Holding Stones

So futile This mind That runs away Blind Yet proselytising As if I have some great experience That may aid you with yours Yet Behind closed doors I am just the same mind Jumping to conclusions About everybody else Just like everybody else We are every bodies In our own damn self And with so […]

The Excavation

When we justify this And we justify that And we bend ourselves into things that the world doesn’t understand Can’t comprehend because the world itself is broken and its broken beings can only view each other through millions of cracked lenses Filters themselves filtered Distilled Until They lose Their strength And dignity By trying to […]

The futility of wondering in other peoples heads

Don’t wonder out of other peoples heads.

People do this all the time, I used to do this all the time – it is called assuming. And it is a process that is seriously flawed if you reach a conclusion based on this wondering and then turn the assumption (which is all you have really arrived at) into fact. Wondering about other people in a concerned kind of caring way is fine. Wondering what they think of you is just selfish – that isn’t kind at all.

But we do it.

Would you wonder about a maths solution in another person’s head? God I wish! Wouldn’t that be cool just sitting in class and wondering out of someone elses head – no study, no work – just wonder over there and write over here. But that is ridiculous. No – you would ask the person for their help with your maths problem. This is the intelligent way to behave – got a question? Ask.

Yet we do it. We wonder.

We wonder about what we might look like from another person’s perspective. Then based on how that person behaves around other people, what they say about other people, what they do themselves – we arrive at an assumption – and call it fact.

Yet it is not. Fact. It is an assumption.

Wondering out of another person’s head is so stupidly flawed as a process that it is a wonder (this is an actual wonder) that anybody bothers to use it as a system anyway. Yet self doubters do this all the time – with disastrous results! This is a small sample of what that looks like.

You bump into A you don’t really know A because A will only show you the socially prepared mask that they have unconsciously or consciously prepared  to whomever they think you are.  A is lovely, A is toxic. You have already formed your own opinion about A based on what someone else said (flawed!) or your own time spent mingling with them now and then.

A may trust you enough to let you get a pretty good glimpse of themselves because they feel comfortable with you – and more importantly themselves – but they may not. A is having a bad day – this is not their best day to be bumped into. A may like you but A doesn’t like themselves very much so their mask might look a little cranky – or distracted – or …A may not see you at all. Get over A. A is completely different to you anyway – A is a different personality type – not yours. They weren’t raised like you, taught like you or have been through what you have been through – research on their wondering mind through your wondering mind may as well be anyone and who the hell has that much time.

A is anyone. A is everyone and A may not only not see you – they may not even be thinking of you and probably aren’t. But it is our little world and we think everyone is. Um no they are not.

So that is the first problem with caring what the general populace think. They aren’t actually thinking about you. This is the point where you are supposed to sigh and collapse with relief. Perhaps you arrived here long ago and are slightly amused by me bothering to explain it but….lets not wonder about why I am doing something out of a head that is in fact…not my own or yours – have I lost you yet? If I have or bored you – good that is what this process looks like and is the point I am trying to make. It is pointless and boring yet ….

When we forget we do it we may go a little crazy for a minute – so we should write it down so we don’t forget it.

So now you’re wondering about me – or your not. Is she crazy? No I don’t think so but thanks for asking oh you didn’t that was me. So! W e still haven’t got the point – I have actually got the point – did a long time ago but!  You didn’t ask me so you keep wondering and I’ll keep wondering if you are still wondering….

So since we seem to be revolving in circles because that is what wondering from other peoples heads looks like and I am merely trying to demonstrate – I shall take you further down the rabbit hole – “Follow me says the White Rabbit” What’s that? Read more FFS (I didn’t swear there – you did or perhaps I am assuming hmmm) It is Alice in Wonderland and that! Is what wondering in other peoples minds looks like – welcome to Wonderland.

Righto so now while we are down here  we will take a look at B.

B is someone you know – really well. Or you think you do. You see them all the time and get on great. You should know B – you really should. You don’t. B is a beautiful individual who has a whole host of B that they don’t show to people not even their besties. They can’t – B doesn’t even know what they possess inside their own selves because B is to busy to look. Or has and is just not interested in showing you. That is cool because you and B get each other don’t you? Of course you do – you don’t go wondering in each others heads because hearts know what hearts know. So they don’t bother with heads.

And then there is C family and D family in law and E and….? Relax – chill – don’t worry about them I know they reckon they know you and you think you know them but! The fact is they probably don’t – neither do you and half of them won’t care either but we won’t wonder about it because then we start assuming and wind up with a fact that may in fact – annoy or hurt us and we really have no idea so …get back in your own self Family mind is the worst kind of mind to wander in – sorry wonder.

The interior of a person is vast – enormous. People who go bothering to look at themselves can take years and years which is why America and no doubt every country that has people in it, who  have enough cash to pay others to look at themselves – has a gigantic amount of money spent every year with support people helping people to go looking at themselves.

Which is a bit ridiculous when you can just do a bit of investigating yourself if you are so inclined because wondering about yourself out of your own head isn’t selfish. It is the opposite of selfish it is un selfish because you are trying to figure out how to love yourself and once you do that of course as the every great teacher from our past from Jesus to Buddha to Lao Tzu  says in their own unique fashion – then and only then can we turn that love on the world and keep the beam strong and true.

Which is nice isn’t … and no I’m not there yet – I fall in and out of love with myself all the time so I’m a work in progress …in case you’re wondering. What I do do is keep my wondering self in my own self – it is a danger to itself out there.

Most people won’t go looking in their own heads though and they probably shouldn’t because if you go poking about in there without the correct motivation and method – you’ll just get it wrong and wind up hating yourself which is why with burnt fingers and cringe burn – people withdraw and instead wonder out of other peoples heads. Or just because they are lazy. Or because they don’t know any better.  Or because…

We could go on for ages but we won’t because wondering about other people is an endless piece of string. Wondering through other peoples heads – is an even longer piece of string. You may as well wonder what the stars think or count them. What is the point?

It would be far more helpful to wonder through your own head. Once you start doing this the string is still endless but at least you are making decisions and plans from your own point of view.

Wondering through your own head is not pointless. It is the opposite of pointless it is purpose. That is why people who have a purpose and are on track and driven from their own heads – not others – rarely worry about what other people think. Did Mother Theresa worry about what other people think? No. Did Ghandi – no. They just had love to do and they did it. And that is an important point. People who seem to be selfishly driven are probably selfishly driven but…that is what their head feels is right so why would you wonder about why? It’s their head not yours you rude bugger get out of their way because without a doubt if you stay there they will run you over.

Love is love. It is not selfishness. Wondering from your own head is not selfishness. It is merely loving yourself in your head. Which is very intelligent if you consider the alternative. Why would you bring that muck home on your shoe and then walk it all through your lovely space?

If you see something in there you don’t love – fix it. As I mentioned before (in a post further back) sometimes if you can’t see what you don’t love in yourself you should look to where you feel judged by others – are they right? If not – why do you feel judged. You can only feel judged in the sense that it hurts you – if you agree with it. If someone actually says something to you (well done that person for being so brave many are not!) that they think about you then you have the chance to respond. If it is something you agree with and it and it makes you upset – fix it. If it is something that you don’t agree with – laugh – they are so deluded that they have been obviously wondering or in fact wandering out of their own heads.

Dear one do this – do your love and keep your wondering in your own head and out of other peoples. There are some very messed up heads out there and they are dangerous places to wander in. There are some very lovely ones too – but you don’t need them for a pick me up if you have your own peaceful place to relax.

Make it comfy in there – decorate it with beautiful books and learning – put up photos of loved ones. It can get difficult to stay there if you aren’t in the habit but…it’s nice in there why go out? We all need a little reminding sometimes about how beautiful our own souls are to live in. Life gets frantic. Here is your reminder – this post is for you and for me. You are beautiful – go home, home to yourself and just do your thing – whatever it is I’m sure it will be just fine for you. I wonder if I should go and do some yoga? Nice one that is a better wonder to have and yes do that and have a green tea too or wine or whatever you want – do what you want. Do just whatever you want that is best for you and feels right. Which is nice isn’t it in a world that is always telling us to change – our weight, our looks, stay young – don’t get old. Eat this, don’t eat that… yes it is very wearying – do what you want.

Finally – perhaps this helps the more aggressive ones, the ones that don’t curl up and do cocoa and a book – I don’t understand that – books and cocoa are great but …Just think of it like this…Wondering out of other peoples heads is like driving through a wildlife safari park – the sign says “stay in the car” believe me stay in the car!

Stay in your head your heart your soul – and don’t go wandering about.

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.

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 carcass 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 several 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