New sounds…

OlafurI want to return to the aging thing and all those telomere thingies that I’ve not mentioned before, but I’m wandering tonight into a new classical music composer whose melodies are stirring my soul. Have a listen and see if you are not as moved as I have been.

http://www.vevo.com/watch/olafur-arnalds/oldurot/GBUV71601052

My wish is simply that we listen daily with fresh ears. We can, you know, hear anew. We need only clean out our closet of all the unused sound so we can add more. Clear and listen.

Until tomorrow…

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Moving mountains…

potential.jpgIt is tomorrow as in the day after yesterday and I’ve given thought to the topic of last night’s post which focussed on my – uh – issues regarding an inability to appreciate my aging body. Redo 365 was meant to redress views on getting older and while I’ve made some leaps, it seems I might have missed a few things. Doh!

Do any of you recall others’, or perhaps even your own, cogitations on the passage of time and its effects? Expressions like “I’d want to be young again but only if I could know what I know now.” Or, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Of course there are lots of analogous phrases echoing similar sentiments, but they weren’t driving my thinking today because they didn’t seem relevant somehow. You see, I’m not longing for the past or feeling my youth was wasted. I’m just tired of allowing time, and gravity, to dictate how I’ll look. Whoa Nellie, eh? Yeah.

And now, I can hear y’all shoutin’ at me. “Frances, you’ve lost it. You’ve no control over either time or gravity. None of us do. You’re spitting in the wind if you think you do. Remember Joan Rivers (May she RIP) and drop this line of thought!” Well, well. Let’s talk.

So because I believe we’ve – and when I say ‘we’ I mean all of us as a vast collective – constructed over tens of thousands of years most everything we see, we’ve likely created much of the aspects of our own demise and consequently, aging. Does everything have a lifespan because it does, or because we expect it to?

Being a part of a group that is re-thinking aging has allowed me access to all kinds of stories that challenge accepted thought. The group questions traditional teaching regularly and we know we are on to something. For example, brain plasticity and altering genetic coding via that very same plasticity used to be the stuff of science fiction. It is no longer. Science is moving to prove we have more control than we were led to believe over something as omniscient as our very DNA. What does it have to do with fighting gravity? Well, everything really.

Our brains are evolving exponentially now. The ancient wisdom teachers said exactly the same things as the modern ones say: “We are unlimited potential.” I’d say that for the most part we are all zygotes when it comes to really using, let alone understanding, our individual potential. The guides who get it will springboard the rest of us along, or at least those who wish to go along, with them as they expand. Once there’s enough of us ‘along’, there will be a collective shift. That ‘shift’ will usher in great change. Liken it to the industrial revolution, Christianity, the wheel. Game changers all.

More of us are living longer lives. Scientists are on a path to hack the code of life. It’s happening. Can we live a 1000 years or longer? Probably. We just have to believe it. But let’s get back to looks. How will we look at 1000?

Well, my guess is we’ll look fantastic because we will have the tools – whatever they are – to help with that. We’ve already got a lot of them.

Is there a ‘but’ to any of the above? Yes.

Here it is. We might not manage it. I might not manage it. I might buy the farm tomorrow and be really saggy when I do. Thing is, it’s okay. I still believe the other stuff. And through me changing up my thinking, my language and practices around aging and even looks, I’m not surrendering to convention but rather reaching for that unlimited potential I was told I have. It won’t be from lack of trying that I got old and checked out. Uh uh. It will be because I’ve not quite aligned with a different way of thinking. The energy I leave behind, however, will be and that will make it easier for future generations.

Some of this might not make much sense so I’ll write more about this for a bit.

And so my wish tonight is to simply keep an open-mind about our unlimited potential.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

Leaping into acceptance…

MeThis will be brief. It’s been a long day and I’m ready to sleep.

I got my proper comeuppance today. Those who follow me know that a big focus of this blog is around the use of language. I write to raise my own awareness around the effects of old patterned responses and mind chatter inculcated in us merely because we live in this current society. A great deal of what we say is attention seeking, contrary, and judgemental. Furthermore it is diminishing and even divisive. Take today for example.

I finally got a snap of me I could tolerate enough to use to update my Facebook profile picture. Looking at it now, I find fault with it and wish I’d not posted it all. I see exaggerated wrinkles and lines, a too tight mouth, and those annoying platysmal bands in my neck. What I’m looking at is an old woman whose image surprises me every time I see it because in my mind she is still youthful, line-free and vibrant. (Don’t get me started about the skin on the rest of my body, either. That parchment-y shit is just all wrong! Anywho, one issue at a time.)

People’s comments have been positive and kind, but that’s not good enough for me. I’m not really good at taking a compliment. I counter with excuses about how difficult it is to get a decent up close and personal picture at this age. Why? Because I do not see beyond the surface. I cannot see my own light. Sad? Yes. Problem? Only if I choose to let it be and I do not. I intend to solve this. And I will do it quickly.

And that’s enough for tonight but I will pick up this thread tomorrow. It’s a topic worthy of expansion.

Wishing you rest in all its promise. Another word is relaxation. Yet another is stillness. I prefer the latter word because of its sound. It is a soft word, one that rolls and lingers like all words that end in “s”. But whichever word you like, in stillness we can rest, we can relax completely. We cannot rest if we are not still, nor can we relax if we are not at rest. We can find all these states of being within even while the world around us in chaos. Yes, rest amidst the noise takes practice and discipline. But seeking rest in mind, spirit, and body should be a goal, yes? So let’s call the seeking of it a ‘blissipline’ because the practice over time will bring great joy. Blissed out rest, yeah? Om.

Until tomorrow…

 

To curl or not to curl…

Curls.jpgBeing compared to Shirley Temple was nice. The fact that I neither looked like her nor tap danced up and down the stairs did not dissuade the comparison from the straight hair majority who appeared to think we curly heads were all related. It was as if protein filaments that formed ringlets were the sign of a unique race to which I was clearly one.

Now, if you’ve straight hair, at this point in the blog you have a couple of options. You can yawn and close the link, or read on trusting I’m expressing deep truths of some sort or other. Personally, I’m inclined toward the latter. Without further ado…

My poor mother had no experience of curly hair and when I arrived as a baby, she was smitten with mine. She’d spend hours rolling my soft locks around her fingers. And then I grew up. By the time I was ready for school, the love affair was over. Getting a brush through my hair was a painful ordeal. Nobody told her you don’t brush curly hair when it’s dry. You comb it out when it’s wet and leave it be to dry. Period.

When I entered my teens, everything fashionable was straight. From Cher to Twiggy, the sleeker the hair the better. In an effort to get straight (no double entendre intended) I called soup cans, irons, and bad products into service. I became addicted to weather reports knowing even a hint of humidity would ruin my do. I avoided elevators knowing a sneeze in those close quarters could create frizz. Any hint of moister no matter how seemingly insignificant was an enemy who turned soft, pliable, smooth styles to bad afros in a matter of seconds. Worse, the texture is Brilloesque. No guff. You hair actually feels brittle enough to snap off. Yep. Just like it looks.

Needless to say, the relationship I had with my curls was mostly a hateful one. Of course, I had moments of rapture, but few until I surrendered to genetics, and new products. Halleluia and thanks be to every scientist ever! New hair gels, lotions and potions became available which tame the frizz and produce lovely curls. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but at least much less burr-headed stuff.

Do not misunderstand, though. Just when you think you’ve figured a way to control the mop, the mop will change, grow weary of the latest mousse or cream, and rise up – literally. Back to the shops to consult for something new. Drat.

Still, at this stage of the game, I’m happy to still have hair and the curls make it seem I’ve a lot more of it than I do. Sure, the days when it’s dry and furry aren’t preferred, but mostly, the curls are soft and kind of pretty, truth be told.

This past weekend I went to a festival in a Welsh woodland. My kin were there in plenty in all shapes and sizes – of curls, that is. I decided to adopt a new appreciation for the messy chaos of my unruly filaments and be happy about them, once and for all. I’ll hazard a guess that straight hair folks complain about their locks from time to time. Part of our natures, maybe, to complain. Better, maybe we just get a bit bored. Whatever the case, I’m singing the praises of my hair today instead of bemoaning it.

So tonight’s wish is for self-appreciation. We are magical, generous, beautiful and loving beings inextricably woven together with dull, stingy, ugly and hateful beings. Perhaps the first step to real change is accepting ourselves completely. Loving the curls despite most others being straight means we accept our unique qualities. As we grow to love ourselves as we are, seeing others with compassion, and understanding, even though different from us, should be easier and easier, more natural and instinctive, with each day. How could we respond any different if coming from a heart filled with love? Surely we could all appreciate something about ourselves that could use a little more appreciating.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

 

 

Knock knock…

Laughter seal.jpgIt’s an exquisite night in this shire of a valley. The air is pure, the sky clear. The heaviness brought by the last few days of heat and humidity has gone as if blown away by giants. The now waning full moon is lighting the sky intermittently between thin stratus cloud breaks. The altocumulus clouds are perched on top like a pimply, but still fluffy, icing. The site is gorgeous and staring into the otherwise clear night sky fills me with gratitude, immense almost immeasurable, gratitude.

Wherever it is Muse has been I do not know, but she popped in briefly today to scold me about not writing. She said blaming her for not being around is a cheap shot and lousy excuse for not doing what I really quite love to do. The message was received because, well, as you can clearly see, I’m writing tonight. Her somewhat gruff nudge is appreciated though, it feels good to be typing away despite the late hour. That written, I’m a bit giddy with this distracting moon, and must make an early start so will be brief.

The last few days I’ve received inspiring, encouraging and supportive notes. Each has made me very happy and helped spur me on. I feel like I might be able to start packing up the “woe-is-me” closet, actually. Goodness gracious it’s about time, eh? I’ll take this opportunity to thank one and all for putting up with me and hanging in while I whine. Of course, as I write I realize how many times I’ve promised to change things up and not held to it. Still, it’s worth repeating and to making yet another promise: here’s to better, less repetitive posts. I mean really – for the love of all the saints and angels – buy a book and learn about something new, anything!

Okay. I will be more creative.

I’m wishing tonight for more of something that visited me today – laughter. I had fun today, and belly laughed spontaneously. Gawd it felt so good! As I laughed I took note of a fascinating side effect – some extra weight I’d been carrying for weeks, lessened. I started to feel better. Memories sprung up that were equally great. I recalled those Sundays when the giggles would strike during the presider’s sermon. Mom’s gaze was steel. Dad’s finger would wave or his hand would lightly box the back of my head. Nothing could stop the rise, though, and the harder they tried to prevent my laughing, the more the laughter came. So much fun! So I’ll wish that everyone can have moments, lots and lots of moments filled with shaking belly, water out of nostrils spewing, pig snorting laughter. The kind of laughter that puts stitches into your sides and aches into your cheeks. That kind of laughing must be good for all that ails.

“Did you hear the one about the…?”

Until tomorrow…

 

 

Tears and teachings…

CalmReally emotional today. Mostly tears and longing filling the hours and minutes. I tried to ‘up’ the feelings but failed. I’m not complaining or seeking sympathy, rather stating the facts. And it’s all okay. It’s really okay. I am okay.

What this past year plus has taught me is that my emotional upheavals are wonderful. Of course the good feelings are best and those bright days wonderful, but the challenging hours are teachers. We don’t always appreciate our teachers, do we?

I am appreciating my teachers today amidst the angst. I am trying to learn the lesson. I am asking how to get back to feeling good while learning. It’s not easy but I’ll get there.

When we find ourselves in these vulnerable states of being, the biggest challenge is letting the feelings come through. We want to suppress the awful ones. Who wouldn’t? But if we can expose the sadness, or grief, anger or apprehension, we might just learn why it is there in the first place. Maybe it is an old and useless feeling we should say farewell to. Maybe it is a feeling we nurture in the present that we need to confront and ask to step aside. It’s all the same. It’s simply stepping up, yes? Stepping up and saying, I am okay.

Today in the world at large, something happened. It’s a messy thing. Lives were lost. Blood was shed. Does that matter? Yes. Why? Because everything we do must serve, must benefit the WHOLE. When a choice is made to dominate for an agenda that is not for but against, then we are in trouble – again.

My wish tonight is that we consider the aspects of “for”. Let us be for prosperity, equanimity, balance and justice. There is much to be for and it perpetuates life and successful endeavours. When we are looking toward “for” we cannot waste time being against because we’ve not the energy. We’re too busy stepping up and waving the banner for justice, for love, and for peace on earth.

Until tomorrow…

Peace is…

Peace dove.jpgIt’s down to one wish tonight my lovelies. A single, dreamy wish for peace. It’s a surreal, rather translucent image we have of peace, yes? It’s all Garden of Edenesque. We peel our grapes and stroll wistfully in idyllic woodlands with nymphs and butterflies. There’s plenty of plenty and nothing rough or intrusive. Hmm. Folks, even Disney knew better. Remember Bambi? Yep, the world is also the ugly we do not want to see, hear, smell, or taste. By the way, there’s plenty of stuff in that peaceful jungle that is horrific, brutal, and raw. It is unevolved and yet evolving. Just as we are. So what is peace? It is a feeling not outside of us, but within us. It is a call to love. It is us unconditionally accepting our part in the whole of creation and recognizing that everything – every single thing – we see, hear, smell, or taste is an extension of us. When we talk about “others”, worrying they will rise against us, then that is what reality will show. If, however, we see people rising up with offerings of love, expressing empathy, caring, and compassion to each other that is what we will see. Of course, the ugly is still around. We all know it. But we put it in its rightful place when we focus all our thoughts, all our energy, on peace. That real kind. The kind that comes from within. That is my wish. Dig high, dig low but keep digging for it. Peace really isn’t a dream, it’s alive and well in each of us.

Peace, out.

Until tomorrow…

Facing it head on…

beaconRough day in my head tumbling in a sea of apprehension. What’s coming up and causing this is the harsh reality of my current situation. When considering my present moment with burning questions of ‘what if?’ and ‘where do I go from here?’ fear rises like a tsunami. Before you know it, whoosh, I’m in the wave tossing and turning. That was today. Tonight, I’ve died and am in limbo. Blah.

These last five years I’ve spent singularly focussed on one thing. There was much wandering, drifting, hoping, and dreaming. The leap I took was one of faith and I couldn’t let go, but as a result, I ignored a few things. When we ignore, we resist and what we resist, persists.

The dream of moving here was not a mistake. And, at the 40,000 foot level, nothing I’ve ever done is a mistake. Have I been foolhardy in my singleness of purpose, however? Yes. I did not manage the practical aspects of life. I scraped by working a series of jobs, never making enough to support the lifestyle I was used to living. I had no permanent address, couched surfed and enjoyed being a drifter, if truth be told. But there were some balls of responsibility that I dropped along the way. In an effort to correct that, I addressed the biggest ball before I left Canada – or I tried.

Before leaving I contacted a professional who is an expert in what I needed help with. I left the issue with him confident everything would be worked out. All these months later, it’s not been resolved. Will it be? Probably. Is it a big deal? Not likely. Am I making more of it than I should? Yes. Worry serves no purpose at all. However, it serves as a really good reminder.

Clutter is more than just papers piled in a corner. Any mess we ignore only gets worse. Putting off dealing with anything we think difficult or frightening causes more damage than we realise. Yes, confronting is hard, but facing any fear is a good thing. And that’s my lesson today. I simply need to face my fears. If I’ve done something stupid, so be it. I’ll just have to be smarter next time. And yeah, the big thing, is to remember to ask for help. I seem to be needing a lot of help these days, but that’s okay.

Tonight’s wish is personal. I want to meet ‘him’. That’s all. He’s out there waiting to meet me. All I know is, it is time.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

 

 

A whole bunch of wishes…

It is late. I am knackered so here goes a wish despite that. Listen up. It’s a good one!

I wish for more of all of this stuff:

Let down your guard, leave your ego at the door, recognise you are a human being but accept that the animal is made of the same stuff you are – feelings and all. I wish for more of an attitude that says, “Who cares what colour, race, or religion you are?” I wish we could let go of petty concerns and trust that there is an order to things. I wish we would ignore the stuff we don’t like and focus on the stuff we do like. I wish we would stop working ‘against’ and focus on working ‘for’. I wish we would sit still and listen, stop judging everybody which means allowing our awful bits to be okay, too. I wish we could accept responsibility which means putting a stop to blaming everybody else. Blaming doesn’t do anything. FIND A SOLUTION or shut up. And lastly, I wish we would work to love ourselves more. A LOT more! Look in the mirror and shout, “ I AM BEAUTIFUL” until you smile. Then try to shit on someone else. Uh uh. Cannot be done. LOVE. It’s bigger than a four letter word. It is THE answer.

Until tomorrow…

Can you find your word?

Hard-soft.jpgFunnily enough I’ve started three different blogs over two days and not finished one. Wow. This is numero quarto and a first at the same time. It’s a first because I’ve never left a paragraph sit unfinished. Can’t say I know what’s up. It’s like I’ve lost my hands because my head doesn’t stop. I’m sure many of you can relate to that. I mean, seriously, our minds are always wandering, seeking serenity and finding only gorgeous chaos. Gotta love it, though. It’s all of it, from the deepest swoop down to the highest climb up, part of who we luscious human beings are. It is the essence of being and who doesn’t want to “be”?

Anywho, tonight’s the night that something’s gotta get written. To that end, I sit on my bed and open a Jose Gonzalez music file. I love the effortlessness afforded us by the modern age when it comes to music. We can find the calming stuff, or the toe-tapping tunes, it doesn’t matter. There’s a plethora of choice at our finger tips. Truth be told, I miss listening to music. Perhaps I’m showing my age by admitting that the last few years I’ve been tuned into the CBC or the BBC listening to talk radio. Hmm. Time for a change? Me thinks so. Hey Mr. DJ, put those records on…

Okay. Back to the blog. I’ve switched off the music already. It lulled me and I do not need lullabies at this stage. Inspiration is required and I’m not able to reach Muse for some reason. My curiosity is piqued. Where is she? I’m a tad bamboozled by her disappearances. She’s probably oblivious, off somewhere warm and sunny. Somewhere that takes a bit of courage to get to (because that’s who she is) where maybe crocodiles live. Just guessing. I miss her when she travels off. I want to sit close enough that she has to scooch over when I get working. Oh well. She ain’t nowhere to be found.

I was supposed to go to yoga tonight. Is this dry spell a punishment for semi-returning to my sloth-like ways? Ooh, I’ve found a lovely new yogini, by the way. Clearly she’s not enough to get me there tonight. It’s kind of a long way and the class is late at night. That’s my excuse. Honestly, I don’t like the way I feel right now for missing. Best get there for Thursday. Hard, if not impossible to believe, but I’m passionate about yoga. It’s getting to class I’m not thrilled with, I guess.

Am I babbling? Yes. Go ahead, It’s fine. You can tell me. I’m a big girl, truly, and can take your arrows cast at my maladroit attempts to engage and entertain you. Sigh. I’ll wait in the quietude of my room, interrupted only occasionally by tummy borborgymi, for your response.

I’m still waiting… No comments then? Good. Feel free to assault me at any time, however. I’m no debutante although I might well have learned a thing a two more about life had I been one. No, I’m not being facetious. Those girls who took their roles seriously learned a great deal about the system working it rather than letting the system work them. And really, that’s important. Of course, that wasn’t true of all by any stretch of one’s imagination and much of the system remains quite corrupt. But that’s a subject for another day.

My wish tonight is for softness. Often, when we have so many demands placed on us by our lives, we forget to be soft with ourselves, with others. It is important, I think, to remember to speak softly, extend a gentle touch, hold something with care or to soften our gaze. Yoga asks this. Meditation requires it. But even with those reminders in our practice, we can forget the request as soon as we leave the mat or the cushion. Softness can extend, and should extend, to our daily lives. Liken it to a baby’s giggle if you will – how that sound can enhance our feeling of well-being. When we soften, we relax. When relaxed we can allow and hold space for ourselves and for others. It might be like the spoon full of sugar without the sugar that we all need. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, yes?

Until tomorrow…