Weekly Inspiration #26

I got by this week with a little help from my friends. And family.

Thank goodness for them.

This is the most regularly recurring theme in my life: I often find myself tackling huge projects with little or no assistance, and getting sad, frustrated and overwhelmed, thinking thoughts like why do I end up doing everything on my own or why does nobody help me?

That was me on Tuesday. The Bear was working right  up until Christmas. I had bought all the presents, wrapped them all, made edible and drinkable presents, created the yearly family calendar, dressed the tree, organised where and how Christmas was going to be – and now I was trying to clean the house and make everything look nice. On my own. And I was so done, so over it. My darling children fed off my despair and turned into rascals, culminating in a baby powder incident in the bathroom after I had cleaned it.

So I packed everyone up and we went to Mum’s :). Where I was saved, thank Goddess. They had already cleaned their house :). We were fed, loved and put to bed. And then in the morning, there was breakfast and wisdom:

“Darling, your competence makes everything look so easy – people don’t think you need help.”

(I don’t need help, I want help, my mind whispers. Woah. Even when I’m exhausted my mind is still insisting that I can do it all.)

“You were born like that, you really were:”

“Look mum, nappy!” Pointing to my nappy. “Where’s your nappy?”
“I don’t wear a nappy, darling.”
Look of shock. Then: “I don’t wear nappy either!”
But I don’t wet the bed, my love.”
Glare. “Neither do I.”
And I didn’t.

Competence.

My mother is a little concerned: her otherwise bright two year old doesn’t speak. Then she comes across me in my bedroom with the door shut, practicing saying my words in full sentences. I like to speak properly :).

Competence.

There isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s just the way I am. If I do something, I like to do it well. It’s not competitive, it’s competence.

“Darling, you need to learn facilitation – the art of including people in what you are doing and utilising their core competencies. You are so competent that you don’t leave any room for people to help.”

With a light-bulb flash of understanding, I realise that I have almost no skills in bringing people along. For me, it’s a matter of does it need to be done,  can I do it and does it fit in with my core values. Tick, tick, tick. Right then, let’s get on with it. I am bewildered and then frustrated beyond belief when I realise that other people don’t have the same thought process. People lack confidence, they want an invitation, they need encouragement, to be nurtured and empowered – like children, except they’re not cute. Which drives me completely mental, so I just do it myself. Ha!

Guess what I’m studying next year? Facilitation.

And hey, after that Christmas was just lovely. I went to a friend’s house for Christmas Eve dinner, which was beautiful, and everything Christmas should be. Christmas Day was perfect; we went to my parent’s house, feasted, talked and laughed. Awesome presents too, by the way (job well done).

How was your Christmas?

Best Short Read

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

This article is one of the most well written, true and just downright beautiful things I have read in quite a while:

Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.

Must is different—there aren’t options and we don’t have a choice.

Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us. Must is what happens when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Because when we choose Must, we are no longer looking for inspiration out there. Instead, we are listening to our calling from within, from some luminous, mysterious place.

…read the rest of the article here

Best Christmas Drink

Now, I don’t know what happened to me this year, but I came across this recipe for a chocolate cointreau drink at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, and for some reason, I made it. And then, OMG, I drank it. It is the best thing I think I have ever drank 🙂 I put some in small bottles and took them to a friend’s house on Christmas Eve. We poured it over ice, clinked our glasses and sipped. She stared at me in a shocked silence. I grinned back at her.

“I cannot believe that drink . It’s amazing. How did you make it?”

Jaffa Cointreau CreamCointreau

350mL Cointreau
125g good quality chocolate
1 x 395g can of sweetened condensed milk
1 x 375g of evaporated milk
1 x 300mL of pure cream

Melt the chocolate, either in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in a microwave.

Pour a small quantity of Cointreau into a large bowl, then gradually whisk in melted chocolate, the evaporated milk, the condensed milk, the cream, and then the rest of the Cointreau

Pour the divine chocolate orange cream through a sieve into sterilised bottles, store in the fridge and drink over ice.

Oh. My. Goddess.

Best Heroic Moment

Now people. I know that many of my readers are city folk, and I know that many of you harbour fantasies about country life: you know, rolling hills, verdant beauty, no neighbours, space, quiet nights, starry skies. Yes, yes – all of those are true. But what you don’t include in your fantasies are all the unwanted animals – the snakes, the flies, the goannas, and the rats:

Last night, I was home alone. It was a friend’s birthday, but I was feeling unwell, so the Bear had taken the children and left me at home. A heavy shower of rain came over, and the gutter over my herb garden was blocked and overflowing. Standing on the edge of the garden on tip toes, I plunged my hand into the gutter to pull out what I thought would be leaves, and pulled my hand out quickly. It wasn’t leaves. What was it? After a few seconds, a scaly tail floated to the surface. Oh no. A dead rat is blocking the drainpipe, and nobody else is home. I can’t pretend I didn’t see it – if I leave it in there it will poison the water – so that nasty thing has to get out. I look around for a likely implement – I pick up a trowel and then a gutter scoop. No good. And then I remember the over-sized BBQ tongs. Gingerly, I pincer it out and fling it quickly away from me into the garden. The water stops spilling over into the garden and flows peaceably into the down pipe once more. I, on the other hand am feeling quite traumatised :).

Best Words

Yes. You know this one. I know it too. Beauty. It’s good to be reminded.

Those who don’t feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don’t drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don’t want to change,

Let them sleep.

This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind that way,

Sleep on.
I’ve given up on my brain.
I’ve torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.

If you’re not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,

And sleep.

– Rumi, as rendered by Coleman Barks

Best Solstice

Photo taken by Elizabeth Bond. On the morning of the summer solstice we met at the beach at 4:30am (which meant a 3:20 alarm call for me). Pyjama clad and giggling, we walked down the bush track to the beach to greet the dawn. We lit candles, sang, laughed, contemplated the past year and wondered about the next. We watched the sun come up,  drew messages in the sand with driftwood, and skinny dipped in the warm summer currents.  Rejuvenated and blissed out, we gathered at Lizzy's house and ate, drank coffee, hooted and talked. Love :)
Photo taken by Elizabeth Bond.
On the morning of the summer solstice we met at the beach at 4:30am (which meant a 3:20 alarm call for me). Pyjama clad and giggling, we walked down the bush track to the beach to greet the dawn.
We lit candles, sang, laughed, contemplated the past year and wondered about the next. We watched the sun come up, drew messages in the sand with driftwood, and skinny dipped in the warm summer currents.
Rejuvenated and blissed out, we gathered at Lizzy’s house and ate, drank coffee, hooted and talked.
Love 🙂

Best Graphic

The Bear sent this to me the other day 🙂

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And that’s it for me this week: have a beautiful week – and I’ll see you here next year (omg 🙂 )

Don’t forget:

Twitter – follow me on Twitter to see all of my other best reads that don’t quite make it on this blog, but are still awesome – I love a chat too, so come visit :).

Facebook – I have just set up a brand new Practical Mystic Facebook page, where I share inspirational and thought provoking ideas, quotes and art. I would love to see you there 🙂

Instagram – I am new here; why don’t you show me around 🙂

17 comments

  1. Lovely thoughts on Should and Must…specially these wordings “It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us.”…I really like it.

    In best words these words…”This Love is beyond the study of theology,
    that old trickery and hypocrisy.”…it succinctly describes the very essence of love and its complex meaning as generally understood.

    Yes, Christmas was good and we are looking forward to the week ahead, Hope you had a great Christmas and all set for the week ahead and the bigger celebration…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Nihar – they are gorgeous words ❤️Aren’t we lucky that we have access to all this beauty?
      No plans for New Year as yet, but with parties all this week, I’m not too sure we need them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed those words have wings to take our thoughts into new horizon of imagination, such is the potent of beautiful wordings precisely so when creatively put together…

        Yes, when so much of parties around, we just have to make ourselves available for the same, rest the friends and our family members make it happen and make it joyful.

        Happy Holidays Sara…a wonderful week ahead…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sara, you remind me so much of my own mother. She did everything herself and never let the other five of us help. Actually, I hate to say it, but that made the rest of us feel wonderful, so taken care of by a wizard of household management. The same thing happened again when I married. My wife, too, is extremely competent, and I feel wonderful again, knowing I can always count on her. But knowing now how you sometimes feel, I’ll ask my wife if she sometimes feels the same. Thanks for the post. Great, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah! Yes, do ask 😊 I am definitely not short on appreciation – people love competence 🙂 But sometimes I am completely overwhelmed and exhausted, and that is not so much fun. Also, you know, it can be more fun and more creative when other people get involved, right?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah, so you have rats in your parts too 🙂 I had my own experience with a giant roach. On my wall. When my husband was out. It was excruciating. Beautiful summer soulstice photo and story you shared. My husbands b’day is on the 21st, the shortest day of the year here, and we speak about heading to the southern hemisphere one of these years to celebrate his b’day on the longest day of the year. Happy New Year, Sara!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, giant roaches. Yep, excruciating. How wonderful, a solstice birthday 🙂 It was really something that solstice day – it was so good to have a non-Christmas celebration this time of year. Happy New year to you (have you chosen a pantsuit yet?)

      Like

  4. I love following the journey my emotions just took as I read this piece. From empathizing with your being (too) competent, and wanting to give you advice to share the load, to imagining how amazingly delicious that chocolaty, orangey Christmas drink must be, to drinking in the Rumi (I hadn’t read that before and wow!), to being totally envious of your summer solstice at the beach (we had clouds, rain, cold, and darkness), to absolutely laughing at the Mia Hamm graphic- love it!

    Have a wonderful New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • How wonderful! I will most definitely be practicing sharing the load next year – in fact, and I am saying it here first – if a project stands to benefit other people, then I will not be doing it alone. There! So glad you enjoyed that Rumi here first, I feel privileged to share that with you. Happy New Year, and thank you for your wonderful support xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sara. Swimming on summer solstice. Must. Rumi. I am taking inspiration from your summer holiday writings into my summer holiday joys and challenges. Beach Camping filled, salt encrusted, wild wave spirit thankyous to you. 

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

    The Practical Mystic wrote:

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve bought a smile to my face, you lovely thing 🙂 Enjoy your beach filled, salt crusted summer days…and I’ll have a dive into my freshly filled river for you.

      Like

  6. I thought I was reading about myself in the first part. I still have issues asking for help because I always think, hmm do I REALLY need help or am I just being lazy? It’s usually when my nerves are stretched way beyond capacity and my politeness filters go down that I realize maybe I should’ve asked for some help (or not taken on so much so quickly). It’s always a work in progress but I do think I’m getting slightly better at it!
    Happy New Year to you and your family. See you next year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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