The Invitation – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.

I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

I love this chap…

And this is a wonderful rant! Talks a lot about the ego… how people are too focussed on themselves.. which makes them BORING. Wholeheartedly agree, look outside, pay attention to other people. You’ll learn, experience new things, move forward. Caution: long, circa 30 minutes, but he does have a lovely voice 🙂

He also touches on travel and reading, and a practise where people read a book, and write their name and message in it, and leave it in a public place for others to find and enjoy. I remember doing this in my travels in 2007 and it was such an amazing thing… it felt so good to be able to share the joy of a great book with others. Most of the books I read these days are e-books so I can’t do this, and I miss it.

 

EDIT: Had the absolute pleasure of seeing Stephen Fry in his ‘telling tales’ one man show at the Civic in Auckland. If you ever get a chance to see him live, go GO! You won’t regret it. 

Link: How women and men relate/ act and react in the workplace.

Here’s why some men actually try to make women cry at work: big girls do cry and the instigators reason isn’t pretty.

Interesting article about how women & men relate/ act and react in the workplace. #gender #FoodForThought

….”when it comes to anger, “women believe they have to bottle it up,” says Anne Kreamer, author of It’s Always Personal: Navigating Emotion in the New Workplace. “But emotions have to get expressed somehow, so it comes out as tears, and then we feel ashamed, angry at ourselves. So it’s this triple, quadruple, horrible whammy.”

We have ingrained gender bias in both men AND women – and we don’t even realise it, or how much it holds us back. 

It’s worthwhile stepping back and reviewing not just the bias we see in others – but our own as well. Whilst we can’t change these behaviours in others – it does help to relate when we recognise and understand.

The real power comes in understanding ourselves – we have the ability to change.

The things we humans obsess over (Part 3)

I’ve had several conversations about this of late, both face to face as well as online… and if I were to define this aspect of contemporary human obsession it would be “online persona“… let me dig a little deeper here and explain what I mean:

You’re in a room gathered together with a bunch of friends, on the pretence of ‘catching up’ – at any one time you will have:
One person texting, pxting or checking their emails
One person wanting to take pics of you all together to post later (once they’ve edited our their dark circles, wrinkles or spots)
One person checking and/ or sending a snapchat, checking into foursquare (for some reason people still use this?)
Three people posting pics of their food to instagram/ twitter / facebook
One person updating Facebook to tell the world that you’re all there in this location, having SO MUCH FUN, tagging you all to articulate that fact..

You’re all there, together, but you’re not.

Since when did posting about what you are doing, rather than being in the moment and experiencing it become more important?!

We are so obsessed with trying to reassure the world that we lead these awesome, exciting, glamorous lives, that we’re not even living them. 

How do I know this? I’m part of it. I blog, tweet, update, instagram, snapchat along with everyone.. but it bugs me that in a room full of people, I can be the only person who leaves their phone in their bag. It’s a sign of respect, of wanting to actually listen and engage with the people you are physically with. And its amazing what it can do for the quality of conversation.

Why are we so obsessed with creating this online persona? This BEST person that we could possibly be? The one with the flawless pics, interesting social life and outgoing winning personality? We work SO HARD on this, and then spend the rest of the time trying to live up to this unrealistic image and expectation that we have created for ourselves…

And we wonder why people are more unhappy now than ever before?

Perhaps if we spent a little more time barefoot, walking on the grass, or dragging our toes across the sand, and left the smartphone at home for a wee bit, we’d start to experience our lives again in an organic way. We could connect in the ways that humans are supposed to, with conversation, listening, smiles, questions, touch and laughter.

 

Rather than WIFI.

 

 

 

Article: “how I downsized my life to 100 possessions”

This piece was so interesting… at first I was excited at this chaps journey “wow what a great idea!” Then when he spoke about getting down to the elimination process I actually found it quite confronting… how could I ever hope to do something like this? With my endless dresses, and collection of candles, baking and cooking utensils etc….?

Could you do it?

Article here

The things we humans obsess over (Part 2)

So I’ve done 22 days no alcohol now, and I’m feeling pretty good. Previously I’d done 5 weeks in 2013 and that was a monumental exercise in fabulousness. But with this new-ish clarity of thought comes the inevitable reflection on just how utterly obsessed we are with the ‘demon-drink’ …..and I’ve realised how much alcohol is a knee-jerk reaction in modern western society.

 

Had a bad day? A glass of wine will sort that.
Nailed that project at work? You deserve a drink!
Survived the working week with all your limbs intact? Time for a beverage!

 

It’s like drinking is so ingrained into what we do literally day to day that it takes a concerted effort to minimise the ingrained knee-jerk reaction to relax with a drink…..

Think about it:
Oh it’s a beautiful sunny summers night, I’d better make the most of this and go out and have a beer in the sun!
Oh it’s a rainy winters night, freezing out there! I should tuck up with a yummy glass of red wine in front of the fire…

It’s the elixr for the masses, comes in all shapes and sizes, flavours and strengths, colours and packages, it picks you up when you’re down, transforms your face to a smile from a frown, helps lubricate communication all over town, makes you think you can dance and ‘get down’ – it’s what?! ALCOHOL! Yay! *cue mexican wave*

Now I don’t propose to have all the answers to this (or anything for that matter) what I want you to do is simply stop and think for yourself.

To start asking yourself how you feel about drinking…. to see if you resonate with anything I’ve mentioned, and to see if you too could start to challenge the assumptions modern society has placed upon you about drinking. *glug glug*

Could you go a week without drinking? A month? What changes in your social habits would you need to make in order to do this? How would your friends and workmates react?

After almost 10 years in Recruitment (an industry body known for enjoying the ‘odd tipple‘ *cough*) I can hand on heart say that I still enjoy a deep spicy glass of Shiraz, and smooth and velvety Central Otago Pinot Noir, and love the giggly brain-fuzz and silliness from a ridiculously over-priced glass of Champagne…. but my attitude to drinking is slowly changing.

With glorified boozing in adverts tempting me… And bars full of laughing, smiling, beautiful people – waving about their bottles of beer and oh-so-tempting glasses of chilled Pinot Gris as I wander past …I almost feel like I’m ‘sticking it to the man’ some days…. so yeah, fight the power and whatnot, I’m off to pour myself a stiff tea.

 

The things we humans obsess over (part 1)

Lounging around in bed this morning, putting off the inevitable part of the day where I get up and pretend to be a responsible adult, I found myself reading an article about the Oscars most important fashion moments (or some equally inane drivel) and promptly gave myself an internal donk on the head.

This was an article about image, style, impression, capturing a moment, icons, zeitgeist and the like all wrapped up in a piece of material draped around a body. Because that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s material? Didn’t we first decide to wrap ourselves in things because we don’t have fur? Wasn’t it so we didn’t freeze our nips off in the ice age? Or was it because of a gaping realisation that we were cruising around nekkid in a fabulous garden (and had been for ages, why didn’t someone say something??) and thought that a leaf would be an appropriate cover for the bits the god gave us?

So when did necessity (the mother of invention, and by that logic the father of pants) become such an obsession? It’s not ‘what you’re wearing’ but “who are you wearing dahhling?” and since when did we judge a persons worth on their ability to look good in a piece of fabric?

And why (this is the biggest issue of all really) do I own so many dresses, and yet constantly find myself looking for more?

Pants are overrated, but what’s so awful about the human body that we’re all more obsessed with covering it up, than embracing the glorious-ness of our own bits?

Why do we need to primp, preen, nip, tuck, starve, paint and hide ourselves…. why do we let that piece of material speak for us?

 

The Cult Of Celebrity/ Looking To Celebs For Lifestyle Advice?

More and more of these lifestyle books/style guides/cookbooks/cum-how-to-guides by celebrities seem to be published year on year, as this infamous ‘cult of celebrity‘ gains yet more traction….

So why do we buy this stuff? How come a book with a famous face or ‘personality’ seems to whizz right to the top of the best seller list? And how does a celebrity (who has a ton of stylists, personal chefs, trainers and image-makers) suddenly become an expert themselves?

What bugs me about this trend is that half the stuff people talk about simply isn’t attainable in day to day life.. we don’t have personal trainers, chefs, interior designers, or unlimited dollars for a wardrobe makeover etc…. so when people read this goop (intentional reference) they are buying more and more into an unattainable ‘ideal’ lifestyle. And perpetuating the cycle of ‘I wish I had/if only I was’ instead of learning to appreciate what we already have.

The key to breaking this trend is firstly, I believe, to become aware of it. To realise that ‘modern life’ has become this hamster wheel of bombardment with images of ‘beauty’, glamour, lifestyle, saturating our daily lives until our visual brains and impressionable souls start to think this is the norm… then continuing this barrage of stimuli that tells us ultimately: ‘if you only looked like this… had these things… you would be happy, you would be valuable – you would be loved’…

As someone who struggled with this system of belief, manifesting as an eating disorder that dictated my life for over 6 years… it bugs me that a so-called ‘celebrity’ can publish a book telling other people how they should live their lives if they want to be happy.

Happiness is within us all. There is no magic formula to fit everyone. One size doesn’t fit all folks…. and you aren’t going to find fulfilment with a new pair of shoes, a flashy car, or a bigger house than your neighbour.

Sure, these things are fun… hell I’m a shoe-girl myself, and I love nice things… but as I grow, and seek out the perspective I need to evolve and be fulfilled and joyful as a human being, I realise that so much of that stuff we’re desperately trying to attain, the things we’re going into debt for to GET, simply don’t cut it.

So if you knew you had the power to change your life…… what would you do?