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Archive for November, 2007
There is body dysmorphia. When you have a completely distorted view of your body. Charming and somewhat depressing experience for those whose ideas do not match their reality, but there is now Reality Dysmorphia. I think it must be a new description for the total lack of acceptance that most of us are experiencing at the moment.
How about the religious fervour now sweeping our modern, sophisticated world. The teacher in Sudan. Who are her friends? Did no one warn her? Did she never watch the news? Mouth open time, again. Reality Dysmorphia flooding through that experience.
I was discussing the Sudan thing with my son at the point when she faced a year in jail, a huge fine or 40 lashes. He asked what I would do. The lashes, I replied. He was horrified. (Interesting when one horrifies oneÄôs son, I noticed). Why? Because I would not owe anything to anyone and it would be over in one go. He was silent and thoughtful for the rest of the journey.
Treatment for Reality Dysmorphia. (On the BBC website the treatment for body dysmorphia is anti depressants and other forms of medication. Interesting approach. Just get blasted and it will all be OK).
Heartily backed by the Government, treatments for Reality Dysmorphia, with their backing and blessing, would include smoking, drinking, and shopping.
There are other ways to deal with this and it would seem that taking personal responsibility for your thoughts, words and feelings is a great step forward.
Continuing on the path towards acceptance I can see that if one really does connect inside there is no abasement to an external system that could rescue me or us, there is no external idea of forgiveness or rescuing. I, we, become totally responsible for the full expansion of oneself into I AM. I take on my soul and manifest it. Then everything comes from that place. There is no one else who can Äúmake it betterÄù, tell me how it should be with me, or suppress the exquisiteness of that opening. I , we,become the 1000 petaled Lotus in full bloom.
Ha! Not a very Christian place to come to, but more wholesome, I feel.
I want to do a google fight to see who would win; who has been responsible for more murder, destruction, death and devastation? The Christians or the Muslims? Maybe there are numbers out there somewhereÄ¶
And in the meantime letÄôs keep on letting our reality be totally controlled by them both.
As I fell asleep last night I carried on the thoughts processes that have occupied my mind for the past few days.
They have stemmed from several different experiences, but have been thrown into sharp focus by taking on so many workshops recently and in that, really finding myself questioning the value of all that I teach.
How much of what I have been taught has actually served me well? How much power do I give away by giving authority to others? Who are the others that take it? How much of that is gender driven, archetype laden, religious indoctrination or spiritual longing?
These questions and many more have been turning inside me for several weeks and as I fell asleep last night I was aware of no longer wanting to pray to an entity outside of me. To divest myself into something else. I want to pray to the most profound part of myself. Not my intellect, I am not an intellectual, but to my soul, to my longing to be more, brighter, emanating acceptance, peace, love and stillness. I donÄôt want to long to be better for the external approbation of anyone else.
I, we, have to find our true magnificence inside ourselves, not in some other figure, usually male, who makes all manner of rules, regulations and statements about how we, the girls with so much longing, should be disporting ourselves in the glorious life.
We were married by a man who wrote a book called God in Us. He stated that God was with in, it was not a concept that one had to go looking for externally. We were the last ceremony he presided over. He was excommunicated by the Church.
So I woke up at 5am and started trying to put all of this into words. It took a while, but between yoga poses, meditations and breakfast I finally managed to gain clarity, and to express my deepest feelings about it all.
What we teach, as teachers, has to serve now. It has to empower people truly into themselves. To cut the ties to external judgement and comment. The religious crap, the death, murder, destruction and hatred that abounds now is totally pointless. There is another way.
How to do that is the next step.
The appalling book by Phillip Pullman has been made into a film costing $90 million. The equally appalling Nicole Kidman plays herself. Again. And to add to the soup, the Catholic Church of America has decided that it is going to do all it can to promote the film and itÄôs principles.
Another circus, not dissimilar to the joys of the Da Vinci Code. I wonder what the split is? 50/50 between the Church and the film makers?
$90 million on a film. A staggering amount of money that could have been used for all kinds of wonderful things.
We live in strange times. Getting stranger. Our core values have shifted, it seems. Not mine personally, but the zeitgeist seems to be so completely linked to celebrity, insane spending,. Crazy decisions and health and safety. Given where I was writing from yesterday, it is deeply challenging to work out how to raise oneÄôs children into being able to make any sense of now at all.
The council makes so much money that it needs to spend a great raft of it on something other than road humps, the government doesnÄôt force kids to do sport any more and now Wandsworth Council want to replace our childrenÄôs amazing school with 12 floodlit foot ball pitches. I stand back with my mouth open unable to make sense of it at all.
There is a Chinese curse. ÄúMay you live in Interesting times.Äù Well, here we are.
A song by Peggy Lee.
It encapsulates my feelings at the moment.
Is this it? Endlessly struggling to pay bills, to keep smiling, lurching from one drama to the next, worrying about the childrenÄôs education, the fees, the future of the planet?
Is this what we all struggle to stay alive for?
There has to be more than just being ants in a treadmill. I want more. This is not enough.
The bugger is that it is me that has to find the more, that has to delve into my deepest self and find acceptance. Total and utter acceptance of all that is, every day, and move beyond that into peace and pleasure in the small stuff.
It is the small stuff that gets me.
I got very angry this morning and watched it rising in me and looked at the components of the anger; the fear, the resistance, the need to control, the humiliation, the sadness, all mixed up together in one spurt of emotion that welled up inside me.
I watched it and waited for it to subside before speaking, reacting or responding.
I still felt the anger but did not respond from that place. I breathed deeply and waited.
By the time I had arrived at the shop I had perspective, humour and tolerance.
So, if I want more from this mortal coil, how am I going to get it? If no one is going to give it to me, I have to dredge it from with in. Ha! God did not save me from drowning to beat me up on the beach, he did it to make me work it out for myself and then pass it on.
Oh, the sense of humour of the greats. That and the bear called Mohammed. Would you not have noticed anywhere else that it was no go?
I digress. This is all there is, and I am not going to disappear in a puff of enlightenment. I am in it for the duration so I better start having more fun.
I will keep on reporting my progress as a recovering drug addict and alcoholic trying to learn how to continue beyond the first bloom (16 years) of recovery, through the graveyard years, into a full and acceptable presentation of myself and my experiences in this charming mortal coil.
I have spent the last four days in Olympia, at the Yoga Show, and it was great fun.
I think it is the best of all the shows I have done over the years and there was such a great atmosphere. I had excellent staff and we met so many great people. It was a total blast of energy, vitality and light.
By contrast, Erotica, which I slipped into on Friday night, was dark, sad and very un-erotic.
Now I am back in the shop sitting as still as I can. It was a hectic week last week and I am in need of very little movement to be able to renew my energy. Having had so much fun and laughter of the last few days does make for a very different type of tiredness, though. I am calm. At last! Weeks of preparation and shows is finally over and I am going to take my energy out of that process for the next few moths until the lovely Mind Body Spirit in May.
I have joined facebook. With a great whoosh, I have stepped into modern social conventions. I think I mentioned it before. My God, it takes up far too much time, rather like make up, it has to be done, but it should be as quickly as possible. I am being sent all manner of links, videos, gifts and pokes and cannot keep up. I need a day a week lying down with a computer to catch up on all the contacts, messages and information.
I have made a big decision in the light of recent weeks and all the energy expended; and that is that I am letting go of extraneous experiences and relaxing. I will not do things that do not interest me. I will also work to take life at a more relaxed pace. I do not need comment or encouragement in these choices, thank you, comments on how I run my life do irritate me excessively, but there is no point in moving on unless one can be comfortable and accepting of exactly where one is right now, or you just move on to again want to be elsewhere.
Thus, in the best yogic tradition, I am calm, unruffled and vibrating stillness. Long may it last!
Today was a challenging morning. Nothing happened to make it so on the outside, just the journeys through my interiors; the Lost Territories, the Empty Quarter, the Deserts of Fear and the Jungle of Insecurities.
As I lay awake in the night, listening to the rain pounding on the window in the bedroom ceiling, I found myself going places where I should not be allowed alone.
But I was brave and fearless and made it out the other side. There is a moment in Neverwhere, a novel by Neil Gaiman, where they go over a bridge of fears. Some make it, some donÄôt. Last night I made it, but waking up to such awful weather just dragged the heavy feelings into today.
Until the sun came out on the playground and for a few minutes it was totally exquisite. Black clouds, green parrots, the sun and the glistening grass with the autumn tress all around. In that moment all lifted. But why? Why does it make a difference?
As I drove away the sky was lava grey and turning a corner I was confronted by a huge double rainbow. It was so close, so perfect and such an epiphany. It pulled my heart in the same way that travelling through rural India can. Seeing things that are truly elemental and outside of our control.
This brings me neatly to Health and Safety. Such fun. What are they going to do about stairs? I am longing to know if stairs will be banned. Or War. What happens to Health & Safety when we are confronted with the destruction of all that we hold dear by those that make the rules? I am intrigued.
I know, I try not to be inflammatory, but really, they go too far now. No one that works here can move a box, change a bulb or even open the shop without having first read all these papers and sign that they have read them. Their signature then expunges me of any responsibility for their mistakes. Is that really fair. Should they not get me to sign saying that I accept to employ them despite their humanity?
Do I really try not to be inflammatory? I am not so sure.
But I am having a rather wild time on facebook. My new thing. I know, it has been around for a while, but it is fascinating. The people who are there! The connections! The people that one knows but do not want to contact, too! That part is fun. I always have wanted to see exÄôs through a two way mirror. And the mwa mwa of it all. It is a cyber cocktail party without the drinks.
Yes, in my dreams. It was this morningÄôs joke.
Of course we are all Divine and exquisite, but how often do we feel it?
I did a long interview with the Independent on Sunday today, all about alcoholism, drug addiction, recovery, rock bottom and life in reality.
It was fine, but the aftermath has been horrid. I have felt awful all afternoon. I suppose it is memories, thoughts and dreams all fighting to be heard, seen, remembered, and then there is the minutiae of life, every day, waking up and dealing with life as it throws down the gauntlet again, and again, and again.
I wake each day wishing I had it right, that I accepted myself, that I did not need to kick and fight against my reality again. But, like the delightful Groundhog Day, it comes back again and I get another go.
I feel the need for a very long, very cold walk to blow the cobwebs away.
I have just been interview for Radio 4 about the 6 Billion Others project. The woman who interviewed me was insightful and thoughtful. It was good.
One question she entered into very profoundly was the purpose of the project. As it is not mine I can only suppose from seeing it and taking a part. My answer was that it helps us to become more and more aware of the Sacredness of Life and of each individual rather than bunching the world into countries, religions and problems. To be able to relate to an individual and empathise, to open up a part of ourselves that can relate to others and see their exquisiteness.
I have moments of this awareness all the time, but wonder how many of the rest of us are conscious, on a daily basis of how delightful it is to be alive, especially when refusing to be hounded by politics, terror, fear, the press and our sense of lack.
Today it was easy. Crispy cold sun on frozen leaves, white grass, chilly breath and laughing children.
When it is cold, wet and dark and we feel alone and isolated it is not so easy to connect to our higher, better selves.
I do not feel that the world encourages the human and the angel in each of us. We are constantly seeing and hearing the beast, particularly on TV, radio, youtube, the papers, magazines and all the media that flashes past us on busses, hoardings and shop fronts.
We need more sacred moments.
My life, all our lives, are made of endless decisions and repetition. I think part of finding pleasure in reality is grounding oneself into this as reality, rather than endlessly bucking the repetitive nature of it.
This morning I bucked repetition and instead of making the fabulous juice I always make, filled with wonderful things and tasting exquisite, I so wanted a change that I made a juice out of the wheat grass that my husband had carefully cultivated from seed.
I need to say at this point, that I hate wheat grass, it makes me want to throw up, the smell reminds me of his illness and me being pregnant and just that is enough to induce a violent desire to chuck.
Did that stop me? Did it impinge on my reality for even an instant? Of course it did not.
I made a great juice of ginger, wheat grass, celery and apples. I threw in a large red chilli just because I can and found it so hot that I then added an orange and a pomegranate. Fabulous.
It has now been 4 hours since I drank it and I still feel sick. I really do wonder when I will learn the things I need to learn, on a daily basis in the infinite repetition of daily drama, and if I do, will I disappear in a puff of enlightenment?
Funnily enough, I have been trying to buy Groundhog Day off Amazon and two times not I have been told it is not available. Perhaps I am not ready yet. Either that or the kids are not up for me trying to explain reality to themÄ¶Ä¶.
On another note, I miss Georgette Heyer. I never knew her personally, but I miss the effect that her writing has upon mine. I long to have that Georgian edge that her text brings to mine. Words like Damme! And Curses! I am currently reading Dorothy Dunnett. Quite amazing, the story, the characters, the sense of history, but my intellectual speed does not always quite catch up with it all and I find myself going back over several pages to keep up. I do not take it personally. I am not an intellectual and have no insecurities in that area, but she does not colour my weblog in the way that Äúsport me some bluntÄù or Äúin his cupsÄù or Äúcome down from the boughsÄù can. Damme! I still have another 4 books to get to the end of the series. I feel I must keep going.
If I am not reading that, I am studying numerology. It is so deep and meaningful that I fall asleep all the time! I can barely get through a page without wanting to shut down. It seems to somewhat defeat the point of writing a book if it is so deep and profound one cannot actually read it. Maybe he doesn’t really want anyone to know all the secrets…
I lie with it on the shelf above my head hoping that I can absorb it by osmosis in the night. It would certainly free up some time.
Things are quiet. I know it is Monday, but the press does play awful tricks on punters and now there is stillness and fear all around. Lots of shoppers caught in the glare of financial insecurity, just sitting, panting slightly, waiting until it feels safe to venture out with the plastic again.
We are not wasting time waiting, here. I have organised the windows to be lit, the shop looks fabulously glittery and sparkly without one Christmas decoration in place yet. All is dusted and calmly waiting for the momentÄ¶
I have also decided it is time to look at prosperity again. Prosperity thinking, abundant words and thoughts, and of course, the essential prosperity meditation. We started again on the weekend and it does feel very proactive. It does make a different on so many levels, too.
I taught a workshop this weekend and met so many delightful Yogis that I have been energised into doing more. There is a list, now, on the website.