Tag Archives: #selflove

Stop for a minute, or a week

Stop War by Irina Ivanova

Stop and smell the roses, so they say. Force the halt, cease all activity apart from the necessity to breathe. Even if only for a few minutes, although a week or two would be best. Give yourself that time to be and do whatever you’re guided to do, without question.

Give yourself permission to not think and listen to what calls from inside. Feel that breath rise from your belly, imagine the pent-up of must-dos passing through parched lips into a vanquished place of no return.

Step off the doing and thinking treadmill and rest from what needs to be done for an hour, even 10 minutes a day will give the heart the freedom to do as it wills. Leave your phone, emails and all social media. Allow yourself to turn off from the crazy of the world, whether the cat crying at three or four in the morning to be let outside or the tantrum throwing adult wanting the red lollypop in the supermarket that one person holds, when a thousand red lollypops sit on the shelf.

Shut down from the tormenting anger spiked in the anguish of a river bed scorched in skeletal frailty, shelter from the spits of narcissistic demands of entitlement with no care for anyone but an ego self. Such darkness of malice hurts, especially when devoid of care or nurture.

Take a breath in the open air, even if clouds loom in grumbling grey and screams of me, me, me taunt a genial breeze. Wriggle your toes in the grass and feel the soft blades bend to your curve of step, appreciate the occasional stab from a broken twig or thorn from a weed as a reminder that without pain, we cannot know pleasure. Notice cars zooming by, and the occasional siren of urgency. Discern the hues of mauve and lilac tinging those pillows of brewing above.

Eat when you’re hungry and not according to the clock, play in the sand pit with your toddler or the foot beneath the table of the woman you want to lunch with, even if it’s to share a cheese sandwich by a lake.

Make love. Eat some more, the hommos in the fridge with Turkish bread or the goji berries coated in dark chocolate. Some say cold meat pies are best. Watch movies. Walk the dog and stroke the cat, allow them to sneak onto a bed for an afternoon nap. Lounge in your favourite leather chair and watch more movies. Doze, then read. Sip a slow brewed coffee dolloped in cream or a glass of wine or beer, or better yet, a Wild Thing cocktail swimming in passionfruit with a flaming cinnamon stick for stirring.

Take that sojourn from daily grind and do your nothing, whatever that is to you. Say no to the meeting you must have with him or negotiation you must have with her. Help that person you promised after you’ve had time to catch up with you. Give yourself the courtesy and good health of time. Talk to her or see him when you’re ready. You won’t burn at the stake or be stoned for ignoring a sulking demand.

It’s not a luxury to give this time to oneself, but a necessity to be in your nothing. It comes with a level of courage though, for what floods in when the weave of distractions slackens, can swirl in muddy torrents that whip into a whirlpool of lost swirl.

What to do when one stops doing what is supposed to be done can confuse day and night and merge thoughts of today and tomorrow to a mess of exhaustion. Legs can grow heavy and struggle to move, feet trip over a pavement of no undulation. Eyelids hang tired and ache in limp muscles and steadying in this whirlpool of lost takes every imaginable speck of strength.

Where to, what now, how can I … this is awful.

Yet among the birds continuing to chirp in varying trills to a background of murmuring traffic is the eye in the muddy torrent, where the muck settles and glimpses of love without judgment begin to flicker. That light and love grow and soon, the radiance of those that give and appreciate shine as stars that blind all that take with the insatiable intensity and selfish desire of a Vampire Bat, tearing blood vessels with its sharpest of teeth and sucking half its weight in blood without being noticed.

In that light is a care that comes without effort because it simply exists as an endless purity, sometimes bound in intrinsic fibres that can’t be explained, understood or denied. Surrendering to the heart to find the natural flow is all that matters. The head has no say.

Demands of work, children and family can mellow with time to be. Legs will gain their strength as you stroll through that moist grass in the backyard, the tips tickling between your toes. You’ll notice the single leaf falling from the plum tree in tune with the season and remember the sweetness of the first summer fruit. You’ll appreciate the time you’ve given yourself and ease into that groove of being.

The washing machine goes quiet; time to put another load on and maybe make a cup of tea to have with a piece of chocolate-raspberry mud cake topped in luscious cream. Lunch. With a movie. And the tea should be peppermint, to make for a slightly healthier lunch.

To relish in the freedom of being and to understand that a few days of time to be yourself and not fulfil a string of obligations, is an unexpected gift.

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Braless and sipping champagne

freedom and liberation

Whip off that bra … ahhh, free and fabulous! Kick off the heels and shed the stockings …

Slip into the softest, stretch-with-your-every-move pyjamas for complete comfort after a long day. Pop the cork of the best, cooled champagne and pour it into the glamour of a 1950’s coupe that fills the stem before erupting in bubbles into the bowl. And sip. They say the champagne coupe was model-led on the breast of Helen of Troy or Marie Antoinette, some even say Madame de Pompadour.

It could be a scene from Absolutely Fabulous where Edina and Patsy drink champagne at the kitchen bench. For a moment, you can appreciate the end of the day or the week that’s been, or even a completed job, before the next hours of dinner and washing, the next day of work and whatever else life throws at you.

Escaping any shackles imbues a sense of energy and freedom, a true liberation. Joan of Arc as the fearless warrior and the 1960s feminist movement where going braless was a revolutionary act, of being comfortable above meeting social expectations, instils a similar release.

Try it. Toss the bag onto the chair and unknot the tie, replace the shoes and socks for thongs or flip flops or no shoes at all. Free those toes onto the warmth of wooden floors or into the grass outside as you inspect the garden, the tomatoes turning green-yellow, the chillies of flaming red. Grab the shovel and hoe into the dirt, the sun warming your back and the Daphne against the paling fence that exudes its sweetness.

Slide off the tweed trousers and draw up the board shorts or boxers after a 40-degree day, free style if that’s your thing.

Pull on those boots to snowboard down a thick powdery layer of virgin snow, to sprays of cool over bare cheeks and you as the only movement among the white. Appreciate the isolation and serenity.

Lounge to a movie or birds chortling their business with a book in hand, laughter in another room. Go for a run or swim, slump into the bean bag or arm chair with The Supremes, Sting or Strauss or any music that transports you to a time of fancy-free and invincible, with your kind of champagne by your side.

And breathe.

Free of all constraints, freedom to be where you are and feel what you feel, in the conviction of you are where you are meant to be, even without clarity of what that is, a sovereignty to a knowing when the lift door opens to the next floor.

They’re moments of pure immersion, when sipping the effervescence that lights the head in a contrast of weightlessness, energy and vitality to fuel a revolution within, bubbles up the stem.

Madame de Pompadour once said, “Champagne is the only drink that leaves a woman still beautiful after drinking it.”

‘Do you want something, Eddy, to go with your champagne?’

‘No, darling, nothing for me but your friendship, Patsy. And to have this damn bra off.’

Pick-up sticks

$_35

Toss those sticks way up in the air and stand back. Watch them propel and collide, splinter and fuse with neighbouring and crossing sticks, often with those tossed by others. They crack to glimmers of aquamarine tinged in teal and highlights of ochres in oranges, twisting and twirling into unknowns and gleaming silver beams of life into the Universe.

The higher they rise, the slower they climb, until their speed is curtailed and they linger within a hover. We watch in bated breath within our own pause.

Then their descent begins and time kick starts. Speed gathers in quick momentum in flashes of blurred bronze and blizzard blue and our sticks crash in scattered confusion onto any slippery, stable or stodgy surface. Wherever they land serves a purpose and our job is to pick them up to discover their intent.

That seems to be life for many at the moment. Whether because of the politics of the world, the passing of someone prominent in one’s life or from those birthdays that end in zeroes, those big, life changing ones. The fact is, life is about change. Life is filled with contrasts of busyness and stagnation, always changing depending on where our sticks land and the manner in which we pick them up or slide them out.

Life just is. The birds and bees are on constant rotation. Children grow and blossom into their own person. We grow. Life flows between enriched satiation and boring bland, of the sapless in an endless burnt umber or in the tranquil azure of turquoise.

Living without expectation is key. What’s underneath the purple stick as it slides out from the red could lead to enchanting discoveries of personal, professional and otherwise, of the most powerful, life affecting surprises. It’s vital to enact plans that are fuelled by passions but just as important to not hold preconceived ideas or expectations. Holding those can hide the most amazing finds and block growth, unmet expectations can lead to disappointment and emotional torment.

Picking up our sticks once they’ve landed is a matter of rolling up the sleeves and getting on with it, to uncover paths from beneath the intrigue of maroon or mined from the riches of gold. Some paths may be straightforward and clear, others may be covered in debris and full of winding roads and hills to climb.

My sticks were tossed some months ago and are slowing in upward propulsion in many more formations and shades than usual, glimmering in pinks and greens and with an abundance of red too. New sticks already shimmy in new trajectories.

Their decent is inevitable, and soon. And when they do come tumbling down, they’ll continue to spin and intermingle, some may disintegrate and even explode before they land.

I’ll be here, waiting and ready for any landing. The subliminal excitement in the not knowing and in the knowing that changes are afoot smoulders in sepia tones of magenta beneath the innocence of baby blue – such contrasts to look forward to!

A storming ride

Starry-Night 1889 Vincent van Gogh

Speckling ideas, partial and fragmented, brewing in twinkle yet without spark. They’re more a hazy glint of thoughts that fade in and out faraway, sometimes flashing as a glimmer of something and then disappearing with the flutter of an eye lid.

Time ticks. There’s nothing more.

Until that hazy glint grows and feeds the head with a heavy might. It whips at limbs that become tired and limp.

Tingling tangles of thinking, eyes darting in flurry as people look and stare. And then comes the squeeze within a vice of lead and excruciating dread and a body rippling and tensing in terse.

Clashing confusion and rumbling ruin, ranting and raving. He is, she was. You’re it, you’re not …

Words overflow in an electrical storm of despair and are hammered by floods of entwining and interconnected molesting vines. They meld as a mash of mess spiked in diamonds tainted in venomous credibility. They shred through everything but understanding.

No sense of semblance, just mad irrationality shared with rationality, spewing fire and ice in bursts of hate and desperation, gasps in bated breath … roaring and ripping into everything and everyone in its cyclonic wake … It’s too much. End it now!

And with that comes a release, an excretion of toxic waste that gnaws at the soul of essence.

The crescendo tumbles, spiralling down, down to flat as grey, black of nothing.

The electric storm of fire and ice has dissipated. Within an isolated place of refuge yet with no railing or safety barrier, the free-fall-to-nowhere ride funnels through an opening into the core of the earth.

Quiet after the erupting, storming head. Ride complete. For now.

Life’s aeration

aerators3

Life is a continuous string of aerations, pearling moments that we ease by or clunk over as eternal knots. We’re constantly easing and climbing where life often begins as a thick, anaerobic sludge. Breaking it down is challenging and can feel almost impossible to manoeuvre. Air lacks and signs point in a million directions.

Until life’s aerators switch on and we’re suddenly whisking in a big milk shake.

Aerators add air. Some are huge machines that are used to mix thick wastewater or sewage as a way of adding air where no air exists. It’s the important first step in treating and cleaning the sewage by supporting natural biological processes without the aid of harsh chemicals. The whole sewage treatment process is fascinating, as are the aerators, which appear as contraptions that Leonardo da Vinci may have drawn in the 15th Century.

Life is one continuous strand full of necessary aerations, of cleaning and sorting, of froth and bubbles full of a pungent pong as it attempts to move to an airy aroma. These aerations repeat in ebbs and flows, as the cycle of life.

The aerating process could extend for any length of time, a second, a few minutes or a week. We may catch a serendipitous ripple and flow past the aerators’ rotors onto the next pearl of where we’re meant to be.

Other times can be the extreme opposite where unfortunately for some, aerating that anaerobic pit can take a lifetime. It can mix us sick or we can become stagnant to whiz in the same place over and over again. Life can become stuck as we try to sort through the messy shit.

Celebrations and upset come and go, desires and expectations change or aren’t met. For some, it’s a taut succession of requirements and obligations that must be sorted and prioritised.
He has more than she, she wants him and he wants him too. Excitement and joy, loving and being loved, loneliness, death …

All merge into dreams of sleep that can haze a reality of feelings, of what’s real and what’s not, what’s true and not or what’s what.

The aeration can be slow and tedious or it can quicken through the night with glimpses of opportunity shining from under a blue moon. We reach and stretch and stop struggling against the aerators to instead, flow with them to whiz wherever life takes us. We’re spat out to continue to the next pearl in life.

Soon enough, we’re out of that aeration and past those knots onto pursuing those opportunities glimpsed.

At times though, being caught up in those rotors can become a comfort zone and the trick is in the letting go of the struggle to allow those rotors to shake us and lead us somewhere new. In letting go, the kinks in the strand of pearls unfurl to sit relaxed and loose, free to go where they need to go.

It’s a trick that I wonder whether anyone has truly mastered, magician or otherwise!

The form of kaleidoscope

Flower Kaleidescope

Broken and shattered, sometimes fractured, smatterings of shards of every size and shape.

It begins as a brittleness, a weakness that with every morsel sampled, dries more and more to become fragile until pieces suddenly snap off and fall away. Soon and without realising, they’re tumbling in gathered speed to free fall as an unknown journey to somewhere.

Snagging off scarps and clipping through craggy crevices that scratch angry, the free fall gathers momentum to hurtle towards a pit of devastation, a black hole with no landing. Pieces that once gelled to form the most glorious wings, flap in frantic fright as severely clipped with quills lost make wings useless to fly free.

Sometimes it’s not a slow fracture that bleeds to a fall but more a sudden and unexpected plummet from cloudless, blue skies, without warning or knowledge of any underlying delicate balance.

How and why …

A burly panic, a paste and patch to fill the cracks and invisible pores that even under a magnifying glass can’t be seen. Scraps and specks, fragments and flecks … somehow they must mend into one, to capture that essence of soulful core before it drains to depleted dry, before it becomes barren and desolate in a forgotten land. And then lifeless. And more struggle with the lifeless.

These chunks and slivers of shapes never seen before must rejoin with a super glue of the utmost strength and magical powers to form the ultimate bond.

Piece by piece, they mend back together to form something else, never in the original form that once was. New forma are made, new calluses spread over wounds and seams to strengthen that fragile resolve. These new forms are more beautiful and intricate than ever before with dents that dazzle in colours unseen and frays that frizzle to create a most unique and interesting kaleidoscope of form.

Sometimes though, the join or wound cannot mend and it becomes a permanent weakness where the slightest knock can damage severely. Sometimes, the super glue is inferior in quality or an imitation that’s simply a paste of flour and water, is used and the pieces can’t mend no matter what. Or if they mend, the first rain drop that skims the join becomes like sulphuric acid rampant on innocent skin.

It’s sad, heartbreaking. But even then, a new form is born.

As pieces come together and clipped wings mend, appreciate the intricate contours of form made, the breaks and falls, the welds that make up the unique and individual kaleidoscope of life.

My Ding A Ling

Ronald Jackson • Fuji Volcano, Japan, Cherry Blossom

I’ve heard it many times. Go with the flow and don’t waste your time paddling upstream. That way you’ll get to where you want to be faster and easier than if you were paddling against life’s natural drift, which can set you up for a life of challenge.

Sometimes a want for something is not within grasp and suddenly, that natural drift of life becomes a choppy ride as we reach for that desire. The boat rocks. Blackened branches from long gone trees jut out to force us to swerve to avert their danger and push us in directions we don’t want to be. Soon we’re caught in the turbulence of three rivers converging, their waters gushing in to stir up stagnant silt. A choice in direction must be made yet seeing which way to go is obscured by the rough waters.

So move with the natural flow of the stream I’m told. That could mean sailing past moss-laden green banks and unfurling fronds of ferns or banks dripping in lemon-scented eucalypts after day-long rain, or it could be barely moving on stagnant, brown water under a blaring hot sun where each breath in burns your nostrils. And sometimes it may be bouncing off rocks to become scarred by their immovable force, with currents imprisoning us in their rapids and throwing us in their turbulence where we can feel like we’re drowning. Because that IS life.

I’m told we must keep going. Go with the flow and don’t fight it. Keep your head above water, especially in those rapids. Follow your passions and move with them through the turbulence and winding rivers and appreciate every moment as you go for you’ll see some amazing and unexpected sights, even if you can’t see where you’re going. Follow those passions and dreams because they’re intrinsic to us. Follow them through and be grateful for the sunshine and light breeze that sail us forward. But clouds will form and storms will brew as they are as much part of this Earth as we are, and ride with those too.

The question is though, how do we know when it’s time to stop paddling against the stream, when it’s time to give up to rest our burning and weary shoulders and blistered and bleeding palms to paddle back downstream, even if the direction it will take us isn’t part of where we want to go?

How do we know that the rapids we’re riding aren’t part of our life journey, that they aren’t meant to be and it’s time to turn back, when we can’t see over the torrents or around the next bend in the river or the progress we’ve made if we look behind and we’re still in the bend?

I’m told we’ll know which way to go. We’ll feel it. We’ll have an inner knowing. I’m told everything is in its right purpose and time, that life is malleable material in our hands even when it may seem fairly immovable at times.

I think I’m at my rivers meeting point, trying to stay buoyant and constantly cleaning my glasses from the splodges of sediment obscuring my view of where I should take my work next. I know that is life and I suppose the turbulence and not seeing where to go is as necessary as listening to son one serenade son two on the guitar with Chuck Berry’s My Ding A Ling to wake him this Sunday morning. I like that part of my flow.

Maybe Chuck Berry knew how to move with the flow of life in his Ding A Ling song:
Now this here song it ain’t so bad
Prettiest little song that you ever had
And those of you who will not sing
must be playing with your own Ding-a-ling

Maybe we need to learn to sing as we move with the flow life.

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