Shifting

There comes a point In every trip When you look back And you can’t see home anymore And the lovely thing about travel Taking trips Is you always come home But with journeys of personal growth You go somewhere else. If you’re lucky You lose sight of everything you ever thought you knew Your thoughts […]

Freedom to fail

Why have I come back? Well let’s not put the cart before the horse Why did I shut down the blog in the first place? Which took me awhile to fully understand myself Short answer? Because I hate failing And I was failing – or felt I was I lacked the courage and intestinal fortitude […]

Returning

I’m back. I’ve been skirting around the edges of WordPress for awhile – it’s so difficult to pick up the reins again once a blog has died beneath you and to get back into writing. And blogs do literally (no pun intended but…) die.  The funeral is past – readers drift away, things change. One […]

The Importance of Gaps

And gaps are important.

Thinking happens in the gaps.

Change happens in the gaps.

Sometimes big changes – sometimes small – depends on the gap …and the change.

I’ve been away again. I have been away a lot this year. As much as possible and I don’t feel guilty at all about it because for years – well just lets say it was hard for me to get away spontaneously or otherwise – this year was different.

I decided at the start of the year to make this set of 12 months, 52 weeks different. Month to month, week to week, day to day. I made conscious efforts to open a space for growth to occur because in order for growth to occur – we have to change, be different. Do different. And we need space and time away from our normal lives and the pigeon hole boxes people like to contain us in, that we contain ourselves in, in order for that to happen.

If I look back on my personal Instagram account I see trips away – both with family and without and for all sorts of different reasons. The common denominator being in so many of the photos – away.

Away from home. Away from safe harbour. Out on the sea of life – somewhere different. Seeing new things, thinking new things, feeling new things, doing new things – renewing – over and over.

Over the last 12 months, I have ridden to many beautiful interesting spots for camping or sight seeing but mainly just to be alone and explore.

I have flown away on business but included leisure activities that were challenging or just things that I decided on the spur of the moment might be a cool thing to do.

I drove for hours into the north west to do a challenge run that I had built myself up for over three months of running every day.  I drove away with my younger son for a 24 hour round trip that added significantly to his Learners logbook but also to our relationship.

I read differently – not that this is a great change – I always read differently. But I did read many new books. Which – as always – made me think differently.

I ate differently. For seven months I was Vegan. For the last three months Feggan (made up word of course – I basically added in fish and eggs now and then). And now…now well that is another blog post.

I did differently – sometimes with pretty disastrous results but nothing I couldn’t dust myself down from and keep on keeping on.

The odd part is that none of it was particularly planned. The only goal was to live differently. After that the Universe showed up and started pointing me in all “different” directions. I have nearly travelled in every direction that a compass swings and in doing so have reset my own true North whilst out on the road.

Things have happened in those “away” gaps but also in those “right here” gaps, when the only thing I was doing differently was deciding to sit on the verandah instead of watching TV at night. Probably because whilst I was sitting there I was reflecting and writing.

This year I kept a continuous journal for the first time and whilst at the start I found the task of writing my thoughts down sometimes tiresome – now it has become compelling and something I love to do.

Journalling has been fundamental to capturing the many shifts in my internal weather pattern. The humble battered book that I carted everywhere has charted everything as it has occurred. The why, the how and the result moving forward.

Without the scrawling away in motel rooms and by campfires and under old trees and on my verandah or on the floor by my bed,  I doubt I would have remembered it all and then this year – like so many other years before it would become a vague sort of blur or memories. Some standing out, some retreating, some forgotten altogether. Along with all the lessons. Which would be a pity. It would be a year wasted.

So this post is about gaps. Finding them in our lives and learning from them. And anyone can do it.

Get out of bed before everyone else. Go to bed later. Don’t watch TV – sit on the verandah or your stairs and watch the sunset. Go to the park, a river – get out in nature. Reflect. Reflect. Think. Be bored, be dreamy. Let your eyes rest on the horizon and then just drift away on a thought train. Put your phone down. Stick it in a cupboard. Turn it off. Walk away. Cancel social media. Cancel all media. Reflect and write down your thoughts – within in weeks if not days you will start to find yourself changing – months down the track you may well be stunned at how different you have become.

It isn’t a matter of being too busy. It is a matter of making time. And it is a matter of priorities.

Make alone time a priority and open the space for fresh potential to slide in.

We listen to so many other voices in our lives but so rarely to our own. It gets lost. Goes silent and eventually we don’t even know who we authentically are anymore. We think we are them – or their opinions or  our own or a lot of other nonsense. When you truly find yourself and start listening – it will become a series of perhaps the greatest and most meaningful conversations you will ever have.

And YOU are right there.

All the time.

Ready and available to listen and talk things through.

It might take awhile but YOU will find you.

You will finally hear your own authentic voice. Not the harrying bitchy scald but the quiet loving soul. Your greatest comfort. Your own home.

It will come for you. It won’t be able to miss you. Or you it.

You’ll find your Self – in the gaps.

 

Photo Header Credit

 

 

 

 

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.