Writing

Next minute a shooting star shot across the night sky. It interrupted a sea of stars so numerous that it looked like a salt- shaker had spilled across the dark inkiness of the night. Make a wish, they say, but what to wish for? Wishes are like shooting stars, fleeting and misnamed. While a shooting star isn’t a star it’s perhaps just a chunk of rock, then again it could’ve been part of a planet, or an asteroid that had traversed the galaxy for 6 billion years… That shooting star had quite a history!

While I wrote about the day,  David sat by the fire occasionally poking it with a stick. It had been lit earlier in the night with a pink lighter that had been gifted early in the trip by other campers, who seemed pleased by the clip on koala given to them in thanks. The lighter had lit many a fire on this trip, but this fire had a special majesty. Away from all signs of civilization it was a beacon that in a way protected and formed a home in the vast space of the wide valley. A primordial thing warming, life giving and protective.

If only a fire could warn of the future, I think looking back. The peace and calm of that night in a valley called death, where the only thought on my mind was telling the story of the day and where we would travel the next. The luxury of choice and a world to explore. Out of interest we had been travelling for 2 weeks at this stage. Putting up the tent was automatic and simple, the rhythm of the days a pleasant routine.  The only worry finding a camp spot and which direction to head next. At the time it did not feel life changing. It was part of a simple plan for my life. The plan, which like the fire warming the night, within a year would be ashes. Looking back now this simple night holds a space that is extraordinary.

I can’t remember the first time I was entranced by fire. It had been a feature of my childhood that made my parents worry I would turn into a fire-bug. Mesmerized by the flames of the bonfire or the spinning Catherine wheel sparks on Fire Cracker night. The smoke and smell of my father burning off rubbish and the almost religious experience of burning candles, dripping wax, molding that warm wax into shapes.

It was brilliant to be able to take a year off to travel. An amazing privilege that we worked hard for. Sometimes, despite the hard times and trauma I’ve experienced in my life, I think “aren’t I lucky”. Like fire there are many elements needed to bring that life into being that eclipse simple luck though. A fire needs clear ground- (opportunity), it needs fuel (work) and it needs a spark (imagination). Until finally the fuel is used up and the fire dwindles to embers that only need more fuel and a breath of wind to bring it back to life.

Thinking back to that night, I’m glad I knew nothing of what was to come. For if I did, I would probably still be out there wandering the desert…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Taking a leap into the unknown

“Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.”
D. H. Lawrence

There seems to be an epidemic around people wanting to be sure, before they make a decision.
Perhaps it’s due to the fact these days we not only have so much choice- but also so much information at hand. Indecision grips us when we have so much choice. It is like a restaurant with a vast menu…

We can research on the internet, we can peruse dozens of sites to see the alternatives, we can dream of what might be better .

But when it comes down to it, when you wait too long, sometimes that opportunity is gone…

Take a leap into the unknown. Be courageous. I know that when you contemplate taking that leap fear can take hold.  Fear however holds you back from your true potential. It paralyses one with indecision and worry about the risk.

My day job involves assessing safety and other types of risks. I weigh the liklihood against the consequences to do this. Then you look at the cost of not acting. It is quite simple. With this in mind in the last few years I’ve changed jobs, sold most of my possessions, spent large sums of money travelling and moved houses.

The costs of not acting on dreams in your life- regrets. See the Top 10 regrets of the dying.

Infographic+The+Top+10+Regrets+In+Life+By+Those+About+To+Die-Addicted2Success1-2

I am determined to not have any more regrets.

The risk of the leap is possibly loss? Possibly. But I think you can never lose as long as you take a chance. Especially if the things to be gained are so worth the risk.

Live, Love, take risks and experience lots of Joy!

X Cherry

Love the most important person in your life

Today is Valentine’s Day, and depending on how you feel about it, it is a great way to tell your partner how much you care or a great way to decry commercialism or it can make you feel sad and lonely about being single.

I want to put forward another idea- I would like this to be a day where you can celebrate and show love to the most important person in your life.

YOU!

1897941_504189949701551_1971725830_n

So many people are in a toxic hurtful relationship with themselves, especially with their bodies. They “HATE” this or that about themselves, they wish they looked like someone else and they have nasty toxic thoughts about themselves. (Yes toxic as negative thinking can play a role in physical health and definately has a role in mental health).

It seems that loving ourselves is the hardest of all things to love. However most people will readily love someone else despite the fact they may have a pot belly, back hair, uneven breasts or cellulite etc…

How do you do that? Well for me it was a process of telling myself I was gorgeous and showing love towards my body.  It wasn’t easy- it took years to be honest. But some of the things I did is to dress up and take myself out on dates, get pedicures, massages, buy myself a nice outfit, rub lotion onto my body and treat showering and bathing as a treat instead of a chore. After a while I did start loving my thighs, despite the fact they are huge because they are strong, powerful and shapely. I loved my huge bum because it feels so awesome. I started loving my legs which I always called trees because of their curves. I’m even slowly starting to love my belly despite the fact I want it to be smaller. Yes you can still love your body even if you want to make healthy changes to it.

My recommendations-Touch your body! Yes do it. Rub lotion in slowly and feel how amazing your body feels! Get pampering massages from professsionals (I would highly recommend a ha kuna massage). Stand in front of a mirror naked and tell yourself all the things you LOVE about your body. Let the negative thought that come to you wash away in the shower and hold onto those love thoughts. If you want to improve things in some small way develop a fitness routine doing things you love- for me it is cycling and recently swimming).

Less than 1% of the world has what society considers a “perfect” body. You don’t hold your partners up to those ideals so why subject yourself to them.

As that corny Whitney Houston song (Written by Michael Masser / Linda Creed) says:

“The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all”

Much love to you all on this Valentines Day

XOX Cherry

YOLO

Back when I was little the phrase was Carpe Diem-Seize the Day!

A good friend of mine is always saying YOLO so it is stuck in my head: You Only Live Once.
So simple yet so very true.

DSCN2137

If you take any notice of what I post on instagram and Facebook you will see I’ve been travelling a bit lately. In fact right now I’m on a yacht in the Greek Islands. Sounds amazing and it has been, but today the weather is bad and we are stuck in the main cabin so I have some time to write! 🙂
Last year I was offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy from my State Government day job where I was an Environmental Manager. A job that bored me into mental numbness. A job where my skills where not being used well and I spent a large amount of time thinking about burlesque and singing and absolutely anything else that would stop my brain turning into mush. I had tried to make more of my job but the public service can be very limiting and my job was a dead-end. Some of my colleagues in the same role had been doing the same job for 10+ years… The redundancy payout was good, and it seemed like a lifeline. A chance for change. Change has been a big part of my life for the last 5 years. I live in a different area, dress different, look different and do different things but that is another blog post. My job was the only thing that hadn’t changed.
So I applied and was accepted to take redundancy and negotiated a leaving date that was 8 months away, July 2013. It seemed like forever but I knew it would leave me time to plan.
So what to do next I thought?.
I could get another job in my field and have a great deposit for a flat.
So I started looking for a flat to buy. But… it was like something in me baulked at this decision.
I thought about other options. Perhaps travel. A change of career. Study.
Hmmm
What to do?
I thought about what I am good at. I am a good communicator, I am a confident public speaker and I am a good teacher. These are useful skills to set me up for a career change.
But first I thought TRAVEL! For the first time in my life I have Energy, Money AND Time. The trifecta and I plan to make the most of it.
DSCN1904
When I get back from this trip I don’t really know what I will do. I have a trip to South America booked for autumn 2004 but beyond that is the unknown.
Wow
Scary
But exciting!
I see so many possibilities. So many paths and doors that have exciting plans beyond them. For the first time in over a decade I have no idea where I am going or what the future has in store for me.
I am excited about what that future may hold.
But like I said Carpe Diem: I am going to enjoy the now! Summer in Sydney.
What a fabulous plan! 🙂
XC

Vulnerability

(Note:this blog has been sitting in my drafts folder for a few months now. Oddly I was feeling too vulnerable to publish it…)

I have been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately. Both as a part of myself and as an aspect of my performances.

Last year I went to Canberra to be a Judge at Kitten of the Year along side Holly J’aDoll and Lauren LaRouge. It was really a wonderful experience with lots of great performances, and special for me as many years ago Kitten of the Year was the very first show I performed in. Before the show we got to interview each contestant, which was a great way of seeing some of their personality shine through. 

I was moved by a lot of responses to our questions. How the Miss Kitka’s course has changed their lives and made them more confident. I can personally vouch that the course is truly empowering. 

Each contestant has to study a performer from the past, and devise a tribute performance. If the performer is alive they are supposed to also contact the performer and get permission. Some of the contestants from this year and previous years have formed friendships with these performers- something that is wonderful to hear about and keeps the links to our history alive. 

One contestant- Sugar Starr – did a tribute to: “the Bearded Lady” She explained to us that the central aspect of her performance was about vulnerability.

 Image

Vulnerability, can be seen as something quite scary. The dictionary defines it as: capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon.

Wow, capable of being hurt… I am a person who shows my vulnerability. It has always been the case. I think it is part of what makes me a good performer. If I feel something you see it on my face, it is there for the world to see and judge. I cry easily. I get hurt easily.Image

I’ve struggled with this all my life, for to show emotion and vulnerability, leaves one open to the cruel, those looking to bolster their own ego or those looking to take advantage of it. So over the years I have learnt to protect some of my vulnerability with some armour. Just enough to fight off those who will take advantage, but still leave me open to the great things that can come from showing my vulnerability. It’s really important to me, to not let those people change who I essentially am. I’d rather be hurt occasionally, when the alternative is to shut myself off from my emotions.

Brené Brown puts it into words far more eloquent:

You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle. But there’s another way, and I’ll leave you with this. This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee — and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult — to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.” And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough,” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

I’ll leave you with this great TED talk. Listen to it- it is worth it: