18 December 2015

greetzzz....

decided i'm going to leave this blog thing be for a while, until i've sorted myself out a little, find that happiness inside, somewhere...

until then:

thanx for reading here!

have a very happy christmas 
and 
a wonderful 2016!!


8 December 2015

good enough

when am i good enough?
at what point will i accept all that i am, and decide that there is nothing wrong with me?
that i don't need to be More Dynamic, More Ambitious, Less of a Coward...
according to who's rules will i live?

current questions that are keeping me busy...
i know that i know the answer, and i'm almost there...

if i don't love myself for all that i am, who will?!! 
:-)
it's time i lived in my space fully, embrace life and all its wonderfulness.




2 December 2015

{no} reply

{answer to a reply from Kati, to my reply to her on my dutch blog... you still with me?}

hey!!

you're right about the grieving. i never thought it would be that close, but the mourning of the loss of a relationship you hoped would last till death parts, and your ex appears to be happily moving on with the speed of light, can feel gutting... although i've seen it disintegrate for years, and my many attempts at reviving made no difference at all {after all, i was the one with the pointless expectations of him, so if anyone had a problem, it was me...}, it's still sad... up until last weekend i had this tiny teeny smidgen of hope that he might tell me he'd like to try again... that he'd seen how life without me in it was no good for him... that i mean too much to him to let me go... {yup, seen too many romantic movies...} but he didn't. he never had... not even when we were together... he never fought for me, for 'us'... we were only together for this long cos we had kids, and he wasn't a bastard who left me in the lurch... i was lucky in that sense... {only one of our kids was planned...}

now that there's a bit of distance, i'm starting to see that he was feeling incredibly burdened by me. that he respected me, and liked me around, maybe even loved me, in a weird kind of way, but the things i'd like to find in a relationship {i have since learnt...} were things that are alien to his nature. and it was wrong for me to hope that he would magic it from somewhere. just like it was wrong for him to hope that i was as distant and independent minded as he was, i was wrong to wish he'd be warm, kind, loving, connecting, cuddly... i wanted him to be Eddie Vedder, when i was married to Jack Nicholson... 

so yeah, it feels tough some days, but i feel i'm getting there, slowly... it will take time, and i'm sure i'll cry many more tears before i get where i want to be, but friends like you, who understand the journey, can take the edge off. so heaps of thanks for that!! :-)

xx Dan

29 November 2015

raw

am i a horrid person for not feeling happy for my ex now that he has another woman in his life...?
am i a bit pathetic if i feel rejected and cast aside all over again...?
am i just not moving on...?
am i wallowing in self-pity and should i just try a little harder...?

some thoughts that have been bugging me, popping into my head right amongst quite happy and joyful ones {that have nothing to do with ex or his new woman...}

i know i should give myself the time it needs, and i know that it takes however long it takes... i know there is no set time one gets for getting over a relationship, no handy formula {been together for X years, had Y amount of kids, then it will take ___ time...}. i know it goes with being a human being... and really, its okay...

i'm learning to be kinder on myself. which is not easy, when for 40-odd years i've been told to Try Hard, Live Good {according to a set of rules}, Be Good {more rules}, Be Fearful & On Your Guard {for certain people and their wrath}, Ignore Your Inner Self & Feelings {if they don't fit into the Rulebook, or whatever criteria the person{s} i was with at the time held}... learning very hard to figure out who it is I am, under all the debris... slowly getting there...

but don't expect me to be happy yet...
this loss still feels raw to me...



23 November 2015

who's afraid of the big bad Woolf?

despite the last thing i wrote, not feeling very chatty...
still feeling a little lost, cos i guess i miss my 'tribe' {the people i talked to or nodded at on a daily basis at the primary school} and i've not found anything to replace it with... the neighbourhood i live in isn't the most inviting {to me, that is... enough friendly folks around} and my friends are all busy living their lives {which is totally fine, really} and my family have never been the closest bunch to start with... 'world events' of recent have left me feeling a bit frazzled and exposed, i guess. being a sensitive soul in a harsh world can be trying, to say the least... but then, hasn't the world always been rather harsh, in different ways?

i remember watching the series on Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell this summer, and i was struck by how familiar Woolf's plight in 1930's England was - being sensitive and delicate, with trouble on its way which might very well affect her {Jewish} husband, her pillar and mainstay, and as much as she tried to be herself and live her life, the news kept having a drip-effect on her mind, which suffered accordingly. now, i'm not saying i bare complete resemblance to Virginia Woolf, or that i'm about to top myself, but i can understand how she may have been affected, why it all hit her so deeply and that she may have become disheartened, and felt she couldn't fight it all anymore... despite having a husband by her side who loved her so deeply...

she possibly didn't have the things that i now have at my disposal: lovely kids who keep me from taking myself too seriously, but their lives quite. and a sense of humour {from what i gathered}. and internet, which gives me access to online meditations and insights, nice people to talk to, articles that shed a different light on stuff... {although if i had a suitable tribe, internet might not be at all needed... who's to say... chicken//egg...} there are plenty of things i can find that i am incredibly grateful for, and i name them on a daily basis, before i go to sleep, and i know how to ground myself, feel connected within, keep the world out {which i've discovered is most of the 'issue', being disconnected from my Inner Being, allowing The World and it's mother to drag me away}, so hopefully that should be enough to get back on track...

in the meantime, i'm going back into my Self for a but longer, connect with nature a bit more, and hope to God that this world will sort itself out soon...

15 November 2015

love & light

and still i refuse to believe that the world is a rotten place...
of course there are rotten bits, and those bits seem to be spoiling quite a bit of this beautiful planet, where so many beautiful people try to live their lives, follow their dreams, be loving, nurturing, caring... or just trying to Be, whatever it is they need to Be...
my friend Mo would tell me now that it's massively inflated Ego's that are running scared, cos Ego's are ruled by Fear, by Dreading The Worst, by needing to control our lives... and control others, as well, cos Power feeds...
and i'd say Yeah, i know...
and she'd say that all i need to do is tell my own scared little Ego to Shut the Hell up, that i don't want to hear what it's got to say.... that i will only listen to the loving sounds of my Higher Self...
and i'd say Yeah, i know...
i know i need to keeping letting the light in to follow Love and Light, to trust and Be Happy... to not let Fear win... to  not look at the news, cos that will only feed my Ego's fear...
i know...
i do...
only, on days like Yesterday, when i hear of so many innocent lives lost, my Ego takes over... i know i shouldn't let it, but it'll be wading through my mind with it's dirty feet, trampling over happy thoughts, spoiling the colourful carpets... and it will take quite some effort, especially at night, when i feel at my least powerful, to find the soothing voice of my Higher Self...

but still i refuse to believe the worst...




10 November 2015

autumn comes

autumn comes, the summer has passed
winter will come too soon
stars will shine clearer
sky seems nearer
under the harvest moon

autumn comes, so let us be glad, 
singing an autumn tune
hearts will be lighter, 
skies seem brighter
under a harvest moon

{song learnt at the Steiner School of the kids, rejoicing in the changes that autumn brings...
and then i thought of this one:


8 October 2015

the falling of yellowed leaves

this time of the year makes me simultaneously feel really happy, and crushingly nostalgic. happy, cos the heat from the summer and all it's extravagant exposure-fest has finally subsided, and my introverted side can safely come out to play... and as someone said on Facebook: it's time for the sturdy weather now...

it also brings out a massive nostalgia, for my time in England. the first time i noticed that there was such a thing as a Love for Autumn was after my first summer. i had spent a week or so in Holland, catching up with the life i didn't want to go back to, and was picked up from the boat by the mother of the family where i was an au-pair. instead of driving home from Dover, she dropped in on the people they were spending the day with in the sweet town of Tenterden, who lived in a house that i adored as soon as i saw it: red brick, 'wild' garden, lots of pine furniture inside... the people were very sweet as well, very middle class English, and incredibly welcoming, offering me tea as soon as they saw me... on the drive back i noticed that the trees were slowly changing colour, and as the days and weeks went on, i witnessed the most glorious transformation of the area i was living in... it was beautiful!! the colours, the smells, the feels - it was as if i'd finally found what i was looking for all my life...

around that time i also got to know Mr G, and his group of friends, and my life appeared to have been taken off the hand break... it was as if i was allowed - finally - to be happy...

maybe it's that combination, planted into my subconsciousness, the expectation of Joy and Feeling Happy that i've only really felt out there, in Sussex...

this autumn seems to have been one of climactic catharses, of feeling despaired and lost, alone, sad... despite everything that's happened in the past year, the man i had carried on hoping would be able to connect with me, has made it very clear that he's moving on, with other people in his life, and it would be a good idea if i could let my feelings for him finally go... and i know... it's just that... you know...

so i cry, and i release, and i feel, and i allow... understand, accept, let go... like yellowed leaves falling from the birch tree i see outside my window... it's okay... new leaves will come again, when the time is right...





20 September 2015

transported

when walking along the road of spiritual enlightenment, i think that i do quite well... i'm booking plenty of progress in many areas, can talk anyone under the table where reflecting and projecting and illusions and convictions are concerned, feel i have unearthed quite a few raw nerves and confronted them, gone through my own little versions of Hell... on the whole, i'm pretty happy with myself. on the verge of being conceited... {which is another whole ego-trip i'll have to look at soon...} but there is one area of my Inner Development that keeps tripping me up, every single time...

i don't like my body...

i don't like the way it looks when i see it in the mirror, i don't like the way it makes me feel, i don't like the way it reminds me of my grandmother {who wasn't a very pleasant woman, very troubled and well, ugly... i hate to say this, and i feel a horrible person for even contemplating this notion, but when i saw pictures of my nan when she was young, i wanted to cry... i know she was vastly under-loved and not cared for enough, told she was stupid and thick, and she never had the gumption to question her ' educators', as she was too busy being scared and unhappy... i know that a big chunk of what i'd see in photo's of the woman that gave birth to my mother was fear, sadness, self-loathing, and we all know that that is the worst basis for creating true beauty, inside or out...}.

i loved my body when it had a clear function...
i loved being pregnant, knowing that a new life was growing inside of me, that although it also freaked the hell out of me, i was a vessel for the little people that are now making their own lives, their own choices and falling in love and all that... i nourished them, for the first 7 months of their baby-hood, and quite some time after that {cos they were faddy eaters, and they got their comfort from being close to me and fed for years}. i sometimes have to tell myself that my milk, the milk that came out of my boobs, raised four babies for the first 7 months of their lives!?!! me?! and then i feel so bloody proud of my body... so bloody proud...

but that just fades into nothing when i think of all the other areas of my life... as long as i can cover it up, hide it, not have to be reminded of it, i'm quite okay. the internet is good for that, as is writing letters. anything to do with not needing to have my body involved is fine. as Sherlock was saying in one of the episodes that i still enjoyed {series one or two}: it's just transport... as long as it's fed and gets the minimal amount of sleep, and doesn't get too beaten up, it will function, and that's all there is to it.
now, i know he was made to be an unsocial, unusual, brainy, living in his head way too much, freak kind of bloke, and way too much is made of what his writers made him say, or not say, but i had to admit: that's how i think i feel, most of the time... it's transport... it gets me from A to Be, it carries my organs, it keeps my brain alive, it makes it possible for me to type, and write and craft and take pictures... but please, don't look at it...

cos that's what people do... they look at each other... i do... i look at others, and i judge. she's nice-looking, and she's too thin, and he's gorgeous, and that bloke there.... jeez.... i 'm convinced people look at me and judge... people say they don't and that i'm just being harsh on myself, but they do... everybody does - it's a normal human behaviour. we judge to see who'd be good partner-material, or fathering-potential, or mothering- possibility, or has friendship-stuff... we look to see what person out there could potentially fill our voids... it's totally normal... only, i don't want anybody to look at me, cos i have this innate fear that they'll see my grandmother - a big, ugly, sagged-out, double-chinned, grey-haired, unhappy person...

cos i guess that's what i feel i am...

have i ever felt attractive? yes...
in the last 20 years? no...
at the beginning of my two relationships {which still amaze me...} i felt attractive... i look back at photo's of myself then, in 1991, i was the most attractive i remember myself... thin, healthy, beaming - happy... but, was i happy already, when the only 2 guys that have ever desired me wanted me in their lives? was i happy already, when i suddenly had quite a few friends, and a fun life? can i ever resemble the happy person i was back then? or has that ship sailed, and should i settle for being a cranky old woman, who's years, no decades past her prime, who serves no purpose anymore, not to anyone but her kids and the cats...?

so, yeah, plenty to work on still... to achieve that happy mind and happy soul in a happy body... it's not just transport, i'm very much aware, but still....


31 August 2015

heaven gained an angel...

woke up to sad news of Dr. Wayne Dyer passing away... he was the first of the Big Teachers i found when back in Holland, back in the early Noughties, when i was in desperate need of Wisdom and Enlightenment, feeling incredibly deflated by life in my home town, and later in the town where the kids went to school. it just wasn't flowing, and then my brother was getting rid of a load of books, amongst which was one of Dyer's... a godsend, i felt...

this book got me going on the tracks of self-analysis, but in a kind, gentle, positive way, not one where i'd carry on criticising myself, finding all the bits that i wasn't doing right... or just wasn't... as i had been doing for the years that i was with mr G. cos i thought that was how it worked...

after him there were quite a few more, all in the spiritual realm, all teaching me things i was desiring to learn about. but he kept popping back into my thoughts, being the kind, sweet, wise father figure i seem to be looking for in my life...

may his soul rest in peace {and his light shine on...}

watching the lecture {?} he gave on the Power of Intention, again...




16 August 2015

woodstock at 46

apparently {according to the Hippies that i follow on Facebook} it's now 46 years ago that Woodstock was happening. i was born in the same year, and feel a strange kind of connection to it, still loving the music that i know from most of the bands/acts that were on.

a small selection of my faves















9 August 2015

a place for wussies

while watching the mini-series on BBC2 on the lives and loves of the various members of the Bloomsbury Group - Life In Squares - it became very clear to me that, as an introvert and very sensitive person, England was a far more suited place for me to live than Holland has ever been...

where i lived, in East Sussex, i was regularly thrilled by the room there seemed to be for gentle souls, for delicacy and subtlety. for beautiful flowery gardens, and dreaminess and meandering, pleasantness and politeness... for those who have no truck with the demands of The Real World... don't get me wrong, there were plenty of highly strung and un-subtle folks about, especially in towns, with poverty and problems, so it wasn't a total Valhalla... it disturbed me, but on the whole i was glad i'd found somewhere where i wasn't feeling weird, or wrong... i relished visits to places like Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, or Charleston Farmhouse, learning about people who seemed to be celebrated for being wussies, for living lives wrapped up in dreams and fantasy...

Mr G detested that side of the country. the pandering to the pathetic and the 'needy', loving the Self-Reliance that the Dutch seemed to have in bucket loads. for a long time i found myself trying to bridge his strong dislike for England and my own dislike for being here, falling into a kind of splits... i needed him to like me, but it started to feel incredibly wrong... was i just being unrealistic? was i just being too dreamy for my own good? maybe Mr G was right, and did i need to buckle up, to get over myself, to be stronger and more self-reliant, as were the people around me. not needing to be pandered to... but when do i lose sight of who i really am? why can i not celebrate my own dreaminess? combine it with an inner strength? maybe he needs to get in touch with his own wussy side...

i don't know... it's probably time to let go of what others think is right, and follow my heart once again... who knows where it might lead to...

tomorrow is that last episode of the mini-series i mentioned.... maybe i'll get the dvd of it...


29 July 2015

obsess-Ed

it happened again last night...
i was having an alright kind of dream, where stuff tootled along nicely, and again i was at a Pearl Jam concert, with Ed and the band so close by... only three rows away, and i felt so happy, so in that blissful place...

the first time i dreamt about PJ was way before i actually saw them live, and Ed played a crucial part in it, being a kind of Messiah figure, guiding me away from that what was holding me back from being myself, while this song played in the background... he looked as kind and calm as he ever would be {as he can be when he's not all fired up}, the gentle father-figure i've been looking for in my life, guiding and encouraging...

maybe that's what it is, maybe i need to get in touch with my own inner father figure, release my own strength and courage, maybe that's the subconscious message of those dreams i have of Ed and the guys...

or maybe i just need to get a grip on this 'mild' obsession with this beautiful man...
;-)


23 July 2015

hiding in a tortoise shell

{running the risk of this becoming a ping-pong blog, this is a response to what Kati wrote on hers, about something i wrote here...}

if i'm totally honest with myself, i don't think i'm looking for a Knight in Shining Armour, as such... i don't want a man in my life to rescue me and look after me for the rest of my life.... as such... i'm looking for Anybody to come and rescue me, deep down... i feel petrified of living on my own, of having to deal with all that life throws at me, on my own... on the one hand... on the other, i love living life my own way, i enjoy working stuff out for myself, love having my own house without anybody moaning about how the chairs are positioned or what colour the walls are, or having a bloody bookshelf downstairs {or not actually saying these things but making sure i know their opinion when others do this...}, having two crazy, hairy cats, and playing music that i want to listen to...

as i said in my comments to Kati, i just don't want to feel lonely... cos that's what i feel like so often... even in my marriage, i felt so lonely... i felt alone, unwanted, misunderstood...

while i was growing up, i had but a few friends. i had M, who's still my friend, and C for many years, and N for a few, but anybody else thought i was weird and left me alone, or i felt betrayed by at some point, and i started to become like a tortoise - i withdrew into my own world, in my bedroom mainly, cos i felt safe there... i created my own world, where i wrote and drew and dreamt about another life, with people who loved me and admired me and thought i was great... where i listened to music and read books, and cut pictures out of magazines and wrote letters and read the ones i received... i loved it in my tortoise shell... nobody could get to me... even my mum left me alone there, most of the time...

until the urge to travel and go to England overtook my need for safety. due to the Law of Attraction {it turned out afterwards...} i found the safest, nicest family that was available at the time, and i spent almost a year living a wonderful life. i got to know lovely people, i saw beautiful parts of the country, i did stuff i never thought i would... i even almost took the plunge to go to Ireland for a year, taking an insecure job as a nanny for the family of a musician i got to know through the school i went to, but that fell through, and i went back to Holland for a bit... but the old life i had left behind was wrong, then... it felt like a prison, after the exuberance and wonderfulness i'd experienced in England. thankfully the man i'd gotten to know there was keen to have me in his life, and i went back...

life in England with him, and the family we had very soon after, felt safe, and wonderful... and i guess that's what i long for when i think back of my life there -- the sudden, unexpected, craved for feeling of wonderfulness of life, of safety, the being cared for, looked after... i guess that's what i miss about being married... i don't feel safe anymore... cos i never have done before... not really -- not deep down inside, from within myself...

and it all comes back to that... the need to feel safe... the desire to be accepted and loved... the notion that All Is Well...

it seems that my Inner Child wants to be comforted again...



19 July 2015

of doubt and tattoos

{translation of my post on the Dutch blog from today, as the Google translate thingy that a friend posted on FB was rather... crude...}

for ages i've been doubting myself...
not my self-worth {anymore} cos i know by now that i'm worth the world, and i don't even feel guilty about that.
not about my abilities, cos i can do a lot, and sometimes not so much, cos i'm only human...
no, my doubts are about Love... about what a relationship is allowed to be. i've only really had one, so not a great deal to compare it too {my parents' one wasn't a great example}, and i can't see myself Playing The Field till i find what i want, so i'm dong some thinking... cos ever since i knew that being with Mr G didn't make me happy, i want to know what is possible...

in my years with Mr G i've grown to believe that wanting to be close with each other was unnatural... that asking for confirmation at times or affection was unnatural... that if you still needed these {childish} things there was something seriously wrong with you, and that you'd need help... and that he wasn't interested...

he sees himself as the ideal example of someone who doesn't need anybody else to complete him. he called me an extra dimension in his life, someone to have fun with, to talk to, be be his friend. he didn't see himself as a person who was capable of giving me emotional support, who had his own issues to work through.

i thought i did see this in him, though... to me he offered strength and support. i probably was too desperate to find someone in my life to see beyond this, to see the 'real' him; i painted him, in my mind, to be this strong, fun, intelligent man who - small miracle - liked me for who i was...  i hoped that he would find the things within himself that i needed, out of 'love' for me... i found myself trying to be who he wanted me to be, who he could live with, denied whole chunks of needs within myself so as not to annoy him... with the kids there everything changed again - i wanted to be a good mum and had to dig deep for that, and he had to work through a lot to be the father he envisaged himself to be... for us as a couple there was no energy left whatsoever...

we have actually managed to hang on in there for a long time, as parents and as friends... until i started to doubt strongly about what i wanted, in love and being together... is a relationship only Good if you don't ask anything from each other? can you only survive as a couple if you are emotionally in balance and perfectly healthy? what if you're just not there yet? what if you're still working on yourself, on those things that you've learnt as a kid that don't work, but are etched into your being like a tattoo? are you destined for loneliness because asking for support and affection is childish? what on earth can i hope for in a possible other relationship?!!

those kind of doubts... wandering through my mind...


11 July 2015

inspired

why is inspiration not something that just comes to you with the click of your fingers?!!

why is is there one day, filling you up with wonderful ideas, with beautiful notions and energy, to be completely invisible and untastable the next? or weeks in a row, for that matter...

maybe it's just the natural flow of life, maybe it always goes that way, with everyone who creates stuff, maybe i just haven't really noticed before... too busy with kids and a relationship and family... maybe we needs times of barren minds, of Nothingness to appreciate it when it finally makes an appearance again...

who knows...

point is: i'd love to see it's return, sooner rather than later... :-)

2 July 2015

sweet child of mine...

is is actually possible to genuinely be Yourself, as a grown-up?
can you really be your True Self, your Real You, the one that has been hidden under layers of stuff over the years?
is it an illusion to go back to the one you were supposed to be when you were a child, the You that is not a lie.......

these questions have been bugging me lately. i'm sure the answer is: Yes, if you try hard enough, or something like that.

how many of us are, as mature people?
aren't we all playing a game to belong, to fit in, to be accepted?
most of us i think have accepted the fact that Playing The Game is the most normal thing to do, and don't consider it an issue at all. sometimes i wish i was like that -- don't question my life, just live it and earn money and be in a relationship and be Normal... and if anybody asks, say i'm happy, or that i'm on my way to achieve happy. buy it, earn it, find it...

while i was talking to my colleagues the other day, i uttered the phrase: i wasn't raised to be a grown-up... and they looked at me baffled. well, one looked like she understood, the other {my boss} looked baffled... what did i mean? you're mid-forties, you have 4 kids, you have a household, a car, responsibilities - that is called being a grown-up... well, yeah, it can mean that... but in my eyes, a grown-up does these things and feels confident about their abilities, feels like it's what they're supposed to do, does it without questioning... they don't fritter away whole days daydreaming or write really long letters or draw or  paint or read books for hours or talk to friends about music or films or the Law of Attraction... they work, the sort out, they organise, they take charge... i don't...

well, i say that -- sometimes i do. when i have to... i can work {i do and like it a lot, but i'm totally worn out from being Responsible and Mature for 9 hours on end...}, i can sort out and organise {though the stress it brings is not funny...}, i can take charge... but it's not what i relish... it's not my natural Thing to Do...

men get away with that. on the whole... men are allowed to stay Boys, to some level {as long as they earn enough money...}, have silly hobbies, fritter away their time when not at work, looked after by their women... whereas women are supposed to be Mature. and i think most women believe that they ought to be, and that other women ought to be so as well... pull their weight, show the world how wonderful they are... maybe it's a hangover from times when women were deemed only useful in the kitchen and in bed, that they've carried on this need to prove how brilliant they are, how incredibly capable... collective concious and all that... whatever the reason: i've not been raised to be one of those women...

i've been raised to stay useful to my mother, who needs to feel needed. i was raised to be childish, to keep a childish perspective.... which would've been great if i was also a gifted artist, who could write wonderful books or paint brilliant pictures, and earn my keep that way, but i'm not... i'm okay. i'm not brilliant... and i have no idea how i can incorporate the way i am into Normal Life...

i've been raised to be looked after...
which would've been okay if i was a guy cos that's what women like: a guy to look after... what guy likes to look after middle-aged childish women?!!

time, might tell...
i'm off to pay some bills...


24 June 2015

big leap forward

my daughter is on her last days of primary school. after the summer she will be going to secondary school. i am thrilled to know that it will also be an anthroposophically based one. not that i'm so incredibly mad about everything that Rudolf Steiner ever said or wrote {not entirely sure about his insistence on Christianity in his teachings to be honest...} but i have thus far been very happy with the way the pedagogics of the education meets a kind of pagan nature awareness, something so sorely missing in regular education, at least in Holland.

when i went to have a look at the school in 1999, knowing we'd be making the massive leap from England to the Netherlands, i was immediately put at ease by the chat i had with what turned out to be the infants teacher, a funny looking lady with orange hair and the demeanour of the kind of person i was hoping to get to know in Holland {knowing they were few and far between...}. she told me about the philosophy behind the school, the importance of the seasons, the awareness of nature and that kids were allowed to develope at the pace that was natural for their age. no reading and writing before the age of 7, preferably, and infants were allowed and encouraged to play with wooden blocks and woollen dolls. our oldest son would be joining her group, and he was already being taught how to read and write, had been from the age of 5... what would he make of all this playing malarkey?!

he wasn't impressed at first, but then he didn't speak the language yet, felt a little bamboozled by these dutch kids, but to my amazement he picked it up incredibly fast, feeling welcome and okay in the warm, inviting world that was the school. we never looked back...

i'd like to think that i've learnt to understand the Steiner School World by now. sixteen years is a long time, and i think i get it quite a bit. i get the philosophy, i get the visions on art and culture and why it makes me feel so happy to be a part of this world, this strange, slightly Ye Olde Worlde and unexplainable, yet so totally of this world at the same time... i keep coming across parts that puzzle me, but it's fine to question, to meet like-minded doubters and discuss. the teacher i met on that first day is still a friend, and others i met along the way still help me with wonderings. they're a funny bunch, but i enjoy their company on such a different level...

tonight we'll celebrate St. Jan's feast, a kind of mid-summer celebration, where everyone brings food, and shares and talks and drinks, and the kids jump over the fire that's made in the middle of a field. it's a symbolic show of strength, of courage, of wanting to be disposed of bad spirits, to enter the new year cleansed... i could use that - we all could... the last time of many, the first of many more...

23 June 2015

the ungrateful cat

the odd writing challenge, whenever the fancy takes me...

"i expect that by tomorrow i will have embellished the story and given myself a heroic status i do not deserve, but all he same, on this night at this hour, i am pleased to record that i acquitted myself well. i mean, how often does one get to rescue a wailing, scared cat from a tree, and come out with only a few scratches, to a few cheers from bystanders?

it's not something i do very often, rescuing animals, as i tend to be as scared as the beasts themselves on the whole, but this particular specimen looked so perfectly cute in its fear - big eyes, sad meowing - that you'd have to have been a hard bastard to have withstood this puss. i have no idea who he {at least, i think it was a he, i didn't look at the offending area, to be honest...} belonged to, and none of the onlookers {two women on a Power Walk, a little boy on a tricycle and a couple of teenagers} had seen it before, and i almost decided to keep it, but i couldn't, and anyway, as soon as moggy hit the ground, after having taken it's claws out of my shoulder, it was off, without a thank you... ungrateful cats... the last time i play he hero...

i was on my way from the shops, getting dinner for just myself {again...} and so deep in thought that the cat's sad cry for help almost went by unnoticed. stuff was occupying my mind, as it has been so often, worries about my job, about the work drying up and the prospect of the dole, and the inevitable feeling lonely during the evening ahead, which i was although used to, at the same time not looking forward to. there's nothing on telly this evening...

cats aren't easy to rescue, i give myself credit. they're awkward little blighters for starters, not happy to picked up unless you're a very close friend, and to this one i wasn't even a distant acquaintance. what chance did i have... i don't envy fire fighters who do this for a living, although they have the distinct advantage of wearing fire-retardant gear {which also happens to be cat-claw-resistant - do fire-clothing designers bear that in mind, i wonder?}, and i was only wearing a thin summer shirt. neither did i have funky equipment to hoist myself nearby the branch it was sitting on, having to climb up with the help of a discarded plastic garden chair which i found in the shrubs, then being amazed that i retained some of the athletic abilities from my youth {now quite a few years back, but still...} and feeling slightly queasy when i looked down, once up on the lowest branch. 'hope this bloody cat understands what i'm doing for him,' i thought, knowing that he very likely didn't give a toss...

i've just finished nursing the scratches, some of them quite deep. the small bottle of Tea Tree Oil and the cotton wool buds, left by the love of my life {as she was known to me for a few months} put to good use finally. i will be nursing a glass of G&T in a bit, in pain and thoughts of an ungrateful cat..."

{the prompt was: pick a novel from your bookshelf and write down the last sentence, from where you create your own short story --
-- my sentence was picked from Adrian Mole, the cappuccino years, from Sue Townsend}


15 June 2015

guilt & pleasures

on my dutch blog i've been trying to deal with Feeling Guilty {and how utterly debilitating it can be, but how deeply ingrained in our culture and convictions at the same time}, Abundance and Being Able To Spend Money...

i was born and bred a Good Catholic Girl, went to church every week until i was 13, believed the whole Jesus Loves You thing and got great comfort from belonging to this group of other Catholics in the village {which, although in the predominately Catholic south of the Netherlands, was a minority group, as the vast majority of people were one form of Protestant or other, or non-religious}. in my teens i started to question the whole religion thing, which wasn't happily received by my parents {for strange reasons my father - who always portrayed himself as a Rebel - was heaviest with me in my wish to opt out of going to church and being religious... i guess he was towing my mum's line and my rebellion against her scared him} and gave me my first inklings into what lay ahead for me in terms of Becoming My Own Person, as opposed to carrying on as i had been in the years before, as an obedient child.

one of the big things in any religion, and Catholicism in particular, is Feeling Guilt. Admitting Guilt, Being Punishable Through Guilt, as one is Born Guilty and you spend the rest of your life redeeming yourself, and maybe by the time you die you'll have accomplished this mission and you can die a happy man/woman... it is of course a very complicated matter {more can be read here} and not one that is easily defined or dismissed {when is Feeling Guilty a natural reaction to something that is deemed wrong, and when is it a harmful emotion, holding us back from developing and flourishing as human beings?}. my friend Mo and i spend hours trying to figure out which of the guilt that we feel is a remnant of old feelings of repression, as used by those who raised us {parents, church, teachers, family members}, and which is something else altogether... guilt in itself isn't bad, it's the inability to move beyond it, to feel so bad as a person that one can feel only redeemed when punished, that it stops us from being truly happy or free-spirited...

which brings us to the matter of Abundance.
part of my upbringing was a reaction to the poverty that one of my parents was raised in, and the relative richness and comfort of the other... rich people were seen as oppressors, as bad and evil and all things awful {unless they lost their riches and became poor, or had given all their money to charity, or were in some other way denying their wealthy background}, and in no way to be trusted. money could be lost, there was no way of knowing if what you've earned or saved up can be held on to. so money was always a hot issue. it needed to be gathered, saved, spent incredibly carefully, and one had to feel bad about wanting things that cost money... gluttony in any form was seen as Wrong.

when i started to earn my own money, i spent it on Luxury. just because i could. true, i saved, for You Never Know {and to be able to Travel}, but i happily spent it on things i really didn't need, but liked the look of. expensive fountain pens, for instance, or loads of books and music, or way too much paper, or a travel bag made form Indian material, or a throw made form Indian material {there was a shop in a nearby town that sold beautiful things from India, that i almost lived in at one point...}, or shoes, or... and my mum looked on in horror... she had never in her life dared to waste a penny on anything, let alone herself, and here was her daughter, whom she'd raised to be sensible and cautious, buying stuff that had no use other than Look Pretty... What The Hell...

the man i spent my life with for the past 23 years was quite a lot like my mother in that way... very sensible and careful with money, always convinced we were on the brink of poverty and destitution, looking on at my ability to spend money 'recklessly' on Luxury Items {which was rare, as we had Nowt...} with confusion, but not the horror that my mother would sport. he was amused, in some ways. still wouldn't spend a penny on himself, unless he needed new clothes or shoes or now, stuff for his house, but any item of luxury he owns has been given to him as a gift... unlike my mum he believes that it gives him a spiritual advantage, less baggage is living lighter, that kind of thing, and i see what he means. he has a suspicion towards rich people, mainly those who we born into it, the ones with the advantages he felt he never had, and i get that too. i just don't share his hostility towards them... if i truly believe my belief in the Law of Attraction, i know that they've somehow attracted their reality, and Mr G has his, as has my mum hers...

there's nothing wrong with abundance, with spending money with having it, or not having it... all is okay... as long as it is what you feel truly happy with and grateful for...

1 June 2015

receipt

while out walking in the 'woods' just outside the town where i live, something crucial occurred to me... something that i heard in the interview with the Barefoot Doc, but it's occurred to me before.
in order for wonderful things to happen in your life, 
it's crucial to be able to RECEIVE stuff in your life... 
but can i receive? can i accept? can i take things that are given to me, handed on a plate often?

it's easy to give.... giving has kudos, it makes you look good and it's nice when people are happy when you give them something... a compliment, your turn at the supermarket, preference at an even crossing, a hug, a smile, a present... you've got the power, in a way... someone is grateful to you {or not, a lot of people are actually just dumbfounded when they get a break or a present} and you are seen as a great person... but receiving something?! you don't want to be seen as greedy, or selfish or whatever else is 'bad'... you need to be seen as modest, or not needing anyone out there to help you out, or that you can restrain yourself {especially in NL a huge one...}, that you're not one of those gluttonous people that is - lo and behold!? - impulsive...

i used to be quite good at receiving. help, mainly and money, and advice and people and things, and whatever else came on my path. i had plenty. life was good. until i learnt {there had always been a nagging little voice in my head} that accepting stuff is wrong. you should earn it first. it should be slaved and sweated over. you can't just accept help that's landed on your doorstep - who is it from? what do they want from you in return? what can you give them back? cos you should always give something back... you don't want to be one of those people that doesn't give something back.... at least grovel lots and say you're not worthy...

gratitude... that should be enough...
happiness... that should be enough...
appreciation... should be enough...

knowing that i deserve to be happy, that i deserve to live a nice life and to enjoy myself and be HAPPY and have fun and for life to be easy... and i don't need to earn it first... by living a life of scarcity and shortage, or needing to be forgiven first or whatever else someone has come up with to have power over me {& humanity}... i don't need to earn love, or affection, or be punished for feeling that i need it...

so the journey continues...


31 May 2015

thrive & prosper

and, as i already suspected on Thursday, i'm going to abort the 30DaysWritingChallenge... too uninspiring {basically cos i've done it before...}, and as i said to Kati: i know... i know where my mental blocks are, i don't need them to be unearthed for the umpteenth time... i need to get on with my life, enjoy it, be happy and 
THRIVE!! 



this morning i watched a really inspiring interview with The Barefoot Doctor, a British guy who's studied Taoism and various other forms of spirituality, and a wonderful advocate for {self-}healing and one of my teachers in the art of Stopping Me From Taking Life {& Myself} So Bloody Seriously... he's funny and pertinent, and has a distant charm - a bit like the Dalai Lama, in some ways - and just when i think he's a little bit too Ibiza faux-hippy fashionable, he seems to be able to redeem himself and get me back on track...

anyway, what i wanted to say is that life's too short, and i need to have fun things happen in my life, stop feeling sorry for myself, and stop getting others to feel sorry for me... so what if it's raining? dance in the falling drops!! {and stop going on about pneumonia!!} things like challenges that aren't fun or making me think and don't feel essential shall be pt out with the rubbish... life's too short...



28 May 2015

a fish needs a bicycle...

skipping today's... it's becoming repetitive and i feel i've moved on from a lot of the non-self-reliance i've found myself being stuck in for most of my life... of course there's always room for improvement, but one can have enough of a good thing...

instead i want to wrestle with the {very valid & interesting} question Kati put to me in one of her comments: why is there always a man in my Dreams Of The Future, why would a strong {hahahaha!!!} woman like me need a man?! my initial answer {"cos i don't want to end up alone..."} is true, cos it is one of the nightmares i have of the Future: to end up alone with three cats and a dog and no one to speak to for days on end, apart from the cats and dog... part of me likes to be alone, but not to be lonely...
but then: isn't Lonely also a state of mind? and how likely is it that i end up alone with 4 kids and my friends...? for now...

do i really need a man in my life? no... of course not... i can hang my own shelves, and install the tv & dvd player, and get the stereo connected and all those things that i'm supposed to have a bloke in my life for...  but it would be nice to have company though, to be able to have intelligent conversations, to have a man's rational point of view, to not be swept along by emotions and feelings all the time, like i can find myself doing... it would be nice... i like men, on the whole... not the proud, dull, predictable ones that i live amongst here, but strong, principled ones, that are also in touch with their feelings but still know how to be wise and sensible, and be innately confident about their self-worth, but not too much... who are modest and sweet, funny and artistic, serious and open-minded... a man who doesn't mind me resting my head on his shoulder, snuggle up against him on the sofa while i watch a silly film and he reads a book... who adores and respects me, in much the same way that i do him... {mainly cos i've not had one of those, the kind that likes to have me near him...}

maybe i´m too romantic and not at all realistic {but didn't one of the prompts pose that being too realistic kills all creativity?!} if i make this 'list'... but i don't really care...

i don't need a man in my life - i know my life will still be okay and i have within me all the resources i need to thrive and have a wonderful life, and i'm still getting over my relationship with Mr G, and i'm realistic {yuck!!} enough to know that stability is pretty important in the lives of my kids {and mine} for a while... but the Desire is still there...


chandler's crazy wit

lennon's strong mind, artistic eye, derisive humour

david crosby's crazy good looks
{and artistic talent...}

eddie vedder's everything...

stone gossard's calm disposition
to name but a few...

tomorrow's and saturday's challenges maybe on Sunday's blog... 

27 May 2015

30 days writing {18} dreams

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
My favorite quote of all time is Alan Kay: 
‘In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.’ 
I am all about inventing the future. Decide what you want the future to be 
and make it happen. Because you can. 
Write about your future now.
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*

a gusty wind blows against the window of my beach house, and makes it rattle. i look up from my laptop/easel/worktable* to see if the window will hold, and feel reassured that it does. i know i need to wrap up in a bit, cos my love will come back home with a takeaway {curry/fish&chips/Chinese}* forthwith and i'm actually feeling quite ravenous. he has taken a few hours off from the building he's designing, as he;s an architect on a deadline {he designed and helped build this house by the coast as well, has my love...**} and will be travelling back to London in a few days, so i will have the place to myself again, shared with Harvey the dog, and my two crazy black cats, and the kids, who have come over to stay with their batty mum for a bit, and i will have time to take them places, and they'll take Harvey out for long walks and i'll have time to write/paint/draw/sew*... 

in a few weeks time we'll go off on a trip to Scotland in our camper van to visit my bff S and then on to my Dutch friend Kati, while we wallow in the British countryside {which my Love is re-appreciating after years of living in Antwerp...}. though i sort of loath to leave Dorset/Cornwall/Devon* for too long stretches... 

life is pretty awesome... :-)

* delete as necessary 
** artistic licence... he could be anything really, as long as he's rich and wonderful and happy... {my current Fantasy is an architect, you see...}

have a cuppa... 

26 May 2015

30 days writing {16} one thing {?!}

oh! hahahaha!!! turns out i skipped one...
here's No. 16...
{duh...}

Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
one thing i've always wanted to achieve....
jesus...
five years ago this would've been: to be able to live on my own {without going mental}. can get that ticked off my list...

i don't have One Goal... i have Loads... travelling to certain places in the world *.* getting mentally ready to have that book published *.* living in a little house on the prairie in the polder {or something like that} *.* finding the love of my life * .* feeling chilled *.* have a dog
what do i do to achieve them? dream about them, mainly... listening out for clues... visualise and write about it... it will happen... i'm sure!!

{kati scribbles as well...}




30 days writing {17} strange & new

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
this moment has happened a few time in my life. cos when you break free from an old pattern and create your own, then too you can get bogged down and feel a strong desire to break free from that one...

the first one i can remember was the time i went off to England. to be an au-pair with a wonderful family, and to do something that i had never done before, had no one to lean on for feedback or steering me into the 'right' direction, and it was both scary and totally wonderful!! i relied on myself, on my knowledge & feelings and it worked...

i guess i feel only now that i'm kind of back in the Self Reliance Mode, not having Mr G - whom i thought i needed in my life for so long - to hand... and it feels great... 

*.*.*.*.*.*.*

Kati writes here








25 May 2015

30 days writing {15} alternative paths

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we've gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you've got to choose to see them.
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
okay... thanx for the advice...
{more of a case of 'unasked for advice' - is this guy Dutch?! - than a prompt...}

what alternatives am i overlooking on my path towards a house in the country? i don't know... i'll hear the prompts my inner voice/Angel/Guide whispers into my ear or makes clear by means of Feeling Strange or Strongly about certain avenues, i've learnt that being too deliberate often works the wrong way, for me anyway... i try to live my life without Certainties anyway, know that that doesn't really work... i never have a Plan, or a Route {unless other people rely on me being somewhere} cos that kills any creativity that might come up with a Great Solution {or just a Good one...}.

24 May 2015

30 days writing {14} surprise yourself

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself. How will you surprise yourself this week?
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*

i just reread what i wrote 4 years ago, and i stand by that still. many times i've surprised myself, by doing just that what i never thought i could, or dared, or was capable of... living in another country... singing in public, solo... giving birth without being medicated up to eyeballs... falling in love,  and being swept along with the whirlwind that is love... looking after a dog for two weeks... ending my relationship... 

and i'm sure more will follow, when things feel right... and there's no way of knowing when that is... i need to listen to my inner voice, and believe it to be true. only then... 

30 days writing {13} does it matter?

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? 
Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream 
and write out the answers to the following:

Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? 
or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?
apparently is is, otherwise i'd have stripped it off by now, living the Full and Wonderful life of my dreams... but maybe this is the life of my dreams, for now, maybe this is all i can handle at the moment.. maybe Wonderful Things are waiting around the corner, in readiness for my readiness... i've discarded so many fears already, have let go of so many insecurities... i know the Fear of Rejection will always be a part-player, and the Fear of Not Finding Love is kind of innate, but i know i'll scale those mountains when my time is right...

Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?
no. of course not... 

Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?
no, but even this, even the scared version of me is who i am. at times. not all the time, but chunks of them... and only i can decide when i'll be ready to let go...

Now Do. The Thing. You Fear.
stop telling me what to do!!
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*


read along with Kati here

22 May 2015

30 days writing {12} never imitate

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
isn't everyone unique in their own ways? and aren't the things that i think are unique about me dormant in everyone? sure, i've had my own upbringing, that no one else has had {not even my brother} and a bunch of things have happened to me that haven't happened to anyone else, but really, does that make me different? i guess it does, and everyone else is as different as i am... 

people begin their lives as imitators, we are programmed that way... as babies we imitate our mothers, and our fathers, our siblings, family members, people at school - it's incredibly natural, otherwise we don't develop as the Social Beings that we are, to thrive and grow... but at some point on our road to adulthood we need to find out how we can carry on without the need to imitate... only: nobody told us what that point was.... nobody says: right, that's enough now; you need to figure out what it is that you want, or what you are... petrified of 'losing' us, we were told to carry on imitating, to carry on doing what everyone else is doing, only now it's called Being Conventional. Being Normal... anything that's not is seen as a threat... and we don't want to be a threat, to the cohesion of Society, so be buckle up and Behave Normal... 

some area's in which i'm at odds with peers/family/society:
* being quiet and contemplative {which was deemed very weird and suspicious}
* not going out every weekend - {in my teens. my friends did, but left me along after a while, cos i absolutely HATED it...}
* read difficult books {about stuff that nobody i knew had any interest in}
* listen to weird music 
* feeling a need to figure out {sexual} orientations {and still wondering about it...}
* not marry the boy next door {or even the next village. i went a bit further afield...}
* have more than two children
* live in another country {and try to understand the difference in culture}
* listening to my inner voice 
* not feeling i belonged in the country i was born in {at all...}

now all i need is to thrive... 
on my way...