Posted in Uncategorized

Courage

skeletons

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Brené Brown

There have been times when I have been afraid to tell my story. It’s mainly because of the reaction I get  from some people, thus causing me to have shame. I think it’s because I care too much what people may think of me. I know it sounds silly, but I am afraid of being judged. Feeling alone with one’s secrets is terrifying.

I would like to be more courageous.

Often when I read someone else’s heart-rendering story, it helps me feel that I am not alone in the World. I admire courage, I do not despise it.

Franklin D Roosevelt said “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” So actually if we expose our vulnerability and it thereby helps someone, we transmute our fear.

The principal of “Alcoholics Anonymous” is a sense of sharing one’s struggles and in so doing the pain lessens. In the rooms of AA people expose their vulnerability and still feel accepted and loved. I have seen more courage among addicts than anywhere else. I suppose it helps to keep things anonymous in the real thick of the battle.

Brene Brown said “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

It is interesting that when we explore the darkness, we discover the light. Perhaps in exposing the darkness we put our hidden things into the light and that sets us free.

I would like to ask my younger self “does it really matter what people think of me and do I really have to look good?” My Mother used to say to me “we shouldn’t air the dirty family washing”! So maybe it was an old pattern I adopted from my Youth!

I would love to go forward from here and be more courageous…….

“When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realise no one was ever thinking about you in the first place!” Unknown

 

 

Posted in Poetry

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

summer-3

Sometimes I get stuck in unforgiveness
I find myself holding on
the grudge echoes
in remembrance of my suffering
to those the undeserving
or the oblivious
so my desire is to inflict the pain
that infests me
how wrong I am!

But is it second nature to me?
maybe it’s supernatural
should I call forgiveness out
so that it may rest on me
do I dare walk in the shoes
of the one who harmed me
will it ever be forgotten?

The capacity of forgiveness
is infinite
I will embrace it
and let it’s exquisite fragrance
heal the wounds
my prison doors
will fly open
bitterness will dissolve
as my world is put to right

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” Nelson Mandela

Posted in Where I live.

Dance

Today I went to our Morning Market and there were some beautiful young girls dancing.
The joy on their faces captivated me and for a little while I was swaying to the rhythm.
I would have joined them except I’m afraid of making a fool of myself.
It got me to thinking that we should dance more, no matter what age we are.
It frees us from the bonds of the earth and it makes us appreciate the present moment.
We should dance while someone is watching because then they can catch the beat with us.
This is the heart and soul of Africa!

Posted in Poetry

My Freedom song

cavern

I’ve been here in this cavern
cloistered
through all the seasons
I’ve written on the walls
of my insignificance

I’ve searched my thoughts
my mind
and tamed my understanding

This cavern is like no other
it’s full of light
and birds sing all day
the sparkling sky is my roof
flowers dance
in sacred reciprocity

I know I cannot stay forever
I must bind up my brokenness
I must run
I must embrace all that life has for me

But for now
I’m rewriting my story
and reprogramming my mind
I’m learning through silence
I’m listening to what is unsaid

My heart is pounding
and my breath is still
I’m called out
the miraculous flows
reminding me of my strength

The stars are clearer
and the haze across my soul is shifting
I feel the movement of spring upon me
edging out my words of condemnation
those words
that lie to me

Nature is my teacher
it illuminates me
with its ebb and flow
it speaks to me of longing
I can see ecstasy
I’m singing my freedom song

I know I can only see in part
and sorrow has sustained me
but words will transform me
I will see better days
I’m learning to love myself
like I never have before

As I keep moving towards silence
I feel an awakening in my soul

My heart will be still
it will know peace
it will comprehend love

Posted in Where I live.

Where I live (in pictures)

“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”
Thomas Merton

I could say that sometimes I live in my head
and that isn’t always pretty
so I have to catch myself and look around me
with gratitude
at the place where I live on Earthsedgefield-1

I wake everyday to the sound of birds chirping in the trees around our house.

our-house

We have a cat who is my zen master, she forever lives in the moment

kittiekat

and a Tortoise resides in our garden

I can hear the distant roar of the ocean from where we live
and the stars are really bright out in the countryside

sedgefield-2

The beach is a 12 minute walk from our house
it’s a magical place
where seagulls sweep across the sky
and fishermen cast their hooks
with dreams of a big catch

wild-oats-market

On Saturdays we go to the Farmer’s market
and eat delicious food and drink coffee with friends.
It’s a place filled with lots of enticing goodies
and the sound of live music fills the air.

sedgefield-7

I have paraglided above this spectacular piece of paradise
and we swim in the ocean all summer long

sedgefield-5

Our little village is full of interesting people
and I’m aware of poverty just down the road from us
I’ve heard of the struggle for equality
all over the world
I long for peace

sedgefield-6

My little piece of paradise sustains me
it re energises me
The call of nature is strong in me
and yet I cannot disregard
the suffering of my fellow human beings

sedgefield-4

Posted in Uncategorized

Life in slow motion

birds

Recently I posted on my Facebook page that I’m a “breast cancer survivor”. I don’t really talk about it much anymore, mostly because I don’t want it to become my identity. I also don’t want pity.

I’ve thought about it and I realise that my story is a beacon of hope for those who are the midst of the struggle with cancer.

Having breast cancer was a major pause of reflection in my life. It was a time when everything was in slow motion and all around me were moments of gratitude intermixed with a lot of nausea. My memory has erased most of the bad parts.

At the time I thought I might die and I wrote some words to everyone who means something to me. I keep those words as a reminder of my hearts appreciation.

The hardest part of having cancer was the chemo, its horrible stuff; it wreaks havoc on every cell in the body. I cried when they said my hair would fall out.

The intravenous infusion I was given was called “the red devil” and it lived up to its name. When I got home I was violently ill for days and I had such bad thrush in my mouth that I could hardly swallow.

I felt all around me magnificent beings showing me love and support. I felt Angels watching over me.

The day I got my head shaved because my hair was a mere wisp I saw pity in the eyes of my beloveds.

On looking back though, I know I dodged a bullet. The first surgeon I went to when the lump was detected had visions of his Mauritius holiday when he saw me. He gave me no choice; just a “consent form” as he explained that if he found cancer during the surgery he would lop off my boob. (not in those words, but very close)

As I left his luxurious suite, he callously said to me “there, there, I operated on a woman just recently and she went to “The Met” with a sock in it”. He had the compassion of a gnat.

With tears streaming down my face I made my way out of the leafy upper-class suburb.

I spent the weekend trying to fathom out what sock size could replace my womanhood.

My niece a Medical student at the time had heard of my plight and she told me to go for a second opinion. It was the Sunday evening before the scheduled operation, and I had to act fast.

After firing Doctor “feel bad”, I found myself in the modest suites of gentle doctors. As one did the needle biopsy to see if it was cancer, the other, a surgeon explained that I had a choice. I could have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. I chose the latter.

It’s now just a distant memory and I still bear a faint scar. I think about it sometimes if I get a bad headache or any unusual affliction and I wonder at times if it’s coming back.

I may have put it out of my consciousness to try and chase it away. Somewhere inside me some fear still resides but it’s not all consuming.

I have come to see it as the kind of life lesson that explodes with gratitude and hope. It has caused me to appreciate life more and smell more roses and imbibe more sunshine.

For those who were with me during this time my appreciation is cosmic.
I was lucky to come out alive….