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

 

 

 

 

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.  đŸ™‚  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.