Category Archives: 2018

Year of Self-Compassion #37 #commoncold

The gift of a cold is unwelcome and accepted . My immune system has been vigilant and done an amazing job to keep me cold free all winter, but the change of season is here and it has decided to take a rest. The sniffs and sore throat have arrived and rest is called for … not surprising I am in this state in what has been a tumultuous time. The body will do the work if the brain doesn’t has often been a mantra of mine and inevitably has sent me this invitation to be in the company of tissues, hot lemon and honey, echinacea, menthol and eucalyptus. One of my homemade remedies on these occasions is a cup of hot water with Vegemite in it – unconventional – but it does seem to work more often than not.

I am trying to accept this gift and am beginning to wallow in the heavy head hosting the nasal drip. I have also started thinking about the medicinal properties of chicken soup. My preventative vitamin C tabs, one of my daughters gave me during the early dark days of grief, ran out during the week, and I am reflecting on the irony of an empty jar depleted of its contents and how I am feeling right now.

The “ïf only” mantras are flooding in with each reach to the box of tissues. If only I had got some more vitamin C before they ran out; if only I didn’t do the gig I did yesterday: if only I hadn’t listened to distress of another and batted it away; if only I had rested earlier in the week; If only …. If only …. The If only mantras do not serve me well, they drag me to the past and to regret, they offer no more than a holding pattern and with each nag, lean me into self-flagellation – definitely the opposite of self compassion! I am chuckling to myself even as I write about how indulgent colds are, but giving them credit for arriving to slow you down, hold you in an uncomfortable place and seduce you to rest.  It is a time to allow the flowing out of liquid from the body, carrying the last grams of energy, and when the flow stops it is time for restoration and open-ness to being filled up again begins. Perhaps it is a bit like spring rains, building up slowly and then with a sudden burst of hail, wind and drizzle, the ground is refreshed and the sun comes out so all the creatures can bask in their glory, pampered by the rays warming them on rocks and slowly returning to their homes as the temperature drops.

The heavy head needs attention, over balancing needs a pillow to rest on so the weight of it all is softly supported, being held without holding on. It is the pause button pressed without any urgency to play or fast forward, although there seem to be plenty of thoughts waiting for the rewind button to be pushed with the wallowing mantras making themselves known every now and again. The head is home to the cold and although there is some oozing of aches and pains into the limbs they do not take priority, the head is consuming most of the space the cold is inhabiting. It has got me thinking about how a cold comes and what we do to catch it.  I am mean if something is caught, it means it has been thrown. And I have had my fair share of things being thrown at me in the last few years. I have also dodged a few things coming my way, but this cold has snuck up while my bodily defences were down.  This cold is an external sign of my weariness, my body’s surrender to the change of season and recognition that comes with fogginess, drips and drizzles, gripes and grizzles.

I am comforted, as I am often am, by a blessing from John O’Donohue for those who are exhausted In this Year of Self-Compassion receive the blessing for myself, under the covers, with a hot water bottle, sipping a cup of hot lemon and honey and waiting out this empty time.

 

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laboursome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

John O’Donohue To Bless the Space Between Us

bryan-minear-317365-unsplash

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

 

 

Year of Self-Compassion #35 #blindspot

We all have blind spots, those parts of ourselves where we can’t see something even though it is in full view of others. In a car, we often have to stop and turn very deliberately and with a contortion to make sure we have all a line of clear sight before we can move with confidence, we do that knowing we are on the road with potential hazards all around us and without caution and care we might put ourselves in harm’s way.  This is not true to the blind spots we hold in relationships where we trust, have confidence and operate as if there is no present danger.  We don’t doubt ourselves about the range of vision of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  We often need others to point out to us what they can clearly see as an obstacle we are facing even though we don’t see it in amongst the everyday obstacles of living without fear.  When fear arrives we begin to second guess everything, we start to check and double check and even triple check the incoming information.  The doubts seep in and we don’t move as confidently on our path or make definitive claims or easy decisions at the crossroads or read the map with the same level of assuredness.

I wonder if the blind spot is a way of us colluding with our selves, not turning or examining what there is to see and learn?  I wonder if it is there to protect us from seeing things that will hurt us? I wonder if it is there to invite others to help us see what we can’t see?  A blind spot is incredibly uncomfortable to face once it is pointed out and you turn towards to the light and see what is there facing you in full view. It is a transfiguration of sorts to come into the blinding light of truth to see something that you couldn’t see before. The invitation offered is one to ask questions you have never asked before, to make meaning from actions that have not had meaning attributed to them, to explore new possibilities and to be open the heartbreaking liberation of an unexplored view, a horizon becoming more visible as the fog lifts.

In the Celtic myth of the Tuatha De Danann, the tall supernatural Irish tribe of gods and goddesses, teachers of science and the arts, with mystical powers to communicate beyond the grave and brought with them four treasures – a stone, a spear, a sword of light and a cauldron from which no one would ever go hungry.  At the moment of attack and when their final battle against overwhelming odds was upon them – they turned sideways towards the light and disappeared.  It was not an act of cowardice or retreat, it was a way of not fighting and finding freedom in a new dimension. They went to the edge and from there turned towards, not away, to the light, the light saves them from perishing and leaves their enemies without a fight to be had. The battle evaporates.  They found the blind spot of their enemy and in turn found their freedom – an extraordinary juxtaposition and lesson from a legend.  It took to the third battle before they took this action.  So I take some comfort that even these wise ones didn’t do it in the first instance, and indeed not doing it at the beginning of their war, they were able to make some gains along the way and learn some lessons that lead them to their final departure from the battle field. They were not going to be taken prisoner by the fight or the enemy. To turn and face the light instead of an on- coming maurading horde seems like very good advice to me. Perhaps it is even the foundations of nonviolent action? If there is nothing to fight then the fight is over; the disinfecting powers of sunlight so well known in modern science reinforces the hygienic value of such an action.

There is something about the relationship between a blind spot and turning towards the light captivating me.  To become transparent and the veil has dropped and all is there to be seen is shining a light on truth and beauty, but to turn towards the light, is a movement of you to the light, where the you and the light can blaze as one, not two elements mirroring one another. An invitation not to reflect the mystical, but to be the mystical.

The blind spot that protected us in the beginning pivots as we become the light and it evaporates.  While it is as natural as a flower rears her head to reach the light and rotate to get the best rays, it feels un-natural to not face the enemies when they appear on the battle field. To leave them there without a fight, to leave the scene altogether feels like giving up, but to be transfigured is to be elevated and transformed, it is an act of beauty visible to gods and goddesses and not one for the dark arts of war and wounds. Luminosity on another plane is quite intoxicating, if only it was as easy as turning towards the light.  Checking just how many battles you have to be in before you leave the field and my enemy is an invisible one turning up when I often am devoid of my armoury.

As an act of self-compassion I am reminding myself , I need people around me to help me with blind spots and I am grateful for those who point them out to me. This is feedback with bravery. I am also setting a practice to notice when I can turn towards the light, and in doing find more beauty and peace, more artistry and magic.

 

TOBAR PHADRAIC

Turn sideways into the light as they say
the old ones did and disappear
into the originality of it all.

Be impatient with easy explanations
and teach that part of the mind
that wants to know everything
not to begin questions it cannot answer.

Walk the green road above the bay
and the low glinting fields
toward the evening sun, let that Atlantic
gleam be ahead of you and the gray light
of the bay below you, until you catch,
down on your left, the break in the wall,
for just above in the shadows
you’ll find it hidden, a curved arm
of rock holding the water close to the mountain,
a just-lit surface smoothing a scattering of coins,
and in the niche above, notes to the dead
and supplications for those who still live
.
But for now, you are alone with the transfiguration
and ask no healing for your own
but look down as if looking through time,
as if through a rent veil from the other
side of the question you’ve refused to ask.

And you remember now, that clear stream
of generosity from which you drank,
how as a child your arms could rise and your palms
turn out to take the blessing of the world.

In RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

reflections

 

Year of Self-Compassion #34 #musclememory

Regular readers will know I started the year with a couple of serious injurious falls and every now and again I am reminded of them when I move a certain way or get an attack of the giggles or have a giant sneeze.  The body remembers even when we don’t. Muscle memory is a real thing and I am always astonished that my fingers still know where to go on a guitar even though I haven’t played in decades.  Emotional memory is true too – instead of the muscle groups remembering – the synaptic pathways have experience to draw on … I guess this is why, back when I was counselling people, I always asked them to remember a time when they were (insert word here) joyful, excited, tenacious, flexible etc.  Building on the pathway already there to be strengthened and used to serve you.

In this week when our country has changed leaders, I really wonder how a political party room, hasn’t gone to it’s national muscle and emotional memory?  Making the same mistakes over and over again will only lead to the same results in the same way making the right choices over and over again will lead to improvements in fitness. Once you get to the bottom and all the bad choices have been made and you want to start making better choices it is a long and disciplined road to the future you want to create.  It may even mean taking part in systems that you don’t like much or finding new ones hidden in your landscape to draw on. Taking yourself to an edge and then instead of jumping off, looking up not down. Going to your best self, drawing on the energy of the ground on which we walk, the ancient land in this pale blue dot that holds us all together – past, present and future.

I have sat with sadness this week embodied in others as well as myself. Sadness seeping into depression for one; sadness seeping out of being overwhelmed for another; sadness weeping like a sore for another and for me sadness as another layer of rock inside of me being worn away slowly by tears.  This body knows how to cry now, it is beginning to learn how to accept generosity, and it is opening up to the weariness that is deep in the muscle memory each time stillness arrives.  Years, decades in fact, of caring and comforting, holding up more than half the sky for those under the same roof have left the synaptic pathways finding themselves lost – threads of a tapestry seeking to be woven in and it is in the under side, the backstory where they are being sewn.  This under belly of history, my story, a story not yet finished, and one that is searching to be grounded in a self under re-construction.

I often talk in my work about the difference between disruption and service reform and I find I am disrupting myself rather than re-forming. Cultural change at the cellular level living with less of everything in my life has me teetering on a precipice inviting me to more courage and vulnerability. With each little drama … and there are many …. a little of the old is chiselled away and either left for dust or replaced with a wobbly, fragile beginning of a new synaptic pathway.  Sticking to the discipline and practice of reinforcing what will serve me from a baseline so low is almost beyond me some days.  Deep breathing seems to help. I can remember how to do that and how it has served me well. Giving with grace and grit serves me too and I have plenty of experience to draw from that well. The learning is to add and draw from that well for myself, giving to myself with the same zeal and generosity is new learning. The idea of putting myself first, novel.  The practice of choosing me first completely unchartered.  My struggle with this has always been with the ego and selfishness, now I see it truly is, as Audre Lorde offered, self-preservation, a political act and silence will not protect you. I also find myself turning to other revolutionary thinkers, disruptors of comfortable thoughts. Freire reminds us in The Pedagogy of the Oppressed of the focus of change is confronting the seed of the oppressor planted within us to knows their tactics, understand their relationships.

The pain of growth and the changes it brings build new memories and fitness for disruption, this is part of the exposure, the transparency that comes with the decisions and actions we take.  (Malcolm Turnbull asking for the signatures to call the spill was disruption is not lost on me as a tactic for self-compassion even though it may not have looked like that to others.) I am examining and cross-examining the oppressor inside my interior party room and not quite sure how to make a spill happen that will stick, but am doing quite a lot to lobby what needs to move on and exercising my values in the process. I have the values muscle memories and synaptic pathways to hold me, while I strengthen and get them fit for purpose for this time in my life.

In this year of self-compassion there is both exercising and exorcising.

20130702_005032

Disrupting layers – Ireland 2013

 

Year of Self-Compassion #33 #Respect

In the most humble of starts Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis – where else but the south? Her birthplace is a barely preserved tiny house in Lucy St Memphis. A plaque was put up last year and I expect in no time at all it will become a shrine to the Queen of Soul and pilgrims of music will be flocking there in much the same way Gracelands has become a shrine for Elvis.  Memphis is one helluva town – you can see the entire music industry ecosystem of a bygone era on every corner, outfitters to the King, through the Gibson guitar factory, Beale Street holds the memories and sounds which became the bedrock of 2oth century cultures and sub-cultures. But without the songs of the slaves being drawn out of the swamps and all along the Mississippi we wouldn’t have any of it.  Memphis is a place I would not have thought of visiting but it was the first stop on a gospel singing tour I did with Tony Backhouse in 2016.  I learnt a lot in Memphis and I bow down to their contribution and showing the world their talents.

Music is such a healing force in my life. I can’t imagine what it would be like without music or the capacity to make music. When I make music with others there is a visceral and involuntary bonus of community that holds me for a moment. Singing in my local acapella gospel choir is the best medicine. I grew up with singing around the piano to show tunes from My Fair Lady to Godspell, to songs from family stories like Galway Bay and Tie me Kangaroo Down, to songs of a generation penned by Lennon and McCartney or Rodgers and Hammerstein. Later in life (my teens and early twenties) this music was replaced by the rock gospel of Jesus Christ Superstar and American evangelical songwriters like Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill and Keith Greene. There was the inevitable St Louis Jesuit set as well as these were needed in the repertoire for church services. Eventually Australian composers got a bit of look in, but the majority were from the US.  Going to Memphis I was able to put it altogether  – I got to the DNA of rock and roll, hip hop, soul and R & B – it was in Africa. The slaves had bought their music and the back beat and syncopation, the pathos and driving rhythms, the pounding confidence in a higher authority – it was all there – in Memphis.

The appropriation was there too. I could no longer listen or sing with enjoyment to Peter, Paul and Mary or even Pete Seeger and Woodie Guthrie without realising they were on the back of this tradition. I had to go to the source to understand.  Like the practice of hermeneutics in theology (where you apply a set of principles of interpretation to look for what is and isn’t in the text by what is visible and what I say is sewn in the seams), I discovered this is true in music too. All music is from the streets, the fields, the transit stations, threshold moments in personal and corporal history. When you hear, or read a line, that says she went back to her husband, you know that means she left her husband; when you hear I told her we couldn’t keep meeting like this, you know that means there were meetings of an intimate kind … these are the ways a story is revealed, but not spelled out.  When we hear Aretha sing Otis Redding’s Respect we know there was no respect first. Aretha made this song her own and it became an anthem.  She spelled it out R E S P E C T. There was nothing left to find still hidden in the seams, she made sure it was writ large with all the savvy and sass Memphis could squeeze out of her. And writ large, is how I hope as a sign of respect, her first home in Memphis will be made visible to the world.

Aretha’s version of Respect is on high rotation. It is a song that is deeper for me, now because of having gone to Memphis and understanding the town and their music a little more than I did if I hadn’t visited. In this time of wake, I reverently bow to Aretha and all the people that brought her music to the world.

I find myself in this year of self-compassion, giving thanks to those invisible behind the scenes who have brought me to places and spaces, sounds and sights and opening me up to self-respect. To respect yourself and give yourself the same acclaim, admiration, regard as you would any one else is perhaps one of the key ingredients to self-compassion.  I have a natural aversion to feeling pride and taking credit for anything, because I know nothing, absolutely nothing is down to your own devices. Maybe respect is not pride, and instead, the surety of acting with integrity to yourself and with the trust and conviction of the horn section in Respect (a riff that can’t be unheard once heard). Standing up for yourself and your interpretation of the lyric and the sound, is a way to respect yourself, to tell your story as you see it and hear it. Respect is commanded because of your self-respect and sometimes you do have to spell it out so you can sing your own song and go back to your roots and find the strength in those foundations, unappropriated, raw and ready for release.

Thanks Aretha, Otis and all the crews at Atlantic Records for inviting us to the conversation for a little respect.

406

Where Aretha was born

Year of Self Compassion #31 #scarcity

Having an experience of scarcity seems like an indulgent first world problem to me and yet I go tripping down that rabbit warren more than I have for a long time. Having downsized my life in most ways in the last year, not all at my own hand, I often catch myself wanting.  I recall my economics classes where the lesson that resources are finite, and an insatiable appetite for growth featured regularly.  This economic equation keeps revisiting me at so many levels, practical, spiritual, meta physical.  I want more – one last conversation, one last kiss, one last meal. I want less – one less speeding fine, one less demand, one less choice.

The invitation to simplicity is one giant mathematical computation of complexity that results in an overwhelming sense of a sum zero game that I never asked to play.  This see-saw of being grateful for what I have and feeling a paucity of intimacy is quite exhausting. The ups and downs of the see-saw are grief on her ride through me and the interior landscapes I traverse. Many of these lands are new to me, and some I keep revisiting looking for meaning and magic to unlock and hold memories, hoping the voyage of this Dawn Treader will come to shore soon to rest and find me in a safe habour.   I know I am in a safe habour all the time and I do have enough of all that I need. Yet …

There are triggers all around that sneak up and remind me of scarcity. I see couples making plans for a life together and I want to warn them how it will all end. I hear the dog barking next door, wearing himself out waiting for his family to come home and his loneliness grows and then dissipates giving up just before they arrive. I feel the ash, and am infused with the smell of the fire from the broken limbs fallen from the wild winds the night before, that I have made into a little hearth in the back yard, and I think about the differences between being buried and cremated. (How does carbon get stored and released?) That leads me to think about land, the scarcity of it, my carbon footprint, the legacy I leave by all my actions. This is not living abundantly, my scarcity lens is keeping me from fullness and it refuses to leave me and contributing to a feeling of self-indulgence.

Theologians and economists have always found abundance and scarcity a point of difference. I think the root of the challenge to get this balance right, lies somewhere in gratitude, generosity and hope. Being generous is a sign of abundance, my biggest currency has always been time and now I realise how finite time is and I am making more choices with me at the middle of the equation, again a new landscape and one where I am yet to master. Being grateful is a practice and I am trying to be agnostic about what I am grateful for, everything can be appreciated and received with kindness. This practice seems to be woven with respect and recognition, actually being able to notice the gift however unseemly wrapped it comes to me. Hope offers potential to shape what will come next and to be an actor in that future without letting the scarcity filter, is a daily exercise in my inner life gym.

In this year of self-compassion, I am struggling to replace scarcity with abundance which has been my default for so long. Privileges I took for granted or worse, hadn’t even noticed I had. These privileges are now inviting me to pivot, flipping abundance for  scarcity, There are invitations waiting for me to find the wealth within, the freedom of less and joy of simplicity.  I will try not to shame myself too much for defining this feeling of scarcity as a first world problem, as it is teaching me to be more mindful, more conscious of my consumption of all kinds of things from air time to fossil fuels. To be more gentle on myself and grateful for all the times I have been generous and how that disposition is one of the key reasons for the depth of the wound. After all something that is scarce is also rare and therefore usually incredibly precious and perhaps that is the clue to the relationship between abundance and scarcity – the rare space that one creates for the other.

sam-soffes-326612-unsplash

Photo by Sam Soffes on Unsplash

Year of Self Compassion #30 #familiarity

Travelling through time and space, in a tardis camouflaged as a 2017 Kia, it is inevitable there will be familiar and unfamiliar moments to greet me.

This week my pilgrimage has taken me back in time to meet relatives I didn’t know I had and to join some dots on the family tree. Once again the nature / nurture theory is being cross-examined at close range. Rebecca Sohnit says “branches are hope, roots are memory” and these words seem to be helpful.

In the roots, I find more generations of music, lilts and tilts towards the Emerald Isle. The wind instruments echoing and haunting wild landscapes, that somehow contain untamed mysteries. The endless pattern of call and response, the syncopation of clapping and stomping drives home the familiar. (All we were missing was a fiddler.) There was dancing and drinking.

Many branches of hope from these roots across generations uprooted, pruned, cut off, abused, neglected. Faded photographs, snippets of stories, incomplete threads – all have a way of being woven together as the soundscape holds us around the table. Bread broken, wine poured, a powerful eucharist and toast to the common ancestor, a woman Alicia who bore a generation of children that found their way across this country.

You can travel for hours and still be in the same country. That is what grief is like for me – always being in the same country even though I travel far from home. There is wailing on the songlines of this journey and my tears join with the other branches, where loss and being lost has been the status update of other pilgrims. Around this table, I witness resilience from these hardy roots. I experience solidarity without explanation. I offer song without fear. Roots are deep and branches are wide.

Hope is invitational and promises the ability to change the narrative, without denying the history. Memories serve as humus, transforming by decaying into food for the branches. Whatever caused the break is unknown and now irrelevant, as another chord is played and toe is tapped.

I ache to be on The Burren and to have the west wind in my hair. There is a grand disturbance once again making me unsettled and joining with revelations of who no longer longs for me. I am taking instruction from the roots in County Tyrone so these branches can push out power and hope from the dark, blessed and blessing.

For Longing
By John O’Donohue

Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity, and friendship–
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.

May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.

May your heart never be haunted by ghost structures of old damage.

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.

May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.

Year of Self Compassion #28 #querencia

As I head towards my 60th birthday in a few months, I am embracing what Jane Fonda calls “Act 3”. Right now, I am in the wings, backstage, changing out of one costume, re-applying makeup, checking out the props to see if they are all ready. I am freshening up.

My Dad was a psychologist and I was introduced to Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning) at an early age. The biggest takeaway that was regularly reinforced in the home was that the freedom to choose how you will respond to a situation, was the only freedom no one could ever take away from you. Choosing how to appear in Act 3 requires time for reflection on what is still useful from Acts 1 and 2, what can I put down, what do I need to pick up and of course re-wiring …. making sense of what has been and making choices about the meanings of choices made past and how they will serve me into Act 3. This is not the work of nostalgia, it is the work of querencia.

Querencia is that place where we feel ‘at home’. The place where we draw our strength and inspiration. In bullfighting it is the place where the bull goes to that part of the ring, where he takes a big breath and gathers his energy, deliberately and with focus, before he goes in for another charge. Hemingway described querencia as the place where the bull “is inestimably more dangerous and almost impossible to kill” (Death in the Afternoon). In my early childhood one of my favourite books was The Story of Ferdinand, the bull who preferred to smell flowers that fight the provocative matador, such a great metaphor for nonviolence (did you know Hitler banned this book and Gandhi loved it?). The bull ring is perhaps the location for the opening scene for Act 3 and their are many choices in the centre and circumference, including smelling flowers and making a charge. I have an inkling bullshit fighting will feature. Regardless of what is on offer, at this time, I am gathering myself up to prepare and being at home with myself.

I am finding parts of myself that have been dormant or hidden for a long time and hardly made an appearance in Act 2. There is Chekov’s principle operating too:

“If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.” From Gurlyand’s Reminiscences of A. P. Chekhov, in Teatr i iskusstvo 1904, No. 28, 11 July, p. 521

There are shots in the locker yet to be fired and Act 3 is beckoning. Working out what was there in the beginning and has potential to re-appear or be revealed is intoxicating. Music and drama certainly feature as unfinished business. So far, I have taken my electronic keyboard (which I bought in the middle of Act 2 and has hardly been used) to be repaired. I have enrolled in Seth Godin’s altMBA program will preoccupy me in October to unleash new ideas and bring discipline, diversity and collegiality from around the world. I am reverting to my family name and doing all the paperwork to accompany that decision. I have signed up to sing in the Jenolan Caves in 2019. I have downsized my dwelling space and my wardrobe. I am beginning to get back to the gym a few times a week. And to my astonishment, I am getting recognition and reward for my movement building in the gender investment gap. All of this is just to remind myself that the re-wiring is happening and Act 3 is beckoning and brimming with potential.

The agony of grief and tsunami of challenges, the final scene of Act 2 has offered, are Shakespearean and invisible to many given the choices I have made about what is visible and what is invisible. I am gaining energy from knowing the practice of reflection brings wisdom, integration and wholeness. The practice is also a way of leaving things on the cutting room floor and picking out a new costume or remodelling an old one, sewing a patch on to bring new life to something that was past it’s use by date that can be freshened up with a bit of colour.

I am in the wings, at home, gathering energy for Act 3. Querencia

giovanni-calia-384735-unsplash

Photo by Giovanni Calia on Unsplash