Now it's here I don't quite know what to say... It's been an emotional day to be honest...I think for all sorts of reasons I am feeling pretty overwhelmed...with love...with gratitude...with tiredness (I haven't been sleeping properly all week )...with the under current murmur that this is my last post and with that a surprised hint of loss and amazement that 'Oh my god..I have done it! I have really done it...wow! :-)'...and the fact that, yep, I am now...40 (that's hit me kinda hard today I have to admit)... and so...what now? Well folk...this is time to say goodbye...thank you for journeying with me...for your support, love, ideas, and for taking an interest in some crazy lasses prayer of a project... It's been wild :-) And here I stand...the next steps?? That's for me to find out :-) Xxx The end......?
Hmmm...where I thought I would be an hour before hitting 40?? Of course not...but there you go..the whole full on washing machine spin dry of emotion...and here I am...posting it all..as goddamn it I am not giving up now!!
So...bed bed bed...sleep and...tomorrow is another day...another year...another decade
Thanks for listening to my truth this eve...just sayin it how it is
Here I am Hello dear ones...I am sat in a hotel room in the city of Budapest...yep siree ya read that right :-)...how did I get here?? well let's start from early this morning...waaaay early than the lark...here goes...the penultimate day of my thirties and of this project reads something like this....;-) 3:30am doorbell rings...dear friend at the door...me half asleep having decided that 11pm was the perfect time to die ones hair and start packing (hmmmm!!)....so, a couple of ours sleep later, a beaming sleepy smile and hug greet me...kettle on, soft talk shared, packed case ready... 5am...our chariot arrives (dad, bless him) and two become four as mom and sis are part of this adventure too...airport, coffee, duty free!...planted seats on that ole bus of the sky and we are off (now, I only discovered this mystery destination late last night...my loved ones having planned n plotted to secret me away for my birthday...how amazing is that?!)...favourite pastime indulged...cloud dreaming...gazin outta the window and wondering what it must be like to bounce amongst those fluffy balls of cottony ground...I love flying, even tho I find it such a strange activity!...a gorgeous dear friend recently mused on how life in limbo time is like those flights...we know where we got on and what that place looked like, and then we travel, somewhere new, nothing we need do but sit back and wait...unable to view the scape below, and yet we know that it is changing all the time, in each moment...we can't get off until its the right time, until we 'land' again, all changed...it's like that place known as the void, when we are in the process of change, when we have done all we needed to do, until it's no longer in our hands...all we can do is wait, trust and wait...oh, and get off when it is time! I kinda feel like that place now, only hours from 40, seatbelt fastened for landing, descent begun :-) Taxi and eastern views...a land toughened by tough times...Budapest city and hotel arrival And then it happened...they say it happens in threes...so here's the three folks: My phone will not work...no signal...and I feel a rise of disappointment..I am a day away from 40...I know dear friends will contact me..and I know if I have no signal here then I will not even be able to pick up my messages when home mon eve...maybe I'm being silly, but I start to feel sad... Heart feels like it starts to tighten.. And then the next thing happens... I open my suitcase and it has been touched by someone else's hands...a few gifts and cards I brought with to open tomorrow have been ripped apart, tissue paper litters my bag, some random beads nestling amongst my clothes..and I it hits me...someone has been rifling through my bag, maybe has taken something, has without heart ripped into a strangers life, and I start to shake...shock rips thro me and I begin to cry... Oh and the third? Bless my body but it chooses that exact moment to, ahem, bring its monthly gift..oh joy!! A few brandys later, us four shaken n stirred, phone repaired thanks to nice talk talk voice on the end of the ethers Skype, energy moved as I shook and stomped it through me, and off out we went...off to..well where else when you have just arrived in foreign lands? That's right, off to the police station to get a report for my insurance Half hour walk...two hour wait...four deranged ladies (did this happen in sex and the city??)....all reported and forms filled and time for dinner It's now 6pm... Things start to calm down as we take our seats in a gorgeous Italian restaurant and gorge on pizza salad and potato delights...it had been literally hours since we had eaten... Another walk through eve city quiet streets...a wee bar by the Danube greets us to pause for a nightcap and rest our weariness as we take in the lights and beauty around us...and then hotel calls us to find the nest to drop our bones into dream times pleasures... Blimey!! What a day!... Ok universe..what the hell just happened?? Did you need me to run through the gamut of all of my emotions just before my big day? Like a yearly check to make sure they are all inworking order??
as the finishing line is in sight and the final few days unfurl into the big day and the end of this prayer and practice, it is time to let the ripples of wisdom filter through my bones and heart and echo out in black (red??) and white on this page...
what have i learned from going on this journey?
what gifts have been unwrapped for my delight n holding?
what medicine has been stirred into my soul?
so...here goes folks...all that i have knowingly received into the pearled shaped gems that i will carry in my pocket, or thread upon a fine silk to wear around my throat
what has surprised me more than anything, is that its what has been revealed underneath all the posts, below the stories shared and visions envisioned, the musings and outpourings, that i have been offered the alchemy...so here goes
'gifts from the prayer and practice of 40daysbefore40''
* that when ready to, without the how, why or where??, just begin, start, and take that first step
* all that i had planned flew like tumbleweed into the distance...all that i had wanted to 'do' was redundant...i had to let go...to let it go in order to keep stepping forwards...into the unknown...into what was awaiting me
* it is a huge responsibility and commitment to turn up each day, whether armed with fruits to share, excited, ready, or whether tired, fed up, fucked off, busy or bored...to simply strengthen the intention and turn up with a 'here i am' often opened the doorway to magic and inspiration...who knew?!
* i came up against my self belief woundings, my 'am i enough?', 'is this enough?' mind speak...that painful and contracting old script that squashes my soul, makes me doubt my sweet self, that dampens my fire, dims my light, and leaves me seeking your approval and permission...i hold this place gently, breathing heart love and kindness, and seeking to soften its hold on my path
* i got lost...lost my way, strayed from my original intention...needed to go back, right back, and re connect with that anchor...and that was enough to veer me home again, to see how my expectation filled mind was looking out, checking stats and comments, swayed by 'you' dear reader, when this was for me...and with that knowing i found my way back to 'here i am' again!
* and that yes...goddamit...i am still ego hooked into seeking approval!...oh well...here's to being human, to being honest, and to not judging myself so harshly
* that it actually doesnt matter what i say, or do, or 'show and tell' your way! that will never 'fill' me...its about softening to receive you, life and love..to let it in...to let it touch me so that i open deeper and deeper into the infinite offerings of the whole wide universe..its all there...it always has been :-)
* i am a sweet girl...as much as i wanted to 'shock' you and be 'naughty' and 'wild', actually that is not who i am...this has shown me that my authentic self is not that way...she's softer, with a good heart, a 'nice' gal...i see her, and her shyness, her seriousness, her awkward dance into a beautiful life...i see her mischievous ways, and playful nature, and i bow to her...to my self...and to the mirror that has shown me my face xx
* i have loved writing...enjoyed immensely playing with words...a gift...and i am grateful
* i have been touched by other's words offered back in response...hearing how brave i am...how my words have resonated and inspired...have mirrored truths unspoken and not dared voiced...i receive shyly these gifts and say...'thank you'...from the bottom of my heart xx
* i have had to be 'here', present, awake and alive in order to respond to each day and my engagement with it...i see how by being so wrapped up in my own head's whirl, i miss out on life, on the strange perplexity, beauty and ordinary wonders, that are happening all about me, all the time...if i drop my story and lift my head to the world as it is, i see how that is the relationship, that is the dynamic dance that is possible all the time, if i allow it...if i am truly willing...and i see how sometimes i am not...tired, busy, stressed, over stimulated...sometimes i need to go inwards...to live inside for a while, until i feel ready to pop my head out again...a cycle...like all of life's creatures :-)
* without realising it, this practice has felt like a cleansing...an emptying and clearing out day by day...a confessional...a prayer...an offering of all that i can name and acknowledge...and i have been amazed at how light i have felt...how playful...even when struck by the humdrum human blues, or feeling off kilter or sad...underneath has been this blanket of clarity...and for that i kiss the earth in gratitude xx
* i have said 'yes' to opportunities i might not have dared to before...i have stretched myself and found a renewed sense of energy by doing so...i have risked to make connection with others, and although scary, i have felt enlivened and alive, joyful and excited, and i have wanted to do it all again (some of this never made its way on here...well...not this time anyways :-) )
* i have met my edges...my need for support; for knowing i am ok as i am; for putting too much expectation on myself; and for seeking perfection and the disappointment that arises as i 'fail' to rise there; for meeting 'am i allowed?' and 'what will they think?'; i have met my fear, and the part of me that grows small and gives her power away...i see them all, as they crinkle and scratch at my insides...and i choose to greet them all with softness and love (well..lets be honest here...when i am willing to shall we say ;-) )
* that it is brave to expose oneself in this way...brave and risky to be so vulnerable...and that, actually, its ok...it feels real!
* that i have a rich and wonderful life full of beautiful people...i am loved...i am abundant...and i have learnt (or beginning to) to appreciate and value my life...i am incredibly blessed :-)
* and i realise, that in answer to my oft moaned question of 'are we there yet??' that perhaps, just maybe...that 'there' is really 'here'...and so, yes, we are!...and whatever 'here, there and everywhere' offers, it is a gift in itself
* i also know that there is probably, most likely, just underneath my seeing, much more medicine that will seep through, like blotting paper, to further enrich my life...only time will tell xxx
when one thinks of the AA (and am sure that cannot be terribly often!), there seem to be only two modes of possibility...the first, a kinda perfunctory, grey slate, get the motor running honey, automobile call out doctor...and the second, that twelve step, climb the ladder outta the well of addiction
well...let me introduce a third, brand spankingly new option...
welcome to AA, 2013 stylee!
this AA, my dears, is the worn on my fridge with pride, magnet symbol of all who subscribe to the 'Accept and Appreciate' motto...yep...its the way forwards i feel, and certainly two of my words for this year :-)
so, lets see how it works...well, there are no membership fees to pay, and no funky small print...just a willingness to paint the day with those two heart opening words
let me give you an example, as is my want for this 40 day practice, i will use my day as a blueprint:
after astrummin n awarblin til late last night for yesterdays premiere of my 'lil red deer' song (what? you missed it? not to worry, you can catch it here)...i fell into bed at some ridiculous hour of the wee witchy pre dawn time, and so awoke feeling, not so distinctly different, to our undead compratriots, namely, the zombies...yes, i faced the undead staring me back in my bathroom mirror...acceptance? why of course! appreciation? that befell onto the one beauty product that convinces me that god is a woman...blusher ;-)...aaah a human like semblance to fool the world!!
couldnt face the busy city ping pong, so, accepting that i needed to be gentle with my sweet sleepy self, on went the ear phones, ipod switched to shuffle, and lo and behold, immediate transportation to the land of music...another tick for the appreciation box :-)...god! do you ever have those days when you just want to live inside music?? thats me today..even now, writing these words, i am drawn to the pulse of the beat, faithless flavoured...i accepted that i was unable (maybe unwilling? oh well), to be present today...instead i gave in to the lure of my mind's theatre...each song creating a panorama of fancy footwork, and flashdance style moves..yes, i will admit, i have spent a good portion of this grey skied, damp, tuesday, in a wondrous mind whirl of dancing...dancing in ways in reality would disappoint my bones...and i totally and utterly let myself indulge...acceptance and mighty fine appreciation for this is how it is!
walking to work, protected by my barrier of sweet and funky sounds, i became an observer, a ghost to the criss cross stream of faces around me...i smiled at them, marvelling at how bizarre us human creatures are :-)...i wished that there was a way to roll to work, on the ground, earth pressing my limbs...we have bus lanes, and pedestrian paths..how about a rolling way?!, carpeted by the freshest warmed soft grass, for those days when walking upright away from gravity, seems like too much hard work ;-)...appreciation for the surrealness on my mind xx
afternoon came, and a visit to a neighbour i hardly know...having found out it was his 50th (is everyone either 40, 50 or 60 this year?? it certainly seems that way)...and what a world i entered! entering his flat, to my utter surprise and delight, was just like walking into aladdin's cave...i cant even describe to you the joy that arose for me!...trinkets galore...no wall left uncovered with all sorts of photos, paintings and random images...niknaks everywhere, in cabinets, on tables, shelves...i felt like i had wandered into a treasue trove (and i had to smile at the fact his television was showing some kinda antique dealin daytime show :-) )...sitting in this otherwordly den, i openly voiced my appreciation, and i will never look at this guy in the same way again ;-)
lying on the ground was my practice this afternoon...acceptance that even though i wanted to do some stretching or movement based work, this was how it was...appreciation for the ground, my blanket, and my tired and aching body
another class, another opportunity to practice acceptance...sometimes i feel myself get all 'hard' (no am not being strangely rude!) when faced with students who seem to possess no body awareness at all...ok a lil judgement alert coming up!...these are ususally university students, the very youthful mini adults...i have noted times when i have felt frustrated teaching them, and so, today i had a chance to change this...a choice :-)...and so i did...i let them be...a slight suggestion of an adjustment, a vocal instruction, a tender hand on the back, and i smiled...alot...at the humanness, that possesses us all (and i so enjoyed teaching them, that i didnt even realise that we were right at the end of the class!...aha..so the powers on the AA really work!!)
and to my early evening wonder...part of my day's daring...being filmed for a student dance film...just me, white walls, lights, shadows, and a phillip glass tune that makes me cry when i hear it...accepting that, yes i had blagged my way into this guy's project, and having sheepishly admitted that am not a 'real' dancer, that here i was, having chosen to go for it...and i did!...and you know what?...it was pretty cool..i loved it, even if i was tired and not as well focused as i could be, a beautiful collaberative project has begun...how very exciting! and you know what? it was the first time i had seen myself dance on film...and it was ok :-)...appreciation for my self, for my gall, and for the beautiful shapes my body makes when seduced by music
and so...here i am...back feeling held, eyes sore and desiring to close, mouth dry, belly a lil tight...noticing that my heart is not fully open, no space inside as need to sleep and uncurl like the accordion...and i smile into it all...here i am...and i accept and appreciate it all..its all my life in this moment and its all just perfect as it is (even the 'hard' parts of me that close away in fear)
p.s. fancy your own AA magnet for your fridge? (so you can accept the fact that your reaching in for a piece of that dark chocolate inside, knowing your gonna fully appreciate its taste in your mouth ;-) ), then let me know, and i will send one out to you...with love and a big smile of course!!