Posted on Leave a comment

Who are you?

Who are you?

The real deep down you.

Do you know or even remember?

The you, you are in your mind that’s your authentic you, rather than the you that’s projected (the one you’ve been told you should be).

Maybe you know who you are and are completely comfy in yourself.  Maybe you know who you are but keep certain bits hidden because of fear or shame or because that’s not the you you are supposed to be.

Who am I?  Well, that very much depends upon when you ask.  If you read my bio page there is a whole list of different labels identifying me, but that list is very 1 dimensional.  It doesn’t really mean anything, does it?

I could add to that list of labels and try to take it a bit deeper with additional info such as astrological details : Gemini, Leo rising with Libra moon sign, born in the year of the Horse (Chinese Zodiac) and am both an Oak and a Wren (Celtic Zodiac). If turn to the tarot, my birth card tells me that I am the High Priestess. So, any clearer as to who I am? Nope, thought not.

And that’s OK. We are not our labels and we don’t have to define ourselves to anyone.  Besides, the more we learn, be it about life or ourselves, the more we evolve and grow and I suppose, change. A good few years ago now, a friend said to me “You’ve changed.” I disagreed with the “change” part as I didn’t think I had actually changed as such, more remembered and then sought out more to learn to expand my knowledge and understanding. I was pleased she had noticed. However, the comment was not meant as a compliment.

I find myself returning to this “you’ve changed” comment (complete with the visual in my head of her facial expression) time and time again. I am not the same person I was 5/10/15/20 years ago, and I very much doubt that I will be the same person in 5 years time – and thank goodness for that. I don’t want to remain unchanged and stagnant. The only thing  growing in stagnation is toxicity.

Our blueprint of who we are lies unchanged underneath all the crap we have accumulated since childhood through our teens, twenties, thirties and beyond to today and, as we find out new things, try out new ideas, discover what we like/dislike, our journey to who we are really, gets both closer and further away from that blueprint.

Knowing who we are also requires knowing, embracing/ releasing and accepting our shadow self. The bits we don’t like, or cause us pain. It’s all part of our make up. For instance, I know I am too much for some people, I verbally overcompensate when I’m nervous, I am incredibly judgemental and have obnoxious tendencies,  a complete pain in the arse and a bit of a show off with a drink, yet confrontation averse and really hard on myself, to the point of hating myself, when situations come up, comments are made and I don’t so anything at the time.  It is an absolute truth that just because I didn’t react to a particular situation does not mean I didn’t notice. I may forgive, but I certainly don’t forget. I’m a fucking elephant! (can you hear the anger and bitterness there?)

It’s certainly an interesting journey, this thing we call life, unravelling who we are and who we have come to be.  It can be difficult to look at why we are the way we are and identifying the roots of certain characteristics or traits. Cringing and feeling shame or embarrassment at our previous actions or mistakes is part of this undertaking. We can’t change the past, it helped shape who we are today, but it doesn’t define us. Inorder to move on, we have to face the past, acknowledge it, feel the feels and let it go. Faaaar easier said than done. I know!  But it’s a vital step if knowing yourself wholly is important to you.

The part I struggle with the most, is being my authentic self with others. Depending on whose company I am in, will depend on which part of me is out in the open. I guess part of it is trust. Being honest and true – it’s the people/parent pleaser in me – regardless of the outcome. I worry about offending others or not being taken seriously or being misunderstood.  I am really trying to take on the advice that other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.  That is the challenge.  But I’m getting there.

So, do you know who you are? That’s none of my business.

Be true to you, not anyone else.

Lx

Posted on Leave a comment

Women

 wsrfem
What is is to be a woman?
Depends to whom you speak.
We are defined by many a stereo type.
So many labels, from ‘bitch’ to ‘weak’.
female
The Girly Girl
Loves glitter and pink,
Cocktails and shoes.
Doing lunch
But too vacuous for political views.
Cute, pretty and sweet,
Carefully waxed and shaved.
Immaculately turned out
Always well behaved.
Flowers, cupcakes and jewellery
What girly could want more?
Well maybe perfume, a manicure
And cash to spend on clothes galore.
To be blonde is to be dizzy;
What a crock of shit.
Judged purely on aesthetics
Ignorance and derision that won’t quit.
female
The Feminist
Strident in her man-hating endeavours,
Burning her bra and chucking her razors.
Masculine, barefaced and plain,
Docs, dungarees and blazers.
Politically astute.
Fighting for equality for man and woman.
But listening to some opinions
We’re still considered a 2nd class human.
female
The (Yummy) Mummy
With either a rich husband to support her
Or enjoying the benefits of the State,
The SAHM’s life with her brood,
Benign TV and lattes must be great.
No stress of a ‘real’ job or financial contribution,
Not really independent.
This is not the 1950’s.
A housewife’s life is hardly resplendent.
Ah, but the working mother;
She feels guilty about dropping the ball.
What she complaining about?
She’s got what women want; she’s got it all!
Mothers are constantly under scrutiny
Regardless of what they do.
We’re all pretty much winging it
So keep your critique, thank you.
female
The Slut
Enjoys good sex and a good time,
The decisions made are hers.
Presumed to be promiscuous
Once the name calling occurs.
Short skirt and heels,
Banter that’s flirty
Does not automatically mean
She’s “up for it” or “dirty”.
1 lover or 20
or even a hundred more.
The number is irrelevent; she’s not
A tramp, slag or whore.
female
Now, none of the descriptions
sound remotely appealing.
Women are so often portrayed in a negative light,
The names and language used are highly revealing.
How about judgement then:
Too fat, too thin, too young, too old,
Too sexy, too frigid, too drunk, too nice,
Too bossy, too coorse, too emotional, too cold?
Too opinionated, too high maintenance,
Too head strong.
Too masculine, too feminine,
Hair too short or too long.
female
What is it to be a woman?
Are we so easily defined?
Such limited scope for being yourself,
Time to leave the confines behind.
We are all individuals, free from the mold
Of stereo type and prescription
And of doing what we’re told.
female
Thankfully us Gals are strong and
To the Patriarchy, we will not kow-tow;
Misogyny does not fly.
Let’s celebrate being a woman. Now!
(Maya) Angelou, (Gloria) Steinem and (Betty) White
Inspirational women.
(Nicola) Sturgeon, (Hillary) Clinton and (Anna) Wintour
Glass ceiling? Smashed by these women.
(Caitlin) Moran, (Ellen) DeGeneres and (Tina) Fey
Articulate and hilarious women.
Beyonce, (Lena) Dunham and (Emma) Watson
21st century women.
female
Independent, confident and smart;
Labels I will take.
Positive adjectives please;
Is it really so hard? For fuck’s sake!
female
To be a woman is:
To be yourself in all your glory.
This is your life.
This is your story.
female
A poem of mine I wrote for International Women’s Day a couple of years ago.
Lx
Posted on 4 Comments

Wild Sister Rising

Do you have a purpose?

As in a life purpose?

Do you have a calling?

Been called to fullfil your purpose or life’s work?

Or are you a bit like me?

Have no bloody clue about why you are here and what you are doing?

I know I definitely have not found my purpose as yet.  My varied and not very exciting “career” choices and jobs were certainly no calling, rather financial incentives to save for some short sighted goals.

Being a mother is not my life’s purpose either.  Mothering doesn’t come as naturally as one might expect, especially the gentle parenting ethos I aspire to.  It’s a tough gig. Yes, it is rewarding on so many levels and I am lucky to have an awesome kid (even on the days where I have to remind myself of that), but I am so much more and need so much more than the role of “Mum”.

The self development area has always piqued my interest but recently (as in over the past 18 months or so), I have been getting down with some real soul searching;  devouring books of interest on topics such as happiness, finding purpose or peace, embracing imperfection and creating the life desired as well as books on spirituality and women.  This has not been limited to books as I have made use of our Netflix subscription with their documentaries and my earbuds are constantly plugged in while I’m doing the dishes/household chores and listening to Youtube videos and podcasts with inspirational people.

What I am finding, the deeper down the rabbit hole I go, is that the more I read and hear, all the more I want to read and hear and discover.  I am increasingly drawn to and feeling called to the rise of the (divine) female energy and female archetypes, our cyclic nature and its attunement to the lunar cycles (always been fascinated by that though and how my cycles were in sync with friends’ too) and honouring that feminine power; the wise woman, the wild woman, the witch.

wsr

With all the information I am downloading, either on paper or in my head, I want to shout out to every woman I know “do you know this stuff?” It’s amazing! I want to share my findings, (in a non-preachy, non-crazy-lady fashion) to reach out and  connect with gals who “get” this or would “get this” if they knew. Do you know what I mean?

I’m completely immersing myself in the ancient knowledge, absorbing it all. It feels right. A home coming of sorts.  Is my purpose to be found in amongst all this womanly wisdom and She power? I have no idea but am certainly enjoying the journey and excited to see where it takes me.

wsr2
Photo taken from Rebecca Campbell’s book, Rise Sister Rise

Lx

Posted on 3 Comments

Never Too Young

Politics isn’t for the young. They don’t need to know what’s going on in the world, regardless if they understand any of it or not. Rallies, protest marches and demos are no places for children; too violent and dangerous. Politics has nothing to do with children,  just adults since adults have the vote and obviously understand and know what they are doing.

Do you know what? Bollocks to all of that! Children are very capable of understanding what is going on, even in simplistic terms; they can see and, given the opportunity, try and work out for themselves right from wrong. Children are far more astute than they are given credit for. And politics IS about and DOES concern them. People are making decisions about the future, our kid’s future, on their behalf, and some of those eligible to vote adults don’t have the faintest idea what they are voting for, as has been made abundantly clear in the wake of the EU Referendum held last week.

So here was yesterday: a rally organised by the Scottish Green Party, at Holyrood (Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh) held prior to our First Minister’s statement to Parliament and debate, regarding maintaining Scotland’s membership in the European Union. The rally was attended by over 1000 people showing their support for continued EU membership, including (A) and his friend (F) with their placards. And they were not the only children there!

hr

Did they understand why they were there? Yes, they did. They both knew that their Mum’s voted last week to Remain in the EU and that we lost that particular vote. They both knew that we were both sad and angry with the result and that it would affect their future. They knew we were going to the Scottish Parliament to join other people who felt the same and were going to show support to the Scottish Government regarding trying to keep Scotland in the EU. That is all they needed to know. Apart from their own questions, which were answered.

I find that (A) and I have some of our most indepth and insightful conversations in the car, and on this journey to Edinburgh we had quite the discussion.  We chatted about his banner eu2 – why there were 12 stars, why it about his future and not mine and which of the stars meant the most to him : jobs, peace and environment – why going to rallies was important, what rallies he’d been to and what they had achieved, then the most important bit – what we were going to chant??? Then for the rest of he journey, he sang a song made up of all chants of previous marches and rallies he has attended:

“Free! Free, Palestine!.

Bairns not bombs! Stop Trident now!

2,4,6,8. Save the earth it’s not too late!

Don’t bomb Syria!”

Part of the fun for (A) is carrying his banner ( sometimes making his own) and chanting. He does not like to be photographed or questioned, unless he volunteers. He informed a woman at the Bairn Not Bombs march that he was against the big bomb because it would “kill all the whales” – not bothered about people, but they can’t hurt the whales!

So far (A) has been to a street protest to free Palestine, a pro-independence rally at the Kelpies on the eve of the Scottish Independence Referendum, 2 further pro-indy rallies, the Bairns Not Bombs, anti-Trident march, where we marched in the procession round Glasgow, a locally organised Climate Change march, the Don’t Bomb Syria protest at the Scottish Parliament and then the rally yesterday. Every one has had a positive impact on him; trying to make a better future not just for him but for others too. Also it is showing him about the importance of standing up for what you believe in. And there has been not one bit of violence or any uncomfortable situations from which to shield him. They have been very inclusive, friendly and positive experiences.

After the rally finished and the MSP’s returned to Parliamentary Chamber for the debate, we too headed inside – through the security entrance where I set off the alarm and needed frisked. This always happens at the airport so I shouldn’t have been surprised. As I was being checked for “something “, both (A) and (F) took this opportunity to empty their wellies and shoes into the bin – they had gone for a paddle in the architectural ponds in front of the building and brought half of it in with them in their footwear! We took a wander around the ground floor of the Parliament which holds the history of the Scottish Government and Parliament, a fantastic photography gallery and of course, a gift shop (we came away with a cup and a pencil). Both (A) an (F) loved exploring here and were able to get hands on with viewing debates and testing themselves – neither of whom knew much about any of the history or stats but had fun playing with dials and rollers. During the viewing of the photography exhibit, both boys were drawn to a series of pictures of refugee children sleeping in various places, all of whom were fleeing war torn homes. They were shocked to see that this was how other children lived, in contrast to their own existence. (A) made the connection between those children and the rally he attended previously.

All in, it was a wonderful afternoon, for 2 boys learning about their country, what it means to stand up and be counted, to see and be part of a cause and to ask thoughtful questions. Infact (F) was even interviewed by the journalist from the local radio station. The Journalist was excellent with him (he really just wanted to talk into her microphone)  and asked him the same questions she asked the others she interviewed, which he answered fully. He loved it and felt important.

In my opinion, you can never be too young for politics. If they are old enough to be interested and to understand, then they are old enough to engage.  Lets not leave politics to ‘others’; every voice counts and the more educated, informed and engaged those voices are, the harder it is to be fooled and fleeced.

 

Lx

Posted on 2 Comments

Get Your Happy On

Happiness. What is it? That’s easy; it’s …ehm…hmm, how to articulate that that grin that won’t quit without sounding like a pretentious unicorn farting rainbows? And right now all I can think of is to clap along with Pharrell Williams. I suppose it makes a wee change from not worrying and whistling along with Bobby McFerrin .  What was the question again? Oh yeh, What is  happiness or what is that happy feeling?  Unless that’s it? A  feeling; a feel good state of well being, characterised by an endorphin-fuelled high? A positive experience of joy, euphoria and contentment ?

Exactly what it is to be happy or experience happiness will differ from person to person, just as the secret to happiness will vary depending upon which link you click on in a Google search or which Self Help book you pick from Amazon or Waterstones.  I don’t think there is any specific recipe to finding ever lasting happiness (surely that in itself is exhausting?! Home educating an energetic 6 year old and being perma-happy would lead me to bankruptcy via Majestic). Plus, in order to appreciate and fully experience happy, we have to embrace its Yin; those darker, negative times. So with that in mind, and with the UK and possibly the EU starting to implode, now is as good a time as any to figure out how to, and get, your happy on!  Because you’re gonna need it!

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought over the past few months, happiness, and how it is intertwined with peace and connection (with self as well as others) and ultimately, acceptance; of who I am, what I believe in and value.  To my mind, Happiness is not a goal to be achieved or a destination to reach; it is ever present, perhaps not always in arms reach but can be gotten by choosing to be happy.

happy

Image from here

So what makes me happy? Well, once I started thinking about it and making a list (instant happiness right there!) I found that I couldn’t stop. My personal Happy looks like the following, in no particular order, apart from the first one:

  • Family – my Husband and (A) – both are unbelievably hilarious and make me laugh every day, the rare date nights with my Husband, the silly everyday stuff that makes our home tick along, bed time stories with (A), spontaneous declarations of “I love you” and cuddles, deep conversations about life, politics and making plans.
  • The rain – lying in bed listening to it, the smell of the concrete after a down pour, watching the storm at the window with a hot cuppa, being out in it when it is falling straight without any wind, splashing in the puddles, padding barefoot on the wet grass, how lush it makes the flora
  • Laughing – proper laugh out loud clenching those kegels for all I’m worth, private in-jokes and sarcastic comments with Hubby, silly giggles with (A), camaraderie chortles with the girls.
  • Wine – doesn’t really require further explanation
  • Nature – feeling the changing seasons (especially Autumn), bluebells/daisies/sunflowers in flower, the beach, the woods,
  • Dancing – around the house, with (A), in the car (also see “singing”), on nights out and dancing all night (also see nostalgia),
  • The Moon – following the phases of the moon: new, waxing, full and waning, being able to sit and look up at the moon
  • Wine – did I mention this already? Did I mention it has to be red?
  • Jewellery – my wedding ring and silver thumb ring – engraved with (A)’s full name
  • Writing – starting a new journal just before the pen touches the paper, when I know exactly what I want to write about and am on a roll, making calligraphy art for friends, using my dipping pens and ink, making lists and re-doing & updating those lists
  • Nostalgia – memories are instant Happy = nights out, music, stories, friends, holidays, stupid shit that will be taken to the grave, making plans for the future, my wedding photos, the first slow dance Hubby and I had.
  • Home – especially my desk/dining table in the bay window, pottering around in the garden, a clean bathroom & kitchen ( the 2 never happen at the same time), my peace lily – 3 years and going (lets not talk abut the 2 or 3 spider plants that are no longer with us, R.I.P)
  • Scents – nag champa agarbatti incense, scented candles especially cinnamon-y ones,  the smell of bedding after being dried outside,  Autumn, the rain,  fresh coffee,
  • “Singing” – badly…always badly! When (A) was only 2 he told me to stop singing because it hurt his ears!!! loudly in the car, whilst doing the dishes, on karaoke only after a couple of glasses or 3
  • Rituals – being awake before anyone else and having initial peace and calm all to myself, the first cup of coffee in the morning, mid morning cup of tea in the garden, making & baking for Yule, candles and divination – tarot being my divining choice
  • Slowing down – day dreaming, meditation, soak in a bubble bath & a good book, playing
  • Random happiness-inducing stuff – receiving mail,not bills but handwritten envelopes – is it a letter, a card, a surprise? Reading a good book and not being able to put it down, listening to the dawn chorus and again at dusk, the drawing in of the dark nights, hygge, good nights sleep, my hair once I decide it needs a cut – it sits perfectly, eyeliner wings matching on both sides, my hair 2 weeks post cut, roasted cheese with HP sauce, pyjama days, live music, yoga despite having not taken a class in over 3 years..I really need to do something about that!
  • And lastly – the prospect of second independence referendum for Scotland: Indyref2

I could go on, turns out this list is endless and the vast majority is priceless, for everything else there’s Mastercard and at times happily surprised me. This was a fun exercise and helped refocus my mood, particularly over the past few days. We are in a new week, with new times ahead of us. If like me you have been feeling angry and bitter, choose to balance it; choose to be happy .

Give it a go, see what makes you happy.

max

Quote from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata

L x