Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The radical realisation that we are all one

'The idea of saying Fuck It comes from a radical realisation -
That we are all one and therefore do not exist as individuals
That the world as we know it, reality as we perceive it 
Is just an illusion - and that everything in this illusion is
Simply an arising of oneness - all, therefore, divine,
All beautiful, nothing good or bad, nothing better or worse,
No going anywhere, no point, no meaning,
Just oneness, unicity, playing with itself'

(Taken from the book of the day: the Fuck It Book...) 

Of course I have many responses to this extract - ideas around the concept of our togetherness rather than our aloneness. And why are we making meaning out of something if it may not mean anything at all? The Fuck It thoughts seem to be based on moment to moment acceptance, but what I read seems to challenge some of that thinking. My thoughts are that of course we make meaning - we are humans and by our very nature we are meaning makers, so to assume that we have no point, takes away from the point of our oneness; surely that is our meaning? How can we be one without being the individual needed to create the collective one... Which brings me back to our uniqueness and our individuality. We need that isolation - the things that set us apart. We need those things in order to belong...

Oh, I can tell it is a Tuesday. My brain is still switched on. 

My point in this post is not to write about theoretical ideas, more to simply say Fuck It. Today has been a good day and I believe the Fuck It mantra shall be carried with me all week. We ARE all one - we do all exist on the same earth in the same time. And we are all human

Monday, 10 November 2014

The humanness of research

Today I attended a research conference (well, half a research conference after I attended a mentor group supervision session in the morning). I always leave conferences having learnt something; either something about myself as a person, as a human being, as a researcher or a student or a practitioner, or something more grounded in knowledge. I might leave a conference with new insight into a particular methodology or theory or area that I previously knew very little about. My point is, is that I have never left having gained nothing but free coffee and lunch... I have always taken something with me. I am not a confident presenter, nor am I a brilliant networker (both these things are skills I hope to develop in time!!). But today what I realised is that it is our humanness that pushes us forward and brings meaning into the things we do.

At a research methodologies conference, what better way to learn about being human? The very nature of scientific research is something one of the presenters discussed; the notion of 'turning art into science', or vice versa, depending on what one is doing. How does one study human beings without being human ourselves? We can often get so very involved in procedures and protocols, in 'getting it right' (I think this applies to not only research ventures, but to much of work and life itself). We can become focused on a mission of new discoveries, ensuring no stone is left unturned, and somehow in the process of developing a human feeling into an interest, and this interest into a wealth of knowledge, then from knowledge is born a scientific paradigm, we lose what it is to be. We become out of touch with our 'subjects'; they are interacting units of human data - useful chunks of information, no longer living and breathing vessels of life that we worked so closely with yet so far removed. In principle, they might be at the heart of our work, but perhaps we sometimes might work so hard to make them central that in practice we end in precisely the place we began; knowing little more than those before us knew. I left today thinking about my own research experiences and my response to others. It is interesting, especially in psychology or the social sciences that if we do not tread the waters carefully, eventually we have uncovered no more than a paradigm of human beings, instead of the meaning of the human being themselves.

I wanted to keep this post brief, but I wanted to post it nonetheless.

As always, the more we learn, the greater the scope for more learning is revealed...

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Looking for red lip stick

This Sunday evening I am skilfully doing anything but the work I set myself to do. I am still to write up this weeks client notes, write up my supervision notes, edit my case study.... OK, I will stop myself there because I don't intend to re-write my to-do list. What a dull blog post that would be... What I manage to do I will do. And what I don't manage to do will get done - no rush, no worries, no need to lose sleep. What will be will be.

I spent this morning at yoga, followed by a soya natural honey latte in town with my reading. I have given myself the task of learning more about anxiety and panic attacks so I can practice some mindfulness and relaxation techniques with a client. I subsequently decided to practice on Bryony who willingly became my 'tester subject' this afternoon. For me -  a person who tends to think more about the nuances of our psychological responses, I was reminded of the power of not only the mind but of our physiological response to fear. The adrenal response to that immediate feeling of having the safety of the ground ripped from beneath our feet is a powerful one, and I am reminded once more of the intimate connection between mind and body. The power we have over our minds once we allow ourselves to live in the moment in our bodies. It also applies the other way around; the power our minds can have over us if we try to run from them. The faster we run, the more we hide, the greater the suit of armour we wear to mask what is sitting beneath, the more power we give away...

The day then continued and of course I ended up at the reservoir out in the nature watching the sunset and once more being astounded at the glory. I wrote about the insignificant glories a good few months ago, and this was one of those instances - the insignificant glories. A glorious moment of insignificance, but by the very nature of being glorious, perhaps it was more significant than we realise. There was something significant today about being by the water in good company and watching the sun set. The significance is that we could have been at home, head buried in work staring at computer screens. With our diaries and ever incomplete to-do lists breathing power down into our bodies, the significance is that we chose to be there despite the demands of life and time we chose to be there.

Amongst these many things, one of our latest tasks is to keep a dream journal. Life as a trainee therapist is many things... Tiresome, compelling, exposing, encompassing, fascinating, challenging, honest... many many things, but it is never dull. For the next few weeks we have been tasked to keep a dream journal - an honest account of our dreams and nightmares as they happen. When we were first given the task, i thought 'I have no time for that!!!' then I quickly corrected this thought and realised that if I wanted to do it, I would make time for it. Then my thoughts quickly turned to 'I never dream!!! I have about 4 dreams/nightmares per year - there is no way I will even dream. I will have nothing in this damned journal anyway, even if I make time!' But now, 5 days later, I have five stories written in my journal. One dream for each morning I have woken up convinced 5 days ago I would have no stories to tell. Isn't it interesting - we only see what we look for. We are looking for a new car; all we see are cars of that make and model on the roads. We look for a new red lip stick and all we see are people wearing red lip stick. We look for the dreams, and as soon as we make space for them, they are there.

I think if nothing, we must start looking for what we want to see...