Well, this is it – 52 posts of Weekly Inspiration from moi – a whole year of goodness :). Putting together these posts every week has not only been enjoyable, but useful in that it has given me a way to practice my craft of writing as well as providing an opportunity to get better at discipline and commitment. Being able to stick to a commitment and a routine is significant for me, because it wasn’t that long ago – maybe four years – that I was convinced that I had a lack of discipline and an inability to see things through. I’ve put myself through my paces many times over the last few years with five 40 day practices, two years of online study (certificate IV in Communications and Media) and now a year of blogging here in this format. I no longer wonder if my discipline or commitment is enough to do big things. I know it is.
On Monday I began the University online orientation, familiarised myself with the forums that online students use to communicate with our teachers and each other and went through my first two subjects to see what I am going to be up for. Like all new, big things it’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. I am worried about my time management skills, my ability to work to deadlines and whether I can write to academic standards. I am also worried about how study will fit into my life and what will need to be sacrificed for it. As I lay in bed on Monday night, thinking about nothing in particular, I became aware that my heart was beating like an African jungle drum. BOOM BOOM BOOM. Even though I wasn’t thinking about University, my body was still processing it for me. THUD THUD THUD. It took an hour of meditation to calm my body down so it could sleep.
Energetically, I am crouched at the starting line of a marathon, waiting for the gun to go off so I can start; and all that time spent crouching is killing my neck and my feet. I kid you not :) Even though I am not physically crouching, I am still feeling the physical effects in my body. Bodies are amazing aren’t they? They do so much for us without us even being aware. Knowing this, I’ve been making sure to get a good yoga practice in most days, as well as getting plenty of sleep and eating well – although it is also the mad last week of term, and I have worked every day except one.
So, of course, I have been thinking about the future of this blog – will I have time to do this type of writing, as well as my other obligations? Do I want to keep writing in this format? Do I want to blog at all? As most bloggers know, there is much more to being a blogger than writing – there is the community aspect of blogging as well: reading all of the other beautiful blogs, writing and replying to comments and other social media aspects which are all thoroughly enjoyable…but is blogging a good use of my time?
While I was chewing all this over, in my metaphorical but still uncomfortable, crouched, starting position at the beginning of the race, a flash of inspiration came to me. A whole post structure, headings and all, appeared before my eyes. What is it? Well, you’ll have to wait until next week to find out :).
Have you noticed your body processing your stress for you? How do you help it out?
If you have studied at University while raising children, having good relationships with your loved ones and working, do you have any time management tips?
Best Short Read
The Power of Friendship (when friendship is a verb) by Dr Kelly Flanagan for Untangled.
I just want to stand up for a moment and say – I love my friends. I gave myself a whole day to spend with friends on Sunday. They made me breakfast and coffee, we talked, we went for a walk on the beach, we talked, we celebrated winter solstice together, we ate, laughed and did some more talking. It cost me nothing but time, but the effects on my mental health were priceless. Dedicating a whole day to anything when you have small children, a partner and all of the other encumbrances of life sends a clear message: this is important to me. You are important to me.
That being said, this is another great article by Dr Kelly Flanagan:
The Power of Friendship
It’s easy to treat a friendship like drive-through fast food—we stop in when we’re hungry and when it’s convenient. But it’s time to reclaim the word friend. We need friends who are verbs—friends who don’t drive through us but drive love into us—and we need to be that kind of a friend, as well. In fact, we need to be careful about settling for anything less. Because every one of us is worthy of a friend who can look at us and see us and say to us,
“I believe in you.”
“I think you matter and I think your story matters. It’s all heading somewhere and I want to be a part of it. I want to be there when you discover your center and your purpose, because it is going to be brilliant.”
“Your journey is going to be messy, but I freely choose to get sloppy with you. And then we’ll clean each other off and find a better way. Together.”
“I am a friend, but even more, I want to give you friendship.”
click here to read the rest.
Rob Brezsny wrote a wonderful book called PRONOIA is the Antidote to Paranoia. It is truly unique, let me assure you. Here is one of my favourite passages:
I have a dream.
I have a dream that in the New World, there will be a new Bill of Rights. The first amendment will be, “Your daily wage is directly tied to the beauty and truth and love you provide.”
I have a dream that in the New World, childbirth will be broadcast in prime time on a major TV network every night.
I have a dream that the New World will have exhilarationists, and they’ll vastly outnumber the terrorists. The exhilarationists will be performance artists with a conscience … charismatic improvisers who love to spring fun surprises. They’ll commit unexpected interventions and unscheduled spectacles that delight hordes of strangers.
I have a dream that in the New World, we will add an eleventh commandment to the standard ten: Thou shalt not bore God.
I have a dream of a week-long annual holiday called the Bacchanalia. Work and business will be suspended so that all adults can explore their ripe mojo with frothy erotic experiments. Tenderly orgiastic marathons will rage unabated. Reverential ecstasy and grateful generosity will rule.
I have a dream that when anchormen report tragedies on their nightly TV shows, they’ll break down and cry and let their emotions show. No more poker faces.
In the New World, you’ll be a fascinating enigma worthy of a best-selling unauthorized biography and I’ll be an inscrutable genius whose every move is packed with symbolic meaning — and vice versa. That will be the law in the New World — far different from the Old World, where schadenfreude is epidemic and your distinctive flair is supposed to make me feel worshipful or diminished.
I have a dream that in the New World, the word “asshole” will be a term of endearment rather than abuse. Plutocracy will be a felony. April Fool’s Day will come once a month. There’ll be scientific horoscopes and mystical logic. Every one of us will have at least one imaginary friend. Compassion will be an aphrodisiac.
In the New World, we’ll launch an affirmative action program that ultimately makes most of us celebrities. Buddhist real estate developers will build a chain of sacred shopping centers in the heartland. The CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies will be required by law to enjoy once-a-week sessions with Jungian psychotherapists. Pioneers in artificial intelligence research will develop computers that can talk to God.
In the New World, same-sex marriages will be fully sanctioned, of course. But why stop there? We’ll also legalize wedding bonds among threesomes, foursomes, fivesomes, and large groups of people who are in love with each other. I have a dream that we will expand the meaning of love beyond anything our ancestors imagined.
In the New World, our children will study singing and dancing and meditation and dream work with as much diligence as they now devote to math and science. They’ll learn to see with their own eyes and think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts, studying those subjects as intently as they do spelling and grammar and social studies. Beginning in seventh grade, they’ll get lessons in the art of creating successful intimate relationships. And we’ll teach them why it’s only fair that for the next 3,000 years we use “her” for the generic singular pronoun instead of “him.”
I have a dream that we will take everything we need and give everything we have. We’ll be both selfish altruists and generous braggarts, Llibertarian socialists and capitalist humanitarians. That’ll be the law in the New World — different from the Old World, where you can blindly serve your own interests or devote yourself to the needs of others, but not both.
I have a dream that in the New World, Oprah Winfrey will buy up all the Pizza Huts on the planet and convert them into a global network of menstrual huts, where for a few days each month, every one of us, men and women alike, can resign from the crazy-making 9–5 — drop out and slow down, break trance and dive down into eternal time.
We will sleep eight and a half hours every night and practice our lucid dreams … sing love songs from the future while soaking in long, hot baths … feast on chocolate as we converse with the little voices in our heads … research the difference between stupid suffering and wise suffering until we finally get it right . . . wear magic underwear made from eagle feathers, spider webs, and 100-year-old moss . . . and conjure up bigger, better, more original sins and wilder, wetter, more interesting problems.
In the New World, you’ll kick your own ass and I’ll wash my own brain. I’ll be my own parents and you’ll be your own wife. And vice versa. That’ll be normal in the New World — different from the Old World, where everyone except me is to blame for my ignorance and you call on everyone except yourself to give you what you need.
I’ll push my own buttons and right my own wrongs. You’ll wake yourself up and sing your own songs.
I’m the president now . . . and so are you. I am the Supreme Commander of the United Snakes of the Blooming HaHa . . . and so are you. And what we proclaim is that in the New World, we will love our neighbors as ourselves, even if our neighbors are jerks. We will never divide the world into us against them. We will search for the divine spark even in the people we most despise, and we will never dehumanize anyone, even those who dehumanize us.
I have a dream that sooner or later every one of us will become a well-rounded, highly skilled, incredibly rich master of rowdy bliss — with lots of leisure time and an orgiastic feminist conscience.
Oooh! I am absolutely tickled to have come across this John Waters 2015 Commencement Speech. It has some gorgeous cackle moments, as well as some priceless wisdom. It’s totally worth the watch, but here are a couple I particularly enjoyed:
I am rich. I don’t mean money-wise, but I have figured out how to never be around assholes in my personal and professional life. That’s rich.
it’s okay to hate poor people too, but only the poor in spirit, not the poor in wealth. Poor people to me can have a big bank balance but be stupid by choice; incurious, judgmental, isolated and unavailable to change.
My dear, dear friends, that is all from me today. It is also the last time I will do a weekly inspiration post in this format, so I hope you have enjoyed it and all of the others that you have read and faithfully commented on. These weekly posts have really been an online gratitude and wisdom journal for me, enabling me to find the lessons in the little and big events of my life. If in doing so I have been able to generate some wisdom or insight for you, then that makes me ridiculously happy :).
There is one question that I have asked myself repeatedly over the past year about these posts, and maybe you have been secretly asking it as well.
“Sara, why don’t you ever talk about controversial topics like politics, immunisation, racial violence, gun laws, same sex marriage, religion, feminism, climate change, environmental destruction or anything else that generates hot debate? As an interested, engaged person, you must have an opinion on these things.”
Good question. You’re quite right, I do have opinions, for what they’re worth, on all of the above topics. I say for what they’re worth, because in my experience, opinions aren’t worth all that much. Every troll or hacker has one, as does your average redneck at the local pub. No matter how well thought out, researched or educated I think my opinions are, and believe me, I am as fond of my opinions as the next person, there is always a correspondingly well though out, researched and well educated opinion opposing it. Our minds can entertain ourselves endlessly with inventing and disputing opinions.
The focus of this blog, and indeed my own true focus, is not really that of the mind, although it is an important player. No, my focus is the soul, or more accurately, how we can life a soul-full life in this body, on this Earth, at this time. In the realm of the soul, opinions are as permanent and important as a dandelion seed head. Please believe me: I know the importance of the big issues today. Luckily, there are many other places that you can go to hear them discussed. Here, we go within. Here, we do our own work first before we comment on the work or lack of work by other people. Here, we take full responsibility for ourselves. I hope that answered your question my friend <3.
PS WordPress just went rainbow in honour of the American Supreme Court Decision to legalise same sex marriage in all states. In my opinion, that is fucking awesome. Well done America.