Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fly away seeds where you will

I'm not sure I've answered the question of my blog title.  I do know that it's time to draw this blog to a close.  It represents a period of my life that I'm ready to wave a fond farewell to.
Part of the next phase is Fresh Air - a series of events exploring the questions we all ask (and I'm still asking!) -  it has its own website and blog here.  I hope to see you there.  Kx

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Chapter Two

Chapter One was easy, looking back.  I rode the wave of energy and enthusiasm.  I took risks, I asked for what I wanted, I embraced the learning and the change and the difficulties. It was all part of the big experiment of life.  There were rewards.  The new is aways exciting.  And then, gradually but surely, it went wrong.  Not all of it but a part didn't work and now it's gone.

I'm starting again.  This time I have the tools and experience from Chapter One.  It's not new any more and it means more this time.  I realise that's the first mistake.  Making it IMPORTANT.  I'm still excited though.  
I will find a way to do it that works.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Are you nuts?

Potential is all well and good.  Having lots of ideas?  Fabulous.
But, really, what's the point unless you do something with all those nuts and seeds?  They'll rot or some squirrel will bury them, then eat them.  Those closely held dreams and ideas might give you a small cozy glow.  Daydreams and fantasies have their place.
But, seriously, what good is a hoard of nuts?

From Blog to Book

I'll be co-compering Scanners Night on Wednesday.  The topic, hilariously, is From Blog to Book.  No, I'm not presenting the topic, that will be Betty Herbert, author of The 52 Seductions, who did turn her blog into a book deal.  I haven't consistently blogged for months.  I still have plenty I want to say, I've just got into that very bad habit of writing in my head and then thinking I'm done.  So the topic is a good nudge; it's time for a review of what this blog is for and whether it still serves its purpose.

Bye for now.


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

On Death

I've been thinking about death.  Not intentionally, but it seems to keep coming up.

It all started with tax returns (yes death and taxes are the two things we can't avoid).  As I went through my papers and pulled out the necessary bits I found amongst the pension papers and bank statements things I had kept for other reasons.  A copy of the email an ex sent the morning after we first made love.  Leaving notes and cards from my array of past jobs.  Old CVs. Ancient phone contact lists.  I kept everything I needed.  I shredded everything I didn't until the shredder broke and I resorted to the fireplace. Very satisfying. Paper really burns.  Then I went through those old mementos I'd been holding on to, read them one last time and burned them too.  The whole process took about 3 days and I'd put it off for nearly three years. When I finished I felt relieved, lighter, and had an immaculate set of paperwork.  I submitted my tax return on time - hurrah!

It did occur to me, though, that there was an element of putting my house in order about this in the way someone might when they knew their time was up and wanted to make the chore of going through personal belongings easier after their death.  It wasn't a comfortable thought.  Is that why I'd put it off for so long?

Do I believe that just when I've got everything worked out the big scythe will come and get me?

On Monday I went to a workshop with Amy Hardie who made the wonderful film The Edge of Dreaming.  I saw the film a few months ago and loved its mix of neuroscience, shamanic traditions and powerful images.  It wasn't until we were in the workshop that I remembered it was a film as much about death as about dreaming and the mind/body connection.  I also realised the one piece of paper I didn't burn was the funeral service program for a friend who died too young and unexpectedly in October.  I've kept it both to remember her and to remind me to write to her mother.  The workshop explored, among other things, the Celtic tradition of bardoes, places of the soul in that intermediate stage between life and the afterlife.  Roughly they go like this in order:
1. The Place of Not Knowing (the confused place, this is where ghosts are)
2. The Place of Story Telling (where you see your whole life and accept and forgive both the damage done to you and the damage you have done to others)
3. The Place of Regrets and Transformations (where you recognise all the things you didn't do and come to terms with that)
4. The Place of Expansion (where you are free and healed, no distinction between you and others/the earth)
5. The Place of Unity/Wholeness
6. The Place of Threshold (total rest, also the place where you are given the choice of going back to live another life)
These seem like rules for living to me.  At least stages 1 to 3 seem to be stages worth cycling through as we can, when we can as we live.

Then yesterday I went to see The Descendants. Another film about death, about saying goodbye, about forgiveness and coming to terms.

Perhaps it's time I really acknowledged my own death and the deaths of all I love.  The point of death is to make living, and how we do it, matter.

Isn't it?

And if we do figure some of this out before we go, that's a good thing.  It doesn't mean we hasten our own end.  Just that when it comes we can welcome it better.


Saturday, 31 December 2011

So, 2011, see ya

The end of year review.  I've been putting this off like the good procrastinator I can be.  It's been a year of learning, delaying and then getting on with it and ultimately I'm in a good place to launch into 2012.

The achievements log goes something like this:
Worked with one of the most creative theatre companies and artistic directors, taking a show to an international festival in the summer, and leaving it in very capable hands as I exit.
Two new part-time jobs lined up for 2012, working in very different organisations - visual art and career strategy.
A Psychology qualification.
Set up a regular monthly event/workshop on the theme of Fulfilling Work with a friend.
Made new friends and contacts and deepened my existing friendships.
Started dating.

The behind the scenes story:
Really struggled to find my way until after the summer.
Still find it difficult to let go of my control freak tendencies.
I'd like to think I've become a softer and warmer person, but others may disagree!

The learnings:
Forgiveness, acceptance and gratitude are the way to go.
Learn by doing.
Keep the ego under control.
Let go to let in.
I'm not responsible for everything.

I've been rehearsing a version of the end of year review over the last week or so as I've seen a lot of people I haven't seen for a while - I've spun a very positive story.  Of course it's true but it isn't quite the tidy (smug?) story I've presented.  The old adage of pride coming before a fall proved oh-so-true and just as the year is ending, a couple of slaps have reminded me to reign in a little. Not to play small, but to pay attention to how I am behaving.  To slow down and settle for a bit.  To get off the adrenaline speed boat.
To be still.  And to listen.
Not a bad place to be at the end of 2011.  I'm happier, wiser, more comfortable in my skin and less worried about finding my way.  I'm looking forward to next year.

Happy 2012.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Interviews and dating - similarities

I've noticed this before and it's fresh in my mind after a couple of days of interviewing.

The employer wants the candidate to be the one.
The candidate wants the employer to be the one.
The employer wants the candidate but the candidate picks another job or doesn't like the employer and turns them down.
The candidate was just checking out the employer.
The employer was testing the market as they didn't really know what they wanted.
The candidate wants the job and thinks the employer likes them but they don't.
The chemistry in the room can be palpable and misleading.
The employer persuades themself to employ someone who doesn't quite fit because they need to fill the role.
The candidate needs a job so takes one they don't really like.
Compromising on key values rarely works out.

I think that's enough, you get the point.