Connecting the dots

In the past year I have learned so much – about writing, blogging, social media, about people and about myself. And it couldn’t have been learned in a week, even if I read and wrote 24 hours a day, clocking up the same amount of hours as over the past year. It doesn’t work like that.

Sometimes you need to see a snapshot over time and I feel I am now beginning to connect the dots. What I have learned is that I am not alone in my ups and downs. I experience great highs and lows and unless the entire blogging world of writers are all bipolar, then nor am I! (Actually, don’t answer that). I read and get to experience wonderful highs in others’ posts, words of joy, wisdom, encouragement, faith and now I look on them not with skepticism, knowing that it will crash back at some point, but with love and connection. I read about people’s lows also, interpreting what’s between the lines and only guessing at the depth of pain contained therein.

But my aha moment today is seeing the ebb and flow of it all. Our inner worlds simply can’t remain the same; it’s not possible. I want to get out there and hug every blogger, whether they are at their peak or wondering how they let the joy slip away without noticing and wondering what on earth to write about if they felt their blog should be all joy and roses.

Here is my hug people, whether the sun is shining, your world is simple and the decks are cleared, ready for the fun times ahead to be enjoyed or whether you are wondering why you are bogged down and nothing seems to interest you these days. I truly believe we are ultimately all the same and there is nothing wrong with that. Remember to connect your own dots and see the picture you are creating.

need a hug

need a hug

 

 

Advertisements

How to attract the creative

It is better by far to speak with a person than to a person – J.D. Boatwood

Speak with you darling

Ouch! I am guilty of this one. Sometimes I go into warp speed, all excited about my latest subject and off I go, like a cork out of post Grand Prix champagne. There is no ‘with’ about it. The unwitting listener goes through Continue reading

Waves

Waves

Where did everybody go? Where did I go? There seems to be a huge lull in the number of blog posts from my favourite bloggers which I receive and read these days. Instead my incoming emails are outnumbered by special offers for teeth whitening and holidays, meals and gadgets. Of course I long since stopped receiving ‘letters’ from friends by email, probably because I don’t write any either.

Anyway I digress. I do know where I am though. I am on a wave. I am always on a wave. My current wave has me doing useful jobs around the house, accomplishing and achieving. Very satisfying. My last wave had me writing blogs almost every day and thinking more deeply. Very satisfying. My current wave has me buying myself treats like cappuccino ice-cream, Chai Latte and chocolate; perhaps feeding up as the cold weather sets in, here in Sydney. Very satisfying. My last wave had me ‘Blogging Myself Thin’ until I lost the 7 Kg of excess weight, gained from the last wave of little treats. Very satisfying. Anyway you get the picture. Life can be immensely satisfying in the little day to day stuff as long as you forget the mirror image – for example I could describe these lovely waves quite differently. I could say I have ‘writers’ block’, I am putting on weight, I am not socialising enough. Pah!! That is not how I see it. I hurry past such thoughts if they drift in.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy people! The wave is bigger than you, lifting you up and sweeping you along, always keeping your head above the water and moving forward. When it reaches shore and lets you go, you will be drawn back and lifted onto another wave. That’s just how it works.  The turmoil and froth at the end which caused you to exit this wave is just a necessary part of starting over, waking you up, ready to ride the next wave. I look forward to your return to blogging, should you find yourself ready again and am happy for you that your current wave is so enjoyable that you don’t feel the need to share, or pour out your soul, but just to live life. I will be waiting….

Learn to surf

Yin and Yang


Power tools

I haven’t blogged for a while as my energy seems to have gone into doing up my home. I have heard of the concept of masculine and feminine energy and I wonder which is the more masculine – writing blogs or using power tools! I tend to reject the outside world, including my boyfriend, when I have this huge energy for getting things done so my renovating is a masculine pursuit for me. But what is writing? If feminine energy is being sensual, loving, yearning and preparing for someone else then I would assume that writing is a masculine pursuit.

What constitutes feminine energy? Some people are quiet and softly spoken, good listeners, gentle souls. That’s easy to spot. I look the part, wearing mostly dresses, my long carefully curled hair, make up and love of pink and anything girly but I have a lot of energy (and calloused hands) which surprises people. Sometimes I just want to get things done, so everyone else can bugger off and did I mention that I swear (a lot on a bad day)? I get impatient with pfaffing around, wonder why people don’t just get on with things sometimes and probably come across as aggressive at times.

I actually had a quote about gluttony to write about today but I am so off track I give up on that one for now 🙂 The ultimate digress!

Anyway back to today’s digress. My probably very sexist comments here are just ramblings – exploring out loud, which is why I took to blogging in the first place – a journey not to teach but to discover.

And of what use is today’s outburst to you, the reader if you have gotten this far? I think this has been a reminder to me to become more balanced. I must remember to use all sides of my persona and not head down a masculine path like a woman possessed. Living alone with my kids and not seeing my partner very often (he is another independent creative) has allowed me to indulge my selfish side, which often involves getting things done. But once I am on this ‘kick’ I find it hard to stop. It was Mother’s Day yesterday and I spent the whole day physically working on the home and garden. But I had the best day! And what does it take to commute this energy back to blogging? I committed to myself to at least try today and it’s been hard. This post has been rewritten so many times. I am all over the shop. No beginning, middle or end; no satisfactory conclusion (yet?)

OK here’s the moral of my story. May you remember today to stop and become aware of where you are at – achieving at the expense of human relations, or indulging in love and friendship while the things you should be doing remain neglected and are slowly building up into crisis mode. May your energies be balanced and harmony be restored.

Playful

 

Are you a Sparkler or a Log?

Sparkler

I am sure you know what I’m talking about. We’re alive so we have a fire in us that is burning until such time as it goes out. We have energy, in fact we are energy of course. How you use that energy as you live is up to you.

I like to think I’m a sparkler. Enthusiastic, impulsive; I just LOVE life! … Until I don’t and I’m all flat again for a short while. Some people are logs. It might take them a while to ignite but once they do, they just keep on humming along, warm and cosy, glowing and reliable until the end.

So how do you cope if you are a sparkler? Life can be full on amazing; explosive even. When you’ve burned out, as you surely must at some point until the next time, what do you have left?

Bombe Alaska

Now if you were one of these desserts, your loved ones wouldn’t be left looking at a burned out sparkler each time your latest interest extinguishes itself. They would be left with what they know and love, someone inviting, comforting, sweet, wonderful; however else you would like to describe this confection.

So it’s OK to be you. I’ts OK to be up and down, be labelled bipolar perhaps, get enthusiastic but not follow through to something more meaningful or money making. The joy was in the sparkle and the sparkle is always to be appreciated, no matter how short. You know what is left inside you to hold the sparkle. Hold it firmly in your hands and never let it go. The intensity is just one tiny aspect of your personality that people will either be drawn to or avoid. Let them go. We can’t hang on to everyone we come across in life and each interaction is meaningful, no matter how short.

Glowing log

And if you are a log? I applaud you and I envy you in some ways. Your interests will develop as you stick with them and be applauded and recognised. You are glowing, reliable, quietly burning and making the world a warmer place for everyone with your consistency.

There’s room for us all people. And thank goodness for that.

 

I know nothing so why are you reading? :)

Pink apples

You don’t get good apples from a bad tree – George Repnin

I know the saying ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ in which the children are assumed to be very like their parents. But I disagree with that one. The ‘sins of the parents’ could be exactly what drives a child to be different in their lives, ‘better’, in the important ways at least.

So by this quote, I am understanding that when your mind is not right, it is not fruitful and the results of your efforts are not good apples.

Do you know how you will behave in a certain situation? Would you be a hero or a coward in a life or death situation, risking everything? I’d like to think I would be the hero. I am impulsive enough and negligent of consequences most times so I don’t see why that would be any different. But who really knows?

I have been mindful of my own behaviours. I would like to think I know myself. I know that when faced with an array of cakes and desserts on offer, I am completely unlikely to avoid them, no matter how strict my ‘diet’.

is that cake

I know that when I am really happy (in love) I eat what I like (think sugar and carbs) and put on weight. When I am bored or discontent with my life, I battle with my conscience and yet still eat all those wickednesses that I have stashed away in my bedroom that I should be avoiding, let alone buying and squirreling away.

long romantic walks to the fridge

I also know that when I am really stressed, the weight falls off ridiculously fast as I lose my appetite and the term ‘comfort food’ suddenly doesn’t apply.

I am seeking clues at the moment to this happiness thing. (All good today, by the way, just deep in thought). I have started a list of what has managed to lift my spirits in the past when I am inexplicably unhappy. This list differs for everyone, in the same way that different diets work for different people. I keep my happiness list on the noticeboard in my bedroom.

When I am a ‘bad’ tree of course, the items on that list don’t seem to work to cheer me up, much as they might have done another time. Things such as tidying or cleaning. Or reading, or doing logic puzzles. In fact the more I sloth with magazines and brain teasers, the worse I feel but am unable to stop. It’s a bit like the child that is abused by the parent goes to that very same parent looking for consolation! Don’t we weave complicated relationships in our lives – with people, food, activities?

Do you know how these relationships function for you? How you are likely to react to events, temptations, people, discord? Do you have a family history of sweeping things under the carpet and continuing cordial relationships as if the ‘abuse’ never happened? That works well in one of my relationships, if you can call it a relationship.

Anyway I digress. My point today is that it really is the quality of your mood that defines how fruitful (in terms of happiness) your day will be. That seems like tautology, if I am using the right term. SO obvious. Your mood defines your happiness, duh Emma. What I mean is that how the tree is being treated, with love and fertiliser, doesn’t always make a difference to how the apples turn out. I certainly don’t blame every parent of a serial killer. And how you treat yourself, doing things you love and look forward to, doesn’t always bear fruit if your tree is bad that day. I think depression is defined by no longer enjoying that which you used to.

So I will keep looking for the fertilisers for my tree. I will resist trying to fell it also. It’s enjoyable and satisfying to my ego to think I am getting somewhere permanent. In fact that’s what gave me the courage to even blog. I figured that I had a lot ‘sorted’. But the wise man knows he knows nothing! And the more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know.

Why did I blog today? No clue. Do I feel I have any wisdom to impart? Not really, only questions to ponder. But that doesn’t matter because

Knowledge can be communicated but not wisdom – Hermann Hesse

 

I dare ya!

Skull oil lamp

How do we keep our blogs burning? I spend a lot of time on the blogging world because I read every post of every blog I follow and there are quite a few. Something I have noticed though is that many I am drawn to started within a few months of when I started. Do we have the same level of freshness/enthusiasm/naiveté? Are we on this journey together and how fast do each of us travel? Some have exponential growth in followers, and some none at all. One has only written two posts but I wait with baited breath for the third. Others have years of archives I long to explore.

The other thing I noticed is that some people appear to have stopped writing their blog. I follow a few diet type blogs because my other blog is helping me lose a little weight. What happened to those people who stopped? The last post of one implies that he has fallen off the wagon and started to eat unhealthily again. What are the consequences of stopping a questioning, feel-good type blog like I hope this one is? Could it be that I have become depressed and have nothing in my oil lamp to keep it burning? Would you continue to follow after a year if I didn’t post?

Perhaps I am drawn to the kind of blogs where the humble writers don’t have all the answers and are seeking them, or maybe that describes all of mankind, in some way or another. I have a passing interest in non soul searching blogs such as how to be a blogger and the latest trends and photography. I satisfy my curiosity for the new on Pinterest more now also. But there is no connection there except where the blogger posts comments on my posts and I feel I know them and care about them as people. The information only blogs only attract my attention sporadically. This is why it’s called social media I expect!

So back to you, my wonderful blogging friends. What does your oil consist of? How are you today? How does your mood affect whether you blog or not? Do you take the time to keep putting oil in the lamp, however you enrich your soul, enough to dare to blog? For it is a dare, really, a great act of courage to say anything at all and hit publish. I have looked back at some of my past posts and think ‘what rubbish!’ but the point is the confidence with which we write, not what we actually say. The confidence to hope that one other soul (or our own soul) gets some benefit from it. I applaud every post I have written, rubbish or otherwise and all of yours! You did it!  The lights are on!

Light bulb lamp

Just some random thoughts from a scrambled egg mind. I didn’t think I’d blog today….

It’s just an illusion

Out of the fog

I’d just like to say that the fog that surrounded me for a while there since Christmas appears to have gone. I had a day of real joy yesterday (until I pranged my car but managed to look past it – so what if the door doesn’t open and the side light is hanging on a stalk?). This quote I found yesterday helped restore the good mood after my self inflicted accident with a pillar.

Look beyond the imperfections

Anyway, the best thing yesterday was that I recognised the day for what it was, from the start. I really appreciated that my day started as good as it gets, just at home with no plans at all, happy and wanting to get so much done, both ‘chores’ and fun stuff like reading. I realised that the unforgettable moments in life aren’t always in a particularly stunning place or with a particular person but because you feel so light and happy. And it can happen anytime.

I bothered to grab pen and paper to write down why I was so joyous, what I was doing, what was on my to do list for the day, trying to capture that feeling to recreate it another time, but I realised there was nothing to pin down. I just was joyous. I knew my joy would return and this time I managed to be present and make the most of it.

This photo on Pinterest today captured my attention. It made me realise that the fog may always be there but it’s fairly thin around you in the now. Not much bad generally happens in each moment to look like your world is bleak. You only really see fog if you look into the distance, geographically or in time.

If you look at the past, you are seeing all the bad past experiences gathered together, which, like fog, stack up and look thick and murky. Similarly if you are worrying about the future and you look into the distance, all the worries may appear one behind the other, looking foggy and scary. But when you get to the future, even if the 4% of your fears actually come to pass, they will be spread out, and where you are standing in each moment will still look clear. There is never thick fog actually around where you stand.

I wish I could explain it better. I guess I am trying to say ‘remember to recognise the good moments between the scary ones and celebrate them fully as they appear’. The fog only looks that bad if you look too far from where you are. Here and now is usually OK and sometimes even better.

Loving Words

Loving the written word

 

I used the word love as a verb, not an adjective but both will do.

I found this great advertisement by Australia Post on Pinterest yesterday and I rushed to save the image because I love the written word, as I assume all bloggers do.

I have also saved every love letter that I have ever received, back in the days before marriage, when I specialised in long distance relationships.  There are quite a few! When I got each letter, the first thing I would do is rush to the end, like cheating when reading a book. All I really wanted to hear was how much they loved me, how secure our relationship was. Only then could I start reading, feeling safe. They could have saved the bulk of the letter, really.

I did once get a ‘Dear John’ letter from the first chap in Sweden who was supposed to emigrate to Australia to join me, having been together for 2 years at University in England. He wrote ‘I love you but I don’t think I could live with you’, which gutted me. Remember that feeling where the blood drains from your face?

Luckily I had a housemate with actual self esteem who said ‘What kind of weak rubbish is that? Move on immediately’ and that’s what I did, throwing myself into dating again. When he eventually called to follow up three weeks later, I was like Who?? So easy. All that worrying and letter cheating was so daft. I guess I was so afraid of not being lovable. Age sorts that one out hopefully. I’m good now 🙂

Anyway this blog is supposed to be about learning from the Masters, not from advertisements so I leave you with this. As writers (and readers), this little reminder goes without saying.

learn to read

 

You owe me for this!

Owes me Big

As a kid, maybe thanks to fairytales I had this general idea of karma; of good winning over evil; of cause and effect and people owing something to other people if they did something for them.

So for example with my penpal, I sent her a letter and then she owed me a letter. Simple, right? I think we often still live by this rule; some people more than others and in more ways than others. Take a minute to think about where this may be true for you; what your hidden agendas are. If you make your partner a cup of tea, does he then owe you the next one? Because you’ve sacrificed to bring up your children, do they owe it to you to look after you in your old age? If you go to work for someone do they owe you money?

Aha! Yes, one would expect to get paid for going to work. But here’s the difference. It is clearly laid out, hopefully; what you will and won’t do for that money. There is no hidden agenda, it’s quite visible. We may need that money to live on, so we make sure we receive it. Society has made this quite acceptable and we are stressed if we don’t get paid.

So many hidden ‘you owe me’ agendas are exactly that – hidden. Things come unstuck if the other person doesn’t know that they owe you. Trying telling a teenager that they owe you because you pay the bills, do all the gardening and upkeep of the house, or gave them a lift! I do try but it doesn’t really work, to be honest.

This ‘You owe me’ attitude can lead to a lot of heartache, especially if you are too anxious about what others think, to lay down any ground rules first. I have to question why I do stuff ‘for’ my kids and be sure that I am doing it in the right headspace, without them owing me anything. I say ‘for’ because for example when I was cleaning the pool and sewing bench seat cushions over the weekend, I realised it was actually for me, not them. I have to do it because I want to, to be at peace in my own head. And when I don’t want to, I simply don’t. I might go on cooking strike for weeks on end, or refuse to give them a lift again until their room is tidy. You find your own way and your own boundaries.

So back when I was a kid, I would get quite upset at all sorts of things which now no longer bother me. Nobody owes it to me to keep in touch or to return

my phone call or text or email, or make me a cup of coffee. I am far from perfect though. My weak spot can still distress me. If someone owes me money I generally want it back unless I can rationalise it in my head with all they’ve done for me. I’d like to lose that one, one day.

Owe me money

Blogging taught me a lot about letting go of ‘you owe me’. I hope you realise you don’t owe me a thing by the way! If anything I owe you – eternally. I owe you life lessons which will hold me in good stead. I owe you thanks for giving me any attention and your precious time. I owe you for your lovely comments and support.

We don’t owe it to each other to follow those that follow us, or to read everything another writes. I selfishly try to blog each day for myself, and I can’t possibly demand that anyone takes time out of their precious life to read my ramblings every day! If I comment on your blog, you don’t owe me a reply. I comment if it solidifies something for me and makes me happy to comment at the time. If I get the bonus of a reply, that’s a gift; not something you owe me.

Have you looked at your internal beliefs and rules of where you think you owe other people? Sometimes we are pretty harsh on ourselves. We think we owe something to someone even if we would not expect it of them, should the roles be reversed. Watch out for that!! That is surely the path to being used or feeling guilty and stressed all the time, wasting valuable memory with a balance sheet of what you ‘should’ do.

So I hope you realise you don’t owe me. No one actually owes me anything and life is a lot calmer and simpler that way. No hidden agendas, only nice surprises.

Do me a favour