Saturday, 27 December 2014

Gifts can cause havoc

I had an item to return to the store from where it was ordered, via the post today due to it’s malfunctioning. Naturally as it is just two days after Christmas the lady behind the counter said; “oh a non-wanted present?” I suppose she had been accepting such parcels all morning. “Sadly wanted but not working”, I replied and exchanged the parcel for a return docket.

It is that time of year when I lift my hats off to the sales personal of just about every outlet or service centre in the region, especially if they can keep their cool. For what happens after Christmas when the lacy underwear was two sizes too small or the drill was the third received only just from different family members or the CDs are not needed, as one had already purchased them all over the i-Tune store? They are naturally given back to be either exchanged or returned. Often without the original packaging intact, as it had been ripped off in the excitement of hoping it will be finally an item you really wanted. Or the receipt is missing, as your gift giver threw it away or can’t find the right one. These are probably the easier cases to deal with.

I imagine the harder ones to know what to do with when you can or do not want them are those presents, which totally miss the mark. The gifts, which are given every year round, by the same person to the same person and they only, vary in colour, brand or size. The pair of socks, scarf, package of lacy hankies, box of chocolates or bubble bath items. The “quick gift” I call them. The feeling I need to give gift. My husband always wonders why on earth give bubble bath when every Tom, Dick and Harry can go buy his or her own now days. I find he has a point.

I know of an Internet side that actually sent out on Boxing Day an advertisement, encouraging you to sell off those presents that you do not want instead of mentioning their having missed their mark to the giver. Hence making money yourself and then buying something you can use with it. Not a bad idea actually if you cannot bring yourself to say it is an item you do not need, to the person whom gave it to you. Or there is the online exchange organization that says swap one gift for another, as long as you are prepared to pay for the postage it might require to do this. At least it might find it’s way to another who can use it.

What happens though when you get something that grates on you? As in you have said before this is not your taste or style and you still get given it? What happens when you feel hurt by the gift given because it seems so impersonal from the person you felt was close to you? What happens when you get nothing and where expecting something? How do you react to these situations? Such touchy questions to be asked let alone answer here.

Oh the joy of Christmas time, the time of love, giving, sharing and unselfishness or “Oh the headache of the aftermath of this generous season” could be more the slogan for many a person. Could there be a way to get around these typical, reoccurring stumbling blocks for so many gift givers and receivers – the unwanted, miscalculated, mismatched or unneeded gift(s)? I believe there is.

It requires you firstly to ask why you give in the first place. Is it to please, make you look important or show off. Is it to show appreciation and say thank you. Is it giving a part of yourself, in a way to show your love? May be, maybe not but you need to know why you are giving. That is the most important energy exchanged here and underlies all the following actions you will undertake. Seriously ask yourself what is your reason for giving. Find this out. Bore deeply until you have the answer then continue.

Secondly ask yourself would you like to get this item? Could you use it? If straight away the answer is no then do not give it. It will not be received well either. Give only what you yourself could appreciate or would have if you were of the age group, sex or type of person you are giving to. If you hate cooking you do not want Jamie Oliver’s latest quick dishes book nor do you want opera tickets if heavy metal is your thing, so do not give others gifts, which are against who they are.

Thirdly make sure the item is appropriate for the person getting it. You would not give an alcoholic a bottle of whisky or a person out of a job, amusement park tickets to a venue four hours away from their home to which they would first have to buy expensive train tickets to travel there. Missing the mark is just often plain laziness for not thinking before purchasing.

Fourthly not every gift must be used on the day given but it should be thought out. Gift vouchers can be personal items of giving time, energy and something another is missing or cannot do any more but you are capable of undertaking. Such as a set date for cleaning the windows of grandmas house, ready for springtime and her looking out from the winter garden onto her yard. Or babysitting your younger cousins, for the wedding anniversary of your Aunt and Uncle, so they can go out. Or taking a friends pet in for the holiday time when they are away so it doesn’t need to go to a kennel. These gifts are the ones, which make a whole event that extra special because you give your awareness of how important the person is to you. You give your time to them so they can have time for themselves!

Mostly remember if your gift contains money in an envelope put the reason for your giving it in a small message along with it. State that you maybe do not know the clothe taste, or desired perfume or required items wished for, hence the money should help in them getting exactly the right thing and that you would love to see this item when purchased. This shows you are interested in what is brought. It shows you want some “follow up” because you care!

A gift is something special. It can also be given without a reason. It can be given simply because you are loved and love. It can be a hug. It can be your listening. It can be your time. It can happen at any time. It can be for me simply the idea you have read my blog post here and have reflected upon what I have said. You have given me the gift of your presence, which is truly a present, to be treasured indeed.

As the year draws to an end and perhaps you are thinking of a New Years resolution please think on this: what about just promising yourself you will give yourself time to find out what you really need in the coming year and pledge to give yourself it as a “gift” to yourself simply because you can, within the new year!

Your Korus 

Friday, 26 December 2014

Is this ultimate reality?

Getting bits and pieces out of the road before we begin our holidays and several items keep making themselves known to me. One is the typical question of how should my friends contact me. I find this so strange because since January 1988 I live in the same small village, with the same address and telephone number. Nothing has changed. Not my place of work. Not my husband, he, he. Not my eye colour either though maybe my hair tone is taking on shades of grey.

Yet still it comes up "can you give me your actual email address" or "is this getting through". I know myself when an email fails and I need to ask why I then begin the search for the reason. Often it is a typing mistake that makes it bounce back or the recipient never empties their box and has reached the limit for incoming mail. Or lately it is the "spam blockers" that do not want to accept a business address. I place a "notification" request always on my emails then I know they arrived - whether or not the person opened it is another question.

It reminds me of all the times I sent out gifts to friends and family always wondering if they arrived. Not word of thanks or acknowledgment would filter back. In those days the computer service was just starting out so one would wait for a phone call or short mail message that it had at least been seen. I soon gave up sending gifts as a "no reply" made me think they were more bothered by the item than thrilled by it. Could that be the same with emails or other electronic messages now days?

I know myself we cannot because of our business, block any junk mail or recipients. We have no clue whom could be a guest so we need to let "all types of mail" flood in. Hence the amount of unwanted intrusions is large on any given day and at times maybe you could press a delete button by mistake before realizing it is from a friend not foe. That could be an unintended mistake but not intentional.

What I have found rather sad though is that through electronic informing even the very personal becomes impersonalized or misunderstood. Then I wonder do I want to "correct" or "re-inform" in regards to the twisted way the informant received my information? For in doing so it comes to mind that they hardly but once a year have contact with me and so it would require a heck of a lot of setting things straight. I am no longer "seen" to many of my old friends who I left behind in Australia so long ago. They do not live the daily dramas I experience. They are not privileged to my intrigues in life because they have only become a part of the fringe of things. How sad is that in one-way but also reality of the natural drifting apart of people who you thought knew you.

This Christmas, I found out through a short worded email from a long-standing family friend that his brother had died two weeks previously. I would have normally thought he would have rang me. We had just spoken two months ago on the phone. Contact has always been there verbally. The electronic system rarely used. You say well a death makes it different? No actually that should not be the case! To date I have always received news of someone’s ceasing to exist through direct word of mouth. Why now in my elderly friend the change? Yes he is grieving most definitely. Also perhaps blocked by sadness to taking action but there is something else too. It saddens me to acknowledge that the times are changing, not just that I am aging. I have become a stranger to those I knew once, for I am no longer in their daily lives. I am half way around the world. Out of sight out of mind. Are you only seen to be here when you are daily in someone’s circumference? Living the "ins and outs" on a shared space in the same place and time zone.

My mother has no telephone. No landline or mobile phone. She has a computer. Normally she sends me a telephone number for me to ring on Christmas day. This year no message came. So I wrote straight away an email. She wasn't in. I got a day later the info she would not be near a phone and she will try to ring in the next few days. This saddened me to no end for it really shows there is a change occurring. Is it that I am starting to be not needed? Are we all so wrapt up in our own lives that we cannot contact one another physically?

Yes there is a time for laughter and a time to cry. There is a time for gathering together and a time to be alone. When is the time to know that the communication between humans has begun to take on the impersonal manner of "big brother is watching you" and your no longer known?

Your Korus

Friday, 19 December 2014

Simple things are not rare

I think it is all about the “simple things” in life, which make a moment so memorable. Often in the hectic leading up to Christmas or at the end of another year we are pushed into believing it’s “all about the money, pressies, haste, closed deals and desired holidays.”

Call me old fashioned if you will but I know it’s more about taste, smell, feelings, sensations, longing and hope. Why? For in giving “into” the simple things I have mentioned here we have to stop. Listen. Think. Take notice. Be aware. Give. Love.

May you over the twelve days of Christmas be able to find time in which to reflect upon, and re-act on, what these simple things could be in your life. To help you see where they already exist, here are some suggestions to discovering how to live life, not simply be in it.

Listen by taking time out to visit a friend to have a cup of tea and share a friendly word or two. Think when you are purchasing “edibles” for the Christmas feast or children’s stockings and reach for fair-trade products or items, which were produced locally. These are not only created under better conditions with environmentally friendly methods but also they are helping support those who made and sold them to you, financing directly their livelihood. Take notice when out walking under the starry sky late at night while returning home from a party; look up to see the heavens expanding above you. Reflect that I too am looking at the same part of the universe, only just from another section of the world yet still we are bound together upon this earth. Be aware that when you hear the sound of birds singing or the hum of the bee it means there could still be a future for you and me. It is only when their tone has disappeared that you will then realise you have used up all the time you had, for caring for our planet and all that exists upon it. Give generously of your words in the form of a letter or card and show that you care. It is a much greater gift than anything money can buy. It reminds those living far away from you, they are still held tenderly in your life in the memories you treasure dear.

While the most abundant “simple thing” of all is love we have such difficulty with this never-ending energy that has no physical form until we make it into one. Which has no words until we give it a voice or no face until we become its messenger. It is what you can be unlimited with in giving. While to live love costs you not a cent rather it enriches everything you do. Love is the tiny spark that resides within the deepest chamber of your heart where you have locked it away but it has always been there. Its demise of being used freely was a gradual process, after you began experiencing being told to hold back love, not give love out to quickly or over use love for it is complicated and not just an act of simplicity, to set it in motion. These often used recitations only brought you into reacting counter productively, by placing love into a place no one could take it from you. Hiding it. Holding it in. Some of you have even thrown away the key to where you buried it deep inside yourself.

Find the key again. Re-open the door leading into the dungeon where you banished love. Release its penetrating warmth, which brings feeling back into frozen limbs and deadened minds. The action of being love itself – smiling at a stranger, giving a homeless beggar on the street corner a hot coffee and delicious sandwich, thanking the shop assistant for her help, wishing the bus driver whom drove you home a continued safe journey on his shift or helping an elderly person in your unit to carry her items upstairs to her flat are but a few ways to “be love”.

Perhaps a simple thing it help you re-kindle love as it steps out of the darkness where you had it shut away, would be to light a candle and allow the flame that grows stronger as it burns, to give hope. For without hope we see no purpose. We find our way not but blindly carry on doing what we are pushed into doing. Take heart and know it is possible to change the future when your actions are love centred. Not money orientated or based on greed and processions or conquering another’s way of thinking to reconditioning them to yours. Give all space to be love, live love and become love.

Place into action a few of these simple things now and see your whole world open up to you in ways you had not yet thought possible. The simple things are at your fingertips. Reach out, take them, and use them. Simple things are the stepping-stones always to something much larger at work.  You just need to see them.

Your Korus

It’s about the way you view it right?

Should I be a hermit
living in a small hunt
beneath a walnut tree
on the edge of a cliff
with the sea below 
spraying up onto 
my thatched hut?

Should I be a city girl
Rising up in the elevator
to levels high
lonely in my own castle
in the sky?

Should I live alone
or in a commune
or perhaps be part of a clan
or religious sect
humming songs in a blind tone
along with a hip band?

Should I live at all,
is their a reason for ones life
perhaps that is more the question
when one becomes redundant 
exposable or left over
from another era?

Would I even ask that question
if I was fourteen 
when life seems full of promise
and shine and clean?

Would I need to know the answer
if I was twenty-five
when career, lover and holiday
destinations are more the flair
and one feels "so alive"?

Could I get an answer when I
reach the mid way section in life
the mark of decay showing up
a wee bit more each day
under the skin, hidden in the liver
only to be known when you
dare to give the doc a sliver.

are terms I have long left behind
for they bring doubt, confuse and drain
your essence of being within
this very moment your in.

Its all about the way you view it - right?
living, participating, being
in this exact point of your life
no matter upon which side
of the scale 
your numbers show up.

Forget the need to please
The desire to achieve
Wish not your time away
fighting for something you can not
have anyway.

Be here.
Be aware.
Simply be yourself and maybe
someone else will see
the reason behind your way
of living in the now
not tomorrow or yesterday.

Your Korus 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The ultimate question is "why bother"

There is nothing harder than living in a country, which has a “zero attachment background” for you to your roots. When we are born, we have an “unseen grounding” to the country in which we are “delivered into”. This in turn means our upbringing gives us all the inside knowledge needed, to step forward into life and all its challenges, as a member of that society.

I am a foreigner in Germany. I understand that which I have married into (the Swiss mentality), that which I have chosen to live in (the German mindset) and that which I thrive upon (my Kiwi juice) do not always fit together. Yet I feel comfortable being an outcast in my own town, circle of friends or intermediate family until “that time” rolls around!

What is “that time”? It is a section of the year in which we practice traditions and activities that have a very prominent link to our roots. They are usually part of a worldwide practice, which is occurring at the same time everywhere, only not with the same emphasizes placed upon them. For me one of these times is at Christmas.

The first influx of action for getting into the Christmas mood actually bothers me hardly at all. For the decorating of our restaurant before Advent begins is a rather neutral ground for placing light, angels, holly and Christmas roses in such a manner they are welcoming for all. I get great pleasure in unwrapping my various decorations and recalling how my children made this item or that as well as remembering where others where purchased.

Maybe the first touch of melancholy comes more into play when I pull out a CD with songs from my traditional English Christmas collection. Especially, as I actually never had much of a Christmas celebration in my immediate family environment as a child, these songs can rattle my bones. They bring up what I had for a short time as stability in my formative years. I was “shipped off” to the grandparents in Australia each Christmas season for the first few years of my life, which wasn’t really all that bad. I had my cousins to romp around with on the farm, getting into all types of devilish mischief. Also my grandfather played the organ in the local Anglican Church, so I would hear him practicing by us at home on the piano all the Christmas carols for weeks at a time. Humming along to the tunes, as I made mince meat pies with Nana in the kitchen, I was in my element. So it’s not the music, which “sets me off” for it is rather soothing.

It is more the moment I begin to prepare to write my Christmas cards. A very old fashioned action indeed now days. Everything is normally done electronically. E-cards, texted messages, movie clips of your head placed upon a dancing elves body, balancing on a surf board singing “what we are all doing for Christmas is surfing where your not” are more the rage. The traditional occupation of the postman delivering mail to your letter box will probably soon go out of fashion, just like tapes and CD´s are almost extinct. Yet here I am thinking upon all my family and friends spread around the world at the end of November. Pondering on what they may have got up to over the last year as I address envelopes. Sifting through what I have to tell them about my experiences of life in the twelve months since I last wrote.

My Darls mentions with a rolling of the eyes, “Oh yeah its that time of year once again”. He is not a Christmas person what so ever. Funny that when you had all the tinsel and celebration around you growing up, it can turn you in the other direction of wanting to run away from it rather than embrace it. He would be just as happy if you never mentioned a word of “all I want for Christmas is” in his presence and it has nothing to do with presents. It has to do with no carols, no church, no fuss over what you eat or with whom. Sound like a familiar Dickens character to you too, Lol?

Anyway so I place on my worn down Mathalia Jackson “Silent night” album on the turn table and I drift off into a world of tenderness and awareness. I compile my Christmas poem to reflect what I feel must strongly about over the last year. I hand write it in every card. I hand write individual letters to various people whom I know, want to know what we are up to as well and make some copies of a few photos to include. Then the first Christmas card arrives from overseas from a friend. That is the moment I get edgy.

It gives me such a feeling of being embraced with love but I begin to miss the exchanges of English style fruit mince pie and Christmas cake afternoon teas. The planning of which carol service you will attend. The talking of a local Christmas pantomime play you wish to visit from a friends theatre group.  The “simple things” that are the lead up for me to Christmas Day and its splendor. This year my first Christmas card was from a special friend here in my hometown. It arrived along with my Mums card. Usually she's first but my girlfriends lay on top of the pile of mail hence hers was technically at the front! This is when I realized I am living in a dual society. I write in English and many here have no clue how British English is complied. Often they find it long winded (but believe me the German language can go on forever and put you to sleep!) or complicated. We do use more expressive terms with a lot of innuendo involved in our language. Yet cutting that out would strip us of our individuality. We would become just another cut out from the sterilized pack of advertising jargons.

I say the devil wears a red dress for a reason! He wants to convince you to shorten your ways to sending off a digital greeting card that can even arrive a few seconds before Christmas eve strikes. A physical card requires up to two weeks to maybe get to the land of destination. He wants you to “get to the point” and state “Merry Xmas” cause then he has won and gotten rid of Christ in the main word. Crossing out Christ in Christmas is one of the greatest victories he can achieve and sadly it has taken a foothold just about everywhere. He would just say it gets it all down quicker and at less cost. Money and time are equally valued in our society and he would be adding up how he is ranking in the winnings here. He loves the idea you throw everyone into the same category and give him or her all a standized greeting. “Economize and hit the nail on the head” would be his slogan even if the message was impersonal. He’s into gathering numbers not hearing your story.

The devil loves telling you forget writing your Christmas cards. Become “up to date” and get wasted instead on mulled wine at the local Christmas markets. Slap everyone on the back and boast about what your buying the loved one for Christmas just don’t talk about the credit your have taken out to do it. Show your crissy spirit by dressing up as a Santa’s helper with your boobs popping out from the tight bodice and make all think it’s honestly only about sex not about a babe in a manger.

Ok go ahead and have your fun I say for each and everyone should find the reason behind this season to celebrate. The devil is a hungry, industrialized commercial magnet and he will never give up making this time of year into a laughing joke. Just please do not ask me to join in. I will not shorten my words to become a blind commercial jingle, without substance. Its not my thing. Rather let me do it my way and be me. Singing to old carols as I write my thoughts on why life is all about the “simple things”. Why a card written by hand is part of the sharing of my soul. Why I say to the devil wear your red dress baby but know I have the stamina to hold through when the winter gets cold, for I have gathered during the years, memories that have a much stronger hold on me. And I think my true friends know what the English language means to me. While the traditions of my forefathers will be kept alive in the words I write inside my Christmas cards, for eternity.

A real Christmas card with a kind and personalized word can go a long way in making someone feel so special in the commercialized world we live in today. It for me shows I care about you. Write one today for it could honestly mean the world to the one who receives it! 

Your Koruswhispers 

Monday, 8 December 2014

there is always a reason

Have you ever had a conversation out of the blue, with someone during the process of your travels (such as in a train or waiting at the airport) and you ask yourself how did you get onto such a special topic so quickly and what was the reason for this? Then within the last few seconds of your exchange it all falls into place and you know exactly why!

“Often you say” or perhaps “this never happens to me”.  I find I experience this on a regular basis. Even though I do not travel often there is a reason I sit down in a particular section of a train, near another person also on a journey from A to B, separate from me yet also through an unseen thread, connected to me.

That was how it was as I began my return trip back from visiting my daughter, after a pre-Christmas “time out”. The first part of my train travel was without instances expect the typical slight tardiness of the German train system. Yet even this made no impact upon my connecting journey, as it was also delayed and so it was that I bordered an overcrowded train and found myself, in the six-compartment cabin for the handicapped. I asked the man entering before me if you we are able to sit here. He said, “as long as no one comes in who is entitled to be here, yes, otherwise we then need to vacate the seat”. So I sat down and began to read. A partly blind man sat down beside us, his ears sealed by a pair of headphones, connecting him to his own inner world of sound. He was completely unaware of what we were experiencing.

Upon arriving at the first designated stop, as all the other passengers began to debark, our blind compartment companion slowly began to unwind his Braille stick getting up to leave the train. He was enclosed within his own world hence my compartment companion opened the door for him, watching him make his way towards the trains exit. Not in a hurry. Taking his steps in a rhythm only he walked. I asked if he made it off the train in time, as my cabin fellow was watching him disembark. Yes he said, “He just got off before the doors closed”. I saw through the train’s wide side windows, his bulky earphones mingle in with the other passengers on the platform and then he was gone. We could definitely learn from his self-reassurance I thought, that all to its own time!

I mentioned how amazing it was that he managed to know still even when to get off, for he could not have heard the conductors announcement. He must have an inner antae that “tuned” him in.  And so it was that we began a short but intense conversation on “awareness”. Awareness means to “take note” of what is happening around, near or by you, within the very moment you are in without needing “outer sight”. It’s an “inner feeling”. It is not like being watchful. More the tone here is of interaction and reaction. Creating your own action from inner observation.

“Awareness” is the word that has taken naturally the media and our consciousness of today’s world in storm.  Seminars, books, movies, retreats, dozens of mediative or other “practice promoting possibilities” to get you there or at least on your way can be purchased. What I wondered, are you for a person who suddenly hits upon a topic that has been floating around in my mind since yesterday and with which I immerse myself all the time of late.

For me it is important that I live what I preach with a daily balance of reflection but not imprisoning my thoughts and actions into a ridge cage of indifference or inaction. Being aware. I am continuously expanding and contracting my set views and opinions, which can be so ridge and restricting. Awareness then allows them to be released and be guided rather by my heart energy, instead of my egoistic mind full from past teachings, and processes lived.

For simplicities sake lets call my male train companion my “mirror reflection” or mr.  Mr mentioned that this weather is rather penetrating in its damp coldness of late, seeping right into your bones. I replied, “yes it is definitely requiring more rugging up than the dryer air of snow” and so it was that I stated I especially noticed this, as my daughter and I walked around the Christmas markets, rugged up against the chill but with plenty of time to mender and view all we saw. We exchanged where we were travelling to, if this was the regular manner of transportation used and I mentioned how train travel is for me so pleasant in Germany. In New Zealand it would be a whole different ball game if you went by the train or more likely bus. From this comment, come the precise direction then of our intense spiritual exchange.

We did not start “singing or humming or doing palm readings”. Rather we began to share an in-depth conversation on the “Zeitgeist”, the spirit of the times and its influence on the human being whom rush around having not a minutes space for viewing how they are living; let alone where, with whom or the reason for their existence, to come into question. We talked about what it is to actually practice awareness. To integrate awareness into your daily living.  I told of my previous days run in which I, ascending a steep hill, stopped up short as all the trees in front of me began to dance. It was as if a strong hand was shaking them from the roots up although the earth upon which I stood was as still as could be. Then I tuned into the immigrating birds song, which came from within the foliage as the sparrows began to rise up from the camouflage of the bare branches, where they had taken rest and fly further upon their journey from this winter coated hemisphere. Through my running in the open, with all senses alive to what surrounded me, I was free to experience the moment pure. It was electrifying for it showed me the rhythms of our own inner clock. It gave me the chance to capture in my minds eye, the vision of nature in action.

I became the tree that gave shelter, the bird that sang of its journey and the flock that gained strength from a communal ritual. This event that has occurred centuries before me and will continue to do so, long after my bones have once again returned to the stardust from which they originally came.

My mr told of his often standing stock still at the traffic lights, by an intersection and viewing those commuting around him. The traffics flow. The sound of the cities never-ending churning hum, that filters up from the cracks in the pavement and penetrates those walking upon it, without them realizing how it propels them forward, faster and faster into a black hole of timeless activity. The city never sleeps and so we humans become its cogs in the coils of its metallic mechanisms. We too are migrating instinctively towards the evolution of possibilities we humans think, we designate ourselves but actually never question if its productive or not!

Back and further our conversation went and a part of me watched from the side thinking, “who are you?” I knew these eyes viewing me from the other side of the train compartment. Compassion and intensity were reflected there. I am often told people cannot look me in the eye when I direct my full attention to them, as they feel “exposed”.  My mr was not feeling this rather I was and had at times to break eye contact. For me something new, which made my awareness of this moment only heightened.

I then shared a moment I had experienced yesterday about taking a photo in a large market hall of tea packaging. You read right, packaging. Not a person in the photo. This market hall is a gem of reconstructed history that has tourist guides filling you in on all the “hassle and bustle” that has kept it in the last 100 years a place of trade. You can, if your Euros have the crispness needed, purchase to your hearts delight. A tea once given to me by my son was on display in a massive scale and I thought, “I could buy one and send him a picture of where I did”.

“Stop taking photo. Stop. No photo. No photo!” screamed loudly, an Italian shop assistant from behind her counter. I just about peed my pants from shock. My heart skipped three beats and I wondered what all the fuss was. I had not tried to steal a thing. This reaction was strange being in a market hall, which was photographed from left, right and centre.  A tourist beside me said, “fancy, no photos”. I reacted by stating, “strange in a wonderful building like this” and I walked further, tears welling in my eyes, trying to gauge what the problem was. My daughter said the assistant probably knew you did not want to buy something and I had then to explain I actually wanted to and what I was doing.  She saw it as just an irate stall owner.  I as a “lesson to be learned from”, so I questioned continuously in my head what had I done to offend and where was the harm. Others perhaps would shout back an abusive comment. I pondered further. My mr and I talked about this, as in what can be done with photos now days in the Internet if someone was on the photo and how this can be abused and used in an inappropriate manner.

I then experienced within the next ten minutes something that was on the opposite reaction scale. Walking out of the market hall we went to a small pizza stand, where freshly made treats where available for purchase. Here we ordered one to share and the elderly man behind the counter offered me a free apple punch to try. The result being I brought one too! We then went to a table to wait on our order, which came several minutes later and I again took a photo of our “treat”. “Oh you’re photographing that – it looks really good!” said an elderly mans voice and I looked up to see an old, wrinkled German male face had stopped to watch what I was doing. He smiled and asked, “Why are you photographing it?” I explained I wanted to show my Darls, what we were doing and jokingly what he was missing out on! “Oh you’re a treasure”, he said, (my daughter was watching us, as if we came from Mars!) wished me a lovely evening and continued on his way. A few minutes exchange also over in a moment. So in a short span of time I had been shouted at, given a free drink and then praised! I was acutely aware of each event. My mind was ticking like crazy trying to order everything and find out what from these bamboozled collection of reactions was my lesson for the moment.

This is where my Mr comes back in. He said out of the blue, “you need not think all this had a direct relationship to you, as often it’s happening for another’s awareness and their expansion. You’re just the Catullus for something greater than that which you are living at this present moment. You’re the mirror for someone else”.

We arrived at the end station of Misters journey. He debarked. Exited. Conversation finished.  I had been given what was needed. Did you register when that had occurred in the last minute? My answer was stated in a simple manner: “You need not know why this all happened to you, for your only here to set something else in motion”. Yes I can live with that. It was my reason for experiencing all of this commotion. Not everything is directly related to me. I am aware that sometimes my presence is needed for another to venture further.

What a freeing thought indeed to think we intertwine with one another, in a mystical dance that brings each of us further along our own individual pathway, at a time that is just right for us.

There is always a reason for what I live. Just it might not be needed for me personally, rather I am giving another a helping hand along the way, to finding a reason to put a sparkle in their day. How I especially love that during pre-Christmas time.

Your Koruswhispers

Monday, 17 November 2014

there is nothing you are meant to do

What do you see in this moment surrounding you as you read these words? Is it a table, a garden view or perhaps a wall in a hotel? Is your attention flickering between noting what is “outside and surrounding you” to what your feeling inside? Perhaps an inner conflict of  “to do” and “should be done” is going on. Maybe you consciously decided to take a moment to have a break from a business document and check into my blog site therefore there is, no conflict going on. Or maybe it came from a scrolling down the Instagram postings and you then redirected to this side feeling curious and there is the conflict, for you had not intended to spend so much “time out” doing social media “things”.

Where ever your sitting at this present moment reading this, between whatever you are doing, it is meant to “be”. You are required to know something very simple. Something you overlook so often, which should hold your number one placement spot upon your list of things “to do, and be aware of daily”.  Here it is and I will separate it from this line so you can read it clearly. There is nothing you are meant to do.

Ok you say but I am meant to breathe. Really? I always thought that just occurred. A natural born attribute you are given when you get the first “shock of your life” coming wretched out of the encasing of the warm, motherly womb and into the surgical lights.  I will state it again.
There is nothing you are meant to do.

I am meant to keep fit you cry. Why? Was that not something we naturally did when we “hunted and gathered” for our food? It is just in these times in which we live, that term has become more “overload”. I sense the shopping cart size has definitely a connection to the expanding clothing size, which has slowly increased inch-by-inch, year-by-year.
“Do not buy it” your thinking. I am required to get an education, earn a good wage, and love my neighbour. I am … Stop. Right there.  Honestly it is the same old carousel you’re giving out which we all find ourselves spinning upon one time or another. A rehashed statement, which I have heard a thousand times before. Yet it is honestly also ok. For some folks really are convinced they are here to hold onto property or make a good social impression or provide for their family or even fix the wrongs of the wronged, depending on who they see as being persecuted. So one more time here: There is nothing you are meant to do.

Oh you’re seeing I have highlighted something. Good. I want to help you out here a wee bit. You see our society has become a collection of doers. We do social projects. Do makeovers. Do workouts. Do exams. Do, do, do till our bodies wear out, our minds go numb and our souls are “sold out” to the highest bidder for “doing it right”. To do requires a person, institution, government, organisation, moral group, basically something or one to tell you it is this way to walk, talk, act or  “do” this, that or whatever.  So what really do you need to do if there is nothing I should be doing? I believe you need to actually rather be. Be love. Be alive. Be aware. Be patience. Be active. Be peace. Honestly you can be what ever you want. Just be you. Be the light you were born from. Be the essence of what you brought into this world before it got all caught up in doing.

To be L O V E is to

Let Openness Venture Endlessly forwards or
Live Over Vindictive Elements effortlessly and have
Limitless Outreaching Voluminous Energy, expanding from within and reaching out into the universe surrounding you.

To “do” something I need enormous energy, to implication my action. Whether it is a friendly or aggressive undertaking really doesn’t matter. It requires effort.  You become so tired up to rallying to this cause or that, with only the slogan “do now something”, “we can’t do without your help”, “do not undertake that step” or “do you not hear what I demand of you” you loose being you.

To “be” your true self takes more effort than just doing what is asked of you. That is why I know it is for the majority of you who read this a lot to swallow. For “to be yourself”, “ to be love”, “to be the pure essence of life in the living form of a caring, compassionate and peace filled person, you actually are required to be happy within yourself”.  Totally content as a baby in the womb of its mother, secure and nourished by the love it receives. For when you are totally comfortably in your own skin, your own area, which you occupy then you can give unconditionally and willingly love. Requiring no back up or deposit as a security blanket. You do not need that. You are then being what you were born to be. Pure love in personification being here to shine, support your fellow man/woman/child and create something miraculous – heaven on earth now.

How do you begin to be? Not do. A good place to start is accepting you as you are, with all your corners, edges and bumps. They are correct in just the manner they stand today. Look at the three forms of “Love” above and ponder how you can be open, less vindictive and outreaching to the world surrounding you and in which you live. That would be a start and as you continue to ponder remember there is nothing you are meant to do for you need only be love. That would be the best start out to creating a new world for all to live in harmony. I know I do not what to” imagine” this change within humanity, so we can survive. I want to be the change that gives us the change to thrive!

Your Koruswhispers

Friday, 7 November 2014

Captivated by you!

To be captivated can be horrific. It can cause irreversible damage to you. To be captivated can be exhilarating. It can cause permanent elation for you. Both forms of captivity effect the same person – Who? You!

To capture your heart I need to do what? Set a trap that makes you promises that can never be fulfilled. To capture your attention do I need to bewitch you, luring you into a place where your aim is to strive to obtain that which is held, like a tempting morsel in front of your nose, for health, wealth or immortally?

To be captivated in a world of greed, power and so-called might is not hard. To be held captivated within the walls of an illusion that the fashion, media or other morons of “correct behaviour” would like us to believe is easy enough. The allure in their paradox of what’s good can cause you to take pills, swallow potions, get “tucked and nipped” and sell your soul. 
So what is this captivity or captive state I talk about here? Am I referring to capture, as meaning to be only held hostage, within a state of being confined to a small space, from which it is difficult or impossible to escape?  If I was then in its worst form it explodes into life in that of “blood and war”; conflicting religious and mind games, which we see as images daily, flashed in front of our eyes, when we watch various controversial news stations. That is not were I am going.

I am not talking either of the enthral captivating feeling, which enraptures you into living a “Barbie and Ken” lifestyle. Chasing an illusion or simply going through someone else’s textbook list, to create a beguile life of “pleasure and pain” entrapment. Although many of you can’t get past this it is not what I want to address.

I would like to rather deal with the captured entanglement of yourself; within the prison walls you have created over the years, in your own inner world, buried deep down inside your unconsciousness. The areas in your life in which you have ordered rulebooks to live by, without even realizing you do it. How they hold you in constraint, strangulating the center of your love – your heart.  The straitjacket of your upbringing, past experiences and set definitions of what is right and wrong. The stunting of the person you are now because you, yes you, ensnare your true core self in restrictions. Placing them on the pathway of your future, never being able to step over them for fear of being “blown apart” by the unleashed power they have over you. And the saddest part is often you do not even realize it until it is to late.

Capture. Captivate. Captivity. Three “Cs” from which our ego, feed willingly by societies power push, plays upon with delight as we struggle with the daily play of being. I capture moments in time and place them with tenderness in my mind to recall on a rainy day. Perhaps it is a birthday celebration or a feeling I have when something goes right or maybe I am captivated by the way my family feels I hold everything together perhaps– household, job, private time, remembering appointments and sending off regularly the birthday cards to distant relatives.  Or maybe I am held in captivity by my own sense of righteousness having allowed the Sunday school sermons of my childhood to keep me in check; turn the other cheek, even when I know the reasons are ridiculous, holding too many paradoxes for making any sense. Any of this sounds familiar? So how to brake free from this mesmerizing death wish to not “be” the true you.

Let me give you a concrete example from myself. There was a moment in time that I captured myself saying something a second time round, in which I just for the life of me could not stand fully behind anymore.  I stated, “To live in a foreign country and run my own business I would have to learn the language first hence going back to school would be a needed “action”.“ Why was I saying this? I was reciting something so silly to my girlfriend before leaving Australia, for I felt bound to say it to her, as a form of confirmation I was doing a “rational thing” (she thought I was bananas). This was the first time I made this statement. She was a teacher, a planner and a follower of procedure so this was expected of me right? I had already made the decision to travel overseas, without hesitation I might add, going into the hospitality industry with my husband speaking not a word of German in Germany. So obviously I did not really believe what I was reciting otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this, right? Yet my schooling, my upbringing and some of my family and friends considered my statement an essential fact to be carried out. So I said it to myself inside my mind, again and again.

Upon arriving in Germany, fascinated by the cultural differences surrounding me, I threw myself into every aspect of life with gusto. I made heaps of mistakes in the language. I floundered. I was embarrassed and at times humiliated. I felt like a small child caged in an adults body. I struggled, felt ashamed at my limitations and I remembered what I had said to my friend downunder; so I enrolled in night school for the “German Proficiency Certificate” programme for foreigners. Not a conversational course but rather a ridged, constricting timetable of grammatical constraints, set timetables and examination guidelines. I pushed myself through the first years semesters with the pressures of business breathing down my neck. Along with raising two small children, juggling my community involvement (kindergarten and English Sunday school duties and village life) and feeling completely lacking as a person because I was frustrated at not “pulling it together quicker” in the written form of German. Add to that my autoimmune sickness that makes my brain at times literally “fog up”, I was losing the essence of me.

Then one evening my German teacher Mrs Vorneck came to eat in our restaurant along with her husband. The restaurant was full and I was really kept on my toes but still I had enough time to converse with each and every guest. Asking if they enjoyed their meal or enquiring (if they were regulars) how their recent holiday was or after their family. I talked about wines, my husbands cooking, the reasons we had opened a restaurant in an area it is said, “the fox and rabbit say good night to one another”. When I came to my teacher’s table her husband asked me why I was doing the language course by his wife. I stated, for a second time, “To live in a foreign country and run my own business I felt I would have to learn the language first hence going to night school is a necessity.” He said with amazement to me but “that is what I already did to perfection – speak the language; writing it word perfect could not improve at all on what you say now. It is amazing how you converse. Your vocabulary and handling of the difficult German language is exceptional”.  I was suddenly bluffed as his wife said she could not agree more.

When had I captivated myself into thinking I was only of value in being able to handle a second language when I could produce a International certificate to say I could bring it onto paper, word perfect? So it was that I began to break out of that confined space from which I had been conditioned to believing was difficult or impossible to escape out of.  The capture of me, needing to be perfect.  I took my own life back in my hands. I realized that I did not feel, see, view or stand by what I was saying in relation to learning German to be able to work here in Germany anymore. I was reclaiming my ground as an individual and it felt good. For the “captivating moment” mentioned above (the conversation with the Vorneck´s) made me also feel again my own power of being a valuable human and of having a choice. That is what I am talking about here. Realizing how we allow ourselves to disappear through what is given out, as being correct, needed, required. We give up the voice of the one person who can be free to create change and make a difference - ourselves. We learn from an early age to be rather “bonded and tied” to a group view than express our own individual opinion.

I stopped the cruelling German lessons and stepped with joy into going to German theatre, reading fabulous German novels from passionate local authors, conversing with the neighbours about topics of home grown importance and just being me. Writing in my mother tongue while creating with the conversational usage of my second language a world I want to live in. I captured myself in a moment, not following through with giving the most important person in my life - me – my undivided attention. Thank goodness I did.

Yet it is this standing up for the fire that burns within your soul, which is fuelled by a passion to start something new, that allows you to break free and plant a garden for tomorrows feeding of humanity. To do this you need to know you are worth every ounce of your being. It matters not a pickle if you are living in a land in which you were born. Your view is needed wherever your domicile is. Your participation, in breaking the shackles of restriction for those less able to, is essential to the future of our world. Each and every one of us is valuable. We have a voice which can be heard when we release the iron bands around our heart, holding in our love for ourselves and allowing it to spill out. Gathering at the end of the rainbow our own pot of gold.

Begin my stepping out of the captivity of needing to be part of a unit. Captivate yourself being you and become captivating for the world.

Your Koruswhispers

Sunday, 5 October 2014

I am I

I never realised just how intensive some people go through life being immersed in being peeved. Not just the irrational annoyed with a situation or moment. Rather the continuous grumpy disposition at all and sundry. Then to top it off they get irrationally irate at those who find life like a large colourful lollipop – there for all to enjoy and have a taste of. This comment comes from a direct experience I just had while on a study trip to a land composed of drastic contrasts and contradictions. I had decided to do something that I had never done to date – go on a study trip and share a room with a fellow traveller whom I did not know. I had considered this would be of benefit for me not just from a financial situation but also to be able to share and explore new experiences together while being in a foreign land. It was instead a powerful lesson in the diversity and contrasts of human nature and its strong play on the individual.

My room colleague was a Russian, pensioned maths teacher. A mother and grandmother, who also taught Qigong but not that from my teacher’s method but another school. She and I had had one short conversation on the phone prior to deciding to share a room but had not met before hand. I met her the first time in the first hotel we were to share in Chengdu, China, as the keys for the rooms where handed out. My first impression was on her very downward turned mouth and set facial expression, a sign of someone who was feeling imposed upon I thought.

I find having been working in the gastronomy now for over thirty-two years that my gauging of a persons personality, from the first facial contact to an actual verbal interaction leaves me in good stead for what to expect. I am rarely off track with my first impression either. We humans are very expressional creatures on our outside casing that is when it comes to showing our inwardly views, outwardly and I am usually right on line in reading “between the lines” the face over from me. I am also very adaptable when it comes to “fitting in” and this can be to my disadvantage, for I will take care to smooth out a situation or make sure another has a comfortable position before checking to see how I fair. It comes from both my boarding school experience of feeling the need to have a secure place and my not wanting to “rock the boat”, my forced upon responsibility as an older sister to be mother and carer due to family circumstances, as well as my business sense/ethnic of creating an environment for others to feel right at home in, for me to work in.

Hence so it was here on my so-called holiday/study trip.  I noted quickly what was the outwardly situation, also sensing from my intuitive stand something was not right here with this lady at this present moment. This immediately proved correct as she stated she was exhausted from the flight and just wanted to rest and not have all the hassle of having to deal right now with this strange land. I on the other hand had also been on my travelling legs for over twenty-four hours but was raring to get going and explore the mixture of sounds and smells from my surroundings that were pulling at all my senses. It was like the anticipation on Christmas morning before your parents had woken up and you had sneaked down to peek underneath the Christmas tree, if perhaps there had been a transformation around it over night (from its bare “alone stand” to an overabundant volume of expansion of pressies from Santa which nestled underneath the branches just waiting to be opened) waiting with your name on a tag for you to open. I was literally bursting at the seams to “go!”

So I already began then and there to fall into my “self made” trap that I think I know and thought I had mastered but strangely seem to continuously forget. I started to smooth things over, which is for me a “second nature trait” and console with words of encouragement, as we prepared to “refresh” ourselves, my room partner to meet up with the group again. I was very focused on getting everything possible out of this study trip and that is also how I actually see myself in living life too. I have had a bucket full of dramatic situations in my forty-eight years (I wonder what sometimes I consciously signed up for when I discussed my life plan for this period?) and if I have learnt for me personally, anything from these “occurrences” it is to keep my eyes focused on what is ahead, my mind open to experiencing what I am given, my ears ready to hear a new possibility and to allow my soul, the chance to explore the channels for growth that open up. I was going to get a full dosage of my own ideology or “medicine” on this trip and more.

So a three-week period of walking in the shoes I preach and that I wear literally began. How can one be an adult yet feel again ten years of age? How can you know what you are doing “automatically” on some kind of crazy autopilot and still kick yourself at the same time for doing it? How can your adult self take the hand of the child within you when you’re aching and redirect your footsteps to a smoother path? By me it was with a lot of physical pain and mental aguish.  For I had to realize what I often over look, due to wanting to help, is my own well being - for not everyone likes to see the sunny side of life. Not all can embrace the differences we each have, with an acceptance that “all is good”, just as it is. Not everyone even wants to. Hell who wants the sugary seal?! I am not everyone though (maybe you have guessed that) and I must acknowledge that some people love to complain, sigh, willow delightfully in a sour soup of frustration, discontentment and pain.

Why on earth anyone would take this agenda for their life path is beyond me but when you have the choice to experience something else I know we all learn at different speeds and timetables than each other. For although my glass is always half full, a lot of people find the amount in their glass continuously needing to be “re-topped”. So it was that I lived fourteen days of sharing the new experiences of understanding “Yangsheng” (to develop ones own caring of your own life essences) in a very “hands on”, direct manner from both an eastern and westernized view. I came to see that my attitude is for some a magnet to being able themselves to “open up” to something new and different, while for others it is a “thorn in their side” because they wish to condemn rather than uplift their fellow human being; placing themselves on a pedestal of being “better”.

But most importantly I saw I cannot and should not place myself down because another has chosen to step along a pathway I do not find empowering or benefitting me.  It is of highest importance that we not only live our belief’s with a caring and loving heart but also that we do not lie to ourselves by denying our happiness because of the well being of another’s. I can try to support you in your choices but it does not mean I should give up my balance to create at all costs a smoother experience for you. I afterwards (this above mentioned period) got a room of my own for the last leg of the trip and noticed immediately a stone weight lift from my shoulders, as I continued to explore China.

Caring for our life energies requires that we are honest with ourselves. I love life. Whether it gives me a heck of a lot of hard knocks (and shit it has) or lavishes me with colourful flowers of a sweet smelling nature (which I embrace) I want to share unconditionally what I see, experience, live; with you and I expect from you nothing in return. It is how I am. I will give often beyond the healthy boundaries of giving (for me personally) and I found out on this trip, once again that is not how you nourish your life energies, it is rather how they become blocked or inhibited to expanding when you yourself stand in their way. It was for me a definite “at last” eye opener to how I need to readdress where I invest my time and immediate awareness. It showed me that I should evaluate when it is profitable for me to “go ahead” or “ release immediately” a feeling, an item or a situation before it saps away at my core. It took a woman whom stood “against me” to tell me; “leave me alone with your attitude” to wake up to the fact some people do not want joy. They wallow in gloom and want to stay stuck there. They need to be dragged down and beaten. I saw clearly I am not at fault either for this situation or any other. I just live on another plane and that is good so and I can live with that.

So when you read this reflect, upon how you view life. How you like to nourish your system in the mental and spiritual levels as well as the physical. Accept that it is your way and get on with your day. Join not in another’s “style of being” unless you want to. Really inwardly want to. Take on only that, which you can stand by, only that which you want to carry. Leave all the other “crap” on the wayside. Remember you decide how your day will unfold. No one else has the power to tell you how it will or wont develop. No one person can tell you to stop being happy, loving life and living it to the fullest or giving freely away your happiness to others for them to embrace if they wish to be touched by your infection for being empowered by life itself. You are your own person. You are the rays of sunshine or the liquid jewels of light captured in the rain if you want to be. You need not be the freezing hailstones or thunderclouds of another’s barometer to life’s seasonal mood swings.

You are who you want to be. I am I and I leave you to be you. You have the choice to step into my zone or you can leave me be. It is ok to acknowledge this and just simply be. It is healthy to know how to be and nourish that which helps you grow and live.

I was walking back from climbing over 11,000 steps to the Forbidden City upon the holy, Wudang mountains (a 14th century old temple region that is classified under the UNESCO World Heritage Site); it was misty, tropical hot and dismal. No view beyond my hand. I was taking my time to return to my hotel.

A Taoist monk suddenly fell in step with me. He turned towards me and asked in English (how did he know I spoke English?) “Have you just come from the pilgrimage?” (Climbing the mountain) “Yes I have” I answered. “Did you feel disappointed because you had not a view today?” he asked.  I answered; “I chose to climb a way which required only that I look to where my feet landed.  Noticing what was within my immediate region. Nothing more was asked of me. I needed to do no more than that. It was perfect just as it was” I answered.

His reply blew me over. It still sits with me today deep in the crease’s of my soul. “In the Chinese folk we say that heaven created us all. Therefore we all have a purpose to be here. You have found your way. You walk the Tao and that is a blessing.” He then dissolved into the fog and I returned to my hotel. Anti-climax? Reality. Truth. Never forget you know what it is you need to do. Walk with patience and care along your path and all will evolve as it should.

Your Koruswhispers 

The Listener

The listener doesn’t need to hear For his soul is already attuned; To the sounds that encase him Like a blanket that fits, Snuggly over ...