Sunday, 14 July 2013

The post that isn't actually about jars

My sense of humour, to which I am lovingly attached by thick, genetic, red cords of joy, is very firmly rooted in my shadow side. I imagine it originates in the 'gallows humour' of previous generations laughing rather than crying through some extremely tough times. Maybe that's what humour is in all of us. I just know that there are times - not the 'ohmygodI'mcryingandmyfaceHURTS' times but more the 'raiseaneyebrowandpolishmytiming' times - when I am most definitely not coming from a place where I am My Best Self. Yes dear reader, I have been known to snark with the best of them.


When my buttons are pushed, especially the one labelled Affectation Alert, I can be wicked nasty. My current, self-appointed role as the Chief of Jar Police makes me spit snarky feathers whenever I see anyone drinking out of a damn jam jar. Unless you're out all day and can't afford the 'essential neo-vintage thermos' or even a water bottle for your homemade juice/soup/tea, it's surely the stupidest trend since the duck lip. Poverty is not glamorous. Fake is not admirable. I saw yesterday that that bastion of style over content, Jamie's restaurant, now serves some drinks in jars. It makes me want to Hulk out and smash his puny clone eateries (including the artfully worn wallpaper) even though I actually really like the bloke.

And yet...

I am woefully obsessed with my own physical image. I mean, tragically. I have changed my hairstyle and colour more times then I've changed my blog header (gasp). I almost always - except when I'm dog-walking at 5am - think about what I'm going to wear and what it 'says' about me that day. I am utterly depressed about the state of my neck and the lines on my face. My snarkiness over the image-obsessed carries a hefty dose of projection in its poisoned arrows.

I suppose, if I were to be charitable, I could say that it matters to me that my outside is in alignment with my inside. That I am authentic and honest. That I want people to see who I am because while I appreciate that most people have far, far better things to think about than what my choice of shirt or anything else says about me, I do believe we all quite innocently assess people in part by how they appear.

The last three or four years have been tough for my family and our roles were considerably changed. As a result, I think, I have let the more (traditionally seen as) masculine side of my personality (which is quite a lot) take the lead. I felt the need to be responsible, practical, strong, independent. Of course women are also all those things but for me at this time it was a case of being the old skool Provider. This meant my physical appearance took on a decidedly androgynous form - a favourite of mine anyway - and I've been all cropped hair, jeans, plaid shirts, tough boots and pretty much one hardhat short of a lumberjack. Love it. But life moves in circles. What came from inside to the outside, flowed back in again and strengthened the whole androgynous vibe. I lost contact with my feminine side, my sexuality, my vulnerability, my creativity.

My power.

Oh the irony.

It's possibly the easiest aspect of myself for me to give up, like pulling a weed with shallow roots, as my  primary female role model was not a good one or at least, not one I aspired to emulate in any way. As I find myself now - for reasons I might write about another day - looking not to rediscover my femininity so much as discover it for the first time, I'm using some online tools to help collect clues.  My Pinterest is getting some heavy use. I'm also listening to wise women, Pixie and Athena talk about managing energetic boundaries over at Sacred Grit, a topic that is essential for me as the daughter of a woman who has never had healthy boundaries herself. In fact it was in one of Pixie's other presentations, maybe this one, that she mentions her own search for a healthy, feminine role model and how (paraphrasing) she has found one in Nature. This has been where my search has led me too. As I said, life moves in circles and the more I know and understand and love Nature, the more I am able to offer those same things to myself. Not simply as a practical, useful, responsible do-er of what needs to be done, but as the spiritual fire tender I feel emerging. Stronger but softer. I may even resign from the Jar Police.*




*Who am I kidding? Never gonna happen.





Friday, 12 July 2013

#amlearning

The Office


The Desk


The Work


This learning is bringing up some challenges for me, as it should. But while summer is here and I have time to sit in the green and the fresh air, no work ever felt better. (Look at my 'familiar' sunning himself. How is he not a pool of melted dog?)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Animal life



Wolf, always with me, and pounamu, treasured gift from Leonie
Feeling wordless and untamed today.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Clearly



Remember that Word of the Year thing that some of us do? Mine this year were 'love' and 'life'. I may have thrown in 'peace' for good measure. And so far so jolly good with all three. I am experiencing all of them in far greater amounts.

So if I was to be feeling all gung-ho about my WOTY power I might choose one for the halfway point. Which is today. Today is the halfway point, not the word. Although...I could choose worse.

Clarity. That's going to be my halfway word. I get terrible brain fog thanks to migraine (and its meds), fatigue, too much coffee, hormones, SAD, sugar, my actual personality. These days I find myself craving sharpness of mind. I sometimes feel my mental clarity has degraded along with my eyesight. I need contact lenses for my brain. I long for a razor-sharp thought the way I sometimes long for citrus flavours to cut through the general blah of carbohydrates.

And that is not such a random analogy because carbohydrates are how I have always self-medicated, sedating myself and my anxiety. That way of eating, of living, plays a huge role in my brain chemistry. Also, my month or so of being totally dairy-free earlier this year was a revelation - I swear I gained at least 10 IQ points. Then I drowned them in chocolate and cheese and cappuccino. (By the way, if you're thinking, 'Chocolate, cheese and coffee? No wonder she gets migraine!' I respectfully ask you to back off. I've studied my brain chemistry for forty years and long ago discovered that my cravings for those things are a symptom of my migraine, not the cause.)

So, I'm making an agreement with myself to lose the dairy again, however strong the cravings may become. I know where to find good dairy free chocolate and cappuccinos don't need cows. Cheese is still an issue for me - I have yet to find any cheese substitute that didn't make me gag - but I will find it.

Water is a wonderful ally in the search for clarity, after all, it embodies it. A kinesiologist who did wonderful things for me, once described my body as having a reversed reaction to water, probably due to having watched helplessly as my baby brother nearly drowned right beside me and no one came to help us (he didn't, he's fine and 48 years old now). I know how to work on this and turn it the right way around once I'm aware it's flipped again.

Lastly, but by no means leastly, I'm going to attempt to cut back on some of the mental clutter I carry. I have this theory that the reason you get more 'absent-minded' as you get older is simply that your hard drive is nearly full. The processing becomes slower and slower and now and again it just times out. Whereas I can look at Evie with her mere seven years of up/downloads and see how fast and sharp her brain is. All new and shiny and full of space. I blame the fact that my memory was always superb for the fact that my head is now almost overflowing with information the way my dad's shed overflowed with piles of old newspapers and magazines. Some, a lot, of it can go. I can't delete but I do believe that a process of slowing down further input (amount and quality), and meditation in order to defrag the files already there, will help a great deal.

So...clarity. Looking at this I think it's obvious I have a way to go yet.