Back in the habit… I hope!

Ok, I got out of the habit of blogging while getting into the habit of doing some other stuff. Like walking heaps and falling madly in love with all the bush near my home and rediscovering a love for PALEO COOKING and working really hard to become an awesome teacher of LEGAL RESEARCH! (I hope). And I also started another non-violent communication course and grabbed myself a second empathy buddy to practice the homework with and still looking for a ‘first home’ to buy. Oh my goodness.

Not all of it has been fun – I have a bit of an RSI from too much typing and crochet. I totally stressed myself out for weeks trying to catch up to speed with legal research and devise fun interactive lessons with heaps of group work. And I’m afraid I shared that stress liberally at home 😦 And then when it all worked out I was on a high and probably that was just as annoying for long suffering family!

Maybe I should have blogged about it instead 🙂 But instead I kept thinking I didn’t have anything to say (!) Anyway now I have broken the ice I will be back soon and hopefully will be more ‘writerly’ next time. Or not! Who cares 🙂

Comments – getting what I want?

Last week I told about the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) – a 100 day team competition based on steps taken per day. I reluctantly entered this challenge, created some personal goals to suit myself and am now really enjoying it. One aspect I particularly enjoy is participation in the GCC Community.

The GCC Community is an online space where participants and organisers can post a ‘story’ and others can comment or like. So I posted a story and got comments, but not the ones I was looking for.

My story: Non-conventional diets: Paleo

Is anyone else trying out a different diet as part of the GCC? I am getting back on board the paleo wagon after a few years of paleo + anything else I want to eat 🙂
Oh, Tim Tams, white bread and just about everything I find delicious served up at work morning teas – I hope it will be worth it!

And I got heaps of comments about how you ‘need’ to use the food calculator.

Or did I? Re-reading the comments to write this blog, I suddenly don’t see that at all! Just 6 people wanting to lose weight and telling me they are using a variety of means, including three who are using the food calculator! for example: Trying to stick to healthy eating plan too entering my food on the food calculator… The most strongly worded was: …you need to use the GCC food calculator as it really shows you how when you fall off the wagon… In the pleasantly chilly light of morning I can see this person was using a general ‘you,’ like an old fashioned ‘one.’ (one needs to use…)

In short, I got six terrific supportive comments and I somehow mangled them into ‘bloody advice I don’t need.’ I am really going to work on my *non-violent listening some more! Big dramatic sigh.

*non-violent listening: the ability to hear what someone is feeling, needing and wanting to express rather than what you expect them to say. Frequently requires getting my own ‘stuff’ out of other people’s faces 😦

Yes, I made non-violent listening up – but that does not make it untrue!

Experiencing the full self expression of others

Central station, waiting for the train home. A young man, a total stranger is looking at me intently, like he has something to say. He takes a gulp of air. Fuck yeah I just voted! Ha! you know what I wrote on the ticket? Fuck you Campbell Newman you fuckin arsehole get fucked! And I numbered every square and put LNP L-A-S-T last! He takes another breath and smiles wide, completely lit up. A brief concern flicks over his face. Oh, you don’t like Newman, do you? ‘Hell no,’ I say. His smile returns, he nods. Yeah fuck, I love voting. I told them LNP pricks they were supporting a bunch of areseholes too! ‘The guys handing out the how-to-vote-cards?’ Yeah – arseholes, I told them! Hey – you know you could go and vote right now – you don’t need to wait till Sat’day!

And now we are both laughing. The middle-aged-librarian-lady and the young-worker-bloke. My train comes. I look at him.

Nah, I’m goin’ to Ipswich.

Thinking about this now, I just feel so proud and excited. Go Ipswich! Go young people! You give me hope and inspiration, you really do 🙂

Full self expression – be careful what you ask for

Last week I was all love and unicorns about setting intentions and how they can unexpectedly manifest themselves. Yesterday, I had that experience when I was looking at potential homes with my partner and full self expression arrived unannounced.

During the week, Dave had painstakingly made a detailed list of ten houses that appeared to fit our exacting criteria, including one that was open on Saturday. So on Saturday morning we ventured out together to do some sticky beaking. The first few houses that we drove past looked pretty good, were located in pleasant streets, and close to transport. We then went to the open house. This house was quite a drive away. I became concerned about the distance from public transport. When we arrived, the house appeared tidy but not particularly inviting. It was placed at the bottom of a valley and surrounded by other homes that looked directly down onto it. The inside was tidy but not at all nice – the carpets did not match, and the bathroom was old and daggy. I did not like that the back deck had not been certified by Council. However, I could see that Dave was becoming very enthusiastic about this beautiful deck and about the awesome solar set up.

As we left I was preparing a ‘diplomatic’ speech in my mind. It went something like, “Oh well, that place was nice, the deck was good and solar is what we need, we will keep it on the list.” But something very different came out of my mouth in a most emphatic tone…

Well, that’s a ‘no!’

For a moment I felt I had been invaded by an alien. And I experienced some confusion. And then Dave and I had a little squabble. And then I offered him genuine appreciation for all his work on making the list. And he graciously accepted. And then we were able to move closer to a shared understanding of what we want in our new home. So it ended very nicely, and he is right now sitting beside me, engrossed in making a new list of houses to look at in a week or two.

And I am now wondering just what life would be like if I said what was on my mind directly instead of beating around the bush, dissembling, distracting and outright lying… Can I be that brave? Can I trust myself to be able to create something new and beautiful in the chaos and discomfort that can arise in the wake of honesty?

I think I might.

my 2015 to come

Ok, this is a ramble by the end I get to my intentions and how I made them – that’s probably the interesting bit, but I liked the rest too so left it in anyway 🙂

The 2015 intentions setting (not resolutions) all started in the stress and hubbub of December 2014, when one morning I noted that instead of doing an online yoga session and feeling balanced and awesome, I had (once again) got diverted to facebook and was feeling scared, angry, hopeless and had a headache too. I knew it was time to Slow Down With the Social Media and after thinking about it for a few days I …

  • put facebook on holiday with no time limit or immediate plans to reinstate
  • started reading my personal email just once a week, and
  • took a holiday from blogging while I figured out what I want to accomplish and what I want to invest.

I got some pretty immediate results, some being…

  • I excised for at least an hour every day (and lost a kilo over Christmas)
  • I walked and caught public transport to work (and reduced my carbon footprint)
  • I sewed 5 dresses (and am well on my way to wearing only clothes that are made equitably and mindful of the environment)
  • I caught up with a neighbour I love but hadn’t made the time to see in months and also with some other old friends, in person – so satisfying! And,
  • I created a new vision for me and my blogging

So, my new intentions are

  • to connect
  • to contribute
  • to be fully self-expressed
  • to experience ease, and
  • to have some fun and play

I like intentions better than the usual ‘I will do this,’ or ‘I won’t do that’ resolutions stuff. Intentions allow flexibility and are thus more likely (for me) to be accomplished. For example, I once set the resolution that ‘I will run every day’ but then got stumped when I got really sick, had to have an operation and wasn’t able to do any real exercise for two months. So I got depressed and angry, hurt myself trying to get back into running too quickly, became a burden for others for longer than necessary and comfort ate and put on a bit of weight. But if I had the intention of ‘valuing my health’ I could then have come up with an alternative, like resting and doing the very gentle exercises given by my physio until I was well enough to ease back into walking then running. Dammit, I could have even bobbed about in a pool for a bit. Sigh…

The other thing I like about intentions is that they are a bit magical, in that they often start appearing in unplanned and unexpected ways, and all I have to do is say ‘yes.’ Like when in Kuranda I set an intention of ‘community’ and almost tripped over a habitat group while walking to the library a few days later. Following intentions may also lead to unexpected and magical results – like the time when I set the intention of ‘being considerate’ and so slept on the verandah lounge instead of waking my family in the middle of the night when I forgot my keys and woke to a beautiful sunrise and serenade by magpies – an unforgettably magical morning really.

How I made my intentions (probably the good bit)

I made the intentions using a list of universal human needs. You can find such a list here. I highlighted the needs that were important, then of those kept the ones that seemed most important (while reassuring myself that they are all important) until I got to just five. And these five make me feel warm and optimistic and content too. All good feelings to be having 🙂

With thanks to the New York Centre for Nonviolent Communication who are responsible for the needs list – and many other awesome things 🙂

when I accepted it really is just over for her and there is nothing I can do about it and that I was going to be ok and probably was ok already

When my partner and I got back together after years happily apart most of my family had the shits and one of my sisters just dumped me. I kidded myself for a bit that she would get over it and then got mad and sad when she didn’t. And mad at myself for caring about it anyway. And sad with my family because they wanted us to get over it but I didn’t know how. And sometimes scared because I was going to see her at some family thing and when I did see her I always felt like I was going to be sick. This went on for years, about five years actually. And one day after practicing nonviolent communication for quite a while I actually thought to use it and I asked myself – what is it that I want from her anyway? And the answer was so clear and beautiful – love and acceptance and a little fun. And in that very same moment I knew I had all these things already – with my partner and my daughters, with my workmates and with my friends and I just felt all warm and loved up just walking to work in the morning sunshine on a daggy concrete path, with a straggly jasmine vine climbing over a crumbly wall alongside

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