The Game of Life can make some incredible twists and turns if we couple inspiration, action and energy. A few of these following topics I’ve touched on previously, but here’s a little more relatable context perhaps and expansion on talking points of interest that have surfaced within meetings over the last few weeks.
In this day and age the amount of personal anxiety associated to making life decisions can become rather high if the participant takes on an overly directional rule sheet. In my experience through the lifestyle I have chosen, I’ve learnt I don't have to know what I’m doing in 6 months time (or sometimes 6 hours with this free-range human!) because when it's time to move- I feel it on my terms. A rough idea and timeline of goal setting sure, we must know what we want with vision and dedication- but life develops. The lion's share of focus and work is head down tail up on enjoying, appreciating and working through the current ripple of things at the time. Though this process, answers by way of advanced ideas, opportunities and new avenues to the next wave amass and become apparent along the way. This utilities a wonderful, powerful and rather under recognised thang called transferable & accumulative skill. I loooove having the art of surprise in my back pocket. It consistently cracks me up how people underestimate what another person knows or is learning, the other presentations of their personality they can appropriate to different situations or people, or the power conviction & fiery determination can have upon an idea- things that have irked me from very young and ensured I have not projected these misconceptions onto the people around me. Psst, I'll let ya in on a not so secret secret too... less control = more fun.
Many of us have spent time on the ping pong table being ricocheted between ‘living in the moment’ and ‘goal setting’, but a place where my stubbornness to not conform to things I don't feel comfortable with plants me into finding my own happy medium. We can’t achieve ‘everything’, but we can achieve & experience our own ‘everything’. If we are thoughtful about the selection of particular attributes we are after and construct a realistic connection between them, then over time we can indeed do all the things we aspire towards- but the ol’ timeline- well that’s a waterslide- we can’t get everything in one ripple! Ripples aren't entirely accumulative either there is trade and release needed, and often on the way through we learn that some of the things we are aiming for are no longer necessary or justified. Expanding and contracting between aspiration/ growth and recognition/ appreciation for what we already have, bounces back and forth; we are already enough in any state as is.
In my world, the people I meet, the situations that present themselves and the events that happen are of no coincidence- I do not believe in Luck. I experience patterns of synchronicity and work my ass off, however we have different powers of recognition and recollection to these phenomenon and memories. Not all of us are born with this knack nor inclination of interest in matching them up or want to develop these skills. Being under the impression of happenstance means thinking there isn't sequences and connections to processes, planning and outcome or that a bigger energy than human brain power exists. Everything is interlinked- we are all made of the same stuff; there is always a way, yet how we feel and what impact this can have on our abilities can be in great variation. Sometimes, people can have a hard time admitting that we are all at different levels of skill within this spectrum, yet if a person decides to couple dedication with service and aspiration they can grow to develop incredible capabilities. Perhaps another way to look at it is that I feel I'm the luckiest girl alive, for the good stuff but for the problems also- they completely fit who I am. I see it as an immense privilege to have opportunities to do what I love.
I see life as little jigsaw pieces connecting together and feel we are here to learn from each other and help each other out along the journey. Which is why if we get audacious with the pieces and seek and create opportunities for relatedness, then over extended intervals they too can come together if we work for them. Often people exclaim ‘it was meant to be!’ and the Universe in combination with our thoughts and direction, in my opinion, does indeed provide these encounters, but it also manoeuvres and navigates us away from things also. Humans are mimics and mirrors; what we think and how we behave over time reflects actions and occurrences back to us. Some of the things we want and set our hearts on require other peoples lives and events to progress in order for things to drop into place; we don’t control everything, we sometimes don't deserve things, we are not indispensable and we certainly have nada on Time. But that last one; she's our biggest ally.
You've heard this one before but it's solid...
I believe within life, the accidents, the bumbles and the hold ups are just as significant as good events because they are also looking after us or giving us a needed wisdom. Grasping this concept completely changes our attitudes towards fellow man and the blips in existence. Missing things, stuff breaking down, ‘bugger’ moments don’t phase me now that I'm a little more seasoned- tbh that stuff never really did as it's fixable 1) I’m learning something 2) I’m being held in place for a reason. A lot comes to light about a person by how they manage tangled faerie lights, missing a flight and loosing their luggage! My big accidents have taught me big things.
I had a decent motorbike accident two years ago which was a timely wake up call. I had ridden down to the pub to watch the All Black | Aussie game, afterwards I had been yakking with a group of young lads (showing off) and decided to gas it when I left. Not taking into account the icy conditions, nor that I was on my new bike, not my older one. Back tyre lost traction upon touching the frosty white centreline and I nastily high sided right out the front of the watering hole knocking myself out. There is nothing like having the people you've been showing off in-front of scraping you off the tarmac like peanut butter, and having to call your Da to take you to hospital and sit with you till 4 am while you're seeing rainbows to rap your ego WELL and truly sheepishly into line and to remind you of humilty. Universe I heard you loud and clear.
When I was 19 I went to New York and one night had got myself way out in Queens with this amazing group of artists I had randomly met and gone back to their loft to parrrrrttyyy. I decided I’d catch the 2nd to last train back in to Manhattan, but had got a little to wrapped into the joviality and forgotten to leave in time. So I only made it to the station for the last train of the night. The next morning when I got up I was making a coffee and the news broadcast an article that two British tourists had been shot execution style after getting onto to the train I was supposed to at the station I had come from. This is a rather dramatic instance of quite literally dodging a bullet, but over my life I can illustrate many different occasions when ‘missing the train’ has been the best thing. Fortunately for me, that night was not my time to go, but if the shit was to have hit- I would have had to accept that. In majority the world is just sleep, eat, f*%&, work, repeat (maybe not in that order)- not sabotage, harass, murder and blow up- that takes a loooot of effort. Bad has to happen as much as good; with more love in the world their is equally more hate and inevitably something, some experience or someone is going to take us out.
Four years ago I had a wisdom tooth that was impacting (not high enough on the evolutionary scale lol) and decided to have surgery to take it out. 'Do an Angelina Jolie Doc, and take the other two out just incase please, I don't want to have to go through this again' I famously said, even though the other two out of three were relatively fine. I had every complication and detrimental side effect you could muster and learnt an important thing in this day and age for my body 'don't go in there messing with things that don't need fixing'.
The ducks never all quite line up, and if they do it’s only for a very short period; there is always something going on. We get money, job, living lined up, then heath pops out of whack. Get the heath sorted and something else slips to the left. When I restored my Morris Minor, replacing parts was a similar pattern of chess, you see, the parts wear down and make grooves together over time. When one fails or needs to be replaced the dimensions of the new part aren't worn in like the former and so they cause friction and changes in different areas. Life is no different- little rubs and reactions take place as we change which cause other things to pop and shift.
I choose not to expose online nor give examples of the extraordinary and unusual experiences and stories from my life. I am private and discrete and it's a privellage when we share information with each other; plus I don't wallow about in painful chapters; yet I hold wild, remarkable, and destructive examples of situations and ramifications to incidents, conduct and choices I have made, been a part of or been subjected to within my life also. I have come out of holes so deep and fathomless even I look back in awe and reverence at how I've managed. The past happened as it should have for my story, and I accept it- that is the most tremendous learning lesson of them all- ownership and full responsibility for what has been without malice. When a person decides to publicly expose distressing events that have happened to them, they take a position of moral ground; right or wrong, victim or perpetrator; I do not agree with this. In a large proportion of the situations in the developed world, if we all dig deep enough, there are decisions and choices which require responsibility from both sides and more often than not, predominantly with ourselves. Publicly advertising these things displays that the person has not fully come to terms with the situation, is continuing to let it dominate them and their identity, and that they think their pain is significant and unique. Trauma is part of being human.
I have been extremely independent from very young and intent & unwavering upon building an existence doing things I am passionate about, but this rides squiggly lines not straight ones. I openly apologise to those I have not done so in person who I hurt, forgave myself and those who did me wrong- thank you, you did me a favour; I learnt from you, and I thank from the deepest well in my heart all the incredible souls who looked after me, protected me, loved me, dished me sharp truths and guided me; of the past, present and the future. My journey is no pack of fluffy ducks- who's is? Love is not written in white, there are necessary chapters in red and I was not going to get to where I am without intimate knowledge of the whole conglomeration. I value and respect this part of me, even more than the gloss, because coming through those chapters, taking full responsibility for my part within those, and acquiring insights from them, has shaped me into the sonorous soul I am. I am exactly what I wished to be. I have lived more in my short time than some could do in multiple lifetimes. We don't need to search for people to share these things with, we actually get matched up with each other when we need each other- this remarkable system continues to humble and delight me and how when we are open to it, we can very organically alleviate each other's confusion and pain by sharing.
We see bombing and massacres- people blowing each other up fighting about the same thing with different names- we can call it Love, or Brahman, Qi, the Universe (in reference to the energy not the astrological configuration); or in personification; Allah, God, Elohim, and many other celebrities. Misguided humans are fighting with artillery bought from the ‘good guys’ (or perhaps my Kiwisaver funds?!!), yet there are crusades far more volatile sitting right next to you. Talk to a young person and uncover the layers of self loathing, anxiety associated to perfectionism, atrocious berating and abuse that goes on right inside their mighty mind. I’m going bigger than than that because we are all kids inside- the proportion of people who are waring internally is enormous. It took me 18 years to make a true comrade of my mind (Spirit) and that took many battles and casualties on both sides. I chose from early on in my life to invest my energy into people and the engagements that I could make a significant difference with, but what most people don't realise is that they don't need to make grandiose movements and publicised endeavours to promoted wars (ulterior motive), they just need to turn around on home patch and say ‘Hey, so how YOU doin?’.
As I've seen glimpses of New Zealand Fashion Week recently I have only compassion for the beautiful gazelles lolliping along, some with rabid hungry eyes, because I know first hand what dichotomy is being presented before me. Ooo Ahh, drool drool; beautiful specimen of humanity they say… but that is a dismembered young soldier dragging their body up the beach to salvation I see. Frontline war on hate, love, identity, and acceptance for both sexes. When perfectionism, competition, intelligence and ambition combine we have internal nail bombs going off. How do I know this? I was a food loving chiquita banana masquerading as a gazelle for many, many years, and it took a huge amount of berating, fire and denial to keep myself that way. Lovelies, being content doesn't have a BMI and sated does not equate to fat. Someone else would love the body you have right. now.
Everything I do and am fascinated with is rooted in feelings and impressions- how the hell did I ever think I would be happy constricting my oldest passion to fit the rigid confinements of 'fuel'?! I am not built that way, and I'm not surprised in hindsight to see this was my challenge, but it took a long time to come to terms and understand that- especially as messing with diet in the Western world is seen as a common and encouraged thing- to some of us it is simply much more sensory and because of this, a rather dangerous part of physiology to mess with. If a person is wired this way, they will not find fulfilment in attempting to conform to the opposite. Our second brains (guts) contain +100 Million neurons, more than what is in the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. By not feeding this correctly, or by restricting or obstructing the personal requirements of this system, a person is literally restricting their abilities to think, feel and grow to their potential. I have learnt that an extremely important part of being in balance as a creative bean (human) is eating three (or 2 or 4, or what is personal cos it chaaanges) gorgeous, fresh, whole food and protein laden meals with sleep; less nosiness, matching, 'nutritional averages', measuring, eating on the go with out gratifying the experience and one-upping over what others are doing eh and more just what we personally love and feel... Cravings are telling us things- not listening to these inevitably spells disaster. These complications are skyrocketing within our society due to fabricated projections followed by unrealistic expectations people are imposing upon themselves. Want to find some of the unhealthiest people in our communities, pop into the gym, a secondary school, a modelling agency or a health food shop. There is an instance when famine is totally legitimate; when we starve the ego but feed the spirit.
The beautiful and talented soul Bieber got it hole in one with what is quite simply one of the most complex reflections to genuinely master: 'Love Yourself'. It's not the egotistical way it sounds and is portrayed; all gloss, compact and presentable- Un-conditional love unquestionably encompasses imperfection, flaws, inadequacy, weakness, fear, sadness, wobbly bits, illnesses, complications and deviations from the norm- c'est la vie.
Although I recognised and loved beauty in a great variety of humanity, for a stupid amount of time I thought a proportion of my beauty was a number sewn into my pants (duh.) My inner child; my soul knew that was really foolish, but my ego wanted to differ. She was scared, and she was confused and she had been conditioned to find comfort within that pain. Internal incorporeal work, if the person so chooses, inevitably requires us to climb these mountains and understand them. Love has an extraordinary amount of contrasting colours and can be sheep in wolf's clothing.
I believe we are back living these lifetimes within different stages of consciousness and this means we are all feeling and sensing things differently. The majority of people become more mindful as they get older- but some of us gather these insights at ages out of proportion to our peers or those around us- as a generalisation creatives (we are all evolving to become more of this) are often in the latter category- and with this comes trials with isolation, loneliness, compulsion, self destructive tendencies and other challenging traits- it can be extraordinarily daunting being different. Just because someone else doesn’t understand what you are feeling doesn’t mean that it isn't real or happening. More than likely its just that that person either hasn't felt that, gone through that experience or just isn't on the same wavelength; unfortunately most people disregard or get worked up at things if they can’t empathise or relate to it. With this in mind it can be easy to see how when a person is exploring to find their own certitude, that they can be freaked out by their feelings, problems and attributes. Being frightened by reactive situations, fearful about negative qualities, humiliated, demoralised or feeling like an odd one out doesn't help someone come to terms with what is going on nor be a better bunny- it just exacerbates and heightens an already sensitised circumstance and person. Anxiety is not a 'real' threat, it is an imaginary complication and can be (it's different for all of us) quite a different feeling to fear or nervousness. Yet the ramifications of how easily we can impact each other with our words and actions cannot be underestimated upon this gremlin; simple things to one person can push another into complete overload. It is very important to learn how to decompartmentalise logical productive options and emotionally invested ones in order to figure out what needs to be done and what needs to be nurtured.
We can intellectualise concepts until we are blue in the face, but that is very different from living and feeling an idea or experience. Sometimes it's like I roll around a concept like a hard boil lolly in my head, savouring it and whittling it down until it disappears, and then one day out of the blue it pops back up in relevance again and I realise where it fits and that I really feel that, I get it on a deep and intimate level- but when it initially slid in I may have been quite uncertain about it. Ahuh/ Ohhh emotions take time- we can't force people to feel things and we can't change until we do. People define things and give advice on their own timelines and terms; promoting solutions they have found which have been appropriate for their existence and most fib about the difficulties and their unusual characteristics; often casting them in softer and more favourable light. It doesn’t mean that their way is the only way to skin the cat and that in rare cases another person’s cat can’t be a pegasus.
Quality help is situated right around us by those that we associate with. They share our characteristics- external services don't have the same calibre of connection. Neither does a lot of this info on the internet- it's not quite right on the button for our culture, environment or psyche- and we can be our own worst enemies. In my experience, knots have geographical, ethnographic, environmental and social significance; trying to untangle them by not investigating close quarters first is like feeding a bird dog food- our feelings and emotional orientation has particular patterns and predispositions. Big nuggety issues frequently have resolutions in close quarters and ripples. When we open up and talk with a person we respect face-to-face a little magic happens, physical and primal emotional (and science supports magnetic) reactions; unlike any release valve that can be found through reading, often in isolation and feeding that whirling vortex of seclusion and distress.
Problem shared, problem halved but it's a bit more than that- it's like a litmus test of quirk that tames feeling peculiar by showing us another person's got our emotional back. Life doesn't expose all the package of answers in one go or place and people often don't expose their full stories; many are quite guarded about their unusual clever secrets- which is fair enough, and the whole story wouldn't matter anyway because what we are sharing between each other is all that's needed at that point. Hell, as we all know, sometimes things don't need to be said, it's enough just to be together. Dudes, on average have a better knack at this than chiquitas who use natter to iron out issues. People can imitate superficial features but no-one can mimic charisma and aura- you are here for your reasons and impressions not another's. My great friend Bern has a fantastic line for those who are getting up in his grill: 'live your life, mine is taken'.
I came back from Holland nine months ago to help my family with events that were coming up this year, invest my expertise into people and an environment I love and work at adjusting a particular lifelong quality within myself. I’d had enough of fighting within and I had collected the tools and skills I required in order to focus on achieving making peace with some very gnarly components, but none of this came overnight. We can only do, what we do, when we do it. Day after day after day I did my best, we can ask no more, and I held strong on feeling and subsequently understanding emotions that for years I had complications with or repressed; slap bang in a setting where they were at there highest and most volatile potency. My tigers used to slink in not when I was busy and engaged, but in times of stillness and calm; when I had extended amounts of time to ponder the plethora of options I could concoct.
Seemingly negative abilities to circumnavigate reactions had also illustrated to me that my life worked without buying into some of those emotions- that they were best ignored- but unfortunately the knack for doing so was on a death run to take me out. I was cheating on a exponential scale- most destructively by killing myself from the inside out. Anxiety is actually totally useless, but it can manufacture despair so dark even darkness itself wants to hide. In modern life ladies & gents there is no tiger for that fight or flight response. No fucking tiger people. I completely trust what I feel not always what I think; thoughts can be proven false, but feelings never so. Keep in mind too, we exist within a world of frameworks that are only another person's ideas & concepts that have general consensus.
A women's maternal instinct, in generalisation, is built to be able to have an empathetic response to people and situations; to be able to flick things around and case out all the options in order to protect her brood. This ability can be really annoying if it is given too much space to expand within ideas. My love for a concept can ignite the same tactic of defence in a way to give me additional options in order to solve a problem. But I don't need 1,000 options- I only need 1. Inner eye on the one option with most investment- not getting googly and sidetracked. When I am travelling and doing activities I'm using more of my linear 'masculine' brain; 'this is where I want to go, this is what I choose' no fizz from myself or people I care about giving me jitters with their opinions or demands. In the main, my planning and calculations are fluid and decisive but it was time to master that lesser developed facet. 2016 required me to face cool extensively drawn-out strategy being tugged by emotional diversion and un-package it, and additionally got me intimately aquatinted with my not so favourable friend called 'sitting meditation' for like, loong stretches arrrrggghhh. Once a person is aware of the fluff however, we can cut through the inventive avenues, have certainty within ourselves and go back to focusing on action.
The crazy thing is that on the other side of that sick zingy cauldron of concoctions, once a decision is locked, is this addictive, giddy, upside-down-inside-out feeling of elation and skin buzzing anticipation. THAT is what I crave by pushing myself into the extreme by stretching parameters so far that they combust upon themselves. It's sexual, it's primal, it's breathtaking & it's a high totally unique. A mental state and sensation not dissimilar to what I expereince when participating in adrealine activites. The only boundaries upon ourselves are the ones we impose and shattering those really feels incredible. It's this really neat gut-fluttery feeling when I make a decision for my life that has made me turn the cog in a defined direction. I follow through everything I do to resolution and I am relentless in my searching, my seeking, my propulsion to be better and to share these achievements with those around me. It's very foolish to miscalculate me- I can see where I am going and every day I am building who, what, where I am. If 'going to ground' (former post) is being broken & rebuilt- this experience is rebirth. Magical thing is that some of those other invested things have a way of weaving their tapestry in further down the line which is fascinating... and within culture, historically well documented if you're interested in collecting the patterns within stories around the world. Pattern recognition is powerful stuff- because as soon as we can ascertain a system we can prepare for it, change it or set up the conditions to replicate it.
This. repairing. went. on. for. months. In some aspects it was the hardest and most uncomfortable of times, but I viewed that as soo minimal in comparison to what I was achieving in other areas of much greater long-term value and importance, that I refused to buy into dwelling on the lack, & this year if I'm being honest, there was a huge amount of it if I had taken stock, but I just don't work that way. Soaring over that by following this process lead me to witness miracles, there is no other way to put it; but if you're heart is unobstructed, you will see they flicker around us continuously. Humanity has an unfortunate knack of not recognising the incredulity of 'smooth sailing' and focusing on points of obstruction. I had amazing new projects and concepts I wanted to put into action and I knew that unless I dedicated myself to reprogramming a few aspects of psyche there was no way I was going to progress on those other avenues because the solutions were tied into problems. Through combining thought, action and repetition over time we can make new neural pathways to train ourselves into new habits. Combined with having faith in a power greater than ego to help out with processes means we can focus on the task at hand and leave other details to drop into place in the right time and if they warranted. Sometimes it’s just not time for a particular duck however and ya gotta just get the fuck over it and enjoy what is there in the asset pond.
Listening to your conscious/ your intuition/ your inner voice/ the voice of reason/ your Heart is not schizophrenia. Although I have found out that just like memory, we have this in varying magnitudes.
I felt this topic needs a little addressing as it has come up on more than one occasion over the last few weeks in conversation, and in particular with concerned younger creatives. Many out-of-the-box-thinkers I know have had this thought pass through at some point or another, and most probably given it a good old Google… and potentially freaked out a little because there are some symptoms that could be seen as rather similar. But so do the common cold and cancer. There is a lot of danger within all this access to information; far more than any gun, drug or other weapon. Mastery and madness share qualities but what the panic'd brain or person set out to find fault can overlook, is that the latter rounds the corner with disposition, outlook and social association. Ponder this for a moment: The thought that a person had one day that by cutting into another live man they could remove the 'sickness' within is a rather strange one- so is a person sitting across from another giving them a label for their circumstances; strapping metal under our feet and zipping over snow and off obstacles; that someone stared up at the Moon and actually wanted to get there, that we wanted to ride the barrel of a wave like a dolphin or straddling rockets and make them curve around corners... bonkers no?- it's only now we are conditioned to accept these things, but if we go back to the initial root when someone had the idea- things are astronomically way out.
The term schizophrenia, which in Greek means “split mind,” was first used to describe a psychological disorder by Eugen Bleuler (1857–1939), a Swiss psychiatrist who was studying patients who had very severe thought disorders. Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder marked by delusions, hallucinations, loss of contact with reality, inappropriate affect, disorganised speech, social withdrawal, and deterioration of adaptive behaviour.
It’s categorised by being scrambled in thought and action and not being able to make tangible and rational decisions between behaviours and ideas; the internal connection of dots is making scattered patterns not complex patterns with linear parts. But I think it’s the ‘listening to the voice of your Heart’ that is what really instills fear. The voice inside is not the same as having a chorus yapping inside, or being told to do bizarre and reactive things creating patterns of disproportionate abnormality which follows through to detrimental behaviours upon themselves, friends, family and others. These things don't have rational links to events or situations that have happened within the persons life. People with schizophrenia’s jigsaw puzzle is not coming together correctly; they are shoving pieces in which don't have matching edges and the links between concepts and achievements is not correlating.
Creatives at times are scrambled- but from stress and running at high function (bouncing around trying to find the correct jigsaw piece)- not clinical madness. Maintaining attending a university, or working, creating and participating within the extreme pressures of life today, requires dealing with immense complexities and juggling lots of life balls. Brain and Spirit can go into hyperdrive. Creativity is extremely stressful when it is being compressed into a tap and made to perform on cue and deadline. Dance little bear….NOW!
The densest proportion of clusters containing uber exciting, radical, affluent and incredible developments in the world today are coming from mature cultures that have spiritual grounding/ belief in self and much less investment into pick-a-part clinical evaluation. Which side of the fence would you like to choose?- bonded empowerment or analytical fragmentation? Spirit or psyche? Science, up to date, only proves what it can share with others and it's all averages- it doesn't equate for exceptional or unusual- we are getting a helluva-lot more mixed, quite quickly as we evolve (intellectually, sexually, creatively); the only proof that is relevant is within yourself. (Pop onto Instagram for 5 mins and have a look at all the people who can draw like Leonardo da Vinci, all the incredible inventions, all the world class chef's... our collective conscious is advancing astonishingly fast). Those countries mentioned before are not exhibiting a pattern of chance me thinks- it's hard to be amazing when people are attempting to chop ya off at the knees of self confidence. NZ we pop out stunning humans and inventive solutions from our relatively very new country of warriors, helped by our liberal individuality being on the other side of the swing to critical conservative conformity. But we are being exploited; in our abilities to think laterally and creatively and in our relatively limited choices- it's extremely stressful for the majority to try to make ends meet, be frugal and have a decent manner of living in this country and yet we expect those less fortunate and skilled in our society to be able to budget within this economy, and keep up with this pace?! The actual effects of inflation are much more distinct than some % due little or no increase in remuneration for most people. Most don't live for a lifestyle, they live to exist, and the spike in the last five years has been tremendous... actually, we are not encouraged to live for life in the antipodeans on a whole- NZ's work/ life balance is drastically out of whack.
We are constantly getting wedged into a rock and a hard place regardless of what income you are on the situation is unfair. In comparison to what other country's dollar will stretch to it's challenging to buy food at a reasonable price to make nice things, but the majority can't go out and eat economically; automobile are expensive to run yet travel around our own cities and country is comparably pricy also; basic phone, power, gas and other human necessities are at the far end of the scale globally, yet alternatives also pack a sucker punch... and trust me- this list is extensive. There are major sociological effects happening from this- people are being restricted in their abilities to socialise, to talk to others and to relax, to feel good about treating themselves, to communicate, confront feeling awkward by interacting and to focus on group participation. I have direct experience on what it is like to live on $180 p/w in NZ, and I can tell you, from a smart, healthy and resourceful human- it is immensely complex.
To start with though, the most powerful thing a person can do to help their circumstances (and this actually has a big impact on the environment also) is modify their diet and where they buy from. Healthy brain = less panic/ overload = new ideas + it also does it's bit, by feeding the chain of agricultural/ product development and local jobs/ producers, to stop supporting the demand on palm oil and fossil fuels- and that is a considerable chunk of what is causing the most damaging methane & CO2 emotions and a good proportion of global warming (although I hold some more unorthodox theories as to the other contributing factors. Inevitably ya'll, we're destined to get off this dot). I'm not talking 'keeping-up-with-the-Joneses' ridiculously overpriced commodities- I'm talking quality, smart shopping for necessary basics and the building blocks to a healthy human. Probably no surprise to you then that I am creating endeavours which directly impact these equations.
We can only do what we believe we can achieve and if this is not being reinforced by positive affirmation around us, then the person must learn how to have surety from within. Everything starts in the mind. Resources & skills are only 50% without emotional support. My hand was dealt acutely lacking in the latter except for those I have built relationships with, including my family who I adore; so this has meant I have had to work extremely hard at developing my inner core- the kind that does deserve being extensively stretched and exercised! To become the woman I am, and do the things I do, I worked, and continue to work, through odds immensley and densly stacked against my favour. Adversity is the fire to my ambition. As a beautiful human once said to me 'The brightest stars shine from the darkest nights', but pwaooaahh- ya know, I've worked incredibly hard to get to the point where I fucking love being me. I see it as a changing thing; we develop, we transition, we get older, things move about and look different; we feel different and so does this appreciation of ourselves- it's a dynamic thing that takes work, nurturing and kindness.
NZ, we are extremely good at integrating and creating new concepts- but I think we need to be much more careful with what we are doing to ourselves as a nation because as a group we are directly influencing this 50% of what makes us happy and successful- a little less youngest child syndrome and take note from our big brothers Asia, Middle East (Jordan is a prime example), Canada, economically stable Europe and especially Japan. I've brought this up before, but there are a huge amount of similarities between our cultures and interesting cultural & social strategies that Japan has held onto, and modern processes they have rejected at large in order to protect their population and wellbeing- I am taking note and implementing these. NZ we are world leaders in technological integration- not all of this is fabdab. Instead of governmentally sucking on the idea tit of perceived 'Mother UK' there are much more dynamic and fascinating countries with comparative histories of multicultural integration and cool new ways of growing healthily together.
BUT, I would like to point out- WE ARE ACTUALLY AN INCREDIBLE NATION RIGHT HERE AT HOME AS NEW ZEALANDERS with our own ideas, inventions and developments. I've recently been in conversation with people about personal imperfection being perfect (it's the first rung on this bigger ladder)- well it's a bloody hard concept for most people in NZ to wrap their heads around because the collective mentality and socio-psyche is that everything needs to be better/ changed/ upgraded and that what they admire is predominantly offshore. 'What's the next big thing?!' everyone is racing for- WE ARE THE BIG THING YA'LL. When that choking rat-race is being pumped at us from all angles- how could anyone expect a human to be happy in themselves at an individual level?! We need to stop running and re-appreciate walking. I'll tell ya, it's an incredibly hard thing to grow into and achieve here.
We are not brought up encouraged to love ourselves- that would be arrogant and complacent, which ironically is actually totally the opposite, but it's not promoted that way. Somehow in this country, you are expected to achieve great things, but not act or feel within yourself that you are a great thing. Thats not how it works. NZ is not self assured and neither are our people. This mindset is incredibly damaging and very complicated to counteract. We require unity in diversity, promotion of our strengths and combined individuality as a nation and the real community role models within; representation of capable and strong individuals in leadership roles- especially women, a complete change in the delivery and presentation of our current events from doomsday to truthful and factual (yeah ok, that one might really be a pipe-dream), honest recognition of our jealous and slice-y ways of thinking, admission that we are no longer 'clean & green' and need to pull our socks up to meet international standards, and a bloody big endorsement on the variegated unique abilities forged from existing here that makes us so immensely ingenious, eclectic, creative, practical, skilled and fantastic. Yes, individual that is you, you friggin rainbow of a human, YES, NZ that is actually how you stand as a world leader on the international stage.
Two years ago, leading up to departing for Japan I was working 40+ hours a week managing a creative team and 30+ more hrs p/w on Moena Moxham commercial and personal design projects. Add in on top conceptualising, making and creating all the art, PR & marketing, website design, authorship and maintenance, promo and also undertaking fashion shows, VIP and marketing events, professional photoshoots, visual merchandising, training and hiring new staff, stylist services, buying seasonal fashion collections + more. Moena Moxham is the whole shebang from accounting, sourcing, design and everything in-between, there is a team of one. On top of that I was walking an hour to work each day plus being on my feet for all of it minus breaks; 3 classes of cardio/ yoga at the gym, 2 sessions of swimming, snowboarding on the weekends with motorbiking at any other opportunity, some serious health issues I was not listening to, and a ridiculously regimented diet... oh, and a colourful social life. Which facet shall we pick as most stressful/ complex? Financial, physical or mental? Conceptual, production, logistics or being overtired, unwell and hangry (yes the adjective of being angrily hungry)? I did what I needed to do at the time to complete things to the standard I wanted and I loved it, but the level of drive; the level of pressure and stress looking back on that particular set up was tremendous. Life did not get less demanding or simpler after that; I choose elaborate and formidable; but I made very decisive decisions and choices to arrange things in new capacities.
'Don't worry'- urg that statement is stupid- we've all been in that, but we can nominate to shelve it when it starts to shard and disintegrate into panic *eesh I respect how hard this can be. This goes against the grain of everything we are being told and shown (we need something to fix our problems, and that stressed comes hand-in-hand with success *all bullshit) and more problematically, in some cases our basic primal instincts. There is no algorithm or back up plan for living life, but there are an infinite amount of ways to express it- watch what happens in the next few years at how anxiety related conditions will skyrocket, very few people are being taught how to back out of excessive information, focus on what actually fits their ideas, organise and recognise emotions, and cultivate (yeaaah- it's a garden that gets weedy) inner calm; and, I believe we are actually reproducing more of this trait. Yep, inner calm requires transitioning through boredom- how unplugged would you be prepared to go to restore equilibrium? It's not in a concession card, an appointment or long weekend retreat... next time you go to the pub, try not taking your phone eh and see how you manage without something to tap into... not easy now is it, but you used to do quite well without one of these (if you're old enough to remember)... would you like to be like that again? Gosh though- the amazing things people will achieve blows my mind- in a basic sense, if you can see/ think it, you can do it! Humanity is becoming more empowered to show off personal expression and that is mighty exciting stuff for all of culture.
My life has absolutely no precedent to my concepts and direction and that used to be extraordinarily daunting if I stopped and had an excessive amount of time to take stock, because what works for me sometimes, in no way should if you saw it on paper. There is no one giving me coaching or support on this stuff either- the buck starts and stops with moi. If ya've ever worked in a creative industry where you are needed to complete a project to deadline, you may be accustomed with the procrastination right to fire-up-ass-hours-before-deadline technique (ahh, my younger years on occasion were peppered with this doozie). We always pull through with an idea, LIFE always pulls through with an idea & it can rearrange much, much more than that, but it tends to come right at peak crunching pressure time with hoops, big fuck-off ones to jump through- but take some solace in that. it. always. happens.
There are an infinite amount of variables and things that can happen between and around a worry- the human brain just doesn't have a large enough comprehension to even begin to think them all over or make them all up; it does however like to get stuck on ones that flare fantastic anxiety into the concept like a wailing depressed banshee. We can all be too smart for our own good. Look at the stickler and then hand it up & over or mentally drop kick it like it's hot and recognise the whole thing is useless- it's pointless to try and understand it all; things will have changed by the actual time arrises at the issue. My tactic at this location after seeing I'm having a bit of a freakout is to pinpoint something refreshing that brings me joy and go dooo itttt, or daydream (meditate/ pray/ zone-out- it's all the same buzz) for 5 minutes on anything that's a ball of blissful. What I can advise, is that thinking 'urg- shyyyittt I'm worried! Ok- I'll just go on the internet for a bit' very rarely helps the situation. Banshee just gets access to more fantastical tangents to get creative- my alternative is fresh air. Anxiety really likes imagination and analytics. Logic and love have a tug of war relationship especially under pressure where the former wants to shoot anything irrational down, which is a good portion of what love is made of- stick your heart like glue to the concept and keep going. Hell, my use-by-date might be tomorrow evening for all I know, I'd rather not go out using up hours being a dickhead. What's insanity- modern life & our own expectations, compulsive thought or feeling down sometimes?!
So are these ‘illnesses’ (i.e. anxiety, depression, racing-head-state) Creativity’s unwell brother? Sure, I think so, we've gotta get a bit of blah with the whiz-bang. Brilliance doesn’t come without collateral and symptoms which are intricate. But we must learn how to look after and manage ourselves with adversity otherwise how can we possibly think that we can have the good parts also? Once a person faces things and recognises them, in the smallest sense; they can make them manageable, and in the greatest, overcome them completely- don't believe me? I am living proof of doing just this; overcoming what others call 'impossible' and 'incurable'. We cannot medicate the bad times and still expect to enjoy the gloss. The world is conforming to vanilla yet wants exceptional sprinkles- the equation doesn’t work this way; evolution is developing complexities not simplicities.
We are getting faster and more powerful within a mind blowing-ly small space of time- it was only the early 1890's that humans went from travelling 48km/hr to 555km/hr in the 1940's with the invention of the jet engine (a period of 50 years)- the effect this has on the brain, our movements and subsequently our evolution has been monumental. Stating science that humans have been around for between 1.8 - 1.3 MILLION years, being able to move between 16- 24 km/hr, this is rather totally incredible right?! We are within a velocipedic age; and one it seems which has an ever widening gap between ignited creativity & complacent ignorance and stupidity. Monkey see, monkey think, monkey do; Monkey has got damn smart in the last 100 years on what we are putting in those bananas and exposing our thoughts to eh... but there is now an ever increasing enormous amount of personal responsibility required upon the individual to earn how to filter and work through all this stuff. Our children are going to achieve the currently unimaginable- you really think your way is the only way? Those ways will be using our dreams as standard mortar. It may be worth noting in here that some classifications of mental attributes are now over 110 years old and from a time with none of the convolution or stress of modernity.
Here’s a more contemporary (but ancient Eastern) concept that’s become media popular of recent ‘Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment and the flow of internal thought, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.’… and if someone has bad intentions, their flow of thought has gone a bit hay-wire or is bent out of shape we have psychosis?… that internal conversation can at times be not all sweetness and light, and sometimes the external situation is pretty damn horrific also. Interesting partitions huh. Careful who's critiquing; one will say crazy, another will say connected. We are training people to explore consciousness yet some light up like a Christmas tree when others don't get it ‘right', it’s more intense than they like or expect or they are participating in behaviours to try and moderate themselves. Not a particularly fun process if people are being made to fear the more complex and darker parts of it- bit like false advertising 'Come find yourself! But you might not like what you find so be ready to explore your inner turmoil also!' might be a fairer tout. There are unusual things at the roots of problems. We can't just walk away and not explain how to ease through also. Humanity is waking up, are we admonishing those who have already gone for a run, and those who are still snoozing?
I came across this interesting article while surfing the web from Schizophrenia Research recently. One which I have to admit made me mad thinking that we categorise ‘difference' as a ‘disorder’ but one of interesting relevance all the same. It basically describes every artist and designer I know…
“History suggests that the line between creativity and madness is a fine one, but a small group of people known as schizotypes are able to walk it with few problems and even benefit from it. A new study confirms that their enhanced creativity may come from using more of the right side of the brain than the rest of us. In the spectrum between normal and insane, schizotypes generally fall somewhere in the middle. While they do not suffer many of the symptoms affecting schizophrenics, including paranoia, hallucinations and incoherent thoughts, schizotypes often exhibit their own eccentricities. "They may dress or carry themselves in a strange way," says Bradley Folley, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the lead author of the study. "They're not abnormal, they live normal lives but they often have idiosyncratic ways of thinking. Certain things may have special meaning for them or they may be more spiritually attuned."
The link between creativity and psychosis has largely been based on anecdotal evidence and correlation studies. The Vanderbilt study is the first to investigate the creative process experimentally using brain-imaging techniques. The researchers defined creativity as the ability to generate something new and useful from existing products or ideas. "Creativity at its base is associative," Folley told LiveScience. "It's taking things that you might see and pass by everyday and using them in a novel way to solve a new problem." The researchers conducted two experiments to compare the creative thinking processes of schizotypes, schizophrenics and normal control subjects. In the first experiment, subjects were shown a variety of household objects and asked to come up with new functions for them. For example, all three groups would be asked to come up with possible uses for a needle and thread. While the normal and schizophrenic controls came up with pretty typical responses like sewing or stitching, one schizotype said that if a person was poor but wanted to get engaged, he could use the thread to make a ring and use the needle to write "I Love You," in the sand.
In the second experiment, the three groups were again asked to come up with creative uses for everyday objects, but this time their brains were monitored using a brain-imaging technique called near-infrared optical spectroscopy. The scans showed that both sides of the brain in all three groups were active when making novel associations. However, in the brains of schizotypes, the activation of the right hemisphere was much higher compared to brains of the control subjects. Folley speculates that what may be happening is that schizotypes may either have more access to the right hemisphere than the average population or there may be more efficient communication between the two hemispheres.”
Grey matter is fascinating stuff innit. I think that’s quite wonderful if my hemispheres are conversing lol. Re: dressing strange (o.m.g lol) perhaps author you would like to consider that this external expression of our internal self correlates with our inner pleasures, feelings & enjoyments? Not another's expectations, social currents, trends and projections...and that our eclectic selection of items may have sentimental and pre-loved significance instead of being a mass produced consumable? Loving ourselves unconditionally creates a very big game changer in identity; it swings the ratio to internal's favour and removes allocations from external factors and characterisations.
We are not commodities nor our bank accounts, our partners, kids and friends; our cars, what we did or who we were in the past (or 10 minutes ago!), our job titles, letters next to our names (your PHD would pale in comparison to the skills needed to keep up with my life.. and if I felt so inclined I could study for one) or roles we play; the things we make, the labels in our attire or possessions, what colour, race or sex we exhibit or express, the number of calories we eat or the dimensions of our biceps. How ok stripped back to nothing but you and your thoughts would you really be? If I said that our thoughts and emotions are quite literally accumulating to paint our worlds- what would we consider then? Is it play or is it poison- only the individual has the power to convert what perspective they choose and what bricks they're building with. Tried, tested, proven. I never talk about things I don't have first hand experience with; I live by 'walk the talk' otherwise I shut the fuck up am well prepared to defend my stance with an open mind. I'm interested in sharing experiences not overriding them with mine. I've never studied in depth religion, psychotherapy or spirituality, and I totally don't give a fuck about self help books- I care about doing & feeling things, full stop. And ya know what, to date, that has served me incredibly well- cos it's all about what works for the individual- do stuff; share yourself and ya find things. I have been surrounded, and will encounter in the future, shit-storms of suffering and complications, but I have a survival method of not focusing on the crap and finding the fixer and the fizz, and I genuinely like to help. I live my dreams, what a luxury to fight for the pleasures within them; they are hard, complicated and challenging- but they're all mine and I take ownership and responsibility for them. Survival- yes life can at times be combat, but you won't hear me coming- I just get on and do what's needed to do the right thing.
Consummate love, in basic, is comprised of three components- commitment, intimacy and passion. When we do things we like and invest ourselves into activities that bring us joy we in turn become creative, by being illuminated to different positive associations in other aspects of our lives. Genius is being able to take this level of interrelation into many varied and diverse topics. If we have nurtured the power to be able to invest this type of discipline, engagement and enthusiasm then our potential becomes limitless. I was about 6 when the honour of making the family Christmas pudding was imparted to me through my Nana. My Mama inquired what the secret was to making my creations so good and I looked up at her and said "Love and happy thoughts". As any artist will tell you, precision, investment, nostalgia and sentiment are the most powerful ingredients of all.
Hokaaay, but back to exploration; so we could reduce that creativity and genius (both qualities which are not exclusive and we all share in varying proportion) can additionally be the ability to investigate madness and come back enriched not scarred; by having the belief that somehow we can find a way back, not necessarily the way we went in. That would make psychosis when you are lost inside in loop- and the primary difference being a trust in process, time, disposition and a faith/ playfulness in new ideas and thought enlightening a way to come back to ‘even’. One person’s madness is another’s normality; if we are conditioned to a particular experience; sugar- the afternoon hit, wines at night, nicotine for anxiety, excessive use of technology, adrenaline activities, smoking pot- then a slight psychosis is everyday existence. Sanity can be as confronting as addictive ‘normality’. It’s not hard to have a genuine touch of insanity- most people try it out when they diet. That obsessive, thought filling, anxiety ridden process is exactly that of a psychotic, but we would be labelling most of the world looney if we wanted to really explore and relevantly attach these labels.
Current definitions of qualities are inadequate and outmoded in my opinion. They never classify anything in a positive light and make people feel like they have conditions. What personality was a ‘control subject’ eh? We all have idiosyncrasies which can be defined, but how is focusing on this constructive? To me, in some instances, it's more like an excuse to be able to fall back upon instead of having the balls to just get on with life and work hard without a pass out card. I have every right to hate humanity and the world for what I have experienced in periods over my life, or use some of my qualities as crutches but that would be such an easy option. Instead of picking holes in characteristics and freaking out at rare and unusual ones, I can offer a much easier way to ascertain someones soundness of mind- look them in the eye. You can see madness as clearly as you can see happiness and love.
Soo to some it seems the coin has two sides as follows…Spiritual awareness is delusions… utilising visualisations is having hallucinations…. Self assured is arrogant, avant-garde is reactionary and eccentric… humm, Thank goodness I exist in a society which has the capacity to embrace difference and individuality as valuable and commendable attributes. Yet, it is also one which has adeptness in converting them to impediments- however it is personal choice whether to burden oneself with any of that, yep, although that can be a mighty hard one to grow a thick skin upon when it comes from close quarters. Let it be known- it is not easy being passionate and distinctive- never has been and never will be especially if civilisation continues on our current paths of appraisal. It's not 'easy' for anyone, but that doesn't mean we can't salvage fun outta bad situations or make difficult enjoyable. Just stop for ten minutes and observe in generalisation the cars that drive past and the colours of dress; black, white, grey, oOO naaaavvy, black, cream...silver, grey. That's a visual indication of the psychology of those running with the pack -they have even become the same shape and style- very different to the vibrancy of 30 years ago. Anyone seen the latest Ford & Aston Martin, kind of embarrassing really. Shake that plumage baby, I guarantee it's not really the aforementioned colour palette and preen the feathers of others who are brave enough to show theirs... additional thought: it's concerning stuff when a societies definition of a 'successful person' becomes akin to being able to function like a machine...
Why does man think that by taking a chemical that they have made, to expunge a quality which they ‘don’t like’ is a good thing? Where do you think we are connecting into with what emotion with those pain killers, the hooch, the pharmaceuticals, the coke or the heroin? It's an increasing version of the same stuff, except that last one; that's one bangin' ride on the Starlight Express and then it's incrementally down hill from there; not particularly sustainable odds (calling ya'll in middle America)... p.s your body doesn't know if it's from a pharmacy or a dealer... Spaces that with time we can train ourselves to find. To get there without using a crutch though comes with honest recognition of what we like about our vices and treats and why some things have adverse effects- like if you need a bit of courage then a tiddle is gunna do the trick; but if you're already lion hearted then alcohol might push that a little too far; if you're searching for a bit of love- sugar might hit the spot, needing to drop out for a bit, pain relief or a change of perspective- toke away, but if they are soft spots; if dealing with pain and other emotions is what we are hiding from, then they may have the propensity to become patches of excess also. (Just a side note on that marijuana subject too; for any of it's beneficial qualities, it reduces one our most powerful tools; memory). Whatever we ingest is either muddling or enhancing those millions of neurons in our brain & guts- being balanced takes into account recognition and awareness of the impact of these decisions. Nothing wrong with exploring and finding these things- it's extremely important to learn how we individually work and if needed, to teach ourselves to undo and let go of something. Understanding ourselves might be initially helped by these things, but inevitably to get into the really good stuff, things start to go- maybe that's not your path- it's all choice. Plus, keep in mind- actions are vices also- going to the gym, ringing your Mum, thinking about a particular thought repetitively, sunbathing in excess, needing to see how many 'likes' an Insta photo has, being rigid of opinion.. open's up the options now doesn't it.. it's impossible to be human without them.
Eliminating (not a viable pursuit- it comes back to bite us on the ass) or refusing long-term to recognise a negative emotion is not dissimilar to deciding to remove sharks from the eco system and expecting it not to effect the oceanic structure and equilibrium of the food chain, because one in a zillion eats a surfer that looks like food or cos we really like the taste of 'em. I’m sorry, I believe in having to learn how to love the squidgy bits and that we are built the way we are, with our special qualities because we have the people, resources and inner attributes to comprehend them- that doesn't mean they have to disappear either- I meet a lot of people who are desperately trying to remove these things- can't we leave them be? they are important, to learn how to include them within us is the key. If I don't learn about mine, what use would I be to my family, children or friends in supporting theirs?- we pass on traits and share likenesses. Nothing seriously awesome in life is easy and if we want the big pay offs we must do the big work. This is the difference between average and exceptional.
My contributions to culture, business, the community, academia and my health and success as a human comes from being able to ask myself within for comparisons and similarities between learnt and tested elements in order to understand new puzzles. It requires a lot of patience to follow these thoughts; an ability to be able to think through concepts and question derivatives, complexities and conundrums and explore what others may think is irrelevant. Years of dedication, commitment, work, conditioning, and time spent developing skills, craft, relationships and personal qualities from shitty into better. That’s how we break boundaries, find new things both internal and external and make the unattainable within grasp.
‘Healthy’ has many facets, and many different colours; life is irregular. There are horrifically high unrealistic expectations floating around about this and ‘normality’ (what the hell IS that?! trying to define this is like categorising the shape of every grain of sand) and blatant bullshit imagery being touted as thriving pictures of health- they are mirages. I’m going with what feels good for the person involved and doesn’t hurt them or others- that may not reach another persons expectations but that is none of their business to be honest. In my experience it all comes down to equanimity- the proportion of complications is always balanced by the proportion of healing and good- but this undertaking requires recognition; not by trying to rub out things, and it's in different measures for each of us. If we don't face the complicated days and feelings we cannot be blessed with the exceptional occurrences which are the rewards.
Personally I try to keep it simple: use courage and be kind.
is filled with vibrancy
Cities of sleepy
a crystal chain gang
unaware they are living for
The tarseal is twisting beforehand
Pursue the pebbles;
find new ground, embrace a new route
To feel strange is ok
Take foolish dreams and
twist them in a flurry like
with sticky coloured fingers
Dance with the momentum
rebel against confines
Unwrap the prickly blanket
sullenly snapped around what is
it won’t get cold
Poke holes though the weave
Feel the world a
it doesn’t bite
unless left hungry
by our own actions
Make a mark, aim for it and then realise it
fades into insignificance and the
develops shaking like a Polaroid
Loneliness confronted and converted
to faith by Truth
reconnected with Spirit present
Heart talks with Mind
Less guru competition
Consider what is and isn’t
is it? Don’t be sure
fear to fervour for