. I forced myself to talk to people about sex and break the taboo of the word in my mind. Every time I came up against one of my restrictions, I questioned it and did my best to break the bounds.

I listened to the positive things people said to me about my appearance and ignored the negative.
I trained myself to listen to a compliment and let it settle into me, to honestly feel the words and then give thanks for it.

I used positive affirmations to assure myself that I was attractive.

I learnt about women and leant to enjoy being one.

I let love in and addressed it to myself.

What next?

I look around me and I see that many people are struggling with different issues. Most of us don’t feel enough pain or see our problems as being so big that they need addressing. Its only people who have had enough. Its only people who can not take it any more that look for help. And its for them, that I write and talk so much about these things.

My life at present is divided between increasing self knowledge and sharing it.

Of course, as usual, if you have anything to add, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

My close ups

Look at these photos!

Its a relatively new way of taking photos, for me. But I love the detail. I like to see the veins in the leaves, the light touching each and every curve, the shift in colour. I like the blur in the back ground, and the unusual highlight of small things we can often over look.

New Growth

Twin Falls


Reaching out

My Inspiration

Induced Chi Flow

Feel the Flow
recommended for intermediate qigong students

What is it?

This is a method of Qigong training. A practitioner increases the flow of chi (energy) in the body, and allows the chi to direct the body's movements for self healing.

How? (notes taken from SIFU WONG KIEW KIT'S Book The Art of Chi Kung)

Begin by standing relaxed and upright. Place your middle finger (left for men and right for women) on your dan tien and gently press about ten times. Then drop your finger to your side.

Use the other middle finger (right for men and left for women) to gently massage the baihui vital point, at the crown of your head, about five times. Then drop the finger to your side.

Perform a simple two breath qigong exercise about 15-20 times. Pause between each sequence to feel the chi flowing down your body.

Perform a different two breath qigong exercise 15-20 times. Pause between each round to feel the chi flowing through the body.

Stand relaxed with your eyes gently closed. If you are already swaying or moving follow the movements gently, don’t go against them. The movements are enjoyable and agreeable. To begin with your eyes are closed.

If you are not moving, then imagine a cascade of energy running down your whole body, and enjoy the pleasant tingling feeling, if you feel it.

If you start to move too vigorously, tell yourself gently to slow down. You are always under the control of your mind. Remain calm.

When you’re ready to stop, then stop slowly and gracefully. Its that simple.

Chi self massage at the end of the session and walk about briskly.

For more information about this technique, click below -

I love it.
I find it the most effective way to clean my body. I like to trust my body and allow it to move into positions it knows will benefit my health. I feel refreshed and positive when i've finished.
What happens?
After a short amount of time (and I have been practising for over 12 years), I feel the heat and energy of my body begin to swell and take over my actions. I allow the heat to move and direct my physical motion.
Often my head falls backward, stretching my thoat and releasing energy in the throat energy centre. I learn about my self from the sessions. I am face to face with the negative build up in my body. I see directly the relationship between my mind and body.
If my throat is hurting, or swelling, it is usually in direct relationship to my inability to express myself, or it can represent something 'negative' I have said. The energy builds up in my body and i can feel it.
After some time, anywhere up to 30 minutes is usually enough, I wake slowly and regain full control of my senses
How Often?
Once a week is enough, for me, for health maintanence. More for spiritual and meditational growth.