23 Cool Things To Do. Or Not.

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1. Use your head and listen to your heart.

2.  Aim for being imperfect. You’ll probably succeed. And success is good for you.

3. Make rules and then use your head, listen to your heart and if your rules don’t apply any more, toss them. When you’re making new ones, use your head, listen to your heart.

4. If you’re going to speculate on the future, make sure your speculations make you happy and optimistic about life and you and everything. If they don’t, find something else to do other than speculating. (Hint, see 7, 11, 12…)

5. Avoid smugly spiritual people. In fact, avoid smugly anything people.

6. People who believe they’re better than you usually have a tremendous skill you don’t have – bullshitting themselves.

7. Snuggle up as often as you can to a furry animal that loves you and wants to be snuggled up to.

8. The word anal sounds horrible because it is horrible. When you see it disguising itself as a human, run as fast and as far as you can.

9. Do something new for God’s sake. And yours.

10. Bored is angry.

11. Let yourself fall in love once in a while. And have sex. Sex is good for you. At least I think that’s what somebody said to me once.

12. Eat dark chocolate more than once in a while. Especially if the sex thing isn’t happening. Mind you, if that’s the case, there’s always the other option… Have the chocolate afterwards. Or before. Or during.

13. If you want a face lift, to hell with all the smugs who say you should learn to love yourself for who you are.

14. If you want something you can’t afford, find a way. Try to stop short of robbing a bank but if you must, then be Hollywood about it and don’t get caught. Hey, you can even write the book or the screenplay and sell it to George Clooney. If you don’t know how to write, here’s my number…

15. Get the heck out of whatever one horse town you inhabit in some part of you. Jump on that one horse before somebody else does and ride on out of town.

16. This whole business of worshipping at the altar of balance is getting out of hand. Go on, take a risk; get unbalanced now and then.

17. Which would you rather have on your tombstone: “she was always soooo nice to everybody” or “damn bitch drove me crazy sometimes”.

18. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself find a way to change it. If you don’t want to be bothered… Oh. I got nothing for you then.

19. If somebody bullies you, clock them.

20. Too much insurance = not enough living. It’s a proven mathematical formula discovered in the tombful depths of some Egyptian queen or other. Or was it Euclid? Darwin? Well, whether they said it or not, I just did.

21. If you’re feeling blue be kind to yourself. Whatever you do, lecturing yourself into a false state of blissful happiness is neither listening to your heart nor using your head. Blue is blue. Better to cry and have somebody hold you or snuggle up to a furry animal that likes it and loves you. Pretty soon you won’t be feeling blue any more.

22. Take up the hula hoop.

23. It’s much more fun to be sassy than overly well-mannered. On the note of fun, have some. Have a lot. Throw balance right out of the window on this one.

I Don’t Want To Be A Guru, I Just Want To Be Me

More than a year ago, when I started my blog I wanted to be an emotional fluency guru of some sort with my blog as a base.  I thought I understood it all so clearly and that my blog would be orderly and brilliantly presented as I moved through my challenges and recorded them.  But what I wrote was all over the place, ill-defined ideas that weren’t even connected except somewhere in the recesses of my brain, sometimes too preachy.  Often so raw.

Now after all this time, I’ve worked through many of those emotions and the baggage I was still carrying back then.  I’m much more focused about my own life, and clearer about how I got to where I am now, and how I get to where I want to go.  I’m not paralyzed by my past any more.  Well, not so much any way.   But now that I’ve got to this place of better clarity and inner freedom, I don’t think after all that I’d make a very good guru.  I’m not perfect enough.

Well actually it’s more that I don’t want to be perfect.  I’m never the same from day to day. Happy and fulfilled today, angry and resentful tomorrow, pleased as punch with myself and my life the next day, loving humanity one moment, defensive as a scratchy cat the next.  Gurus seem to know it all and to always be peaceful and calm.  I don’t want to be like that.  Can’t be anyway.

Maybe I could be a human being guru – how to be yourself and make mistakes and know that it’s okay, you don’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t matter if you don’t “get it right”.  I could be the “there is no wrong” guru.  There’s no formula to it, no drivers, no injunctions, just being.   Just living, being emotionally sensitive, responding in an alive way, really getting your hands dirty in the mucky stuff that is life experienced from moment to moment.

Moving through change, towards a better consciousness of all that is good in life.  Waking up to the real quality stuff.  Sometimes it’s comfortable, sometimes it’s utterly divine and clear, sometimes it’s hard and painful and blurry, sometimes it’s unbearable.  Sometimes it’s delicious, fun, a laugh a minute.

Remembering as often as possible that there aren’t any mistakes, there’s only learning.  You’re never in the wrong place in your life.  You can want more, but where you are is the stepping stone to getting there.  Who I am are now, today,  in this moment, is perfect for now, for today, for this moment.  And knowing that life lived on a material level just isn’t that easy and smooth.  In fact sometimes it’s pretty uncomfortable and flawed and challenging. Just because something is uncomfortable, though, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

All these ideas would be what I’d base my guru-ship on if I still wanted to be one.  I don’t any more, though.  I think I just want to be me and get on with my life in the best way I can.  One thing I can say.  The title of my blog is “stepping out of history”.  I knew I was in the process of freeing myself from my past, just didn’t realize how much of a distance I still had to go.  Today I can see that most of that distance has been covered.  I’m proud of that.

You Don’t Have To Be A Genius

If you don’t want to read, and just want to watch the video, click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twwaVsYbtkI

You know how sometimes you have a moment when something you think you’ve known actually sinks in to a more meaningful place?  Things like ”it doesn’t matter what other people think of you” and “you have the same value as everybody else”.  It’s easy to “know” those things intellectually, you just have to read the words or hear somebody say them and your thinking brain takes it in.

Long ago I had my head around the concept that everybody’s equal and other people’s opinion doesn’t matter.  Funny thing was, the knowing didn’t make any difference to the reality of my life.  I was still afraid of people in real time, still afraid of the world, still massively disempowered, making choices that ended up with me being exploited or hurt.

Well I believe that my thinking brain isn’t nearly as powerful as I used to think it was.  It’s become the God of this century, the New Age God.  I think the power that actually let me change has come from the experience of being loved and respected.  It’s resulted in a different kind of “knowing” that permeates through my mind, body and spirit.

I’ve started to see that my knowledge isn’t just theoretical any more because I don’t have to hide from the world and people any more, I’m happy to just be normal, I don’t imagine nearly as much that people are thinking badly of me.  I don’t have try and read their minds, I can just ask.  I don’t engage with bullies because I recognize them and I know I don’t like them.

More and more I realize I don’t have to fight for my place in the world.  It’s still not perfect, and I doubt it ever will be – what’s perfect anyway? – but my everyday life, from moment to moment is really different from what it was.  No lies, no pretense, no denial.

Those Aha! moments always seems as if they come from out of the blue, but I think they’ve been building for a long time, and they just reach a certain threshold which pushes into the conscious mind in one particular moment.   In a way it’s like the unseen particles of our world.  We don’t notice them until they’ve coagulated into something solid which our senses can pick up.

Well it’s taken me more than ten years of receiving very sane teaching and incredibly consistent,  all-embracing unconditional love and support for the knowledge I’ve understood theoretically since I was 16 to become something I could actually apply.  In a way I’ve gone through the parenting process again, and given myself a chance to grow up in a balanced way.

I had an Aha! moment yesterday when a whole lot of things came together.  It was the understanding in a real way that I don’t have to be a genius, or superwoman, or incredibly talented to be able to enjoy success.  I can just be me.  It’s enough.   I made a video of my Aha! moment.  Always wanted to be in the movies.  Might as well start somewhere.  This is the link:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twwaVsYbtkI

If you like it please pass it on to your facebook friends – or any friends, actually.

A Significant End To A Significant Year

Well Christmas is over, and 2010 is nearly gone.  I’ve found myself almost without words as the accumulated pressures of a challenging year have come to a head in this strange season.  It’s  supposed to be about love and celebration of family and community.  For some people it is, but for many it really isn’t.

So many people seem to be having fun, but so many others have either committed suicide, or longed to have the courage to do it, or have just buried their head in the sand and hoped with all their might that tomorrow, next week, next year will be better.

I didn’t contemplate suicide, nor did I bury my head in the sand, but I did something this year I’ve never done before: I said to myself it’s enough now.  Enough of the pressure, enough of pretending I’m doing okay when I haven’t been, enough of trying to be brave and cheerful when really I’ve been terrified.  Enough of letting other people’s view of me determine who I am, and of trying with all my might to pass some kind of unarticulated test with impossible standards that nobody in the world succeeds in living up to.

Enough of worrying what people will think of me if I don’t “achieve”.  Definitely enough explaining myself and apologizing for who I am.   Enough of not taking my life into my own hands and making decisions that I know are right for me.  Enough of letting other people take the power in a relationship.  Enough of hoping my mother will stop hurting me.  Enough saying “do I have the right to seek the backup I know I need?”  Enough fighting debating am I right, am I wrong?

Well Christmas is over, and 2010 is nearly gone.  I’ve found myself almost without words as the accumulated pressures of a challenging year have come to a head in this strange season.  It’s supposed to be about love and celebration of family and community.  For some people it is, but for many it really isn’t.  For many it’s just about pretense.

So many people seem to be having fun, but so many others have either committed suicide, or longed to have the courage to do it, or have just buried their head in the sand and hoped with all their might that tomorrow, next week, next year will be better.

I didn’t seriously contemplate suicide, nor did I bury my head in the sand, but I did something this year I’ve never done before: I said to myself it’s enough now.  Enough of the pressure, enough of pretending I’m doing okay when I haven’t been, enough of trying to be brave and cheerful when really I’ve been terrified.  Enough of letting other people’s view of me determine who I am, and of trying with all my might to pass some kind of unarticulated test in my head with impossible standards that nobody in the world succeeds in living up to.

Enough of worrying what people will think of me if I don’t “achieve”.  Definitely enough explaining myself and apologizing for who I am.   Enough of not taking my life into my own hands and making decisions that I know are right for me.  Enough of letting other people take the power in a relationship.  Enough of hoping my mother will stop hurting me, stop manipulating my financial vulnerability.  Enough saying “do I have the right to seek the backup I know I need?”  Enough fighting and debating am I right, am I wrong?

2010 marks the year of me being the poorest in about 15 years.  My prospects have seemed to have gotten dimmer and dimmer, my dreams have seemed very far from being achievable.  I’ve tried hard to resuscitate them, and at times they’ve flickered with a spurt of brightness.

But I haven’t been able to sustain those dreams, and I’ve been getting increasingly desperate about it as I’ve got more and more frantic about money and the passage of time until they’ve become like some far away country I once visited a million years ago.   Now at the end of the year I’ve no creative energy left at all.

It feels like the lowest point, which is a painful place, but it’s also the one where you face the truth of all the things you’ve clung to that are actually killing you.  Things like beliefs that you don’t have entitlement to meet your needs, to put boundaries down, to draw your line in the sand,  whatever it is.   In this low place I’ve suddenly faced the stark reality of how much energy these beliefs (and my acting on them) take out of me and that I can’t generate it any more.  Ever again.  I can’t come back here. People can’t always see from the outside when you’ve hit your limit.  But you can, and that’s all that matters.

I’ve been waiting for people to tell me it’s okay to claim my boundaries, my life, what I need.  I’ve been waiting for my mother to realize what she’s doing and to want to stop because she loves me.   It doesn’t work like that.  I have to say it’s enough, this is my line in the sand, especially with those who don’t want me to draw it.   You can’t wait for them to give you permission, because they’re never going to.

I’ve said it’s enough before, but never in this way.  I’ve never felt so completely and utterly sure that what’s exhausting me isn’t my circumstances alone, it’s that I haven’t believed I had the right to a solution that made sense to me.   I’ve always either been kind of pleading with God, my mother, my family, the Universe, or I’ve been raging in disempowered protest.  But now I can feel that I’ve hit the core within myself, a place where I’m saying if I don’t change this, it’s over.

It’s a kind of quiet thing within, neither a protest nor begging nor pleading.  I guess it’s just saying here, to me,  in this moment of being with myself as 2010 draws to a close and I stop trying to please a merciless God and instead I let life embrace me, it’s okay to be real about what you need, it really is.  Whether it’s emotional or material.  Just claim what you need.  It’s yours for the taking, it’s your birthright.

Asperger’s Syndrome, Will & Grace and Love

A couple of days ago I saw a movie about a child with Asperger’s – a kind of autism.  The parents were talking to a doctor, wanting to know how they could make the child be normal in the world, and move on.  They actually weren’t that concerned about their child; more about themselves.

The doc wasn’t much impressed.  He said “you have to find the world that your child is in, and go and join her there.   Let her show you what her world is.  Love her, protect her, let her know what it is to feel completely safe.  Then very very slowly coax her out.  Very Very slowly.  You go at her pace, not at yours.  You wait for her to tell you she’s ready.”  It made sense to me.

On much the same subject, the other night I watched an old re-run of Will and Grace.  Grace’s man of the moment broke up with her on the night she thought he was going to ask her to marry him.  Big trauma.  Off she went to bed to weep and moan.  Will, Jack and Karen all gather in the flat to try and pep talk her out of her misery.

She refuses to be cheered.  They pile on the pressure in their inimitable ways.  Then yank her out of bed, and shove her in the shower, all getting hilariously drenched while they hold her there.   Until she loses it.  And in great high drama points out that they’re all pretending to be happy but it’s BS, because Will can’t recover from his last relationship, Jack is a sad sack, and Karen a drunk.  She on the other hand, is the only one telling the damn truth to herself and letting herself be real.

She gets back into bed and crawls under the covers, muttering leave me alone.  Then Will comes to the door and stands there, willing to be real.  Says you’re right.  Gets into bed with her, curls up.  Ditto Jack.  Then Karen.  Finally they’re all curled up in bed giving each other comfort and just being real.  It was gorgeous.

They fall asleep.  Come morning, Grace wakes up, looks at her lovely friends who let her be and joined her where she was.  She gets out of bed feeling happy and okay with the world.  Gave me goose bumps.  I love educational TV.

This blog is in general about the pursuit of dreams.  Mine are to establish myself as a vocalist, script & blog writer & novelist.  I need help with some things, mostly equipment.  If you’d like to help,  Click here to read more about my dreams and what I need.

Being real is all you’ve really got

I’m flogging a dead horse here, but something is still on my mind.  A while ago somebody said my blog is boring.  I thought I’d got over it, but obviously I didn’t, because I haven’t wanted to write anything since then.  I’ve felt so ashamed of myself.  Couldn’t imagine why anybody would want to read my blog – haven’t even wanted to read it myself.

So was that person wrong to say what they did?   Of course not.  They aren’t responsible for my raw nerve.  And I didn’t realize that old belief (that if I’m real I’m worthless and what I contribute is meaningless) is still so alive and easily activated.  How could I have known that part was still so active if I hadn’t been told I was boring?

If I was sure I was okay, the words wouldn’t have resonated.  I’d have laughed or come back with a quippy retort; never given it another thought.  Wouldn’t it be great to be that innerly strong.   Well, at least now I can do something about it.  The hard things are the most precious gifts.

I wonder if anybody’s that strong?  Probably not, it’s probably a pretty human condition that we all wrestle with, more or less.  I watched some American film actors talk about auditions – Robert de Niro, Meryl Streep, Bill Nighy, Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman to name a few.   I respect those people for what they’ve accomplished, and how they’ve weathered their storms.  They all said auditions are a nightmare.

And they all said you can’t try to please people, can’t force them to like you or your performance.  You have to be yourself and do your best.  Some will love you, some won’t.  When they don’t, you learn not to make it about you.  And at least you have the knowledge that you stayed true to yourself.  What’s the point of being anything if you’re aren’t being true to yourself?  Easy to say, difficult to do, especially when starting out on a journey, no matter what it is.  Difficult but not impossible.  And it’s a learning curve.

As for where I’m going with my blog, dreams, and desire to be independent and earn doing something meaningful; to make my life whole again, I can’t say what the destination is.  I can’t say I’ll please anybody, or that I’ll achieve fame and fortune.  I can only say that it’s a learning curve because there isn’t a formula to follow.  There isn’t one for anybody.

Everybody’s lives,  desires and dreams are unique and meaningful to them.  I’m doing the best I know how with mine, and that best is constantly under review as I move up the learning curve.  I’m sure we’re all doing the same.

Click here to read what my dreams are, and what this donate button is about.

The truth shocks but it sets you free

The day I worked out how to record, two things happened.  I thought I would blast through the atmosphere with excitement at techno achievement;  and I wanted to die when I heard what I sounded like, because it was horrible, horrible horrible.  A bubble I didn’t even know I was in burst.  The truth was a shock.  The worst thing was, I sounded false.  Aaargh.

I wasn’t being who I am when I was singing.  I was afraid that who I am isn’t good enough so I was trying to be, at different times, like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Bessie Smith, Diana Ross, even Dionne Warwick.  An impossible task.  But all that time, the part of me that wants to express through singing was getting smaller and smaller, until I didn’t even know if it existed at all.  Couldn’t find it.

I hadn’t realized this was happening, until I heard myself.  Then I thought – but that isn’t me.  And I wasn’t sure I knew who me was.  Correction, I absolutely didn’t know.    So I let myself not know.

I recorded reading that day’s blog, and let that be enough.  Had loads of fun.  Over the last couple of days, with a lot of help, I’ve decided to let myself be, and not try to be anybody else, not try to achieve.  Just come home within and be absolutely real.  I decided I won’t try to force the singing me to emerge.  If it happens it happens.  I let go.

I reviewed my idea of what singing with emotion is.   People always make such a big deal about that, and I confused it with volume and technique.   Truth is, I didn’t really know what the hell they were talking about.  I was singing from my head, not my heart, and I didn’t realize it until I heard what I sounded like.   I wondered what my kind of singing sounds like, feels like.

This morning I was sewing and thinking about the recording of my blog and a v. short bit of singing I did, tongue in cheek.   A couple of lines of a song popped into my head.  I started recording and the rest of the song popped out.  It’s quite a short song, but it was real.  It’s called “Life on the other side”.  My voice sounded so different.  Still wasn’t polished or anything, but it sounded like a me I’ve never heard before.

The truth does set you free after all.

I want to establish myself as a vocalist, a script & blog writer & a novelist.  I also long to be independent again, earning by doing something meaningful.  If you’d like to help (with a donation, or if you have equipment you don’t use any more, or even if you have suggestions)  Click here to read more about what I need help with, and also what my dreams are, how I got here and where I’m going.