My gratitude practice was severely strained last week as I struggled to find something to be grateful for in the face of bureaucratic nit picking taken to extraordinary lengths. As I do my best to raise funds to get myself and my Beloved to Thailand for my brother’s wedding I can’t even manage to get myself a passport which has to be step number one for any overseas venture. Because my name was spelt Kerri on my birth certificate I have to go through an application to change my name to Kerry, the spelling I have used for the entire length of my 52 years on the planet. And to avoid waiting 67 business days for this absurdity to be processed it is costing me $211 to change something that has come about because of a clerical error. This is a world gone mad where restrictions that are supposed to keep us safe from the bogey man are interfering with ordinary folk trying to go about their everyday business.
Dwelling on that kind of insanity can start to send one quite mad so after having a healthy vent I did my best to find something to be grateful for. The thought of my Beloved sprang forth and began to bring hope back into my heart. Then I decided to ask the Faeries for some help and the card that they sent me was “Raise Your Standards”. One card with one simple message and the flow of tentative thankfulness became a flood of positivity and light. Not exactly great wisdom you might think but what that phrase did for me was shift my focus from lack to abundance. Instead of going into worry over things costing even more I could see that it was only a problem if I didn’t think I could meet the challenge. And bits of me are still a bit unsure and sending messages of doom into my belly even as I put these words into writing.
I’ve never read the book “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, but the phrase has enormous resonance in and of itself. There is a part of me that wants to give up in the face of over the top bureaucracy, it doesn’t believe I have the capacity to earn the money needed so why bother at all. Luckily I have a stubborn streak which won’t let me give up so I will just have to feel all that fear and keep going on the path to abundance. I managed to do 10 minutes of meditation during lunch today so anything is possible! The list goes on, doing yoga classes again, eating healthy and maintaining my recent weight loss, living with the love of my life….. Many of these things seemed quite impossible not so long ago and yet here I am. Life is good and I am grateful!
In my dance with the prospect of bureaucratic nightmares I kept telling myself I would have a really productive day. And my definition of that was that I was happy and content and that the things that truly needed to be done, were done! A lot of being in the moment and in the body with walking and dogs and dancing, lots of it all in just a few days so legs are sore but spirit is nourished. When I dropped in to my body’s desire I knew that I wanted to be free and independent and in my power. To believe in myself and what I want to create in this next phase of my exciting life with my wonderful Beloved. Who knows maybe we will even get back to running a workshop before too long.
So I decided to go it alone and put my time and energy and focus as much as possible on to positive activities. They may involve animals or gardens at a house sit or marketing or research for various work projects. We have our new home base and it is just perfect for us, like our own little flat in town that we can drop in to any time. And probably see clients there too so although there is still a lot of change it is all starting to feel like it might be settling down a bit. As much as it ever does in these times of shifting sands!
There will probably be fears coming up as I move forward into these changing times and it will be a grand opportunity to let go of more of what is in the way of me stepping into my power. That was what my two dances were about, the one my Beloved and I ran and the one I attended that was facilitated by 5Rythms teacher Honor Morningstar. Dance is definitely good medicine for me, I will have to try and get into Brisbane some time for more dancing. Maybe in and out of the city with car pooling might make it a bit easier, hard enough having to go off the hill, in to the city can be a bit too much for us country folk.
My Beloved and I all dressed up and dancing! Photo by Antara May.
Guess I will keep listening to that inner voice that seems to be taking me in positive directions in my life. Easier to do when you have had a lot of feedback that tells you that your intuition is generally correct. Even I have to start believing in myself when it gets confirmed over and over again.
In this modern culture I have done my best to be a free spirit, avoiding the dreaded bureaucracy that seemingly forgets the human spirit represented by our customer service numbers. But there are times when you simply can’t avoid the necessity of connecting with that energy and it can be very challenging to maintain a brave face as the unwieldy beast struggles to do its job. Underfunded and with an online system that would be considered a joke in the commercial world of business, that’s what those who live on or near the bottom of society are forced to contend with.
I’ve managed to avoid it for some time now but as I go through the shifting sands of my working life I need to make sure that there is a safety net to catch me if I need some extra support. So all this palaver may be for nothing at all, if that is the case I will remember to be grateful for that which brings abundance into my life. Sometimes when we do things for ourselves the return energy doesn’t always come from where we expect it to. But if you are putting positive energy out into the world it really does brighten your existence.
Just remember that there are times when you may be emptying out that which gets in the way of a flowing and abundant life. That’s why the tough times can be so useful even though it definitely doesn’t feel that way. Attempting to connect with the bureaucratic monolith of human services has brought up a whole lot of feelings that I would have preferred not to re-experience. But the thing is those feelings were already inside me and by sitting with them I allow the possibility for that energy to move on and transform. So I had one really uncomfortable day and then one that ended up with great humour, sometimes the only possible defence for sane people in an insane world!
The task is not complete, the dragon not yet bearded in his den. But I have a song in my heart and a life full of love to be appreciated so I can only expect that it will all happen in perfect and divine timing.
Here is Pink Floyd’s exploration of that crazy machine called Bureaucracy!
And now for a little trip down memory lane, not that I am old enough to remember the 1930’s but I do remember laughing at “Reefer Madness”, a great example of a very American kind of insanity. There were many reasons to wage a war on hemp, according to this article it had a lot to do with bureaucracy justifying its existence and grabbing more power. Now why does that sound familiar, look at your local council and you can probably find some examples that seem awfully similar, time to do things differently in the very rational hope of creating new outcomes.
In America it is still illegal to grow hemp, even as an industrial crop which doesn’t actually have enough THC to get anyone stoned anyway, even if that was the real issue. In Europe they are growing hemp for all kinds of things, check out my post “The House That Breathes”: 9 October 2013, to read some more about that, hemp is a very sustainable crop and to ignore those sorts of benefits is madness indeed, one that doesn’t require drugs to fuel it. Of course many people end up on a toxic cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs, some of which probably shouldn’t even be on the market, profits come first and so we ignore the potential benefits of medical marijuana. Here is a trailer to the 1932 film, “Reefer Madness”, propaganda of the highest order!
But that’s another post, you see the thing is I can go on and on about hemp and marijuana and the positive things that can come from proper cultivation and use of these ancient substances. And everything else that falls into that category, look to Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic philosophy for knowledge of nature’s pharmacopeia, and there are no doubt even now plants we haven’t discovered yet that may hold the cure for all major illnesses. Many of the pharmaceutical drugs are modelled on what scientists find in nature, and nature can often help us with little or no side effects, so lets cut out the middle man!
More posts on hemp to come!