When a picture says a thousand words…

We had a great day today, but in the late afternoon Bodhi was a bit… over it. I came into his room quietly and asked how he was feeling. He didn’t answer. “Can you show me?” I asked.

“Yes!” he replied… and did this.

 

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Point made, little one, point made.

The one you feed

“We need to talk.” The words came from my five year old, as he sat me down for what was obviously an important conversation. “Mum, when I’m being naughty if you tell me to stop, or you get mad, that doesn’t work. If I’m being bad, it’s because I’m feeling something that I can’t say. When you talk to me and I feel like that I can hear you, but I can’t listen.”

“How can I do it better?” I asked, humbled by his reminder.

“First you need to make me feel better. “ he said “Then I can do better.”

 

Most of us accept the idea of separation, that bad and good, madness and sanity, kindness and cruelty, anger and calm are all thoroughly divorced from one another, when they’re not, they’re really just sides of the same coin.

When I was 12 I read A Course in Miracles. It was one of many spiritual books I read at that time, from the Bible to the Qur’an, and a particular quote in it stayed with me more than anything else.

What is the same cannot be different, and what is one cannothave separate parts.”

We have gotten into the habit of war,  both globally and personally, from the war on drugs to the battle within ourselves for our own perfection. We tell our kids to be individuals, as we push them to be compliant, we fight for our marriages, rather than nurture them. We have gotten so used to oppressing the negative that we forget how natural the positive is when we allow.

My son had a meltdown last week in which the boy we love seemed to disappear. He was fury and pain and he screamed his anger and hurt out so loudly than our ears rang.  And stupidly, we got frustrated back. We responded to the anger, and tried to stop it, tried to push against it. Tried to fix this thing that was hard in an effort to make it better.

“First you need to make me feel better, then I can do better.”

My angry boy and my calm boy are one and the same. I can’t punish one without hurting the other, just as I can’t hate part of myself and love who I am at the same time.

The next day, and those since, I didn’t try to stop his bad behavior. I just tried to make him feel better. My goal, above all else, was to be kind, not in the way that made sense to me, but in the way that would nurture his spirit. He has not had a meltdown since. Every time his behavior has gone downhill I have asked myself why, and responded to that instead. In doing so, I’ve turned the coin to the side that feels better and acts better in turn. The bad behavior has dissolved as the need for it has disappeared.

Likewise the more I look at my flaws, the more I realize that they’re linked to what’s missing for me at that time.

The other day I threw a tub of ice cream at the floor in the overwhelm of a ridiculous moment. “Well that was pointless,” Bodhi said, his clarity returning at my show of stupidity. “Now you just need to clean it up.” Yes I did.

Ashamed, I thought that night about how to remedy that part of myself, how to stop myself becoming so overwhelmed again, and I realized that just like my son, I don’t need to fix the bad at all, I just need to nurture the good.

I inspired myself that night, by meditating and reading and resting.  When I did, more answers came than I’d even thought to ask for.

Within us, there is everything we ever hoped for or feared. Within our lover, our neighbour, our enemy – there is joy and misery, wholeness and lack, courage and fear. They exist in the contrast that makes us who we are, their very existence making their opposite possible.

They make up our humanity. And in the raw commonality they give us, we can find each other. We can help each other.

Every action that comes from love, every kindness, every joy we foster – they ALL count. Our true protest against war is a million demonstrations of love, our real war on drugs is a million encouragements of purpose, our true protest against violence is a million acknowledgements of hurt, our gift to our children is a million words and actions that affirm they matter.

And slowly, all those protests and wars, all those fights, all that pushing against, dissolve a little bit. It just comes down to being kind.

Because more often than not, a person who feels whole will pass that wholeness on. A person who feels good will be the best of themselves.

Today I’m not going to fight for my marriage, I’m going to bring joy to it to make it feel easier instead. I’m not going to see a misbehaving child, I’m going to see a need that needs meeting. I’m not going to see flaws in myself, I’m going to see opportunities for something wonderful.

I’m going to flip a coin, and I’m going to win.

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Maintaining the Mind

We are where we are, for the most part, due to choices, and for the rest often due to energy and intention. That’s not to say that experiences don’t come into our lives for a reason, that there isn’t learning to be found in them, but it is ultimately our own perception that unwraps the present.

My focus at the moment is maintaining my mind, but like most of us my attempts at sabotage are impressive.  Perhaps at our core we are both order and chaos. It is the order that encourages meditation, reflection and peace, and the chaos that seeks to sustain itself, so convinces us otherwise, with tiredness, procrastination, and all the ‘busy’ we surround ourselves with.

Things have been hectic lately. Possibly more so than usual or possibly the same, I might just be unwrapping it differently. Ultimately I am only ever in this moment, and more often than not this moment feels good. It’s all the other moments I keep jumping to that trip me up and stop me noticing the present before me.

I realize that the solution to this is meditation – it’s training my mind to drown out the noise of all the ‘stuff’ and focus. That focus can be on what I want, on the idea of the greater good, or even just on the fullness of the moment.

When I do this I find clarity, joy and an immense amount of perspective. It’s not that the puzzle falls into place so much as I realize that it was never out of place to begin with. It doesn’t have to take long, five or ten minutes once or twice a day even. It’s pretty impressive that such a tiny investment of time can have such great returns, proven returns even, with numerous studies and even quantum physics affirming that our thoughts and intentions shape our reality.

But how many of us actually do it?

More often than not we externalize. We maintain our houses, our cars, our finances, our jobs, our families, our pets, our bodies – but how many of us honestly can say that we invest the time to maintain our minds and spirits – the greatest influencers of our experience?

I read an analogy once about teaching children give and take. It suggested having two jars half filled with marbles. When you did something kind for them, you would place one of your marbles in their jar, and when they did something kind for you they would do the opposite. If either jar became empty there was no more to give. I like that. It’s a visual way of showing that we need to take care of each other.

Maybe we need to do it for ourselves too.

Giving doesn’t need to take away from us, doing something for another doesn’t need to drain us, and intense times in our lives don’t need to stress us. But they often do – because if we’re not putting anything back we’re prone to losing our marbles ;)

We are physical beings, and that’s good, but we’re more than that too.

Today, I’m going to nurture the ‘more’. I’m going to maintain my mind.

Today I’m going to take that ten minutes twice a day for me. I’m going to take it back from the internet, the television or the hamster wheel of thoughts that might otherwise be in its place.

I’m not going to let tiredness be an excuse, because rest is so much more restorative when I’m at peace.

I’m going to remember that there are many ways to give, and that my joy, like other’s, is infectious. I can give more to those around me when my jar is full – and I have the ability to fill it.

In doing this I will be more aware of this mind that I’m maintaining. I will naturally use words that are kind, and unwrap the world before me with the perspective of the present.

I don’t need to do anything fancy to make this happen. I don’t need to lose myself in techniques and how-to’s, I just need to reclaim that little bit of time and be aware of my breath, be aware of the now, and hold onto a positive feeing. My only goal in that time is to silence the ‘stuff’ and connect to that ‘something greater’. Some call it God, some call it their higher selves, and some just call it their subconscious. It doesn’t matter what I call it and it doesn’t even matter if some of the ‘stuff’ gets through the silence. It matters that I’m there. It matters that I’m choosing my highest good in that moment.

I deserve this today, and tomorrow too. But I’m not going to get ahead of myself. I’m going to do it a bit at a time, because that’s the way that things usually get done.

I might try to talk myself out of it again, to sabotage it with tiredness or busyness or ‘stuff’, but that’s ok, because I’m going to come back to this.

 Today I’m going to remember not to lose my marbles.

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Educating Us

We will be homeschooling.

It’s something I’ve hesitated to blog about, because people have a habit of mistaking passion for my truth as judgment of theirs. But that’s not it. There isn’t one right choice, just as there isn’t one type of person or a single kind of joy – they’re all valid and any choice made in the best interest of the child and family unit is the right choice for them. I smile just as much hearing about a friend’s child enjoying school as I do about mine enjoying freedom. So having said that, I’ll say a little more.

Sometimes I call myself an attachment parent, but that’s not entirely true. I instinctively parent. I do what feels right for my kids. That includes breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, not leaving them cry, feeding them healthy food… and how we educate.

A couple of years ago now I was looking into schools for Bodhi. I had been homeschooled from age nine onwards and had gotten so much from that. In that time I had I found so much of me, I found a hunger for knowledge, self-motivation, creativity and exploration of the world around me. But it would be too hard to homeschool my kids, I decided, and I found myself sliding uncomfortably into the norm.

I planned to send my son to school. The thing was that the more I looked at these schools – these good schools – I couldn’t get past the fact that this was thirty hours of my child’s week (not including homework). The best thirty hours. The thirty hours where the sun was out and his mind was fresh and that these thirty hours a week for thirteen years would be spent in an institution. And it struck me that it didn’t matter how good this institution was, or how dedicated his teachers would be – that was a huge part of his life that he would be away from the life he was being raised to be part of. And for that huge part of his life the child I was so passionate about raising would not be raised by me at all.

It wouldn’t really be the teachers either, because they are amazing, but in the ratios of children to teachers he would be raised just as much, if not more, by peer pressure.

A feeling of unease sat in my belly.

I began to read. I read random books on homeschooling, I read Holt and Gatto. A lightbulb went off. I decided that I could homeschool my kids. It would be hard at times, and it would challenge me, but that would be ok, because I could do hard things, I could be challenged.

Bodhi often tells people that we’re homeschooling before I do. He radiates confidence and he owns it – as much of it as he understands. And the responses we get are interesting. We get admiration. We get sharp intakes of breath and brows drawn together as people mutter “why???”. And we get “there’s still time to change your mind.” Or “but if he wants to go to school you’ll send him right?” We get those two a lot.

I don’t have any intention of changing my mind. That sounds defiantly naive from someone whose child is yet to start ‘prep’, but I know this one, not just because I’ve been homeschooled, but because it makes sense for us. It feels right. It feels exciting. I have no doubt that we’ll make mistakes, and that we’ll learn from them as much as we do the successes. For all the highs and lows that will undoubtedly come my children will have the world as their classroom, they will be taught by someone who loves them more than anyone, and their needs, challenges and strengths will drive this thing before us.

What about if he wants to go to school? See here’s the thing; he wants to eat chips for every meal, except when there’s chocolate. He wants to have custard for desert every night and icecream every day and never, ever brush his teeth. As his parent it’s my job to guide him for what’s best for him, until he has gained the wisdom to make those choices for himself. So if he wanted to go to school would I send him? No, not now. I’d see why, and I’d make changes and fill gaps that might not be being filled. I’d put his happiness first, without question, but I’d encourage him to take this time. If he was older and he decided school was right for him then I would support him all the way.

This thing before us is big, but it’s also awesome. And I don’t plan to do it alone. He will have many teachers in his life, he will pursue hobbies, languages, probably martial arts, sports or dance. He will be surrounded by friends of his choosing, of all ages, and he will also enjoy the peace of solitude that he craves.  Sometimes he will be bored, and from that he will find his own motivation. He will have opportunities laid out for him and have to pursue others himself.

We will explore rockpools and textbooks. Some days we will play and wander until the sun goes down and others we will get lost in study.

He will get a great education – and so will we. His family. We’ll learn together. Not just about phonics and science and history and art but about each other. We will learn what makes each other tick, what drives each other mad, and what makes each other hungry for more.

Some links of interest…

Csilla is a homeschooling consultant (see Too Cool 4 School on facebook) and has just written an amazing book about her family’s journey. I was fortunate enough to be asked to write the foreword Love Learn Live

John Taylor Gatto – All his work is brilliant, but this speech connected so much for us The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher

SunnyHomeschool on facebook is a wonderful resource and run by a very special homeschooling Mum, Heather.

Sir Ken RobinsonChanging Education Paradigms

A thought provoking video Why I hate school but love education

Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012

The Difficult Ones

Disclaimer – this post is written about the challenging people in our lives. About the overbearing boss, the difficult coworker, the moody relative, the judgmental neighbour. It is not referring to cases of abuse, serious bullying or violence, or trying to solve them.

Someone asked me recently for my thoughts on the difficult ones. On how to handle it when we encounter people who are spiteful, underhanded or just plain horrible to deal with.

I believe that there are a few elements to this, so I’ll break them down a little…

First of all – we are selfish

Let go of negative connotations around that word, because it’s just how we’re wired. I’m not saying that we all behave in a selfish manner, but rather that our motivations are based on our own needs and perceptions. And rightfully so.

A lot of our actions flow on from this, whether they seem self centered or altruistic to others. For example I might donate money to help someone less fortunate – even though my action is giving, the motivation for doing so comes from self-actualization, or more simply, it makes me feel good.

A negative behavior is the same – if I act irritated at a friend it is about how I feel. She may have acted in a way that triggered that feeling in me, but that is my perception. Hers may be different; therefore that irritation is based on myself more than her.

In short, your actions and feelings are yours – they’re ultimately about you. Another person’s actions, feeling and motivations are about them.

It stands to reason that in a diverse world with billions of people we will encounter those that seem kind and those that seem unkind. We will encounter those we love, those we hate, the bullies and manipulators as well as those that warm our hearts.

The problem is that they’re all behaving and perceiving selfishly and so are we. So we make it about us. And it’s not.

Likewise they perceive our actions and reactions to be about them, but they’re not either. Conflict has a habit of feeding itself this way.

A wise woman I know with dark skin was once asked if she experienced racism. She said no, then explained “But if I’m not served first at the counter, I think they’re busy, not that I’m black. If someone is rude to me I think they’re having a hard day, not that they have a problem with the colour of my skin.” She didn’t make it about her, because it wasn’t. So she saw the best in situations instead of looking for the worst.

If we can remind ourselves, as our hackles rise, that another’s words or actions are not our doing, then we can change the outcome with our own perception. It’s not our fault or our flaws, so take the hurt out of it.

Be selfish enough to act with kindness, because it feels good to you and to others. And while you endeavor not to make mountains of molehills, not to take blame or hurt that’s not yours – still be selfish enough to surround yourself with people who will treat you kindly. You deserve that.

We all speak different languages

It’s easy to miss when the words all sound the same, but we do.

Years ago I worked with an older lady who was bullying me in the workplace. I hadn’t expected that experience at all and was shocked and hurt. Going to work was like walking on eggshells and I often ended up in tears. Until one day two things clicked – 1) it wasn’t about me, my presence just stirred something in her and 2) the language she spoke- craved -was that of affirmation. She was fighting me because she felt threatened and my defending myself just confirmed that threat to her.

So instead of retaliating I made an effort to soften and to use her language.  I affirmed her strengths, I made a point of noticing what she did well, I asked her to share her tips and things she had found worked. When I thought about her I focused on the positives. Within the week not only had she apologized for how she’d acted, but she’d become a friend. She turned out to be a great support.

Most people’s fight is actually a shield for something. Sometimes it’s just about showing that we’re not armed.

There’s been the neighbour that put down our house, whose guard dropped when his insights were acknowledged, and his choices affirmed as well as our own. The acquaintance who attacked my parenting choices, whose insecurities acted as such great weapons, but fell away when they saw there was no judgment in our differences. The spiteful boss who feared for their power, who became an ally when they saw I had no urge to take what was theirs.

I’m not suggesting you become a pushover. I’m saying that there are many kinds of strength, many kinds of wisdom. And sometimes the greatest strength is to choose to be soft.

I’m suggesting that you take a little time to read people. To take notice of what language they speak.

Because you can keep fighting the difficult ones, but your fight just builds that shield of theirs into a stronger weapon. 

When you meet someone who speaks with hatred, find the dialect of kindness to undo them. When you meet someone who speaks to hurt, listen to what is behind their words to find what has hurt them.

And if someone is just plain cruel – walk away. Regardless of their language, you do not need to have that conversation.

It’s about energy

Some believe that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. That we either have something to teach them or them, us. I think there’s some truth in this. Sometimes our clarity, strength or kindness can be enough to change someone’s path completely. Sometimes the challenge they provide can be enough for us to find how clear, strong or kind we are.

But some people just seem to have more than their share of difficult ones, of harder situations, while others find themselves surrounded by more of the good stuff.

Everything is energy, and ours is made up of our perceptions, experiences, and what we surround ourselves with. If you have a difficult person in your life, or one who continually drags you down they are influencing your energy as you connect with them.

Aspire to surround yourself with people who lift you higher, but when circumstances don’t allow it (due to family, work, where you live etc) just choose not to engage anymore. Shift your focus and choose not to give so much of yourself to them.

Seek out more of the people whose energy DOES lift you higher, and connect there. It might be a close friend of someone you pass in the shops. Take the opportunity to feel the good wherever you find it. Notice kindness wherever you can. You’ll begin to attract what you’re looking for, and as you disconnect from that which doesn’t work for you you’ll begin to notice it less.

So in the end…

Don’t take on negativity that isn’t yours. Take time to read people and speak their language occasionally.  Surround yourself with the good stuff. Life is meant to have a lot of happy in it – if it doesn’t, then it’s a reminder to take a step back.

You deserve to be treated well. You deserve to laugh often. You deserve kindness that blows your mind. 

Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012

 

Diving for pearls of wisdom…

My husband is regularly wise, but rarely when I go looking for it.

Interestingly this doesn’t stop me, partly because I think too much and partly because it is the job of each spouse to drive the other to the cusp of madness now and again. I assume that we do this by accident, but can’t be sure.

Anyway, my relentless pursuits of these pearls of wisdom usually coincide with me being either exhausted or awash with hormones. In short, the times when logic and light heartedness are not my best traits. In these moments the greater the absence of profound statements of truth the more desperately I grab at them. Which of course alarms the poor man and he gets the look of a cornered animal then usually winds up making a fart joke.

Last night’s episode began with me half asleep with writers block and went a little like this…

“I’m feeling melancholy.” I sighed into his chest.

“What’s that??” he asked.

“You’re kidding?” I said (then mumbled something about him needing to read more books).

“So tell me what it means?”

“Thoughtful and sad.” 

“So just say that then. Oh! Or ‘sadful!’”

Now at this point a smarter woman than I would have either laughed or walked away… but no, I was too busy being sadful. So I painted my melancholy on all the conversations that followed, waiting for a pearl of wisdom and missing all the light heartedness I could have enjoyed had I not been looking for something else.

It was right before I went to bed, after we had effectively driven each other a little batty and wound up arguing over ideal cup quantities in the modern kitchen that he said just what I needed to hear. I got my wise pearl – even if I was the grain of sand to irritate the crap out of him to get it.

Last night he reminded me not to force things. Not writing and not the search for wisdom either. If it’s not working, whatever it is, let go, take a step back and just be happy.

We convince ourselves that we know how things should go – be they situations in our lives, creative endeavours, friendships, romance or our future. Even conversations with people we care about. But the thing is, life is meant to flow – things are meant to feel good for us and to go well in journey as well as destination. If it’s not working then let it go and see if the flow takes it in a different direction.

You can still hold on to what you want, just maybe don’t try to hold so tight.

Because it’s the times when you stop pushing and start allowing that the good stuff really starts happening…and even when it doesn’t, you’re too busy being happy to care.

Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012

Sensual Healing

Our social culture has a sexual undertone. From billboards to magazines to movie screens, it’s in our faces.  It is the topic of gossip, debate, articles, books, and of course one of the internet’s most frequent search topics; porn.

How much are we having? How good is it? How often is everyone else having it? What should we be doing? How should we make ourselves sexy?

For a lot of people at some point or another, sex becomes a ‘should’, rather than a want.

We live in what kind of resembles a porn culture. We go hard, we push ourselves, we try to outdo others, we try to act like we’re enjoying it more than we are and we focus on getting to the goal. Not just in the bedroom, but out of it. How many people just go, they spend their days trying to get through it, get it done, they plaster a fake smile when they need to and try to act like they’re present when they’re still graced by daydreams, then push themselves to get there, whether there is a paycheck, a kids bedtime, or finally getting to sit on the couch and turn on the TV.

We take sex in the same light. It becomes, consciously or unconsciously, added to the to do list, either because media tells us it should be, or because we jump on any stirrings we have to get a little more out of that day we pushed ourselves through. We put what little of us we have left into it and… it’s not great is it?

Is it any wonder libido’s are low and women often feel that they’re losing that sexual side of themselves?

Life is busy. Really busy. We have full days and full lives and the pursuit of goals are a valid part of that.

But we have to get rid of the porn culture in our lives. We have to rediscover seduction.

What if we felt more? Lets forget anyone else and focus on seduction of self. Lets get sensual again.

How many sensations do you miss, because you convince yourself you’re too busy to feel them? What you’re wearing right now – how does it feel? Is your shirt soft, is it silky? How does it fall against you? Does your hair brush against your neck, your face? Stroke circles on the back of one hand with a finger of the other – lightly. Feel your touch. Be aware of the rivulets of water running down your body in the shower. Try to sense the warmth of the steam and actually be aware of how it licks your skin. This isn’t sexual – it’s sensual.

And sight – how often do we see without looking? We’re so busy doing, and tidying and going that we miss the richness of the colours, we forget to appreciate the patterns of the fabrics we wear, the grain of the wood, the individuality of the leaves or the way branches dance in the wind. Maybe your day is spent in an office and you’re so tired of seeing the same things that they fade into the background. Really see them today. See yourself when you look in the mirror and appreciate something beautiful about yourself. Find something beautiful in someone around you, something you might have missed before.

What about your sense of smell? Close your eyes right now and breathe with awareness. What do you smell? Fresh air? Is it cool or warm? Is there a hint of your partners cologne? Maybe your own shampoo? How does your lunch smell? That apple?

What about sound? Young children are taught to close their eyes and listen to the noises around them, to see how many they hear and find where they are. We’re not too busy for that, not too grown up. Right now if I close my eyes I hear the wind in the trees to my left. I hear a dog snuffling. I hear the TV singing cheerily in the background. I hear the sharp clicks of the keyboard beneath my fingers.

Then taste – how many of us forget to really taste each mouthful? I’m guilty of buying small dark chocolates and eating far more than I have to because I forget to actually savor any of them. I need to remind myself to stop, to place a single one on my tongue and to take a breath. To slowly let it rest there and taste the richness, the sweetness, the texture that its shape gives it as it dissolves in my mouth.

That’s our seduction, and it has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with being present. It’s about stirring anticipation – because when we come back into our senses they become heightened – they hum because they know something very soon is going to be amazing. Something is going to really fill us with its beauty at any moment.

We need to reclaim our physicality. Especially when we are tired because we spend all day chasing the kids, or because work is all consuming. We need to stay sensual at those times because we will find a richness in them that we deprive ourselves of otherwise. Us. Not our partners or society, this is about being rightfully selfish because we deserve every bit of joy a day offers us.

We need to seduce ourselves into feeling better in our skin. Get rid of the ‘shoulds’, they have no place here, just be – and feel good.

Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012

Sticks and Stones

I would make a terrible gladiator.

No matter how angry I became, I wouldn’t aim to wound. The more blows my opponent threw my way the more stunned I’d be that they were. And if they finally tired and walked away I’d walk after them, to hell with the consequences, because I’d still be convinced that the whole thing must be a misunderstanding.

I’m surrounded by much better gladiators than myself, and I’m trying to find the lesson in it as I dodge the blows.

I’m someone who puts a lot of emphasis on words. Maybe it’s because I write, or because they intoxicate me so when I read them. It could be because I crave, constantly crave, to understand those around me. Words are my clues. They are precious to me.

Because of that, I never want to argue. I hate to misplace them. I have the beautiful delusion that if I can just choose the right words, if I can just arrange them in the perfect way then there would be no need for arguments. I live in the belief that malice is usually misunderstanding.

When this belief fails me I am stunned to my core – every single time.

I recently had a week with two battles of my own and I was wounded – far more than my opponents intended – by misplaced words. They branded me and stung long after the voices fell and the calm returned.

It wasn’t the first time it had happened, and I’m sure it wont be the last. So this time I’m determined to take something from it, besides the sting.

So I’m taking this:

I believe we are here to grow. To learn. That our life paths push us in ways that will make us find more of ourselves. I believe that we can crave understanding of others as much as we like, but in the end it all comes back to us. It’s meant to.

I can’t choose words for others, but I can adjust my shield. So next time I will remind myself that the battle is about the fight, not the opponents. I will try to separate myself from it, and find something of beauty in it – because anger can be ugly, but it can also be passion. It can be release.

I will detach myself, just enough, to watch it build like a storm, to not be as shaken by the noise of the thunder, to be in awe of the lightening. To let the words wash over me like rain, leaving me clean.

Because words can sting, but the fight only stings me with them once. Hurried words pass so quickly. It’s me who has picked them up and used them as a weapon against myself.

So I realize that I am actually a mighty gladiator after all – but the one I have been hurting is me.

The words said by others only have the weight that I give them. I have been arming my opponents with my own perceptions.

And I’m not going to do it anymore.

Since the dawn of time there have always been battles, both physical and mental. It is inbuilt in the human condition. Not flaw, just fact.

I’m going to quench my craving for understanding, by understanding that there are times that people need to argue. There are times that they need that fight to really let go and release. I am still going to stand up for myself, and I’m still going to be a peacemaker because that’s who I am. But I’m also going to remember that that’s who they are, and the fight they have in them is theirs, not mine.

Words can still be just as precious to me, they can still mean as much. But from this moment on I will be as careful not to wound myself with others words as I am not to wound others with mine.

Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012

You know what to do

Right now, as you read this sentence, you know how to change your life.

You know it without the aid of a prayer, a book, a counselor, a how-to guide or wise advice from a friend. They can all be useful. Sometimes their words spark something in you that you needed, but it’s a reawakening – a remembering of your own power.

Because if you’re honest with yourself, you know what to do.

Marianne Williamson said; “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” She’s often right.

Even as we aspire to our greatness we have a habit of putting it in others hands. Maybe it has been schooled out of us by an education system that taught us to accept truth as prescribed, to wait for instructions before moving forward.

It could be a culture of marketing, convincing us we need everything from useless kitchen items to life’s step-by-step to succeed.

Maybe it’s our family or friends, passing on their own doubts or fuelling the ones we already had.

Perhaps we’ve just gotten used to looking out instead of in.

It doesn’t matter why though does it? Because it’s really just about taking our power back.

Try this experiment; think about an area of your life you’d like to improve. It could be work, love or family. It might be a lifelong goal or an emotional habit. You might want to conquer Everest or stop sneaking chocolate at night.

Now ask yourself one step you could take towards changing it.

You got it, didn’t you? Your subconscious didn’t even hesitate.

See the thing is, we don’t need to know every step before us. We need to know one. We need to stop over-thinking that first step and act on instinct – our instinct. The next step will come.

We’ve convinced ourselves of the enormity of change. The reality is that a friendship can be nurtured with a phonecall, a relationship improved with a lingering hug, a weight loss journey begun with one choice.  It might be as simple as taking a deep breath when your kids make you flustered, or picking up an industry magazine for the career that inspires you. The results of change can be enormous – but the doing should be organic. It’s just about getting out of our own way.

“But if I know what to do, and I don’t always do it, what does that make me?” Human. It’s ok not to be perfect right now. It’s ok not to act on every inspired thought or idea – but don’t give them away, don’t make them harder.

Enjoy your books, exchange advice with your friends, see a counselor or make a plan – if it helps you, do it. 

Just come from that place of ease, because in this moment and in any other – you know what to do.


Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012