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Braver than you will know.

The room is long and connects to the open kitchen. In the kitchen that seems too white stands a woman, also in white. It looks like a nurses uniform, perhaps she works in a hospital. She is thin, scrawny even, except for the tiny little pot belly you can barely see. Her hair is very short, brown and curly, as if she sets it in curlers every night before bed. She holds a small cooking pot in one hand and appears to be yelling at the short, fat man standing at the other end of the lounge room. He is balding and grey, his face is red with rage. He seems to be huffing and puffing like a dragon, only he doesn’t shoot flames from his mouth, just his insecurities, his fears that his wife in white is having an affair and will leave him for another man.

That won’t happen though, not on his watch. Not for as long as he owns his rifle and he has bullets. He stands there, yelling back at the woman, venting his pent up anger and fear, his hatred. He is pointing his loaded rifle at her, threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t stop seeing this man. The barrel of the rifle seems to reach toward the woman standing in the kitchen, appearing longer than it is. The woman isn’t scared as she stares at the threatening barrel, at least not for herself. She is just angry and vehemently protesting the accusations.

Her eyes flicker to the left, that is where her fear crouches, hidden at the end of the lounge that sits against the wall next to the doorway that leads to the bedrooms. There’s a little girl with bright blue eyes and wavy brown hair. She is crouched in a tight ball staring at her Nanny in the kitchen with the pot. She can’t see her Poppy from where she crouches, but she can hear him. Hear his accusations and his threats. Knows he is holding a rifle pointed at her Nanny. The girl knows that if her Poppy pulls the trigger the bullet that flies out of the gaping mouth at the end of the barrel will kill her Nanny.

The little girl feels great fear for her Nanny. So afraid that her Nanny will get hurt and go away. If that happens she knows she won’t have anywhere to live because no one else wanted her. The sadness creeps up behind her eyes. She is scared of her grandparents, but at least she knows where she is, she knows where she lives. She has Somewhere. Poppy can’t shoot her Nanny. Resolve flickers in her eyes when she hears her Poppy threaten to kill her Nanny again. Her Nanny’s eyes flicker over to the girl again, not wanting the girl to be hurt. She also notices the flicker of determination in the little girls eyes and calls out for her to stay where she is. The little girl doesn’t listen. She knows her Poppy won’t shoot her, so she races over to stand in front of her Nanny. Her Nanny quickly holds the pot over the little girls heart. Her little heart is pumping with fear and adrenaline, but she is brave. So brave. She will not let him kill her Nanny.

She knows Poppy is so caught up in his drunken rage, so caught up in his story that he has forgotten the little girl is even there. He falters when he sees his grand daughter. His resolve weakens. The rage seems to deflate out of him and the edge in the air lessens. The little girl is on high alert, she is tense and scared and fiercely protective. Her Nanny is pushing her away. She doesn’t want to go. Her Nanny is persistent. She pushes the little girl toward the hallway that leads to the front door. The little girl turns around to protest, she is scared her Poppy will shoot her Nanny if she leaves. Her Nanny is telling her to go downstairs to Unit One where Dell lives and wait there. Her nanny promises she will be down soon and that everything will be OK.

The little girl doesn’t want to, but she doesn’t want to disobey her Nanny either or her Nanny might not want her anymore. Her Nanny might send her away if she doesn’t do as she is told. As she turns to leave the little girl notices a red patch of blood on her Nanny’s whiter than white uniform. It reminds the little girl that her Nanny might die and it brings the fear back full force. The girl doesn’t want to leave her Nanny but she knows she has to do as she is told. The little girl doesn’t look back as she races down the hall with tears streaming down her face. She doesn’t notice that her Poppy has put the rifle down as she flies out the front door. She doesn’t notice the shame on the old man’s face, the remorse. She doesn’t see him realise what almost happened. She doesn’t see him appear to age another decade in front of her eyes. All she does is carry her fear for her Nanny’s life down the stairs with the thought in her head that if she can just get to Dell, her Nanny would be safe. Everything would be OK.

The lady one flight down opens her door as the girl comes wailing down the stairs. She would have heard the argument going on above her. She asks the little girl if she is OK and if she would like to come inside until it is safe. The little girl stops dead in her tracks . She stops her wailing. She stops her tears. She packs all the feelings in to a little box and tells the lady she is fine and doesn’t want to go into her unit. The little girl rounds the corner to continue down the next flight of stairs keeping her emotions contained and to herself now. She continues to carry the thought in her head that if she could just make it down to Dell then everything would be alright. Because her Nanny told her so.
She made it to Dell’s. Everything did turn out alright in the end. No one died. No one sent the little girl away. She continued to have Somewhere. No one ever mentioned how brave that little girl was. Ever. It wasn’t until decades later, looking back, the little girl who had grown in to a dysfunctional, unworthy adult, realised just how brave she was that night. Just how brave she was. Just how brave she still is.

2016 Polymer Clay Challenge

OK, so this coming year, 2016, I am going to challenge myself to make something with polyclay once every week of the year. So by the end of 2016 I will have done at least 52 polyclay activities.

Because I know myself I don’t want to limit myself with what I will make however the rule I will set myself is that whatever I make needs to be baked and ‘finished’ each week. So polyclay canes don’t count alone. If I use a polyclay can to make a bowl that is fine but it needs to be baked and sanded and polished or glazed. I’d like all 52 projects I do to be able to go in to my Etsy shop to be sold in some way.

From where I’m at right now, most of it will be beads or pendants of some sort, however I am always learning new things and wanting to try new things so who knows what I will come out with.

I actually had a dream recently of something I’d like to make with polyclay, however I want to keep that one tight to my chest until I get it done. I would like to challenge myself to get in to that and have it all done and ready to go by the end of 2016 as well.

I will be participating in the 2016 Polyclay adventure which is a bunch of online tutorials which I think will easily keep me accountable. That will be lots of fun! Anyone else interested in joining go here: http://www.onlineartretreats.com/about-us/pca2016landing/ they are also running a jewellery adventure too which I’m doing which will be fun.

Other great places to go for polyclay or polyclay inspiration are:

Kater’s Acres

Over The Rainbow

Polymer Clay Daily

Sculpey University

 

If you have links to any other awesome polyclay type places on the wonderful world wide web feel free to link me to them in the comments! 🙂

Why eating Bliss Balls is torture!

Cacao Bliss Balls

These are my bliss balls. Not made with the sugary awesomeness of modern chocolate. Not even made with the commercialised, over-processed cacao you can get in health food stores that actually tastes reasonable. No. These are made with real, under-processed ceremonial grade cacao. These guys here have mejool dates, some LSA (crushed linseed, almonds and sesame seed), a dollop of honey, macadamia nuts, some pink Himalayan rock salt, some coconut milk and of course the cacao and covered in dessicated coconut.

They look awesome! The cacao turned out so smooth and creamy and rich that by looking at it your mouth could water. However just one bite…

bitten cacao bliss ball

… and I didn’t know how I was ever going to finish it! No matter what else is mixed with this stuff, the cacao over-rides it with a stubborn and persistently bitter zing. It took me almost 20 minutes to consume just the one and that is technically only 1/4 of a ceremonial dose! There is no way I could eat 4 in one sitting. It took me 5 bites and the last one I almost couldn’t force down my throat. Yes! It is THAT bad!!

Yet so worth it. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed since beginning my journey with cacao and exploring my relationship with it, is that I get a day or sometimes more without fatigue. I’ve had this sneaking suspicion for some time that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So tired I couldn’t even be bothered getting a diagnosis. I have to push myself through most days. But since I began this, and began drinking fresh juices every day, I have noticed some days without fatigue. Of course, I only notice it when the fatigue finally hits again and I think, ‘oh hey! I hadn’t been feeling this!!’ I’d love to notice it when the fatigue is on vacation so I could fully appreciate my feeling normal. Normal as in not like I’m constantly wading through mud.

Thankfully I only really made these bliss balls to experiment with dreaming. In fact, lucid dreaming. I have always been able to remember my dreams. I dream in colour. I dream in alternate realities. I dream from my personal point of view. I dream from a looking down or in point of view. I have even experienced manipulating my dreams before or changing the direction in my dreams if they begin to feel uncomfortable. The only recurring dream I have is when I need to go to the toilet and I’m refusing to wake up. Not that it is the same every time, just that it always involves one or more toilets in various situations and me sitting down to pee, peeing for the longest time, yet still feeling like I need to pee.

These wake-up-and-pee-dreams, as I’ve come to call them, have arrived in so many different ways. From me living in this caravan and going in to my toilet to pee but being able to see people outside, to me walking in to a public toilet where barely any of the toilets are closed in so people can see me going, to not being able to find a clean toilet, they are clogged or so dirty you wouldn’t even consider sitting on them, to a dream where I kept going to all these different toilets of different sizes, the biggest being a massive pink one I had to use a ladder to sit up on it. I’ve had so many of these dreams I think I could actually write a book about the different ones. I guarantee that they all have other relevant symbolical meanings threaded throughout them as well. Sometimes I can even register in my dream that I’m having a wake-up-and-pee-dream and actually wake myself up to go, usually my conscious mind gets the hint when I keep going and going to the toilet all the time but never feeling relieved and it clicks something in my brain. Thankfully those dreams are VERY persistant and won’t stop until I do eventually wake up and go.

I also seem to have this uncanny knack for being able to break-down and divine some very relevant meaning from dreams. I can hear any dream and seem to be able to interpret it and if the person is open enough and willing enough to hear the deeper meaning, the deeper message, be uncannily accurate about dreams. There are certain symbols and certain archetypes I have found that are universal. However, there are always going to be symbols that are NOT universal. For instance a cow in the western world isn’t going to have the same kind of meaning as say someone dreaming about a cow in India for example.

One of the universal symbols though is water. I learned a very long time ago how water dreams affected me and what they meant. Back when I was still relating with my mother I would get these dreams of MASSIVE waves crashing over me and me not being able to get away from them. Or there was another one where, even though my house was up a hill, we ended up flooded. Not too high, just to the knees, but the water was murky and muddy and when I woke up I thought of my mother. Sure enough, every time after a dream like this something would happen to cause emotional turmoil in our relationship. That was how I discovered what the water meant for me. So now, if I dream about water I pay attention to what kind of water it is, how I am feeling about the water, what the water is doing. I’ve dreamed of clear water where I’ve felt safe and calm and am watching all sorts of sea life swim beneath me, I have dreamed of a raging waterfall. I have dreamed of the muddy water, I have dreamed of fish tanks that are dirty and uncared for. The most common water dream though is waves.

No matter how the water shows up though, I know it has to do with my emotions. For instance the fish tank dreams were about my body. How I haven’t been looking after it, so it’s quite toxic like the water in the fish tank. A number of the fish tank dreams are of me feeling like I need to feed the fish cause I know I don’t feed them enough and they are so hungry and I see the fish tank and it’s so dirty sometimes I wonder how they could possibly still be alive. Once I acknowledged what these ones meant I haven’t had another one since. The very last fishtank dream I had was of adding a new fish to the tank. The tank was cleaner in this one but I worried that there wasn’t enough room for this new fish to fit in my fish tank. I had brought it in from outside the holiday home where I had been swimming in the beautiful calming water with my husband. I put it in the fish tank anyway.

With the typing of the fish tank dreams just then I JUST realised it was letting me know I’d be bringing another person in to my family, in to my home, in to my energetic space. It showed me a concern for being able to feed all the fish, and having enough space. It showed me support from my husband, that he would be with me no matter what. It felt right to add that fish. There was this surety that it needed to be added to my tank. Well a week or two after I had that dream I opened my home to a clayton’s nephew of mine. Someone I’ve known since he was born, who is just 5 weeks younger than my 15 year old son. The first born of one of my closest, dearest friends. Wow! I just love dreams. I love what they can tell you. I love how the symbols can weave a story all of their own if you just know what you are looking for. I have consumed a bliss ball right before I started this, I’m not sure I would have had this insight without it. Yay Ixcacao! Thank you. So there, Constant Reader, is one of the first insights of this week’s Cacao Dieta.

My whole point is, that because I have this strong connection to dreaming and being able to figure out the symbols and the meanings and always bring it back somehow to the dreamer and what is going on, I thought it would be interesting to experiment with cacao dreaming. I have a lucid dreaming app on my phone that I haven’t tried yet. I’ll be experimenting with that this week and seeing what comes of it. I plan to have a cacao bliss ball before bed each night and perhaps take one up to bed with me to consume if I wake through the night to keep the journey going. The thought of this excites me.

So if you’re following me on this journey, I expect there to be some dreams to read about. I must remember to take a dream journal with me upstairs so I can write this stuff down before I do anything else in the mornings. There is so much knowledge to gain from dreams. I don’t believe they are just your brain dumping things. I think dreams are much more than scientists have ever dreamed of 😉 Pun totally intended. I love puns, they are punny!

Thank you for reading if you have. I’d love to hear your dreams. All dreams fascinate me. I love seeing all the different ways archetypes or symbols turn up for different people. Please, feel free to share a dream with me.

What is wrong with you?

So? What is wrong with you?

I’ll tell you what. Nothing! Nothing is wrong with you. Ever. Just because you don’t have a smile on your face or you don’t want to be friendly or you’re not perfectly dressed doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. What is wrong with asking what is wrong with someone? Well, it implies there is something wrong with them of course.

I’m angry. There’s nothing WRONG with me. I’m sad. There’s nothing WRONG with me. I’m hurt. There’s nothing WRONG with me. The implication that there is something wrong with me because I’m making you feel uncomfortable because I don’t feel like pretending to be ok when I’m not is disgusting. How dare you judge me for being wrong simply because I’m not being Miss Perfectly OK.

Don’t get me wrong (hahaha totally unintended pun there!), I have used that question so many times before. However just today it occurred to me that there is something wrong with that question. There is a hidden meaning within that question that implies unless we are happy, we are wrong. And that right there is wrong. Being anxious doesn’t make us wrong. Being sad doesn’t make us wrong. Having feelings and emotions does not make us wrong. It makes us human.

What is wrong with you? What a patriarchal statement. What a controlling statement. You must have something wrong with you if you don’t fit in to the little box my paradigm requires you to be in. You must have something wrong with you if you dare to rock the boat, if you dare to express an opposing opinion, if you dare to be true to who you are instead of toeing the line and conforming to the way society says you should be.

How about instead of asking someone what is wrong with them, we start asking someone what is happening for them right now, or what is coming up to be healed right now, or what is out of balance in your life right now. Rather than judging it to be wrong how about we judge it to be right, we welcome it, we open ourselves to hold space for someone else’s process, their journey, or even their shadow-side. Rather than try to hide it or mask it or make them get over it, how about we just honour their experience and allow them the space to feel whatever it is they are feeling without subconsciously leaving them feeling wrong for feeling something less than sparkly.

So you, Constant Reader, are not wrong. No matter what state you are in right now, you are perfectly perfect. Whether you want to rip your hair out in frustration or go lick someone’s inner thigh, whether you want to cry yourself to sleep or you want to whoop for joy, no matter your state of being there is NOTHING wrong with you. You are ok. You are safe and supported in being exactly who you want to be. Own your truth. Don’t let anyone tell you it is wrong. Don’t push it down or away. Let it stay as long as it needs to.

That doesn’t mean you need to buy in to the story in your head. No! That just means if you are sad, sit with that sadness. Just notice it. Don’t judge it. Don’t attach a story or people or situations to it. Don’t try to analyse it. Just sit with it and notice it and allow it space. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to laugh, laugh. If you need to scream just do it. No judgement. No attachment. Pure acceptance.

How do you do that? Well, when you find yourself thinking of what brought the emotion up stop yourself. Thank your brain and ego for showing you that information but let it go. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how you feel, not what you are thinking. So focus on the feeling. Where is it in your body? Does it sit in the pit of yours stomach or over your heart, is it in the back of your neck or the small of your back, perhaps it is residing in your left knee. Just pay attention to where it is. When those pesky thoughts of who, what, when, where, why come back up just thank them and let them go. Focus on the feeling. Where it is, what it feels like. Perhaps it is a dull throbbing, or a sharp stabbing, perhaps it is like 1000 butterflies or a stampede of elephants, maybe it is like a rush of water over pebbles or a sizzling pan of fat.

How long do you have to do that for? Until it dissipates and it will. It may take 10 minutes or it may take 10 hours but it will ease off and dissipate. It might come back again at another point in time but every single time you allow it space without trying to shove it down or shove it away, it gets easier and it will dissipate quicker. Every time you allow the feeling space after being triggered, the less that trigger will affect you.

It isn’t easy to do though. Don’t let this blog fool you. Everything is easier in theory. Seeing as most of us have spent a very large chunk of our lives squashing these feelings and making them go away because we’re constantly asked what is wrong until we believe there is something wrong with feelings, it makes it really uncomfortable to sit with them and allow them voice. Most of us haven’t done that since we were young children, since before the adults in our world taught us to push them down, to not express our feelings, taught us there was something wrong with doing that. So no, it’s not easy but really, is anything worth doing ever easy to begin with?

Just start taking small steps towards doing this. Even if you can’t sit with the emotions straight away, start to notice them, where they are in the body, what they feel like, then move on with your day. It’s time for us to start taking control of our emotions though, instead of letting them control us. It’s time for us to start stepping in to our power, instead of giving our power away to the people we attach these emotions to. So notice your emotions. Dis-attach from the story of the emotion. Chances are whatever your current story is simply a mask for a deeper wound that needs healing and hasn’t really got anything to do with what happened today. So forget about the story, just focus on the emotion. Allow it the space it needs, that’s why we are here, to experience emotion. Even when it’s hard. Even when it seems unbearable. Even when you think you just can’t take it anymore. Usually those feelings come up when you aren’t allowing the emotion space.

So give the emotion space. Are you hearing my message yet? Give your emotions space to be. Don’t give them a story, don’t exercise them down in to their little box, don’t eat to cover them, just allow them. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Allow. Sit in silence, with no distractions, and breathe. They WILL go away, I promise. Because nothing in life is permanent. We all change. Nothing stays the same forever. Nothing. You just need to hold the space for yourself to feel.