Archive for the ‘flying’ Category

Wheel of the Year

No, not a car performance award 🙂 This is a continuation of an idea I blogged about in September 2006 (for those of you around at the time, that post might be an interesting reflection of our lives then, and things that have changed) as well as a continuation of the October 30 post, in which I start to think about the coming year.

It seemed timely to talk about how my contemplative year is structured, the way it has naturally evolved and creates some balance through the year. Time to be active and time to stop.  believe in living a balanced life, where all aspects are giving proper times and weightings. Not the same time or weighting, but the proper amounts.

I also tend to observe patterns and cycles and structure. (I just had a manager state that I had a mind that could bring structure to an idea, I should put that on LinkedIn).

For the past few years, I have observed that my contemplative year tends to conform to the follow cycles:

Wheel of the Year

This is represents the phases that my attention to my journey through life goes through. Blue is planning/reflection, yellow is social/festival time, Orange-Brown is getting things done time, stuff that relates to the yearly theme, stuff that relates to living.

My year seems to align with the solar cycle. This is not deliberate, or a pagan thing, it’s more that I’ve observed these points as markers in my year.

These are not mutually exclusive states, more broad themes, and permissions to be in a certain headspace, or not at certain times. For instance during activity phases my nose is not to the grindstone to the exclusion of everything else. Right now I am allowed to have very little idea of goals and plans, as its a time to incubate them, consider them, try them on for size and fit.

So, between now and sort of mid-December I find that I am generally reflecting on where I’m at, who I am, where I am going and what my hopes are. There’s social fun and relaxation in there too, Turkey Day for instance – although I suspect there will be less of that here in winter, than in Sydney when this is the beginning of a busy social season.

Then I put that to one side in my head over Christmas/New Year’s as that’s a time for sharing with friends and family.

February 2 is a special event with water and flowers and asking for favours from the greater universe over the coming year, so becomes the point at which everything is more solidified and specific.

Chinese New Year feels more New Year ish in terms of activity than January does. Don’t know why.

Then there’s sort of a period of time which is neither hugely social, not hugely reflective. Stuff tends to get done, but not because I am pushing, it’s just that’s what tends to happen.

Then, here, summer happens, and this year  I noticed that summer flew by as we were enjoying light and warmth and long days, hence I was more focussed on social aspects and relaxation than I would have been in Australia, and I expect this will continue

Then, again, another inbetween period, autumn, until October 30 when I celebrate being free and light and happy and living the life I dream of.

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It’s 3 years.

3 years since one part of my life fell apart.


It’s 3 years since I decided that I was now free

I was now able to choose to live my life the way I wanted

To not be apologetic for being me

Since I decided to set out on the quest to learn how to live a life of fulfilment and happiness. Joy and Hope.

In those 3 years I:

  • Travelled to the UK and Paris twice and the US once, to Melbourne numerous times, Tasmania 3 or 4 times, and the Great Barrier Reef once
  • Had various adventures, danced through life and bounced for happiness and joy
  • Drank tea on a rooftop, drank wine on another one, danced in the rain, cuddled trees, discussed philosophy on balconies at dusk
  • Met lots of lovely people, learned what it is to love friends and be loved back. Discovered many members of my heart and my spirit families
  • Shared a home with a wonderful woman. We shared food, thoughts, care and concern. A comfortable place to be, and my first home in a long time
  • Learned how emotionally strong I am, and how I deal with stress
  • Learned what my ideal life is like
  • Had a brilliant job, with fantastic colleagues, that was all I could want at that stage of my career
  • Lost 15 kgs, and became stylish, but also wore knee-high stripey socks and fun hats
  • Learned the principles of being an adult, chief that being an adult means realising no-one is going to do that difficult task for you.
  • Was an internet DJ for 18 months and learned that I CAN tell an interesting story
  • Have seen the Cat Empire in concert 6 times, and re-discovered an appreciation of music that I thought I’d lost
  • Have become an excellent intuitive cook, and appreicator of good food
  • Met the man I was supposed to meet, and moved to the UK to be with him

On this day every year I remember, and am thankful for the fact that part of my life fell apart. For the intense phoenix journey that was the following 18 months, and the changeable journey of the last 18 months. And I start to look forward to the next 12-18 months and start to wonder what it might bring.

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This post is perhaps the first one to actually address the underlying theme of this blog: how to create a life that allows you to fly; to be that person you dream of being; to be happy and content and engaged and loved. To have hope. To experience joy. I’m finally back in the headspace and heartspace to be able to write these. Let’s see where this journey leads us. ❤

I consider good, open, aware communication to be the foundation of all relationships. Any relationship. Lovers, colleagues, friends. Anyone you have to interact with. It facilitates understanding, compassion and resolution. It creates understanding where previously there may have been frustration. Hope where there may have been despair.

Much of my experience in this life has been about refining and practicing communication. Learning how to be clear, how to ensure it is heart-felt and compassionate, how to facilitate understanding and resolution. It’s what I do well, when I’m paying attention and coming from a place of love and confidence. (I know this is not always the case, but it’s becoming more the norm, of which I am quietly proud).


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I hide.

In a stressful or confrontational situation my first inclination is to hide, run away, become invisible. Sometimes physically, sometimes metaphorically. Even after that situation has stopped it takes a lot of courage for me to stop hiding.

For years I’ve known that I’ve hidden behind masks (pre-exchange to Thailand) and behind a thick emotional wall that rarely let anyone in. I conceptualised people in my life as belonging to various circles of closeness. Being aware of who had made it past which protective wall and could be trusted with what aspect of my true self. Heart family, spirit family. There’s a very, very sensitive core inside that not many people see, extroverted introvert.

However, this morning, after a particularly trying, and in various ways lonely, couple of days I realised that actually, behind that wall that I always knew was there is also a set of caves.

Sand Mine detour

This is where I hide. The wall keeps people out, I hide in the caves. (Yay Moon in Cancer!). Anytime that I feel like I’m a disappointment to someone, any aggressive situation, some noisy situations, particular tones of voice, or facial expressions, any time I don’t acknowledge what I need for emotional support and plough on through pretending it’s all OK or don’t get what I need for emotional support when I do know what it is, or feel that someone has completely and unfairly misjudged me, I retreat into these caves.

This morning I realised I was a few levels down.

On the other hand at least I realised it, which has helped in coaxing me back out again, looking at the fears and needs. Taking some actions, like calling girlfriends.

Looking back there are entire periods of my life where I’ve lived obliviously in these safe, warm caves. The caves which prevent me from actually dealing with issues or forming deep relationships.

The flip-side to this (thanks Leo Rising!) is that I’m also really good at the facade of not hiding, to be safe you can’t actually let anyone know that you’re hiding, they might try to drag you out or attack you. Stoicism, pretending I’m coping, being gregarious, very chatty, a social butterfly, being efficient or logical can all be smokescreens to the fact that I’m retreating further into those caves. Crab-like. Not always, but they do sometimes form this function.

In some ways it does feel like a crab by the seaside. Scuttling away under a rock at the first hint of danger, and then slowly, checking at every step, inching back out into the light, always ready to hide again.

It’s a trust thing. Trusting it’s OK to come back out. Love will do it, as will compassion, geneuine friendship and demonstration that someone notices and cares, certain places draw me back out, as do certain practices (morning cafes) and habits. The sense that I am safe and am in control enough that I won’t disappoint anyone, or myself. I’m realising how much of my life is predicated on not really trusting that anyone actually cares or notices.

On the plus side, I’m writing this out and sharing it, rather than hiding it away again. Metaphors help in many, many ways.

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A text message exchange:

J: Breaking news: There’s been an emergency at the cafe/hotel! Space police are on their way…

K: Does this emergency involve a giant arachnid?

J: You’ll see… 🙂

Jed’s at home today, recovering from the cold we’ve both had. Apparently he’s decided to do something very amusing to my Cafe Corner model, probably using the spider lego set he received in the post yesterday, and his Space Police sets he bought at the same time I got the Cafe Corner.

Despite the toughness of hothousing a relationship in a new country, this is why I know it will work. A very similar light-hearted approach to fun and joy. We make up songs as we walk down the street, we adopted a toy rabbit from IKEA (Photos of Mr. Bunny and his strange desires here. Mostly those desires are “pudding”), we have pillow fights in IKEA, we admire ladybeetles and paint Christmas trees and wear silly gnome hats. We smile and giggle alot. The best part is that there’s no embarrassment, we’re just being ourselves, together.

This is not the only reason, but it’s certainly a good one.


Edit: This was emergency:
Attack of the space spider

If you click on the photo it will take you to the Flickr page which has notes all over the image telling the story of the incident.

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Returning from lunch after reading a provocative book (might cover this later) I realised that in many ways I have in front of me a blank canvas to construct a life, and started to think about how I wanted to live. Which then somehow led to a reflection on the difference between choosing a life based on how you want to live vs choosing one on how you should live.

I’ll probably define this differently to most people, but I see it as the following:

How you should live is the test of your 20s, checking cultural norms and stereotypes, going along with something because either your parents lived that way, or all the cool kids are doing so (or rebelling against these two things). Whereas deciding how you want to live is about active reflection of what makes you happy and satisfied and choosing to pursue this. I feel that this is a question you answer in your 30s, or maybe that’s just me. I’m sure my younger sister started answering this question a few years ago, for instance. The second is more work and takes more effort than the first, but is in turn more worthwhile.

Becstarr and I have spoken many times about the benefits of share housing, and I suspect this might be one of them. It gives you a better chance to break-down what is an unconscious normalised habit and what actually works for you as you are exposed to many different ways of setting up a house, and negotiating how to live within that space.

A quick shortlist of some of the ways I want to live, which I know add to my personal well-being:

  • a mostly clean and uncluttered house. Not scrupulously so, but a place where care has been taken
  • fresh, interesting, home-cooked meals, eaten together at a table. This has been one of the best aspects of the first few months in Surrey. Few opportunities to eat out (far from the lure of King St, Newtown), and so in order to continue to enjoy food I have been forced (and have enjoyed) more cooking than previously.
  • coming home at a reasonable hour to spend time with loved ones, rather that working late. I turned down a job interview today for a potentially very prestigious job because of this reason.
  • plants, flowers, light, air flow
  • good, flowing, intelligent conversation about concepts and issues, or fun, creative conversations about ideas and experiences. These are not mutually exclusive
  • a sense that adventures are possible and new things can be discovered on a regular basis
  • being able to dress in a way that makes me feel elegantly stylish
  • a sense that there is more to life than sleep-eat-work-recover

This is just the start, I’ll be tucking this idea away for future reflection. I suppose this is an important aspect of the title of this blog, what I mean by learning to fly. I had planned to write a full-post on that idea, it will happen, at some stage.

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Moving to England – part 1

Visa application went in on Monday. According to their guidance notes and anecdotal evidence it takes 45-50 working days for them to process Tier 1 migrant visas. This means I am likely to get it back in the week starting 9 March. 10 weeks from now.

Today I booked my ticket for the 10 March, which is cutting it a bit fine, BUT I can change the date on the ticket for a $50 fee, and it makes more sense to buy a cheap ticket now, than an expensive one later when I have dates.

I *think* I will tell work that I am finishing on 6 March (officially on 11 March with my accrued leave taken into account). This part is scary, I’ve never been unemployed.

I’ve spent the week sporadically working on my CV, which I find to be a daunting task, along with job hunting in general. It’s one activity that saps my confidence. How do I find the people that will want to give me a job and where I’ll be happy? Actually, at the moment I’d sort of just be happy with a job. Luckily I have a list of professional contacts/organisations to target. This is the first step. Well, after I just take a deep breath and decide that my CV is good enough. I’m falling for the maxim that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Actually, does anyone have experience reading CVs and wants to give me some feedback. Previously I’ve only applied for government jobs which is slightly different to fishing for a position.

The shipping leaves on Wednesday and Jed and I are in the midst of packing. There’s boxes all over the house. I find it satisfying that there will be more things left over that I’ve not felt the need to take with me, than things in those boxes. Getting the crap out of my life. On the other hand, this means I now need to find a home for them…

My lease ends on February 27 and I move in with my sister the weekend before, until I fly out. This means that all that stuff needs to have found a new home by then, BUT some of it, like my bed, will be a bit tricky as people can only come and get it in that week, hence the moving in with my sister part, to give me some breathing space to get rid of those sorts of items and to clean the house. (If you want anything, let me know. I’ll be posting a list of stuff soon)

I have to sell my car. This is daunting. I’ve never sold a car let alone bought one. I really, really don’t like the idea of putting an ad in the classifieds and then taking people for test drives, it scares me somewhat. But I don’t want to trade it in for a new car, and I suspect if I just take it to a dealer I will be substantially out of pocket. (Anyone want a Magna for around $2500?)

There’s a whole heap of smaller things I need to do in the next 10 weeks, but in all, apart from the car and finding a new house for the stuff I own, it seems to be mostly in hand.

Here’s hoping the visa people don’t sit on my application. I made it as easy as possible for them to see the documentary evidence and therefore approve it (lots of coloured tabs). I’ve not worked in government and administration for years without knowing how to do this.

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