a meditating figure sits serenely amidst flowers and pink and blue clouds acrylic on canvas by phoebe thomasson

Here are your Sanity Claus top tips for Silly Season

Are you planning on staying sane this Christmas? Me too.

Here’s how I intend to do it….

ONE: I will give myself permission to do any and all the following…

  1. Fail: failure IS an option and it’s not a sack-able offence. In fact it can lead to greater creativity if we are light about it. If we have any anger towards it that’s ok. Be with that anger too. Just channel it into something creative.
  2. Succeed: I can succeed at anything I want if I notice when I am doing it well….does that make sense? Success comes in all shapes and forms. Staying calm is success, especially at the moment! Just make a mental note of when you are doing it right.
  3. Try: Trying has such a bad rap but it might work out useful in the right situation. Try to stay calm instead of flying off the handle…just….try….! If you fail, well go back to step one.
  4. Experiment: Definitely worth doing, but you’ve got to watch for results and be on the ball….don’t lose your head over this one! Say to yourself, “What would happen if….”
  5. Practice: Practice the things you know you want to do but you don’t know how to do them well enough for your satisfaction. Practice it and things might just happen. Practice everything…including staying calm!

TWO: I will be devastatingly honest with myself…

Don’t leave anything unexamined, even if it’s completely cringe-worthy. Try to let it all BE without needing to act-out, (unless the acting out feels good that is; that’s therapy!) There’s a fine line between cathartic therapeutic process and destructive compulsive childish behaviour; but it’s a mile wide in practice. Imagine you’re an actor. It’s about masks. Just be conscious and KEEP CHECKING INTO SELF AWARENESS (which only lives in the NOW by the way) and in time you can let the mask drop, revealing your amazing authentic self!

More Later…

Simply do a little at a time….

That’s the level thirty-three and a half place of mastery…

SOAR!!!

Happy Flight

ūüėČ

Weather Front…a Poem

Photo Credit: Roger Kirby
Cold
Heat
I'm at the junction 
where the weather fronts meet
Clashing, stress rising 
like milk boiling over
Cruel, cool knife edge cutting 
through the desperation of 
a mind gone sour
Too tired to function
love's left this heart
Compassion, strained
this anger ingrained
Got to take a deep breath and 
press 'restart'!
No shame in this game just 
stop and start again...
Again, again I hear 
the refrain slow down 
and chill life's been handing 
you a bitter pill 
But you must rise
Brighter thoughts 
than this can inhabit your 
emotional skies
Even in motion you have 
the balm
The healing potion
Just get the notion
Volcanoes must erupt
its not that you're corrupt
so let it go, set 
'go with the flow' on your sat-nav
There are those who have 
less grace than this
no need to stress about 
the hit and miss
Nature of reality 
the moons and changing tides
Respond, react to inner rhythm 
This is where your mystery resides
 
Searching for balance 
in the motion of events
Like surfing 
we learn to take the rough 
and tumble, the mundane 
mixed with intense
Trying to find 
mindful presence 
in a storm of 
compassion versus anger
Aggression 
gnawing at me 
like a dog 
with a bone
Just let me lie 
down...
Take me home.



Photo Credit: Roger Kirby



Why Euphoria Is The Enemy of Joy

For years I’ve battled with depression. What I never understood and took into account was the other side of the coin. Euphoria.

Euphoria is like a fire dance. It looks good against the darkness but when the fuel runs out then you still have the darkness.

Having never been diagnosed with the label ‘Bi-Polar’ I never considered the intense ‘ups’ of my experience to be anything more than the expression of my natural ebullience for life. These energies would manifest in quite excessive behavior which merely fitted my self-image as a ‘bit of a rebel’.

I could live with that and rather liked the label as it gave me license to do crazy stuff, wear outlandish clothes, smoke and drink myself silly. Nothing wrong with that I thought! No, not much! Apart from the obvious physical damage, there was something else. What I hadn’t taken into account was the other me. The sensitive, shy, thoughtful and serious me that wanted to be taken ‘seriously’ as an artist but never really got a look in because ‘bolshy sista!’ was in command…most of the time.

The other me showed up on the back of the Black Dog (Depression) and came in all tears and insecurity. I hated her! Or at least ‘queen bitch’ hated her and called her horrid names which made her cry even more. I would sit up with insomnia night after night doing yoga, smoking cigarettes, eating or surfing on the internet because I couldn’t get any head peace, such was my torment!

Now I understand why I could never resolve the depression until now. I was attached to the ‘high’ me and that person didn’t know how to stop!

The¬† tormented ‘come downs’ and psychotic breakthroughs were clearly a result of my reckless drug taking and my relentless pursuit of creative and sexual highs! Ultimately, the ‘high life’ became my undoing.

Emotional Sobriety…

Today I am more sober than ever and happier than I’ve ever known. I’ve had some sense knocked into me at last, but I couldn’t hear the truth of the matter for years as I played the fool to cover over my insecurities. It was a mere front for the longing I really felt to be recognized by others. A simple desire to be loved for who I truly was, even though I couldn’t see her except through the eyes of a few staunch believers.

I am finally relieved of the mantle I set many years back when I looked to role models that were skin deep. I thought I could be a Blondie without knowing anything more than her image. I thought I could be a rebel but found out that I didn’t really have anything to rail against because I was a middle class girl who ostensibly had everything.

Why do it? Because we were too young to know the difference between the lipstick life and the rich bounty of life in the secure lane and we were never taught by security. We were taught rules and what not to do.

I don’t resent my upbringing but it does leave me asking, are kids really getting it any different today? Are they learning about what makes them tick or are they being told what not to do and left high and dry when they step out of line.

Is your rebel really an insecure creative looking to fly her own skies with the bounty of her full gusto?

Namaste

Photo Credit Ritvik

Courtesy of Belovodchenko Anton

New Thoughts: Letting go and changing track

The art of acceptance is getting more, well…acceptable in my camp.¬† This is sterling news I can tell you.¬†Let me demonstrate how this transformation is manifesting right now; I’m sure you must have had this happen before too.

OK. I¬†spent a bit of precious time today writing out a long comment on a blog¬†and before I posted it in the final¬†adjustments it¬†just disappeared; ¬†I mistakenly clicked a random link somewhere, and lo and behold the work is gone. After all that work I was, well, a little annoyed but the beautiful thing was that I came straight on here and started writing. I’ve decided to use that energy of frustration positively and do something right away. I might even create a page right now, listing all the things I was going to put on the comment.¬†How about that? Why is that amazing?
Well the thing is that I know how I would have reacted a year ago; bellowing and hitting my palms on the desk or some other such over-reaction. It certainly wouldn’t have been that calm!

I am now starting to¬†believe that¬†the changes I’ve made recently, most especially in my diet,¬†are transforming my reactions as well as just my body composition!
This is¬†surprising considering I’ve only been ‘Primal’ for a couple of months now. No, I take it back; this is truly amazing! The scientist in me is doing cartwheels for I can now see solid results with my own eyes on levels beyond the physical. It seems¬†that there is more to the Carbohydrate addiction than meets the eye.
For instance, our little boy is so much calmer without the processed apple syrup covered rice cakes and other ‘treats’ that we used to rely on to ‘calm him down’ or appease him. Now I can see we were unwittingly keeping him on a grain and fructose¬†induced sugar high that was¬†sending his little head¬†spinning and therefore making his behaviour reasonably uncontrollable. We only noticed it when it (his brain)¬†was running out of fuel!! This is a child who has been brought up on practically no sugar (we thought!). God only knows what other kids are like on fizzy drinks and the like! I mean this was a humble rice cake or ten!

Sometime things are not meant to happen in the way we think they should, and that’s the inevitable¬†part of life that the ‘angry’ perfectionist will just not accept.

Now I can see that the fuel I was choosing was not only ‘feeding’ this destructive tendency, but actively joining the dots to make it an explosive outlet for pent up and excessive ‘backlog’ of energy that was not being used constructively.

Now I no longer feel driven or ambitious, but I do feel inspired and productive!

Now I no longer feel I’m fighting my way through treacle town, but I do now feel muscles working in my legs and a fleetness of foot previously unknown.

Now I no longer feel myself fatigued by social encounters, but I do feel energized and excited in a nice way.

Can all this happen because of a change of diet? Well yes. They say you are what you eat. If you eat quick burning fuel (sugar, starch) then you’re going to be what ever you already are, but quicker.¬† It turns out I was always quick, despite what my art teacher thought!! Bitch!

Ahem. Excuse me…

My point is that I still get angry like normal people do, however, there is a shift in quality.¬†It is now somehow grounded, almost ironic if you know what I mean, and also strangely humorous! In other words, when I catch myself ‘being angry’ I can see my inner Buddha nodding and chuckling. This is such a transformation.

My rage of before used to be searing, dangerous and downright depressing in it’s desire to destroy and inflict pain. I have never felt so relieved to see a part of me transform than this.

So no, sometimes when things go ‘wrong’¬† we must remember that things are destined to go wrong (for this is Samsara remember!) but let it not be us that is the thing going wrong eh?¬†That isn’t the way it’s supposed to be at all! We are supposed to stand in the field of life with our hair dangling in the wind as we walk between the tracks of wheat we will never eat, simply enjoying the walk and the feel of nature about us.

The art is in letting it go and changing your track…then keep on walking!

Namaste

For more about living a Primal lifestyle and eating a very healthy low carb diet visit this fantastic site…

www.marksdailyapple.com

Photo Courtesy of Belovodchenko Anton

Why the world is full of blithering idiots, and why I’m to blame….

Whoa…

Well you can tell what kind of mood I was in when I devised the title for this post. Well yes, steaming angry with a little bitty sneaky sense of humourous insight…well after a time anyway. Kind of neat, as they say across the pond.

Let me expand if you will.

The world is full of blithering idiots. This indeed is a fact, according to my angry brain when it is incensed at some ‘stupidity’ that has just befallen the household, for example, letting a two-year old carry a huge vase of flowers will result in a puddle on the carpet. As I said, blithering idiot, daddy of said two-year old is the current favorite.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Inflamed righteous anger mind now joins lots of random ‘stupid’ dots and sees that lo and behold, ‘it’ is actually surrounded by blithering idiots, um…most of the time…oh no, in fact it is incorrect. It turns out that actually, the whole, entire world is most definitely without a doubt beyond recognition in fact…. in actual fact totally FULL OF BLITHERING IDIOTS!!!!!

Hm.

Well, yes. I’m partially ashamed to say it, and equally partially relieved to admit that this ‘it’ is indeed, my mind.

Wahoooooo!

Look at me, I’m out of the I’m a hundred per cent positive closet and am now a fully fledged ‘real’ person with negative shit, and shit…..Phew! I thought you might judge me harshly and think ‘Oh My God! What a perfectly awful person, I shall definitely avoid her in the future, she is definitely not on the perfect list, avoid! avoid! I am a Dalek!!!’

Except you’re not a Dalek are you. And, hey I have a negative streak a mile wide that thinks you are a blithering idiot, but really that’s my fault….isn’t it….see?

a pink moon and pink bamboo on a lake original acrylic painting by uk artist phoebe thomasson

How to not be angry with Stuff

Well

Before we start, and I want to be quick, this is not a prescriptive. I plain don’t know how not to be angry. It’s really a question that I intend to answer myself.

Ok so meditation does help but if I don’t do it then I don’t get the calm buzz. Thing is, I’ve been getting angry about lots of things and they all seem pretty stupid like messy kitchen, living room, landing, garden…hmm; seems to me that I really am allergic to mess, chaos and clutter. Good job I’m learning to be a minimalist isn’t it? I’ve got miles to go and I just can’t seem to stop buying clothes. I’m truly addicted to eBay. What’s wrong with me?

I despair at myself at times, and when I run out of despair for myself I can find plenty of others to despair at. It’s a hideous mindset; I really hate it. I don’t want to be hung up on external things forever like they really matter because surely they don’t matter that much because they don’t really exist. It’s all just a load of old space and emptiness.

Did I mention I’ve been studying Buddhism, and the Buddhists really get this. I mean, they can explain emptiness like no other explanation on earth. It’s really something! ha. Nothing is not nothing.

So why does it all have such an effect on me? Stuff. You know! It’s still quite a mystery to me why I get so wound up about it. It’s like I become hooked on cleaning, and it’s satisfying for a while, while it’s clean. BUT then it becomes messy again and I just go berserk after a while because I just can’t keep up with it all. AND it becomes messy FAR quicker than it gets sorted out! Why is this? Decay and Chaos are predispositions for life it seems. We’re all destined to have our cellular structures, so neatly put together at the start, gradually pulled apart and mashed into chaos pulp no sooner than we hit 30 and then it’s …oh, this is sounding so negative. I’m sorry. Gracious me, what a tangled web this stuff creates in me.

I need a remedy. A new mindset….hmmm.

ILOVECHAOS AND CHAOS LOVESME…

NO rhyme nor reason. Just changin’ with the season.

Letting flow. Letting go, go, go…(to bed)

I’ve got to let this stuff be easy, breezy, japaneezy.

I’ll try it tomorrow. NOTHING is going to disturb my equanimity and lest I become hoisted by my own petard (what IS that?~I love it) I shall let you know how I got on.

Knight Knight

Serenity Incarnate

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