Monday, April 21, 2014

Rules for Being Human

Following my ramblings on life lessons,  I thought this piece would work well.  I don't like the word 'Rules' - that can press my buttons,  but if I think of it as Truths,  Truths about being human,  I can take it all in.  I came across it when I was working as a therapist in an addiction clinic,  and it still holds true,  all these years later...

The Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works."

4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive there are lessons to be learned.

6. "There" is no better than "here." When your "there" has become a "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."

7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you. The answer to life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

10. This will often be forgotten, only to be remembered again.

(Cherie Carter-Scott)

I just love no. 10 - because it is forgotten but lingers,  and once you know it,  you can draw on it again.  Very nice piece,  glad to remind myself of it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Preparedness and Luck II – Life Lessons

So I wrote about Preparedness and Luck and realized something was missing from it. Sometimes we decide we want or need something and life doesn't give it to us.  It can be the extreme – I want an Oscar and a movie star career – or completely ordinary – I want a baby.  Whatever it is, the desire is heartfelt and true, but the reality doesn't come. 

Now we have to ask ourselves, why are we not getting what we so desire? The baby is actually a better example than the Oscar and fame – actually very few people get Oscars and fame, but the vast majority can have babies, if they want.  So if that is your wish, why can’t you have it?  

Ariel Brearly,  Eve Interrupted
Then you have to ask the difficult questions – what is the life lesson I am expected to learn here?  I have preparedness but luck isn't coming to me, there is something I need to learn.  It will be a struggle to learn,  because most life lessons are.  But whether it is acceptance or dealing with control issues, or even that you are not with the right person, (this is not to imply by any means that this is your particular story, these are just random examples) or whatever lesson that you need to learn around this area, the issue will not resolve, the luck will not come, until the lesson is learnt.  
Shuranda Ann Kumara,  Compassion Hug
But it also means, once the lesson is learnt, that particular issue goes away, and your energy starts to flow the way you want it to again,  until the next life lesson emerges. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Preparedness and Luck

Some people who come to see me are struggling with aspects of their life, wondering about the possibility of the American dream. They thought if they work hard and try and be good people, good things should happen to them.  I believe that too, but I’ve also come to see the huge role that random luck plays. 

Carol Gearing,  Panshema

I now believe that you have to work hard and be good people, but sometimes you are lucky, and this hard work is rewarded, but sometimes you are unlucky, and you don’t get the rewards your work and energy deserves. 

Tarot reads energy and it can see when luck is coming your way,  and in what field (lucky in love,  in work,  with money…)  Sometimes luck just falls into your lap, but the odd thing is, if you are not prepared for it, then it will just slip out again. I am reminded of the saying, ‘Fortune favors the prepared’. So we have to prepare, and be ready, so that if/when the luck comes, we can work with it.  Preparedness does not guarantee success, but it does guarantee that when the random things fall our way, we can work and build on it.   

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ephemeral Art

When I was much younger I came across an article about a group of people who made ephemeral art – art that took a day to make – perhaps patterns on the sand at a beach – and then was washed away,  like it had never been.  (a great current example is the work of Jim Denevan

At the time,  I was baffled.  Who would want to spend a day doing something spectacular and beautiful only to have it wash away?  This article was so old, it was before the internet; you couldn’t even get viral pictures of it! 

But I’m older now and I can see it as the perfect metaphor that it is – life is ephemeral art, we are here so briefly, and our task is to make something beautiful, even though it may not last, even though we may not finish it.  The doing matters as much as the completion.  Now there is something about ephemeral art that moves me to tears.    And of course now we have the internet, so we can share these images, let others see the beauty, and hold on to the ephemeral a little longer… 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

So Happy!!

I've had this blog for 5 years now and really loved creating it.  This January something weird happened and I couldn't put pictures up any more.  I wrote text but without images if just felt flat to me.  I tried everything I could,  but still,  it didn't work.   Today my husband tried a new approach and voila - pictures!

I'm so happy,  because I was feeling despondent that I couldn't put up the blog pieces that I wanted.  I've been dreaming of writing blogs and then the lack of pictures would just pull me down. And then I thought about changing blog servers and somehow taking all this information with me, and that was just too hard.   But now I know it works again.  Prepare yourself for lots of new pieces!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A life with out...

Like most people I was very sad to hear of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death. For a 46 year old,  with children and a stable relationship and a hugely successful career, the thought that drugs could mean more to him than family,  fame,  fortune,  it boggles the mind.   Russell Brand, a comedian and writer in the UK (known mainly in the US for having briefly married Katy Perry) wrote this really moving piece about addiction,  and his feelings, despite being 10 years clean,  that it really is a day at a time.

Recovery from anything - addiction, death of a loved one, the loss of the future you planned for yourself -  can be brutally hard and often involves relapses (that's my years as an addiction counselor speaking.)  But by slogging it out,  one simple, single day at a time,  recovery can build,  and then feel firmer. 

I spoke to a client the other day who was battling with being bipolar. She said she would feel better and then think she no longer needed her medication and then stop taking it and spiral out of control.  Recovery is sometimes understanding our limitations as well as our strengths,  and staying on course,  even though we think we might not need it any more. 

My best wishes to Philip's family,  and Amy Whitehouses' family,  and your family,  if this is an issue you are dealing with,  and my blessing,  to take it one day at a time, and let the time grow.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New Year is here again

I know New Years are kind of arbitrary - there are Chinese and Jewish New Years,  the whole counting system used in the Southern Hemisphere is based on a system developed in the Northern hemisphere...  and yet still,  they do something to me.  

I feel energized and hopeful,  like a line has been drawn and a new chapter can begin.  It's not that 2013 was bad,  because it wasn't,  rather by the end of the year I often find myself sticky with things not done,  opportunities not taken.  And then you stop even wanting to take them,  it feels too hard. But as the year starts again,  the feeling of resilience and luck starts again too,  and some of those opportunities and wishes seem possible once more.  And of course,  the more you think something is possible,  the more you are likely to do it!

So here is my New Year's wish for you - think of a possible goal,  and give is some energy,  and then see how far you can take it...

Technical difficulties are mean I can't put photos up.  I'll put this up and see if I can't fix the photo problem soon!