about today

Melinda Blair Paterson

There’s nothing unusual about today,
yes I have a head cold
and the farmer’s market
like any other Friday.

There’s nothing unusual in this day,
watched a movie
and texts of care from friends
like every other day.

So why am I suddenly on my knees,
howling like a child
hands beating chest
begging to be broken?

Why are the tears followed by rage,
primal sounds
flashes of faces
crying to be taken?

“Pleeeeease”
passes through
yet there is no need
anymore.

The tears desist
the nose blows
the body rises
from the floor.

You see… there’s nothing unusual about today.

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there is relief

There is relief in a glimpse of blue sky


whilst wandering through grass of open fields

and picking up feathers along the way.

There is relief standing with still creek water

feeling the crack of falling branches

whilst others remain entwined like lovers reaching for the light.

There is relief.

Mx

waiting in nothing

Image: waiting for nothing by melinda blair paterson
Image: waiting in nothing by MelindaBlairPaterson (instagram)

It’s a curious thing ‘purpose’? Apparently it is only in recent times the concept of purpose, life’s purpose, meaningful work, bringing our gift to the world (need I go on) etc, has been introduced to our modern culture; and subsequently sold a lot of books, tapes (yes I remember those), cds, dvds, workshops and private consultations to us all. I found out this week in a clever and entertaining video called ‘How to find fulfilling work’, that before the industrial revolution there were approximately 2,000 trades available, now there is some half a million to choose from. This alone must create a sense of anxiety and stress for people today.

I remember when I went to see the ‘career counsellor’ in my final year of high school. She asked what I wanted to do after leaving school, to which I confidently announced:  Travel, Fashion or Advertising. She laughed and said condescendingly, ‘good luck’. If my memory serves me right she offered:  Nursing or Secretarial, neither of which were exciting or glamorous to my young mind and heart at the time. Her lack of encouragement only served to fuel my ambition. It took another seven years to experience all three industries, before realising none were ‘glamorous’. The pull of the spiritual path had begun. Ironically, I did end up completing secretarial and computer studies to become a top flight PA for over ten years, evolving into a project manager before leaving the corporate world, burnt out and disillusioned. The call of the spiritual path was well and truly ringing loud in my ears by now.

Ah yes… the spiritual path… ‘really’ living the experience of seeking, especially seeking one’s purpose in life, which took the expression here of vibrational healer, light worker, and spiritual artist before collapsing into nothing. My new career path became – Nothing.  It’s been about five years now. I’ve watched as ideas of doing have come and gone, dabbling here and there dissolve, and even pushing into new working frontiers wobble and collapse.

In recent days I’ve felt and heard myself say to friends:  I’m ready to start working again. I’m noticing a sense of expansion and strength in my body. I’ve taken up swimming, socialising more, and am back at the desk drawing or writing most days. I have absolutely no idea what the ‘work’ will be? Maybe it’s just another arising of an idea or feeling that will fade and disappear like so many others have in the past? Or maybe something will form long enough for expression into the world to occur? What I am aware of is there can’t be any sense of ‘push’ anymore. It’s like that is an ancient, out of date, way of being. And so I wait, I swim,  and I doodle.

Some days I feel like that character of ‘Dory’ in the movie Nemo, as I hear her say… “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” It makes me smile and gives an answer to the mind that is always wanting to know what it is I am supposed to be doing with my life? And yes there are days when I  envy loved ones that appear to be ‘on purpose’  working at their dreams.  Yet when I remember to relax, rest back, gaze into nature, and allow the moment to be as it is, there is a deep sense of peace and spaciousness. All is well, waiting in nothing. Mx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the black line

The breath is heavy, the arms are weak, the legs are struggling to keep up with their leading counterparts, and the mind is bouncing from breath to arms to legs to….

follow that black line… just keep following the black line.

Then in less than a gasp all thoughts dissolve, weighty physicality disappears and awareness shines on the effortless rhythmic experience of…

breath in

breath out

swinging arms

kicking legs

beautiful sunshine

warm blue water

and joy… yes joy, as the body slips into its natural rhythm.

The moment lasts for maybe half a lap until the wall signals the end of another… what number is that?

Pause, take a breath, turn, push off and it’s a change of stroke. Breast stroke. A childhood favourite. A chance to take in the scenery, enjoy the sunshine, stretch the body in full length as arms glide out in front, and legs kick back behind like a frog making its way across a pond.

Swimming twenty or so laps has become a thrice weekly ritual of late. It’s a great all rounder in exercise and a life-line when morning melancholy is lurking in the shallows.

What a blessing to have this fifty metre outdoor pool just ten minutes from home. What a blessing to enjoy the sensual pleasure of slipping into warm water and heading down a lane with a black line in sight, until it can’t be remembered how many laps have been travelled. What a blessing to have the lurking of melancholy to motivate the movement to this beautiful pool, amongst friendly folks, that also love this morning ritual. Mx

Image: Mullumbimby Pool on Instagram at MelindaBlairPaterson

depressingly aware

Depression is not who I am, it’s merely another experience, and sometimes it ‘appears’ I can have an influence over how long it stays…

IMG_1627like death, there is nothing to grab onto – collage + digital – 2013 – melinda blair paterson

In the previous post I wrote of anxiety. Well it seems the dial of life decided to turn towards depression in this past week… probably just a notch or two to the right.

A friend of mine asked me this week, “how do you experience depression?”.

When I wake up in the morning it feels like bricks are sitting on my chest and then I carry them around with me all day. It’s exhausting. And like the black hole of the Milky Way it seems to suck in any negative disturbing thought in its path.

Most of the time I can sit and watch as the thoughts come and go, however, I have an agreement. When the suicidal thoughts come I reach out for help. I make contact with people I feel can support and check-in with me on a daily basis.

I fully embrace the so called journey of ‘waking up’, with all its experiencing, allowing and embracing of thoughts, emotions and sensations. And then there is the innate knowing of not getting lost in a concept. In other words, I tether my camel, to love and look after myself in whatever way feels right.

So I exercise, see health practitioners, eat well, and stay connected to loved ones. I tell people what is happening so that I’m not hiding, and I keep it real. Depression is not who I am, it’s merely another experience, and sometimes it appears I can have an influence over how long it stays. This time is seemed to vanish after a conversation with my partner and a resolution of a joint decision…

but the truth is I don’t know.

What is seen is… what’s here before depression, is still here during and after… unchanged. Mx

It’s a Yellow Day…

image: detail from artwork by Colleen DaRosa

I woke up this morning with images of yellow paintings stalking my thoughts. Only the corners of paintings mind you… a peculiar phenomenon. I’m an artist, and at the moment I am back in the studio playing with paint again. I went to art school a few years ago and came out of it with lots of great technical info but also lots of concepts. Prior to art school I called myself an intuitive artist. I use to paint people’s Soul Essence, whereby, I believed I was able to tune into a client’s soul and express this on canvas in an abstact way. It was just where I was at… at that time. I did this quite successfully for about three years before attending art school. Since leaving art school I have really struggled with my artistic expression. Whenever I approached the canvas and made marks all I could hear were my teachers in my head. I felt I had lost my artistic intutitive or authentic place within, subsequently I choose to put the brush down and just wait… wait for the voices to subside… wait for an authentic place or movement towards the canvas to arise… wait for inspiration!

About two weeks ago I picked up the brush…  and I also started jogging. Finally there was some movement at the station after months of depression, anxiety, ‘couch potato’ and an expanding waistline. In this time I have watched a lot of things fall away… beliefs, concepts, interests, friends… but I have refused to let go of chocolate!  During my period of abstinence… painting not chocolate… I started to explore this idea ‘what would ‘Void, Stillness or Silence’ look like on the canvas?‘ Initially I approached this like art school. I did my research on the internet, cut out images, read art magazines and non duality books, did some sketches, kept a journal… which all came to a pretty disappointing end. Again, I put it all away and just waited eating chocolate. Months went by. Finally the day arrived. I got up… I went for a jog… and in the afternoon I went into the studio. My first couple of canvases have been pretty bad… doing what was familiar… crosses… I’ve always had an obsession with crosses. It’s one of the first symbols I ever painted and turns up again and again in my work. I thought ‘oh no, not this again!’ and wondered if I needed to put the brush back down. However, over the next few mornings I began to see corners of paintings in my mind just on awakening… and I mean corners. I was seeing corners of colour in the corner of a canvas. I ignored it for a few days and kept on with my bad paintings and crosses…. working, reworking, overworking… until in frustration I painted the corner thingy. Stepping back from the canvas I watched within and realised… for now it speaks to me!

So at the moment I am experimenting with paintings that have corners of colour. Perhaps this may lead to a representation of ‘Void, Silence, Stillness.’ Yes I know… it’s still a concept, but hey… it speaks to me for now.  What do they look like you may ask? Pretty blank… colour… minimalist. I heard Adyashanti in his radio broadcast yesterday say “When you believe with every fibre of your being that content (thoughts) are untrue… it all falls away.” Hmmm maybe that’s what is happening on the canvas also? M x

Morning!

image: ‘just passing thru’ by melinda blair paterson

I spend most mornings heading towards the beach for a walk… and of late… a slow jog. I’ve never really got into running before, but had a vision of myself running on the beach a month or so ago, and one day it just started happening. Who knew?

Mornings are not always the easiest time for me. When I say that, I really mean those first waking moments. As I come out of the dream state or sleep into awareness of the day I notice my first thoughts are often disturbing, and what I would say… not like ‘me’ at all. I have no idea where they come from… they just appear in my awareness. A couple of times I have even been aware of the moment ‘I’ focuses or grabs onto ‘thought’. You know what I mean? When the ‘I’ starts it’s day. I’ve also felt the movement from the sleep state into the awake state as moving from an expansive lightness into a dense contraction… my response being ‘Oh  no, not this again… not another day of this!

Of course it’s not all doom and gloom. I am learning to just wait… just rest… and it passes… and with that is a dawning (sorry bad pun!) that these thoughts are just an illusion. This morning I was in one of these contracted moments waiting for it to pass when I found myself pick up my iPhone and check me emails. Now I never usually do this first thing… however, as is becoming the norm of late (or I’m just noticing it more), I do things and then catch on a second or so later that it’s happening. Anyway… in my Inbox was an email from Peter with a link to a video of Mooji called ‘All delusions will fall‘. Perfect timing!

The video goes for about 20minutes and is a dialogue between Mooji and a man. Mooji is gently trying to point the man towards Awareness, that which is All with no ‘I’ of separation etc etc… you know what I mean. I found myself feeling a bit impatient… wanting to stop watching… get up… get away… distract. You know  this one too don’t you? Then that ‘thing’ arose… Wait, listen… and my awarenss shifted. I heard Mooji speak:

“The space from where I’m speaking and towards what I’m speaking… that all delusions will fall… and it appears that there are forces internally, as part of the play of consciousness who’s work is to block that from happening. To keep your focus on your physical being, on your terrestrial existence, because as long as you are in that, you see, it can procreate.”

Thanks Mooji… thanks Peter…  M x