Come back to your senses

Coming back to my senses has for many years now been an important part of my self-care. There is a certain feeling I experience that tells me it’s time to be in nature or just resting at home. It’s time to come back to me, to my feelings – to align myself again. Switch the world off for a while.

There was a time when Sunday was considered the day of rest. This makes perfect sense to me. One day a week to be still and catch up with myself, get off the conveyor belt of life, feel what I am feeling, check in with myself, nurture myself.

It seems that good self-care is very much about being honest with myself about what I am feeling, and accepting myself in that moment. Then, lovingly navigating my way through it.

Feelings, self-care and self-love go together.

Of course, it’s often painful, and sometimes excruciating in all of our human messy fallibility.
Sometimes though, feelings are such a warm glorious companion, I wouldn’t want to be without them.
Would you?

We dehumanise ourselves when we choose to live in our head instead of our heart.
We say no to the rich tapestry of feelings available to us and then experience meaninglessness and emptiness.

In his book  ‘Care of the Soul – a guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life’  Thomas Moore writes that when soul is neglected, it appears as symptoms. Obsessions. Addictions. Violence. Loss of meaning.  When we care for our soul we more and more experience deep satisfaction and pleasure. Our life becomes more and more meaningful and fulfilling life. This book irrevocably changed my life for the better.

Wishing you a more soulful life,
Pamela

We can never get enough of what we don’t need

Every day I use this cup.

There are plenty of other cups in the cupboard.
This one is my daily go to cup.
What about the other cups?
Why not cycle through them – enjoy some variety?

There is something about this cup that is very special.
I love THIS cup.
I almost don’t need any other cups really.
When I first saw her at Alfresco Emporium she leaped out at me. Captured my attention. Love at first sight.
Then I looked at the price.
Ouch.
Why then did I buy the cup?
This cup is beautiful and was clearly made with a lot of care,  fits very well in my hand,
and holds just the right amount of liquid.
It soothes my soul’s need for beauty.
I loved her from the first moment.
I still do and most likely always will.
err why is a cup a she?  look at those beautiful curves.
I am reminded of the saying “We can’t get enough of what we don’t need”.
If I had applied some kind of reasoning or logic about the price of this cup, I would have created more of what I don’t need – an object to use devoid of love, and ultimately wasted my money. False economy.
Instead I chose the lifetime value of love and beauty.
With this cup I am partnered in writing these letters to you, and writing music and stories for children, and giving lots of love out into the world.
So, was buying the cup at the high price worth it? Absolutely.
For many years already it has brought me joy every day, and will continue to well into my future.
With this cup I bring joy into my world, and hopefully your world too.
Wishing you lots of joy,
Pamela

Sound and Memory

It was the sound of the postman’s motorbike that did it.
I caught myself smiling. Somehow I had developed the association of pleasure with the postman’s delivery.
Had he brought a letter? Was it something arriving that I had long been waiting for? A cherished card from a dear friend?

Today it wasn’t for me. I was sitting in someone else’s room looking out the window to the leafy street.
Soon I saw the postman scurrying forward and away from me.
Emails are certainly functional, quick and efficient.
A handwritten letter or a card has become something rather special.

Earlier this year I asked a long time friend to send me a card to my new address.
I wanted to experience the joy of surprise and also to see if he would.
I asked him not to tell me if or when he had sent it.
One day later that month I had consciously forgotten about my request, and hearing the postman’s motorbike brought the memory back to me.
My instinct was to check the letterbox.
Sure enough, there it was.
Handwritten and full of love and care.
Don’t you love receiving a real letter?

If like me you love receiving real letters, I recently read ‘Paris Letters’ by Janice MacLeod. A treasure of a book about how she transformed her life and somehow found her way to become the artist she dreamed of. These days she still creates painted scenes illustrating her letters set in her day to day Paris. Perhaps you’d love to explore her book ‘Paris Letters’ or her other book ‘A Paris Year’. I loved both of them and was truly inspired.

Lots of love,
Pamela

LIFESKILLS: Go Where The Energy Is

So what does “go where the energy is” mean?
My take on it is, whatever floats your boat, or energizes you, or excites you, or makes you feel deeply has a great message for you.
It is a message from your soul telling you that this is important and to take notice.
Why would someone take notice of that?
We all have an inner guidance system called feelings.
Our feelings indicate whether we are safe or not, happy or not, on the right track or not and many others.
When we acknowledge how we are feeling and learn to decipher what the message is for our wellbeing, we are on our way to living a much richer more fulfilling life.

It may feel easier or seem to be more effective to shut down our feelings and ignore them.
In some situations this may be the smart option, as in when our safety in the moment is threatened. I am not taking about this though.

What I am talking about is how we make those decisions about whether to go this way or that way in our life path choices.
Do I get a day job while I continue to work on my art?
What kind of day job do I go for?
Can I go for what I would love to do?
Do I have to continue in the job I hate?

Ultimately the answer to those questions in inside of you.
Your feelings are the stay or go barometer.
If we can continually be aware of and witness our internal guidance system (our feelings) over time we develop a much stronger relationship with ourselves.
We develop trust in ourselves when we heed our feelings and “go where the energy is”.

It is my experience that despite what society or my head might be telling me to do, my feelings and energy or not for a choice might be telling me something else. I always take the time to reconcile them.

In the beginning of exploring “go where the energy is”, I recall starting very simply with decisions that weren’t all that important. I was testing the idea. Then over time as I noticed the results I was having, more and more I applied it to bigger decisions. The result has been a more and more fulfilling life experience.

People often say to me “when you change to talking about your work, you light up like a Christmas tree!”  I am delighted to say this is the outcome of choosing to go where the energy is, over many years.

Wishing you a fulfilling life,
Pamela

LIFESKILLS: The Power of Five Minutes

Waiting.
Waiting for.
Waiting for some.
Waiting for someone.
Waiting for someone for.
Waiting for someone for five.
Waiting for someone for five minutes.

TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK

If you have ever had to wait in the queue at the Bank or Post Office or Supermarket – I’m guessing that covers just about everyone – you will have experienced how interminable time can feel.  We are feeling the weight of time ticking away.

I don’t know about you, but there are plenty of times when I have decided I don’t have time to do something.
The truth is most likely the opposite.
That is, if I have defined ahead of time exactly what I am going to do in the time I have, it is sometimes amazing what I have finished.

This is the key for me. Knowing exactly what I am going to do takes out any need to think about it, or consider choices or make decisions. These things take up precious time. If I can simply just do the thing, what a relief.

Then of course I have the satisfaction of having something done.
Delicious.

 

LIFESKILLS: Understanding priorities

Learning a worthwhile skill with potentially life-long benefits (like playing a musical instrument) can take a lot of effort and be a kind of marathon.

How do we actually achieve it?
Given we all have 24 hours in every day and 365 days in every year, how do we decide what to do in that time to take us to our dream?

Some of us don’t decide and perhaps by default prefer to allow life to happen around us and float along.
Whether we do or don’t is everyone’s choice.

What if though, we do decide and purposefully channel ourselves in that direction?

What if we decide to grab life by the collar and declare what we want to experience?
What if we set the intention to fully live, and have what we dream of?

The impact on our quality of life could be quite dramatic.
And, the impact on our children?

There is a school of thought that says children learn what they live.
This makes a lot of sense to me.
If a child lives in a household with parents who are making choices for their lives, setting goals and achieving them, and allowing them to witness the process and harvest of that, what impact might it have on their future?

So now, back to those pesky only 24 hours in every day.
Many of us want to cram far too much into our lives.
I am certainly guilty of that.

The fact is we can’t do everything all at once, no matter how much we might want to.
We have to learn to prioritise.

Make choices.
Declare to myself that I want this more than that.
Allow some things to go undone, untried, untested.
Say no to others and to myself when a possibility presents itself that is not aligned with how I want to experience my life and future.
Accept this offer and reject that offer. Not always easy.
When I do this, although it can be excruciating at the time, the rewards that come from it can be beautiful and bountiful!

Self-care
Self-esteem
self-knowledge
self-understanding
self-worth
self-respect
self-management
development of my character
trust in myself

For kids to navigate the ‘marathon’ they need to learn how to prioritise and stay on track.
They will be distracted by many many things along the way, just like us.
It takes time and practise to learn, and it takes a lot of effort by parents.
And it is well worth the effort.

Motivation for the child comes through witnessing the rewards gained by their parents and friends, then having the internal experience of “I WANT THAT”. Then they will be on board with the effort. Once they experience the self-respect that comes with achieving what they want (begin with smaller easier things to achieve) they will become more and more hooked on the process. It will make their life much more exciting ultimately. At least that has been my experience.

Yes some people have levels of passion and purpose and directness of vision that they are able to do this without training it seems. Other people need to work on it.

Which kind are you? Is your child the same?
How might your child be taught to prioritise appropriate to their character and abilities?

I wonder what the best version of you and your child might be?
Fascinating….

If there is something substantial to achieve to make your life come alive, then mastering the art of priority becomes your vital daily companion.

What do your belongings mean to you?

For a while now there has been a growing voice of discontent with how we live our lives.
I mean in relation to how much we consume and how that impacts on our quality of life.
It began with becoming aware of how much clutter we have. One of the first things a Feng Shui expert will tell you is, clear the clutter.
I know I have certainly felt the relief when I have finally sorted through things that have been put off. There’s nothing quite like moving house to force me into seeing how much I am needlessly carrying around.
These days I notice there are more and more books and documentaries about living with less.
It’s the idea that our underlying discontent manifests in our stuff, our belongings.
People like Marie Kondo and The Minimalists are offering us an alternative viewpoint to the massive consumption way of living.
Frankly, I think what they are saying is highly important.
One of the things Marie Kondo talks about is Spark Joy.
“Only keep the items that spark joy for you”.

It is such a simple thing, but a profound thing isn’t it.
So I am thinking about all the many people who have said to me that they would LOVE to play the piano but they don’t have the space for it. Is that really true?
Really?
On the one hand they are saying it would be a soul choice for them, a heart choice that would bring many years of pleasure to them and their loved ones.
On the other hand they are saying that they can’t have that because they must keep their accumulation of belongings (possibly meaningless?) that they are keeping for reasons they might not be aware of.

It actually makes me rather sad to witness this, knowing the deep satisfaction that playing the piano can bring.
Have you seen this amazing advertisement featuring the gift of a piano to the very young Elton John.
Some tissues nearby might be a good idea – it’s powerful! 🙂

If you go to YouTube and search for
John Lewis Christmas Advertisement 2018 Elton John.

Tell me if you enjoy the adv?
Lots of love
Pamela

Making sense of the world – why I love the esoteric and metaphysical

Moving house always presents new decisions about where to put things. It always seems to be a harried affair with an overload of decisions that can’t seem to be managed prior because there just isn’t the time amongst everything else that must be done.

So it was this week that I became aware I was feeling hemmed in in my new office.
Once I was aware of it, I could step back and look at the space I had created, and realised that it was no wonder, given how I had placed the desk, chair and filing cabinet. With a few adjustments to their placement, I now have my desk in the power placement and am feeling more motivated and in charge of how I move forward. Esoteric help? Yes. Feng Shui.

The other day I was experiencing a mixture of feelings, the main being low self-esteem. It occurs to me that everyone feels it at some time, and the more we ‘take on’ life, the more we will feel it at times. I guess it’s about whether we allow ourselves to stay in that feeling. Well the other day, I certainly was bogged down in it. When I remembered to consult Astrology for an answer, I remembered that the sign that the Sun is in, in my natal blueprint chart tells me how I can lift my vitality and life force and therefore self-esteem. Instantly, I knew what to do to help myself. The next day I acted on it and felt significantly better. I was back to feeling good about myself, motivated and productive. Esoteric help? Yes. Astrology.

What lead me to remembering to consult my natal chart, was listening to a guided meditation. I have noticed that when I am not relaxed, I tend to forget the wonderful skills and knowledge I have that could help myself. Guided meditation is one of my first ports of call to change how I am feeling. Being relaxed brings me back to a more resourceful state of mind. Metaphysical help? Yes. Guided Meditation.

Then there are other kinds of feelings, that for me, lead me only to the piano. It is as if the piano calls me home. Through the piano I reach for the other side – a blissful place of solace. No words required. Sometimes it is a meditation just because I enjoy it. Sometimes it is a kind of therapy to soothe myself. It can begin by expressing feelings ad lib. Simply playing what comes to my mind, heart and hands. It then often continues on through morphing into known songs and then back into improvising again and beyond. There are times like when my elderly father died, that I will decisively play something specific. On that occasion it was ‘Ave Maria’. I knew that was what I needed to play. Like medicine. Fortunately I have built a treasure trove of music to play for whatever I am feeling. Metaphysical esoteric help? Yes. Playing the piano as medicine.

Making sense of the world and self-care go together.
Through the esoteric and metaphysical I have ‘go to’ places that help me navigate life.

How do I get my child to do music practise?

Pareto Principle 80% results from 20% effort

Maintaining practise is one of the rather difficult aspects of learning to play a musical instrument.

It can feel like a never-ending path into an unknown future. This path is filled with good intentions on the part of the teacher and student but often ends up being full of frustration!

What if we viewed practise differently?

Mostly, parents focus on practise.

In the very beginning that is all a student can do.

As they progress though, is that still necessary or even ideal?

What if they spent 80% of their time playing what they love for pleasure, fun and purely enjoying the skill they have? Playing the pieces they can already play and enjoy. Playing to fill themselves up with joy and a feeling of accomplishment.

I recall Petrea King, the well-known and respected healer saying “give from the overflow of your well-nourished bucket”. For piano players that is playing the music they love.

How might they feel if you regularly encourage them to play music you enjoy listening to and music they love playing, filling both of you up with wonderful music?

I imagine you would be feeling great about yourself and so would they, and your life and their playing would positively spill over into other areas of your family life. The piano then becomes a place of solace to retreat to after a hard day or a place of meditation, relaxation, love and connection.

From this place, piano practise takes on a whole different tone.

Instead of a kind of boring piano practise purgatory, it could be something to relish. They might even be motivated to tackle something more challenging. It gives practise more meaning.

What if we apply the famous 80-20 rule to piano practise?

80% Playing the music you love
20% Practise – highly strategically focussed and goal oriented

Do I hear you say 20% isn’t enough?
It’s amazing what can be achieved in a very short time when we are strategic and focussed. 20% of 10minutes is 2 minutes.  A lot can be done in just 2 minutes! So much practise is not effective or productive. There is quite an art to effective practise.

If your child is enjoying practising and has lost sense of the time, and it’s more than 20%, do you stop them or let them keep going?  That of course is up to you. You know your child the best.
From my experience it is better to stay with the 20%, rein it in, keep it stable and return the following day eager to do more.

Want to know more about the art of effective practise?  Email here

Pamela Jordan is a degree qualified, experienced music educator on Sunshine Coast, Qld. Australia.
She is available for online consultations.