I Hope

Today a lady called me and asked if I would write a letter for her to give to the government saying that she did this and that.

I said, “Sure, I don’t mind, let me see what I can do for you.” I made a few phone calls and learned this lady wasn’t super nice on the phone because she was super nice, but rather because she wanted a letter with a pretend truth.

I always assume people are nice and honest until I learn they are not, and even then I still have hope. I hope that someday all of humanity will be honest, kind and act with integrity and love, to all people, animals, and the planet as a whole.

We do have the ability.

Exhilarating Fun

When was the last time you had So Much Fun?

Sit down for a minute and have a little think, a think to the last time you had so much fun.  No, fun is not the most perfect word exactly, it’s too vague, too generalized.   I think the word I am looking for is more like exhilaration, you know, like those photos from Disneyland as you are about to fall down the waterfall on the log-ride, and just as you start to drop a camera snaps your photo as your hair is flying, your mouth open wide in a scream, and perhaps your hands are up in the air.  Some may look at that photo you’ve fondly displayed and think “Oh my god, that looks scary, you were very brave.” while others might comment “wow, that looks like SO MUCH FUN!”  The second comment is what I’m aiming for here, the SO-MUCH-FUN part.  The part where you’ve let yourself go, screamed like a little girl, and laughed so hard you cried.  That is the kind of fun I am talking about.  The fun we rarely have, and when we do we think and talk about it for days after.

What if we could have that exhilarating fun all the time?  How much better would our lives be?  Those times we did experience it, how much did it energize us?  How much did we smile for hours, days, weeks after, just at the very memory of it?

 

So why don’t we always have fun?

We all love to have fun, we just don’t always allow ourselves to have the most fun.  Why not?  Part of it could be that you were out with a subdued crowd, or in a place where that kind of behaviour is deemed anti-social.  Or perhaps you are feeling too old and rickety in your years to let yourself feel like a child without a care in the world.  There are always reasons, excuses.

I believe fun has one main inhibitor: judgement.  Too many people judge others these days, even when they don’t really believe they are.  As a result, many people hold themselves back too much because of fears of what others will think of them.   We can tell ourselves we don’t care what others think of us, and we can teach our kids to not care either, but then we still do, maybe not overly much, but when we find ourselves in a new place, a new situation, how often do we look around at what others are doing so that we can adjust ourselves accordingly and try and fit in, act natural etc?  It’s a need within us, a need to fit in, be accepted, and to belong that causes us to watch what others do, and follow suit with our actions, not laughing loud if others aren’t, not dancing ecstatically if everyone is dancing subdued and watching your every move.

If we stopped caring about things like reputations, and what people think of us, if we stopped judging others, and stopped caring when people judge us, how much more fun would we have?  We can have exhilarating fun without being anti-social, and causing a ruckus although we will probably laugh and smile so much more.

I believe that if we have to look to others for acceptance, it’s because deep down inside, we don’t fully accept ourselves, and who we truly are.  I also believe that self-acceptance comes in layers.  It is not something you do or don’t do, it’s gradual, it has layers, and layers, and more layers.  The more you peel them away, the less you care. Just when you think you really do accept yourself, and allow other people’s  judgments and opinions to drip  down, and wash off as beads of water do, you find surprisingly one day that you actually do care in this particular situation or that.

 

Remember when we were a child?

Friday night on the dance floor, I had the most exhilarating fun I’ve had dancing than what I’ve had in months, perhaps longer, and not a drop of alcohol was present.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt so free to create my own fun in a room full of others.  It seems so many of us are still trapped in our self-created containers.  We don’t break out, we don’t let our full selves shine through.

A good way to know what we used to be like before we placed ourselves in glass Tupperware would be to think back to when we were a young child.  When we were in a room alone, left to our toys and our imaginations, what did we used to do, imagine, play?  I used to imagine being a ballerina and while I danced through the room knowing no one was watching, I would pretend I was graceful and elegant, but in reality I probably wasn’t.  But when you are a young child, you are still oblivious to the criticism of others, the judging of your every move as you yourself had not yet learned to judge.  When you are a young child, you get lost in your imagination, and that’s what comes out of our play.  Our play develops our imagination, and our imagination develops our play.

Were you a pirate, a ballerina, or Tarzan?Now imagine if we all reverted back to our 5 year old self, of play-times filled with the  imaginings of being a pirate, a pretty ballerina, orTarzan swinging through the trees.  We would swap roles, and play different parts.  Sure we had our favorites, but generally we all had a try at different things.  Now if we  could all allow that imaginative playful spirit, the free from judgement and criticism self to shine more in our adult lives, how different would that subdued party be, that social dinner of exhaustive “fun”?

 

Being a Ballerina again

I felt that with all the inner work I have done over the years, I had pretty much peeled off most of those layers of unacceptance and believed in general that I don’t care what others think of me.  So it came as a surprise to me Friday night on the dance floor at Spirit Dance, that I still dance the way others dance, I still move within reason, because that’s what everyone else seems to do.  Not wanting to be the one at the center of attention, or drawing stares, I allow my rhythm to flow, and parts of my inner me to come out,  the calm inner-ness, the inner-ness that is soft, fluid, and perhaps a little emotional, and that is about it.

It was something about the flow of music that night, the lack of a large crowd, and being in my own corner of the dance floor that pulled me into a deep trance, where I felt six years old again, I got lost in child-hood innocence and danced like a graceful ballerina once again while I tripped and stumbled in my awkwardness that being lost in the imagination brings.  I swirled my hair around to experience what it would feel like and look like.  I wiggled my tongue, I danced around on tippy-toes to see how tall I could dance.  For the first time in years I felt like the child instead of the teacher.  I remember dancing with my students back in Hong Kong, and how controlled I was.  How I taught their creative little minds to follow a structure, a pattern, a rhythm, instead of dancing the freedom of the imagination.  If only I had remembered then what it was like to be a young child, I may very well have let myself go and danced with my children quite differently.

After the dance was done, I felt that exhilaration, that I had had SO-MUCH-FUN!  I wondered why getting lost in my 6 year old ballerina self was so much fun?  I realized because for the first time ever on the dance floor, I forgot others were in the room, and so I let down the barrier and allowed my inner-self to come out and play.  This showed me so clearly, as I looked through the window to myself  that without realizing, I still did actually care what others think of me.   And so I held myself back from the fun, and most of all, the exhilarating freedom of being my true self, which I believe I misplaced when I was a young girl.  Because connecting with her again, I could see where she stopped her innocent play, and took a step back into a corner of my heart titled past history and went to sleep.

Now that I can see this other layer of myself through the window, I can reach out, I can invite it to step through the glass door and come back into my life again.  But most of all, I can begin the healing process of removing the door to judgement, caring, and un-acceptance.   I can allow the 6 year old self to grow, to explore, to experience, and to become me again.

 

Were you a ballerina, a pirate, or Tarzan?

When did you loose your young innocent imaginative child and become a serious grownup?  I recommend going on a search for the little kid within you, go back to those games you played as a child, and allow your imagination to wake up, and start to play.  I believe if you tried it, forget that others are in the room, or perhaps even connect when you are actually alone, you might have fun, and you might even learn a bit more about yourself too.

What have you done lately that created an exhilaratingly fun memory?

What games did you used to play as a child that really evoked your imagination?

How do you connect with your inner imaginative creative playful  child?

Leave a comment below.  I would love to hear your stories.

🙂

Blood Family – Soul Family – Myself

Blood Family

We  make friends, add them to Facebook, grown distant from some of them, and de-friend some when we give our Facebook friends list a spring cleaning.  And yet we never seem to discard our families.  We keep them on our Facebook friends list, sometimes creating a special category just for them, we listen to them, notice them, comment on their posts and like their photos.  Sometimes we complain about them or ignore them, loose track of them when life gets busy, but yet no matter what they say or do, no matter how different they are to us, we don’t de-friend them, we keep them.  There seems to be an invisible thread that links blood together, for it brings together a great many personalities, age groups, ideas, beliefs, and opinions of people who would not normally be our friends in other circumstances.

What comes with those differences is a knowing that we are always going to be there, if only on Facebook (because some people like me live very far away):  a consistent friend on the list, no matter what things may happen in our lives.  It doesn’t matter if we live half way across the world, or just up the street.  It certainly doesn’t matter if we even remember what those cousins and aunties look like, because that thread is there, invisible, strong, it just doesn’t go away, and it can’t really be cut.  Somehow it withstands time.

Soul Family

There is another type of family that is a part of our lives.  I like to call them soul family.  They are the people in our lives who perhaps we rarely see, but yet we are very connected to.  Or perhaps these are people we do see everyday, talk to everyday, whether they are near or far, because they are special, they are like us, they get us when others don’t.   If we haven’t spoken for ahwile, the only thing that is different is the stuff we have to catch up on: the stories.  It’s like time doesn’t exist in the same context, and no matter how many changes take place in our lives, soul family seems to somehow still just get us.  They are pillars in our lives that withstand time and change, they are the totem poles of our soul.

My Soul Family – My blood family

This past week I felt lonely.  I  felt far away, and alone.  I had many friends around me, and the loving support of my partner but for once this wasn’t enough.  I felt disconnected from both my blood family and my soul family, so I reached out to both.  The interesting thing in all of this was that it wasn’t the conversation with them that made me feel better, comforted, it was actually the act of opening my heart, and being truly honest with myself about how lonely I actually felt and why, and taking the step to reconnect and allow.   Once I gave myself permission to express myself, my feelings to myself and my families in my own unique unspoken or vocal way, I cleared the cobwebs, the blocking clutter. The strong bonds that link me to soul family and blood family instantly re-appeared.  I no longer felt lonely.

Myself

I truly understand now that soul family and blood family is always there linked to us by an invisible thread, but when we feel lonely and far away it is because we are feeling lonely and far away from our true self, a plug undone from the heart socket.  Our true self is connected to everyone always and never feels lonely.  It’s only in plugging in all the cords, sweeping up the dust, knowing, feeling, expressing our true heart feelings,  that we can begin to step back into our self, the self that is connected to all, the self that is acknowledged, the self that remains.

We are family

Loneliness is not a result of the world disconnecting from us, loneliness is a result of us shutting off from the world.  So let’s open our hearts, re-discover those connections within us, those invisible threads of love that connect us always to soul family, to blood family, to our self, and so we shall be.

6 Tips to Help Cope with a Stressful Week

It’s 6:00pm Sunday.  And yet another precious afternoon has passed me by all too quickly.  If only I could have  slowed down time, and made 3 hours 6, that would have given me more time to read, write, learn, do the things I love most in life, but no, instead the afternoon has slipped away like a snake, sliding quietly away into night and soon it will be bed time followed by another busy week of work.  Funny how when life is busy there just isn’t enough time to go around.

Rewind to three hours ago when my writing time started.  My head was spinning and felt like it was 100 miles away after yet another morning waking up exhausted after dreaming of work, and other stressful things.  To bring my mind back to a happy place, I needed to meditate, something which I admit was really nice, but took an hour of my precious short afternoon.  Normally I can accomplish  in 20 minutes of meditation what took me 60 minutes today.  It seems the more stressed I get, the more time gets devoted to de-stressing and trying to keep my life balanced thus resulting in less time spent on the happy fun things I love doing in my limited free time, like writing.  But with meditation done, my head feeling clear, I am finally sitting down to write.

Stress is something created, and can be taken away.

Stress is something that's created and can be eliminated, it's only permanent if we allow it to be so.

Right now my life doesn’t feel completely balanced, that is my reality this week, this month.  Sometimes busy and stressful things happen that just can’t be helped.  Like for example a 60 hour work week.  Sure you can be a very organized little bunny in the workplace (that’s me!), but if those around you are not in your position for whatever reason, it’s going to cause you to have to stay back late as you receive that piece of information you need to finish a project hours before the deadline instead of weeks before when you were ready to receive it.  Well, at least that’s what happened to me anyway.  Stuff happens, that’s life, and when it does, we find ourselves devoting time to making our lives feel back to normal, and if one thing is taking up alot of time, like say our full time job, it leaves less time to find the life balance.  A 60 hour work week normally wouldn’t cause me to feel so exhausted, burned out, but after months of going steady, with only weekends off, last week  nearly tipped me over the edge.  A few tears, tension, and a few outwardly stressful moments resulted, which normally lie dormant somewhere buried amongst the layers of happiness and busyness.   Despite everything though,  I do love my job, and I wouldn’t consider changing it because of a few bumps in the road, most of us wouldn’t, it’s all part of the job, it’s what happens.  It tests us, teaches us, and challenges us.

Being the woman on the edge of cracking down the middle from exhaustion last week, and having to devout much more of my weekend to recovery, here are a few things I have been doing to eliminate the stress and get back to balanced as I face another long and busy week of deadlines and corporate world happenings.  Hope they can help you too if you find yourself currently in my position.

  1. Meditate.  Even if just for 20 minutes.  It can really help you to calm.  Just focus on clearing your mind, let those thoughts race through your head then disappear.  Focus on emptying your mind of thoughts, and sit there in the peace of very little, it’s actually quite restful, and the more you try to empty your mind, the easier it gets.  You may not succeed the first time, but you will feel better for trying.
  2. Drink herbal tea.  Although some people  only like to drink herbal tea before sleep, it does do great things in relaxing the body, and the mind.  We fill our bodies with caffeine to stay awake and get through the day and this can add alot of stress to our bodies.  Herbal teas such as camomile,  lavender, rose, peppermint or a mixture of those amongst others are calming and great when we get home from work.  I like to drink a big cup in the morning of the start of a busy day so I walk into the office feeling calm and relaxed.  It makes facing the days challenges a little easier.   I also drink Brahmi and Gingko tea because I find they clear my mind and make my head feel less murky, something I find caffeine does not do.
  3. Dance.  Walking is great, and a walk through nature can clear your mind and help you to feel more relaxed, but dancing is a great way to let go of alot of stress in a shorter period of time.  I recommend a free dancing class like 5 Rythyms, but if that doesn’t exist in your area, close your blinds, turn on your favourite music, close your eyes and dance your little heart out until your ready to drop.  Dance out those tight spots, dance out those woes, and let out all that emotion.  If you are angry, dance a boxing punch, if you are stressed, shake it all out.   It’s good exercise too, and you’ll probably have a better night sleep too.
  4. Write/Speak.   I know some people who aren’t the fastest typers, and I noticed that it’s easier for them to pick up the phone and have a conversation than it is to write down thoughts.  If you are a speaker, speak.  Ring a friend, and talk about your day, how it makes you feel, or if you are like me and don’t like burdening your friends, you can just talk your thoughts into a recorder (most new smart phones come with one and people will think you are talking to someone), you’ll feel better getting them all out.  Or if you are more of a writer like me who can type as fast as I think, you can sit and write it all out.  Guaranteed, you’ll get a bit of clarity from whatever form of expression you choose, and you’ll feel better for it.
  5. Be positive.  It’s hard to be positive when we are tired, a bit cranky and half way through a stressful day, but sometimes focusing on one thing positive can actually make a world of difference in getting us through our day.   Something like for example the favourite meal we plan to treat ourselves to when the day is done.
  6. Positive Reflection.  Life has it’s downs, it’s tough periods, it’s hard parts.  We wonder why it happens to us when so many others seemingly have it so easy.  When I’ve had a crappy day, or a difficult week, once it all has passed and things are feeling a little better, I like to look back at that period to find the positive.  It’s not always so easy to find at first, but with a bit of prying we can find it.  What lessons did we learn that week that we may never have learned had we not gone through it?  What experiences did we take with us that we can share with others to help others going through the same thing?  What good things did happen?  And lastly, how can we turn that crappy week into a funny story?  Laughing at ourselves makes things feel a little better, and something more share worthy too.