Mind pollution

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This morning I woke up thinking about work.  Every Sunday I get a familiar knot of anxiety in my tummy as I get closer to Monday.  I seem to hold this tension until I actually start working and realise its not so bad after all.  Looking back I realise I’ve experienced this my entire working career.   But in hindsight its nothing to do with work.  Work is just the catalyst and anxiety is a learned response when Sunday rolls round.

False Expectations Appearing Real

The real fear is around being seen – of being on a stage.  Fear of failure…or is it fear of success?  Fear of not being good enough.  Of being judged unworthy.  Of being seen as fake.  Of being vulnerable.  Fear of not being liked.

All unfounded of course.  Because fear is not real.  I am not in danger from any of the above.  I will not die from not being liked.

But if I give into these anxieties, fears, stress…will I LIVE fully?

I’m particularly interested in the root of this  anxiety because I still have an issue with high cortisol levels.  It could be one of those hen and egg scenarios – is there some imbalance in my body that started it OR is it my life – my mind

From a conscious theory perspective, anxiety is living in the future you see.  And anxiety is having a gap between where you are and where you want to be.   As I tender the question to myself, I agree with my higher self that yes, there is a gap.  There’s a gap in knowledge and experience.  I love my job, I love the people and love how its unfolding.  But I don’t feel like I have the necessary tools yet to do my job to the level I want to operate at.

I’ve always adopted a ‘fake it till you make it’ strategy.  As long as I have confidence and maintain authenticity in the moment, it’ll get me through any situation.  But then in creeps that seed of doubt…

I reflect on a visit to a revered medicine man I visited in Ubud with my friends Jules and Nige. When it was my turn, he went through the usual motions of checking out reflexology points in my feet, then points in my neck and head and announced, ‘theres nothing wrong with you (physically),  you just have doubt’.

I’ve always been very mind-y.  That is, I overthink to the point of not doing.  This affliction seems to commonly affect females.  (See this hilarious youtube clip on how mens and womens minds work).  How have I managed this in the past?  Usually with nutrition and exercise.  Early morning cardio works.  Eating less and eating well works.  Amazing benefits like increasing seratonin, alkalizing, oxygenating, circulation in the body ensue.  But what about the other benefits?  Well, it takes my mind off other pressing matters – work, money and all things that cause anxiety, doubt and stress.  It puts me firmly back in control. 

It wasn’t until I experienced grief that I realised that exercise and nutrition only get you so far.  I had experienced 6 months of loss of appetite and little sleep.  I was running on fumes.  I thought I was ok, until my hair started falling out..in patches.  Nothing I did physiologically, worked. 

Nothing worked until I quit my job and undertook a serious reevaluation of my life and the gaps in it. 

Nothing worked until I took time out to smell the flowers and push the reset button. 

Nothing worked until I learned the tools to live my life from a different perspective

I didn’t learn about the benefits of managing my mind until Bali.  I learned to love myself and love my life again.  Yoga, meditation, the embrace of a likeminded community.  The safety cocoon of being unashamededly authentic in who I am and what I’m feeling right now.  Nutrition and exercise aren’t the foundation.  The mind is.  It is an amazing, complicated tool.  But its not meant to work at turbo speed on aimless pontifications, fear mongering and pointless exercises.  Its a tool to be engaged when learning, doing and working.  But at other times it needs rest.  It needs time in the nothing box.

So now I return back to my Sunday morning affliction.  Here are my top tips for managing mind pollution:

1.  Write.  I journal and blog my way out of insanity. 
2.  Arm myself with tools.  I’m organised.  Prep for the week ahead.
3.  Ground.  Get into nature.  Hug a tree. Go for a bush walk.  Feel the insignificance of my problems fade as I take in the majesty of Mother earth.
4.  Breathe.  Breathe in for 4 secs, hold for 4, breathe out for 4.  Repeat.
5.  Dance, listen to music, affirm, listen to inspiring podcasts.
6.  Get perspective. Do NOTHING.  Do something I love. Have fun.  Be silly.  LAUGH.  Watch mindless comedys.  Stay in bed. Eat dessert for brekkie.
7. Treat myself.  Massage.  Facial.  Sauna.
8. Find purpose.  Bury myself in a project that I’m passionate about.  Get creative.  Draw a picture of the big picture.  Bluetack it to my mirror.
9. Yoga, meditation.
10. Connect with people.  Physically and mentally.

The bubble

The relationship bubble
My friend would tell me that her previous relationship was like a colouring in picture.  Her man embodied the black lines. He was the structure, the encasement, the boundary and the containment.  She was the colour.  With this fluid combination of structure and colour knitted together, the picture came to life.  Sometimes the lines are blurred.  Sometimes the colours seep through the silhouette, but still the picture became more than the sum of both of them individually.

And such is the sometimes tenuous link between the masculine and feminine, where a role is played by both.  The result should always be a union that has structure, colour, freedom and flexibility that allows something beautiful with a life of its own to emerge – 1+ 1 = 3.

But sometimes in our modern society, roles are stretched, pushed, changed and reversed.

Sometimes there is no black and white.  There is no colour.  There are only shades of grey…because the bubble bursts unexpectedly.

The village bubble

What is  the natural course of nature?

Our bodies yearn for a place that is innately part of our DNA.  To return home is the most empowering feeling, because its where we’re meant to be.

We are animals.  We are predators.
We are hunters.  We are gatherers.  We are procreators.  We are living representations of evolution.

But when did this circle of life become so complicated?  How and why did a project or a looming sales target become the catalyst for changes in body chemistry that used to be reserved for survival when faced with a life or death situation.

When did the mind become the saber tooth tiger?  When did the beast start to attack us?

When did we decide this beast could terrorise so many people in the village? Why couldn’t the village come up with a solution?

Where are the villages?

We find our villages at work, on facebook, at networking meetings and sales seminars.  Yes this is our community.  Yes we are surrounded by people.  Yes we are entertained.

But are we satisfied, at an intimate level or do we still feel alone?  Are we still isolated on our islands?  Drowning in fear.  Still afraid to face our grey?

At our most vulnerable, fragile and natural states, we crave connection.  Not words.  Not messages.  We crave deep understanding.  Touch.  Emotion.  We want to feel a place in our village where we can authentically embody this intimacy. .. to feel nurtured…included…wanted..needed…We want to be part of the picture.  We want to drift between every colour imaginable…knowing that to be this connected is a choice…to walk away or to move forward with purpose knowing the village is behind us resolutely holding ground.

Where is this mythical village?  Where are these mythical people?  Are they mythical like the saber tooth?  I live in this village.  Its a real place but it doesn’t feel REAL. It feels like a bubble.

The world does not feel like a bubble

A bubble can isolate, lift, separate or protect

FEAR.  All I know is if I take a step back, retreat into my bubble and look outside, I am scared of what the world has become.  I am scared of what it has moulded me into.  I’m scared of what its thrown at the people I love.  Did they invite it in?  Did I invite it in?  Did thousands and millions of people ask to suffer their way through life?

There are 1001 versions of Diease.  Cancer.  Depression.  Anxiety.  Stress.  Sadness.  Aloneness.  Despair.  Murder.  Abuse.  Suicide.  Hopelessness.  Hunger.

I want to know if everyone thinks this is a normal reality?  It shouldn’t be this complicated.

KISS Is your version of happiness and fulfilment the same as mine?  Do you question the insanity of life?  Do you yearn for simplicity and quiet?

I have a very serious question to ask.

How do I get the saber tooth out without popping my bubble?

The Inquiry into Freedom

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I wonder all the time about the people in my life and why they’re there.  I didn’t really used to care much before.

I thought life was a competition and people were obstacles.

What would Byron Katie say about this?

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react when you think that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought? and

‘Turn it around’

When I go into ‘inquiry or the Work’ as Byron calls it I discover the following:

Life is a competition
Is it true No
How do you react when you think that thought? I feel like a failure
Who would you be without the thought? A success.  Relaxed.
Turn it around  I am in competition.  I am a failure

People are obstacles
Is it true No
How do you react when you think that thought?  Annoyed
Who would you be without the thought?  Less frustrated, patient. Present. At peace.
Turn it around  I am an obstacle

By observing my feelings and my judgements I’ve uncovered freedom.  My strongest emotions towards other people and situations are my truth.  My dark and ugly truth.  Every person tears back a putrid layer and exposes fetid flesh.

The question is, will I stare down my fear or will I turn my back?

Will I embrace myself, cherishing the dark and the light?

I wonder which mirror I should look into.  For no reason other than a fleeting amusement at this present moment.

Which mirror is for learning, teaching, sharing, journeying, loving, playing, friendship?

Which mirror is strong and resolute like a mountain?

Which mirror ebb’s and flows like the tide?

Which mirror will show up like poison and disappear in a storm?

We are all here to serve ourselves..

If I serve myself I serve everyone & everything.

IF I love myself, I have the opportunity to love everyone and everything.  This is freedom.

Love is freedom.  And THIS is the only answer to every question.

What does that mean for me today?
How will I nourish myself today?

I appreciated the fluid movement of a butterfly as she defied gravity and glided past my nose

I found beauty in my thoughts

I found calm in my body

I let go of yesterday

I surrendered to today

Wtf is a spiritual awakening?

..and can we call it something else?
And how does it apply to Ayurveda?

FULL MOON in Sagittarius is here calling us to see through the fog of illusion to pierce the truth within. There is lots of electric and creative energy stirring but we must meet it with grounded discernment. So let’s find some time to be still and just Be, as we allow the Light of the Full Moon to bring her illumination.

Mmmm…this is a subject I’ve been wanting to blog on for some time and this full moon has jockeyed me into position, putting me in the right place at the right time, calling for the right thing…illumination with discernment.

I haven’t come up with a less airy fairy term than spiritual awakening yet..but earlier in my blogging I came up with the acronym BVOM, because its a cutesy non-confrontational way to describe a concept thats not so palatable to everyone.  I wanted terminology that sounded a bit normal…that made ME sound a bit more normal…which is probably impossible because I’m really not very normal…

Best Version of Me refers to digging deep down through sludgy emotional layers to figure out what makes me tick..observing the light and the dark.  After the process of illumination, taking those lessons and integrating them into the matrix…you know..life on Earth…

I have changed.  My name is the same.  I look the same.  But the eyes that I view the world through have been altered permanently.  I feel different.

Yes I’ve been on and am still in a grieving cycle.  But this trauma was a catalyst for a change in direction that I could not have anticipated.

On my deepest meditation at a sound healing here in Ubud, I sank into that place where I felt, heard and observed that I was nothing….And I was everything.

This is the concept of Namaste.

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I wasn’t drunk.  But I was high.  Not on drugs…on freedom.

It’s the most magical, mystical feeling to be flying around in meditation space experiencing the connection, the power, love and the infiniteness and the oneness of the Universe.

Namaste
“I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One.”

While I adore food, nutrition and alternative medicine, I have a strong pull to the metaphysical..the stars..the mysteries and the synchroncities.

…And chocolate..I also have a strong pull to chocolate mousse cake..but that could possibly be the candida talking.

Ayurveda means the science of or knowledge of life.  How perfectly has my writing and my path led me to this ancient art of mind, body, spirit?

From enemas to candida, depression to love…ayurveda packages them all up in a chaotic bundle and simply asks me to do 1 thing – to know myself better.  To take the knowledge and apply it to a way of life.  To become the BVOM.

What happens if I don’t?

Dis-ease
..of the body
..of the mind
..of the Soul

I feel a lot of validation with Ayurveda.  It theorises all disease stems from the digestive system.  Who directs this drama towards disease?  The MIND.  Ayurveda is mind medicine.

To my crazy ass mind, (that would like to classify everything), a spiritual awakening is a series of signs from the Universe that cause me to not only see, not only feel, but to know that my path is to change course.  To acknowledge the truth.  To face fears.  To blindly step off a cliff trusting the wind will catch my wings.

The 7 stages of grief

The seven emotional stages of grief are usually understood to be shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope. Symptoms of grief can be emotional, physical, social, or religious in nature.

One day, after 3 years of tough times, when Scott was at his lowest and I didn’t know what else to do, Luger came into our lives.  An 8 week old ball of fluff and cuteness.  A doberman puppy.  He was for Scott.  But I loved that puppy.  And I didn’t expect to love him.  He was the runt of the litter, and when I saw him fall asleep standing up, isolated from the other puppies, I just had to have him.

LUGER DEC 2008 012Kirsty and her boyslast day with the dogs 027

Luger was different.  He thought he was a person.  Because he was treated as a person.  He got away with everything.  He’d eat anything.  My underwear, socks, whole tubs of butter.  He’d take wallets into the paddock and run through the long grass, scattering cards and notes.

Sleeping on the ground was not for him.  He’d jump and scratch his way up any car door to get inside to a plush comfortable seat.  When he got the ok to hop onto our bed, he’d burrow his way under the blankets until he was right at the end, curled up happily between our feet.

He was so naughty, because we let him be naughty…because he was adorable and we were so in love with him.

When we settled in for a long winters night, with the fire going, Luger would jump on the couch, buried in cushions.  Puppyworld.  Its an amazing place to live.

Scott loved Luger, and Luger loved Scott.  They had a special bond.

We both cried when we had to leave both our puppies behind to go to Hong Kong.  It felt so wrong to leave our babies behind.

 

Luger died on the 30th November 2014.  A year to the day of Scott’s funeral.  I like to think that Scott called him home.  That’s the only thing that makes me ok with him dying.

I only found out he died a few days ago.  I tried to dismiss his death, but I can’t, because this has truly been the worst 14 months of my life.

I’m only human.   And Scott and Luger, they were my family.  I loved that puppy.  And I’m so sad that hes gone.

Shock

I see fire

Depression

Breakeven

Denial

Beneath your beautiful

Bargaining

One more night

Guilt

We are done

Acceptance

Let it be

Hope

Every time you cry