Tag Archives: writing

The glorious perfection of a messy life

For so long I’ve felt stunted in writing in this space.  In fits and spurts I manage to create a little something here and there, but consistency has eluded me, pretty well from the start.  I go for weeks or months without writing, and then announce out of the blue when I’m back.

I’ve questioned this erratic pattern, I’ve told myself that if I want to make something of my writing I need to get consistent, I need to be creating content, I need/should/must do this and that.  Constant judgement and criticism.  And that, my friend, is a prime recipe for procrastination & paralysis.

When inspiration hits, the words come flowing in my mind.  I’m consumed by them, I’m illuminated by them, I’m propelled by them.

Sometimes, I prioritise getting them out of my head and onto the paper or screen.  Other times, I tell myself “later”, because there’s the cooking and the washing and the million other things on the to-do list.  Generally, later never comes, or if it does, the words seem to have left the building – what was earlier an abundant overflow of ideas and words becomes a deserted, empty, echoing chamber.  That is frustrating.

The thing is, I know that it’s futile to wait until my ducks are all in a row to make a go of creating something of beauty, meaning or significance.  And yet, it mostly feels like life is always in the way.

My journey, particularly over the past 3 years, has bought me so far.  So much healing, so much growth, so much expansion.  And yet, so often I find myself questioning why I haven’t reached my destination yet – I have this vague concept of arriving in a place of perfection where all my wounds are healed, I’ve got my sh*t completely sorted, I’m in perfect health, I’m living a life that from an external perspective looks successful, and I’m in perfect alignment with the divine and living my soul’s purpose.  From that place, I tell myself, I’ll be able to share words of wisdom that are truly of service.

This egoic questioning is ceaseless, and the judgement and criticism of not being “there” and of being where I’m at, of course, drags me down and pulls me further and further away from this imaginative nirvana.  It also goes against everything I’ve been taught.

It physically feels like being caught in the thick and tangled web of a mammoth spider, so rope-like and thick that it chokes my breath and holds me captive, blocks my view, weighs me down and slows me to a crawl.  It feels incomprehensibly penetrating, like it pierces through my body as though it wasn’t even there.  And yet, I know there is a way out.  I know that I haven’t been wound and tightly bound by any spider, helplessly trapped and doomed for annihilation.  I walked my own way into the web, and got myself into this mess, entangling myself more and more with every egoic thought that I entertained.

And so, the time eventually arrives when I see the thoughts for what they are, I recognise that they’re just thoughts and they’re not me and they’re not truth, and I am freed.  Things pick up, and I swing into an up-cycle where I’m on top of the world and at peace within.

I know, when I’m on the high, that the low thoughts will return.  I’m aware and on the lookout.  Sometimes, when they arrive, I see them for what they are, and I sidestep another low.  Other times, they hit me and I forget all I’ve learnt, and I go through the cycle again until I catch a glimpse of the light and bring myself back to peace again.  And on and on it goes.

The downs have become fewer and further between, but they have persisted.  Sometimes, the very fact that I’ve avoided a downer in so long becomes fodder for my desperate ego to latch onto, as I criticise myself for falling victim to this habitual pattern again after doing so well.  Why, I ask myself, do I allow this to happen when I know better?  Why do I fall continually when I know how to rise, why do I fall victim when I know what’s coming?  Why do I allow myself to descend into hell when I know how to reside in heaven?  Why do I do this, as I watch my peers and teachers continue to rise and transcend their hell?  And then, in a disorienting twist of consciousness, I know that this thought is just a thought and if I allow it to it will drag me down further, and yet I believe it.  I merge with it.  I become overwhelmingly ensnared within the web.  I identify with the egoic part of me that says this is true, even though I know it’s not and I know it’s simply a thought that my mind is having.  **Exhausting.**  Confusing.

So today I’m here.  The thoughts and ideas of my morning mind wanderings are not morphing into the words right now that I expected, but they’re along similar lines.  What I know is this: just because I haven’t got it all worked out, just because I haven’t arrived in that utopian paradise where I’m essentially a saint or a guru or spiritually enlightened, doesn’t mean I don’t have value to share.  Just because I don’t have all the answers doesn’t mean that there’s not value in the lessons I have learned, or even in sharing my lows along with my highs.  My intention has never been to seek sympathy or publicly air my demons for the purpose of narcissistically offloading my woes.  I speak of my shadows and darknesses in the hope that I can aid someone, anyone, even just a little, in lightening their load along with me mine.

And then, so easefully and gracefully, everything changes.  I remind myself that the utopian paradise, the idealistic destination, doesn’t exist – it’s a figment of my imagination.  There is no destination.  Only a perpetual journey.  In the simple turn of a thought, I find myself surrendering to what is and letting go of the pain and the epic struggle.  The spiderweb disolves into nothingness.  I discover that I’m back on the upswing, and I’m once again living in heaven on earth.


Main image credit: Rain and Rust by Mooganic via Flickr.  Used under licence.

The Milky Way is Always There

It is a divinely beautiful experience to stand under the Milky Way on a clear, balmy summer  night. The energy is exquisite. A few weeks ago, I did just this, gazing into the heavens, drinking in the atmosphere, and feeling a sense of perspective with my place in the universe.

The following night, I went out to drink in some more of the loveliness, but the stars were hidden beneath smatterings of cloud. It was still beautiful, in its own way, but it didn’t hold the magic and sparkle of the previous evening. And yet, I knew that beyond those clouds, the same Milky Way was still there, just hidden from my eyes.


Once again, it’s been quite a while since I last posted here. There are a few reasons:

1. Committing to Sleep
I think I’ve finally solved my sleep commitment issues. I made a pact with myself that I can only rise early in the morning to meditate if I’ve slept for 8 hours. Daily meditation is a part of the spiritual studies I’m currently undertaking, and I’m learning that the benefits are life changing. Further to this, I’m finding that meditation first thing after waking is an awesome way to begin my day, as it starts me off in the right head-space, and carries throughout my day. So, despite my natural tendency towards being a night owl, I’ve had surprisingly little difficulty in establishing this practice. The problem lay in maintaining my late night habits alongside my early morning meditation. Exhaustion does not facilitate mindfulness. Hence, the pact. That has been motivation enough.

Herein lies the next problem: my writing and publishing, thus far, has been confined to late night (or very early morning!) when the kids are asleep, and I have no other pressing responsibilities (aside from sleep, that is!). So, when I’m committed to sleep at night, it’s tricky to find daylight hours to squeeze in writing between the school and kinder run, playing trains, riding bikes to the park, keeping the house looking semi-respectable, preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner, cleaning up after breakfast lunch and dinner … I’ll stop there. It’s oh-so-easy to push yourself into the trap of “I don’t have the time” (all the while emphatically claiming that you fell in, against your most-determined will).

2. Wallowing in an Energetic Funk
I’ve struggled to generate inspired content that I deem publish worthy. This is a trend for me, it seems. I’m not interested in publishing just for the sake of it, despite all the advice out there that consistent content creation is key to a successful blog. I only want to share writing that I feel moved to share, writing that I believe will resonate, move, inspire, comfort, or spread love. I’m less about “successful blog”, and more about authentic connection.

I’ve struggled with this, I believe, because my energy has taken somewhat of nose dive from the heady highs of the early weeks of this year, when my chakras were rocking, and I was brimming with positivity and connection.

I don’t think I’ve done anything “wrong” to cause this downward turn. I’ve maintained my meditation practice. I’m continuously delving deep into spirit. I’m even sleeping more! I think it’s simply the ebb and flow of energy and life, it’s something I’m learning from and I’m yet to master. I understand that the level that my energy vibrates on is my responsibility, but I’m still learning how to manage this. I’m acknowledging the drains on my energy, such as the new routines and earlier mornings with a new preppy in the family. I’m making an effort to accept this experience for what it is, without making it wrong. I’m doing more “gentle” and “restorative” yoga classes, and less vinyasa, until my body is ready. I’ve turned down invitations for evening socialising, and instead substituted rest and sleep. But, I’m still a work in progress. I am so ingrained in the mindset of “pushing through” when it comes to matters of household and parenting duties, and this inevitably lands me in the state I’m in right now – succumbed to a viral infection, unable to do much, and forced to do that which I should have done to prevent this outcome: rest. It’s uncomfortable territory to put me as number one priority. I’m taking baby steps.

Anyway, my energetic funk has had me feeling like I’m incapable of producing shareable content, because I believe that high-vibing content can’t be faked. If I’m not vibing high, any content I create will stink of the funk I’m in. But I’m coming to realise that there is an antidote, a way to create that is authentic and share-worthy, even when I’m feeling down (because let’s face it, we can’t hide under the bed covers indefinitely every time we’re feeling off).

The answer: taking action, and being honest.

So, here I am.

Waiting around to feel “ready” to write, waiting for inspiration to hit, will get me nowhere. I’ve been trying to convince myself that the time will be right soon, but not right now. This has generated nothing. There is a time for stillness, a time for rest, but this is not the same thing. Knowing that I have these words bubbling up inside of me, clambering to get out onto the screen and in front of you, means that I need to take action. During the time between publishing posts, I don’t sit around feeling fulfilled by my last post – I feel magnetically pulled toward creating. I don’t always know what it is I want to write, but I can feel the words trying to escape from inside of me. Putting pen to paper, and turning on the computer, is what generates the inspiration for exactly what it is I will share with you.

As I’ve explained, my highs of the early weeks of the year have bottomed out. I’ve been doing everything I’m “supposed” to be doing to improve and maintain energetic vitality, but I’ve lost that sense of flow and connection that I was in. I’ve felt frustrated, frustrated, frustrated. Plus angry, embarrassed, and like a failure. I had thought that once I’d attained that lofty high, I was there to stay. A high is like that – it makes you feel invincible, like you’ll never return to the grotty lows from where you first rose. What am I supposed to say now that it’s waning? I’ve felt like a fool at times, like a naive little girl chasing castles in the sky. How can I progress from there?

So, I’ve had some time, to be with what is, and to consider my situation from different perspectives. I chose not to quit in disappointment and disillusionment, but to maintain my commitment to my spiritual practices – THANK GOODNESS. It’s paying off – a few days ago, I finally re-connected, albeit faintly, with source. It’s brought about an awakening:

• Energy ebbs and flows. It’s my responsibility to maintain my own high vibration of energy, but I also need to acknowledge the natural peaks and troughs of the energy that surrounds and impacts me, and do my best to work with it and flow with the currents. It’s my responsibility to prevent external low vibration energies from dragging me down.

 

Vibrate higher

Source unknown.

• This too, shall pass.
• I am exactly where I am supposed to be – even if that is in a funk – and my journey gives me everything I need to learn and grow. I trust the entire process.
• Beneath the fog of my funk, I’m still the same soul that I was at my vibrational high. It’s simply the clouds temporarily covering the starry sky. This gives me faith.

xo


Photo credit: The Milky Way Strikes, by Abdul Rahman.  Under licence.

Finding my voice

My hairdresser told me a funny thing today. She said that when she read the first blog post of mine that I emailed to her, her jaw dropped. She couldn’t believe that I had so much to say. That I wrote so well. It made me laugh out loud. She went on to say that she was so shocked that I, the girl she knew so be so guarded and quiet, clearly held a LOT inside of me.

Whilst I found all of this quite comical, it really got me thinking. A lot. (I am an expert over-thinker.) I generally describe myself as fairly shy (I’m very uncomfortable at parties unless I am the hostess, more so if I’m amongst strangers, and I’m hesitant to introduce myself to a stranger or start a conversation). This might make some of my friends laugh, because they know me as pretty loud (well if not loud, definitely not quiet) and pretty happy to be the centre of attention. I’m not scared of public speaking, even though I can get a little nervous. So I’m a bit of a contradiction, a mixed bag. But the kind of communication that is the most important and satisfying to me – the D&Ms, discussing matters of spirituality, life, purpose … this is where I have traditionally struggled the most. These topics that I hold so dear and find so fascinating … why would I struggle with them? I’ve had one or two friends in my lifetime with whom I’ve been able to talk about these topics. Those chats fill me up, nourish my soul, make me feel connected and cosy. Then there are people who I think would be fabulous candidates for sharing these kinds of discussions with – for example, my hairdresser – and yet I’m guarded, stuck for words, inhibited, and feel as though maybe I don’t have as many valid ideas to contribute to the conversation as the other person. Or … they might judge me (there’s a doozy!). Then, there’s writing … I’ve been so humbled and honoured by the praise that my select handful of friends with whom I’ve shared my blog, have given me for my writing. It is dawning on me that … I AM A WRITER. Who would have thought?! I haven’t done a lot of writing in recent years, but composing and publishing blog posts, as few as there have been so far, has been SO satisfying. I love getting my message recorded in words, reviewing it and editing it, over and over, to ensure that I’m crystal clear in communicating it exactly as I intend. Heck, I’ve been so blocked with conversation in the past that I’ve been known to write letters to my husband, so that I know he gets my entire message, without missed details, or getting sidetracked, or using ineffective language, or even chickening out from telling him everything – at least if I hand him a note, I can squirm with embarrassment, but I can’t hide and cut the conversation short.

So, the conclusion I’m drawing from all this: when I feel vulnerable, I’m blocked in my communication. Big time. A perfect example: I haven’t shared my blog with my husband yet. It feels like a side of me that he’s unfamiliar with. I don’t expect he will dislike it … it’s just that I feel so vulnerable about something that is so ME, my vehicle for speaking my truth in the world, a side of me that he perhaps doesn’t know or understand, and he is probably my most important critic.

So whilst writing can be an effective means of communication, it can also be a wall to hide behind. It’s safe writing here from the safety of the computer keyboard, or the pen on the paper. They don’t judge. I don’t feel nearly so vulnerable. I’m certainly not suggesting that writing is a bad thing – it has its place (and here is one of them!). But obviously it lacks a certain intimacy that a conversation has. A palpable connection that you make with the person with whom you speak to. When I hand my husband a letter, he receives the message that I want to give him, but we both miss out on the intimacies of a face-to-face conversation, where so much more is communicated.

It’s no coincidence that this contemplation about my voice is coming up right now. In the two weeks prior to Christmas, I undertook training on chakra five as part of a course I am enrolled in. Chakra five, the throat chakra, is all about communication, self expression, and speaking your truth. The course work involved learning all the theory about the chakra and how the health of your chakra five affects your life, as well as working on clearing energetic blockages in this chakra and strengthening it. Needless to say, I’ve discovered some quite significant blockages in my chakra five, which go right back to my childhood. The substantial work that I’ve done to clear these blockages has led me to, amongst other things, get back here on the blog, and start sharing my words, my thoughts, my ideas, my voice. I still have a long way to go with my one-on-one D&Ms, but in the meantime, please consider my little patch of cyberspace as a place where we can share a virtual D&M. I feel certain that the better I get at using my voice here, where I feel so comfortable, the stronger my chakra five will grow, and my personal conversations will progress naturally.

Start where it's easy


 

MANTRAS & DREAMS

I’ve done A LOT of intense spiritual practice over the past month or so. My studies and practices with chakras have taken me to places way beyond anything I could have imagined. I’m blown away by how calm, centred, and positive I am about where I am right now, and where I’m headed. My energy is, without any shadow of a doubt, changing – for the better! Sometimes I need to remind myself of how far I’ve come in these few short months.

I want to share with you some guidance I’ve received that has made every day a great day since receiving it. These guiding words have become my mantra, and they bring me comfort and peace, every single day:

Surrender.
I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, and my journey gives me everything I need to learn and grow. I trust the entire process. The Universe delivers everything I ask for, and more.

It seems so simple. And it is. I’m in such an awesome place right now. Life isn’t “perfect”, and yet it is – I trust that I’m on the right path and heading towards my dream life, and most importantly, my soul purpose. This makes me so SO excited for 2015 – it’s already the best year ever. No new years resolutions for me. Instead, I’ve become crystal clear on how I want to feel, right now, and I use these core desired feelings to inform every decision I make, every day. I desire to feel:

Exhilarated
Nourished
Ease

My coursework has also seen me get clear on my dream perfect life, which was also informed by my desired feelings. I won’t go into the details here, but if you’re the curious type, you can check out my dreams at http://dreamdrop.be/dream/201/rachael.

I am so full of gratitude to be exactly where I stand, here and now.

2015: BRING IT ON.

xo