Day 301 to Day 308 – the tethers that keep us togethers

Day 301 – the “I” tells you where to go

There is no way to interrupt the flow, regardless of the best intentions and there is no way to go any faster than the Sunday driver in front of you. It doesn’t matter how badly I want to go to this yoga class, nobody wants to let me get there. Even the traffic lights are lingering through reds and I by the time I get to the studio I have missed class by only three minutes. I go straight back home, via the beach, knowing that I can’t even be bothered to get out of the car. Ultimately, the “I” leads me back home, exactly where I started. Nothing to do but let go and accept that I was not supposed to leave the house today.

Day 302 – cry of help

I get an email from my friend, asking for help. She feels she has fallen away from the path, committed a mistake and now she can’t sleep. I am surprised by my own words, but I know exactly where she is because I have been there too. If I have experience in anything it is straying from the path, beautiful mistakes and most definitely lack of sleep.

Everyone needs to go through a Persephone phase. The Goddess Persephone, while in the company of her friends the sirens, was abducted by Hades and made to be the queen of the underworld, the goddess of shadows. There she remained, deepening her roots in the dark earth until the Spring when she comes out, strong enough to grow in the light. She is a symbol for nature, growth and the harvest.

And some of us has to go through this shadow phase. Everybody that has walked the path of light knows that it is steep and not without its bends and twists or branches that trip us over. But what happens when we fall over? We get to see the path really close up. We get to stop and look at the spot where we fell- the present moment. We then get to draw a line in the dirt and move forward. This life is not about making no mistakes. It is about experiencing every moment as a blessing, even when it seems painful. I can’t claim that I haven’t made mistakes. I have played with my shadow side, I have spent time in darkness, planting my roots deep in the underworld and now that spring is here, I am ready to grow into the light.

 

Day 303 – benchmark

The measure of fitness is in a 400m run, 10 push-ups, 10 grunts and 15 sit-ups, all done 3 times as well as a mile run. I try not to get hung up on results, especially when they don’t seem to be what I expect. The first sequence is a whole 20 seconds slower than what I did 2 months ago, but the mile run is faster. I have no idea what this means, but it affects my internal dialogue to the point that I start to question my self worth for the majority of the day. But that won’t make me faster. They don’t measure fitness and self worth in the same scale and Boot Camp has made me stronger and faster, regardless of whatever the result is from the benchmark test. Just have to run faster next time.

Day 304 – tethers of leather

My soul sister and beautiful reflective friend, Zani, and I always had strips of leather and bracelets tied around our wrists and ankles. We sat on the island at Togat Nusa retreat one day talking about this and came up with the idea that we were trying to tether ourselves down. Being both typically flighty, airy, flower children, it was something grounding that seems to ties us down to the earth and keep us from floating away.

We are in the office all week so I can leave the pencil skirt at home today and wrap my limbs up in random strings and leather pieces. It is like coming home. This is how I usually look. The corporate gear feels like more of a costume than the native american head piece. I feel comfortable in the flowing shirt and thongs and I the little leather bands that remind me of myself. It is like tethering my real self to my projected self.

It’s not like I could ever hide the true self. She is kind of loud. And she likes bright colours.

Nothing keeps her tied down, but it is nice knowing that she is tied to me.

 

Day 305 – salt water cure-all

I can’t explain but I spend over an hour crying today. It is a necessary part of the growth to let go of the past which no longer serves us, but it seems that the ego is not ashamed to mourn its own death. Each layer that is peeled back to expose more truth and light is another layer left behind. There is no need to hide the tears or worry why they come. I just accept them now, as a necessary piece to the evolution. The salt water cure-all. Ocean. Tears. Saline solution (found in every first-aid kit).

 

Day 306 – yoga ideas

It is through a passing comment that I have a lightbulb moment. I am sending emails to Zani about Bali when I say that we should run a yoga retreat in Bali. Suddenly I wonder why the hell not? Everything amazing in this world would have started as an idea at some stage. It is a tiny seed that is planted. I start to look at myself and think, “Man, Liz, if you followed every idea that came into your head… Hang on a second. You usually do.” Actually if I didn’t follow all the whimsical ideas that pop into my mind I would not have had half of the experiences that I have had. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t have gone to India, or Mexico, or gone mountain climbing, or run the City 2 Surf. I camped in the f***king snow! A yoga retreat in Bali is not that far fetched! I love the way a good idea snow balls in your head and the only way to contain it is to take a pencil and an enormous piece of paper and use pictures and words to draw it all out… PLAYING IN THE LIGHT

 

Day 307 – moving

At the beginning of this year I was told by a numerologist that 2012 would be very restless for me, that there would be lots of moving about. So I am not surprised that I am moving. Again. Looking at how many times I have packed a suitcase this year from when I first left mum’s house to go to LA, to Mexico, to Sumatra, Bali, India, mum’s house, Coogee, back to mum’s house… I wonder if I should even unpack at the other end. I have grown more accustomed to zippers than to cupboards and Lonely Planet makes more sense than a bus timetable. Well, another shift, another change, another place to call home. But really, as long as I am with me, I am always home.

 

Day 308 – bend but do not break

Someone has locked the bottom door knob at the Coogee apartment; the one we never lock because I had the only key, which I lost. When the new flatmate comes home later than night, she is freaking out that she can’t get in and has to go to a friend’s house. I meet Krystle at the locked door in the morning. Five of us had planned to sleep in that place last night, but five of us have been locked out and forced to sleep in random couches, beds and floors of friends. We stare at the lock and then start to call people. One by one, all the girls get picked up and we return to the apartment. The locksmith would cost $155. My bedroom window is open, though it is mysteriously three stories up, despite Krystle’s room being street level. Coogee is a bit of a warped, hilly, magical place like that. Facebook, if nothing else, is the easiest way, I have found, to obtain a ladder, especially since a passing fire truck would not help. My friend, Pete, comes to the rescue and even climbs in for us. The new flatmate collects her stuff, takes her bond back and leaves. She can’t handle the stress and the chaos of living with us. (I wouldn’t even be living there!) But yes, there will be chaos because LIFE is chaos. You have to bend, not break. If I took off every time I got locked out of a place… I remember one month I locked myself out of my car THREE times! I had to get really tricky with a coat hanger. And another time I locked myself out of mum’s apartment with my dog, Lewis Carrol’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, a bottle of water, and a tub of watermelon. At the time I was kind of stressed because I was four hours late to work, but it was four hours of reading in the park with my dog, staying perfectly hydrated! The point being that locks will forever keep people out of their own homes and is just another piece of chaos to which I bend, but do not break. Plus it gave me a really good chance to catch up with my friend, Pete, who is extremely elusive. And who would have thought- he even got me hooked on a new leather tether supplier… BLACKRAG.

http://blackrag.com.au

Advertisements

Day 280 to Day 287 – life changers

Day 280 – crossroads of chaos

Another crossroads presents itself and I find myself at a job interview. When asked how much money I would expect I am not afraid to ask for more than I know I will be offered.

“Do you think you are old enough and experienced enough to ask for that?”

My response…

“I know my value. There is no point in telling you an amount that you will say yes to immediately and then I have sold myself short. The worst you can say is no and then give me a counter offer.”

Ultimately, this new job does not work out. Not only do they want me to cover my tattoos, but they also want me to work a lot more hours than I am working right now.

It does give me the opportunity to look at my work-life, to re-assess this career choice. I am a wine rep. I enjoy what I do, but as to whether this is a lifelong commitment, I know that it is only a temporary means to an end. I know myself. I know that this is not me. But I do know my value and I am proud of myself for having the courage to say so.

 

Day 281 – my mother’s flames

I spend the evening with my mum. I notice that she has three candles lit on the table. She has been lighting these three candles for years. She has never actually told me about it, but I once asked and she told me simply it was her three children. It is her own silent prayer for us, like a little light to keep us safe. I love that she does this. I love that she has a little ritual for us. She isn’t overtly religious or superstitious. She doesn’t meditate or spend much time wondering about god. She comes from Mexico, where old world Catholicism demands only that you have faith. For my mother, she has never questioned whether god was there. She has never wondered about what that means. She prays when she needs to and she believes. She never had to go on grand spiritual journeys to ‘find the divine’ or climb mountains to seek something deeper. Sometimes I envy her simple and unfaltering faith. I have always questioned. I have always wondered. I have always tested and probed and looked deeper. I could never accept what I was told. I had to figure it out on my own. When she saw me pray before a meal she almost cried with excitement that I had finally ‘found god’. I told her just that I was saying thank you for the meal, but that yes I had found myself and through that I guess you could say I found divine, which is within all. She looked kind of confused so I didn’t have the heart to explain that what I was actually saying was entirely in Sanskrit and used the name Brahma instead of Jesus. If there is one thing I have never associated with god, it is religion, and so for that I can be grateful to my mother. She never made me go to church. She never forced me to pray. She only asked that I never again use the term ‘older than god’ when she saw it in something I had written. I say Brahma, she says god. My aunty says Allah. My cousin says Jesus like Hey Soos. Potayto, potaahto. I light incense, she lights candles. Essentially it is all one.

 

Day 282 – the eye hospital

I wake up fine, but in the shower, I feel a sudden pain. I pull out two eyelashes from my left eye, but the pain remains. It feels like there is something in there. I remember this feeling. The last time I had this, I had a nasty eye infection from contact use and ended up in hospital for a week. I drive myself straight to the eye hospital and wait for over an hour to be told it is blepharitis. Apparently this is common and is nothing more than a swelling of the eye, in the oil gland from where the eyelashes extend. The doctor tells me to put hot compresses on my eyes and massage the eyelid. I go home and lie down with a hot towel on my eyes. I lay back with my eyes closed.

Meditation occurs.

The last time I was in hospital, I was completely blind in my left eye. I had no choice but to meditate. I had my eyes closed for nearly a week. When the eye drops went from 10 minute intervals to 2 hour intervals, I started to escape from the hospital and walk, half blind, in the botanical gardens. My favourite part was the herb garden. I would close my eyes as I wondered through, smelling the lemongrass and rosemary, running my fingers across mint and thyme. The universe will tell you when you need to stop. If we don’t listen, it demands. If we still don’t listen, it reaches down and forces our eyes shut.

Meditation is enforced.

I accept.

 

Day 283 – Missing Indonesia

I wake up suddenly missing Indonesia. I eat black rice pudding (bubur injin) in bed, under a feather down doona, listening to the rain and in all its beauty, I want to cry for that simple life of pure existential peace where the hardest part of my day was opening a coconut. I miss bubur kacang hijau for breakfast (the best way to cook mung beans in the world)… So I decide to writ eto the only other human being who understands. Zani. She is a mermaid goddess who also lived out in the islands of the Mentawais. When I read her last email I remember why we left. The pirates. We left because under the thin veneer of paradise lies dark and troubled waters. And that restless darkness can pull you down. I left because my time there was over. I am 10kg heavier in Sydney than I was in Indonesia.

I look in the mirror and I see a girl bigger in every aspect. The girl that lived there was hiding, shrinking. She was so closed in on herself that when she came back here last year, someone thought she couldn’t speak English. That was oppression. That was me hiding behind my long hair and disappearing slowly. Now I am open, I am not afraid to be heard or to be me. I guess I don’t really miss Indonesia. I can make bubur injin in my own kitchen.

 

Day 284 – letting the leopard out

It is time for a new hairstyle. I have the side shaved, it is like a semi Mohawk. Mel (The Leopard Lounge, Newtown) bleaches the side and hand paints the colours back in. I’m not sure that I could have done this a year ago. Or even six months ago. Girls with long hair often tell me I am courageous for having a Mohawk. One girl at the pub asks if I am a lesbian. I just laugh. Ok, I guess that is why it takes courage. You have to put up with some strange comments when you have a weird hairstyle. If I wanted to blend in and hide, I could have long hair. I could wear the tiny pink dress. Instead I wear a black leather jacket and have leopard fur on the side of my head. Ladies, we shouldn’t be afraid to hide our spots. Deep down, we can let the animal out. A hairstyle shouldn’t take courage. A hairstyle is just scissors and peroxide. It is transient change. It grows. Real courage is in what you do, not how you look.

 

Day 285 – ummm om?

It has been a while since I last laid my yoga mat down in a studio class. I can’t say it has the same profound epiphany-like effect that it once did a few years ago. I don’t get a jolt of mystical inspiration. It is a great technical alignment class and something that my physical space has missed, however, I feel like there is something missing from this pure asana practice. The “om” sounds more like “um?” and the word exercise finds its way into the room. Is that why I am here? To exercise? I think I go to boot camp three times a week for that. Well, why am I here? I knew what this class would be about, so I can’t act surprised about this. If I wanted a spiritual, meditative experience, I could have stayed at home and done a private practice. I know I am here because my body needs me to be. So, is it sometimes necessary to let go of the spiritual experience in order to allow the life experience? Does yoga always have to be deeply moving and life-changing, or is it just another baby step?

 

Day 286 – the life-changing fairy

As per usual, at a fourth birthday party, I can be found sorting through the costumes. When my niece ends up entirely soaked from the bubble machine I take the opportunity to dress her in the Christmas fairy outfit. She is a tiny, magical little being, prancing around searching for one of the five varieties of cake on offer. Another fairy princess has been playing with the black Play-Doh and brings a mysterious lump over, “Look! I made a sea rock!”

Creative.

Watching my sister and her daughter play in the grass, I can actually feel the bond between them. My sister was born to be a mum and though I don’t know if it is a bond I will ever get to feel, at least now I get it. It’s funny that a yoga class can’t make the same profound life-changing realisation occur, but a little green and red fairy rolling around on the grass, can.

Day 259 to Day 265 – resistance to love

Day 259 – resisting the lines

 You just can’t expect the unexpected. If there is one thing I have learned from this year of bliss, it is that change is the only constant. The path is never straight, especially where I am concerned. All my lines are squiggly, curling and sometimes crossing over. When I found myself on a date for the first time in months, I just took it in stride. When it lasted three days and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, I started to freak out. This was not part of the plan! I ran away from commitment, became chronically afraid of emotions, morally against the disease they call love and firmly protected behind my supposedly impenetrable wall of prickly toughness. Ah, how wrong I was. When I first got back from India, the palm reader at Embrace looked at my hand and said that my next big relationship was coming. I begged him to take it back. I rubbed at the lines on my hands, desperate for some years of solitude, but he just laughed at me. “How much time have I got, Ric?” I may as well have been asking about a terminal illness. He asked how old I was. When I said 25, he said I would meet him before I turned 26. Whatever, Ric, I thought. Palm readers get shit wrong all the time. Though, admittedly, Ric has told me some pretty accurate and specific stuff in the time I have known him.

Well, here I am, sitting in this guy’s kitchen, watching him cook me a wheat free, dairy free, vegetarian Pad Thai and I realise that this is the first time I have let a man who was not a direct relation cook me a meal without having to pay for it. I have always taken charge in the kitchen but for the first time in my life, someone is making me a meal for no other reason than the fact that they want to.

Suddenly I realise why I have had stomach problems the past couple of weeks. It was the resistance manifesting in my body. The more I wanted to stop the flow of energy, the more it all got stuck and caused dis-ease. The universe has made all the decisions for me this year and up until now, I had just accepted. This was the first time that I tried to fight it. Well, the universe thinks Matt is a good idea and I have to agree.

 

Day 260 – the chance to turn it all around

I had intended to detox this week but we had new wines delivered so we have had tasting at 10am both mornings. Ok, detox starts at lunchtime. We are having lunch out, a farewell for one of the consultants. Ok, detox starts after lunchtime. How many times can I bend these rules? When I get home, out of pure habit and exhaustion from a long day, I pour a glass of wine. Dammit I forgot. Ok, detox starts tomorrow. I am still making lentil hotpot when I put the wine down and make the decision to just STOP. It takes consciousness, it takes awareness and it takes strength. My friend, Liz (not myself, another Liz), who is a personal trainer, made the analogy: if you dropped your phone and cracked the screen, would you run over it with your car to finish the job or would you keep using the phone? ‘Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.’ – Penelope Cruz, Vanilla Sky

 

Day 261 – one of those days

First it is needles from the doctor.

Then I break a full bottle of Hungarian muskat in my samples case.

Then my car gets stuck in some gravelly sand where a road has just been excavated.

My last client is a complete no- show.

When I finally flop down onto Matt’s couch, I can’t help but laugh. What else could I possibly do? This would be the perfect moment for a piece of dark chocolate and a glass of Hungarian wine. That one that I broke earlier. Luckily.

Well, not every day flows. Not every day stays unbroken. My car got out of the ditch. I got to finish early and the only wine that was tempting me was not available anyway. So when I turn the day around and see it from another angle, it was actually quite beautiful!

 

Day 262 – fluorite to settle the chaos

 It is going to be a long day of work, with lots of driving around. As soon as I wake up, it is time to put the game face on. I just want to keep sleeping all day. I open all the windows, light some incense and stop to look out into the morning light. The huge piece of fluorite on the windowsill is there, solid and strong. Flourite is supposed to settle chaos. I bought it after our first weekend of chaos in this house, after the neighbours complained about our loud house warming. Krystle’s nickname is chaos. As soon as I brought it in the house it was instantaneous calm. She kept patting the crystal and spent the whole week being more settled than I had seen her in the whole time I had known her. Now it is my turn. I place both hands on the crystal and allow my breath to calm. When it is time to go, I say goodbye to the Chaos Crystal and hug the Krystle Chaos. Busy does not have to be chaotic. Success is not measured by exhaustion. I can do this my way. No rush.

 

Day 263 – the people I meet

My final tasting for the day is with my new friend, Daniel. I met him at Ravesi’s after City 2 Surf and we connected over each other’s awesome hair. That’s how you meet friends. Exchange a compliment, connect on facebook and now we are friends, forever connected by the internet. His other friends are just as beautiful and while they taste the wines and we chat non-stop, I feel immensely grateful for this random encounter. Climbing the branches back, I make the tiny connections that have led me to this point. If I had never shaved my head to go to India, I would never have had short hair for Dan to notice. If I had never started running in India, I would never have done City 2 Surf. If I had never started meditating, I might not have gone to India. If I had never had such a bad break up, I might never have started meditating. If I had never experienced some of the worst moments of my life, I might never have experienced some of the best. Everywhere I end up turns into magic and for this beautiful realisation, I am here amongst people that were strangers at the start of the night and then friends by the end of the night. One of whom, Jess, calls herself Miss Spiritual and has just returned from a meditation journey to Bali. These people are no accident. This is a part of the path, an important and significant moment. I have no way of knowing how this will affect the path further on, but I look forward to the moment in the future when I can look back at this and connect the dots, climb back through the branches and see where this point has lead me to.

 

Day 264 – six degrees

I knew that eventually I would turn up at someone’s house to do a wine tasting and would know someone there. The law of averages dictates that this had to happen, but it is still a pleasant surprise when I see the same painting in someone’s house as one in Krystle’s room. When I am looking at their wedding photos and spot a friend who grew up in the house across the street from me. The current population of Sydney is about 3,641,421. The idea that everyone is only an average of six introductions away means that I should be able to do this every week. And does facebook make it smaller? Does social networking make the degrees even less? Now that I can look up a person and see our “Mutual Friends”, does that not make the degrees even less? Then, the spiritual theory- we are all just recycled matter, all connected by a higher divine presence, a collective consciousness, and all made of stars; original energy from the big bang, reconfigured into everything that has come into existence. Not only do I know the boy down the street who once lived with my clients, I was also once related to Buddha, drank the same water molecules that once washed Jesus’ feet and have also been the same chemical compounds that made up a rock. This is the train of thought that can work its way across my brain in less than a minute as I stare blankly at other people’s wedding photos. My eyes return again and again to the person I know, simply because it is recognition. When someone says, ‘you look familiar’ and they aren’t trying to pick you up, maybe it is true? That past life, when were both cats? We climbed that tree and ate that rat together. Remember? Good times!

 

Day 265 – just say it

There are so many things that I say that I shouldn’t and so many things I probably should say but don’t. I hold back, I hesitate and I keep my mouth shut. Fear? Uncertainty? The barriers fly up again like security shutters on a bank and at 3am I find myself waking up in anxiety, wondering what the hell is this snake of negative thought doing slithering around in my brain? So I just say it. I talk about it. I open up and slowly take down the barriers, softening and being honest. When I can say the worst, I finally feel ready to say the best. Well, I don’t exactly scream it from the rooftops, but I whisper it and as long as he hears it, that is all that matters. Say what you mean and mean what you say. That is why I keep quiet. Tell me anything as long it is always true. And then you will always know that these words mean more than the sum of the letters that they appear to be. When I say that I love you, it isn’t just because you said it first. It isn’t just because I want you to hear it. It is because I love you.