Canberra: Life, Friends and Family

Life in Canberra has been interesting. Like most of this trip I feel I am revisiting places for closure. I am allowing life to show up with not too much planning. I cannot find my address book so just can’t contact friends here and my mobile is gone. Because I feel everything happens for a reason I just look with curiosity to see what emerges. I am not in control of life, I am part of a flow of life.

I felt to go for a long walk. There is a nice mountain, Mount Taylor behind where my mother lives. It is a good walk to get up this hill and it is steep. So I went up to the mountain and found a dirt track to follow up. As I walked up the mountain I could see all the hills around Canberra and how incredibly beautiful it is. I saw the clouds floating past, the valleys and the Brindabellas behind Mount Taylor. I felt the breeze and as I walked higher I puffed as my poor old body is not used to such cardiovascular work. However, I loved it. I used to be athletic so my body does remember, just needs work. I worked my way to the top and sat on a bench. A nice couple of ladies came and sat with me. We spoke about Canberra and I told them some aspects to my trip. Then to my surprise Phil the older lady asked me to dinner on Thursday night. Her daughter was with her. I said I would be happy to come and thanked her for her kindness. You never know what is going to happen.

I found out my brother has become sick with a cold so I can’t go to his property for a few days as he is contagious. My plan is to see him on Friday and make him some soup to help him heal. We will catch up and have a good talk.

I caught up with my former sister-in-law who feels to me always as family. She is a very wonderful woman. She had a very difficult childhood herself but chose to turn her life around. She went and studied Early Childhood and became a teacher. She has a daughter and has raised her in the way all children should be raised. She places children first and she speaks issues through calmly. She encourages her daughter to problem solve and face issues. I recall a conflict I had with Bella years ago when she bit me on the arm, she was only 8 or so. I told Carolyn that I was surprised by her behaviour. Carolyn had Bella ring me and apologise. This is parenting where children learn to face issues, they may not understand why they do things but the child is learning to consider others. Carolyn never gets involved in gossip or inflaming situations in the family. She doesn’t take sides but just laughs and accepts people as they are. I found her a peaceful influence and indeed one of life’s peacemakers.

She came and picked me up from the mechanic who is a friend of my brother’s. Damien is a lovely guy who nearly lost his life through a brain tumour many years ago. Everyone was expecting him to die but he lived on. Damien and I talked a lot about society. Damien brought this up and says he helps people who are broken down, many are pensioners or they break down on a weekend and haven’t got money at the time. He said he has felt disappointment when people have taken advantage of him and he had an belief that people had become more selfish. I didn’t disagree with him but I told him in my own experience people are very busy these days and they have become more self focused. The community spirit he craves for has slid as people are working so much and they really don’t know their neighbours anymore. I recall in Queensland during the floods there was a real community spirit that really surprised people as people actually drove into flood affected Brisbane to help out. The premier encouraged people to help neighbours and whallah people were turning up with food and coffee and assistance. So I see it as role models, governments can easily foster this spirit if they choose, but many don’t consider this important, as they debate what they perceive as real issues. Community is the central issue and quality of living which predominantly, in my view, means quality of life, it is not related to material things. People have been so conditioned to focus on money they think that is the only goal of life and if they don’t have it they will be poor and socially isolated. There is some truth in that belief in that we seem to value people on the basis of perceived success. I personally don’t care and I push passed conditioning in favour of the quality of character, that always interests me.

My sister-in-law and I went for coffee and I listened as she spoke about her life and my brother (her former husband). My brother is a bit down at the moment so she was just informing me. I will spend time with him and help him to think through life but not deny it. To face it head on and if he needs to cry go for it. I am keen for him to understand it is no less manly crying or showing emotion, it is the beginning of a watershed (like that word) in his life which is the opposite to suppression. Like other men he has suppressed his emotions and eventually something has to give. This is why people have nervous breakdowns or mid life crisis, there are issues they refuse to look at or they can’t handle it emotionally. I encourage people to face feelings but harm no-one. Take back your own power and be responsible for what you have chosen to believe about yourself and life. Often people think they are failures as they don’t have career or enough money or the beautiful partner. I don’t care at all about that. The only success I see is happiness, that is my only real question. When you are happy I know you have followed your heart and your truth and you cannot fail. You could sit there with diamonds and wealth and I feel nothing, no envy no desire no inferiority, I am just interested if you are happy deep inside. It shows through the desire to give more to society or serve others. It is not about just parading it, feeling self important or somehow better than others. If that is the emotion you are not happy, you are in your ego. The place of happiness is a spiritual space and it comes from within, not from outside approval. So I will spend time with my brother and neice and help him to move through his process.

My mother and step father turned up at this coffee place and we all sat around talking. Then mum suggested we go home for lunch and then go to Floriade. This is an annual flower show. I was tired and have been since I’ve been here but a wander around Floriade felt good. So we went. Mum had a walker as she has a knee injury and is recovering from a hip replacement. So we looked at the tulips and enjoyed the sunlight. We sat and had some lunch and I read a little of a book I am interested in. We had a pleasant time. Mum loves the flowers.

The following day I went to pick up my car from Damien. I am getting the timing belt replaced, it is worth doing just encase it snaps as I drive to Perth. It can stuff the engine, so I thought it better to be on the safe side. Turns out the old belt was in good nick, but I was happy to give Damien the money as he is struggling. I also had the opportunity to talk about loving those who hate you. He told me some guy who aspired to be a rebel bikie had ripped him off. I told him to let it go if he feels to. He felt the guy won’t pay and indicated he had ways of coercing. I tried to humorously lead him to positive ways to deal with it. I said I had pursued a Council for 2 years over a parking fine I felt was wrong. I ended up writing a poem to the lawyer in the court and I had visualized the fine disappearing. Blow me down if the lawyer didn’t turn to me and cross off the fine. I said there are things I pursue if I feel it is unethical, but others I let go. I said trust your heart. I know he doesn’t talk like this and as a mechanic this seems ethereal and whispy language, but he does respect me I know and I do feel some of what I said sunk in. I just smiled as I bravely stepped into that ring.

Damien recounted an interesting story about a situation in his street. He said he saw this policeman coming down the street to him. He said he hadn’t done anything and was surprised. Turns out their was a drug bust going on up the road and Damien noticed all these police with guns. The cop was just coming down to make sure no other civilians got involved. Damien works on cars and he said that had he worked on this particular car he may have had a problem. He said it backfired. I laughed, can you imagine what would have happened had his car backfired and the police thought it was a bomb, he may have been riddled with bullets. I just marvel at weapons and why we have them.

I picked up my car and went to my friend Helen’s place. She and have known each other many years and she is a friend of my mother as well. She is spiritual and has had some amazing experiences. We sat down and talked about an experience she said where she felt she didn’t want to live in this world. She was hassled by a real estate agent to leave her home, they put the rent up $75 per week, which is a lot for a pensioner. She said they didn’t put these requests in writing and apparently the bank account changed. The real estate had taken over from a previous one she was with and had rented from for 11 years. She said she was treated appallingly and was being pressured to get out. She wasn’t well and there was no feeling for her situation. We spoke of greed and ambition of the young female real estate agent. Apparently she was very disrespectful and unkind to my friend. She said she felt like ending it and decided to fight on. I just shake my head at society sometimes and wonder at where they are at. But both Helen and I know experiences come for a reason and everyone is a teacher. This is not idealism, you can decide to get even or learn from situations. You can take the high moral ground and live the example of peace or sink to hitting back. I am interested in the former and I will work hard not to fall into negativity. You have to be able to be peace in difficult circumstances and not take on others pain. All forms of negativity and abuse are pain in many forms, so to stay centred, to give love speak truth and see what occurs. Watch it with curiosity and some detachment. Anyway she got through her challenge and now lives in a nice unit. We had a lovely lunch and then I headed off.

My sister rang and asked me to meet her at a café in Queanbeyan (NSW, next town). I used to live there and it is only 30 minutes from where I am staying. I drove through Queanbeyan, I used to do market research for the Council. I had lived their with my former husband and my last partner. So it was familiar. I went and took a few photos of my former flat. It is interesting I feel myself recording places I have been to as if I am not returning. I am feeling closure with my life, I don’t know what that means, I am not saying my life is finishing, it could be the world is changing. So I go with this and take the photos and see where life takes me. I went to what I thought was the Central Café. My husband and I used to go there and I raved about it for years as the food was always generous and prices good. I went there, thankfully I had my book. She didn’t turn up. It turns out I went to the wrong café and she was one block down from me. For some reason I got it wrong. Unwittingly I sat with a coffee and read. I had a mobile but no credit so couldn’t ring her and for some reason she chose not to ring me. So I sat and read my book for 1.5 hours. I thought maybe she hadn’t changed her watch to daylight saving (1 hour ahead, changed on Sunday). I felt completely peaceful, not angry or impatient. I felt to leave, paid for my coffee and went home. My mum was concerned about my sister so I rang her and found out the confusion.

I then went across the road to this guy Dermot’s place. I met him last time I came to Canberra and he lives across the road. He is friend’s with my brother and tells me he loves me. That made me smile. He must have seen my car hence knowing I was around. Last time I was here he felt I was significant and he was fascinated by my life. He sent me an email and invited me over when I had time. So I mozied over there and had a vodka and orange. His kids are lovely, his daughter was playing the piano, sounded great. I told them a few stories about my trip and they laughed. He then started a fire out the back under a tent like gazebo. We talked about life, turns out he is depressed. So I encouraged him to see the world in a different way. I do believe nothing happens by mistake. Moreover, I firmly feel those most difficult in our lives are teachers and it is to look within ourselves for fear, lack of self esteem or suppression of emotion to understand why depression is there. Even depression is a gift if you can explore it and discover yourself. What do we believe about ourselves, what expectations do we hold. Turns out Dermot had planted in his mind early in his life to do something to save the world. I said don’t save the world, save yourself first. That is where real power is. Work in what brings happiness in and don’t minimize the role of being a parent. I personally feel it is the most important role. I talked about clowning in front of his kids and asked his daughter if she wanted to clown with me at the flower show Floriade. At first she was shy but started to warm to the idea when we spoke of Free Hugs, she could do that. I said we could film it for Youtube. Her father also showed some interest and could wear a funny hat. So we will see what the weather is like and if they feel to go. If I am not too tired I will do it. I do battle fatigue as my life is so changing. However, if it is meant to be it will be. Dermot seemed much happier. Gave them hugs and then went home. My mother said it was amazing that Dermot was considering coming clowning, so who knows maybe this changes his life and direction. I hope so. We all deserve happiness and so few of us realize how great we truly are.

The next day I was invited with my mother and step-father to see my father. My father extended the invitation as I was in Canberra. This is a good development as my father has cut himself off from his children and maybe we can built bridges. Dad and I were very close when I was young and he and I are similar. He is a poet and he has integrity like me. He is getting political I am noticing. He joined the Greens felt some disillusionment and interestingly he has issues with refugees. I personally am all for refugees and would happily welcome them here. There is plenty of room in Australia. Sadly it is a political issue and much fear mongering has occurred to divide the community. My father fears that when things go pear shaped they will flood this country. Personally my attitude is to help people for they are me. Why not convene a UN meeting to look at how to realistically deal with fleeing refugees economically, ecologically and in war torn countries. Why is fleeing persecution the only grounds for accepting people. I always remember Clinton speaking here in Australia many years ago, ‘you think the refugee problem is bad now wait until you are dealing with 100,000 or more ecological refugees. I have no desire to create borders, or enforce border protection, I found it intuitively uncomfortable when I have seen at many airports the dividing of people. I never forget in Italy the Chinese (Hong Kong) passengers put in separate lines from the anglo Europeans. I felt ashamed to be white. I saw machine guns and wondered at the insanity of a world that thinks it is different, when we are one civilization occupying one planet with no boundaries, only the ones we create by nationality. For me the world is one and I have no desire to save myself if it means hurting another. I will serve humanity as my people. I told my father I feel universal. When I was in India I felt somewhat confronted by New Dehli and the poverty but said to myself ‘I am coming home, this is my country’. I treated all countries I visited as if part of my world. I saw a universality in all life and they are me. So I no longer fear people crossing the sea, I would gladly see them helped as I would expect to be helped if I needed refuge. For my actions reflect my humanity and for me humanity is more important and I believe positive outcomes will emerge from positive intent not fear. So my father tried to side step the debate with me by saying ‘you have a right to your opinion’ but he didn’t want to go there. I made a few points to him about trade walls in Europe that prevented African goods getting into the Common Market and the exploitation of natural resources in third world countries and how they were colonized and divided. There is much to look at in terms of the wealth gained on the back of great poverty and pain. I have no desire to preserve a material life gained through the suffering and pauperization of others. I see no nationality. As a clown the differences don’t exist, only love exists for me. The materialism of the West has been destroying the planet. My father pointed out there were dictators in other countries and greed etc. I am sure that is true. However, I feel we need to think as one world and start to learn how to cooperate and solve collective problems globally. I have no desire to pitch one people against another and deepen fear which only destabilizes the world and creates zones for war. I want to see more global unity and a deeper understanding that we are all interdependent and not separate as we like to perceive through nation state boundaries. So my father and I will have to agree to disagree. I explained to him I am a humanitarian yet I see the issue as politicised. We shifted from contention and I noted to him his democratic respect for our differences and his seeking peace between us. I knew on a deeper level he was seeking harmony and family, so I allowed it to drop.

We spent some time looking over my photos from my trip and it was nice to have both my parents with me. My step father is lovely he is not jealous at my parents reminiscing and I enjoy it as we are no longer together as a family and it reminds me of what feels like a past life. I seem to experience all my family separately and it is a shame to have missed out on our collective experience as a family, but that is the way it is. I am living in the moment and have let go to a large extent, trust it is happening for a purpose and just be love to all of them, which I am. I appear to be the peacemaker in my family, yet having said that I do get drawn into conflict at times and have work to do on my reactions, unhealed parts of myself. However, I am working on it. I am allowing my father to live the life he wants without my expectations. I felt today was a breakthrough and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. I showed him Twitter and he did his first tweet. I clapped and cheered my dad’s step into the global commons. Dad invited us to come over on Monday night and we will watch the popular Q and A (ABC television) and I thought to do some tweets side by side with my father. So it should be very funny. I may crack a few jokes.

I returned back to my mother’s place and realized I forgot my dongle for internet and had to go back to Dad’s. I have an amazing stone I found in the King’s Canyon, it is 350 million years old, I called it the Philosopher’s Stone. I was going to give it to another person but felt not to. My feeling was to give it to my dad and a quartz crystal that was given to me by a Sharman. I didn’t tell dad that is how it came to me but will tell him on Monday. I told him it represents unconditional love and if he feels upset to just hold it. I gave a similar quartz to my sister, neither planned, but just my inner feeling moving me, I found it interesting I gave both my dad and sister the quartz and talked about unconditional love. I am reflecting now and feel a significance in the gesture. He put the philosopher’s stone on the table, it is magnificent and it is comprised of sand from an inland sea. Dad said today that he loved Australia and he loved the land. I felt the stone was for him. I had some beautiful inspiring quotes with it to inspire positivity. My father have reconciled and I felt deeply happy. I see it as healing. Maybe through my relationship with dad I can help him connect with the rest of his children. He is a kind man but quite stubborn and judgemental at times. He holds onto resentments and has fixed ideas of success. His generation do carry more fears than my generation I feel. My life has been a worry for him as he sees me as not secure with a job, husband and children. Dad is traditional but I have explained to him my life is different. I am a World Peace Clown and I am not treading the normal path. I wish to serve humanity and I do not feel ambitious for work or money. I have explained to him my spirituality and to trust that I know what I am doing. I just want to live to my highest potential and be the best person I can be. Mum felt he is starting to understand my life and it appears he is proud of me. However, I never went down this path for approval, I went down this path to be true to myself first. I never had any doubt that my path was important to me. If I had to go alone I would have. If it meant my family walked away then I had to accept that. I feel happiness and peace around it. So today was a significant day for me. The 6th of October, I will remember. He was very happy and I kissed him and left.

After seeing my father I went to Phyl’s place, the nice lady I met on Mount Taylor the other day. I met her clan and we had a lovely dinner together. She raised a boy with a syndrome who is high maintenance to look after. I found him beautiful and was told he couldn’t speak. Similar to autism he had to have things in a certain pattern. His sister said he is stubborn, so must be challenging to deal with him as you have to change, he can’t. I believe he is in care as they called a taxi for him later. It was Phyl’s birthday I discovered. How amazing a lady I never met before inviting me from one meeting on top of a mountain, to her birthday, it was very open to do that. I saw her daughter Claire and met her husband Peter and there family friend. I met Claire’s son Phillip his girlfriend Teagan and the other daughter Jasmin. It was really nice to be with the family. They generously shared food with me. We talked about Canberra and life. Turns out this group are into cycling and heading to Victoria tomorrow to do some serious cycling. I was impressed they are in their 60’s and still very active. Canberra is like that, you often see people into sport in this city, it is very obvious here. I really enjoyed making new friends. I showed them my presentation of clowning around the world. They seemed to enjoy it. Phyl gave myself and her friend a key ring and a light, I smiled to myself as mine fell off my key ring and it is handy when camping. After dinner I had to go and Peter kindly got an umbrella and walked me to my car. Amazing to meet people who trusted me after meeting me for 10 minutes, to invite me to a birthday. I felt honoured. It was a lovely night and I wondered what the purpose of it was and why I was to meet this family.

So now I am sitting in the caravan recording my story. This is part of my efforts to unite the world. The first step is visibility and authenticity. I see the world as my family now and those of you reading this I connect with. Through you others and through them, as we are all connected in truth. I believe we are moving in this world towards unity. There is nothing to hide and everything to gain by visibility. I wish to lose all fear and become open in my life. It is interesting when I was a child I used to wonder why I was so open. At the time I felt embarrassed at times, but today not at all. I intend to be myself and share my life for the benefit of others.

Share something about yourself with someone. Be brave enough to allow your light to shine. You are significant, you are relevant and definitely you are not a failure, I want you to really hear this. Everyone is a success and when you think of even the point of conception you won the lottery to be created in the womb to be here now. Your life has affected millions and you may feel you don’t do much but every word, every action, every decision sends a message to the world. The only questions what message are you sending (fear/love)? Who are you? Who will you become? The latter is the most important and defines the future. I intend to become peace and happiness in all my actions. So I am working on it for the love of peace and fun.

 
Mohandas Gandhi

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong”

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