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The not-so-new 30s dating paradigm, am I missing something?

As a single woman in my thirties I feel like the options I have for healthy and fun relationship these days are stiflingly narrow, where does that come from? Where are the heralded brave new frontiers of human relationships dawning? My experiences since turning 30 are leading me to the conclusion that my socially sanctioned choices are as limited as marriage and babies, casual/tinder, “Polyamorous” divorcees or lesbian. I’m not loving it.

Men who want children and marriage are few and far between at this point, and they really want it, to the extent that it feels not ok to date them if I don’t definitely want that. Men who definitely don’t want that, appear terrified of my fertile womb and optimism about love, and tell me with patronising looks, that they “know deep down what I really want” and write me off as a panicky uterus with claws. Often the ones who I am actually aligned with just refuse to believe me when I tell them what I want, which is insulting.

Strangers who are married with kids love to remind me uninvited as I peacefully sip my tea in a cafe that I “have all this to come” as they wipe the puke out of their hair with a napkin and their partner sinks deeper into candy crush saga hoping it will all go away for a moment.

Also, I’m great with kids and love hanging out with them, which is deeply confusing for people who feel that if you like children then the logical thing is to make several and devote your entire life to their care. I like a lot of things that I nevertheless don’t want as the dominant theme of my existence – doesn’t make me like them any less.

About once a year I go on Tinder for 1-3 hours and that is about as much as I can hack it. I feel myself slipping into the kind of dislocated torpor I used to enter as a child flicking through the Argos catalogue, a truly horrendous distortion of the beauty and complexity of human connection. It’s like going trout fishing and being hit with a freaky cyclone of goldfish lurching up out of the lake.

The Polyamorous dads club is a genre of their own and I actually really admire these guys because they are unabashed about being clear and upfront about what they want from a relationship. They’ve been through the emotional sausage machine of marriage and they just want fun and sex on tap with zero demands. They come to realise over time that having multiple casual relationships with real humans is even more demanding than monogamy unless you want to be sloppy about it and live in an episode of Eastenders with one eye on the window at all times.

Not easy for them either to find a woman who has the energy and freedom to play with them and will not expect them to call for a chat or take active interest in life outside of the bedroom. I think this woman is a mythical creature and I am often confused with her because I appear to be free and a bit wild, and self identify as a unicorn…. Needless to say it doesn’t work out for long.

I’ve noticed women my age spontaneously or intentionally opening to relationships with other women after previously only having relationships with men. Perhaps they come to realise that emotional connection, intuitive intimacy and nurturing communication are available to them here in spades, and with less presumptions loaded on top. Perhaps they simply fall in love and are open and sovereign enough to claim it.

Is it possible to have a relationship that is fun, healthy, interdependent and also has depth and shared purpose outside of marriage and babies? For me, growing, learning and exploring together and supporting each other in our full expression and purpose is a beautiful intention for relationship. This, and all the sweetness and joy there is to be found in being two humans with bodies that like and trust each other bumbling through the day to day pleasures and pitfalls of life. Let’s start  with play and dancing and not be so scared of what might come next…

It’s been suggested to me that it’s my own ideas about relationship that are too narrow.  Am I missing something? Is it just me? Shall I pop this on my Tinder profile?

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Dear One

Dear One,

I adore you and I miss you and I don’t know what this sadness is but I know it isn’t love.

It’s something else that’s passing through that comes bubbling up when my heart is touched.

I’m grieving what feels like a loss even though I know you are not gone.

In fact you are closer than ever but feel very far away.

When we meet the light is blinding and the shadows loom.

I know you are busy with your priorities and that I am not one of them.

But hear me, I am your soul. I am with you always waiting for you to stop and to feel my presence.

Just stop a minute, breathe, put everything down, listen to the songs I am singing to you.

It’s very old stuff this feeling and this pattern, I know it.

I feel sad that I pour out vibrant rivers and you look away.

I feel sad that I am the ocean and you are thirsty.

I speak the pain of self-abandonment, clawing at passersby for relief from the gnawing inside.

If you don’t think this is about you, it almost certainly is.

Look deeper.

If you think this is about you, it almost certainly isn’t.

Look wider.

This is about all of us and its older than time.

We are two sides of the same coin, realising that we are at each other’s back always and yet believe we cannot see each other.

Don’t look around in front of you, sink back into what is holding you up. It was always there. It is a part of you. I am a part of you. We are whole.

I love you.

Be at home.

Rest in me.

Please.

I won’t leave.

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Placing orders – listening to my heart’s desire

I was invited into a question today about reframing life challenges from the perspective of a heroine, perceiving breakdown as breakthrough. I received the invitation in the middle of a mini meltdown, with a tender aching heart and a paradoxical sense of something having gone wrong and gone right at the same time.

My feeling was that something had been missing from my order, that I was in an experience that was so nearly everything I desired to create in my life, and yet also so far from it. What had gone wrong? Was it me? Am I pushing away the very thing I desire? Is there something really missing or is it an old story in me that wants my attention to transform? All the usual self scrutiny and questioning arose.

As I reflected more I realised, that an integral part of the challenge had been about me not feeling clear on what I desired to bring into my life. I had felt clarity in the past, but in that moment, I didn’t feel clear. I was not placing any particular order, so how could anything be missing?

So I look back now to the last time I was clear, the last time I placed an order… and I realise, that there was nothing missing from my plate. Life brought me exactly what I ordered. At the time, without realising it, I was ordering just a bit less than what I truly desired because I thought that was all I would get. I was not ready to dig deep for what I truly desired, or – perhaps, to be kind to myself – it was the best formulation I had at the time for what was right for me right then.

That’s just exactly what I got. I’m so grateful for it and the experiences I had, knowing they were just right for me at the time. I’m grateful for the careful attention to detail from the universe. Everything was in fact just perfectly what I ordered.

What’s happened is, since I placed my order, I’ve had a hankering for something else, which I forgot to order, or was not feeling hungry for at the time. Now it’s time to place another order, and it’s edgy and it’s a stretch, and it’s time. What’s my heart’s desire and am I ready to receive it?

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Let grief be an outpouring

“Let grief be an outpouring. When grief is allowed to exhaust its expression, then behind it is a profound silence, it’s like rest. No one can tell you when that rest is finished, it’s an intuitive thing” ~ Mooji

Saying bye bye to a heart’s companion today, a short but very sweet love connection with a little puppy being I have had the privelege of fostering, I have noticed how quite intense but uninhibited grief just pours out in bursts. And subsides. And pours again.

And this time, my relationship to it is different. I am totally okay with its presence and full expression. In front of other people, alone, with sound, without, at random moments. It feels really good and healthy, like good digestion. I’m not holding it in anywhere to deal with later on, I’m not holding on to its arising and making it a permanent state of being or the theme of my day, it’s just coming, and flowing, and gone.

Feels good, and different. I mean, it feels intense in the moment, but I no longer label it as a bad feeling, just a healthy release from Inside. Feeling the benefit of some big releases (real eases) in recent weeks, and also that this moment of grief and letting go, allows remnants of moments past to also be released, as much of it is without a clear source and with no thoughts or images attached to it. There is melancholy, but its not colouring everything as much as other times.

 

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Cute comedy clickbait: why you should Just Say No to puppies

Puppes are super cute, fact. Be aware, however, that this is just a biological ruse… The big eyes and inexplicably cute facial dimensions and soft sniffly sounds, damn even that delectable puppy fur aroma…. All designed to make any adult creature with a pulse fall hopelessly in love and adopt two or three of them on the spot.

Should you encounter a puppy pusher, on the street, in a bar, on gumtree, in one of those great big cute animal supermarkets with aisles of neon chew toys , gourmet ham hock terrines and tiny onesies…. Here is why, you should just say no.

Your ankles will not be your own for a long, long time…

Puppies love ankles, their little jaws are perfectly evolved to fit snugly around an Achilles’ tendon with the teeth positioned just so that they can cause maximum impact without disabling their major provider’s mobility entirely. Puppies are hard wired to seek the ankle as a first point of contact for communicating a range of needs from food to attention to just being more deeply involved in whatever you are doing.

For that matter, neither will your socks…

Oh the delicious delight of a sweaty, stinky, sock! A puppy can snuffle out a dirty sock like a pig with a truffle. You know all those years  and years pre-puppy when you wondered who was hiding one of each pair of socks  you brought into the house? Blamed it on the sock fairy? It was the puppy you didn’t have yet, travelling back in time, relentless in pursuit of your socks.

You will develop a “twitch” around soft furnishings….

This will reveal itself one night when you are lounging on the sofa at a friend’s house, immersed in relaxed post-prandial chatter, and she reaches over to grab a cushion from beside you… “NODONTCHEWTHEF#%KINGCUSHIONS!!!”

You come round from the red mist to find yourself eyeball to eyeball with your friend who is down on the rug on her back with legs in the air, your lip curled to a canine snarl… You cannot apologise enough, it’s just been months of patient corrections and deep breaths, having to spend the chilly evenings with your neck crunked against the too high armrest of the sofa while your lovely squishy cushions go musty in the attic, waiting out the teething.

You will become a potty mouth…

Literally. Instead of responding to “How ya doing?” with the classic “Yeah pretty good, you?” Out will tumble a full breakdown of recent toilet tales and triumphs like “Yeah I’m ok, I mean I started my morning picking up poops and bleaching the rug  but he’s getting almost through the night now and his poops are much more sausage-like since the new kibble so it’s getting easier HA HA HA. Hurr…”

I now totally understand how it happens with new parents. You become so desensitised to the piss and shit of another creature, that you adore unconditionally,  that it actually becomes a fascination and a full-time project for a short while, during which time your still socially sensitised companions will brace themselves slightly before asking that question.

You will get addicted!

The sleepy squeaks and snuffles, the goofy gallop, the nestling and burrowing, the velvety softness, the smell of their  fuzzy little head when you kiss it (biological ruse, keep focus), the total adoration and awe, the wild comedy antics, the hapless curiosity, the total relaxed abandon on your belly, the ‘just the once’ spoony snuggles of that first week… You will get addicted. They will get big and doggy, and delight you in other ways, but you will start to linger a little longer as you pass the animal shelter, listening to the heart rending little yelps and whimpers. “Well. Having two is not much different to having one. Barney would love the company. Dogs are pack animals after all.” And so it begins again….

Just Say No.

Look how cute this puppy is!!!! ( I’m helping you to be strong, watch these as many times as it takes until the urge passes away, then you will be ok)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tracing the flow from not doing to right action

Right action arises from not doing.

I stop.

Relax.

Release my grip.

Unclench my fist.

Drop my shoulders.

Stop the hamster wheel

And get off.

Come home to myself.

Walk in the door of this moment.

Look and listen.

Take a seat in the armchair.

Listen to the silence.

Now.

Allow myself fully.

What does the wild wonder of the world

That I am

Feel moved to do?

Sleep.

Dance.

Apply.

Write.

Tackle.

Invite.

Create.

Cry.

Let something die.

Be born.

in allowing myself

Utterly

To do nothing,

To simply be

Ansolutely enough

In my being

For this moment,

I open the space inside

For crystal clear vision

Of next elegant step

And precisely what is needed,

All the energy required,

For the eassful flow of action

To issue forth joyfully

From my stillness.

I follow.

I move.

I act.

In utter self trust

Clarity

Alignment

Truth

Simplicity.

Nothing is pushing.

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Teaching what I need to learn

I’m stepping out further into my whole truth.

I’m showing you what I am made of, and what you are made of.

Becoming visible to myself, through the mirror.

Connection from the ground up.

Dwelling at home.

Digging where I stand.

Rooting to fruit.

Knowing that the myriad changes and transformations on the outside.

The spinning world of form

Is a reflection of the world inside

That now becomes clearer.

The external things are rearranging themselves

To reflect the true blueprint within

Which is lighting up.

All the dancers coming into constellation within me

And without.

The clear light of the masculine.

The deep red earth of the feminine.

Take time

For there is an inexhaustible supply of it

Really.

All of which is present

Here now.

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When love becomes the Loch Ness monster

There are several people in my life who I tell almost every time we connect, that I love them dearly. Lucky them, and lucky me.

Then there are a few with whom, it feels so, so loaded. Loaded like a gun that could kill us both and splatter our guts up the wall if it misfires.

To be clear, this is not because I do not love them, it is because somehow the idea of  love has become the Loch Ness monster in the room and the focal point of the paranoid paparazzi of past hurts that roam around inside me seeking to expose and debunk it. Love has taken on a mythical status and a hype machine has activated around it. To believe in it, to seek it, to try to capture it, to be sure of it…

Most people have a picture in their head of what ‘Nessy’ looks like. A few claim to have truly encountered it in the flesh, first hand, and write books about it and exhibit galleries of blurry photographs of it. They say it dwells in the depths we cannot fathom, and only a chosen few can take a glimpse of it. This creature is widely acknowledged to be immense and terrifying, but by all accounts benign – despite a fearsome exterior.

These are the connections in which I have felt the most the resistance to offering my humble expressions of love in the moment, fully aware of their imperfection and shades of grey, and the bits of fluff that might have got stuck on them in the bottom of my bag on my way to bring them to you. I’ll spend too long looking at them, dusting them off, and decide they are not sufficient. This can’t be  it, this can’t be enough, this can’t be right.

I’ve deconstructed love like so many castles in the sand. I know only what it is not. I am left with that which the tide cannot take away.

I’m over it now, the hunting and the hiding both.

Here I am, unremarkable and utterly exquisite in the light of day. Here is my imperfect, fluffy love, presented unexpectedly in unusual gift wrap, tossed into your hands like a hot potato as I bolt for the bus, sung in your ear while you are trying to sleep, thrust in your face while you are watching a movie or trying to read, spilling out of the containers you try to catch it in.

There is no shame in it, I have judged it too harshly. Trying to hold my love to saintly, mystical standards, contain it in carefully constructed corrals, make it sit quietly in the corner and hide all its colours under an old coat – for days, months, years.

My love in its chosen expression comes to you like a butterfly or a bluebird. Free and exquisite in the moment. Embodiment of soul. Essence of beauty. Coming to land gently on you and bless your heart, drink a little nectar, bask in the sunshine.

Love is simply me, as I am, when I am open, to you. Just gorgeous.

I recorded this little burst of song on a whim, whilst pottering in the kitchen and feeling the feels. It’s not planned, it is not perfect.  Real feels from me to you. I love you, don’t forget it 💕

 

 

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Suddenly it’s easy

 

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How do I know what to write? What to say? What to do?

How can I have more energy? Simplify my life? Discover my purpose? Fulfil my mission?

Be more real. No effort required.

A beautiful human once invited me to work on a project with him, I wanted to say yes, feeling his trust, but I was concerned that I didn’t have the requisite skills. His response was simple, sincere and powerful:

The only skill you need is realness. If it’s not working out, be more real.

Encountering a real human, who refuses to step out of their own truth to enter yours, can feel challenging. There can be a moment of feeling unmet. Likewise standing before another in the truth of who and how I am right now, and not shapeshifting to meet their expectations or fit into their comfort zone, can feel stark and abrupt.

This is the starkness of reality, the sledgehammer of truth, the blinding light of authenticity. It feels quite phenomenal.

Do or do not. There is no try.  ~ Yoda

Trying to be real is not it. It is what happens when all the trying stops. Stepping into my truth is not it. It is where I find myself when I do not step out. Becoming authentic is not it. It is my capacity to just be and to realise nothing more is coming.

It is being at home.

It is really easy.

What is true for me when I am at home in my self? Whatever my question, this is the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Live streams only – no more reruns

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My new blogging practise, fortuitously forced by techno gremlins, is to write free flow entries straight in to the box. No copying and pasting, no dredging up old stories. No drafts.

This comes hot on the heels of losing my entire website and all its content not too long ago.

Just before my website took a catastrophic dive into a fatal error, I had decided that what I probably needed to do was to take down most of the content and then start afresh, reposting only what still felt resonant. Perhaps I needed a nudge to see that none of it was truly resonant any longer!

Feeling at peace with this event, I decided to start anew with something really simple. My intention was to just blog my experiences in as direct and real a way as I could. Starting from now, eyes forward, no rehashing old poems or digging up past dramas. No safe, stale familiar favourites.

I head over to WordPress to set up a simple structure and discover I already have an account set up, and a blog template ready to go, and even a strap Line! A forgotten gift to my future self from my self three years ago!

I write my first post, all shiny nowness. Then I’m reminded of that one story… It’s so good, it’s time to share it with the world. So what if I wrote it three years ago, it’s better than anything I have to say now…

Computer says no! Thou shalt not copy and paste. Not anymore… Time to flow for real,speak straight from the heart in the moment, no more digging out my best bits and slotting my true presence in the moment behind a highlight of some other lifetime.

This right now is the moment,these are the words, this is the message. First draft,first cut, real raw deal. Action!