What happens when our personal vision and our personal values are challenged by the environment which we live in?
I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about my personal vision. What is it that I want to hold for my future, and the future I want to see for the communities I live in? What are the values that align me with my community?
Some of this has been severely challenged of late by the ludicrous new refugee policies that our national government has instigated in the last few weeks. What an abomination.
How can this be democracy at work? This is so far from my vision, so far from my personal values and yet from the outside because I live in this country, I having to suck it up.
I don’t want to suck it up. I grieve for those people who are stuck between a rock and a hard place in their lives, so much that the best choice for them is to get on a leaky boat and traverse the very high seas – with their children! - and then to be 'settled'(?) in some overcrowed tin shed 'camp'(?) So much blame has been laid at the feet of the ‘people smugglers’. Perhaps putting them out of business by actually coming to the aid of their clients would be a better alternative…surely. Or even, radical thought, assist them in their business, so everybody stays safe!?
I want to align to a community that holds every life dear. I want to find a way that everybody has a voice, that everybody has a platform for that voice to be heard and expressed. Big or small, local or global, everybody has the right to find their community and their platform.
No doubt I’m very idealistic, and I love that about myself! I hold to a vision that there is a better way and that we, as a community, will find it.
(image Simon Tiller)
I chose to use poison in the garden today. To get at that rotten grass that has roots that go all the way to China and cuts through garden gloves if you try to pull it out. I thought I would blast it – the technology was there right in my shed. So blast it I did…and then I got to feeling guilty and thinking.
So what of my inner weeds. Should I blast them, or pull them out and risk getting hurt. Should I let them grow and overtake me and my vitality; let them hold me back, tie me down. Most often there is the temptation to lock the inner weeds away in the basement and throw away the key. But that’s the thing with weeds, they thrive in the dark and they have a sneaky way of coming to the surface when you least expect it. From their dark home they go on influencing…and growing.
I decided the metaphorical poison I use for my inner weeds is presencing, by that I mean coming right into the present moment and seeing what’s really there. The inner weeds took root sometime in the past. Somewhere in the past I started to believe things like “I am not good enough” or “It is all my fault” and those weeds took hold and I fed them with my belief. They thrive on belief you know.
The key is composting . From the present moment I can make a choice to compost those weeds. Bringing them out into the light helps first. Naming them and owning them and making a choice to add them to the compost so they “fertilise the future” as my friend Amanda Fleming would say. This is the technology in our tool shed. Like Tinkerbell – we need to believe in fairies to make them real. It takes perseverance, honesty and willingness and often this can feel like hard work. It was a powerful realisation – the garden will be pleased. I’ve decided to put the work in rather than use poison the next time.
The news of the week is mixed. One the one hand the UK passes marriage equality – waiting to be signed off by the Queen no less! So there is hope in the world, all Queens of the UK will be pleased! On the other hand Russia goes completely the other direction and imposes a $3,000 fine on people advocating for gay and lesbian rights – any kind of rights – and bans adoption by gay couples? What the..? Europe is polarised over the issue – apart from our friends in the Netherlands and Belgium of course, and now after much drama and sometimes violent protests – France.
So here we sit down south, the so-called lucky country? Free thinking, free enterprising? Yet, 22 million of us and I am still a second rate citizen in my own country. The lucky country, the land where our politicians play politics and sit on their hands over real issues like recognising our first peoples in our constitution and letting my family be recognised as a family – for real. A number of years ago now, my family jumped through hoops of fire and red tape to get my partner legally able to sign our sons forms at school, or at the doctor. She could not adopt our son, as that would mean that I had to give up ALL parental rights. She became a legal guardian however and has been able to sign – thanks to some wonderful help and navigation from a lawyer friend!
What a different world our son would’ve been born into if we had been able to marry and our relationship given rights. Or not to marry but for our relationship to be recognised. Our choice, not theirs.
What a weird world we live in that is so polarised over such an issue of basic human rights. I struggle to understand why I still have to write about this!
Speaking up is the only way. The power of social media was shown this week when the wonderful Amanda Palmer wrote a retort to misogynistic Daily Mail after a gig in Glastonbury. So speaking up I will continue to do…. You bet!
I was watching crap tele last night. My own fault that I happened across an article about betting on the royal baby. We’ve all been involved in running a book on a baby – well I know that I have, plenty of times. Sex, time, date, weight. I even won one once. Thought I was psychic.
I have never seen such rubbish as the amount of bets people are actually putting hard earned – or easy earned or just earned – cash on the impending royal baby.
So people are betting up to 10,000 pounds on the sex of the baby, or the name of the bundle. What a grand investment! And bookies have taken literally millions of dollars worth of bets, and this in a country that is struggling?
It gets really weird from there. Apparently I could also put $10 on what the baby’s first boyfriend or girlfriend’s name will be! OK so that is really a long term investment. The hopeful blood lines have gone crazy.
I wonder what drives people to bet on such ludicrous things? I don’t believe it’s a drive for riches. A belief like lotto, or casino gambling; that here is my chance to change my life because I know that the baby is going to be a red haired girl, 5 foot 5 inches, who has braces at aged 13 and has her first kiss at aged 15 photographed by many paparazzi. No, hardly going to bring riches.
Perhaps it’s something about wanting to be a part of something special, lovely and beautiful…but my niece just had a baby and that was majorly wonderful, yet no one wanted to run a book on that.
Or perhaps it’s something that drives us to want to be a part of the beautiful people. The whole celebrity game, that lusts after someone else’s life because we are all so damn unhappy with our own lot. Putting our dollar and pounds on their lives makes us feel part of the whole thing. We can tell our grandchildren, I knew! I knew it would be a girl, a brunette, bring no good. We can feel like we matter. That we minions have a voice and we care.
The one sure thing is that once this babe is born, my life will not change one iota, and it’s a pretty good bet that the only life that will change are the actual parents….beautiful people or not. My bet is on it bringing them much joy and happiness.
I’ve been way distracted by the goings on in Australian politics. So distracted that all I have done is write to politicians to express my horror, amazement and utter annoyance at the crazy waste of time and space that are our leaders are using up. To be honest, I don’t actually believe any of our current politicians display anything that remotely even scrapes the surface of leadership. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Labour and Liberals – not sure which is which.
Yes we live in a world of duality. Right, wrong; man, woman; big, small; right and left?. It amazes me that not more of us walk around with a split personality. Centuries of this kind of thinking have conditioned us all to be split down the middle. To have strong opinions and unchangeable stances on one side or the other.
Where is the leader that can hold their centre. Not the centre politically speaking, and not a mamby pamby hold no opinion, or wait for what the polls say excuse for a leader. Not someone who wants to react to a yes with an immediate no. Not someone who doesn’t take any time to see, but judges on first look. Where is the someone who can hold a neutral space?. Someone who is lead by their value system which is a value system that values the all.? That takes time and has the ability to truly listen.? Who goes for the win win.? Who leads from the heart.?
OK – so obviously I have way too high a standards? But hey, I am living in this world after all. Can I have a say please?
I am a chronically early person. I arrive 10 minutes early for everything. Even the dentist! I’ve always been early, was even born early. My nickname is early Merly. I find that my anxiety levels rise when I have to be somewhere, to do something. When someone else is dependent on me to be there – even if that is the dentist. I have made an agreement and I will honour that above everything else in my life. For some reason my sense of living in the present goes out the window and I take a step into the future – and surprise surprise, carry some anxiety with me.
I never have allowed my white rabbit to really surface. Just the thought of it causes me stress. I saw how is worked just yesterday on the road – driving anywhere it’s hard not to come across someone who is late, late, late for a very important date…so important that anything that gets in the way is treated with distain and a loud blow of the horn.
I’m starting to realise that there is little difference between that stressed out person who is very late and very important to me who feels just as justified in ‘being stressed’ to make sure I am 10 minutes early.
All that talk about Timey Wimey (Dr. Who ref) stuff is really so irrelevant when we think about it. What perspective am I coming from? If its true that anxiety is always about living in the future, which I do believe, then here is my challenge. To remain in the present. To be where I am now and know that from there I can make decisions about how I want to be. From here I find that I will always be exactly on time – in alignment with other people and knowing that the time is always perfect.
Life is not a business to be managed; it’s a mystery to be lived. My goal is to live more like a sage…a sage always walks, (S)he never runs, (S)he may be in a hurry but (s)he never runs.
What is your relationship with time?
There is trouble brewing…right here in the great southern land…Trouble with a capital T, that rhymes with E; that stands for Election! (Apologies to the Music Man!)
For my non-Aussie readers, Australia is heading for a federal election in September. Our current Prime Minister happens to be female. The gender card is on the agenda and the proverbial S**t is being slung. I’m over the 1950’s school yard antics! It is all a big fat (!) distraction from the lack of policy and real debate. I mean...seriously. What is going on?
I had a teacher once who said that if you think that there is a difference between male and female you are involved in seduction. So it has got me thinking about the difference. We are in a society where the only words we have to describe the gender other than male has reference to man in it…wo-man – the derivative of wifman which is a man’s wife. From what I can find, “female” comes from the Latin femella, the diminutive form of femina, meaning "woman". It is not etymologically related to the word male, but in the late 14th century the spelling was altered in English to parallel the spelling of male (of course!) (thanks Wikipedia!).
I have heard another take on the word female….FE being the chemical element of IRON – so in fact, Females are the ultimate IRON-MAN! (credit unknown)
But back to the difference. Sure we have different genitalia. Other than that I really don’t believe there is much else in it. My partner’s star sign is Scorpio, mine is Piscean. That is about as different as people are. We all bleed, we all ache, we all have different histories, but we all have a history. We all have opinions about things that might not be the same as our neighbours, but to be threatened by different beliefs is just not useful.
A few weeks ago, Victoria's new Women's Minister Heidi Victoria (confusing I know) said it would be naive to think equal gender representation could be achieved in Victorian Parliament because women are generally ''nurturers'' and politics is too demanding. (Read “too bullying to women”!)
We think that the natural state of a women is soft, gentle, yielding (or should be) It's just not true; Women do not need to grow balls to be in leadership positions. We need to be accepted as the same – as not different. We need to be accepted on face value with no preconceptions. We need to be judged by our actions and achievements just like men.
There seems to me to be a real issue here with the concept that we are being governed by a system that is not nurturing. Question – why can’t politics be nurturing? Shouldn’t the very system that is there to support us – the community, also support the people who are brave enough to take on positions of leadership? Surely we need this to be a nurturing support!
Secondly, by implication, this statement is saying that men are not nurturing. Well I have issue with this as well. Some of the most nurturing people I know are men.
So the following day across the world in the UK – Glena Jackson launches a tirade against Thatcherism. One of the strongest lines from her very cohesive speech was when she talked about Britain in war times, when women didn’t run the government, but they did run the country. This made me smile. Reminds me of the old paradigm adage that behind every successful man is a good woman. My hope is that those times are long gone, and that women can stand front of the line now…(sigh!*#).
Why are these men so threatened and think that it is OK to set examples to our community that allow the denigration of someone’s character based not on what they do but by the genitalia they happen to have. It set a scene that allows for sickos to believe they have a right to bash, rape, murder out of a sense of power over. I know that might be a big leap for some, but these are our leaders acting out this stuff and condoning the behaviour that it’s a hoot and hilarious to vilify on the basis of gender…its just another expression of the same belief.
Australian politics has disintegrated to the lowest of lows. Tit for tat, ball for bat; all bully tactics. Come on guys, grow up. Love is all there is! I am imagining a political landscape that came from the basis of love first. I don’t mind seeming naive!
I've been catching a lot of public transport of late which is not something I normally do on a regular basis. And peak hour, which I hardly ever have done. I am not great on public transport at the best of times, and less at peak hour when I invariably have to stand for a good part of the hour long trip from the city to my home. The crush is tricky on my menopausal temperature control...or lack of. I'm not up on train etiquette so am at risk of finding myself in trouble...not swiping off with my card, or trying to get on the train while others are getting off. I feel like I'm not quite in the swing and not following the crowd..slightly out of step...like I’m in a new country. Does everyone else feel like they don't quite fit in?
The protocol of not reading over someone's shoulder even when the article looks amazing. The protocol of seeming to be really interested in the shockingly dribble journalism in the commuter paper that is shoved into my hands as I run for the 5.23. Pretending not to be interested in others conversations and not laughing at their jokes even when they are hilarious...how to stop myself?? Never good at that. Feeling like I am always in a hurry...even when I am not...but trains must be run for.
We spend such a lot of time and energy pretending that we are not interested in each other...and then get home and hungrily devour reality TV, vicious cop shows or read about the latest celebrity carry ons. Is it just me that is busting to know what is so funny between those 2 women speaking in a language I don't understand. Am I the only one who wants to know what kind of art that very colourful woman with the dreadlocks has in the large folio she is carrying.
Have we lost the art of engaging with strangers? Do we need an excuse to meet each other and create a conversation, create a connection? Why do we?
I despair at our isolated lives. That we can feel so alone when we are brushing bodies on a swaying train. That we all take ourselves so seriously that we struggle to even make eye contact and exchange the occasional smile. That our first point of reference when someone does something out of the ordinary is mistrust and often downright anger.
I have another few days of this train caper. I hereby give myself a challenge. To speak to someone new each trip. To exchange a smile with a complete stranger...and see if I make it out alive. What do reckon? Up for the challenge?
A teacher of mine once said that there are no original ideas anymore; it is all just new and different expressions of the same idea. So a smart phone is just a new expression of 2 tin cans and a piece of string. An ipod is a new expression of a pianola. A car a new and different expression of a horse and cart. She said that in the early 90’s; before I had a computer at home. Before having access to ‘ideas’ at my fingertips. We all know we live in the age of the information revolution. We all can find anything we need to know about anything with a search and a click. So are we just re-imagining the same things or is there room for something really new?
I am loving hearing so many stories about young people re-imagining their worlds; coming up with amazing inventions that solve a problem. Here’s a couple of my favs:
A 13 year old boy in Massai invents a solution to lion attacks of cattle:
Next is this one on possible sources of power…I’m not sure of the science behind this, but I love the concept:
As the information age blooms and we are re-aligning our priorities towards new expressions that prioritise communities and connection over material things – well hopefully - I wonder if we are allowing the possibilities of re-creating a platform where we can grow completely new/original ideas? Have we reached an evolutionary stage that could possibly prove my teacher wrong? I for one would like to think that there is renewed potential for original ideas – things that we have never thought of; concepts that we have not even dreamt of. Unless we can imagine a brand new world with brand new ideas, are we doomed to the same same? Capitalism, so-called democracy and a money lead society is clearly not working. As Einstein said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”
Bring on the new ideas...please!
I have been working out of the rat race for nearly a year, nearly a full season cycle. Winter is indeed coming (thanks Game of Thrones)...so to the turning in, and the recognition of the difference in my life this coming winter to the last.
I left a very full on, full time, adrenal draining environment a year ago and I have replaced it with a nurturing, strengthening and stimulating world of my own making. I spend my days thinking, writing and being. I choose to meet and network, have cups of teas with interesting people and talk about inspiring topics. I have created an office of my local beach where I go and contemplate, and thanks to mobile technology, make some phone calls and emails. I am learning and loving the ‘Essence of Ease’.
Am I afraid I’ll slow too much? Not be able or willing to go again? Not at all. In this busy busy, more more, bigger bigger world of ours so many of us seem unwilling to give ourselves the time and the space to relax to truly be at ‘ease’ fearing if we do we’ll never start again. I am learning how wrong that is. Given Seneca coined “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”, I am doing the preparation and creating the opportunities; it is exhilarating energy producing stuff and I am very grateful for it. Am I lucky? – you bet! Every day we have a choice. A choice to remember that we have inside of us the ability to know, the reason to understand and the wherewithal to discover what actually matters at any given point in time. We have a choice to swim in the soup or to put our attention on the difference, on the change, on the new. Its just a turn of attention.