Lectures and tutorials started back this week after a two week break and magically, my week cleared out to make room. It’s the pointy end of the semester now: there are only two weeks of lectures left, and I have two major assignments due the week after that. And then my first semester is finished! Sitting within the spaciousness of this week, with all the time in the world to do what I need to do, I couldn’t help but notice the vibe of next week; if I listen closely, I can hear the band playing and the cacophony of a party well in swing…I cannot believe how much the Universe has decided to squeeze into one week.
I say the Universe, because I am not in charge of next week’s schedule. These are just things given to me fit in, and because most of them are things I want to do, I am not complaining. No way :). One child does martial arts every Monday, cricket season is beginning next week for my other child with a Tuesday training and Saturday game, not to mention music classes for both of them every second Friday. There is an appointment with our beloved but vociferous accountant on Wednesday and an all day work related course an hour away on Friday.
Most excitingly though, I have a dear friend coming to stay with us for four nights on Thursday. I haven’t laid eyes on her for about three years, and the last time she came to visit was when we first moved here, about 12 years ago. I met Cheryl when I was 21 and had just moved to Sydney to study Homeopathy and Nutrition at Nature Care College. She was also a student of Homeopathy, and we soon became fast friends. We did all kinds of things that single girls in their early 20’s do, none of which I care to share here, bonding over homeopathy assignments, late night drinking escapades and boy dramas.
In fact, it was through her that I met the Bear. Cheryl had found a new man, who just happened to be the Bear’s oldest and best friend. After a while, they began dropping hints about what a good match the Bear and I would make; he was going through a bit of a rough patch, they said, and could do with a woman like me to shake him up. Little did they know, this kind of description added about six months onto our meeting time – I am not a rescuer, you see.
The Bear was also resistant – he had no desire to be match-made by anyone thank you very much. Finally though, we did meet – three months later we packed up and moved out of the city and the rest is history :). Cheryl and the Bear’s best friend broke up not long after we got together, causing all kinds of trouble – but I guess in the end they had done what they had needed to do. So, my delightful South African friend with the curly hair, wicked sense of humour and a heart that is too big for this world, is coming to stay. Yippee!
My mother gave me a breath technique to work with this week called the 4-4-4 breath. In this time of turbulent energies and odd undercurrents of the new this breath is specifically designed to cleanse, ground and connect us to Source. It’s very simple:
Breathe in for the count of four, hold your breath for four, breathe out for the count of four. Repeat four times. When you have finished, ask “How can I connect more deeply to Source?” and then wait for an answer.
So, I have been working with this breath this week, whenever I think of it – maybe four times a day. The answers to the question at the end have ranged from messages like watch the breath, paying close attention to the spaces at the beginning and end to an image of making biscuits and a batch of home made cordial with my daughter. Which I duly did :). I did this breath before responding to a financial correspondence and received an image of a doctor operating on a patient, with the message this is a delicate matter that requires finesse. Go softly. Try it and see – it’s a wonderful way to connect to the flow of life.
This article on Wayne Dyer in the Washington Post this week. As you will most likely know, unless you have been under a rock somewhere, Wayne Dyer passed away this week. As we know, this is not a sad event for Wayne, but it is sad for the rest of us who have been helped and inspired by his work over the past 30 years. He has made a large footprint on this planet of ours. From the article:
“The next time you are contemplating a decision in which you are debating whether or not to take charge of yourself, to make your own choice, ask yourself an important question, ‘How long am I going to be dead?’” Dyer wrote. “With that eternal perspective, you can now make your own choice and leave the worrying, the fears, the question of whether you can afford it and the guilt to those who are going to be alive forever.”
James Rhodes: ‘Find What you Love and Let it Kill You.’ This is not a new article – it was published in 2003 by The Guardian – it has however come to my attention again this week, and it was such a beautiful, mesmerising, inspiring read, that here I am, sharing it with you. James Rhodes is a concert pianist, and he writes about creativity, both his own and the world’s. The article opens like this:
After the inevitable “How many hours a day do you practice?” and “Show me your hands”, the most common thing people say to me when they hear I’m a pianist is “I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up”. I imagine authors have lost count of the number of people who have told them they “always had a book inside them”. We seem to have evolved into a society of mourned and misplaced creativity. A world where people have simply surrendered to (or been beaten into submission by) the sleepwalk of work, domesticity, mortgage repayments, junk food, junk TV, junk everything, angry ex-wives, ADHD kids and the lure of eating chicken from a bucket while emailing clients at 8pm on a weekend.
And then it gets better. Go read it <3.
In my writing subject (travel and genre writing) this week, we had a wonderful guest lecturer, Helena Pastor, who has both just published her first book and is giving the final touches to her PHD, from where her book arose. What struck me as she was describing her book and the process she used to research and write it, was that here was yet another pathway to writing, which I hadn’t considered – the academic pathway. It wasn’t a dry, academic book though; her book follows the lives of some troubled boys and their inspiring social worker who guides them through adolescence. At the same time, her eldest son (of four boys) was going off the rails himself, which took the book into unexpectedly personal territory. Fascinating huh? Check out her book, Wild Boys, here.
I received my marks for my second assignment for the same subject this week – 83%, which is my best mark yet :). Happy days! Now all I have to do is write the short story – a 2000 word travel piece. I am using Scrivener (a piece of writing software) to write it in – I wouldn’t say I am an expert in Scrivener, but I do use it and find it helpful, especially for things that I have planned out. In fact, as I grow into my writing boots, I realise that I am what the writing world calls a planner, as opposed to a pantser :).
The advice I have received in both assignments is show, don’t tell. I was thinking about my tendency to give too much away yesterday, and I think it’s probably connected to my desire to be understood. I have developed a very clear and concise way of communicating to avoid misinterpretation – both verbal and written, but it appears that this is not the way to tell stories. I’m working on it :).
In my media subject, we are learning about Reality Television and the role it plays in modern television programming and our culture. Is it all about the voyeuristic pleasure we get from looking at other people’s lives, the delight we take in other peoples’ suffering and victories and the lowest common denominator – or is it about the democratisation of television, where anyone can have the opportunity to be famous, if for only 5 minutes, and where we can see our own lives reflected back to us? The lecturer used the examples of Masterchef and MKR (two successful reality cooking shows in Australia) and asked us to analyse their promotional clips for the 2015 seasons to see how they were presenting themselves and to what audience. I find it very interesting to look at media in this analytical way, although I feel that I may never be able to consume media in the same way after this degree :).
That’s my Living, Loving, Learning for this week – I hope something leaped out and grabbed you :). It’s early Father’s Day morning here in Australia – I came over to my office at 5am to finish off this blog and sent it out into the world before my family wakes up. The Bear wants to spend his day at Toast of Urunga, a local food and wine festival – yes, we are going to eat, drink and be merry! Awesome 🙂 Enjoy your Sunday my friends xo