Melbourne: Reconnecting and Musings about Life

Visting Eliza and The Work

After I left my friend Donita’s I headed for Brunswick to have a coffee and lunch. I then headed to see my friend Eliza. Funnily enough I seem to have lost my phone with my other friends address. I was supposed to go to a party and stay the night but the phone went missing and it didn’t happen. So I went to Eliza’s and arrived at the exact time she turned up. Good timing. I’d been up and down the road a few times. Landed on time. We had a good talk about Byron Katie’s The Work as she was running a group the next day. We didn’t stay up too late as Eliza had been to the markets at 5am. I had a nice bath and relaxed, I was feeling very tired. In a way I was glad the phone had gone missing so I didn’t go to the party. The next morning I awoke with the police on my mind. I know this is inspiration as I feel to write. I had lied to a policeman whilst waiting outside Tullamarine airport. It was a small lie in that I had pulled over with warning lights on and said I felt unwell when the police turned up. The truth was that I was waiting for my friend to land at the airport and would just zip up and get her. It opened up a big conversation on truth and the importance of the whole truth. I didn’t even know why I lied, on reflection it was unnecessary and came easily. However, my inner feeling was to redress it. I realized you can transform a negative (lie) into a positive (truth). So I decided to write to the police ethics department. It was funny in the subject heading I wrote public ethics – mine. I then explained in the letter that I had lied and where I was, at what time and described the policeman. I knew they would not think it much but I felt it was important to acknowledge it and be honest. I also explained why I lied and the fear of a fine. I didn’t know the spot I was in was illegal and obviously was concerned at some level of a fine. I also explained to the police I had an outstanding fine and promised to pay as I get more income. I attached a poem about police and sent it off. I felt good about it. I want to set an example and face fear on all levels. So that will be my modus operandi from now on. The truth sets you free. Moreover, I could have done The Work on this to find that my fear was not true, yet I have to say I was glad I lied as it created a context for me to explore truth and it brought a lot of good through blogging, speaking to friends, communicating with the police and changing myself by living by example. So deep down I knew it happened for a purpose. I was happy.

I then went to the Byron Katie group and my friend talked of The Work. She used me as an example as I went through the questions and turnarounds discussing an issue I had had for 9 years. I realized when she went away from the questions and brought in her feeling that my energy was not focused inward. The work is powerful when you answer the questions, in truth you don’t need people to help you solve the problem, the answers lie within you, as we all have equal wisdom. I am going to say that again. We all have equal wisdom. The greatest help we can be to people is to lead them back to themselves. I am seeing the real empowerment there, not in my advice, which I’ve always been good at imparting. I have to smile at this point. I met some really lovely people at this group. It went for a couple of hours and we discussed the questions and got to know each other. I then headed off to go to my friend Ivana’s place.

Visiting Ivana, Living Dreams and Parenting

I arrived at my friends newly built house. I saw her little boy excitedly at the door, he remembered me. He was in nappies the last time I saw him but he remembered I was a clown. My friend has a lovely partner so it was great to see them all. I came and stayed a few nights. My friend’s partner is a manager in the events area, he is highly technical and loves his job. I told them about my trip and some of the magic I experience. We got into a discussion about capitalism and he was defending that I would need to access through supply and demand goods and services for my trip. So I cannot step out of this system. I didn’t disagree with this but my feeling was that one can follow their dreams and life supplies my needs through life. I’ve observed this. I do not need to work for it but to be open to it, there is a significant difference. Now this is hard to conceive when we are all educated to believe that life is an experience you have control over and you make your own luck. The operating paradigm is you must make money, feed your family, pay bills and if you don’t you are on the street. I no longer see that in my own experience. I have noticed that as I follow my dreams with a positive intent that what I need presents itself without my ‘making it happen’, somehow life brings it to me. I won’t go into the details of this but did explain to him that life supports me and gave some examples of experiences I had had. I am confident today that my needs will be met and my fear levels are dropping. I am also not feeling stress much at all. The challenge for me is to just allow life to be what it is and not force things or seek control, I call this the flow of life. I see it as our natural disposition and I am practicing it to see if I am correct in my assessment. I also explained that I felt this economic system the way it is going will collapse, you cannot resource 6 billion people to live like the American lifestyle. It is estimated you would need 4 earths to do it. We simply do not have the ecological capacity to all live the same way with the same material desires. So we must learn to think and see differently about what is sufficiency and what constitutes happiness. When is enough enough? Why do we need the latest flatbed screen? Why do we have to look like success? Does it make us happy? What next when we are bored with that? And so on. The experience I am having is the reverse – no house, no partner, no money, no assets yet I am bursting with joy. Why? It is because I am doing what makes me happy with myself. I love joking around and being a clown, I love giving, I love meeting people, I love traveling, I love being on my own, I love being free, I love peace, I love learning about life, I love having plenty of time to reflect, I love to see others joyful, I love truth, I love poetry and I love god (omni short for omnipresent). These things are not material and no one needs to give them to me. They come from my inner world and cannot be taken. So as my external life changes around me I keep meeting it with curiosity, joy, acceptance and great love. What is better than that. I lie in bed at night feeling I am in love, I get frequent feelings of this walking around, I look into other faces and see beauty, I also see seriousness but in my heart I feel happy. Some could say I have ‘rose coloured glasses’, I would say ‘no – truth’. The world is beautiful, as it is what I see. I see it because the beauty is in me and it shows up outside myself. This is a psychology that reverses the current paradigm of being a victim of life. There is a saying ‘to be to do to have’ rather than ‘to have to do to be….happy’. So it works along the lines of being what you want first, in my case happy, and I am being a world peace clown, I really feel I am it and my life flows from this belief. Rather than I wish to be a world peace clown or I wish to be happy, if I do this or that I will be happy. I now operate from ‘I am happy and where does life take me now’ or ‘what would love do next’. I call this heart based intelligence (similar to Emotional Intelligence), rather than going to cognitive/intellectual intelligence (IQ, Intellectual Quotient) first where I plan to make it all happen. I don’t have judgement on the latter, but the former method is where I feel happiest. Even when I went through suffering I looked into the wisdom, the goodness of life, transformation of negativity, not to avoid reality but to transform conflict into peace, indeed seeing the reality beyond the drama. In truth this is always peace as it is our true nature. The rest we make up folks.

Identity in Life

Michael told me later that he loved his work and if he retired he would probably die. I found that hard to take in given my life is not work it is life unfolding. I don’t compartmentalize life, I feel it as a continuous flow like a song or poem. He saw anything outside of work as not his identity. It seemed he lost himself if he lost work. His identity was work. I suspect many may agree with this as they can’t imagine life without work. I wondered about his partner and child, surely they are part of his identity. At the time I didn’t think to go there but I did some reflection on it later as I was curious.

All I can say is that for me my identity is slowly changing as I am not a role, not a wife, not a partner, so it is all falling away, as I become the witness of life watching it flow rather than the director of it. I feel myself as love and as no-one is even calling me by my name much these days as I am traveling alone. I have no need for a name, as I am focused on peace and so peace is my identity and my goal. I see it as fearlessness, happiness, love and joy. So I am aligning with positive values as all other labels fall away. This is not easy to understand for those of you working, with responsibilities, children and watching television which reinforces beliefs and what is socially acceptable. I am no longer doing that so in a sense, I am unlearning what I learned and starting to see life differently as I believe I am returning to my true nature. As I change (intentionally/unintentionally) my world changes and my values change, as do my objectives of life. To develop my inner life has become my focus and I am increasing in happiness as I let go and surrender to life. I allow love and joy to be my inner guidance and I don’t care about how I am seen so much now. It feels like freedom.

Life, Parents and Parenting

So when my friend’s partner went to bed we stayed up and talked about life. We talked about her life as a parent, issues of control, psychology, issues of relationship with children, and the busyness of life and my trip and what I am experiencing. Later I had a play with her son and just silently watched him with this money box shaped as a train and observed him tip the money out and put it in and trace the shape of it with his fingers. I lay there silently just watching a child’s world and the beautiful imagination seeing well beyond the 3 dimensional adult world from which I was observing. I saw him pretending with his fingers he was spider man jumping on the train and making noises, oblivious to me watching and engrossed in his world. I felt so peaceful just watching. He was my teacher. It was so interesting.

My friend Ivana and I had some interesting conversations about our parents and how what parents pass down gets taught to children consciously or subconsciously. To be mindful of the words we say, when we force people, when we guide, when we create parameters so they feel a secure routine. My friend said she puts him in front of the television as a baby sitter sometimes when she is so busy. We talked about the use of television and how the child goes into an alpha state (meditation), rather than an active beta state that play or active communication affords. We talked about limiting television or perhaps, if the child has to use technology, putting games on where they can problem solve or figure things out. Children love problem solving, keeps the mind active and in learning mode. However, to be careful they don’t get into the violent games or using them for escape too frequently. To keep them well away from that negative stimuli as their brain patterns are forming and they are impressionable when young. We spoke of her son as a person with a strong will who may not be trying to fight her, or ignore her or challenge her, but he is strong willed as are all people. Each person wants to self determine, they seek to do it themselves, I think this is part of learning. I could be wrong, but that is my perception at the moment. The challenge is finding ways to guide strong will into positive activities where the child flows rather than blocks. For example she said if her son hits the wall she would say ‘stop that don’t hit or damage the wall’. Her partner Michael will say ‘were your socks slippery when you hit the wall’. He looks at what may have caused it, my friend looks at the damage. Both approaches had different energies, one was curious the other angry. The child absorbs the emotions pretty much without any barriers when young. So we see how different psychology sees different things and how to evoke the flow in the child where they become aware but don’t go into fight mode or resistance. Although saying no can be okay as well, as we are choosing, my reference to resistance is a subconscious reaction to block without really understanding why. I felt it is to respect each person as a person with the right to be a child. Adults and children do live in different universes with different awareness, priorities and interpretations of the world around them. We spoke of the house as a place that was brand new and the fear of him damaging walls, drawing on things, breaking stuff and the reality of him being a child completely unaware of value, looking after things etc. The child has to fit into the world, rather than designing a world fit for children. As a clown I dreamed of turning my room into a bouncing castle, or finding ways to make it a fun house. I would have lots of jokes, positive games, learning tricks and laughter. Working out problems but in a light way and finding ways to cooperate through modeling behaviour that is appropriate. Housework has to happen but as a team effort, we are community, all pitch in and find more time for fun. Gender roles have made this difficult and I’ve heard many women complain that they work, raise children and do all the domestics. I wondered about working together somehow to share the load equally. The world we have created is not a village bringing up a child but usually one woman (or more so these days one man) bringing up a child and the occasional visit to childcare or family for support. In a natural society our tribe would be around the child and the one parent wouldn’t have to do everything. I remember Russell Means Oglala Sioux activist for the rights of Native American people speaking on matriarchy. He spoke of the man spending the first 3 months with the new born and how men developed a deep respect for women and bonding to the family. I really liked the idea of that. I think these days there is so much abuse, neglect, intolerant parenting, frustration, rules, because the one parent is not coping with the demands and having to learn how to be a parent.

Child Centred Communities

So why not suburbs or neighbourhoods become communities, we all know each other and get involved. I remember when I was a child my mother had a group of female friends, they all took turns babysitting and giving each other time off. I would like to see that expanded so that more people are involved in a child’s life. Children can’t appreciate community if they don’t see their grandparents or they live in families that are totally separated, barely getting their needs met or a sense of belonging. I think it would be great if people are working less (part time at ¾ full time wage) and both parents equally responsible for parenting. It develops the feminine in men (nurturing) and developing the masculine in women (fixing and designing things). For children need the masculine energy and the feminine but in balance. Men have much to offer but it is important for them to model housework, cooking and cleaning, so boys grow up and work with their partners, rather than helping them or being couch potatoes. There hasn’t been deep thought put into how children are raised by society as a whole, no real reflection on the actual messages sent to them and how their values and ethics are formed and internalized in life. If parents aren’t aware of their influence as a role model, then they won’t know if they are damaging children and holding them back from their potential by not modeling virtues, being community and living in harmony. Once the microcosm of family is clear then society will start to heal itself. This I feel is important.

So that was really nice. I think my friend is a great mother and she is very conscious of her behaviours and is working on changing them. Her partner she tells me is very calm and generous, she says he is a great father. So this child has a good chance. What I love about my friend is that she is not defensive when you bring up your viewpoint that may raise observations (which could be wrong), she is open to doing the best she can for her child. I can see nothing more loving than that. Speaking to people about their children is a sensitive area and I did say to myself earlier if I didn’t feel to say anything to let it go unless it felt right to speak. As it turned out it just flowed, we are good friends thankfully and deeply respect each other.

Clowning, St Kilda, Rocks and Near Death

The next day I got out my clown gear and did some juggling for young Joel. I twirled my ribbon and showed him my whistle that goes up and down. He loved it. He got very excited. I pulled out my clubs and fire sticks and juggled those to show him juggling. My friend and I talked about juggling as balancing right and left brain and being non competitive. I’d love to see more kids engaged in these activities rather than television with all the violence, attitudes and desires that are generated by it. Clowning and circus is great for kids as you become engrossed with creative pursuits which bring such peace and harmony. There is no loneliness in juggling or clowning around. It is fun and exciting.

So after that I had to head off to see my relatives. On the way I visited St Kilda. I used to live there with a friend. I wrote my Non Adversarial Parliament (conflict resolving and solutions generating) when I was there. My friend gave me a space to focus without having to go to work. I did work part time but only to pay bills. The rest of the time was my peace work. Anyway, it was a lovely apartment and I could see the giant clown of Luna Park. I laughed from my window the big smiling clown. I loved it. St Kilda is quite trendy in Melbourne, all sorts of interesting people live there. There is also a big drug problem. I used to go to Lentils As Anything one of the first restaurants where you pay by donation. The restaurant modeled on a new society where you pay what you feel a meal is worth or not at all. The guy Shanaka who started it ended up with 3 restaurants and now he is based at the Abbotsford Convent a progressive space with restaurants, NGO’s, churches, yoga groups etc. I spoke to him last year and he said the purpose of Lentils as Anything was to help out artists on low incomes. Many found they couldn’t buy a decent meal as life is expensive and arts are not valued. So he created a healthy restaurant with lentils, vegetables, burgers, tofu and an array of really delicious food where people can eat a good meal and pay if they can. Clearly people paid as he has opened three places and I feel it was a great success. He was interviewed by the media as it runs counter to the principle of profit. This focus is on community. Even on the walls he had peace messages. I went and clowned there once and painted up the staff (volunteers) as clowns. I talked about my world trip and created a fun space. I went and welcomed people into the space and they were so excited to find clowns greeting them at the door. So the principle is fantastic and it encourages a community spirit.

I went to what I call a ‘spin out’ shop. This is a place of crystals, books, tarot cards and incense. I just like going to chat and check out what is on the shelves. I told the retail lady that I am getting inspired by rocks. My trip around the world and Australia has raised my awareness to nature. Particularly rocks. I laugh when I say this and jokingly say to people ‘I have rocks in my head’. Something has changed within myself as I appreciate rocks and feel there is energy in them. The crystals have books and they talk about the healing qualities of the rocks but for the first time I am asking where they are from and how old. I really love the geology and I feel some connection. I tried to track back what rocks transformed me and I remembered Stonehenge, realizing they were not a pile of rocks as my English friend had stated. I also remembered the Stones of Stennes a stone circle in Orkney Islands in Scotland and Newgrange in Ireland, their were crystals in the burial mound around the base and I noticed large stones scattered around the site and at the base of the mound large stones with spirals on them. I felt they were symbols that had significance, that was my inner feeling. I loved the Devils Marbles just south of Tennant Creek, these huge boulders in a defined geographical area but nowhere else, how did they get there? Also Uluru (Ayers Rock) the largest monolith in the world and the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) which connected to Uluru by an underground mountain range. All I felt were significant and somehow energized me. I picked up rocks whilst traveling around and put them on the dashboard of my car. Many times I just spotted them on the ground and felt compelled to pick them up. This happened to me overseas as well. I had a bag full of them. So I sense a connection to the planet in this simple interest, which was the purpose of my trip. I want to gain a sense of reality and to see the planet outside of the human made world with fresh eyes and not distracted. I want to see who I am in relationship to it. So traveling alone is really important.

I headed off and smiled as I met this lady who was dressed up from the 1950’s. She had her hair up, bright red with a little hat, bright red lipstick, tight dress with handbag over her lower arm. She looked great. I asked if I could take a photo and she agreed. She said she gets asked a lot. I loved the fact she was original and living her fantasy, why not! Made life interesting. I like the radical people, the ones brave enough to be different, I am always interested. I’ve met quite a few as a clown and of course I am seen as one of them. I love the perspectives.

So I wandered around and ended up walking into a familiar clothing shop at the end of Acland Street. I would often see specials out the front on the clothes stand. I walked in and made the comment why they didn’t have the clothes on the footpath, they said they are not allowed to by the Council as a bike stand was there now. Even though other shops could do it. There was no reason I could see why they couldn’t put the clothes next to the bikes. It was only a small bike stand. Having clothes on the street was an effective form of advertising and let people know there was a shop there, otherwise they may walk past. Removal of the clothes stand left the shop at a disadvantage given lower pass by trade noticing the shop. My marketing hat was on in this moment. Anyway I went in for a browse I was not intending to buy anything as my income is low. I enjoy just looking. I walked into try something on, only $10 why not. Anyway, there was a big sign saying STAFF ONLY. Of course I didn’t even notice it and the staff member asked if she could come through. She was a really nice woman. When she came out we just started talking about life. We really hit it off and talked for a long while. I told her what I do and she explained to me her life. She had had a massive car accident and nearly died numerous times, she came close to losing both her legs. She said she had a near death experience. She said she had prayed as she believed she was in hell and then found herself back in bed. She said that she looked at her sister and standing behind her was a large purple angel. I didn’t laugh or diminish her story as I have done near death research and I know that there are some incredible experiences when you die and come back. My mind is open and it is not my place to say true/false. She said she has to wear high heals now as she is unable to flatten her foot on the ground. She said she was in hospital for a long time. She said it changed her life. She said many people come into the shop and they are beautiful women who think they are too fat, ugly or in some way not good enough. She can’t believe it. We discussed the low self esteem of women and the magazines that promote the perfect look and how it is important for women to find their inner beauty and not buy into the marketing. She wanted to take women around and make them happy. Some sort of tour, perhaps around shops. I saw some parallels with me, as I love to make people happy through being a clown. she also believed their were changes happening in the world and the importance of finding happiness and peace. We actually connected very closely and she said she wanted to thank me. She said she had been very down that day and her partner had commented to her that an person will come into the shop. She said always angels come to her when she is in need, she said she felt I was one. I said always angels come in the form of people. We are never alone and we are loved. I truly see this and without doubt angels have come to me. I believe the spiritual world is all around us, we may not see it, but that does not mean it is not real. I feel it and often women do, as we are pretty intuitive. There are many who think the world is black and white and you make your own luck. I no longer see this, I feel we are living in an amazing universe and we get what we need, it may not be what we want, but it is what we need. Gratitude becomes a way of life when you realize that life is kind, even when it is challenging.

Anyway, we exchanged numbers and I walked out in a sexy dress. This is unlike me as I am pretty down to earth but I thought why not! I felt fantastic.

Relatives

I then head to my aunts place. I was meeting up with both my aunts and their husbands. The aunts are twins and one of them I haven’t seen for around 7 years. She is getting dementia and I wasn’t sure how cognitive she would be. When I walked in she looked fine, perhaps a bit vague but still with it.

We sat around talking and I showed the presentation of my world trip. My uncle wanted to know how I am surviving. With confidence I said I was on welfare, I am complying of course with their conditions, but that is supporting my basic needs. My uncle has worked all his life and there was some badgering towards me as he didn’t understand my intentions. However, firmly I told him my philosophy and that I am giving my services by donation or free. It is my preference. I don’t want to get a grant as it will be stipulated how many schools I must go to, and I can’t guarantee that. I know in the peace area it is challenging as schools don’t realize how important peace education is yet, they are fixed on anti-bullying without a real understanding of how to instill harmony and also the most important, finding happiness. As a clown I can give this example and help children to see they can solve their own problems through conflict resolution and become peacemakers in the world. This is the vision, how it manifests I really don’t know. The traveling is to find inner peace, face fears, live on little and trust life to take me to exactly where I need to go. One good thing about this meeting is that my relatives are Christian so they can relate to service. When my uncle saw the traveling around the world, I think he was very surprised that I have just gone and done it. Also my trip around Australia he did a double take when I told him I am living out of a tent. This is uncommon and people of his generation wouldn’t conceive of this, particularly a woman my age. I have to laugh I do enjoy being different and seeing how they rationalize my freedom. Anyway, my aunt (with dementia) was just loving the Michael Jackson music with the presentation and to my surprise she got my philosophy. She put up her thumbs and said laughter is the way. She also made a comment later about happiness and I could see she got my work. She is the aunt that is so peaceful. My mum was saying she never says a negative word against anyone. Her husband Ken absolutely adores her.

I will tell you the story of these twins as it is so interesting. When they were young women in early twenties, they both went out with Ken’s. can you believe they decided to swap boyfriends and got married. My aunty Nancy was saying ‘I married the right Ken’ that day and then said as I filmed her (for mum) that she had met this lovely man who she loved very much and they had wonderful children together. I filmed him looking into her eyes and they kissed. They are in their early 80’s and still deeply in love. How is that for wonderful. I mentioned to them it is beautiful to see soul mates. Indeed they are. My uncle Ken just waits on her and they do things together (always have) and he will not put her in a nursing home, he will care for her. He is a beautiful man with this kind and gentle wife. She is not loud (like the rest of us), she is gentle and serene. Really nice to see them. I walked them to the car and told my Uncle I loved him and thanked him for being a good uncle. I gave my aunt many kisses as she is adorable. After my Aunty Nance and Ken left I spent time with the other twin who I have been very close to since childhood. She is a big talker and a beautiful person and we often hold hands at the table as we talk. I feel like a daughter to her and we have a bond. Her and her husband Ken took me out to dinner. They have been involved with the Uniting Church all their lives and Aunty Margaret never worked, she always volunteered and just loved working with dementia’s people. They also had children together but they are quite different. We had a lovely dinner at their club just down the road. I was chatting with them about my spiritual beliefs and philosophy. I did notice another man at the other table swing his head a few times. I didn’t really pay attention until I went up to get a staff member and he intercepted me. He said he was from St Vincents hospital and he overhead me speaking and said it was similar to his philosophy. He said he is a consultant and helps people with their health and wellbeing. He was in his 80’s but looked 60. He actually looked so young I was shocked. I told him I am a clown and he said he arranged for Patch Adams to come to the hospital. I told him I went to Russia with Patch. He took my card and gave me his.

So with that we went back to my relatives place, I jumped in my car, plugged in the coordinates of the GPS to navigate back to my friends place and headed off. I got there and spent some time with Ivana and then went off too bed, feeling, as usual, extremely happy.

The next day I went into La Trobe University, spent the day reading about earth changes, very interesting. Then caught up with another friend at her café. Gave them a hug and headed to my other friend in Montmorency. I spent the night chatting and catching up with her. She has many health challenges but she is constantly working on improving herself. I briefly caught up with her partner who is a scientist and we spoke of satellites. He said Australia hadn’t launched satellites since the 1950’s and Australia is not involved in the space industry. He said the American’s launch satellites and at the Meteorological bureau he works for they download the data. He is in an interesting area given climate change. My friend and I then went and rested and watched Steven Fry and laughed. I did my photos and off to sleep.

The next morning at 4.30am I awoke and couldn’t sleep. I headed for Canberra as I knew I’d be exhausted if I waited. It is about a 700km drive. So felt to get going.

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Mohandas Gandhi

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

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