Today

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Today I had arranged to go into the city.  It was raining, then it began to sleet and then snow.  My husband advised me to be careful as there’s people out there who don’t drive according to the conditions (he may have been slightly less polite than that).  We debated on the best route to go, the busier but straighter main road way or the back roads, and decided on the quieter back roads; like in the Walking Dead where the other humans are often more dangerous than the zombies, as long as I drove carefully I reasoned other drivers probably posed more of a threat than the roads.

I met my friend and we went to a lovely little cafe in St Benedict’s Street, Norwich.  I can’t remember what it’s called but it has a black cat on the door or window.  To go to the loo we had to take a key, go outside, down an alleyway and to one of a little row of outside loos backing onto a row of terraced houses.  I was confused at first, as there were loads of doors, to houses, flats and loos, and as usual I hadn’t really taken in the directions given, but luckily there was a big black cat stencilled on the door.  Inside was decorated in cool posters.  I reflected on how rare outside loos are nowadays and that in 10 years time this quirky little place may not exist as the whole courtyard may have been gentrified.

Prior to that I finished my Christmas shopping; everything this year has been products or massage vouchers from Neals Yard or locally made consumables, to be topped up with cash for the ‘kids’.  Luckily we get paid early so this can come out of next month’s payday as I seem to have spent quite a lot in a few fits of generosity, but no matter, I have much to be grateful for.

Prior to that, I had a chat with my son and was able to dish out some well deserved and specific praise, which I sometimes find hard to do, due more to awkwardness than anything.  I am the same at work, often needing to remind myself that what I say has an impact, and that just because I think something doesn’t mean people know it, unless I say it out loud.

Also we have sorted out Christmas Day, which as it is for many people, can be a time of second guessing what everyone wants to do, no one saying what they want, feeling dissatisfied and/or guilty, etc etc.  The plan is for me, my husband, stepdaughter and my mum to go to the local Indian Restaurant for lunch.  My son and his girlfriend will either come with us or come later on and have tea with us, which can be a kind of edited version of Christmas dinner; depending on her work rota which she will get in the next few days.  Boxing Day we’ve been invited to/invited ourselves to visit three lots of relatives on both sides, and have had the idea to just go and see all of them but just for an hour or so each.  This means we can get to see everyone’s relatives but not get stuck for too long anywhere, mindful of young person getting bored.  So now there’s a plan, I actually feel much more positive about it.  I might even find myself looking forward to it.

This post is essentially about being happy right now.  The piece of paper in the photograph contains my instructions to myself on how to ‘get into’ the present moment, written at the height of my first wave of awakening.

With metta

 

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Narrowboat shopping and to do list

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Warning: another list post

Clothing from proper outdoors shop: one super warm, waterproof and windproof coat.  Two very warm funnel neck fleece type tops, two pairs of lined trousers, two long sleeved tops, two sets of base layers, all quick drying.  Extra warm socks, hat and scarf.  Bootie style thick lined slippers with proper soles.  Guest slippers.  A very warm dressing gown.

Buy/have made proper seating that converts to a guest bed.  Buy large Moroccan style floor cushions.  Buy electric heater(s) from chandlery (for when there’s not time to light the stove).  Buy an electric blanket.  Buy a MyFi internet box from BT.  In order to save space, instead of having dinner plates, side plates (which are pretty pointless anyway) and bowls, buy dinner plate sized bowls, shallow enough for dinner and sandwiches, deep enough for cereal.  (I am hoping such things exist outside of my imagination, if you have seen them do let me know!)  Buy proper working gloves.

Get bilge pump fitted.  Buy a new centre rope.  Buy and fit a horn.  Buy and fit cratch cover to keep wind off the doors (thank you to writer,  blogger and narrowboat dweller Ian Hutson for this).  Paint walking board with paint and sand to make a non slip surface.  Add a rope for safety when walking around the outside of the boat, if possible.  (Did I mention I am Little Ms Health and Safety?)  In the/a summer, get boat taken out of the water and blacked, and also paint outside if needed, if not just give it a good wash.  Attach tyres around the outside as extra bumper protection.  Upgrade the solar panels.

To summarise, I have two lists on the go:  a going travelling list and a living on a narrowboat list.  The narrowboat is for when we come back, although we may spend a few weeks on it before we go, just to make it real.  I also have notes for a new about page and plans to upgrade to a paid plan (is this a good thing to do fellow bloggers?  If so, personal or freelancer business package?) once I leave my job and can be both more dedicated and more open; there won’t be thirty intense hours of my week that I can’t write about, and I won’t have to worry about protecting my professional reputation.

India packing list

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Warning, quite boring unless it’s the sort of thing you are interested in

We plan to go to Thailand first, where from what I understand we would be able to buy everything anyway, but I don’t want to have to go shopping as soon as I arrive.

I want to travel as light as possible, but I am also quite attached to my ‘products’ although I realise I can’t take a year’s supply of everything:  I am assuming I will be able to get most things in the big cities and that I will just adjust and start using whatever’s available.  I am also Little Ms Health and Safety and a bit OCD which doesn’t help to keep the list down.  If you live in India or have travelled there and have advice about what to cross off or what to add, please do tell me as any advice would be gratefully appreciated!

The list:

Thyroxine extras, name to buy it under in Thailand, nasal spray, needles for India, doctor’s letter for carrying needles in Thailand, Iodine/life straw/pen/alternative method of water purification, metal water carrier, antibiotics, diarrhoea meds, rehydration meds, cystitis meds, thrush meds, athletes foot cream, plasters, sterile dressings, sterile wipes, antiseptic, aloe vera gel, arnica, tea tree oil, mosquito repellent, mosquito net, Shewee, day pack, money belt, sheet sleeping bag, waterproof sheet, ear plugs, dust masks, inflatable travel pillow, travel towel or flannel, universal plug, passport photos, padlock, one smart phone, one basic long battery life phone, tablet, plus chargers and adapter, swiss army knife, tweezers, needle and thread, reading glasses, emery boards, hairbrush and hairbands, Lush deodorant bar and solid shampoo-soap, Oil of Olay face cream, Body Shop hemp hand cream, vaseline for lips, body lotion, small sunscreen, toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, talcum powder, wax strips, Mooncup and cloth sanitary pads, (plus tampons, pads and liners because I’m not perfect all the time), sunglasses, etnies or other good sandals and light shoe/trainers, flip flops, cotton long sleeved shirts x3, long cotton trousers x2 one black to not show dirt when travelling, one light coloured for evenings as less attractive to mosquitos I am told, big thin pale scarf, sun hat, pacamac and for Thailand only- skirt and blouse, vest tops x2.

Green Mist Theory 08:08

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All this came to me, fully realised, in a dream.

You created a machine, a robot cyborg of flesh and blood, the movies etc. are clues or faint echoes of this truth.  We think they are fantastic fantasy but they are nowhere near as exciting as the truth:  We were ‘mist’ (we are energy) and we created a vessel that can cry and feel and we created the world we live in.  But then we got distracted by our bodies and sex and forgot.  (I even got/get distracted by that in the dream/my dreams).

Look in the mirror, at yourself crying, at your face melting, at it going through all ages.

Me to my mum: ‘Mum, are you awake?’  (Use of the word ‘Mum’ as a mindfulness bell (or spinning top, or programmed pendulum) as I don’t call her that).  ‘Is there a club for people who are awake?  Is there training?’ ‘Yes, in a mental institution.’  Oh yes of course, you’d think I’d gone mad… But it’s everyone else that’s mad, the mad people are the sane ones.  But fair enough, you’d think I’d gone mad if I said ‘None of this is real’.  The trick is, to know the truth but to still carry on living in the world (to keep one foot in the visible and one foot in the invisible).  We did this for a reason, perhaps we forget for a reason?  Maybe sex, and beauty etc was a trick we inserted to help us forget.

We made the body like people make robots but then it began to become real (like robot AI stories again) so yes, when you feed something, it grows.  And so we began to feel emotions in our bodies, emotions began to live and be processed in our bodies; so that our bodies became more than just a vehicle to hold the mist in or to transmorgophy the mist.  We only really need to remember this at death, that these bodies were only made up, and that we go back to being mist, and that this adventure was just a dream.

You get more out of the experience of being here by not being locked in a mental institution so it’s best to follow the earlier advice and keep most of this to yourself.

 

My attempts to ‘start a conversation’ and wake everyone up, were hey, let’s talk about being little kids, about when you toilet trained, about toilet stuff, hey, I wet myself once, or what about sexually when you are a child, did you ever, or let’s talk about sexual abuse… (groans from John)  okay, okay, let’s talk about… and John as old, lots of grey hair, beard.

(Not, how you used to always have in your draft manuscript as a footer, ‘all you have to do is meditate’- all you have to do is write, (which you are doing) so you don’t actually have to do anything: stop studying, stop meditating, stop all ‘spiritual practices’).

Looking in the mirror and crying, saying, what if I could create a machine that cried and moved how I wanted and could change its expression, and, and, and, that I could totally inhabit, so that even my emotions would be felt in its fleshy parts, because this machine is flesh not plastic and metal.  Oh look, I did.

Re aliens:  we are aliens.  We transmorgophied, and dropped into, or integrated into, living spacesuits, hence all the sci fi things along this line (no wonder I don’t like them).  They distract us by giving us something that seems fantastic yet the truth is far more amazing- it’s not made up on television, it’s here, in front of the mirror, take a look, if you look carefully, you can see.  (And if you take magic mushrooms, you can literally see)

Bodies are important as they are our vehicle to live on here and do things, so look after them.

Practical application: do my best to look and act normal at work; do as little as possible, for now, out of work, in order to leave space to remember to remember and to write it down.  Cease all spiritual practices.  Allow maintenance, allow reminder activities? Cease seeking behaviours but allow documentation?  My reminder activities:  read my writing, write my writing, old stuff, and maybe new stuff, read books e.g. Russell Hoban and Krishnamurti and Liz Gilbert.  Quiet time, meditation, contemplation, self healing, exploration.  Do healing, do writing, food and exercise of course, no fb just check for messages.

Mum:  ‘People used to say, remember to remember, but I’ve forgotten what that was about.’

But we must have done it for a reason (made these machines to live (love?) in and come down to live in this world) and seeing as when we die we go back to being green mist again, then that must mean that whatever the reason is it is what we do on the planet with physical bodies.

So it’s not correct to say ‘none of this matters’ and maybe it’s not actually correct to say ‘none of this is real’ because it’s what we’ve got- it’s all we’ve got, until our bodies expire.    You can spend some time hanging about as green mist (e.g. meditating, doing metta bhavna) and that is very nice but I wonder if it is not what you are here for?  You weren’t given, you don’t transmorgophy into a body and arrive here to sit in a room on your own and play at being mist again.

It’s useful to look down at yourself from the point of view of the green mist.  E.g. when to take a break from the computer, when to leave work on time.

In the dream I kept trying to write this all down but kept falling asleep or not being able to read it back, or kept getting distracted by sex, and then someone said they would read it out to me from a book, so I thought, oh well, it’s in a book, of course it is, I thought I’d thought of that myself…. but it isn’t in a book, unless I write it.

(This really did come to me in a dream, a couple of years ago now.  It’s old, but it’s still pretty good!)

I’m here

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So, in the midst of family members having health scares, dentistry, offers and counter offers, blah blah blah, stress everywhere, blah blah blah, this happened:

About a week ago I got out of the bath (I try to only have two baths,  with hair wash, per week.  For me, being a ‘dirty hippy’ is now something positive to aspire to) with the mirror all steamed up.  All I could see of my reflection were two blazing circles, like silver metal discs where my eyes would be.  I thought of zombies for a moment (I am very scared of zombies, too much Walking Dead) then realised, no, not like a zombie, more like a robot.

Then this morning, same thing again, except that this time they weren’t just silver discs, there were also circles in rings around the discs like a metallic target.  Like a cyborg, as if there were something inside, light blazing out through the eyes of a suit or casing.

A reminder:  In the midst of everything, don’t forget this.

I tried unsuccessfully to photograph this phenomenon, almost making myself late for work (where I had a really good day).  To the middle right you can see one of the disc/circles although in the photograph it doesn’t appear over my eye.

It reminded me of a previous post that I don’t think many people read, so I shall re post it.

A thank you letter

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This is a thank you letter to, or rather about, my ‘awareness advisor.’  I don’t like the word spiritual and she probably doesn’t like the word guru so that phrase will have to do.

My husband introduced me to her in April of this year.  Out of all the different people he came across, she was the one who resonated with him.  I liked the fact that she is a woman and that he had chosen a woman.  I also liked the fact that she was older, as I am in my forties and my husband is in his fifties.

Basically she imparts information.  Some of what she says is easy to hear, reflecting back to us what we already know or believe.  Some of what she says encourages us to go a little bit further, or to fully commit to things that we had been circling around for a while e.g. going vegan.

Some of what she has said has been very challenging; I had to have a break from her for a while because I got frightened.  But mostly, she is straightforwardly neutral and at times warmly encouraging and helps me to stay focussed on ‘the path.’

One of the things she has said is don’t look back, with the exception of allowing yourself an occasional brief glance just to remind yourself how far you’ve come.

I remember back to when we first started listening to her, first started dreaming, allowing ourselves to entertain the bare imaginings of our best life yet.  We rolled around the idea of selling the house, buying a camper van and travelling the world or going to live in a healing centre in Mexico.

I remember it was a weekend morning, I was standing in the hallway between the bedroom and the bathroom.  John was in bed.  John said, what kind of people would we have to be to sell the house and just leave everything and everyone and go off on an adventure?  Strong, I said, we’d be so f***ing strong.  Electricity ran up the length of my spine when I said that.  Wow, John said, I just felt a tingle all over my body.

Now here we are:  the house is on the market, people have already been to view it.  We have put a deposit on a narrowboat, the vendor will very kindly wait for us to sell the house and then look after it while we are travelling South East Asia.  We have told family, friends and work.  We have found a lovely home for the cats.

Written out like that it all looks so easy and straightforward.  Yet it felt so hard to do at the time, I suppose it must be all the conditioning.

Tomorrow I am having my final laser treatment to get rid of my old tattoo.  I suppose that’s as good a metaphor as any.

With metta

 

 

 

 

 

 

All you have to do is realise it

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A couple of nights ago my husband and I were reviewing where we were at in terms of the different aspects:  physical, emotional, subconscious, and our conscious intent.  When I got to the subconscious, I was of course aware of everything that’s been going on recently in terms of past memories and their effects but I calmly turned my attention to it in the present moment.

I tend to look away when I’m thinking and my gaze fell on the clean white venetian blind, beside it the gold sheen of the curtain.  Yes, I said, yes.  It’s clear.  It’s clean.

I’ve been spending more time in the present moment lately.  It feels so nice, when I ‘get there’ although of course I’m always already there; the trick is to realise it.  So if sex can be as easy as put this in there, writing can be as easy as writing, and life can be as easy as living 🎠

With metta

Visions of female power and creativity

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I felt this person come into me, like being possessed, except that it was me, coming into the present moment.

I always wanted to live in a gypsy caravan.  I actually did for a while in a person’s garden when I was sixteen.  It had two narrow bunks that came down from the ceiling on chains, like hammocks.

I’ve been away from the alternative world for a long time now, wrapped up in working in a professional environment.  My husband and I are going to a party soon and there will be three, possibly four vegans there in a room together.  It will be the first time that we’ve been in a room with so many vegans aside from a meet up.

If I don’t have to go out to work to this job, what will I look like, how will I dress?  (Warm, I have a long wish list for Cotswold Outdoor (if you’re reading this, I am happy to write detailed reviews for you; I am quite capable of writing an entire blog post devoted to the joy of a new winter coat.)

I’m going ‘back’ to who I really am, back to being really me.  Maybe I’ll rediscover elements of my early punk/vintage style.  When my new tattoos are completed I’ll be able to wear sleeveless tops and dresses and show them off.  Maybe I’ll dress up sexy and we’ll go out.  I’m going forward, with awareness, with this love for myself, with this feeling of being loved, without the lost exploitation of me at sixteen.

Remembering who I was originally, as a child.  And now I have my experience, the awareness to make the most of my talents.  Even back then, it was all about writing, sex, love and finding out who I was.

I have always been so anxious at work:  as a student, knees knocking together on my first day at placement,  feeling like I was going to pee myself on the bus to college; even now, I park up and have to psych myself up to go into work each morning.  At my computer I am over tense with hunched shoulders and I type too heavily on the keyboard.

I’m often late because I am so anxious about whatever it is I am doing.  It’s never felt comfortable.  The body knows.  I wasn’t meant to be there.  Not because I wasn’t good enough, but because it wasn’t me.  I like to be quiet and alone.  I like to be outdoors.  I like to be creative.  I like to think deeply about things.  I like to be with my people.

Is this a midlife crisis?  Or is it, as my husband said, a midlife awakening?  I’m looking around, I’m seeing the billions of ‘suggestions’ for life, I’m realising what I want.

 

 

See yourself as beautiful (Warning: sexually explicit)

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I’ve got a perfect body, though sometimes I forget

I’ve got a perfect body cause my eyelashes catch my sweat

(Regina Spektor)

We went a week without having sex after getting back from Marrakech.  The sex we had in Marrakech seemed to be some kind of unlock, releasing things/me.  It felt like healing had occurred.  When we had sex again my husband took me to another dimension.  It was as if I had been waiting, searching, all through the intervening years since the first sexual encounter, until now.  I feel like I finally worked out how my body works.  Or rather, like I finally remembered how it works.

Because I used to know, and then I forgot.  It became layered under peer pressure (actually from my female peers this was often anti not pro sex), my mother saying about me:  where is she, whoring around again.  Relationships, unrequited love.  There was no place, no mirror I could find that supported or reflected my own particular brand of feminism.

Anyway, this is a personal not a political blog so back to the other night, in bed with my husband:  He took me to another dimension.  I feel like I’m in a special place, I whispered.  And there we were, both tripped into somewhere else.  I often go somewhere else during sex but I often go there by myself:  drifting in and out of tried and tested fantasies that help me relax enough to come.  Like I’m avoiding just being  present.  But that night, I thought to myself:  here you are, having sex WITH MY HUSBAND.

WITH MY HUSBAND.  I realised, of course, we are designed so perfectly.  He puts his penis into my vagina, it touches me just there and I…  Yes, I come, I come.  Oh my God, I came and came, without stopping, one orgasm rolled into another, began as the previous one was ending, as if the sensation of one ending was enough to trigger the next one.  And even just laying there afterwards, the slightest brush, the slightest movement, the slightest thought started it all off again.

FYI we weren’t doing anything unusual, we were in the missionary position which is good for sensation and touching the right spots inside.  But like everything, sex is really a mind game.

Looking in the bathroom mirror I saw myself as beautiful.  For a few precious moments I understood why he doesn’t like me wearing any make up on my face.   He wants to see me.

 

 

 

BoJack Horseman

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This is for anyone who has not yet discovered this show.  It is a Netflix original, four seasons out on there now with a fifth having been commissioned, so you can relax, tune in, turn on and drop into the wonderful world that Raphael Bob Waksberg and team have created for us.  What have we done to deserve such a thing?  Who knows.  Just sit back and Enjoy!

What is it about?  Well, it’s a cartoon.  It is for adults.  It is very, very funny, funny enough to cause actual physical pain.  It is about Hollywood and fame and consumerism.  It is about depression, alcoholism and addictions.  Sometimes it is very moving, sometimes sad.  It contains layer upon layer of perfectly written (and drawn) jokes, observations and social commentary.  The opening credits, the backgrounds, no effort has been spared to make every little detail rich and full of depth.  To do it justice I’d have to re watch it all from the beginning, notepad in hand, as there will be much I have missed.  However, I know there’s a good chance I won’t do that, so this will have to do.

I forgot to mention that it has animals and people in it.  So a dog might go out with a human, a cat with a mouse.  I almost missed this bit out because it doesn’t really help convey what it is actually like to watch it.

Oh, and Raphael Bob Waksberg,  the creator of the show, is a feminist and a vegan.  This means that he is aware of gender bias in comedy and so you will see things such as a ship’s captain being a woman.  Not because it’s a story about how a ship’s captain is a woman, but because there’s a ship in the story, it needs a captain, and ship captains can be men or women.  This shouldn’t be remarkable, but it is.

Re the vegan bit, in the chicken episode (I am a vegan, so that’s the clip I’ll be including) there’s a line that goes: (describing the conditions that food chickens are kept and killed in) WHAT IF WE’RE IN SOME DYSTOPIAN NIGHTMARE AND WE’RE THE MONSTERS?

Did I mention the amazing writing?  A male character is confronted by a woman crying:  As a typical American male I am woefully ill prepared to handle a woman’s emotions.  I was not taught, and I refuse to learn.

It’s not just the big stuff that resonates.  In the middle of a spaghetti disaster, someone shouts, if only we had some olive oil to stop it sticking.  Another character shouts back, olive oil doesn’t actually prevent spaghetti from sticking, that’s just a myth.

Sublime.