A Charmed Life


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we’re all in this together

These words are directed at the predator-in-chief who sits in the Oval Office.

“A reader on this blog once challenged me to say five nice things about you. I tried. I promise I really tried but there is nothing. There ought to be something. Everyone has a saving grace don’t they? Even the other deplorables I find as morally reprehensible as you – your fellow reality show alumni – that family that starts with a k, even they have their hustle, no other way to explain their journey from sex tape to world domination. But you do not even have that. You have never hustled for anything in your life. You wouldn’t know a hard day’s graft if it hit you on the head. You were born into privilege and you have been coasting ever since. Damn the consequences.

That is what has made these words spill out today – consequences. You see I spend far too much of my precious time thinking about you; about what motivates you to get out of bed every day, about how someone like you can be reasoned with. Often I fine myself constructing these missives to you in my head. Today’s missive needed to come out my head, you see you make me so angry. So angry that expletives leave my mouth, c*#t and motherf*@ker seem like they were created for you. But anger is not a good look on me. And I certainly do not like thinking about you. And yet there you are, always there stirring the pot, bullying, stoking fires, and oh how you love taking credit for everything. Today I found myself waiting for that tweet of you taking credit for New Zealand’s progress in the America’s Cup.

And now you have made the ultimate dumb arse move, in a long line of dumb arse moves since January 20th – pulling your country out of the Paris Climate Accord. I believe you have done this because the first word is Paris not Pittsburgh. I believe this because you might believe climate change is real, but your action demonstrates you have no understanding what climate change is. I have got to admit I took a while to get there too. I was rubbish at science at school, every year it was a miracle I managed to pass for I never learnt Newton’s Laws, I lacked patience to grow watercress, I skipped class anytime something was being dissected and I still do not know what is means to split an atom. No science never held my interest, that gene went to my brother who practically from the cradle had this innate grasp of how everything in the universe is interconnected and how vital it was to protect the lives of all creatures.

For me it was the green revolution, that picked up momentum during my last years at college, that got me thinking about my place on this planet of ours. It is now some twenty years hence and there is no escaping climate change is happening and we do not have the luxury of time to fix the consequences of stupid decisions. We all know the only person you care about is you, so as you think your vapid thoughts sitting in the Oval Office do you ever look out into the rose garden or up at the clear blue sky or how about when you are at Mar-a-Lago playing golf as you putt do you ever appreciate the verdant landscape. No of course you don’t. If you did you would understand that the rose garden, the clear blue sky, the green grass are not givens.

How about your children! Got to say I am not a fan. They just seem like five versions of you and anyway I will never be able to erase the image of your boys holding the dead cheetah they killed from my memory nor will I forgive it. You are a fan of your children yes? Do you want them to be healthy and live well? Rising temperatures due to climate change (known as global warming) will bring more disease which will affect, if not you, your progeny. Count on it. This is Fact. A Real Fact. So you see, you have made a stupid mistake by pulling America out of the Paris Climate Accord – We’re All In This Together; Parisians, Pittsburghers, me, your family and the only person who matters to you  –  you.

I am not delusional I know you will not read this. But I also know this – as I vibrate love peace compassion respect everything you are not, you will feel my energy and the energy of the tsunami of stakeholders who have since stepped up. You see amazing things can happen when people come together, this is how rEVOLutions begin. One Planet. One People. Be careful donnie: When you stand for nothing. You get nothing.”

 Sat Nam

And... one human I am absolutely grateful exists in my orbit is David Lynch for he is the man who gave me Twin Peaks and Transcendental Meditation. April 1991 is when this brilliant man came into my life when his Twin Peaks aired on newbie channel tv3 in New Zealand. I am dreamer with an expansive imagination and before Twin Peaks the only other dreamer I could relate to was David Bowie so Twin Peaks was a moment for me. It was weird, freaky and brilliant And there had been nothing like it ever. Can you think of another show where a lady talks to a log and thinks it talks back! David Lynch manages to capture our dreams the way they actually happen in our minds. Dreams are weird. And David Lynch gets that. That mind of his – much like that of Bowie come to think of it – is a fertile marvel; so much so that looking for literal answers to anything he does defeats the point of his output entirely. I mean have you ever tried to describe something he has created, you can’t, his work requires you to be present. It is about the experience. So I am thick into the Twin Peaks experience once again after 25 years. It has been the longest wait of my life and its so damn fine to be back.Watching these new episodes, catching up with the old characters, getting my head around the newer ones, trying to make sense of where the plot is going – its all a completely damn fine mindfuck and I wouldn’t have it any other way ♥ So Thursday is the election and neither leader of the two main parties enthuses much confidence; Theresa May is one cold fish and Jeremy Corbyn has never felt like a leader to me. Oh well what will be will be I suppose. One thing is certain I do not envy them one bit, a rocky road lies ahead #RockYourVote  And finally it has been a shocking few weeks, so much senseless loss. There is no making sense to be done. As the one year anniversary of Orlando approaches this kiwi girl sends love to all those affected by that tragedy and by the recent atrocities that have occurred in Manchester, Portland, Kabul and London. May our tears deliver us to wisdom #OneLove #PeaceLove


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rage, rage against the dying of the light

believeThroughout this past year I have had the unpleasant experience of being trolled on Twitter. The first time it happened I went all Norma Rae telling all and sundry I was not going to stand for it: I complained to Twitter about the vicious and inappropriate nature of the comment and then I committed the cardinal sin – I replied back. I let the troll know in a few choice words that they had no business talking to me so rudely and that I was someone to be reckoned with and they would be sorry. I meant every word. More! Fool! Me! Alas, what ensued was a back and forth which only succeeded in fuelling the troll and upsetting me further (with Twitter doing bugger all). What did I do! What else could I do! I stopped engaging and blocked the troll (needless to say this was not my Lifetime movie moment). 

Here’s the thing though, trolls are like pimples on a 14 year old’s face. You can witch hazel them out but the fuckers just keep coming back – different troll, same degree of meanness. Still I learnt to not feed the beast and jog on, it helped that I have strong conviction about who I am and what I believe in. I have always believed power comes from speaking the clearest truth and I am happy to speak up for what I believe in, as Martin Luther King Jr said “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” So at times when I have felt blue about the sheer awfulness we human beings are capable of I kept my eyes on the prize and focused on that light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Well as we all know the prize was not won and that light has somewhat dimmed, in actual fact in the last few weeks I haven’t been able to see it at all. For a Sagittarian that is a hard place to be, I am by nature a glass half full person but I was shocked into silence. I remain in shock. It is impossible for me to fathom that after Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, F.D.R., Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, Obama now comes this orange anus – I can’t even bring myself to say it’s name. I won’t. This was not just an election to me. I am not American, most of what will come into policy and be administered will not affect me. What frightens me the most is that we have witnessed the debasing of our values, ideals and dare I say of our very souls, hate has been given hope – the trolls are winning. This is a dangerous precedent to set for all of mankind.

Still what is done can’t be undone (or can it? Recount? Mental assessment on ability to govern? Jailable scandal?)
And even though we – the sane majority – lost this one, what I have seen in these last few weeks is that we are stronger together.
And together we have much work to do.
Now is the time we roll up our sleeves and dig even deeper to constantly lean towards positive change.
For that is the way of a warrior.
We never give up.
To quote Dylan Thomas we do not go gentle into that good night.

For one day our time will come.
I still believe this.
One day.

Sat Nam

And… Bookended by the death of my beloved David Bowie and the election of the most awful example of a human being as leader of the free world – 2016 the year of loss I only have one thing to say – fuck you 2016


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an open letter

Dear friends-who-have-children

I am not a mother.
I always assumed I would be.
But the universe didn’t see it that way.
And now, I have found peace with my reality.

I am not a mother.
But my life is not any less significant than yours just because you procreated.
And I write to you today, for the sake of our relationship, to ask for some consideration.

The same consideration I give you every time you call and then proceed to hang up two minutes into our conversation to attend to your crying child. The same consideration I give when you cancel our rare night out at the last night minute when your kid is poorly. The same consideration I give when we Face Time and you stick your little one on ‘to amuse’ me while you run around doing laundry.

Look, I get it. Your time is tight, you are sleep deprived and your priority, rightly so is your family; I understand this and I do not begrudge you your life. I don’t mind our short punctuated conversations that are mostly centered on the chaos (your word) that is your life, and I am fine having to be the one who schleps across town (or the world) to see you and it’s no problem picking up milk on my way. I don’t mind your offspring joining us as we catch up. I am happy to be the fun aunty. I will even babysit for you. I am not even bothered when your tot spills juice on my Gucci tote (well not that bothered).

But hello remember me? Please do not dismiss my life as less than. You are right I don’t know all that goes into raising a child, but please don’t say my life is easier or less complicated than yours. Understand when you had your child not only did your life change, so too did mine. I understand our relationship cannot function as it did but I need for you to spend an incey bit of that tight time considering me – we’re thinking of getting a dog, our search for a bigger house continues, I’m taking barre classes, I’m considering a career change, I heard the funniest story, I’m finally doing the business mentoring I’ve talked about for years, Orange may be in right now but it is still the most hideous colour, got tickets to see Hedda Gabler at the National remember when we had to act it out at school? I had to have a hs-CRP test to check my protein levels, what about Corrie seriously how clueless can Eileen be about yet another guy and what about that xenophobe campaigning for President in the US scary stuff  – this is my life, it all means something to me, it used to mean something to you. I need you to hear me every now and then or at least just tell me its gonna be alright. The last thing I want to do is put more pressure on you but just a little consideration please!

Love your friend-who-does-not-have-children

And Talking about scary stuff, less than two months! The most insane show on this planet comes to its climax in less than two months, then depending on the outcome we may have to endure a second show, I’ve given it a working title – The End of Everything Good. Seriously though, when you consider the candidacy for an elected official you are never going to like everything about the person. As long as we are able to think for ourselves we will always have own unique views, so voting is a process of who represents you best based on information you have. We know more about Hillary Rodham Clinton than any other candidate in any election in any country ever – FACT. I’m a fan, something I have never made a secret of but even I have been disappointed in her at times, like with her flip flopping over the years on the issue of same sex marriage (she got there in the end) so yes absolutely she is as flawed as you and I, but speaking of flaws consider the alternative. I’m not saying anything new here, however it is my duty as a concerned citizen of the world to speak up and keep speaking up for all that is pure, honest and good. Think about how Hitler rose to power and all the evil he unleashed and then consider all the similarities the GOP nominee has so far with him…  Americans, this election comes down to one question: What kind of human being are you? #I’mWithHer #YouShouldBeToo #ObamaOutHillaryIn  To know me is to know I covet Gwyneth Paltrow’s legs oops I mean wardrobe, so how excited am I she has released a clothing line and made it so accessible. Now if I can only grow longer legs! #VeryExcited #GOOPGeek  2016 the year of loss continues. Gene Wilder, oh what memories – the characters you gave us, the comedy you created especially with that other cool kid Richard Pryor pure magic. Charmian Carr – I still parade around in an imaginary gazebo, beloved Liesel forever sixteen going on seventeen. So long farewell Gene and Charmian thank you for the gems you leave us.


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good bones, needs work

I consider myself a fixer upper – good bones, needs work but potential to make magnificent if done right and that is why I am happily on my spiritual journey and as such very much a student, open to anything and everything but lately I’ve become deeply disappointed with my teacher (my spiritual guide), the one who in the past few years I’ve relied on to help me change my life. She’s introduced me to Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini yoga and guided me through A Course in Miracles, so you can see then how this about face would have me in a state of bother.

The self help market is saturated with well intentional spiritual teachers, life coaches, gurus whatever they call themselves and I recognise they have a right to earn a living so I am comfortable with their message parlaying into a sell – book, course, talk, app, tarot cards, t-shirts and the ilk but what happens when the scale begins to tip more and more in favour of the person than their ideology – when that monster called fame takes over?

We live in a world where we adulate nobodies who seek fame by sharing their sex tapes online, we give them ‘celebrity’ status and they go on to have television shows created for them heightening their fame into the stratosphere. This idea of celebrity comes about because of our perception and embrace of an individual and as much as I might loathe everything about it, I understand it is not on the vapid person who released their sex tape but on their following that has elevated them from a lay person to a celebrity and it’s everywhere not just the domain of Hollywood folk and rockstars. I once spent a weekend with my guru and I saw how fanatical people got, practically elevating him into god status; hell I myself have been preaching at the altar of Madonna for the last 32 years and yes fanatical is a word I’ve had bandied about when it comes to me and her but in both examples it is on me or others not on the person being emulated.

That anyone can be a celebrity I get, here’s my problem with my teacher, that’s not who she was about and it’s not what I bought into. When I first discovered her, it was soon after she had written her first book which highlighted her journey from addiction (drugs, work and codependency) to self help book author, her message was authentic because it was from the heart. She was committed to guiding people through their spiritual bottom back to the light and magnificence within because she had been there herself. Fast forward to now – do I need to know what she is wearing out on date night with her husband? Or what paint colours she is debating on for her living room walls? How many selfies with Oprah does one need to share? And enough of the holiday pics already, I get bored looking at holiday snaps of people I actually know – why on earth would I want to see yet another shot of you in a bikini – how is that contributing to my spiritual journey? It reeks of narcissism and haven’t you been teaching me to transcend the ego.

Enough already. I’ve reached the tipping point. Drastic action required – I have blanked her. I have shelved her books (they usually sat on my bedside table), unfollowed her on social media, unsubscribed her emails, deleted her app and I decided against attending her workshop this year. It’s sad to me that someone in the role of a teacher should have turned out to be such a disappointment, reminds me of my school teachers – the ones that weren’t any good – I have always wondered why they bothered to become teachers if they weren’t interested in teaching. It’s such an important job. I wonder if she even realises how she be might be perceived now. Would she even care! Is her fifteen minutes worth it? You will have noticed I haven’t mentioned her name, it was intentional for whilst it feels right to do this detox right now, I still believe in her message and she has a way of communicating that makes me listen and motivates me to action so I hold high hopes to reconnect with her again someday and anyway as she taught me to name and shame would be the ego speaking and that’s just not what I am about.

Sat Nam

Also this week: It’s no surprise that the refugee crisis is a very contentious issue, people I have spoken to tend to get very animated when discussing whether they think their country is doing too much or too little, or even whether it is their problem to deal with and everyone is entitled to their opinions BUT this crisis is not something you will hear in the news for a while and then will just magically go away. I don’t know the right solution but I think it just plain wrong this has become a problem for democratic nations to fix whilst neighbouring countries stay stum, and while they do nothing – someone has to do something. A lot of someones. #DoSomething #RefugeeCrisis #YouDon’tHaveToLiveLikeARefugee • Speaking of neighbouring countries, as I write in Saudi the execution of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr is imminent. Ali was arrested in 2012 for his participation in Arab Spring protests when he was just a child. I live in a country where I have free will to express myself; the Arab Spring protests were pro-democracy, people expressing their wish to have that same free will I enjoy everyday. Ali is to be killed by beheading and crucifixion. In this day and age forget about how no one has a right to take the life of another human being NO ONE forget that for second – beheaded and crucified – how fucked up is that! And these barbarians who make these decisions are the same people that litter the hotel foyers in Beverly Hills, the same people whose fancy cars are seen outside Harrods but I guess that’s okay because oil is more important than the life of a human being #ThisIsNotRight #EveryLifeMatters • On a much more happier note loving having Kathy back on the Square on Eastenders, best comeback of the year #IanGotHisMammaBack • And that Dem debate – or as I like to call it the Sanders/Clinton show – now that’s how you debate with clarity, substance and grace – GOP hope you were taking notes. Hillary proved yet again why she is the right person for the job, I just love hearing that woman talk. Intelligence is sexy #EnoughAboutThoseBloodyEmails #Hillary16 • And last but not least, how about that game on Saturday! My first game of this tournament and what a game to witness. This kiwi girl was screaming, crying and just so so so proud. I’ve started to dream about the doable. Bring on the saffas – sorry to my SA family I love you long time but we are gonna kick your arse and it’s going to be so lekker #RWC15 #AllBlackEverything


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it takes all sorts

toxic

This topic was born out of my frustration with an individual in present day, but the more I think about it and write I find myself taking a trip down memory lane.

You know when you think about a person and there is generally one word that can sum them up like lovable aunt or graceful friend or in my case a nutcase (I’m kidding… well I hope I am). When I was little we had(have?) this family friend and the word that immediately comes to mind for this auntie, based on my interaction with her, is toxic. To my young mind every word that came out of her mouth was mean spirited, she was a proper mean girl.

To me personally she never missed an opportunity to knock my private school education, and to deride me for not being a real New Zealander for not learning Maori – the native language of New Zealand (both are kind of ironic as I explain later on) and I was always too skinny. It wasn’t so much what she said – because I always look back at my school days with delight and I am appreciative that my parents ensured I learnt Gujarati which is the language of my Indian heritage, and I like that I was skinny – but it was in her delivery, open hostility and it wasn’t only directed at me. She would throw her negativity out to everyone from what I remember and like a dog senses danger, as a child I knew to keep clear of her.

As an adult I have learnt you never know what a person is going through until you have walked in their shoes so it is not my intention to slight this person’s character. Besides she wasn’t all bad, one year after I had complained that Indians don’t celebrate Christmas properly, she threw me a Christmas party (with her husband as Father Christmas) and my Christmas present from them, a comprehensive atlas, was most treasured right into my late teens.

I use this auntie by way of illustration for toxic people are everywhere; they are family members, people we work with, people we socialise with and sometimes toxic people are us. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive pleasure from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. I know for a fact the toxic individual who inspired this post will read this and instead of recognising their toxicity, point to others who are.

A person is never all bad; a toxic person or a person who exhibits toxic behaviour is unhappy and when they are being toxic, they are in fight or flight mode. This unhappiness makes them lash out because they lack the awareness to say ‘I’m unhappy,’ ‘something’s not right here,’ or ‘help!’ It is my experience toxic people in addition to being deeply unhappy, live in fear and most likely lack emotional intelligence –  the toxicity that emanates from them is always about them. Even though being on the receiving end can be hurtful, it’s never personal. You will never change the toxic person, that they must do themselves, but you have a choice how you show up in any situation:

‘Don’t let toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.’

Limit the interaction. Actively limiting your physical distance from the individual is the easiest and most effective way to keep yourself from being directly affected. In recent years I’ve had to walk away from a longstanding friendship because I found the other party’s toxicity was pervading into my energy, making me feel all kinds of negative. It wasn’t that I hated her, it was that I loved me more. I chose me and I feel better for it. BUT when this is not an option:

Practice self awareness. Falling into their drama is fruitless but when you pay attention to your own emotional state, you can better equip yourself with the tools to deal with toxic people. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening and because toxic behaviour tends to be predictable, once you are able to maintain an emotional distance it becomes easier to see the patterns and manage the situation. You might need to stop and regroup or you might be fine to proceed, either way you will be in control. It’s tough not to react because it’s a human thing to do, but being self aware is key to keeping your sanity so it’s worth it.

Rise above the negativity. Toxic people defy logic, there is no reasoning with their crazy so there is no point getting caught up in the mix. Getting back to my auntie and those two examples I gave – me not speaking Maori and going to private school – well she herself was not born and bred in New Zealand and to my knowledge did not speak Maori AND imagine my surprise years later when I discovered she had sent her youngest child to private school. Seriously ignore the crazy and respond only to the facts.

Establish boundaries. Toxic people try to consume you and make you swim deep into their problems, but you have a choice to not join their pity party. If you set boundaries and decide when and how you will engage a toxic person, you can control much of the crazy. The trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will. Know when to engage. Know when to walk away.

Surround yourself with the right others. You don’t have to go it alone. Build your tribe, of people who support what you value and who support you in creating what it is you want.

It takes all sorts to make this planet of ours go round, every person teaches us something and toxic people are actually our greatest teachers, even if it is only to make us look at our own behaviour and understand better how we can raise our vibration.

Sat Nam


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maybe that’s just too many maybes

Maybe I’ve got it wrong.
Maybe I should have started from the beginning.
Maybe it is representative of the social milieu of the time.
Maybe there is no right or wrong way.
Maybe I should have listened to my paramour at the time, who urged me to watch it thinking it might be some kind of sexual awakening for me.

Maybe that’s just too many maybes. One thing I know for sure I have definitely missed the boat on this one. Should have listened, instead it was the odd episode from final series, followed by the first movie and then what can only be described as a train crash of a second movie, and now more recently a few episodes from earlier seasons.

Conclusion: Sex And The City is awful and Carrie Bradshaw is truly awful.

And that is deeply depressing to me because so many women out there – including friends – love the show and identify with the characters and I am suppose to love it too…  all the elements are there; sex, the sisterhood, fashion, cocktails and iconic New York and yet… I simply can’t get past the characters especially ‘it always has to be about me’ Carrie. I find her needy, shallow and full of self-importance. And her outfits, okay the shoes are to die for (and I do owe Carrie a debt of gratitude, for on the back of Carrie’s obsession with Manolos I managed to get my first pair from my boyfriend at the time), but the clothes! One minute she could be quite classy then the next err… well one question, was she meant to be channelling a drag queen who likes a bit of vintage and Chanel and tulle?

‘Life gives you lots of chances to screw up which means you have just as many chances to get it right.’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw

Carrie is an antihero and here’s why: A dominant theme throughout is the sisterhood, four loyal friends there for each other no matter what, right? Well I say bollocks to that!! It is about Carrie, it is always about Carrie. Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha may be the besties but the most irksome aspect of Carrie is that she manages to turn every single conversation into being about her.

My first intro to SATC¹ was the episode where Carrie was talking about Aleksander Petrovsky while Samantha was getting high doses of chemo pumped into her veins. I remember having a WTF moment but I loved Samantha’s response, ‘I’m glad it’s going well! What’s new with me? Well, my white blood cell count is dangerously low.’ Or how about that time when Miranda got pregnant with Brady and was deciding whether to get an abortion or not and Carrie made it all about the abortion she had had thirteen years before, after doing it bareback with a waiter whilst drunk.

Another moment that springs to mind is when Carrie sent Aidan to go help a naked Miranda when her neck gave out, albeit she had a meeting with her editor but going around to Miranda’s the next morning, with apology bagels just to have an excuse to come over and bitch about Aidan is not okay.

‘As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going.’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw

For me, hands down most dickish Carrie moment has to be the one where she gets angry that Charlotte didn’t offer to lend her the money for her apartment down payment.  A situation that only occurred because she let Aidan buy her place and the one next door to merge them into one big love shack and then couldn’t buy it back from him after she dumped him because she’s a thirty two year old woman with a closet full of $400 shoes but no savings. The thought of selling the shoes of course didn’t occur to her instead she asked Big for money. Okay he’s a gazillionaire but he’s also the ex, the occasional fuck buddy and the unresolved love of her life. Thankfully she didn’t accept it and no her next move was not to set up an eBay account, it was far easier for her to make Charlotte out to be the bad guy for not offering to give the money, even though Charlotte had just gone through a divorce and was not working; the guilt trip worked because Charlotte went against her beliefs and gave her the money, well her engagement ring, which I assume Carrie hocked to use as her deposit.

‘I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw

And there is Carrie’s treatment of Aidan: FIRST she cheats on him with Big THEN she gets annoyed that Big’s wife Natasha will not forgive her, after she has forced the poor woman into a confrontation in a restaurant AND then she gets annoyed again at Aidan, because he won’t get over it; so like a child who doesn’t get what they want, she repeats herself over and over ‘You have to forgive me. You have to forgive me, You have to forgive me …’ You’ll have to give forgive me reader, I think I might need to barf!

Speaking of Aidan – lovely, stable, in love with her, ready to commit Aidan; that episode where her computer crashes and she hadn’t backed anything up. I can relate a little, for I too can be inept when it comes to computers but even I know to back up my work. She is a writer in her thirties who’s ‘whole life is on that computer,’ and she didn’t know to back up her work and more importantly how is it Aidan’s fault? The guy buys her a new laptop and she proceeds to throw a tanty. Ungrateful dick!

And then there is that episode at Aidan’s country house, forget she has clearly never heard the word compromise and therefore wears her boredom as boldly as she wears those hideous outfits. How about for a touch of class letting Big – the guy she cheated with – visit her, eat with her and Aidan and then allow him to stay the night when he gets too drunk to drive. Not awkward at all Carrie and heels in the country, really? It made sense that she ended up with Big, who was proud, egocentric, the sugar daddy she needed and just as screwed up as her.

‘The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.’ ~ Carrie Bradshaw

I could go on and on about my misgivings of Carrie, like who moves to Paris without first making a bit of effort to connect with people there; old friends, colleagues or even your magazine’s overseas branch. In hindsight I am happy to have not been a part of the SATC fervour but I can still remember it, when women everywhere identified with the characters: I remember hearing ‘Me, too!’ or ‘I’ll have a cosmo’ or ‘living a SATC life’ or ‘I’m a Carrie!’ Well I’m not like her and that’s abso-fucking-lutely fine by me.

Sat Nam

¹SATC = Sex and the City


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be the light

bethelight.jpg

I originally starting writing a post on how angry I was over Ferguson, over New York, over Cleveland. I went on to say how when we are young we are taught to respect the police. They make school visits telling us it is their job to make us feel safe and protected and to catch the bad guys; but what happens when they are the bad guys. The more I wrote of their prejudice the more pissed I got so I decided to take a break to calm down.

During this break – which ended up being four days long – I participated in a workshop held by one of my teachers (Gabrielle Bernstein) during which I brought up how angry and upset I felt not only about the events over in the US but also of my own treatment by police earlier this year. I went on to conclude that this experience when I needed their help, had devoided any shred of respect I had for them (not that there had been much to begin with).

She replied and I’m paraphrasing here ‘the riots, the casualties and the overall chaotic energy in the world right now is why we must meditate. This is why we must choose a higher perception in every moment. We have a responsibility to be the light in order to balance out the darkness’

As she said this, I had this light bulb moment – my being angry and committing this anger to paper Word – was keeping me focused on the darkness. The world can be a scary place if you let it be, but it doesn’t have to be; at this time of year (and indeed any time of year) the best way to be in the highest service to the world is to celebrate your commitment to love. At times I find it really hard stay committed to the spiritual path I have chosen to be on, but I know if I continue to lean on joy I am choosing to be the light which is where I want to be.

….AND even though I am now somewhat subdued after my initial anger, I do not want to dim the memory of those who have lost their lives needlessly. Lost their lives because officers of the law believed they were a law unto themselves – this is not right, this is not okay as Martin Luther King, Jr said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ 

Sat Nam


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the art of letting go

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I found myself singing ‘Let it go’ today, on account of spending time with a five year old who is obsessed with the movie Frozen (is there any little girl who isn’t?) I have these words stuck in my head ‘Let it go, let it go. Can’t hold it back anymore. Let it go let it go. Turn away and slam the door.’

Letting go, if only it was as easy as turning away and slamming the door. The first sutra of the Aquarian Age is to recognize that the Other Person is You and I have struggled with this because I allowed negative energy to live in me. For years I held resentment towards a family member for perceived wrongs I felt had been done; this resentment affected my relationship with my family, the way they interacted with each other and it affected me personally in that this negative energy seeped through all aspects of my life – how I thought, how I felt, how I expressed myself. I can’t remember the last time I attended an extended family Christmas and I have been known to coordinate trips to visit my family with this person’s trips abroad so there could never be any danger of bumping into them. Carrying this bitterness never sat well with me but I continually ignored that inner voice that kept on trying to steer me to let it go. Even when mindfulness entered my life, and I had started to recognise that this resentment was only hurting me, I stubbornly stuck to my resolve. I was right, everyone else was wrong.

“Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.” Buddha

Then a miracle happened. I had a breakthrough in therapy. Through therapy I learnt the art of letting go, which began with forgiveness. For me, the forgiveness bit happened the second I decided to forgive – long before I actually saw this person again. In that moment of deciding, it was like a huge weight lifted and in its place I was left with an overwhelming feeling of love. When I finally saw this person I found that I didn’t hold any bitterness at all – the past was firmly in the past. I enjoyed my time getting to know them again – and recognizing how similar we are. I would even go as far as saying that it saddened me that I had wasted so many years not being present in this person’s life, still no point in dwelling on that  – regret is a useless emotion.

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” Ajahn Chah

It is easier said than done, this letting go business, that is why I call it the art of letting go. My particular story may come across as though it was relatively easy but I had spent years – decades – angry and bitter and in the end I think I was just tired, tired of carrying that extra burden. Situations can be challenging, people can be challenging – we are all guilty of  carrying some baggage  – I truly believe if you want to live happy and mindfully and in peace – you have to let go of any bitterness. Although in some circumstances it may take a lifetime to truly let go, here are some tried and tested (by me) techniques that may help with the process:

Forgive   forgive and then forgive some more – forgive yourself, forgive the other person, forgive the situation – whatever it is forgive it. Recognize that the Other Person is You and as such treat them with kindness. Wish that person well and, if possible, send them your feelings of love. What started me on my journey to letting go were some words my counsellor said. He said ‘forgiveness is for you, not the person you are forgiving – it is a gift you give yourself.’ It’s not a new thought but something in those words and the timing in which he said them vibrated in my soul and I knew in that moment I was ready.

Write it out. I’m have become a great proponent of the idea ‘better out than in’ and I find writing a cathartic outlet to do this. Whether you journal your thoughts OR blog OR write a poem OR write all your stresses down and then throw them away/burn them OR write a song OR write a letter/email to the person who has upset you (which you may or may not want to send) – whichever mode – clarifying your feelings will help you come to terms with your reality as it is now.

Cry it out. I have always thought there is nothing like a good cry but then I would seeing as I am a cry baby. It now appears science agrees with me for it has been proven that crying away your negative feelings releases the harmful chemicals that build up in your body when you are stressed, so cry like there is no tomorrow I say.

Rant Window. Set aside some time, a window, where you allow yourself to let it all out – a day and hour whatever is required but be strict about the time once that time is over move on. If you need to confront someone who is troubling you ranting first may diffuse the hostility and give you time to plan a rational confrontation.

It can be hard to let go of something when that negative thought/feeling is constantly in your head. Try wearing a rubber band on your wrist and flick it when that thought/feeling is upon you. This action will train your mind to associate that type of persistent negativity with something unpleasant and in time that thought/feeling will become less dominant. I also used this technique when I felt I was swearing a lot and it worked, swearing is practically non existent for me now.

Engage in a physical activity. My favourite one size fits all remedy. Exercise decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins ergo it improves your state of mind. This one is a no brainer for me.  

Throw it away. One method I learnt in therapy was to hit (or toss) tennis balls (always remembering to retrieve them afterwards). Another just as effective way is to throw pebbles in water. Whether its balls or pebbles  – label each one as a part of your anger then as you offload them feel the tension subside.

There will never be a time when life is simple but if how you choose to respond to life is all that matters, then surely it is worth letting go any negative baggage. ‘Let it go, let it go. Turn away and slam the door.’ 

Sat Nam


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here I am… Girl, Interrupted

detourJohn Lennon sang ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans¹.’
I think it is a pretty safe bet to say that so far, this year has not exactly gone the way I planned. One minute there I was, travelling along everything being fine and dandy and then the next minute it wasn’t and all it took was a trigger and off I was – on a totally different path. As result I missed out on a much desired job opportunity, deadline after deadline on my book’s journey to publication, a horseback adventure in Montana and most poignantly a dear friend’s very special birthday celebration.

You can run but you can’t hide. How honest are we really? We go about our lives projecting ourselves as people we want to be perceived as, this generally means trying to disguise our flaws. I know I have. My act has always been ‘I’m fine’ and anything less than fine in my mind was a sign of weakness or failure. I have never been good at dealing with the icky stuff. When something bad happens to me, I tend to put on a brave face and carry on. And this act served me just fine for a very long time. Even I was duped into believing it. Only it didn’t really. What I didn’t understand was that not dealing with ‘life’ as it happened was creating chaos in my head. So when my latest detour started it all came crashing down into one hot crazy mess and when putting on a brave face and carrying on didn’t work, I was left with no choice but to clean up the mess.

We all know life doesn’t play by any rules and that ultimately we have little to no control over outcomes. What we can be confident of is that there will be plenty of detours in life and detours, by their very nature are unexpected and not always easy to navigate through. While my detour may have started horrendously² I’ve come to see this detour as good and necessary – here’s why:

Embrace the detour I’m the chick that sticks to routines and gains genuine pleasure from ticking things off my to-do list. Any shift to my routine tends to make me come undone but this time after initial kicking and screaming I embraced my detour with an open and positive mind. By doing this I learnt that routine can be just as negative as it is positive, for by sticking to routines, we close ourselves off from exciting opportunities and even better ways of doing things.
Try saying ‘I don’t know’ more often When I was busy living the ‘I’m fine’ way of life, it became nay impossible to ask for help. Why would I ever be in a position to need help if I am always fine? By opening up and getting the help I needed I feel honest for the first time in my life and being able to say ‘I don’t know’ has been life changing simply because quite frankly how much do we really know?
You had the power all along my dear Although I have had loads of help through my detour (by way of comprehensive therapy) it was ultimately me who did the work and it is the very same me that has come out the other end pretty much intact and this is an incredibly empowering feeling. After all how you choose to respond to life is all that matters don’t you think?
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes I did not choose to be on my detour and it has been about as far from being on holiday that you could possibly get, in fact at one time ‘hell’ would have been an accurate description of where I felt I was. I have run a whole gamut of feelings these last few months: I’ve gone from feeling scared, anxious hopeless, angry, helpless to being emotionally drained and completely broken to feeling (believe me I know how cheesy this sounds but I can’t stop using the word) renewed.
Eye on the prize I might not be where I wanted to be but I’ve never been more clearer about who I am and more focused about the future.

I end this with some words that came to me via a good friend, words which provided me much comfort during my detour ‘For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11.

Here I am… Girl, Interrupted. Proof positive the universe always has your back.

Sat Nam

¹ Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon
² More on my actual detour another day…   maybe


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give up the funk

You work hard in your job, promotion is in sight but then you fall out with your manager.
You are a chief procrastinator, always leaving things to the last minute then you end up feeling inadequate because they don’t turn out exactly how you had envisaged.
You are working on a project you love, its going well and then slowly you stop doing it because it doesn’t feel fun anymore.
You are constantly thinking about the would’ves, could’ves and should’ves instead of thinking about the right now.
You finally are on track to getting your book published but then you lose your enthusiasm.
Does this sound familiar? Okay the last one is totally about me but I think we can all relate to engaging in self sabotaging behaviour at some point. I am sitting in a café in Hong Kong sipping green tea thinking why am I feeling like this – do I have a fear of success or a fear of failure? The path to getting my book published has been long and challenging and the end is so close I can taste it, only I find I am more interested in reading up on why they are killing off Lucy Beale on Eastenders than getting on with the tasks at hand. Need to get out of my funk…

Ways to defeat the self sabotaging beast
Write clear goals. I find list form works for me as it is easier to read when you need to refer back.
Refer back to your list often. To keep me on track for achieving my goals I constantly refer to my list and visualise them as already being fulfilled. This helps to keep me focused.
And while you are at it write down what is it that you are afraid of and ask yourself do you have any control over it? If you do then what can you do to avoid this from happening? If you don’t let it go, no point in worrying for the sake of worrying.
Talk it out. Those closest to me are my biggest fan club so as soon as I feel any kind of fear creeping into my head, I know there is always someone I can turn to to help me gain perspective. Finding like minded people is also important, for while having the support of friends and family is great sometimes they can’t relate to your actual issue. While I have been writing my book and then looking to get published I have found writing groups that assisted me on my journey. Failing that there are professionals you can turn to. I have used (and still do use) both a life coach and a therapist and can’t sing their praises enough.
Change your attitude. Somewhere along the way you have let fear creep in so it is vital you get the positivity back into your life. To borrow from President Obama you need a ‘yes we you can’ attitude to keep that self sabotaging beast at bay.

Love