thoughts du jour

  • "Spend some time alone every day."- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Sunday, 23 August 2009

What would life be like with no downs?

Have you ever noticed that it's the bad things that happen on a holiday that really stick in your mind, and in a way, create the memories of that holiday? And yet if you have a holiday where nothing goes wrong, and everything works out smoothly, you remember it as being a great time, but the details aren't as sharp as they would be had anything bad happened?

Our honeymoon is a classic example of this. It began with me picking up the wrong bag at the airport in Maui. This was bad, because I'd taken the wrong bag to Maui from Honolulu, which meant that my actual bag could have been anywhere in the US, or even the world by now. Fortunately, the guy whose bag I'd taken realised that my bag wasn't his, despite their ridiculously similar appearances, and reported his missing. So when I rang Honolulu airport my bag was sitting all alone at the baggage claims department. They flew it over on the very next flight, and I was to meet someone there with the bag I'd taken. Problem solved. Thank God.

Then it was the weather. Who knew we had gone there in their wet season? For 8 out of the 10 days it poured with rain. As we flew from island to island we were literally being followed by a storm that would then wreak havoc a day or so after we'd left. It was a shame, therefore, that I never got to swim in the ocean. But not so bad to find out that two days after we left the first hotel, the grounds got flooded from high sea level and destructive waves.

Then there was the hire car incident. When we hired it I nudged Shane at the question of "Do you want insurance?"
"Get it," I hissed. I sure didn't want to be stuck paying for anything more than necessary, so insurance seemed like a good idea.
And lucky we did, because on our way up the driveway of our first hotel there was a roundabout made of large rocks. In a brief moment of confusion and disorientation, Shane went the wrong way around the roundabout, misjudged the distance, and drove over a rock with the front right wheel of the car. Which promptly  slashed the tyre and hub cap. Wonderful. Fortunately, the insurance covered it, and we wound up with the only hire car they had left: a very sexy mustang convertible. Gee, what a shame.

The last straw was that flight home was delayed indefinitely because of the bad weather. Like I needed another reason to be scared of flying. So we were stuck at some airport, I can't even remember which one now, that wasn't even really enclosed because it gets so hot there. So, of course, everyone was getting wet, and grumpy, and with no end in sight it was really quite...uncomfortable, to say the least.

Looking back, except for the weather, every other crappy incident was immediately preceded by another incident that made up for it. It was a roller coaster of highs and lows, that honeymoon. One I'm not likely to forget any time soon.

But, you see, it's the scary, exciting stories that I enjoy hearing about when people tell me of their travels. And they tell those stories with pride, like those bad things that happen are the whole reason they stepped out of their comfort zone in the first place. To experience the scary stuff that you can tell stories about later. I mean, let's face it. That's what makes for an interesting story.

And this theory- that it's the bad stuff that happens during travel that makes the trip-that led me to realise that it's actually the bad things that happen in life that makes us who we are as well. We are the product of all our negative experiences. It is because of the negative parts of my life that I am so determined to prove myself to everyone who loves me. It is because of these experiences that I am stubborn and refuse to give up on my dreams. It's because of these character-building moments that I am who I am.

Imagine how boring life would be with no downs. Nothing to compare the good times to. The good times would seem boring and lifeless. I don't want a perfect life. I just want a life full of experiences.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

The little things...

It's amazing how being a parent helps you appreciate the simple things in life. Once most of your time and energy has been taken up by your family, there's very little else you want to do at the end of the day except curl up on the couch and stare vacantly at the television with nothing on your mind. Even reading a book or the newspaper requires too much brain power, despite it being one of my favourite pastimes (sharing a close first place with yoga, listening to music and dancing).

When the sounds of a three-year-old boy's chatter, a baby warbling and The Wiggles fill up your day, the silence that comes at the end of the day can be deafening and a little foreboding; like someone is up to something they shouldn't be. The urge to be quiet when walking around at night is hard to get rid of too, but when you finally figure out you don't have to be quiet because no one's home, it's worth it.

When I was in my early twenties the things I really wanted to do were travel and go out with friends. A few years later (and possibly none the wiser) I've found that while my goal remains to see the world, the few things I actually appreciate are actually right here in front of me, albeit with limited access.

At this moment, I happen to be enjoying a perfect Saturday night. With my husband, three-year-old and dog a few hundred kilometer's away I find myself in the position of having the house almost to myself (7mnth old sound asleep). I've been able to eat dinner without being concerned if it's something that the rest of my family would enjoy. I had a delicious dinner of curried fish, roti and salad from my local Indian restaurant, accompanied with a glass of Riccadonna. I've had the television off all night, and my jazz music playing in the background. And I've had the freedom (and peace) to read the newspaper, read my new Vogue, and blog.

No more can I understand why people would want to fill their weekends with unnecessary activity, leaving not a moment's thought for themselves. I shake my head in wonder at my friends who insist on being sociable for a whole weekend. Don't they miss having a moment's peace? I fully understand now, why dad would always say to me "I just want a moment's peace!"

I've been able to sit and actually hear my thoughts, and even tried to minimalise the number I have. I haven't had to talk to anyone, I've been able to do what I want and listen to what I want all night. I haven't had to think for anyone else. And I am in heaven.

It really is the little things, isn't it?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

My little tiff about the intolerance of humanity

For those of you that don't know me well, I have an alternative side. Every Wednesday morning, from 10am until midday (and sometimes longer, should time permit) I head down to my local Centre for Mind, Body, Spirit and fill in at reception while Sylvia, the owner, is able to run errands and do her own thing for a couple of hours. It's not paid, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. I do it purely to get out of the house, to have some sort of face-to-face contact with civilisation, and to, for two hours a week, surround myself with relaxing, soothing, calming vibrations.

The Centre is housed in a double story, art deco, spanish styled mansion at the end of the main street of Werribee. It is the house that all the locals look upon as the abandoned haunted house, especially me, who was prone to a wild imagination in my childhood years. The house remained unoccupied the entire time I've lived in Werribee, a good 21 years. It is the house that remained an elusive mystery, the one we as children would sneak into the grounds (overgrown with weeds and shrubs, of course) and peer through the dusty windows into the dark, dank interior, secretly hoping to spot a ghost or two.

Well, now I get to spend time in this house every week, and it has this strangely soothing vibe about it. It provides me an escape from the mundane, and I have free range of books to read while I'm there. I don't have to do anything except man the phone and reception while Sylvia ducks out. It is my idea of temporary bliss.

This morning, I came across a book called The Roswell Message 50 Years on- The Aliens Speak. I never really got into the whole Roswell thing (not actually being alive at the time probably didn't help) but I have always been fascinated in UFOs or anything unexplainable. This book caught my attention because it contained actual dialogue with one of the ETs that died in the UFO crash. The ET was contacted psychically by a medium, in the presence of a scientist who wanted to ask loads of questions.

Now I know there are a LOT of skeptics out there. And skeptics have every right to their own opinions as I do.  But the dialogue was absolutely fascinating. The ET, who identified itself as Lilit, said that it's race was basically what humanity evolves to a few million years in the future. Millions of years ago their race chose the path of technology (sound familiar?) and as a result there were many things about them that are different to humans. The main one, which I found beautiful, was that they live in peace and harmony, and that their only life philosophy is respect for all life.

I'm not going to talk about the book any more, because this was the main point I wanted to talk about. Respect for all life. Why is that such a difficult philosophy for some of us to live by? Everything that is wrong with the world today can be blamed on intolerance of one race to another, of one individual towards another. Intolerance of religion, belief systems, cultures, ways of life, morals, values, whatever. I need to ask these pressing questions:
Who cares if someone is a different race to you?
What does it matter if one society lives totally differently to yours?
Why is the West so intent on getting the rest of the world to be like them?
Why is the US so intent on making other countries into mini-America?
Why must we all be the same?

God, could you imagine what the world would be like if we WERE all the same?? Had the same morals and values and opinions, the same coloured skin, spoke the same language? What a BLOODY BORING place it would be! Not only that, but we would have got NOWHERE as a species! We would all still be sitting around the fire speaking oog-oog to each other because no one had the sense to be different.

Why is there so much intolerance in the world? Is it part of who we are? Why must each religion claim their own as being the one true religion, and damn the rest of them to eternal whatever? My opinion of this even includes things such as some societies viewing women as lesser species. Of course, personally, I disagree and think men and women are equal in all things. But I'm not going to sit here and preach to someone who disagrees with my view. I'm going to accept that fine, that's the way they think, this is the way I think, let's leave it at that. Just accepting people, cultures, societies as they are, and appreciating their similarities and using their differences to appreciate OUR society! Like, thank god we don't live in a society where it's ok to eat other people! And thank god we don't live in a society where I will be prosecuted for wearing pants!

It just makes me sad to think that people are so fixated on differences that they can't see the similarities. I think it was Groove Armada that said "If everybody looked the same, we'd be tired of looking at each other." Wise words. 

Food, glorious, unmodified food!

Hi all! Sorry about the lack of posts recently! I went to QLD for a week with my family, and have spent the two weeks since I returned trying to catch up on my studies, as I hate falling behind! But I'm ok now, apart from an assignment due on Friday, and another on Monday. It's all good. Really, it is! Especially with my mum not being around to help me! (Do you detect a faint whiff of desperation?)

I went to see a nutritionist on the weekend; something I rarely do. Ideally, I want to begin a detox program for a few weeks to give my body a clean slate. But somewhere in the appointment this point got lost (possibly in translation, as the guy was really hard to understand!), and I just ended up getting advice on what to eat and not to eat to give my digestive system a break.

It began with something I already knew- cutting out red meat, dairy and anything with wheat and gluten. Fine, I sort of expected that. But then I was told a bunch of information that is totally contradicting to what I hear in every day life. He (let's call him George. That is his name, after all) told me he doesn't believe in a solid breakfast, that people should only have liquid breakfasts, like fresh fruit and/or veggie juice. He also mentioned that the body isn't ready to eat a proper meal until around midday, and that the biggest meal of the day should occur between 12pm-8pm (whew, got something right!) but that it should be had for lunch.

This, of course, would mean that I have to either totally upturn my family's eating habits...or that I will need to start cooking two sets of meals a day.

Yeah, I'll pass on that thanks. What else you got for me?

I wouldn't have been proper consultatoin if I had walked away empty handed, and so I did not. I brought these seeds called Chia seeds, which are apparently nature's superfood. You can read more about this superfood here. It turns out I'm also probably (I use the term "probably" loosely) iodine deficient- something to do with my neck. I was also told not to consume margerine or olive oil spread, or any light margarine, and instead, when cooking or using it as a spread, to use pure butter. The theory behind this is that butter is something like 80-90% fat, so if margerine is only half this, what other ingredients does it contain? The idea behind all this is that I should be consuming products that occur naturally, with little or no modification.

So, I have a new food theory. And this is NOT about losing weight, mind you. I may not be satisfied with my body, but I'm in a place where I want it to be healthy rather than thin. So, my theory is, the food we are meant to be eating is the same foods we were eating as neanderthals. 
That is fruit, veggies, grains, seeds, nuts, red meat, white meat, fish and water. That's it. For all the people that think human's weren't meant to eat meat: our canines (teeth, not dogs) say otherwise, as does the history of being meat eaters. If we weren't meat eaters we would never have been hunter-gatherers right? We would have been only gatherers. But that's not to say we should eat heaps of it.

Look, I'm starting to preach, and this was not my intention. I'm merely sharing my new food theory with you. I am enjoying this new way of seeing food, and it's amazing, once I have become aware of it, how much processed food there actually is out there. I really believe that processed food is just totally not good for us. All those chemicals! We'd be horrified if we knew what really went into anti-freeze...

Anywho. More posts soon!

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