December

Is it really December?

I feel a little worse for wear, I must admit. Perhaps it isn’t the best time to be writing…but then again, is there ever really a ‘best’ time?

After pulling a 12 hour shift I stumbled off the bus tonight to a quiet street and the tap, tap, tap of my faithful shoes against the sidewalk. My feet hurt and my eyelids felt heavy. I looked down at the cracks in the cement and smiled as I avoided stepping on them, thinking of my kids and the little games we would play…

‘Don’t step on the crack or you’ll fall and break your back.’ I would say.

‘No mummy, that’s terrible…’ she would reply. ‘It’s, don’t step on the crack or an elephant will fall on your head…’

‘How is that less terrible?!’

‘I don’t know, but it’s funnier!’

My children have an interesting sense of humour. One of my personal favourites:

‘Mummy, why did the chicken cross the playground?’

‘I don’t know baby, why?’

‘To get to the other slide!’

Cue laughter. Actually that one is pretty hilarious.

I missed them. Especially after days like today when all I wanted to do was burst through the front door to their beautiful little faces and hugs that can’t be beat. But I knew they’d be asleep when I got home and I’d have to wait till morning for those magic hugs.

I thought about all this as I walked and my heart felt a little heavy. But then something caught my eye and I looked up to the neighbors front yard where hundreds of colourful, twinkling lights danced about in the trees and across the path. Yellows, reds and greens all floating about like little fairies and reminding me of my favourite time of year. Suddenly the heaviness lifted and I had to stop and stare for a while.

There’s something about Christmas…the childish joyfulness of the entire thing. The hope it brings, the memories of sticky hot Queensland summers where we’d run under the sprinkler and gorge on icy-poles in an effort to keep cool. The smell of gingerbread and fresh mangoes lingering as though they were just placed before me. The lying awake at night to see if Santa would come.The smiles and laughs of family as we gave gifts and sang songs and made wishes for the coming year.

I love everything about Christmas.

So I guess coming home to my soundly sleeping babes wasn’t as hard after that. I kissed them on the cheek and rubbed my nose against their soft cute little faces. I selfishly wished they would wake just so that I could say goodnight. But they were deep into dream-land and I decided I’d give them that. Tomorrow, they would wake a day older. That dream-land of rainbows and unicorns wouldn’t last forever, and eventually they would be too old to laugh at silly jokes, or make up silly rhymes. But at least we’d always have Christmas.

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Finding Peace

I’ve been MIA for a while…which isn’t the flying start I had been hoping for with my blogging! I think it is one of those things where you miss one deadline and then the next and be before you know it you’ve completely disappeared without a trace. Suddenly it’s August and I’m left wondering where on earth the time went. I have no excuse but for life. Life happened.

Okay, I am going to admit this upfront…the inspiration for this post came from watching Kung Fu Panda 3. Don’t laugh! It was actually quite inspiring. I don’t know what it is about children’s movies but it seems that Disney and Dreamworks have really been rocking it lately. I wanted to see the third Kung Fu Panda movie simply because I loved the first one. But I hadn’t expected the underlying meaning behind the movie to resonate so much with me. I think because I have been on this journey of consciousness and researching so much about peace and fulfilment that I just couldn’t seem to wipe the smile from my face.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s basically a continuation of the story about a clumsy panda who becomes a kung fu legend. This particular instalment, however, focused more on the power of chi and Po’s journey towards understanding what it was and how to use this energy to defeat the bad guy. Sure, in true children’s movie fashion it stretched ideas a little – or a lot. But I loved that such concepts were being introduced to children.

It got me thinking though…seeming as life gets crazy and busy and all things in between and the vast majority of us don’t have the ability to devote years of our life to dwelling in a cave and meditating, how does the pursuit of peace fit into our lives? I decided that I would trial a day where I completely let myself indulge in chi gong and meditation and ultimately reap the benefits of letting go a little and shifting my priorities. So I woke up and got prepped for the day, it was going to be amazing. I was going to take care of necessary commitments and then I was going to come home and it was peace warrior time…

I don’t know if you’ve already guessed this but it didn’t happen according to plan. See, after getting the kids fed and dressed and dropping my daughter at school, I came home and there was a hundred things to do in terms of unpacking and shifting furniture and cleaning the house and prepping meals. Before I knew it, it was school pick-up time, serving dinner-time, half an hour slot for a quick workout before the kid’s bedtime routine. Suddenly the moon was laughing at me, the stars were joining in, my zen monk image had quickly slipped through my fingers and I still hadn’t sat down to do my work yet. I guess the point of this rant is to say, I get it! Who has time to truly devote their days to the pursuit of inner peace?

It made me realise though that the pursuit of inner peace doesn’t have to be something that completely takes over your day; that needs to be scheduled like an appointment and followed with rigorous determination. Peace for me, is the celebration of each moment. It’s waking up and watching the sun rise with a warm cup of tea. It’s taking a brief moment within the chaos to stop and breathe and marvel at how unreal and amazing life really is. It’s settling down at the end of the day to a soundly sleeping home, a full heart and little ‘thank you’ of gratitude sent out to the universe. Ten minutes for chi gong or yoga will come, as will five minutes for a wind down meditation. But I think it’s what we do outside these moments of practice that really defines our inner world and gauges our soul’s state of peace.

Block

I seem to be having trouble writing lately. It feels as though since he died a void has opened within me and I can’t seem to fill it with the things that normally make sense to me. I try and sit down to my novel and all that looks back at me is an empty page. The intention is there and I know what I want to say but something has been lost in the translation and I’m left waiting.

I begin to think that maybe I should try something else. Write something else. But what can I say? Should I write about the heaviness in my heart that seems to have settled, the memories upon my fingertips that won’t let me rest? Should I write about the ghosts I see in the street, the faces I pass that I’m so sure could be his?

Loss is a funny thing. In the beginning you are drowning, kept afloat by others who happen to be either drowning with you or fighting to keep you all afloat. These people that you find yourself surrounded by become connected to you by this invisible little thread of collective despair. They make you feel strong by just being there but also make you feel weaker than ever through the levels of vulnerability you find yourself falling into.

There comes a point in time however where the people begin to fall back. They have lives that they cannot keep turning away from and you have a life that you have to begin to salvage and rebuild. You keep yourself busy because the busyness distracts you. You keep yourself happy because the happiness distracts you. You keep yourself strong because there is nothing else. But eventually the day will end and you will have to fall into bed, or into a chair in the corner of the room. It is there within those quiet moments where you start to feel incredibly alone. Faced with only yourself then, you realise how very much this has all taken from you.

One day you’ll be okay, and you know this too. But maybe just not today.