Whose rights?

When you get up
And when you stand up
And when you speak your truth
with the assertiveness of empathy
there, in the scores of the people
Germinates a response
ability.

Conscience calls
Integrity falls
Grappling perfection in the warp and in the weft of the theft of the soul of the land.
Whose land?
Whose land do you speak of?
Is it the land of the betrayed of the promise?
Is it the skull of the rejected?
Is it the heart of the excluded poisoned by disregard,
contaminated with the virus of desire
betrayed yet again by impermanence
to go on
to continue
to respond to nature and be there tomorrow.

Whose rights?
Is it the earth, the place of life?
Is it the animals dominated by humans?
Which species’ matter?
Whose responsibility counts?

The times, they have changed
Power and lies
Rife
Trust and compassion are commodity
Ownership and oppression fight for territory
Surrounded by the laws of land
justice is legal
retributive incarceration,
an eye for an eye doesn’t restore that which is broken

Is forgiveness weakness?
Is listening a courageous act?
Can we risk living with the reality
that for you to have your rights respected and enshrined,
I must take responsibility for how I treat you?
How about me and my rights?
Will you take responsibility for ensuring them?

Whose rights?

Who are you?

Who am I?

In the spiral of the storm
sees the eye of peacefulness.

Do you have the wisdom to be vulnerable and strong
with fierce peacefulness that stands against bullies
who have undermined for far too long?

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The Times – September 2020

Neil Yound and Bob Dylan

Inspired by Neil Young’s rendition of ‘The times they are a changing’, by Bob Dylan. The Times

He was angry and this made him sad,
an energy thread of the Times.

identity blended in
images of self
bouncing around the walls and mirrors of our mind
while feelings of self ponder and wonder and claim,
contextualised
by social media ‘rising’,
meme, code, convention,
figure or ground?
stream of consciousness
and
everyones a part
of this tension dynamic
their place
somewhere
on a continuum
where impersonal key strokes,
create a digital statistic,
and an analog description
of personal opinion,
thoughts that unfold,
values that contradict.

linear is the figure
ground creates context
interconnected.

self righteous and altruistic, intense, polarised, deconstructed and reconstructed… disentangled and re-entangled
the internet’s instant news, instant fame, fake news, cyber bullies, systemic bias, bots and trojans, virus and information

Southern Man when will you pay them back?

empowerment of the previously and currently disdained,
black lives matter
gender violence matters,
fear of exclusion,
fear of rejection,
fear of betrayal,
fear of violence.

whose rights?
what responsibilities?
LGBTQIA… ,
other races.
other religions.
other ethnics.
and Donald Duck’s constant quackery (tweeting birds, sing songs of beauty, he lies and imagines he can control nature)
ZumaGupta sucks and spews (societal excrement),
corruption and lies,
but who will blink an eye?
actually,
MANY!!

there’s identity theft,
there’s multinational trade,
and corona 19 v
Aisan youth emerge,
the Chinese Tiger roars
India surges
and Germans are generous, compassionate, empathetic,
while some people want restorative not retributive justice,
reconciliation not division
unity not distrust
conversation matters.

still we wonder about climate change, environmental damage, species extinction, poverty, health, population, sustainably…

war?
peace?
fierce peacefulness?
A collection of the Times.
it’s not newspaper
it’s happening now,
The Times…

He was angry, and this made him sad.

 

MICE = Media Information Computer  e

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Contacting Nodi

I invite you to peruse my consolidated website co-created and inspired by ethical conversation.

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I offer process healing for individuals, couples, families and larger cluster groups.

Misunderstandings and alienation. Exclusion, anxiety, trauma. Rejection and betrayal. These knots of entanglement hold us stuck.

Fierce peacefulness in ethical conversation,

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builds a relationship of high trust.

Here, in circles of justice and fairness, unity and empowerment we find that organic disentanglement can restore one to wholeness.

From the judgment, the assumptions and

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the expectations that are the fuel for our instinctual need to be right, we are invited to release the hurt, confusion, guilt, shame and blame we carry.

Through support, we intentionalise the process of no cure healing.

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Here we transform from the limitation of our clinging. Here we loosen the knots that have held us. We untie. We let go, opening, recognising, understanding. We move slowly. Organically, we feel our dance of flow. Here we become free.

This is the purpose of our sacred wound. Slowly, we awaken to our core nature. Trust in our way unfolds. We evolve the Self.

vulnerability ~ wholeheartedness ~ compassion ~ peacefulness

the aromas of essence

DCIM100GOPROG0061571.

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Come Healing – Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen and the Webb Sisters ~ a scintilating droplet so pure that it reveals sacred wound ~ the wound that cannot be fixed, the wound that cannot be whole, the wound that cannot be healed ~ a sacred opening of the heart to your vulnerability in the great nostalgia, the growing longing of soul,  for completness. It is what we explore through no cure healing.

O gather up the brokenness
And bring it to me now
The fragrance of those promises
You never dared to vow
The splinters that you carry
The cross you left behind
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind
And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb
Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
The cruelty or the grace
O solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind
O see the darkness yielding
That tore the light apart
Come healing of the reason
Come healing of the heart
O troubled dust concealing
An undivided love
The heart beneath is teaching
To the broken heart above
Let the heavens falter
Let the earth proclaim
Come healing…
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moments of wholeness

when
does a moment begin,
when
does the moment end,
it’s all One.
hdr
aware attention
responds.

the
infinitely tiny
awakenings,
sense the forces
as they form the moment.

the meditative mind is energised
by a surge in the distant echoes of the ocean,
a pulse contracts
a swell begins.

the meditative mind enters the flow,
absorbed in its energy.

evolved mind extends the reach of receptivity
until, its peak arrives
it ebbs,
withdrawing
yet remaining resonant,
inhaling
the process of life,
exhaling
its product.

here is the surfing of cyclic spirals,
the creative receptive yin yang dance of consciousness.

a sunset engages attention
with the sea’s reflecting silver blue light
from the rocks at the edge of the land.

the silence in my stillness
looks
and sees,
really sees
the light dancing on the water.

my being is captivated
in the scintillating reflections
that nourish the neurons of my brain.

meditation

the current moves the moment,
it opens,
vulnerable and wholehearted,
awakened in day dream

meditation

primal bastions are vanquished .

mind is drawn ever deeper.

it’s all One

meditation

ringing cells
tingling bells

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The Call

Stand strong and agilethe flow
grounded and courageous
humility with dignity

Fierce Peacefulness calls.

Alight on a leaf
in a circle of listening
with ethical conversation
committed to truth,
common unity ~ community.

Absorbed in this atmosphere
be present.
see.
hear.
matter.
endure.

Of intrinsic shuffelings
and the creaking of neurons
untying and dismantelling,
of stuff which is knotted
and enmeshed and embedded,the cleansing
the stuck and entangled
to see and to process
to  germinate and sprout,
from the life within

intrinsic
organic
disentanglement.

New life,
extends strong shoots
of nature, into structure,
fragile
mercurial
an attitude so cheeky,

Trust.

heat and cold weathered winds swirl
spirals across this twirling planet,
surprisingly still, in the invisible eye.

in the atmosphere, weather happens.
hurricanes from space
reveal their eye within the storm,
only safe in the centre.

calming, the storm subsides to ‘normal’,
relief is not survival.
taken for granted safe weather has no name,

so springs opportunities for listening,
stirrings and germinations.
here is the invitation to the ease of ethical conversation,
exploring truth and reconciliation
restoring,
that which has been lost
mending,
with joining threads
that which has been broken,
connecting nodes,
amends are made.

the conversation, listens,
sees, back and forth
on the looms of lives
day to day, moment to moment
weaving a tapestry of Self, evolved,
an identity unpeeled
entwined and healed.

without cure
the Sacred wound
with Fierce Peacefulness
and day dream meditation
evolves
and heals
in the atmosphere, into the Image
of the Great One,
an environment of Spirit 
singing Uni – Verse.

Danced by interconnected synchronicity
in currents concurrent
steer your craft,
the Waye is safe
for vulnerability.

day dream opening
of centres within
the creative, the full
me is exposed
is expressed.

Such are the ingredients and the method
and the waye to Be – ing

of flow

of enlightened delight
conscious,
scintillating with Oneness
celebration of Soul

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Betrayal

….partial truth….

be brave enough to say,
i know
and know that it is incomplete.

be courageous enough to admit,
i understand, with an openness,
ready for change.

be awake.
affirm your vision.
live by it. it is fleeting.

conquer the tyranny of words,
whose dominion, extends to nuance,
context moving on.

grasp the fog
and hold on tight
until your bundle relaxes.

never fear elusiveness.
your current
is as it must be.

make friends with your innermost truth.
struggle for the space to give.

let go, that which binds your fear.

see another, as you know them to be.
in doubt, look at what is true.
play with it.
play in it
and beside it.
play on the truth
play at the truth
and play it back.
play before that truth as it grows.
playing with truth. it evolves.

…sound silence time light…

at the pace of a faint hue, light enters the dark. movement in time, brings on the morn, awakening the faint plaintiff of a whistle. a twit responds, followed by a twoo. the silent and sacred space of night turns, touched by dawn’s ritual celebratory dance of primal freedoms. the hunters have hunted. there is release from nocturnal danger.
and so sounds mingle with light and rhythmic movement curves, blending with staccatos, trills building to crescendos of tweets, peeps, coos and bobs; caws, warbles, whoops and whips, a screech and a crow and a highly strung bow vibrating, shaking, belly laugh to hoot. repetitive calling. creative song. a symphony of feathers.

….intentionalisation…

be tenacious with your concentration on the morning mist dew and cobweb gossamer as you slip gradually into the silence of day. dawn birdsong quietens. human life floats into the sparkle of morning light. bright colour. sharp shadows. droplets refract the echoes of distant breakers. can you see the wagtail’s dance – tjitty tjitty, tjitty tjitty of silent confidence. therein, is the meeting place of lovers.

….plans, affairs, actitities…

In time. In space. In busyness. They become too busy with their own affairs. Too involved in their own creations. Where now is the sweet moment of youth, in the regrets of loss and wasted follies. Tainted with experience, with time and with age wandering and wondering through lost dreams. Wisdom speaks: There is a place for most things, but the folly of youth, is that it knows not about timing. ‘Its all in the timing’ they say. And it is. Youth spent, has little in reserve. Youth forsaken is used up in over confident consumption of absorbed moments. Who knows of the Flow? Who is it that is ready to turn? Who is it that can subside in decline? The present is overpowering. The present is all consuming. The present drives on relentlessly reactive. The present is not reflected in shafts of bright awareness. Clinging to the excitement of the new, we play with it, again and again growing in familiarity with nuance. Until again, the excitement of the new sucks our attention. In this there is the denial of our love. In this, is the trail of broken hearts, excitement of new conquests, anticipation of new love, beckoning. That the present is a ride, through cycles of surging and emptying, is an elusive reality. Confusion about self. Confusion about the other. Such is the grim sower of mistrust, disillusionment and the tragedy of betrayal in the affairs of each other, that too many children never grow up from.

…impermanence…

Is it our nature to be born open hearted, needing nurture? We long for it, in our individual way, with our unique style, nostalgia for nurture. Is it last year, or yesterday? Maybe a century or eternity? In the comings and goings of our births, betrayal manifested in the hearts of humanity. And in betrayal there is no nurture. And so we lurch, as a rodeo cowboy, clinging to the wild steed of our life. Seeking nurture in youth, we build barriers soon enough to protect our betrayed hearts.
betrayed by the expectation of family
betrayed by laziness in the face of adequacy
betrayed by hope as it struggles for freedom
betrayed by the allure of a perfect day
betrayed by a sense of one’s inadequacy
betrayed by meeting with traitors of the human heart
betrayed by the promises, of the beauty and abundance of life
betrayed by one’s best friend
betrayed by the process of growth and ageing
betrayed by clutter and clamour
we are shapen and we are shorn
and we are ‘vikkeled’ and we are born.
Can we meet our Self, in honour?
Can we be there for our Sister?
Can we build trust in yet another Friend?

….falling awake…

Can we tenaciously continue the dignity and beauty of our vision when the demons and dragons, the devils and their goatees, prey on the carrion of lost dreams, dreams given up, dreams not taken up, dreams forgotten, dreams undeveloped.
The dreamer falls with a thump, forgetting themselves. They are whisked away by the gleeful and beckoning guards, who sit and wait beneath the clouds, watching and betting excitedly on which dreamer will be the next to fall, awake. Are we all destined to fall awake? Is there space for dreamtime awakeness?
Awakened to the harshness of a literal world, we sometimes have respite and hark the angels call. Can we attend the gathering? Can we attend to our gathering? Can we gather the fragments and shards of our ‘self’ into one place? Will we even recognise which facets are indeed relevant? Having been vanquished by the emissaries of the senses, gossip and judgment, self doubt and power egoists, analysis and critical thinking, are we stuck in a limbo where meaning is forever to be forged in a waring furnace between logical classifications and emotional drives? Is it an illusion that it is possible to have a thought without having an emotion, linked and tied to it? Is it an illusion that it is possible to have an emotion without a thought, linked and washed by it?

….pieces, wholes, peacefulness…

What kind of awakening, disillusions the dreamer by creating a dissonance between his holistic Self and his fragmented critic, his visions and dreams and his bodily peasantries ? If this awakening is not part of a process calling for completion, then why continue? If falling awake into shards of fragmentedness is conspired by logic and reason, can logic and reason later recreate a new vision of synthesis and unity? Is it even possible to gather all of who we are, into a place of consciousness and then, is it possible to join these fragments into a seamless whole?
How does it work? It seems unlikely that it works like an archaeological dig where the shards are first collected and then later reassembled. That we are deeply motivated to gather fragmented reality into unified wholes, is not in question. That, much adult activity revolves around unification, is also not in question. But, it seems that we are all too often particularly unskilful and coarse in doing it. All too often we are driven by insecurity and survival, fear of difference and contamination, vanquishing efforts toward trust, interconnectedness and unity. Our effort betrayed by forces of division. So, be simple. Choose the way of the child who learns jigsaw puzzles. At first they just put any piece anywhere. Then they start looking at characteristics or attributes and are likely to emphasise one without considering all. An edge piece may be placed next to another edged piece, without considering colour, pattern or fit.
What we do is the same, with varying degrees of sophistication. Seeking pattern and understanding, sometimes one attribute works and we think we’ve found a truth. Then it stops working and we grapple on or give up. Each new piece of experience gets integrated or assimilated and accommodated in our psychi. Or, it will be wrapped up and placed in a closet or on a shelf for some benign future moment of readiness. Maybe now is the time for closets and shelves?

from the late 1990’s
first public publishing here now – 9 April 2020 during the time of a tiny microscopic thing that lives and multiplies in animals. Currently it is dominating the world, as a plague of Biblical proportions.

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Circles – The Practise of Restorative Justice

Restorative Practises Circles, that hold respect for everyone.

How can you be proactive day to day to empower your people with courage, trust and confidence?

Use Informal Circles ~ ethical conersations that restore what has been lost. This is part of everyday life when things go wrong between people. In the youth it’s often about power struggles, in the adults it’s often about misunderstandings and assumptions. So, once peacefulness has been restored, even a tense peacefulness where the readiness to LISTEN deeply to each other is present, then, through respect, empathy and compassion, assert safe boundariers. Then, we can ask: “What happened here? How can we put things right? What could have been done differently? Which virtues could you use to make the difference? How can you make amends for your part in it? What was helpful to you during this conversation?”

Parents in a Circle of Unity - Chrystal House School, Cape Town

Parents in a Circle of Unity – Chrystal House School, Cape Town

We wish to support each other to make amends, because, it’s how we mend that which is broken that matters.

Nodi Ipp (Nigel) exploring safety and caring - Restorative Circle

Exploring safety and caring in a restorative circle – Nodi Ipp (Nigel)

Formal circles ~ these are well organised responses to highly challenging situations. You will need all the key people to work together with their commitment and vision. Purpose: usually these circles are for a person to reintegrate or restore themselves to the community from which they have been excluded because of their behaviour. Creating a safe and trustworthy network of people is a powerful support structure. It is flexible and creative, able to respond to the unexpected, yet clear and strong stakes in the ground provide security and stability. Stakeholders who matter to the person being supported are always present and they stand committed to an action-time plan to show they will walk their talk in support.

Fromal Reintegrtion Circle - examples of stakeholders and carers present

Formal Reintegrtion Circle with examples of stakeholders and carers present

The Key: DON’T do things TO others.
DON’T do things FOR others.
DO things WITH others

Below are some of the many excellent youtube videos and websites selected by Nodi Ipp (Nigel) – Character Facilitator of the Virtues Projecttm

  1. Changing the school ethos – zero tolerance doesn’t work – pushes our children out of school gangs and care room – calm herself work on anger issues and develop strategies to repair harm. A little nervous. But amazingly powerful. From rules to relationships. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqktOiYG5NM

2. Dara Feldman, teacher and workshop presenter’s website with resources: 10 https://sites.google.com/site/rprjactionresearch/home

3. 5 minutes on building connection in the San Francisco School Area. Excellent, my favourite: 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfUJAyMM0E4&t=3s
Summary of Documentary: Unified School District – Rosa Parks High School and others San Francisco 2016 . The full documentary used to be at this address, but I think it’s been taken off you tube, so if you want it I can send it to you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfUJAyMM0E4
‘Calmness and consideration’ ; ‘Think about what other people like about the world’ ; ‘Everybody gets a turn’ ; ‘It made me feel part of this class.’ ; ‘It made me feel special.’

Building Relationships

Comments: They can believe in their own Feelings and Share Own Feelings. You get to say everything you want to say and people listen to you. They believe they feel safe. They believe they feel cared about. Circles made me feel I was a part of this class. It made me feel special. It’s about Positive Relationships and how to restore relationships when harm has occurred. This builds community. It grows a climate of Trust in the classroom. It fosters their learning. Offers a language to learners and adults. How to think about virtues and values and to apply the restorative and empowering practises.

Gives students a voice: Happier and more cooperative learners grow when those with authority do things with the younger person, rather than to them.

Talking down to the younger person, takes away their part in the process – becoming a victim rather than a victor.

A common problem: adults are controlling and only allow the younger person to say what the adult wants to hear.

Trust – younger people have to trust that you’re actually going to allow them to speak. Someone is actually listening. They notice why I’m hurting. They’re listening and they’re not judging.

Inclusivity – allow everybody’s stories to part of the community. Believe that they feel safe.

Builds community and models a way of being for how we all want to relate to each other. Feel a sense of belonging. Want to be seen. Want to be heard. Want to connect.

Children / People who are assailants, who do harmful things are often victims themselves. They haven’t been taught, so don’t feel they are a part of something. They don’t feel that they have a voice.

Part of a community – A place where they’re wanted. Feel comfortable. Feel good about coming to school every day. Students believe that they are cared about.

Work with students to help them develop their own problem solving skills. Give people full buy-in, to the culture of the school, their school.

They work it out. “You resolve it. You tell me what you need to do to make that person feel better.” They come up with some things that are phenomenal.

Consistency – always going to be the same process – a tool for adults that works in all situations. Gives us the words to say ; the process to go through ; for every single case. No matter what happens, they are being heard. They are being seen. This is a High Trust Environment. And it becomes the culture of the community, the way that everyone interacts when it comes to listening, caring, respecting and restoring that which has been broken by mending and making amends.

4. Formal Restorative Justice Circle: Reintegration of a learner who had been sent to another school until they were ready to return. OR release and reintegration from incarceration. It’s totally wonderful to see the amount of caring adults who are there to facilitate the reintegration, including the head of the Oakland School district. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSJ2GPiptvc&fbclid=IwAR2KPSY3dAxfnQwAe8yL2slidLhaO1ty7heCix0EElZdvcTZmTpCGgb83ng

5. Spokane district – all about Trust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUIRkuOFtw0&t=73s

6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqktOiYG5NM&t=8s Care room, a response using restorative justice in a care room.

7. Seema Gajwani — a special counsel in the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General, where she leads the Restorative Justice and Victim Services Section — speaks on restorative justice during the 2019 JDAI® Inter-Site Conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRVfcpPK7Js&fbclid=IwAR32yns8tjhDe_GaNUvL2yUl9nFbEiUqoG8wSyWRyWLYBBFOc6UV97-GkWA

8. https://www.iirp.edu/restorative-practices/defining-restorative/

Specific process, with defined protocols, that brings together those who have caused harm through their wrongdoing with those they have directly or indirectly harmed.

Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision-making.

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Evan’s Story of Empowerment and Restoration:

When I started teaching Evan in pre-primary school he was as intense a boy as I had known and already had a negative reputation amongst the parents of his preschool. Later he was enrolled in my grade one and immediately set about finding his place in the pecking order of my Montessori based grade 1-3 class. Within a short time he revealed his great skill at sport. He was totally absorbed by soccer and cricket and played them like his life was at stake. Fiercely competitive, determined and courageous to the point of recklessness, he would periodically find himself in front of me during break time telling me that nobody wanted to play with him. Upon my investigation it would always come down to Evan’s intensity to win, score, dominate and overpower. Each time I would go through the sequence of thought that went something along these lines:

Me: What happened when the others stopped playing with you Evan?

Evan: Johnny got upset and shouted at me and wouldn’t play and the others also stopped.

Me: Please get Johnny so we can hear the full story.

Evan: (fetches Johnny)

Me: Hi Johnny, I see you are upset. What happened?

Johnny: Evan kept taking the ball. He wouldn’t pass. He shouted at me when I made a mistake. I got cross and picked up the ball and Evan shouted and kicked me. But Evan always wants the ball and wants to score and never passes.

Me: Okay thanks J, Evan what happened for you?

Evan: J always mucks up and I wanted to score and win and when I pass to him he mucks up so I just want to win the game.

Me: But now there is no game to win is there Evan?

Evan: No!

Me: Seems like the others are upset with you again.

Evan: Yes!

Me: Okay, let’s go through it again my friend. I want to remind you about what I have told you before – you know, how good you are at soccer. You are one of the best I have ever seen at your age. You kick with both feet, you are enthusiastic, a natural, you love the game and your determination to win is very powerful. These virtues will be your great strength through life. But if you forget to include other virtues in your mix, then your strengths will also be your biggest challenge. Which virtues can you add into your mix so that the other children don’t get hurt and want to stop playing with you?

Evan reflects and sometimes needs to read the chart, but after two or three times he responds, Respect

Me: Yes and …

Evan: Consideration

Me: Good you’ve remembered them now. I’d like to add in patience and tolerance, because each person is different and has a different set of gifts. Yours is soccer, but if you can’t be a team player, then you can’t win either, because being a team player is about including everyone and sometimes it can even lead to losing, which is also about character building. So patience allows you to take turns and share while tolerance allows you to respect that each of you are different and have different skills and abilities.

Evan: Yes …

After some more clarifying of the situation, I get the boys to shake hands and invite Evan to remember consideration of others and respect for his team by including them so that they enjoy playing with him and being part of his team because he is so good. I then remind him that this strong set of skills along with his passionate nature, are likely to overpower him again and again, but that with support from the boys, my understanding and his commitment to calling on the other virtues of ‘inclusion’, in time this intention of his, might come to the fore, resulting in less difficulties and more fun. We remember together that practise does not make perfect, but that it does make improvement.

Here we see how Evan’s particular genetic make up, his biology, his character, dominates and almost always wins. This kind of boy would, without the scaffolding and nurture of a supportive and effective adult, become more and more alienated and even likely become a bully with many conflict situations in his life, leading through to adulthood.

As a result of the kind of intervention I made in his young life (grade 1), he had the opportunity to put his particular character strengths to the most effective use. He was not vilified, rather he was supported with his determination, creativity, purposefulness and excellence in sport. He was not told how badly behaved he was, rather his strong traits that led to his conflict were framed in the positive light that they deserved. The gift that Evan got was the opportunity to evolve himself and grow his character. There was often the need to remind him, that respect for the rights of others is an (ethical) value that often results in the giving and receiving of respect, fairness and kindness for everyone.

The ways in which I tried to help Evan place respect, fairness and peacefulness first were many and varied and sometimes it felt like we’d never get there. But his human right was to have me do that for him. The effect of this kind of intervention was highly prized by his family who did their best to support the process. A few years ago I found out that Evan was a fairly stable settled teenager and he and his family remain appreciative for the kind of interventions I offered during the tender and impressionable years of the Foundation Phase of his learning. He remains a powerful, enthusiastic, courageous person whose favourite virtue is determination. I am sure his challenge virtues (not weakness) will remain a challenge for the rest of his life, but he has been given the knowledge and the opportunity to evolve himself so that he is less dominated by his genetic make up. It is not an ‘either or’ approach to development of self, to resolving conflict, it’s an ‘and with’ approach. We built on, to his character rather than undermine it or attempting to crush it. Not only did we build on, we actually celebrated and acknowledged the very qualities that led to the conflict, for they are genuinely the qualities or virtues that will lead him to success in his life.

This example shows that there are ways to make a difference if we take the idea of human rights and human responsibilities and put both of them at the top of our pile of values. Then we too are called to evolve ourself, for this attitude and approach calls us to grow our understanding, patience, tenderness and respect.

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Anxiety and Trust ~ Authentic responses ~ part 4

12- 7 – 2016

PRIMAL Forces
….in the Mind – More on Trust and Anxiety, ….It is a very delicate process to let go a tight sense of ‘being in control’ – as if when we relinquish it, we are going to be ‘in danger’. Something takes over in the brain and we stop being able to ‘work with’ what is happening – cooperation and collaboration are sabotaged until we regain peacefulness and a ‘sense’ of safety. When we are in the ‘primal safe space’, we are happy to work with people and the situation. There is a paradox here, for as we grow a sense that our environment is safe and benign and we can trust it, in a non-rational primal way, we will be able to exert more rational control over our responses. Since it is primal, we have little rational control over appropriate interaction and basically don’t even understand what is going on when we find ourselves in ‘reactive mode’, often sparked by small disagreements or dishonest people or unfairness or our own hidden bias or our own double standards etc. Therefore an attempt to punish or teach through negative behavioral consequences imposed on the person, which is an attempt to offer a rational and fair consequence, doesn’t work very effectively for someone in this predicament.

Realistic Systems
Schools and homes need to set up a system that is realistic in regard to the person understanding that the way they handle things does in fact matter as it shapes peoples responses to them, how people read them and is therefore important in affecting the way people interact with them. Their future relationships can be negatively affected. So, as they develop and become more aligned with the people in their lives, they understand that life if full of shades of grey for sometimes they’ll have greater control sometimes less, sometimes they’ll try to work with people and at others they’ll need to shift into self centred survival mode. Yet, as they are more ‘successful’ and comfortable over time, they’ll more often be able to delay gratification of being in control and therefore allow other’s ideas to be considered without their person feeling threatened. With practise and personal growth over time, this will become more easy.

Reactive Mode
It’s hard to explain fully what I mean, but I believe a benign environment is high trust and if we feel we are genuinely cared for, we will move organically in the direction of cooperation, collaboration and ease. Again, since it is primal, our rational knowledge that we are cared for, has little effect when our ‘reactive mode’ kicks in. We may even feel remorse or embarrassment after our reactive mode has taken over and we’ve had an episode, which would then be, a rational response to our ‘out of control’ self, who has just been dominated by an episode of primal defending of personal territory.

18-8-16

High Sensitivity
What if someone wants communication, and wants to connect? What is it that tempers a highly sensitive person with a tendency to be anxious? … being highly sensitive to emotional disharmony and dissonance, results in withdrawal. Withdrawal is one way to express frustration instead of responding with what we often really want to do, being there for the anxiety and fears of someone who we love, our mother, our spouse, our daughter, our son. A key dynamic is that younger people mostly can’t do that for their parents and often other family members. This is because the ‘instinct’ to protect our parent or sibling from their vulnerability and their challenges and insecurities is more about ‘fighting’ than it is about listening and being there. Anyway, how? A younger person is likely to have a subconscious feeling of, ‘Who am I to do that, and isn’t that what parents are supposed to do?’ It is very disempowering and can alienate family members by the awkwardness and difficulty that children have, ‘to be a parent to a parent’ and look after their anxiety. We feel it is the older parent that is supposed to look after their children.

Getting it right
How to respond and get it right – hooooo boy!! The mix of parent energy blended in the right order, changing according to circumstances, not getting stuck, humble and dignified, a little like Goldilocks’ Porridge which is always, ‘just right’. What does that really mean? Try this, be warm and chilled, genuine and authentic, determined and resilient, gentle and strong, playful and friendly, intelligent and caring with empathy and wisdom, stand with fierce peacefulness. All just with the right timing, and dosages, and hahahahahahaaaa – I hear ya – sighing, “Who can be perfect like that?” Of course we can’t, so what to do? There is a kind of dance with just the right spirit of sincerity and commitment, while not taking oneself too seriously. Laughing a lot about one’s imperfection, but struggling for improvement. Grapple! When we are strong enough to be vulnerable about our imperfection, by just getting on with things and trusting that, yeah, things are as good as can be, as the river runs and meanders through changing landscape. All I really have, is to get on with it, keep a wise eye open, don’t measure and judge, care, but be light and allow space instead of filling it with anxiety. This slowly builds trust – to be chilled, cool, clear and strong while also being at the same time flexible and accommodating, without being a pushover. Assertive and tactful and real. Read conversations. Read the way of the other. Read their body language. Read the tragectory of your life and adjust, get fit, align, attune, Dance. When you know it time for creativity to let go into receptivity and when to surge back into creativity, then there is the flow that responds and channels anxiety into trust.

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Anxiety and Trust ~ Break through!! ~ part 3

Break through …..
In October 2015 I had a major break through with someone who was very challenged. Over a long period. Slow change. Organic. Imagine the turrets of defense – fear, aggression, loathing, blame, distrust, all come tumbling down and not knowing how to handle the feeling of safety, because, for most of your life, perceived threat dominated your emotions, continuously hijacked you from building ordinary relationships. Feeling continuous threat, you constructed your inner Fort to fiercely separate you from the ‘dangerous’ world. But now, the Turrets of your Fort have been vanquished, because the raw excitement of fear and loathing is simply not there to maintain them. No fuel left. No energy coz no enemy. Now there is a calm and safe space of disquiet. An emptiness which demotivates and depresses, because you simple do not know how to populate your world now, with imperfect real people in relationships that are anyway often unfulfilling.

Self judgement and alienation
“How do I meet friends?” You cannot imagine being like other people, you aren’t involved with any social activity apart from family. And anyway you spent many years worshiping things that work, like guns and tanks. You don’t want to deal with the mushy world of emotions, yet you are ready for friendship.

You can’t acknowledge that your sudden emotional vulnerability is accompanied by a longing for wholeness. How are you supposed to know that the conflict between feeling vulnerable and the longing for wholeness, is the very dynamic that turns and churns out growth? How could you begin to even consider that this is how humans disentangle and get unstuck? What, me stuck, never!!! Yet this is how humans evolve and develop the Self. Although it is a daunting prospect, this is how it works, a kinda law of nature.

Look, it’s much easier to demonise others for their stupidity, their attempt to control you with calming medication, their lack of care, their simple weakness, but the aggression you needed to be ready to attack from your Fort 24/7, is unsustainable without any real enemies.

Context 2:
The person I am referring to is the person that inspired this writing and whom I referenced in the first paragraph. They had been diagnosed with a concoction of a few different phobias, oppositional defiant disorder and autism. There was anger and extreme aggression to a range of people and groups and some obvious fear along with lot’s of hidden fear mixed with anxiety. Over many many meetings I affirmed the intention to be a trustworthy person in a trusting and respectful relationship. I was tested. Again and again with constant rudeness, personal attacks, inerrogations to find out about the consistency of my values and my actions and once or twice, anger nearly spilled over into physical attack.

I see trust!
The following further explores the qualities of the way I interact and the nuance subtleties that make the difference. In focusing on growing trust with my clients, I see trust. I see it. A dynamic that steers with respect, patience, tolerance, delayed gratification, inner resolve etc ….The world is often safer than we feel it is. But, it always demands Work responding to the demands of our life, clarifying our values, building high trust spaces, dreaming our dreams and working with realistic hope to become the person we are meant to be….

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/adrenaline-cortisol-stress-hormones_n_3112800.html

(read on to part 4 – Authentic responses)

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Visualisation ~ Detachment and Tenderness in the Eye of the Storm

Wisdom, Fragility, Vulnerability, Choice Action

The Hand and the Butterfly Meditation

1) The Hand is open and gentle and strong. It is the Giant hand of Intelligence, wisdom, effect. It combines with the Eye of the Storm, by having the Eye in its centre, the chakra, the reiki hand centre. Here is the window through which spirit energy flows into the body.

2) the hand is the symbol of action. awareness and wisdom, express through the hands – the hand of defence, of attack, the hand of gentleness and support, the hand of technology and of play, the hand’s at work day after day. Its in our greetings and our art, its in the gardens we grow and the love we make. The hand is the expression of awareness it can give it can take, it can mend and it can break. The hand is soft and it is rough, small in the baby, large in the tough, it can play the violin, it can play the fool, it can tickle and it can dance, it can shoot and it can prance. Tai chi, reiki, shiatsu, reflexology, karate, riding, cricket, rugby, ballet, jazz. it is with the hand that i write and it is with the hand that i gesticulate. it is with the hand that i stroke and express love.

3) Awareness of the Butterfly – delicacy, presence, ethereal, intuition, small actions that can result in big consequences, interconnectedness, beauty, serendipity, synchronicity, timing, humility, deep respect, reverence.

4) From the choice implied in the hand, to the chance implied in the butterfly, we are caught in the weather of our life, but, whatever the weather, chaotic or peaceful, there is always the still and silent place at it’s centre.

5) A pin prick into the centre the busiest of busy lives and there we have it – the Eye of the Storm, The I of Self, still, silent. A place of peacefulness. Close your eyes, see the storm from afar, prick a tiny hole in its centre and Breathe into it. The Place of Deep Peace

6) you can repeat it at your Eye = I centre as you stare at the image or as you visualise it. You can whisper it, ‘peacefulness’. Breathe into it. Flow through it. Be at home in it. Be at peace with all parts of yourself.

Prayer for Fragile Ecology

We pray for the fragile ecology
Of the heart
And the mind.
The sense of meaning
so finely assembled and balanced
and so easily overturned.

The careful,
ongoing construction of love.
As painful and exhausting
as the struggle for truth,
is as easily abandoned
Hard fought and won
are the shifting sands
of this sacred ground,
this ecology.

Easy to desecrate
and difficult to defend.
This vulnerable joy,
this exposed faith,
this precious order.
This sanity
We shall be careful.
With others
and with ourselves.

Amen

Michael Leunig – When I Talk to You – A cartoonist talks to God

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Immune System Meditation

Immune System Boost ~ Day Dream Meditation

~ appreciation, thankfulness, gratitude ~

Use these for 10 – 20 minutes whenever appropriate in your day. Even 5 minutes at a time.

  • Start by standing or sitting feet together and relaxed. Look into the distance  ~ a tree, body of water, light reflection, whatever your eye is at peace with – open yourself to staring at your object.
  • Relax into your stare, stay awake in this Day Dream Meditation zone, awake in your stare.
  • With feet together stretch up tall, taut, arms up stretched above the head with palms together – inhale deeply through the nostrils – purification breath of oxygen. Hold full lungs and press the oxygen in the lungs into the alveoli, little grapes that perform the magic of diffusion and osmosis. Fill your blood with pure oxygen. Work your muscles, all your cells – to receive the purity of the moment.
  • Relax the muscles, bring arms down either by your side or into the seed position, palms together in front of your heart, or open your palms like petals. Exhale through the mouth with pursed lips ‘blowing out the candle’ – cleansing breath of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, or the nostrils with a sound of satisfaction – empty the lungs completely, then hold the emptiness for a count of 4, ready to repeat the process – stretch through the whole process again ~ inhale the fresh oxygen and then cleanse out the carbon dioxide.
  • Stay in the zone, the day dream meditation zone ~ an awake stare with your peaceful space ~   a tree, body of water, light reflection, whatever your eye is happy with.
  • Stay relaxed into your stare – your Day Dream, your zone, your Meditation.
  • After 3 or 4 stretch sequences, (you can make up your own if you wish) along with in and out breaths, your body will feel more relaxed than before.
  • Keep your attention on your breath. In and out. Stare. Be awake. Notice the peace in your chest and your solar plexus. Relax into the Day Dream Meditation of awareness, alert with the breath.
  • Be open. Let the energy flow. Feel the release of goodness in your heart. Feel compassion for every cell in your body. Direct attention into deep acceptance as it flows through every cell.
  • Talk to the cells of your body. Be their friend. Thank each healthy cell. Be thankful for the job they do to keep you doing all the things in your life. Offer them the purity of fresh oxygen and good food. Appreciate the job your cells do. Feel appreciation toward your body.
  • Have gratitude toward your immune system. Thank it for doing a miraculous job in healing skin, bones and tissue. Be the impartial observer, let go and relax.
  • Invite your immune system to heal parts of your body, organs, bones, skin that you know are needing healing.
  • Direct your attention to the part of the body that needs healing. Imagine it and put your hand with closed fingers, palm down, over the area that needs healing.
  • Talk to your self: ‘I will relax and get out of the way. I will as best as I can, be the impartial spectator. Immune system, great mystery as you are, go in droves. Descend on the invaders. {nasal in breath of pure oxygen ~ inhale to hold} Heal the damaged ~ {lips out breath exhale ~ blow out the candle ~ cleansing carbon dioxide ~ hold} Get rid of the invaders. {in your own time, between the thoughts and visual images, use the purification oxygen in-breath ~ hold ~ the cleansing carbon dioxide candle exhale ~ HOLD – with stretching and releasing. Alternate with tight stretches and complete release like a puppy dog. Follow what feels intuitively right for you} Do your job. Immune system, heal my …….. I will give you everything you need – rest, attention, reminders, the best food I can, breath, warmth, relaxation and peacefulness. Then you, immune system, will give full focus on healing me …. ‘  
  • Breathe into the impartial observer, stand back for your immune system to do what it is meant to do. Direct attention to the parts of your body so your immune system is most efficient in healing.
  • Observe – remember thankfulness. Remember appreciation. Remember gratitude. Allow contentment.
  • Let go – relax – be with the process.
  • Breath like the slow ebb and flow of a still ocean in day dream meditation. Continue until you are ready to slowly open up back into the familiar day to day moment. One part of the body at a time.

Choose to stay in the Sacred Moment as you can.

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