You teach people how you want to be treated

Phone rings – me busy, but …nice – because thats how I do try to be.

Anyway, whirr click “Ello ello” Oh crap it’s a telemarketer and I have ten thousand things to do.

“Yes hello” I reply – still nice but now it is pushed a little further back behind my teeth.

“I am wishing to speak to the owner of the business because from today your landline phone which is…” slight pause in the sales pitch – great! I jump in.

“No thankyou I’m really not interested I only speak to Telstra about my….”

Only thing is we are both talking together and my goodness she is certainly very strident so I give up  talking my end just as she says

“WHAT WHAT WHAT!”

Bloody hell! That’s a bit rude. So I hang up. If she wants to be rude then she can get rude back.

I walk back past my husband who is doing his office work on the verandah and say “well we’ve taught them well – those telemarketers are getting as rude as us Aussies” Kaching! Lightbulb moment.

I’m usually nice to telemarketers – I try to be at least polite as I tell them that I’m not interested in listening or buying or changing phone plans. Pesky Karma see – don’t want to touch that hot stove more than I have to. I have been guilty of the odd sigh and telling them I’ll put them through to the boss and hanging up on them because I am the Boss and I just don’t have time to be talking to someone about my phone.

But I am not rude, mainly due to a funny conversation with an Indian guy one day a few years ago which humanised them for me.

This is what happened.

So imagine Raj from Big Bangs voice. Raj begins his sales pitch introducing himself as Arthur and then asks for my name and because I am in a funny mood and not frantically busy I tell him it’s Cinderella . “No” it is not he says, just a bit peeved with my humour. Then he says very seriously “you shouldn’t lie about your name it is very wrong to lie” so I said he shouldn’t ask for my name when he is a stranger and didn’t he know that was wrong?

And back and forth with the “well you shouldn’ts etc” we go. I refuse to be pushed around by some telemarketer but am still in a funny mood so I say “well I’ll give you my name if you tell me what yours is because I don’t believe it is Arthur”. (They use Anglo names to try and seem more like the guy next door – except of course they are not)

“Arthur” is horrified that I would questions his name and call him a liar.  This starts another furious round of debate because he says his name is indeed Arthur and that I am now calling him a liar and that is wrong. But it is getting lighter and lighter because we are both enjoying the conversation which is a bit different from the norm. Finally Raj says he will tell me his real name – I wait. Drumroll.

“My name is…Peter Parker” it takes me two beats into the silence then I say “Oh bull! that’s Spiderman!” and we giggle a great deal. Finally I say “Righto mate hanging up now” and that was that. I didn’t change phone plans but I did change the way I viewed the person on the other end of the phone.

Every time we are rude to a telemarketer (and yes I know they are invasive) – we are telling someone over there that we are rude and nasty over here – plus imagine that job all day – people being rude to you and all you’re trying to do is keep your family alive.

But I realised how we are teaching the people around us too. We are teaching them to be impatient with us, to have no time for us, to be rude to us. Every little thing that we send out as a reaction – is teaching people what we expect back.

When the lady at the checkout is rude and so I become short with her in return – I am not teaching how to be anything but rude with me. So I try instead to be kind, to ask how her day is going. The change sometimes is so amazing that it humbles me. Everybody is carrying a load. The load of being human.

In teaching others how to treat us we create a massive ripple effect each day. Because no one leaves a conversation with us cranky or upset. And they don’t pass those negative emotions on to others either.

After my lightbulb moment the other day with the telemarketer I was even more determined to ensure that no matter how rudely or unkindly someone treats me – I had a choice  not to pass that forward, I also had an opportunity to show that person how I expected to be treated in future.

If we don’t partake in the drama – it doesn’t follow us around and eventually we don’t have to see it anywhere in our vicinity.

How words define us and destroy us

 

 

I’ve been reading a book today.

About humans.

It nearly made me give up on this writing thing – this dreaming thing. This doing thing. Humans are so crazy. On an individual scale it is laughable. On a global scale – as a pack culture – mad and dangerous.

Our brains are so incredibly plastic that we have become…whatever they told us to be. “They” being parents, school, the system, our peers, our very long piece of string that calls down a well and echoes back to us “you are…”.

and whatever that voice, those words say – we become – as long as we are  agreeing with it.

But what if I’m not what they say – or even my own rule book describes. What if I’m just infinite potential. What if our school report read “infinite potential” and it should – because we are.

We have a rule book in our head – written by others. With an addendum added by us. We stick to this mad thing. In spite of everything and …it is never going to change. Everyone is in a dream – their own personal dream and from there they tick and flick against the others that they come up against in life. Worse – they tick and flick against themselves.

I am …no good, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not enough.

She – is a terribly thought provoking woman.  🙂  I am dumb. I am depressed. They are ludicrous. He is disgusting. They are……….what busy minds we have. And with all the judging and the preoccupation with judging  – few think to add to their troubles and do anything out of line – out of sync with the rule books. God no – they judge themselves. And stay small. Because small is easy – large looks messy and .. lawless.

And it all began

With the WORD. Bible – read it – interesting book full of words. Words that have been used to persecute, humble, illuminate, hate, love – control a whole heap of other people that have their own words – their own books. So they push back with their words.

Without words entire wars would not have started.

And people steal words. They put words into another person’s mouth when they assume. When they whisper, when they slander and lie. When they praise, when they raise when they’re humble and they’re kind.

So people steal words. They break words. They use them frivolously. They use them kindly. They use them for peace and diplomacy. What to do about words.

So you see my dilemma as a wordsmith – should I even bother? To add my words into the mad jumble already piling up in the filing cabinets of other peoples minds?

We were wild once – before the domestication. I like that theory. I agree with that theory and had been espousing just that theory all week (which I thought was mine!)to my avidly listening husband (alright I made that up – he was asleep) but that is the point. We are all asleep – we are all asleep – until we wake up and see that. That we are all asleep or just speaking.

Without speech where would we be? Silent and forced into the nuanced  intuitive world of the animal.

How does a cow gossip?

It simply doesn’t bother. God how peaceful must cows be!

Does an owl whisper to itself “Oh no too many feathers – I have to pick skinnier mice – I must go on a diet” God how peaceful must owls be! And yes, very ,very wise.

And because of that their heads are free – spacious, unrestrained by the containers placed around them by words – ours or their own.

Free to live. To truly live.

I look at my dog Bodhi and think – how gorgeous she looks, how bouncy and loving and kind. She doesn’t hear me describe her as any of these things, although she can feel my love when I shine it at her. Why don’t we just shine our approval, our disapproval, our sadness. Instead of saying it – then others won’t get all the useless words that accompany the message. The impatient mother that snaps and lashes out saying “oh for goodness sake you are so vane just pick a dress – lets get moving.” To the child that then worries she is vane as well as all the other things that her thoughtless mother, her teacher, her peers have told her.

Stop putting out lights and hopes and dreams with words and instead start using them to lift the ones around you. To lift yourself. To free yourself. Words are transformative and life changing. Words are magical.Respect the Word be more like the animals.

Animals in their spaciousness heads who live on intuition and the memory of being, doing. Not words. Imagine the hawk simply flying and observing – not telling himself a thousand different stories of success or failure in his head. The Hawk will indeed succeed or fail in its hunt but it won’t tell itself that it was because of the colours of its feathers. The size of its feet. It’s lack of ability. Hawks are hawks and they are just hunting.

Humans are humans and we are just…

Words.

Before words told us who we should be and where we were failing and could do better and should do better and she said and he said an they said – that is a good place to go back to – that first word.

Then cancel it. And instead just be. If people could just be and not be seen to be …lacking, brilliant, amazing, awful, disgraceful.

Then people would be. They would just be.

For what word describes the state of no word.

………………..

Truth.

That is the only thing you can be if you want to be anyone.

You can only be truth. Start from there. Don’t listen to what “everyone” has told you that you can do or can’t do. They are only operating from behind a set of beliefs imprinted on their brain by themselves and their experiences, their “everyone” in their own little world.

What do you love? What do you think? Start thinking for yourself  and not defining yourself by the words you have been told. The containers that you have been given and that you have built around yourself.

The power of words on our psyche is humbling. When I think of all the little kids that were told, are at this moment being told – all sorts of nonsense by hurtful ignorant parents that themselves are damaged. The loss of power and potential in those little ones, the sadness – is heart breaking.

Please instead use your words thoughtfully. What are you saying to others about them and about yourself? You are spreading words. Are they good words? Are they transformative words. All words are transformative. All words are powerful. From second to second millions of lives swing on the word. What they eat. What they drink. How are simple choices damaging the environment? But mostly it is what they think. Mostly what they think. In the own little world of words. In their messed up crammed full head – that is full of words – talking to them.

Do I add to this with my words – my blog now and the book I am writing?

Do I add to it in my own head?

The “what will they think” “what do I think” and I did worry.

Right up to the point where I realised that I was gifted with the power to change someone’s life simply by them reading my words. This is what my original intention was with doing this blog. I wanted to help someone, everyone see that they are beautiful. I wanted to be good words, life changing words – not just useless or thoughtless words. I wanted to push back at the proliferation of bad words and terrible messages that is creating damaged people and a numbed down, dumbed down society of people who can’t think for all the noise in their heads. The words in their heads. The wrong words.

We are all defined by words. Words on a report card scrawled by some tired and busy teacher in the middle of the night. Words whispered behind a hand to another about someone else – who they don’t even know. Words on a doctors reports that say “three months to live “- when that person may in fact recover. Words. They can be useful or useless but mostly – they are magical and powerful. They change minds. Use them carefully. Please and with very good manners.

Use them carefully when you describe yourself to yourself and when you describe your daughter or son to them. Don’t tell them they have a terrible singing voice or some other such nonsense.  All singing voices are beautiful. Be careful with your jokes. Watch that they are not hurtful and come from a place of true fun and humour. Because you could be hurting someone, leaving a scar on someones mind. Be careful with your words. I have my reminder to now – to be careful with my words. Because I haven’t always been, I just haven’t always been so careful with them.

The book is the Four Agreements by Don Mequel Ruiz. It describes the source of self limiting beliefs which prevent us from being free to do and become whatever we want. It was a good book to read at this beginning time. A timely reminder.

Who are you? And what as Cheryl Strayed asks “what do you plan to do with your one wild  and precious life?”

The video below is a further reminder to speak to ourselves carefully, to speak carefully to our body and those around us. The power of words is extraordinary to touch others lives, use them wisely.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot

Never write with a loaded gun.

Never speak with a loaded gun.

Never get into a car or throw your leg over a motor bike – with a loaded gun.

Do not load your gun with bad energy. You become the gun. You can load your energy – and that is what you should do but think carefully about what sort of energy you are loading because what you send out into the world will come back to you at just the same calibration.

This is energy, this is at what it looks like in play. When you start to work with energy you realise how amazingly self empowering it is. You have just been handed the keys to your own system and the manual to the world around you. It is incredibly humbling.

And it should be.

A gun, a car, a piece of paper or a blank email – the telephone. All these everyday objects are just that – everyday objects until you choose to pour your power through them.

Then they become weapons or tools. You choose their purpose. You can wield them foolishly or you can wield them with great skill.

If you pick up a gun it is harmless. If you pick up a gun with reason – it is a tool perhaps a weapon but still something that will not come back to harm you unless you have reason to believe it should. You are reasoning – so hopefully you will reason appropriately. This is the level you drive a car at. Reason.

If you pick up a gun with anger. You will do anger and it will come back to haunt you with Karma. You will get anger. Think 9/1. Think war. Think stupid.

If you pick up a gun with grief. You will get grief.

If you pick up a gun in shame. You will probably be dead so it won’t matter what you will be because it is almost certainly dead – just try not to take anyone else out with you.

If you pick up … in what mood are you? What are you loading the object with.

Are you loading it with ego and wrecking your car in front of mates? Then you will fall. Soon or later you will suffer a loss of ego either from your mates or from your parents or from the policeman or just the mystified mechanic fixing it. And you will pay – you will pay through the nose for your five minutes of being a hero.

If a young man loads up a car with ego he may very well die or kill someone else. Congratulations It has just become a weapon.

You have just taken an object and turned it into something else.

That is all energy work is. It is learning to choose wisely how we use our energy.

I picked up this post and I used it carefully. I used it carefully to write down on a piece of paper to a loved one of my own. Just to say – as I heard my father and my mother telling their loved one and mine that is so like him. “Don’t drive angry.” So don’t. Forget about the object – YOU are too precious.

Don’t drive emotionally. Don’t drive with bad energy. Don’t speak with bad energy. Don’t write with bad energy (I am calmer now) and don’t ever load a gun and point it at anyone or anything unless you want bad Karma to follow.

The last “don’t” is my message to the world. Just “don’t” pick up a gun.

Motorbike keys to Empowerment

If you would like the keys to finding faith, empowerment and confidence in an ever changing and sometimes frightening world. Let me show mine. They hang from a BMW embossed leather tag and they are my prized possession. I would wear them like jewellery but why do that when you can use them to turn over a bike and kick off onto the highway instead.

Follow me for a couple of thousand words and I’ll tell you why 🙂

Don’t look where you don’t want to go.

The words flashed into my head as the bloated caracas of a large grey kangaroo appeared on the road. I glanced to the bitumen beside the large lump, the bike duly followed and seconds later I wizzed around the smelly lump. Don’t look where you don’t want to go. Such a simple rule of riding that I hardly thought of it much anymore but I knew what happened if I didn’t apply it. Any motor bike rider learns this rule very quickly.

In motorbike riding, the direction you move in, is all about where you look. This is actually true with any mode of travel including your own legs but for some reason we never consider it much until we go to sit on a motorbike where the results of focus can have such swift and sometimes disastrous consequences if you make a mistake.  Believe me, where you look is exactly where you will go. If you see a pothole and think “God I don’t want to hit that” – and you keep looking at it – God can’t help you and you will hit it.

As I dodged the kangaroo yesterday, I grinned in my helmet thinking of how this rule had been reinforced to me not long after I started riding when, with legs stiff and backside very sore, I  had arrived at a service station in Cunnamulla. Glad to have reached the town after a few hours riding, I was intent on fueling the bike and was therefore scanning the bowsers to see which one contained the unleaded fuel as I rode in. Forgetting the most important rule of riding – don’t look where you don’t want to go – I damn near ended up on top of the bowser and although I didn’t drop the bike or hit anything – it was close. And would have been embarrassing, if it wasn’t so funny, both to me and the goggle eyed bloke that was fueling his car on the other side.

It is a known phenomenon in riding and it is called focus lock. The risk of it occurring is compounded with long rides and a lack of awareness due to tiredness or distraction.

Awareness and staying in the moment is another important rule of thumb which is why it is such powerful meditation (and therefore highly addictive to me).

I simply can’t assume the position and Om my way into peace at home, my chatterbox mind won’t allow it. If you think I write long rambly posts – try living in my head 🙂

Out on the road though the wind noise and the requirement for a constant return to the present moment has me naturally deep in a meditative state. Bugger candle flames – true zen is accomplished by motorbike riders every time they go for a long ride. This is why something that looks uncomfortable and boring – is actually relaxing.

There are other reasons why motorbike riding is addictive. It allows me to conquer my old nemesis – fear.

When I first got my motorbike license and was beginning to take trips by myself, overcoming fear was a huge obstacle. Every time I would excitedly plan a journey, the inevitable spectre of death or injury would rise up and I would start thinking “what if?” I have a pretty good imagination so the “what if?” horror film could become quite luridly frightening if I allowed my thoughts to get out of hand. But I love riding and I love riding solo best so I had to find a way to get over these imaginary fears in order to go riding.

The only way to get over irrational fears is to walk through them and prove to yourself that they are in fact irrational and merely figments of your imagination. This seems easy enough in theory but as a mother and wife it is often difficult to do put into practice and it is why I believe so many women either don’t ever take up riding a motor bike – or if they do – give it up as they become mothers of young children.

Which is a pity. Riding a motorbike is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Riding solo and being free to go wherever you want, ditching all responsibilities and cares for awhile and just sitting on a humming machine, the scents of a change in season wafting through your helmet, zooming along with just yourself for company is an amazing experience. If it sounds like the perfect antidote to time poor mothers that is because it is. Riding is also a great instruction manual into how to conquer irrational fears – something which has plagued just about every human being on the planet at one time or other in their lives.

I used to be a very anxious person. I’m not now. I have ridden bikes that felt out of my comfort zone on roads that certainly were and learnt to handle them. I have chosen to get on those same bikes (I have a couple 🙂 and take long trips along a highway with the company of truck drivers on Ice, random animals prone to suicide attacks on my person and God knows who behind the wheel of every car that drifts past as I take a drink of water and a rest. As you can see – most of that is in my head but it doesn’t make it any less scary. Having all that crap transformed into calm awareness, confidence and a friendly wave at drivers and animals alike is pretty cool stuff.  Thanks BMW you have fixed a lifelong problem that could have otherwise plagued me for the rest of my life.

It is not just about solo riding though. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some great companions at times. I have had the opportunity to spend time with my older brothers on the road, keeping connections alive through a shared passion that I may not have been able to do without my motorbike.  I’ve ridden with other women that enrich the experience with their own tales of overcoming hurdles to do so and I have ridden in a mixed group of genders a time or two that was just as much fun. Bikers are great people because they meet death every moment and choose to see it as life enhancing rather than life threatening so they are always nice to hang around with.

Plus it is the strangers you meet along the way. The characters that you bump into who – without a motorbike as the draw card and interest – would never have come up and just started yacking away to me and telling me their stories – some sad, some funny and some just plain bazaar 🙂

I have had a couple of misadventures and been temporarily stuck here and there. Every single time within seconds a stranger has turned up to lend me a hand. I know this – if you are brave and take the leap, the universe really will provide you with the wings you need – suddenly instead of plunging you will be soaring.

I haven’t always thought everything through – for obvious reasons – that wasn’t working! Sometimes you just have to go and trust that you’ll be fine. I think that this is the greatest lesson that motorbike riding has given me. It is this deep steady faith that I will be okay – that whatever comes – I will be okay and will have the strength to deal with it or that someone will come along at the right time to help me. This certainty is not just provided on the highway, it is provided to me in every moment of my life now. ‘

This sort of faith is invaluable, it is extraordinary! It is also so hard for me to imagine that I would have obtained it in any other way than by riding a motorbike.

Life is an amazing journey whichever vehicle you choose to navigate it in. Riding a motorbike however turns the rather pedestrian pursuit of one point to another into an adventure. It lifts the mundane into the realms of extraordinary. It isn’t for everyone but just from the conversations I have had with other ladies I know – a lot of women yearn for it, however due to all those risks and fears, they don’t do it. Plenty of blokes don’t either and it is shame.

If this post helps one woman or man take the risk and find themselves smiling in their helmet – happy and confident out on the road and in their everyday lives then it has been well worth the effort in writing it…at 2am in the morning ha!

*Please note – after all this positive encouragement I do know people have in fact died on the roads on motorbikes or been terribly injured. I also know people die in car crashes, plane crashes and sitting at their breakfast table eating their bacon and eggs. Life is random – I am not going to be responsible for your death on a motorbike anymore than I would be because after a lifetime of eating crap you have a heart attack and die.

I will however take full credit if  – after reading this post – you pull up your big girl panties (or Y fronts) and go and get a motorbike licence and then find yourself in a couple of years time floating along some long highway somewhere and whispering”thanks Kate” with tears of gratitude flowing down your face because you feel blessed. I’ve done that but I was whispering it to myself and you should to – because I know – it’s tough, it’s scary and  male or female – you did that all by yourself, kudos to you dear – just you XX0X