This quote stopped me in my reading tracks of ‘Passionate Marriage’, by Schnarch. The idea caused me to pause and digest what was being said: ‘you don’t think your way to a new way of living. You live your way to a new way of thinking’. The stories and beliefs we hold about our selves shape our lives. This idea I’ve held on to but on the flipside the way we have lived our lives will also shape the beliefs we have and thoughts we hold. So, if I want to change my life it’s probably best not to sit around thinking about it but to step out boldly into a new way of living – no matter how frightening. This brings to mind another cliche,  ‘a life lived in fear is only half lived’.

The example Schnarch used to illustrate many of his points were related to a couple in therapy. The woman wanted to be able to go to bed to have sex with her partner wearing nothing but a necklace and a smile. However, it seemed she wasn’t comfortable with her body or accepting enough of herself to do this. Perhaps she thought she was too fat, not attractive enough, lacked some confidence, etc. Regardless, and to the surprise of her partner, the night after the therapy session, she went to bed to wearing nothing but a necklace and smile (I assume with the lights on). Her acceptance of her sexual self hadn’t just appeared in only a few short hours – she had to step boldly into a new way of living. In her case a new way of being sexual with her partner. Her partner then had to respond in turn and of course many things began to happen for the couple (married over 20 years and in their 50’s) in relation to the connection and intimacy they shared.

So this is challenging. I’d love to hear ideas from people about what they can possibly step into and live (despite their history, shortcomings, thoughts and excuses) to bring about a new way of thinking, to grow, to change and to better connect with themselves and others?  And then witness an account of what happened to their relationship to self and others after they actually did it?

I’ll let you know when something else in the book stops me in my reading tracks.

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I hope I’m not too preachy but I’m a firm believer that we don’t need to lower our expectations or standards just change them. Our society is obsessed with measuring everything and so it is difficult to step aside from measuring ourselves up against every manner of thing and ensuring we fit under the canopy of the bell-shaped curve of normality (a place where we think we’re safe for a while until the wheels fall off – and they do). I’ve gained glimpses of freedom by dancing out on the margins with other like-minded people. Just changing my standards not lowering them and giving myself a good slap when I start measuring myself up against others. I’ve realised if I measure up better or higher, I don’t really feel that good about it and if I measure up less I also don’t feel good about it – and when others are measuring me up or down – I don’t like it. So to hell with engaging with measuring and bring on acceptance of others and myself and enjoy the precious moments before they’re all gone. I really enjoy Bluemilk’s blog!

I feel so privileged to live in this country – I just wanted to write this. I know the country is not perfect and yes I do believe that my privilege has been on the backs of the original inhabitants of this land. How do Aboriginal people, in any country, celebrate the day that marks the beginning of their culture being stolen? Perhaps it is the beginning of genocide. I remember when I learned the meaning of the word genocide. I think I was 16 years old and the ramifications of naming the horrifying unspeakable meaning of the word set me quivering.

So I made two Pavlovas today. Normally I do nothing to ‘celebrate’ the day and kind of mourn the day away with a sense of deep despair for history. We were invited to friends today, for a bbq, and asked to bring Pavlova.

We had a lovely time, sometimes in passionate argument. The best part of arguing has to be the passion, don’t you think? And … silence is collusion, so I reaffirm my intention to always speak out. May Australia always allow us to do this with ease …

Harmonising …

January 17, 2010

As the next decade of calendar time begins I’ve been thinking about harmony. I like the sound of the word ‘harmony’. I even considered the word as a name for one of my babies. Harmony sings …

How do I engage with the complexities of my life harmoniously? I’ve come up with an answer  …  harmonising. Perhaps this verb is similar to organising but this is something more and slightly different. In my meaning the word relates to ‘flow’ psychology from the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  I have ideas on a way to create and design a harmonising product to at least assist me and perhaps others.

Life themes will be the key. Other themes for harmonising include: continuum thinking, creative thinking, metaphor, movement language, dreams and imagining. These are the few ideas resting in my mind now. Harmonising is about movement … peace making, balancing, flowing, co-existing, creating, acheiving and relaxing.

Harmonising is not about reaching goals but more about enjoying and living dreams … as in the journey is the destination.

This evening Gabriella and Finn put up the Christmas tree. They did this while I swam at Balmoral in the salty water that seemed extra buoyant and silky smooth. The tree looks a bit hotpotch and lopsided with strands of beads tangled and clumpy instead of even and uniform. What do I expect from a 5 year old and 8 year old?

Mum and Dad visited today and I’m enjoying my life immensely. I seem to have learned the art of interpeting the phenomena and experience of my life in ways that are endearing to me and make me smile.

From the florist I bought bright orange gerbras and bright yellow sunflowers and placed them together, long-stemmed in a glass vase. They are exquisite and bring me lots of joy – they are symbols of the untold varied beauty of our amazing uncontrollable world!

So much in my mind. Thoughts spinning like luggage on a carousel. I reach to grab a thought but it passes me by. Inside each piece of luggage there is so much thinking to unpack. I hesitate. I reach again but the luggage is too heavy. Can all the luggage on the airport carousel be mine. Where do I start?

I stand alone – lonely. I think the airport is closed and there’s not a trolley for my thoughts. They continue to spin like luggage on a carousel. The fluorescent light beats down encouraging that epileptic feeling. Round and round they go.

Do I wait here until I die? What do I do? I’m filled to the brim with emptiness and longing. The longing bubbles out. The longing slushes like manky sea broth around my ankles. My toes are so cold. I feel nailed into the sadness. There’s no where to go, no where to sit. My blood, seeks her freedom as she seeps from the place of the hard cool nails.

Today I walked on the beach. Balmoral Beach here in Sydney. The water felt warm and the sky a never ending blue. The clouds were all on strike I think. I sat on an olive green bench at the Eastern end of Balmoral Beach. I read two chapters of  ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ by Alan Bradley. This is the book chosen to be read this month by my book club. Next to me an elderly couple had set up a picnic outside of their small camper van.  These moments today were bliss and I’m very grateful for them. The elderly woman of the couple wore a bright bright orange swimsuit. She ran down to the water and without any hesitation glided gracefully in. A dog joined her for the swim.

I can still feel the sand between my toes and it is after 10.00 pm. I have visited my dear friend in hospital, the sand and salt came with me. I am so tired, and I long to curl up into bed with the book I started. I’ll just rinse my toes … night night