Tag Archives: Inspiration

Pearl 

I wish I did not write about love. 

I wish I had not let them brand me. 

If I am on the market 

How will people know if this subject 

is the only way I’m in print?
I wish I did not write about nature

Specifically how it makes my ovaries blossom. 

If I am only fertile these few more years

All ready engraved in pollen 

How will anything other than sticky stamen penetrate? 
I wish I did not write about Venus. 

She gives away my distance, timing and rotation. 

If I am not pulled by internet routers 

Rather

Turned out from churning oceans

Pearl soaked

How will I find connection? 
I wish I did not write about you. 

You 

who have folded language over in the mouth so it

Curses in hisses of spit and sputum. 

If I am to share saliva again

How can I turn my tongue over? 
I wish I had not written.

Pen and paper has given me away. 

Perhaps though in ink 

You could endorse this woman’s indentations. 

I am simply blotched 

Stamped 

Bleeding about the page like the rest of you. 
Press me to your adjoining pages 

I will etch in so you read me well. 

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An Invitation

“It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

…I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

…I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence…”

Excerpts from ‘The Invitation’ By Oriah.

Inviting someone into your life requires an openness to ‘other’. An openness to new worlds, new ideas and to difference …to pasts you have no sense memory or understanding of and to other communities as well as new ways of being. How you choose to present yourself to this person as much as how this person chooses to present themselves to you cannot be a construct if the greeting is to be an honest and meaningful one.

I have had the pleasure of meeting many new people this year and of late I have been observing how these people, including myself, due to similar stresses and pressures, have let go of any of those ways of being; those stories about ourselves we may use when first meeting people, to give what we want them to understand about us. People are simply existing as they are…stressed, crazy, energized …joyous in many ways too with the understanding that this period will come to a close and that they are loving of those people and connections they have made over the year.

This way of relating and being has made me smile of late. I am more relaxed than I have been in ages, confident that I can simply be myself, drop any pretenses and stand as I am, ask for what I need …as much as give to others what they are asking and need from me.

I had a lightning bulb moment on Monday evening thinking about this in relation to those aforementioned stories we gather along the way and how we can sometimes rely upon these stories to give us meaning when first meeting ‘other’. That it’s as if we almost write up key events in our life and pull them out like scripts when needed to give us worth, to make us seem exciting, interesting, intelligent, experienced or whatever we want others to think we are.

Of course the desired outcome is not to appear ‘cool’ as so often some people fumble around trying to be (often coming across more arrogant than anything else), but to receive love. They are used as if to say ‘Here. This is what I have to show that I am worth something. That I am worth loving’.

But as Oriah’s poem ‘The Invitation’ reveals, the construct is not of interest really. Not if we are to truly love for loving encompasses the sum total of ALL ones parts, including vulnerabilities and failures.

More so than this however the opportunity to truly love other can only come about by relating in a way that comes unencumbered by ‘preparedness’.

Letting go of the script allows for something very exciting to happen. As dialogue is simply allowed to unfold between two parties, as parties simultaneously offer and receive, meaning making is occurring. Old layers can be shed and new layers discovered through what is being created BETWEEN people.

I would argue (as I think I have in a previous blog ‘Inspiration – from where do you draw breath) that it’s impossible not to love someone or something if it simply stands in front of you as it is.

Raw.

Wonder. Meant …that I invite from myself what I would only wish others to feel comfortable in revealing to me. An honest and open revelation of who I am, simply, here, right now.

x Kate

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How to use the voice you have.

Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955. Early evening. A public bus pulls to a stop and a sensibly dressed woman in her forties gets on. …She sits in the first row of the Colored section and watches quietly as the bus fills with riders. Until the driver orders her to give her seat to a white passenger.

The woman utters a single word that ignites one of the most important civil rights protests of the twentieth century…The word is “No”.

From Quiet, by Susan Cain.

The woman that this excerpt is referring to is Rosa Parks.

What we know of Rosa is that she was a very quiet women, shy some people even said. It was simply that after a long day of ironing in the basement of a department store, no doubt a day that was on top of many days of ironing, she wanted something very simple, a seat so that she could rest her swollen feet.

In the moment that a basic human right was denied, a voice came out, one word; and as history states, this word and the subsequent actions of the people who followed suit, changed the course of American.

How often do we use our voices well? Whether doors are open ‘upstairs’ for us to speak and be heard or not, how often do take the opportunity to voice our concerns? Most importantly, how often do we speak our truth?

On thursday I went to a teacher training day where four teachers who have been teaching in schools for years spoke openly and with such courageous vulnerability about the challenges they face as teachers and heard the voices of many during the afternoons session on ‘teaching for assessment’, on moderated grading and the ‘unfairness’ they felt their students were subjected to with the current system.

Yesterday I had the great privilege of being in a seminar where fellow teacher candidates used their voices to express their ideas about how to avoid anger and frustration in a classroom, about the need for ‘unconditional positive regard’ or care of and for their students (as the Parkville Education Program would state here in Victoria); and read a statement made by primary school children in England, the ‘Children’s Manifesto’ about what they would like if their school had all the money in the world.

It was not Kanye West as Principle by the way. What they wanted were mostly basic human rights.

Alongside these events I have observed two of my drama students using their voice simply by standing in their element, doing what they love; and I myself went ‘upstairs’ and spoke on behalf of a group of people. I also sent a letter to The Age regarding something I found disconcerting about their paper last weekend (which I was informed last night will be published) and wrote a paper for my Masters arguing that the wellbeing of students could not be fostered without a ‘whole schools approach’, that the wellbeing of teachers and the school community had to be cultivated also in order for the wellbeing of students to occur.

It’s been a big week for voice and so a great irony this early Saturday morning as I wake up with a heavy head cold… and no voice.

Every voice I bore witness to this week and every moment I spoke from my core (whether pen to paper or orally), was a life affirming moment. Each moment was simple, no one spoke with anger, no one asked for anything outrageous, spoke about or for anything selfishly, they were simply utterances of truth, delivered with passion yes, but with a sense of connection, a groundedness (if I may make up a word here), a sweet simplicity nestled in something that seemed so quiet, not ferocious or aggressive at all as we might expect ‘voice’ to look and sound like.

In fact, at the moment these voices spoke, the room began to breathe.

A voice can indeed change a room, a people and most beautifully a self. But this change only occurs when the words are connected to a core truth within the self. It is simply because you are human that those words may then find a connection to other people, that you find others who share a need to speak on the matter and for that voice to be heard.

I say this this morning after an email from a someone I respect greatly and who shows me a level of care and understanding I am always so grateful for. This email reminded me of this fact, that I need only speak for me, use my voice and celebrate that voice no matter how imperfect. As long as it is real and present it will find a place with others.

This email in turn reminded me of a blog post I wrote early in, about ‘Inspiration (from where do you draw breath?)’ I suggested that being in one’s own element, being ‘in the flow’ was as simple as the word inspiration suggests, as simple as to breathe.

Because Inspiration in this way requires no effort we can see too how having a voice can require no effort if it comes from truth. If it is using your own voice rather than the voice of others. I wonder if perhaps waking up with no voice comes a little from this, that my concerns became for other people, that I forgot my initial concerns had come from a voice deep within myself for my own rights, concerns and passions.

What I will acknowledge is that speaking from truth brings such affirmation of life, of purpose and belonging. You find a community when you speak and you see strengths within yourself you may not have realised were there. And though there is such reward that comes when that voice is heard, when change does indeed occur, there is no greater change that happens than within yourself when you know you have stood up for something you believe in.

Rosa Parks did this sitting down. She must have been breathing.

Wonder. Meant …that you have a voice within you that has a right to be heard. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

x Kate

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Inspiration. From where do you draw breath?

“Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of.” Sir Ken Robinson.

There is nothing more attractive than seeing someone in their element. I’ve always said this…and always fallen for the bubbling and boiling of people in their own juices.

Think about it.

A dancer flying across the floor, effortlessly curving and carving their way through the music; a writer and their pen scribbling across a blank page by cups of black coffee; and an artist spattered with paint, standing flushed by their canvas. Yum.

Of course it’s not just artists who are attractive when in their element. I once fell head over heals for an electrician who came to fix some wiring in my house. He was so focused, so involved in what he was doing the air around him was, dare I say, electric. More than this, his level of engagement made me want to learn about wiring, cables and electricity where I’d never been interested in such things before.

The times too that I’ve fallen in love with a partner all over again when stumbling upon them doing what they love, are many. They could be in their shed tinkering with their car, sprawled out on the floor hammering away seriously at a video game or sunken into a couch immersed in a book. Each of these moments has always made me quiver …and has always ended with them having to press pause on said video game.

In all seriousness it could be anyone doing anything as long as the thing they are doing excites THEM, lights THEIR fire, inspires them to move-meant, to purpose, to life. But how many people actually invest in what inspires them? In doing what they love?

A few years ago my aunties next door neighbor approached me to help his son, a son he felt was limiting himself at work because he was afraid of public speaking. As a drama coach this man thought I could help.

I arranged to meet his son and armed myself with questions to help me assess what the problem was before we launched ourselves into a series of drama exercises. My first question was simple: ‘what do you love about your job’? I was sure that if we started with what he loved we could use that love to inspire him to action.

‘Nothing’ he said unexpectedly, ‘There’s nothing I love about my job’.

We talked for awhile and what unfolded was a conversation about the ‘shoulds’ of life, the things this man felt he ‘should’ do in order to pay the bills, get the car and the house. These shoulds had lead him to the job he was now in.
‘What DO you love?’ I asked after awhile.

‘Gardening’.

‘I can’t help you then’ I said. ‘No drama lesson is going to help you as a gardener. What I can suggest is that you DO gardening …you can make a living from that. And in regards to public speaking? You might find it’s a hell of a lot easier to speak in front of people if what you’re asked to talk about is something that you’re passionate about’.

Being in your element is funny in this way for it means it requires little effort to be inspired and little effort to be inspiring. If you honor who you are and what feeds your soul you will encourage the best parts of yourself. This in turn will create a desire for others to achieve that heat, to stoke an ‘inner fire’ and begin to look at what THEY love for inspiration.

For who doesn’t want that kind of life? Who doesn’t want to be genuinely interested in the mechanics of their day to day? When I see someone loving what they are doing I think ‘I want that kind of life!’ We can ALL have that life. We just need to make the effort to choose it for ourselves or at the very least, invest in some of the things that ‘top us up’.

Myself and a dear friend of mine (who’s in similar financial circumstances) have found our way to inspiration by going in for C reserve tickets to our beloved ACO concerts at the Melbourne Town Hall. Funnily enough we actually swear upon the cheap seats now noting that the balcony at Melbourne Town hall gives the best vantage point to her favorite violinist and my beloved cellist. From the sides of the auditorium I can see my cellist straddle, stroke and cuddle his curvy lass and see him suck in the volumes of air he needs to gain momentum through an extraordinarily long composition. If he’s not sweating at the end of it, I certainly am; and yup, I’m desperate to get my hands on a cello too or at the very least, get home to my beloved pen and paper and start writing.

Watching him breath the way a dancer or singer might …taking great gulps of air deep into the belly, is such a wonderful reminder of the life giving nature passion and inspiration can have. Inspiration actually comes from the word inspire which means ‘breathe in’ and so passion and inspiration, like oxygen, is life giving.

I would like to see us all breathing in what we love as much as we breathe in oxygen. I would like to see us making conscious choices to invite what we love into our lives rather that making choices based on ‘what’s best’ and ‘I should’s’. Should promotes so much guilt and I would ask: what’s best for whom?

I’m not saying that we should stop doing things for other people. Doing things out of compassion and love for another is wonderful filler upper. What I’m talking about are those decisions we make that have to do with everyone else’s wants and nothing of our own; the things that leave us deflated and dissatisfied with our own lives.

Wonder. Meant …that be inspired and you will be inspiring.

Wonder. Meant …that if we honor what we love doing we might find a fulfillment and a freedom to our own lives.

Wonder. Meant …that in your element, I might need you to pause what you’re doing. Cause you see, you’re just so gosh darn attractive being you.

x Kate

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