We are all beautiful in our own unique way. You remember the Dr Seuss quote?
Our idiosyncrasies define our uniqueness. We may have been born with them. We may have learned them through our life experiences. Sometimes they have a lesson to teach us. As we move through life we tend to gather more of them. Some are endearing. Some are to our detriment. But the universal rule should be that these gifts should empower us and not stand in the way from us expressing our authentic self.
Lesson #1 Never hold it in. Its very distressing.
I took a van ride from Lovina to Ubud. I utilised the time to maximum efficiency, responding to messages and writing lists. I was partway through a text and 1.5 hours into the trip when I thought, I need to pee. I need to pee and its 1.5 hours to Ubud. Should I ask the driver to stop – am I going to make it? The next word I swyped auto corrected to urine. Sigh. I guess I’m not going to make it.
Now one of my idiosyncrasies is that I detest inconveniencing people. I usually have a pretty strong bladder – what the hell? Reluctantly I stuck my head into the front and asked the driver if we could have a toilet break. Ok he said. Now, apparently the Balinese say Ok to everything, they don’t like saying no or admitting misunderstanding.
…Sooo…40 minutes later, we hadn’t stopped and I gathered this was one of those ‘ok’ but actually I don’t understand’ situations. Now I really needed to go! Big sigh. I pulled out the trusty Lonely Planet and wrote Kamar Kecil on a scrap of paper (toilet in Baha). When I floated it in front of his face he had to pull over to read it. This indication of poor eyesight did concern me for a second, given the high mountain passes, narrow roads and steep cliffs, before attention was diverted back to my bladder. He efficiently organised for me to use a shop owners bathroom – which was meticulously clean, I might add.
The point of my pee story – it took me nearly an hour to decide to inconvenience everyone. Did I have a choice? I don’t think so. Though its apparently acceptable to squat by the sidedoor or pee against the back door. Now I’m a smart educated woman. I know the ill effects of ‘holding on’. My requirement to not be a burden created a ridiculous situation. Every time the driver slowed down for a dog, child or potential head on collision, in my mind, was a chance that he was stopping and I wouldn’t have to inconvenience anyone or highlight my bladder weakness.
In my mind, this was a little lesson in itself, one which I had no option but to learn:
1) Stop battling with yourself. There are plenty of battles in the world for you to engage in without beating yourself up.
2) Never hold it in. Its very distressing.
3) Always learn the Baha word for toilet before you get into situations where you might wet your pants
Lesson #2 Bad habits and Soul Connections
I have some bad habits I’m not proud of. Some of them I had. Some of them I’m still working on.
* I take really long showers, wasting water, getting fluoride and chlorine poisoned in the process.
* I binge on junk food and sugary treats from time to time
* Sometimes I don’t answer the phone or check my voicemail
* I preach
* I procrastinate
* I fill the gaps in conversations because silence makes me feel uncomfortable
* Sometimes I stay in my pjs all day and eat donuts and watch shit TV
* I’ve been known to gossip a little (oohh that was hard to admit)
There is a magical process that happens when 2 peoples souls talk to each other. Idiosyncrasies become revered if not irrelevant. The soul connection can often be misconstrued as romantic because we are quite unused to having such connections in a pleutonic context. The connections I’ve had pop into my path over the last 10 months have been unexpected, undeniable and overwhelmingly strong.
A true friend needs to be your mirror. How can there be truth without it? The only rule is for this smack round the head to come from heart space.
I used to be a little shy about actively pursuing someone I wanted to spend time with. But I realise now that they were far less exciting connections anyway – like worlds apart. It seems we all tend to clump together as like minded individuals, which is great if you find your tribe early on. But challenging if you don’t realise that you’re in the wrong tribe, or if you’re searching for the wrong tribe or if you’re blindingly oblivious to there being a tribe for you. (No boys, I’m not referring or suggesting I’m about to become a lesbian)
This might explain it a bit better:
After pee-gate occurred, now that I could sit without crossing my legs while pretending to gaze admiringly and nonchalantly at the scenery, I wanted to listen to some music. I already had my earphones plugged in but was surprised to find that the music player had turned itself on. This was the song that was playing, by Pink and Nate Reuss. I love this song. I think Pink is amazingballs! The title is ‘Just give me a reason’. I’m still mulling over the message (maybe you can help?), but this verse stands out to me. This to me, pretty much describes this blog in a nutshell, as well as a few special, individual soul connections:
Right from the start
You were a thief you stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts of me
That weren’t all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them
On my last day in Lovina, I received what I like to call ‘incoming traffic’. A lot of it. It doesn’t happen all the time. But it does seem to present as rush hour incoming traffic. I know I called out to you all in my last blog and I’m glad you answered. What was a 2 hour pampering session turned into a 6 hour relaxation fest. I spent 4 hours lying on the day bed in the garden supping iced teas and chatting to friends. It was bliss!
We cried. We laughed. Healing happened. Connections were made. Relationships escalated to higher levels. ..And after…as with every night in Lovina, I sat on the beach watching the sunset with Putu my fruit lady, talking about how much fruit she’d sold that day.
I can’t express the level of gratitude I have for these soul connections. You know who you are.
Life is a series of connections. Whether you’re connecting with yourself, nature, a creature or another person, seriously, what else is there? What else in life is more important than this?
In Chinese astrology I’m a fire dragon. Maybe this won’t surprise some of you.
At a retreat I attended called Living Intuition, one of the exercises was reweaving the family web. We filled up a whole whiteboard with every single negative word we could brainstorm. Then we filled up a second. Then we filled up a third. After morning tea we squeezed some more in to fill up any white space. There were A LOT of bad words. I won’t go into the exercise that proceeded. I’ll save that for another blog. However I wanted to illustrate my next point.
In the past, for any negative emotion that I experienced, whether it be frustration, sadness, depression, pain, nervousness, I’d present this as anger. This was the only emotion that I could process. (Actually, in my case I wasn’t processing at all)
My business partner nicknamed me EP. Evil Poni. I’m afraid that one has stuck and my reputation sometimes precedes me.
Yes sometimes I’m a little passive aggressive. Yes I do tend to get a bit wound up when I’m slighted. Yes I do get blunt, frank, and challenging. I’m working on mastering better skills. Michael tells me I’d benefit from a course in Non-Violent communication ****mmmm, ponder*** – Similar to the concept I presented on inner peace not so many blogs ago – Come on BVOM, I haven’t got all day, how many courses do I have to complete before I’m whole??
I sent this through to my family group chat a few days ago:
My brothers answer was ‘nothing wrong with a little anger’
I’m not saying his view is wrong. It can’t be wrong because it’s his truth. But I do believe that by allowing anger, we are succumbing and becoming lesser versions of ourselves.
I’m proud to say that I’m now separating out my emotions, really feeling them, surrendering to them, processing them. The result? Empowerment. I promise you.
Lesson #3 Mindfulness – Celebrate Life, but don’t be an asshole about it
I have a friend, Fi. She’s an amazing woman. Successful financial markets career, but her heart was captured by Cambodia. She travels there multiple times a year as a volunteer, holds down a full time job and serves on 2 boards. I’m always amazed at the sheer magnitude of her commitments – she has a super generous spirit and gives all too much.
She asked me to consider the concept of humility. I’ve considered it.
Its hard to discern the difference between being open and authentic and excited and ‘knowing’ and…. just being a big skite.
When I’m excited I like to share. I want to sing from the rooftops.
When I’m confident, I make statements. I don’t ask for opinions.
When I’m in tune, I like to write.
A modest or low view of ones importance. The act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others.
I reject this definition.
Humility is widely seen as a virtue in many religions and philosophies. I would, if pushed to give myself a label, see myself as spiritual, not religious.
I hereby redefine humility as the following: (because it’s my blog, I can do what I bloody like) (no offense) (WP!!!)
Being confident, but not arrogant.
Being sure, but not cocky.
Being excited, but not overbearing.
Being proud, but not pretentious.
Being courageous, but not cavalier.
Being kind-hearted and generous, but not high handed.
So, I’m good with being humble, if only by my own definition, but, my truth is, there are several hundred concepts, for me, that precede this one in terms of importance. I do however, feel immense gratitude for having a friend like Fi who feels comfortable with challenging me on my ideologys, for being a mirror. (Welcome and respect any comments Fi!)
Being mindful is really important to me. Being mindful of your words and actions, your opinions and your integrity. I find it really challenging. It requires a level of tact and awareness that don’t come naturally to me, so in that vein, and, because I’ve not introduced any new acronyms to you today, Instead, I’m going to cheat with some wisdom that Michael passed onto me that is an oldie but a goodie and really resonates with me:
The four agreements
1. Be impeccable with your word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t take anything personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t make assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to explore what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstanding, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life
4.Always do your best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment: it will be difficult when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
If you’d like to read about Fi’s adventures in Cambodia, click on the following link to her blog:
Techniques to ground yourself
Common themes I’ve had coming through from everyone are anxiety, unsettledness, stress, brain busyness and insomnia. A really good thing to do is learning to ground yourself. I really like this link, but I’d add a few things to it, that I find effective which are:
1) putting my earphones on and listening to music.
2) getting some high intensity cardio in, rather than just walking or yoga. Its hard to wallow when you’re doing bootcamp!
3) Sit in a chair, feet flat on the ground. Take 5-10 minutes. Feel your arms on the chair rests. Feel the temperature of the room, the feel of your clothes on your skin. Feel your chest rising and falling as you breathe. Tighten each muscle, then release, feeling the circulation of blood through your body and the muscles begin to relax.
4) Meditation – once mastered, the ultimate relaxation tool. Recommend a guided Meditation to start. There are loads of free ones you can download including lots on Spotify.