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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy Xmas - May you Shine as Brightly as Tinsel!

Dear All-est!!!

Thank goodness that the days are lengthening again, we have gone through the stable depths of the darkness and are coming out again into greater light. The Sun has returned! Horus has overthrown Set! Bravo!!!

And so in this time of Winter Solstice we are thrown into the dark. What shall we find down there? How will we cope? Do we have the tools/gifts to be wise, kind, compassionate? You don't know? Well soon you will, because Xmas is here, a traditional time for gathering of fam-damn-ilies!!

So before my mother tells me off for not using Christmas. I learnt recently that Xmas comes from the Greek letters X (which in the Roman alphabet is Ch) and P (which in the Roman alphabet is R)...hence Ch-r for Christos. So it is OK actually to write Xmas...take that Catholic Primary Schools!

And here is an experiment, instead of writing I've decided to ad-lib on video. No videoing editing skills are currently available so what you see is what you get. Uncut!

There is a sort interval in which drinks and ice creams are served. If you have 50p you can even have a Cornetto.

...and an extra bit on the end to try as succinctly as possible to say that it might not be that Jesus as a baby was born at Xmas, but the birth of Christ still holds for Winter Solstice, if we take it symbolically. The (baby) Sun born again, the Light of the World. And on another level inside the light is born: in the depths of darkness it is where the Light emanates, where we can uncover our gifts, where we can find the birth of our own Light. I'm not saying that Christmas is not about Christ, as in the Christ State, as in the State of Light, just the little baby Jesus as a human, wasn't born now. Would have been a hell of a coincidence, but let's not throw the toys out of the pram.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

It's only failure

Last night I did something really, really brave and it went tits up.

There is a wedding on today in the Monastery, in the Living Arts Base and we have around 70 guests, plus our resident 12ish. There was a little ‘concert’ in the theatre and we were asked if we wanted to sign up. Never shy in wanting to perform, I was on the lookout for adventure just as Nirvan, a wonderful improviser, asked if I wanted to do an improvisation act with him. I got a rush as I remembered, years past, clowning and the audience laughing their heads off at me being normal. Easy. Fun. Yes let’s do it!

We decided to do it in the toilet, because we’d had a little interaction in there that same day and thought we could use it as material from the real world. In the afternoon Nirvan asked me if I was ready. I had forgotten it was...erm...anywhere but in ‘the future’. So now a little nervous, I set to work in imagining scenarios, and even took some props.
However, at the time of the performance, Nirvan, without knowing it, disarmed all my props and also my story line. I walked in, with, nothing. At all. That’s not strictly true, I had a cold sweat.

Improv is something that happens out of thin air. Something (for me in the past) has always popped up. Something or other to spin a yarn with, to exaggerate our sense of pathetic human beingness, to be vulnerable with and so make people laugh.

But in the toilet last night, nothing happened. At all. No spark. No movement. Words fell like lead without even making a crashing noise. Silent void. We laboured on through, staying firm in our selves. I remember at one point looking into Nirvan’s eyes with rising panic, but I got through, feeling it, not reacting to it. Eventually we found ourselves sat on the separating wall high above. I looked down and there in the antechamber to the toilet were forty or more eyes looking at me: looking at me with anticipation; looking at me as if something was going to happen; looking for something, anything. I sat there my stomach filled with an empty feeling of nothing. Words had turned into white noise in my head. All I could associate with was the clammy cold sweat.

Sat there on that wall, in zero, being witnessed by so many people, I realised that, ‘I am OK with this.’ And that ladies and gentleman was a breakthrough for me. Being witnessed failing. Failing to produce, failing to be witty or wise or stir even a small pot of imagination. Failing with huge amounts of eyes on me. The result? I can take it. And I can take it again in the future.

After the ‘show’ Nirvan and I checked in. ‘How do you feel?’
‘Like a failure.’
‘Me too.’
‘But I’m OK with that.’
‘Me too.’

The power of it! The power of having stayed emotionally sound through the abject storms of nothingness gives me courage to do it again. It can’t get worse (can it?)

Where I’m starting to feel a deepening confidence is if it does get worse, I can handle it. It’s only failure.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Who's on the cross?

There is a mattress on the floor. I am naked. Nine clothed people are watching. ‘Lie as you want.’ I flop. Arms outstretched, one leg straight, another bent, right foot on left knee.
‘Like that?’ I ask.
‘Yeah,’ says one of the men a bit too eagerly. Not cool.
‘If you don’t mind me saying,’ says another older man, posh, slow accent, ‘it’s perfect for Easter.’
So for forty-five minutes I lie like JC. I watch people’s eyes moving from their pencil to my body, pencil, body, pencil, body. Negative space. Curves. Lines. Their pencils forgetting I am a person, forgetting it is a body. Only seeing. Virgin like.

I say to the class that I would like to send an image of the drawings to someone as an Easter card. Would they mind? Perhaps Facebook it. ‘Facebook?!’ the art teacher laughs, ‘Really?’ I suddenly realise this could be so easily misinterpreted. Obvious to them. I suddenly realise that I am posting myself naked. Hmmm? I also start to worry that I could be misinterpreted as feminist ruining Easter for the religious folk. I go red.

I’m actually operating here from the deepness of my own personal religion, I’ve just sort of forgotten the surface social stuff, unconcerned with the Eternal Return, nor the ground breaking idea of it being the path of the feminine. Really, could I? Should I? ‘Seems a bit too much doesn’t it?’ I ask in all honesty. Naked. Facebook. But I really want to do this, because it is right. But it’s going to look wrong. I need to write about it. Blog it.

The model inside nods. I quiver, feel nervous.

Once clothed again I do take the photo. I know whose I want to take: the two men who are constantly looking, like air controllers, backwards and forwards between pencil and body; their flickering eyes seeing, not letting their mind invent. Mark’s work turns out to be just the ticket. He got the perfect perspective: the vagina is at the centre of the cross. Perfect. Underneath he has written, ‘The Temple’. Yes! Yes! That’s what I’m talking about.


People balk at Pregnant Virgin, at the Immaculate Conception. ‘You can’t be pregnant and also be a virgin! You just can’t!’ say the ones who are not prepared to go any further into something they think is codswallop. I sigh. It’s not worth it.  But once in a while there is a shine between the clouds, normally a quieter person, sensitive with an inquiring mind, who is not so quick to label. ‘For me,’ I say to Barbara and my mind wanders momentarily. She plays the second cornet in the Brass band, one of the people that I most like. Even though she barely talks she emits a wonderful presence, a deep personality. She reminds me of the phrase, ‘If you can’t understand my silences, you’ll never understand my words.’ When I stand by her I feel calm. I feel a soft, quiet, strong love that is stable, understated, real. ‘For me,’ I repeat to bridge the gap as I waivered in the silence between worlds, ‘it is when we become so empty, so void like, that we have gone through any thoughts, any feelings, to the other side, to nothingness. You know?’ She looks at me meekly. ‘Like when you lose yourself in prayer?’ I have to translate what I would call a blank mind of meditation into terms I’m guessing she would use. She was a high ranking Officer in the Salvation Armist. She nods, eyes full of warmth. At the end of the day it’s amazing how we are all talking about such similar sentiments, only with different words that all too often trigger us into opposition. ‘So we become a temple. We are nothing, nothing but a container.’ She nods again, smiles. I start to talk faster, excited that someone wants to listen to religious stuff, ‘Only when we are in this state, where our ego is waiting at the doors outside, can God enter into us,’ I say ‘God’ instead of ‘The Divine’, or ‘The Great I Am’, or ‘Higher Consciousness’. It’s easier to talk to religious people about god if they are thinkers and have jostling space around their words - God is not a scary word to them, no need to edit. Of course there are hours of debate behind what ‘It’ could be, but for sake of the argument we skip that question. There are plenty of ways up the mountain, there is no reason that her path be better or worse than mine. It’s just her way up. On my path God is often a tricky word, a rabbit hole; on hers it’s a signpost. I’ve gone off on one in my head, so I recap, ‘Only when we are pure of mind, pure of heart, can we open the doors for whatever is greater than us to enter.’ She nods again, from a place of deep recognising. We are still there, connected. ‘Sometimes ‘he’ won’t come. Sometimes ‘he’ will.’ I don’t say the inverted commas, but I think them.

I want to talk about Corbin who calls the place in the middle – where Man becomes Divine for the sake of Divinity and God becomes Human for the sake of Humanity – ‘Mundus Imaginalis’. Not imagined world, because it is not of the imagination, but imaginalis world. A place that is. A place that is not tangible, at least by the common senses. It’s a place that has sometimes opened to me after sitting ten days in silent mediation twelve hours a day, when by what feels like a miracle I manage to become empty inside - no desires, no needs, no thoughts, no emotions, no ME! - and I feel myself become nothing but light. Light coursing through me like a rushing, ferocious river. Voracious roars of silence. When and if it occurs, each time it is different. I guess in each person it is different. And, like in all great truths - the opposite is also true - it is a unifying Universal experience.

It’s like when you look at a baby, and suddenly you are floating in where that little soul has just come from.

It’s that place, we’ve all surely felt on our different paths up the mountain: moments of eternity that last minutes and change the rest of our lives.


Child’s play is wonderfully simple - once you get there. It’s getting there that’s blummin’ difficult.
It takes a heck of a lot of processing. ‘She’, the feminine that we find in all of us, men and women - our soul - needs to rub off the dirt she’s picked up of who she is not. She has to find how to brush off the psychic dandruff that burdens the shoulders of our egos.


‘As a society,’ says Thomas, ‘we are in the hero or the maiden, that place of adolescence that feels entitled.’
‘Yes,’ I agree. How can I not?


‘You know how you feel if you’re danced by a man who is firm and yet gentle?’
‘Ohh yes...’
‘That’s how it is to be conducted well too in music. If a conductor is good he brings out from the depths the very best of each of the players. It’s like we are all birds flying in formation, all intent on one goal.’
‘Yes wow!’


‘For me,’ I say to Barbara, ‘A key point in purifying ourselves into a temple, is embodying that what we do for others we do for ourselves, and what we do for ourselves we do for others.’
I have all the holographic ideas of the universe flash through my head. But I don’t mention it. The sandwiches are coming round.


I see one of mates from life drawing class in Curator Cafe. I always love talking to her. I’ve asked her what she thinks about posting a blog with a picture of a sketch. ‘I’ll write about what I’m trying to say.’
‘Do it!’
Somehow we get onto the holographic Universe and fractals. ‘They are patterns within patterns, I tell her.’
She looks at me with her beautiful blue eyes.
‘Remember the hologram of Tony the Tiger on the side of Frosties?’
‘Yes,’ she says and smiles,
‘Well,’ I swallow, ‘if you cut it in half then you don’t cut Tony the Tiger in half, but you get two, complete half sized Tony Tigers. Cut it in four, you get four, cut it in sixteen you get sixteen...cut it into a million you get a million tiny perfectly formed Tony Tigers.’
‘Wow!’ she says excited, ‘I want to try...’
But the wow is coming: ‘Yeah! But listen to this, if you put them all back together into the original hologram, and you look at say a whisker on the end of his nose, it’s just a whisker, nothing special, but inside it has all the information of the whole...’ I can never get over how amazing that is.


Change a part within us, and we change the whole.
That’s massive. That’s us in the Universe.


‘The cross,’ I say to Thomas, ‘for me represents the four elements, you know?’
‘Earth, water, fire and...’
‘Air.’ In my airhead I also parallel earth with sensations, water with emotions, fire with thought, air with intuition, ‘Jungian Psychology talks a lot about the balancing of these elements so that as they all align we rest in the very centre of the four directions,’
‘The centre of the cross?’
‘Yes...that’s where the fifth element arises, that of Ether, reminding us that we are part of the universe.’
‘I believe that since the times of Democritus it’s been considered as an esoteric place where atoms move,’
‘Yeah!’ I love talking to Thomas, he knows so much.
‘And where light is transmitted,’ he is turning me on, ‘where waves propagate.’
‘Exactly. And Higgs boson...’ I have to be careful being sapio-sexual. I could explode right now.


Ether allows us to feel we belong to a whole that is greater than our body, our surroundings and our planet. Ether gifts us with the physical sensation of our belonging to the Universe, Uni (One) and Versus (Version). So as we feel certain in ourselves forming part of the whole, we cast off forever the sense of existential loneliness.

Life is continually and eternally transforming and we become certain of our part to play in this party. We find we are certain that we are part of this whole that we know nothing about. We become more and more certain of belonging to humanity, to this living world, to the an organic world and in turn to energy and matter. We begin to feel this non-separation, no difference, the impossibility of isolation, which inevitably leads to religious feelings. Religion (re-ligare) means to re-bond, to unite again, and yoga means to re-yoke. We return to a sense of belonging to the Whole.


The actual Easter is today: the first full moon after the Equinox. The earth is receiving the most amount of light it has since the sun bedded down last Autumn. Horus has won over Set. Christ has won over the Devil. We celebrate the Light of the World.

In Wagner’s Parzival, Kundry suddenly finds herself splendidly awake in the middle of Spring. In The Magic Flute, Pamina comes alive in Spring. The Feminine. Spring. Flowers. Opening into a better world. New world. Fresh.

Flowers buds burst in gleeful surrender to the erotic nature of Spring in a virtue of giving. Nature bursts with joy, with life, with juiciness. Colours abound as the feminine, our Soul, awakens and comes into the world, sharing the creativity of her womb.


She circles around the truth, dancing, moving her body in closer harmony to her own nature, allowing.

She becomes less complicated, less ego controlled, more flow...she perfects herself in her purity.

By perfect I mean, in perfect harmony with what is. By pure, I mean of heart, of thoughts.

By all this I mean virgin. I mean she becomes the temple.

At the centre of the cross the Soul allows her ego to die.

She opens the door for God to impregnate her with its Light.

The Soul is once again a pregnant virgin.


‘Yeah, because as we surrender,’ I say to Thomas, ‘on the cross,’
‘Into Ether?’
‘Yeah, and into the heart of the matter at hand, or into our own creativity, into our own life...’
‘That’s beautiful,’
‘Yes, it is...’ I smile, I feel there is a beamingness between us, ‘it is as if we were allowing life to express through us.’
‘As if, we are!’
I nod, so glad to be accompanied.
‘I also believe,’ he says, ‘that when we express ourselves we are expressing and thanking Mother Earth...’ I love the dance of our conversations, ‘because effectively we are celebrating new life, after having survived winter...’
‘And what would we do without Mother Earth?’ His face is smiling, open.
‘And also fractally, within ourselves, the Spring of our Souls after the long Dark Nights of San Juan de la Cruz.’
‘It’s time to celebrate the light Santa Teresa!’
‘It is – that’s why I’m going to put that picture up...’
‘From your art class?’
‘Yeah.’ I go red.
‘That’s daring.’
‘It’s just, well, ascension is connected to the virgin temple. The vagina...’
‘The vagina?’
‘Yes, as true creative expression. The lower mouth as the Mellisae called it.’
He looks at me, a little shocked. Silent, slightly uncomfortable. I wonder whether to stop? ‘Well like,’ I continue, ‘as a portal into a deeper place...’ Blimey. I remember when Raimon Arola would get into similar tangles in his university lectures on Alchemy. I go even redder.
‘A celebration to the Earth of our bodies,’ he says kindly, coming back onto safer, more plough land.
‘Well yes,’ I say, ‘just a blog to wish people a Happy Easter and sow some seeds to flower into new, fresh concepts of who we are.’

'The' Moon heralding Easter above Riverford Farm 9pm 23 Mar 16

Monday, 13 April 2015

We are the change we wish to see in the world

Me and Chris in India

I went through a ‘phase’ in my life where I adolescently rejected any English in me and declared myself a citizen of Europe. I didn’t want to be associated with stiff upper lips, dysfunctional families nor bad food. I did not want to identify with people who sit outside pubs, next to strong heaters, trying desperately to feel like they are on holiday because they are eating humus with chorizo and olives. Trying so desperately to relax into relaxing. ‘Want another?’

Bolivian ladies, (the one of the left was our age 25 ish, the one of the right 35 ish...hard life)
So living abroad I once got a job on a yacht for two weeks going around Menorca, making sure rich summer school kids stayed talking in English. No one really cared, it was glorified babysitting: the school cared about the money, parents cared about time off for them and cool stuff for their kids; it seemed only I cared. I spent a long time on deck saying ‘In English!’ and was met with annoyed replies of 
‘Jessss’, ‘Jessss!’
‘Yes,’ I would say, trying to help their pronunciation, but by then they weren’t listening. It was a harrowing two weeks, cooped up with teenagers wanting crazy nights, too tired to barely function in the day, a claustrophobically small yacht; but it paid reasonably well, and to boot I came out with a really good suntan.

Back home in Barcelona, I strutted about the streets with my original boiled chicken skin now somewhat close to being nearly roasted: I felt great! Even beside olive skinned naturals. I felt so super great every time I looked in a mirror, and yet I also felt a growing uneasiness that I simply could not place. There was a tension somewhere in me that I didn’t know how to deal with, couldn’t grasp, couldn’t see far enough into my shadow to even make out its form.

A few days later, trying to relax in a queue, an English friend bumped into me! ‘Hulia!’ 

‘Hi! How are you?’
‘Fine. Look at you!!! You look so brown!’

in those few milliseconds the days of pent up tension flooded out through the pores of my being, evaporating into the cloudless sky. And there, in those milliseconds, did I realise, as much as I may say I am not English, I have inbuilt structures that are the fabrication of English society: 1) we go on holiday 2) we get brown 3) we expect to be rewarded for our hard work of trying in all that sun to relax through the sweat and come back needing various jealous compliments about our more browness than them.

Memories of delight of being seven, ten, twelve of returning after three weeks away, and being told I am brown, surged through me again: in the post office ‘You look good’; comparing my arm with my best friend to see who is browner; glee of peeling off skin; glee of sunburn (it’s true - really - we get excited by sunburn: it’s a step closer to the desired goal). We really are hijos de gamba (children of prawns), we really are rrrostbif (roast beef).

Stood there proudly in the queue, faced with my English friend’s jealousy of my tan, I realised that I cannot continue to ignore the fact: I am English.

19 years ago: In Siberut we lived for two (long) weeks like locals, foraging in the jungle, fishing...sweating. This man was the medicine man.

Ironically from that moment onwards I never really got down to the work of sunbathing again. I don’t need that confirmation of skin colour any longer (??!!!)...it’s as if that deep programming has left me and was able to surge out through my ever-renewing cells into the fresh air never to return.
But the idea that I am culturally programmed, however much I like or dislike, is still there. It only takes the discomfort of putting on a sari in India to know I am not Indian. So after fifteen years of living abroad I decided that I need to come back and live on the British Isles. I need to stop running. I need to let myself be English. Just to experience what it feels like to not be the eternal foreigner, ‘gringa’, ‘guiri’ ‘ξένος’, and not have to explain where I am from all of the time. Manchester United?
Ironically it took about five months for English people to stop asking if I were Dutch. I think I was speaking too clearly for an Englishwoman. One guy said ‘I thought you were a foreigner who spoke English really well.’

The Chicken Stall Adrian Crescini and I set up in the back yard. We sold 1500 chickens between Xmas and New Year 2001

But perhaps fifteen years is too long a time. How long did the prodigal son stay away? He worked with pigs. I worked with chickens. I came back here to rekindle ties with my family. I have always felt guilty that somehow because I didn’t live in England it created distance in our relating. Fifteen years is a long time, habits form, become incrusted. My mum can call me whenever she wants to, now for free, even to my mobile phone. She can. But habits are habits. I too forget. My brother, who used to constantly say that I wasn’t a good enough sibling to him, now apparently doesn’t want one. Do I? The only person who I feel closer to, is my father; we live on different planets, we always have done, and I give him respect that our relationship has not got worse the closer geographically that I am. It is a relief to realise he still expects nothing of me. It seems that I was running away, living abroad, trying to make the distance that came between what was my close-knit family, purely geographical.

After seven months here I have made a few friends. Acquaintances more than close friends. It is all one can really expect in a foreign culture. It feels that I am doing well. But I have not really made any close enough friends to stave off gripping feelings of loneliness, of incomprehension, of a desperate need to communicate deep down from within my soul, to open up down to the bones of my psyche. To put it bluntly: I have returned to adolescence, which is from where I left off. Fifteen years is a long time on the surface of the earth.

Meanwhile, underneath the surface, I am returning with a light of being that I have tended to all of these years. A light of who I am. I have often gone far within, and I have gone inside with others too. I have gone to dark places with people, and I have allowed myself to be elated. I have opened my heart. I have seen so much of the world, that I cannot actually, just come back and ‘fit in’. I cannot just settle down, into what I see as a lack of freedom for nothing other than fear of what the neighbours might think, for fear of the fuss that may happen if one declares freedom from the rule. In seven months here I have had five people explode their anger at me after having come close to them, four of which their main gripe is that I am ‘too free’.

What to do?

Rio Madre de Dios, we went down it for 8 days on those logs.

And so I begin to reclaim myself in solitude and allow myself to differentiate. Having tried so hard to connect to others in the only way I know...I have scared them. I express myself authentically (why would I do so in any other way? Why would I repress myself to fit in with the repressed?) and as I express feelings it seems that I open imaginary doors inside of them, doors they have had long held shut, hammered and jammed chairs against the handle. They suddenly feel naked, exposed, threatened. They think I want something from them. They think that I am a (psychic) thief (yes, I have actually been accused of this) and have been pushed away; that I am a bitch, a control freak, a narcissist and (yes this is true) someone said I make them want to vomit after dumping me for no apparent reason; that I am simply bad, bad, bad (without any objective reason) and thrown out of the house; that I am too open and dangerous so that I attract all sorts of bad types (though I haven’t as such but ‘believe you me if you continue like this and you WILL’) and have been asked to leave. Which lead me to believe it may be better after all to live alone. Ohh and there was one (an extra for free) this week in which a person declared that he had been to court for four years for similar situations (a hairdresser who cut my hair, we flirted together, and yes it was outrageous (ly good fun), but is that really material for a legal court case?) He has sadly said he cannot see me again. I thought he was my friend. But it seems English men can get very, very jealous. Good women act shut down.
What to do? I want to go home; but I have no home. Home is where the heart is. I have a heart. But do I really have to live in it on my own?

In Nepal with the children in the orphanage. 

So, before getting too down in the dumps I put out a facebook message to my friends out there, scattered around the globe, in which I expressed how down-to-my-bones alone I feel. How I really need (emotional) support. (Was that risky? Was that too open? Is it really so bad to express?) A friend of a friend responds - I don’t know her - ‘Come to my house, have coffee.’ Now an English person would find perfectly good excuses why it would not be possible. House? The brave ones may ask to go to a cafe, for safety. I run round.

Hitching in Valle de la Luna, South America, the first car picked us up, four hours later.

I have hitched all of my life. I have stayed in strangers homes often. I have slept top-and-tail with lorry drivers (with a girl friend in the bunk above). I have found that if you are aware of the dangers, hitching is a way of meeting the kindest of people, people who are willing to stop their momentum and give a stranger a helping hand. That’s nice. There are tricks to weed out the undesirables, ask them where they are going, check them out, tell them thanks but you’re not going that way, stand back, close the door. Easy. It is SAFE. I have also realised that if you expect people to be wonderful and kind then it often brings out their wonderful kindness naturally. They feel good about themselves. And why not? Why not goddamn enjoy being ourselves?

Clown workshop somewhere near New Mexico, US.

So I go around to my friend’s friend’s house, and meet a woman who is my mirror. Thank you Lord of the Universe and Stars and the Higher Consciousness from which all sources. Thank you. My body feels different vibrating in gratitude. I am open again. It turns out she is Swedish, lived in India for a while, has been married twenty years to an Tibetan, lived in Germany, and also lived on my beloved Paros (hence the link). She now lives in England. She obviously speaks a few languages. She feels the English society is very aggressive.

Thank you Shiva, Astarte and Jesus, Horus and Hare Krishna. Thank you. I am not going crazy.

Me and Kali.

I realise that actually, even though 13 years ago I had an English reaction to people not complimenting the colour of my roasted-chicken skin, I really am not culturally English any more. I don’t know when I split off. Maybe it was when I stopped making attacking comments that I called ‘jokes’ to my American boyfriend? ‘I say this to you to show you how close we are. Someone else would not accept it.’ 

‘It’s not funny.’ 
‘It’s just a joke!’ 
After a while I started to realise that he was right, it was not funny, it was me putting him down in a silly voice to make me feel superior and on top of it all saying ‘it’s a joke’ as if I were really smart and he was reacting like some jackass. Perhaps it was when I stopped sunbathing for more than an hour and a half on the Costa Brava, and only did if there is shade to avoid burning. Perhaps it was when I stopped drinking to get drunk, trying to ‘get away’ from all that had happened in the week. Perhaps it was in the beautiful nights listening to classical music and being loved and loving on our patio interior sipping red wine and chatting about philosophy into the warm night. Perhaps it was when, in Argentina, by osmosis I realised that the objective of life is not to get to the top of the ladder, especially if when you do there is a super-inflation and it gets crashed over night. Perhaps it was in art school in Greece feeling that it is ok to have a non-utilitarian life style? I don’t know, but it happened. I am not English, I was just born here.

On the Salt Planes of Uyuni...miles and miles of blinding white...

Thanks to my Swedish friend and her Tibetan husband, I have realised that I am an international. That I relate to people who have lived in lots of different countries, fleeing from the prison of origins, and have had to adapt to the external, not once, not twice, but nearly every day of their adult lives, having to realise that we cannot carry our own culture with us like shields against the ever-changing nature of reality. What is right for once place or time is not right for another. The people who are my clan are those who have had to learn a foreign language, who have gone through the ego bashing of sounding like a complete idiot, not when discussing philosophy, but when trying to buy a sausage in the ‘butchery’.

My clan are those who understand that πολλά (polla) is ‘many’ in Greek, but polla is not the same as pollo in Spanish and a wry smile comes to their lips, remembering their own similar fuck ups. My clan is formed by those who have experienced learning foreign languages and felt the opening of a mind-door to a tropical garden of a new culture. My clan is made up of people who have morphed themselves so differently through so many different cultures, and have become as comfortable living in nature and knowing how biogas is made while not freaking out about washing pots in the trickle of a stream right beside the cows, to surviving on mountain tops, to hitching in desserts, to getting through horrible amounts of hours of meditation, to living once in a while in the splendour of Jacuzzis and body work and absolute utter pampering.
Utter pampering! A ''sauna' with Doctor Gopal the Ayurvedic master.

So nice to chill out in the luxury of Ibiza

My clan are those who have wandered around the inner world and have realised that mono-theism 
has its reality but that it is a partial reality, that the mono god of the Christians is, deep down in the mystic realms the same as the Muslims and the Jews and the Hindus and even the Buddhists who have no god. My clan are those who feel the nature of reality and realise that there are millions of realities, one per person, and within that millions more, and that each reality has a mini god. My clan connect with earth’s bountiful nature and that they are open enough to experience life right now, as it is, as it unfolds.

Lyndsay and I on the top of the world. The Andes, two days train journey up from Salta, Argentina. 

My clan having morphed ourselves through so many different versions of ourselves, realise, in the same way that a knife is un cuchillo, una cullera, une cuillère and a μαχαίρι, that the essence of the metal utensil is the same wherever you go; and that all of the versions of ourselves are nothing but names on top of something that underneath is essentially the same wherever we go, whoever we are manifesting as. My clan are those who know that we are all one, even when separated by culture.
My clan are those who understand that there is a shift happening and it seems we have to each go through it alone, that the new critical mass hasn’t quite happened yet, that this new energy we are becoming has not connected between us yet, that we must stand firm in the lighthouse of our hearts as it feels the earth around us is going up in psychic quakes, in sun flare storms of the heart, as mass destruction of what was purifies into something we cannot yet imagine.

I feel we must believe in ourselves even as we all float, scared out of our wits, around and around in black holes of absolute unknowingness. While the only knowing that I feel I can know, a frayed insecure life-rope, is that we cannot identify and cling onto where we have come from, resort back to an upbringing of right and wrong, of countries being our identification, of single culture perspectives, one set of rules, one form of family with 2.4 children, of parents understanding more about the world than internetted children. It is now, simply old hat.

Children of today around the world quite commonly speak two or three languages by the time they are four, have brains that connect to technology, and understand that a person living in the same town may be as intimate or not as someone living on the other side of the world. War cannot happen as it did. We don’t fit into the slots anymore.
Biogas heaven. These kids speak three languages: Nepali, their own dialect and English.

We are the change we wish to see in the world. We are changing.

I am open. I am proud of it: it is my gift and my curse. I am grateful for it.

Namaste very mucho. 
Xristo Anesti. 
Orthodox Easter, Sunday 12 April 15.

Orthodox Church, Parokia Greece.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Oct 9th - In Someone Else's Chaos.

Falling into eternity

Sparkling dots
enveloped in a
billowing vacuum;
through the cool night air
I breath in
thousands of light years 
of this elegance
of something
more than I am.

They say that if you fear something enough you will bring it into your life. I have feared, all of my adult life, that I will be on the streets, homeless. And here I find myself. Worry being a prayer to the higher consciousness asking for what I do not want. I wonder how many others fear the same, how many people accept jobs they do not want, to avoid this fear? I do not know if I am a brave lightworker, struggling through unchartered darkness of the soul, or if I am simply disconnected from reality, irresponsible and as my father and brother love to label me ‘a failure’. I don’t feel like a failure, even now, travelling into London on the National Express to do a course in Hakomi, Applied Buddhism within the psychotherapeutic world. I am not sure where I will sleep tonight. I have a pretty sure possibility of staying in Welwyn Garden City, an hour outside of London, and a guy interested in mystism and Sufi has somehow popped up and offered me a place on couchsurf, but no address and no dates.

I feel like I am in a big game, where I need only trust. So simple, it is hard to believe. I remember countless occasions of travelling and never knowing where I would stay. It was a way of life. Something always turned out...I always found a play to stay, even when I was travelling on bike with 5 others in a place without hostels or hotels, and we ended up sleeping in an old folk’s home. I had asked for directions from two nice looking younger people on the street and the girl’s mother ran a residency that happened to have 3 double rooms free.

I want to believe that this is happening for a greater good. I feel often sick in my stomach, and breathe through it, and as I do I seem to be constantly transported back to being a child. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m in England now, and England is only the place where I grew up, or if I am working through limited belief systems created as a child. All I know is that I am being forced to break down my (Buddhist) ego, and though it hurts and I feel in a state of constant alert, it also feels as if I am breaking away from old patterns, letting past chains fall away like brushing dandruff away from my shoulders. The old, is simply the old. I’m sure I needed those limits, those defence systems, at the time, or I felt it to be true, but now, is just now. I am not the little girl who was bullied by her Dad, nor the older sister who was never enough for her brother, nor the daughter of a woman who really wanted a son. It is not relevant any longer. I am me.

The last two nights have been psychologically hard. I met a girl on the counselling course who invited me into her house, I liked her, she seemed the most ‘evolved’ on the course. I started to get a whiff of something not quite right when I couldn’t get into her car without stepping in rubbish that didn’t look too new. She talked incessantly, for hours and was very attentive to me drifting off and not listening...she would bring me in every time with a ‘Julia look....’ and a trick with the dog...she is shaking his hand now, she is kissing him now, look she says I can make him talk to me...etc etc. Trying so desperately to be friends. Trying too hard, so that I was exhausted. I didn’t feel I could have a minute to myself, and yet I needed to sort out accomodation in London, which just hasn’t materialise as yet. It was stressful, and probably well summed up by an email to John ‘Is it ok to kill the dog?’ It’s hard to keep stroking  an incessant dog that is giving me allergies. 

I recognise all this patter, recognise it in a past good friends, one of whom by weird coincidence contacted me that same day. I wonder why I keep attracting this chaotic female energy into my life? 

Last night the little one Pauline, had ballet. I know that because Edith had got Wednesday mixed up for Thursday and had thought it the night before...so ballet time comes, Pauline has been dressed for an hour...she has come in and told me at 3.30pm about her 5pm ballet...at five to, Edith is not moving. Pauline is dressed but not for walking, she’s got a little leotard on and Edith’s night dress, because Edith will not buy her ballet stuff until she goes every week. Pauline says ‘Are you ready mummy to take me in the car?’ 
‘Not in the car...we are walking...what are you doing dressed like that?’ It is the best that Pauline can do - there is fierce competition in the class to look good, Edith has already explained that to me. I had watched Pauline check herself various times over the last hour in the mirror. ‘We are walking!’
‘But mum it is five to! We are going to be late!’
‘Then I am not going to take you!’
‘Mummmmmmmm!’ Pauline holds back her, obvious habitual, frustration. I feel it as repressed rage.
‘No.’ Edith says waddling like a duck in power.
‘It’s your money, you have paid and it is a waste! Mummy please!’
‘Do not talk to me like that!!’
Etc etc. 

Eventually Pauline puts on some leggings and they walk there and must have got there late.
In the morning just before time to go to school, Edith decides to call her mother in Poland, because she is in a panic that she may be in hospital because she didn’t answer the phone a couple of days previously. I don’t understand why she waited, in this emergency, until now. The children get alarmed, try to talk to her while she is on the phone. Edith cannot hear anyone, everyone is shouting over each other. She puts down the phone and starts screaming at the children not to talk to her while she is on the phone, that it is rude, that it will make nobody happy...she does this, in her Polish accented English for a long time, going in cyclical mind troughs...meanwhile they are becoming later and later for school. The children are quiet. They’ve been here before.

I think about my fear of leaving the house...it’s not a fear of being out, and not of being in, but of leaving the house, of going through the front door. And I remember all of the stress that happened every single time. How we were always late for everything, how my mum would be in a constant stress about time, how she just had to wash up, to not return to a dirty house, how suddenly she had to attend to a cake that she had forgotten about, how she just had to do one more thing and she will be with us...and I thought that getting to somewhere meant going as fast as you could in a flap, watching the seconds on the clock and feeling that the red light was being totally unfair to us.

So, I wonder if this journey that my soul is taking is about trying to explain to me that the past is the past, that people are not perfect, that it is ok, that now is now, and that it is actually completely ok. Good enough.

I mean I totally respect Edith, she is bringing up two children, with an ex who is really not helping. No details here, but imagine the worse. And they are safe and clothed and fed and schooled, and they obviously love their mother unconditionally. She is doing far better than me right now. I can only just put someelse's roof over my own head, let alone two dependent children.

As Pete Robinson said 1. This is not heaven. 2. You are not god. 3. Try and not be an asshole.

I’m trying. It is not easy. I'm doing well just not to express it.

3 positives from the day

I watched a nice film called Julie and Julia and also I noticed at the beginning that one of the names on the screen was May Robinson...it is about two women struggling to make sense of their lives and become writers. Uplifting.

I have accommodation at last for tomorrow! I have been saved by a couch surfer who lives in Welwyn Garden City, and who is appanrently, according to others, a really great host. I will get to that Hakomi course!

I have been able to delete a comment which made me into a victim...I received a wonderful message from Prem Arpan who reminded me that life is just a game, not to be taken too seriously, and not to make myself into victim...and I have managed to do that...even when I'm tempted to say 'Ohh look at me victim.' I am not. This is a gift situation and as I stay calm within, it will heal all this that I manifested this situation with. Shed the old!!

Oct 8th - First Day of Homelessness

It feels good to be out of the toxicity of my brother's home. So good not to have to breathe it in and use all my energy to stay centered and at the same time I feel like I'm in a cloud of non-reality. How did all this happen and what is going to happen and will I be OK? Going with Trust.

To Magaret 

The pop song.

I sing with her
the girl who 
on the school pick up
looked alarmed
to see me, this stranger 
seat-belted beside her mother
the little girl
who got into the back seat
and refused to talk.
we sing on her sofa
her emotions
weaving sounds
felt so deeply
too grownup
for her to have lived them
and I sing her harmonies
sitting in a welling
of magic
feeling our roots
as one.

three wonderful things today

1. I helped in a PhD study into mindfulness. Wow, wow, wow. We meditated together and then Willeke interviewed me, about any detail of the meditation...and then stuck with it, asking all sorts of questions about those five seconds when it happened. I have never looked at life so closely, didn't have the words actually for a lot of it, and suddenly I realised how I experience myself, how that mini experience actually had all the information of the whole...how MUCH info was there. We spoke about those 5 seconds for 45 minutes!!! It was really really mind opening. In short conclusion I realised that life can take so many forms that as a human being my mind cannot even start to conjure up, and so I can leave the idea of what is to become of me to a higher wisdom, and simply stay present in this present. Words, words, words, but how to convey those messages that come from within? Thank you so much Willeke for opening up a new world to me.

2. On the bus to Winchester, that went from outside Willeke's offices at the University (love it...couldn't have planned it so well) there was a beautiful rainbow.

3. Edith, my class mate in the counselling course, opened up her house to me.She has two daughters, the eldest (10 yrs old) refused to talk at first. I felt a little uncomfortable suddenly in an almost strangers house, and we stumbled around a little in awkwardness...then Edith gave me a glass of wine without offering (I like to say that I don't really drink) and half way through we relaxed. Another woman came around to collect her son, who didn't know either of us either, and we had a wonderful candlelit night talking about life, honest, funny, uplifting. Afterwards Edith and her eldest, Magaret, (who didn't want to talk at first) sang together and we did different dances and I taught them to do the upside down asana. It just felt really really magic.

Oct 7th - On Overload.

I go to a counselling course that I am deciding if I want to do. It is based on older fashioned ideas that the the past is the root of the problem, and goes there. I want to do present mindfulness. I want to do T-group, I want to be sensitive. We have to talk to another as if in a session. It is still very much introduction time, which is starting to drag, when one is used to T-groups, or Circling, or Contact Improv. It feels quite clunky, like using an old mobile phone. I tell my colleague, who I think it is the most sensitive of them all, that I am homeless and have nowhere to stay as of tomorrow. She instantly, bless her heart, invites me to her house. Phew. I've bridged this lilly pad. Later in the group psychology the two people who I don't consider to be very self aware, go into attack mode, and project like an automatic gun, at something I had shared last week (which two other people afterwards had applauded me for, thank god). I hold up. But reel. There is something I am doing wrong in this culture. I am being too honest. I am used to sensitive authentic communication that is not afraid of not always being super brilliantly positive, but excited to explore other possibilities of new self images of greater clarity. I am used to people knowing what projection is. I am used to people dealing with their own inner conflict more peacefully, wisely, delicately. I am tired of this shit.

Culture shock

Everywhere I go
walls of silence
shroud hurting hearts;
I sing my song 
through them, 
but my alegre
soon turns flat.
In parlour reverence,
I whisper now
soft words
that somehow
twist into thorns;
stunned into silence,
I sit exhausted
and become them.

Three blessings for today

1) A wonderful breakfast with Peter N W Robinson who told me some wonderful words that someone had recently told him
a. You are not god.
b. This is not heaven
c. Try and not be an asshole.
Great advise!!! Realised how much I wish for an idealised world...while actually I should be just accepting this one. Really great to talk to a sensitive friend and be recognised. Thanks Pete.

2) Phoned the meditation center and there is a possibility of doing a work exchange with them at the end of the month...which meant that my accommodation needs for tomorrow (argghhh) weren't quite met. I spoke with a guy who had said I could 'crash' at his, things had changed...feeling the dread of the black void, I went to the counseling course, where we had to draw how we feel. Art school paid off and I managed to express my hopes of all this shattering, shedding and falling away of the old and the pain healing into a personal blossoming and as I did, the person I partnered up with offered for me to stay in her house for two nights. Yeah!!! Thank you so much Edi. Thank you Universe.

3) Sat on the sofa with my nephew he found an excuse to scuttle across and to nonchalantly snuggle together. I love children, it was just what I needed. Thank you Joshua!