No Full Stops

Musings on life, learning and soul searching…

Phoenix 17 February 2012

Filed under: Poetry,Realms of Writing — Rachael @ 6:05 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Genre: Poetry

 

 

Painted by Melonie Harpham

 

PHOENIX

 

My shadow was here

I suffered its tyranny

I felt it and stared

Till the flame in my eye

Ignited the darkness

And reduced it to ash.

 

 

(c) Rachael Morris and Melonie Harpham 2012

Advertisements
 

The Duel of Love 27 January 2012

There are really only two driving forces in life… Love and fear. Any thought, feeling or emotion can be traced back to have either one of these at it’s core. When you begin to examine your thoughts, words, actions and choices to determine their driving force you will discover how you are living your life… Fearfully or lovingly. I found this extremely confronting several years back when I realised I had lived the majority of my life from a place of fear.

This realisation came at a point when things were at an all time low. I found myself buried in a life that did not fulfill me, did not energise me and seemed to be a constant struggle. That’s when I decided to laugh in the face of fear and choose love instead. I mean, things were not working for me anyway, so what could be the worst thing that could happen? And if that worst thing happened, what was the next worst thing? And would it really be any worse that where I was? It was from my darkest days, that I started to change because I just couldn’t bear to stay where I was.

Love did not come easily back then because my habitual driving force had been fear for so long. Fear that I was not worthy, fear of change, fear of the unknown and fear that I would have to see and own all that I was. What I knew I needed to do was to make up my mind to identify the core of my beliefs and behaviours, and then change them. In the process I learned that those fears can only be conquered by their polar opposite… Love.

Over the years I have come to see that presence of love in my life is completely under my control. I decide how much love I express, I decide how much love I accept and I decide how much love I feel in myself. And it is my opinion that love and fear cannot exist together. They are binaries. I am wholly responsible for the state of my life and how I experience it. Even when I face the greatest challenge or the darkest shadow side of myself… I know the choice is mine. Love or fear. And my resulting experience will come directly from that choice.

Love is not something you find. It is not something you get given. And it is not even something you share. It is purely and simply something you give. You give it to yourself and you give it to others. It is created by each individual and felt as their own. The limits and boundaries of love in your life are the limits and boundaries you place on yourself and on those around you. We are all playing our own game on the field of life, challenged to the duel of love vs fear. The question to ask yourself is… Which side are you playing for?

 

Running Out of Road 23 January 2012

Genre: Creative Non Fiction

 

Click here to read the story: Running Out of Road

 

This is a longer piece of memoir writing that explores the inclination of running away from the self.

This piece of writing was one of five pieces shortlisted for the Judith Rodriguez Prize 2011. To find out more information about this award click here: Judith Rodriguez Prize.

It is currently being showcased on Deakin University’s “Writing Evolutions” website along with the winning piece and other shortlisted pieces.  To read more of the showcased pieces click here: Writing Evolutions.

My story has been enjoyed by my peers for it’s real life drama and commended for my use of distinct voices. However, I personally do not like this story of mine… because I do not like the self that I had to revisit in order to create it. I suppose this is the nature of being human when we evolve into better versions of ourselves. So as cringeworthy as I find my story, I share with you on the chance that you may also relate to it.

 

Stop Bringing Me Down 16 December 2011

I was reading a blog this morning titled “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself”. It is a wonderful little list of insights that I have, for the most part, applied in my own life. Mostly. Have a read later via the link below and see how many you have got sorted and how many you should probably take a closer look at.

One that really stands out to me as a recurring lesson from my past is number 19:

“Stop letting others bring you down… Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.”

This particular habit of adapting and altering my expression of self has taken many forms over the years, all of them self destructive and ultimately ineffective.

Many times this has involved a complete compromise of being my best self. It has included a variety of dangerous behaviours, law breaking, unhealthy lifestyle habits, gossiping and basically just going with the flow of the group I was trying to fit into. And sure, I fit into those groups perfectly, at the expense of no longer fitting into myself. The reason this is so damaging to the self is that I stop liking myself and in particular because this has occurred largely at a subconscious level. Before I know it, I have become a stranger to myself, lost and wondering who I am and why I just never seem to be happy. I question the meaning of life, because I have lost my natural connection with it.

Ironically, during these times I often believe that the only happiness I feel occurs at the time that I am engaging in the very things that are taking me away from myself. I suppose this is because these are the times that I receive love and approval from the people I have surrounded myself with. They feel great that someone is accepting and reflecting who they are choosing to be, affirming that their expression of self is valid and right. Yet this all happens at the expense of my own expression of self and who I am choosing to be by default. This is exactly when I need to ask, ‘Do I love and approve of myself right now?’ This is how I can see that I am not honouring  my self and hopefully raise the strength to make a different choice.

Making a different choice, one that is true and authentic to my best self, often is an unpopular one. The people around me, assuming to know me better than I do, will often react unfavourably to a different me. They don’t seem to understand that the me they ‘know’ is a me that thought love and acceptance came from the outside. A lot of the time this is because they are also receiving their love and acceptance from the outside, in part through my friendship and compliance. If I can remember this, it allows me to move along my own path with strength and compassion towards any unfavourable reactions. And sometimes it means letting go of people or situations that just don’t fit with who I want to be.

I really don’t think that the changing tides of people and situations in my life is in any way a bad thing. In fact, I truly believe is a good and positive result of the changing nature of myself. It is one of life’s few guarantees… That as I change, the world around me changes, in both big and small ways. And when I think back to who I was being twenty years ago, ten years ago and even last year, I am grateful for all that has changed. It seems that as time goes by I get closer to my best self. And if I find I moving away from that, I just stop and observe, then make a different choice.

It is so easy to get caught up in the trillions of expressions of self in the world. But the only one worth losing and finding yourself in… is your own. Honour thyself.

 

Read 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself here.

 

 

The Measure of Success 29 November 2011

Filed under: Conscious Choices,Writing Life — Rachael @ 8:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was interviewed today by a career coach and good friend exploring the notion of doing what you love. In particular, the transitional period of change required to align your daily work to your idea of the life you want to lead. Apparently I may have ideas to share that might be useful for others wanting to make changes in their own life. I was careful to point out that whilst I had certainly had changed my career path, it had not yet resulted in any great successes. Or had it?

Maybe my idea of success is what needs to change, before negotiating any personal change. Perhaps that is the first step. What does success look like. For me, it is certainly not a stable and predictable job, or one of high status or power. It is not the acquisition of unlimited money. And it is not the commitment to excel within a single career path. All these things are outcomes based, and often by the time the outcome is achieved, the desire for it has shifted.

As I move along any career path my idea of what I love to do will change, with both my growing experience and opportunities that arise, so to lock into any one outcome is self limiting at best. This static outcome will prevent me from assessing pathways and new directions against what is is I really want to be doing with my life. Instead, what I prefer to focus on is a vision for what I want to be doing, in the knowledge that the vision will grow and shift as I do.

A further challenge is then deciding on which opportunities to take up, and which to pass up. If I am focused on a particular outcome, I will always choose to do what I think will best serve that outcome. Whereas if I am focused on a vision of the life I want to lead, I will make my choices based on what it is that I really want to do. For me, this has given me the courage to try new paths that serve my vision, and also the strength to turn down opportunities that will detract form my purpose.

So coming back to success. How can it be measured if not by defined outcomes? Is it too outrageous to suggest that doing what you love alone is success enough? Perhaps for some. Yet spending every day doing something that is meaningful to me provides me with  a sense of personal power and purpose. It doesn’t need to be measured against traditional ideas of success because it has very little to to with anything external to me. It resides within me. Living my life in the manner I choose.

The funny thing is that I have no doubt that my unconventional idea of success will eventuate in more traditional forms of success, in time. That is how career paths tend to go. As I give it my energy and focus, I will make small achievements, and maybe even some larger ones. My path will lead to further personal development and open up new opportunities. All I have to do is align myself on a path that is directed towards my vision of the work I want to do.

I put this to you… Why on earth can’t you do what you would like to do? You are doing something already, whether you like it or not. Why not just point yourself towards a vision that serves you as opposed to a societally imposed idea of success. At the core of it all, your success is only ever your own.

 

Never Ask For Directions 14 November 2011

Filed under: Conscious Choices,Writing Life — Rachael @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

When you ruminate on life amongst friends there is always much talk around ‘the journey’, ‘following your path’ and ‘living your truth’. Now, all of these sentiments are valid, and in fact exactly what I believe we are all trying to do. But, given a little thought, each of these things can only be experienced in the present moment. What my truth was a year ago, or even yesterday, is not necessarily a static notion that can be cut and paste into today.

Whatever life we lead moulds us, changes us and requires us to grow… Meaning that whatever way we live will ultimately result in us outgrowing it in is present state. One of life’s many ironies perhaps? This effectively means life can (and will if you let it) do a complete 180 and start tearing off in another direction on any given day. A new path, perhaps one you are unfamiliar with, may well become the right one for you, provided you aren’t adverse to a change in plans.

The hardest part in this for me is that I have no map. No one has chartered ‘my journey’ or ‘my path’ before, and to live ‘my truth’ requires it to come from somewhere within me, and not from some point to point directions. This kind of direction is quite often dictated by someone else who assumes to know the way. And besides, getting to a given point, anywhere at all or even nowhere, can be achieved in a myriad of ways. The only thing I can know for certain are my current GPS coordinates, and possibly how I came to be here now.

If I were a student of orienteering I would most definitely be a fail with ideas such as mine. There are no maps. Don’t ask for directions. The compass can change direction. You don’t need a destination. Does your present location feel good right now? I tend to trust that if it seems right now, then what it leads to or what opportunities it opens later will be right then. And every single small step will progress you further down one path or another. Which one depends, I guess, on each step you take. Every. Single. Step.

There is a profound logic in a quote of Annie Dillard’s that reads, “How you spend your days is, of course, how you spend your life.” For now… That is map enough for me.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: