When We Get Stuck…

Life is so good to me.  If I am quiet just for a little while, if I practice what James Altucher calls the Daily Practice, even partially, if I allow myself to receive the messages that are available to me – then I can move on.

There are times when I guess we all feel a little or a lot ‘stuck’. In that place where nothing seems to be moving and no progress is appearing.  For me, I tend to try to push through – my mind says .. “You have to be doing something – you have to be accomplishing something. Nothing is happening.  What are you doing? Where are you going? What is your next project?”

Aaargh…. I feel so stuck.

Then I start to look around for advice – for someone else to tell me what to do.  Yeah great idea Shazar! As if others know what you should be doing to move yourself into a more productive state of mind.  Or rather to discover within yourself that state of joy.

Because all that is really needed – is to move into a space where joy can be allowed and can flow.  What I DO on a daily basis.. is that really what is important?

No – what is much more important is what I am BEING.

For ‘being’ is what it is all really about.  When I am joyful – who cares what I am doing?  For that joy can spread and grow from such a small seed.

And from that empty space in which joy arises, can come also the inspiration and the step forward into a world of wonder and creativity and ultimately productivity.

But the productivity does not come first.  There lies the error.

Today – I have been in that place of ‘stuck’ – its easy for this Piscean nature of mine.. “oh dear which way should I swim?” and I was shown again the wonderful tool called “Ho’oponopono” – a simple and effective means of clearing the slate –  the link will give you the full process  – and do watch the video – but here it is in brief:

Whatever is niggling at you – whoever you are tussling with in your mind, – and your own struggles with your self.. place them there in your consciousness and use this technique.

1. I am sorry  (to the person, to yourself, or the situation)
2. Please forgive me (as above)
3. Thank you (as above)
4. I love you (as above – and really feel it as you say it.)

Repeat as needed – and breathe new life into your day.

Thanks to all that conspired to show me the way yet again on this beautiful day on Planet Earth.

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Patience – a poem for Tirzada

Patience – learning in Tirzada.

worker
Patience, relax, sit down, breathe,
it will all happen
in its own good time
western mind cool
western mind chill
western mind sink
sink into the soul
and ignore the rats of impatience gnawing at the wall

Laughter – the workers –
arriving late ..slouching in
ha – there is the mad foreigner
waiting
impatience hovering around her
ha – we will go at our good time
too hot
too heavy
too thirsty
aaaahhhhhh
worker head
slowly
almost stopping
standing to stare
watching each other
who will move first?
not me
not me
not me
oh perhaps I shall

ah the boss is yelling..
lets shift
a rock
a bag of cement
pick it up
help me
aaaahh
time for water

patience
dear
mad
foreigner.

10 Ideas to Help You Write

1. Join a writing group
2. Create a specific time each day to write and do it
3. Free write poetry at least once a day
4.  Invest in a favourite writing pen or pencil – mine is a mechanical soft lead pencil.
5. Take a photo and write a creative story around the photo.  Allow the flow to happen
6. Write about your favourite food – how to cook it – or how to eat an artichoke
7. Each day write about an experience you had on a journey
8. Take an emotion a day and write about that
9. Write an article, a blog post, a book all about – “insert your speciality here”.
10. Make a map of the book that you dream of writing.

Beach

Here is my poem for today:

A Day in May – Swimming

today the beach
the month of May and yet so warm
swimming
“oh no too cold.. oh oh” .. drama and play edging in to the wave
and at last the leap – into the sparkling joy of the salt salt sea
that tingles the soul and delights the being

and running home – the song escapes
a light step – a lighter soul
washed in the joy of the light light sea
gratitude overflowing me.

My Big Commitment

I suck at writing. Not the actual words.. but the act of sitting down to do it. I want to be good at it – I want to blog every day or at the very least twice a week.. but if you look at my blog until now you will see that simply has never happened.

So why not? It looks like it has never a big enough priority.
Never top of my list. There was always something else to distract myself with.

But I’ve been reading .. yeah I always do.. and sometimes I read stuff that gives me a good kick.
James Altucher – thanks James for the kick.. his great tips for being a better writer…

Write every day – it is a spiritual practice.

And yes what sense that makes.. if we drive every day and practice we can become better drivers.  If we play golf every day we improve – practice makes for better – providing we have the intention of learning.  Mistakes are very important .. if you don’t do anything and don’t make mistakes, you don’t learn anything.

So here I am writing every day. It is my new discipline and I plan to get better at it.

Writing each day and reading what others write each day .. what catches the interest – what leaves me flipping to the next page or the next blog.

So this time – is the commitment really there? Its like the commitment to get out of bed each morning to walk and then come home and meditate.  I don’t really feel it in me, but I know that each day when it is time to do just that, I have to renew my resolve all over again in the moment.

I can’t decide right now to do it and know that I will. Because it is not a mental thing.  Resolutions never worked for me.

Its simply getting up and doing it.

Can I incorporate writing into the same type of discipline?

Why not?

Nike’s “Just Do It” comes to mind.  And guess what – I just told all of you that this is what I am going to do.  Uh oh .. now I am committed.

 

Mad Foreigner Chapter 2 – Gratitude

I am back in Australia.  I am almost over my culture shock! Finally I seem to have thrown off the layer of grief that I have been carrying around.  I can connect again with the joy and feeling of special privilege I have had working on this crazy dam project that we did in Tirzada.

Clearly this chapter has to be about gratitude.

Gratitude for the privilege that I was given daily of just being there.  The hospitality and generosity of so many of the villagers – who invited me into their homes  – offered chai  as their welcome to the village.

Thee villagers seemed to be honoured that I went to their home.. but the honour was all mine despite the over dose of chai!!

Gratitude for the simple pleasure of just sitting under the tree at the dam site .. on a rock that was made for my seat.  Yes – the men said:  “Oh be careful there are snakes” .. but each day I made ‘clumping’ noises as I entered that creek area and I figured the snakes knew I was there and they are generally shy so they didn’t bother me.

farmer ploughing his field with bullock
Ploughing the Field

And sure – there were plenty of moments all up and down the scale.  From complete joy and fulfilment to tears of frustration and grief.

The tough times when I had found out that some of the key players had ‘lied’ to me.. or at least ‘not entirely spoken the truth’.

I still grapple with whether that is right or wrong.. but in the bigger scheme of things – does it really matter?  When I step back from judging it – the people behind the ‘lies’ are only acting out of a sense of ‘this is the best thing to do.. some of the reasoning being – “Shazar doesn’t really need to know this.. she will only get upset!” :) or otherwise – the ‘truth’ that seems best at the time.

Go figure!!

But all that said  gratitude is the overall feeling that remains.  How many people like me have the chance to spend three weeks in an Indian rural village.  Hosted by the most generous and loving family that I could possibly have wished for.  This family who opened their home and their hearts to me.

The food and care was wonderful. Their place was a little haven.  It was hot in Tirzada – but we came home each evening to fresh water in the bucket to wash the dust off,  treats in the form of ‘pepsy’ a small plastic pouch filled with an delicious orange cordial and frozen.  (You snip the corner off with your teeth, suck and enjoy.)   Or perhaps special fried things.. crunchy and tasty and of course always the cool water proffered immediately you arrived, followed by sweet strong chai in a small china cup.

The family I stayed with in Tirzada
The Generous Family Who Hosted Me

Rajendra, Amrapali and their three children took me into their small house as family. Not  the traditional cow dung and mud style house.  We were ‘up market’ with a concrete floor – fans, and even for the hotter times a big noisy rattle trap ‘cooler’ which blew air through a water soaked wall of fibre to cool the air.  This ran all night along with the fan .. also noisy – which was designed to blow any errant mosquitos away. My itches told me it didn’t always work.

Lady doing the family wash by hand
Amrapali doing the family wash

With three basic rooms in the house, – the kitchen – a small bedroom / dressing room – with one bed – and a general living area where we ate and five of us slept – where I as honoured guest – was given the day bed.  Each night Rajendra would spread the mattresses and bedding out for us all – and every morning he would pack it away again into a strorage area.

Scene of village street
The village street

In the early morning when I got up with the rest of the family I would take up a place on the front porch – to write and read and have quiet time.   Rajendra unfailingly came and asked me.. ‘Brush?” meaning .. have you brushed your teeth?  Quite a ritual for all in the morning – a vigorous brushing and often a clearing of the throat that to us foreigners sounds painful and distressing.   I was a little puzzled as to why Rajendra would ask me if I had brushed my teeth as if I was a child… until one day I realised – “Ah ha .. he is asking me because he wants to bring me chai”  and is checking to see if I am ready for that. What a sweet and wonderful man he is.  He cared for me so much as did his wife and his whole family.

And there is more gratitude for that time:  The quiet.   The bells of the cows, the bleating of the goats – the walk each morning to the dam site – through the village – smiles and calls of ‘Mam Mam” from the village kids, through the fields, and down into the small river to where the labourers were gathered – then the hours in my favourite spot under the shade of the water trees, sitting on a comfortable rock or lazing on the mat that they brought for me to rest on.   Writing – thinking, chatting to the boys and emerging every now and then to take some photos of the progress and the on going work.

Pace in the village is slow – people take time to say hello – people hug you – people are intensely generous – they have little – but would share the last with me – the mad foreigner who is building a dam.. for what?

They ask: “For us?”

“Why?”

“What is she getting out of it?”

me: Gratitude and Blessings.  and a learning about life that just fills my heart.