It’s Australia Day and lamb and beef feature on many BBQs across the country. Kangaroo and emu too. It can be a day of contention. For some it’s a celebration, for some it’s a reminder of invasion and for others the day is about survival. Like every day I’m grateful for it, and for the beauty of where I live and the blessings of my life.
It’s not all gratitude though. I do have a number of beefs. People who drive below the speed limit then speed up in the overtaking lane…the fact that we can put man on the moon but don’t have smart traffic lights that can enable better traffic flow…being tailgated in a wild electrical storm by someone who thinks I must be able to just drive right on through the car in front of me. So many of the things that irritate me arise in traffic. Why is that?!
Road rage is often owed to a sense of entitlement says Leon James, author of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare. He states that “Aggressive means you don’t care if you put others in danger, and that’s a personality flaw.”
I’ve got personality flaws, and in the past I’ve been a perpetrator of road rage. But I quickly worked out it doesn’t make your day better to get angry driving into work. It also doesn’t make life easier if you beat yourself up for the situations you did and didn’t get into, the pain you did and didn’t deal with, the understandings you did and didn’t seek, the choices you did and didn’t make, the acceptance you may or may not get from others. So I learned to let it go. Quite liberating really. There are more important beefs to worry about.
Like what’s in the pie…chicken or beef?
I first met my best friend when I was 8. We were in the Brownies together. But I was sports mad and when my sisters moved up to Girl Guides I decided to give it up as too many activities clashed with weekend sports commitments. I then next encountered my bestie when her mother became my 5th Grade teacher. Her father came into class to teach us all to knit. I thought they were a very liberated family. Catherine and I then went to the same high school. But it wasn’t until later in our schooling years that she “found me sleeping in an ancient history class” and we became very close.
With her sense of humour, sensibleness, adventure, confidence and ability to get things done she really saved me during a couple of difficult years after my folks died. She would come and make phone calls for me, skip class and buy goldfish with me and sit in the gutter talking for hours with me.
She still saves me. She shares her boys with me, talks on the phone for hours with me, has never given up on me and makes pie for me…with chicken. Her partner, who we’ve known since we were about 14 or 15, likes beef in the pie…but I’m love with Cath’s chicken pie and I’ve known her longer so I get pie preferential treatment…okay so that’s wishful thinking and I have to share and put my beef aside about it not being chicken and let there be other fillings (see what I did there?!). It’s not that I dislike beef pie, it’s just her chicken pie is so magnificent, like her lasagne…these dishes she has perfected need new names so that regular pies and lasagne are in no way in competition.
Realising that dealing with, or putting aside what irks you is liberating. Why stay stuck in that anger or annoyance or feeling of disempowerment? Make the choice to be free. Make that decision and then work your way through action, even if ultimately it’s about acceptance, let yourself work to that conclusion. Some days my work of liberation is a dance in the kitchen. Some days its sticking my hands in the earth. Some days it’s sucking in a deep breath and leaning in to whatever it is that is troubling or challenging me.
For me, liberation is found in letting go. And when you achieve liberation by including forgiveness and compassion it’s potent stuff. The heart and mind is left to soar. Let go of what isn’t really you, what isn’t serving you, and be your wonderful, incomparable, authentic self. Okay, so like most people, I’m a work in progress on that, still working out how to embrace my limitations and fly anyway.
My heart goes out to who I’ve been across the journeys of my life. At times willful, at times wounded. At times strong and confident. At times unsure and vulnerable. In places of fear, in places of wonder. With people who’ve loved me and with people who have left me hurt. I don’t regret my journeying, it’s been a gift and it’s been the culmination of my choices and opportunities and the lessons I’m here to learn.
And learn I shall as I continue my current journey, an interesting one that circles into my past and strikes out anew simultaneously. I’m choosing liberation and will keep challenging my own circumstances and my stumbling blocks as I also embrace me and what’s ahead.
If I’m a pie and my pastry is the earth I walk on and the sky I worship, I’m going to fill myself with determination, acceptance, inquisitiveness, trust, experiences, and love. May it overflow and reach out into our families, our local communities and our global communities too.
Liberation has come to me through experience and learning. Learning from experience is the theme of a recent blog post from the citizen led initiative Building Bridges. Do some learning and share your experience in the conversation about how we might use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival. There are families and communities, our fellow global citizens, who can be liberated from current child mortality scenarios and extreme poverty.
Hymns to the Goddess of dance
(Gabriele Rosa da Silva)
The Goddess of dance is the healing Goddess
My lover is a dancing god.
Keep me moving, swirl around, inside me, everywhere.
Pulsation of life,
Hear my calling:
I am in need of energy.
Fill me with your life,
let me enter into another space, another time,
out of this limited time.
Dance me into eternity,
let me feel it, coming out of our limits,
our walls of time and being.
Make me break through those walls,
this Maya, which limits me.
I want to dance with the moon and the sun,
the glimmering light of a hot summer evening.
I want to dance in the middle of the fire.
Flow between white clouds in the sky.
Jump on the heavy earth.
Flow through warm water.
To melt within the elements,
To harmonise my inner life,
Weaving a net with others souls, bodies and spirits.
Dance my loneliness,
To the encounter of other hearts.
Dance through it
to the universal pulse of life,
This language, which often exists empty, without sense.
I need a deeper communication
Or to arrive at a state,
where words begin again to have a meaning.
This society is talking too much ****, empty words,
throwing lies around.
Let us feel our words again,
Connect them again to our hearts.
I can’ t support any more these masks,
with nothing inside,
only the dust of worthless life.
Go away, those words, those souls!
Inner peace will only come by sincerity.
Halfway to freedom, don’ t let us stop,
Flowing with life to Eden,
Which can be inside of us,
Create a garden of life,
In Spite of all nowadays hells.
Only WE can create.
The creator is inside of us.
Don’t let us wait for liberation, for paradise.
Let us free ourselves,
Clean our souls, bodies, thoughts and spirits.
We have a lot of darkness inside.
Let us throw it away,
That it can be transformed into humus.
It is time for a big soul-cleaning