WINE & WEARINESS

 

Yesterday I had a shit of a day.

Work was absolute chaos. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I even had an abusive phone call from a client, where for the first time in my life, I was teetering on the edge of completely breaking down. But I held my composure. My voice was shaking as I attempted to reason with him calmly whilst simultaneously blinking back tears.

It’s funny how we can let people get to us. Particularly men. Dealing with the male ego is an arduous task at times.

Which brings me to dinner.

I met a girlfriend for dinner straight after work whose day was as equally shit as mine. She had been yelled at by her boss for not achieving her monthly targets. She was very upset and humiliated by him. We both looked as weary as each other. It’s amazing that another human being can have such a devastating impact on you. But at the same time, we enable it by not speaking up.

I am not a fighter. I back down very quickly at any sight of a confrontation. It makes me very stressed. I get flustered, and upset, and very often completely lose my train of thought. I don’t think this is a sign of weakness. I think this is a sign of good character. That we have such a gentle nature about us, that it’s a shock to the system when we are bamboozled in that manner by other individuals.

As we sat down to dinner, my girlfriend poured me a glass of wine. After drinking half a glass, I became more relaxed. In fact, I was a little drunk. I thought back to my “day on a plate” and realised it consisted of 3 coffees and an apple. The body is amazing in its ability to function on very little reserves. And I mean that in every way.

“I can now understand why people become alcoholics” I said to my friend honestly.

She laughed. But it’s true. If every day was as hellish as yesterday I would have no choice other than to medicate myself with alcohol to take the edge off.

And then I made another enlightened statement that made her put down her glass of wine, put both of her hands upon the table.

“You have had a breakthrough. I have never heard you say anything that makes more sense. Ever.” She said to me, astonished at what had been said. I’m not going to go into the comment that I made, as it is of a deeply private nature, however it made me think back to one of my own quotes that I’ve written in a previous blog post.

“People really do see a lot more than you give them credit for”.

Some people may take me for a fool because I mightn’t necessarily always speak up. But the comment that I did make is a reminder that I am very well aware of what is going on before me. I actually see everything. I am not a stupid woman. In fact, I am highly intelligent.

Many years ago, I used to have a client that was studying psychology. His theory was that everyone (aside from the few of us who are enlightened / aware / conscious) is always projecting. So if someone says hurtful things to you, it is generally because they are hurt, and they want you to hurt. If someone constantly picks you apart, that has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their own perceived inadequacies. And people who judge (where you live, what kind of car you drive, how much money you earn), live in fear of judgement themselves. The same can be said of those who are overweight. They are almost always lacking in some emotional department. And those of us who are underweight? Yep, something is eating away at us.

The dangerous trap though that we fall into is thinking its about us. It’s really not. It’s about them.

So what is the purpose of this story? Stay strong, stay confident, keep your own self-worth in tact, and nobody else’s words or actions will be able to permeate that ever. It’s something I’m not so good at 99% of the time. But I’m learning. As I said, I see everything, and I’m certainly no wallflower. We all know what we need to do, we just have to stop being self-limiting in every way, and just do it.

“I’M IN LOVE WITH AMY”

 

“You are adorable. You are beautiful, and vivacious, and you have such a wonderful spirit. In fact, I want to get a t-shirt made that says “I’m in love with Amy”.

These are the words of my Aunty whom I spoke to on the phone all morning. I wish I felt the same way about myself. The thing that made this phone call from my Aunty interesting is the fact that I am very down at the moment. She intuitively felt this even though we are separated by 800 or so kilometres. It’s funny how we have those connections. Those invisible, magical ties that bind.

Depression is a horrible thing.

At times it can feel as though you’ve fallen down a deep dark well, and no matter how much you attempt to free yourself, you just cannot claw your way out of it. Sometimes you’ve been down there so long you lose your equilibrium and don’t even know which way is up anymore. The light has completely vanished from sight. And you remain stuck where you are. And the hardest part is this – we can only save ourselves. We intuitively know how, but at times you can become so disconnected from your heart that it seems like an impossible feat.

I read so many books. Mostly fiction, with spiritual overtones. I also read a lot of self help books. As much as we would like to be rescued at times, it is only us that can be the ultimate rescuer. We are the master (or mistress) of our own destinies. Coming to terms with this truth can be somewhat confronting.

Just as you have to work out your muscles in order to maintain your physique, so with the mind. Some people are much stronger minded than others, but at times, this can also lead to a closing off of certain parts of the mind. An unwillingness to accept what is.

I have an open mind to many things in life, but having an open mind, means that there is the polarity that comes with that. Possessing an open mind means that you are vulnerable. Being vulnerable allows you to maintain a certain childlike quality about you, which isn’t necessarily a positive.

Children generally don’t make decisions. They leave that up to someone else. But how are you meant to steer your ship safely into the harbour if you are at the mercy of someone else being at the helm? Are you even going in the direction you’re supposed to?

I believe we are a soul inhabiting a human body. There is much more to us than a brain and a beating heart. How else can we explain the things that move us? The things that inspire us? The things that sometimes destroy us?

It is our mission in life to “find” ourselves. Because sometimes, we do wander off the path and get terribly lost. When we hear people saying how life is a journey, this is the journey they speak of. The one where we come back to who we are in our hearts. The place where we are complete. Where we are inspired, where we have the freedom to be who we truly are, where we do not fear judgement. Where there is acceptance. Where we can once again fall in love with ourselves.

IS THE GRASS ALWAYS GREENER?

 

I studied art at school.

One of the things I learnt is that it’s not so much the work of art that you appreciate, it’s always the story behind it.

And such is life. Which brings me to Facebook.

Facebook is such an interesting phenomenon. We think it offers a sneak peek into other people’s lives. Trawling through people’s photos we see them all dressed up at some fabulous bar; sipping cocktails in some exotic location; pictures of growing pregnant bellies and ultrasound photos; happy snaps of angelic little children.

But it’s not reality.

Nobody captures the moments in life that truly define us. Nobody takes snaps mid argument with a partner when we are in tears. Nobody posts photos of themselves when they are feeling lonely or depressed. Nobody takes pictures at a funeral when they are grieving the loss of a loved one. Nobody uploads a video of their child throwing a tantrum in the supermarket.

The woman who posts her pregnancy pictures may have endured countless months of waiting for those two little pink lines to give her that much longed for “positive”. The party girl all dressed up in designer outfits constantly attending soirées doesn’t give away that she is 30 years old, still living with her parents, without a cent to her name in order to maintain that lifestyle. The stay at home mother uploading photos of her children playing in the garden would never let on that she is wondering what on earth happened to her life.

The fabulous holidays people go on? They have to work and save hard for those. How beautiful someone might look at a birthday party? They have spent an hour doing their hair and make-up to look that way. The girl with that perfectly toned body? She has trained at the gym everyday and lived on salads to get that hot body. Nobody knows what it has really taken to get you to the point that has been displayed for all to see. The only people we are really fooling is ourselves.

I’ve said it before that Facebook only offers a highlight reel of what is truly taking place in someone’s life.

There is always an exceptional amount of effort that goes into portraying what may seemingly be a a life that is envied. We are all slaves to the appearance of luxury. And it’s all bullshit.

Facebook is a carefully controlled environment where you only allow people in on what you WANT them to see. And a lot of the time, it really is just an elaborate illusion.

One thing we must all remember is that we are all human and we all have our secret sorrows. So is the grass really greener? You tell me…

AN INTERVIEW WITH SAINT ROBERT (AKA – MY FATHER)

My writers block is getting the better of me, so I have no other alternative than to switch it up a little.

Today I decided to interview my father. He knows a lot about a lot. My Aunty Gael always refers to him as “Saint Robert” as he is the most patient man we all know, and he tirelessly cared for my Grandparents in their final years.

So here it is below:

Amy Anka: I know you have told me countless times throughout my life that we have a guardian angel. What have you personally experienced that has led you to believe this to be true?

Saint Robert: On countless occasions, when we have had financial crises, “something”seems to manifest itself in the form of an ability to earn extra income, or an unexpected “windfall” appears, to relieve the financial pressures. In times of “job / career dissatisfaction”, a solution was often presented to improve the circumstances (a boss moved on / a career changing opportunity presented).In times of “emotional turmoil”, often a seemingly blatantly obvious solution to the turmoil is prevented from being made i.e. it runs up against a “decision delay process”, which seems to allow a better emotional solution to present itself.

AA: You are aware that I believe in destiny, fate, and things happening for a reason. I believe that everyone we meet is there to unveil a layer ofourselves. Do you think this is true?

SR: I am not a spiritual person by nature, but I am comfortable in the belief that each person we cross paths with in life, have something to contribute (not always positive) to who and what we as a person, become in life.

AA: What lessons have you learnt from your own father? You discussed the other day that he taught you that material wealth is not important. Can you elaborate?

SR: The most valuable lesson that my father taught me over his entire life, was that every person we meet is your equal, never your better, and you yourself are never better than anyone else (although sometimes we all believe we must be better than the next person – fools aren’t we !). His values in life always were, that you should treat everyone as well asyou would expect them to treat you, and “good” things will always come your way, not necessarily from the person, but a good deed will be repaid from somewhere else, in kind. His next most important lesson was that “money cannot buy health and happiness”, despite it’s ability to make life more “comfortable”. An often repeated saying, which my father rarely used openly, but the message was just as strong in it’s unspoken truth, was … “Money is the root of all evil”.

AA: You have never been one to care about what anyone thinks of you. I feel very much the same and am what people refer to as a free spirit. Do you think this is a family trait?

SR: This definitely is a Nash Family trait. Both Grandma and Grandpa had no”airs and graces” about them. They could meet anyone from VIP’s to paupers,and make them comfortable in their presence, without a thought of what anyone else watching, or listening, would perceive “should be said, or done”. They didn’t have any concerns of “what people might think”, as they were comfortable in their own skins. As you observe, I have inherited that trait from a very early time in my life (being the eldest may have a lot to do with that), Gael (my Aunty) definitely has, and so has Peter (my Uncle), predominantly through adversities in their lives though. In many ways, both you and Alyssa (my sister) have come to accept that “perceptions by others needing to be important”, as restrictions to your paths in life. Whether the “Nash Trait” is the source, or this dismissal of the need to consider others’ perceptions of your behaviours and attitudes, is due to the experiences in your own lives, I am not sure.

AA: When your intuition nudges you to go towards a particular direction, how do you explain that?

SR: When my intuition nudges me in a direction that seems right for me, and those I care for around me, I raise my eyes to the Heavens and say thank you to that Nash Guardian Angel, or is it a deity, I just can’t acknowledge exists ????

AA: Why do you think parents sometimes put their first-borns on a pedestal?

SR: The firstborn is the end result of a couple’s belief that they will have the most perfect child, and if they are concerned they will never able to have another, all their efforts go into making that child a reflection oftheir own character traits, and instill in them a sense of self belief, that they personally may wish for themselves, but not necessarily have. More physical and emotional effort by both parents is put into the first born’s life progress, until a second child is conceived. Usually the gap to a second, or more children, is large enough (2 – 3years) that the firstborn has by then, been placed on that “you’re the best” pedestal, sometimes unconsciously. It is difficult to dampen that constantly instilled “you’re the best” self belief in that child.

AA: What is the meaning of life?

SR: I rarely delve into the spiritual depths of life and it’s meaning. I can only repeat the basic message that my own father and mother instilled in me… “This is the only life there is. Be as nice as possible to all people and creatures you cross paths with during your life, and it will be one of contentment, admittedly with a few hiccups along the way to make you a stronger person emotionally, as there is no strength without adversity !

AA: You have said that women change, and that men stay the same. Is this always a recipe for disaster?

SR: I was being very general in my observation that a male “stays the same”, as there are abilities in both sexes to change / adapt to their environment, whether it be physically, or emotionally, but in general terms, after 64 years on this planet, and exposure to a multitude of people’s relationships, I have formed the opinion, rightly or wrongly, that it is much more common for a woman to grow and adapt quickly and more easily in life, business, and relationships, than a male. “Recipe for disaster” is not a term I would accept. If a male is a “slow adapter” to any changes in life, business, relationships, then he is provided choices to adapt, improve, compromise, or continue on blindly in the manner they have been. Only a fool, or a pigheaded arrogant person, will not eventually adapt to the changes thrust upon them.

AA: Do you think that I have missed out in anyway because I have not had any children? 

SR: As Mum and I were married for more than 5 years before the thought of having you, was even a glimmer of thought, we had developed a very comfortable life, with financial security, freedom of choice to travel, dine out, entertain, etc. I personally had become accustomed to that lifestyle, and would have continued on as a childless couple, probably without any regrets (typical male selfishness). Right up to the day you were born, I had more fear of lost lifestyle, than happiness in your existence. It was only once you came into our home and became the focus of our entire existence, did I understand what it was like to be responsible for a child’s existence and their future, and the absolute sense of satisfaction it gives a parent to be part of their progress through life.However, if I had continued on without ever having children, in blissful ignorance, I honestly don’t believe I would have felt that I had missed out on the life experiences as a parent. As one of the 40% of women who will never have children (if that is your fate), then ce la vie. A philosopher once said … “What you never had, you should never miss !”

AA: And finally, was there any questions you wanted to ask Grandpa but never had the chance?

SR: In hindsight, because I was the “prime carer” in both Grandma’s and Grandpa’s final years, at the time I wasn’t really able to appreciate how fortunate I was, to have spent many, many hours just sitting and chatting with them, with no subject untouched in our conversations. I can honestly say that I had absolutely no unanswered questions of life, his family history, his emotions, etc from Grandpa.Grandma was a different kettle of fish. Much of her past family history was never revealed, and only became apparent to me in conversations with her older sister Lucy, who passed away shortly after Grandma. Like Mum, Grandma led a very difficult early life, and her emotional openness was restricted, and any conversations about her early life were deliberately avoided by her. I doubt that any questions I may have not had the chance to ask Grandma would have been answered openly anyway.

Well Amy, that’s as soul searching as I’ve been in many, many years. I sure hope it is of help for you in your quest for inner contentment.

All my love, Dad.

THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL

Do you ever wonder why the things that happen do? 

I look into every scenario and every person I encounter as having some sort of meaning. Fates way of nudging me into the direction I’m meant to follow. Everything is there to teach me some sort of lesson. Nothing happens by chance. Everything happens for a reason. My father always tells me that signs will always appear and lead you into the right direction. My father is not religious. Nor is he spiritual. My father is a realist. But he is old and wise and we must listen to our elders. Particularly the ones that have helped shape us into the people we become. I also received a message from my guru Todd Savvas last night too. And we haven’t spoken in almost 4 weeks so I can’t help but to see it as a sign (oh, and I think everyone should have a guru, and mine is the BEST).

I love reading. Although I’m a little bit off the wall and somewhat of a rebel at times (and labeled as “outspoken” by my friend Gavin, which my outspokenness seems to have been somewhat suppressed of late), I am a book nerd. My favourite author is Paulo Coelho and instead of a blog post today that I’ve written myself (as those of you who follow my blog will come to understand I am suffering from a dreaded case of writers block right now) I’ve decided to post an excerpt from a book I’m currently reading called “The Zahir”.

I read this part of the book just last night and for me it was filled with so much meaning, particularly when it comes from someone as spiritual as Paulo Coelho who is someone I deeply admire. Conformist I am most certainly not and this entry below sums it all up perfectly…

“I went to a train station today and learned that the distance between railway tracks is always 143.5 centimetres or 4 feet 8 1/2 inches. Why this absurd measurement? When they built the first train carriages, they used the same tools as they had for building horse drawn carriages. And why that distance between the wheels on carriages? Because that was the width of the old roads along which the carriages had to travel.

And who decided that roads should be that width? It was the Romans, the first great road builders, who decided to make their roads that width. And why? Because their war chariots were pulled by two horses, and when placed side by side, the horses they used at the time took up 143.5 centimetres. So the distance between the tracks I saw today, used byour state-of-the-art high- speed trains, was determined by the Romans. When people went to the United States and started building railways there, it didn’t occur to them to change the width and so it stayed as it was. This even affected the building of space shuttles. American engineers thought the fuel tanks should be wider, but the tanks were built in Utah and had to be transported by train to the Space Centre in Florida, and the tunnels couldn’t take anything wider. And so they had to accept the measurement that the Romans had decided was the ideal.

But what has all this to do with marriage? It has everything to do with marriage.

At some point in history, someone turned up and said: when two people get married, they must stay frozen like that for the rest of their lives. You will move along side by side like two tracks, keeping always the same distance apart. Even if sometimes one of you needs to be a little further away or a little closer, that is against the rules. The rules say: be sensible, think of the future. You can’t change, you must be like two railway tracks that remain the same distance apart all the way from their point of departure to their destination. The rules don’t allow for love to change, or to grow at the start and diminish halfway through – its too dangerous.

And so, after the enthusiasm of the first few years, they maintain the same distance, the same solidity, the same functional nature. Think of your neighbours. Show them that you’re happy, eat roast beef on Sundays, watch television, help the community. Think of society: dress in such a way that everyone knows you’re in perfect harmony. Never glance to the side, someone might be watching you, and that could bring temptation, it could mean divorce, crisis, depression. Smile in all the photos. Put the photos in the living room, so that everyone can see them. Cut the grass, practise a sport – oh, yes, you must practise a sport in order to stay frozen in time. When sport isn’t enough, have plastic surgery. But never forget, these rules were established long ago and must be respected.

Who established these rules? That doesn’t matter. Don’t question them, because they will always apply, even if you don’t agree with them. No one should ever ask themselves: why am I unhappy? The question carries within it the virus that will destroy everything. If we ask that question, it means we want to find out what makes us happy. If what makes us happy is different from what we have now, then we must either change once and for all or stay as we are, feeling even more unhappy.

If I behave in the way people expect me to behave, I will become their slave. I can’t live according to other peoples expectations.” – Paulo Coelho, The Zahir