>More rural musings

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One of the things I love about living in a semi-rural area that you really get to sense the changing seasons and also the way in which nature operates differently from year to year.
Last year the trumpet tree next door had seeds on it just after Christmas and the tree was full of noisy, boisterous, larrikin rainbow lorikeets having the feed of their lives. This year, as we’d had a much wetter winter and spring, the tree has only just set seeds. We’re being visited by rainbow lorikeets, but in much smaller numbers, and this year we’re seeing galahs having a feed off the seeds.Galahs are rather large parrots, grey with a pink breast, renowned for having fun by swinging round and round on telephone lines. There’s a saying around galahs and I have no idea how it eventuated. “How do you cook a galah?”  “Put it in a pot with a stone and boil for 24 hours. Throw out the galah and eat the stone.”n 
Here’s a pic:
We’ve also noticed that our jacaranda flowered much later and the crepe myrtle trees, which were pretty  much in full flower last year when we moved in, are only new getting covered in pale pink mauve and deep pink blossoms. 
Our garden is also growing well and below I’ve posted photos of our ginger plant which is sending out blossoms like there’s no tomorrow, the bromeliad flower in the front garden which is constantly in the shade and so stays nice and moist, and the elephant ear plant which we got from a friend and which is now also madly sending out flowers and new runners.

>Hope not Hate – Boycott Shock Jocks

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This past week in Australia, we had the spectacle of a Sydney shock job raking over our Prime Minster, Julia Gillard, as if she were a schoolgirl getting hauled over the coals. It was a disgusting spectacle, with the radio announcer, Alan Jones, behaving like an over-rated, puffed up prima donna! And I thought enough.  Of course, he behaves in a crass, boorish way to the present Prime Minister because she’s a Labor PM.  When the former PM Howard or current Opposition leader Abbott front up to Jones’ programme, the sycophant is all over them like a rash.
It really doesn’t matter whether Jones is interviewing a Liberal or Labor politician.  The incivility is just unacceptable as is promoting hate as a way of winning the ratings games.  I’ve had enough.  I’ve partially listened to US shock jocks like Faux Fox’s Glenn Beck but turned off pretty fast in absolute disgust.I’ve been appalled that the likes of Pity Party Palin and Huckster Huckabee have called for the murder of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. Talk about wallowing in the gutters!
I also shake my head that so many wallow in the poisonous sentiment these shock jocks broadcast. Surely we, as decent human beings, need to stand up to these bully-boys and tell them they’re the dregs of public broadcasting and should be ashamed of themselves.
Isn’t it time that good people vocally and loudly condemned these extreme radio and TV commentators for being hate mongers, fomenting discord, setting sections of society against one another, and peddling plain old lies? Why do we silently tolerate these wretched people?  So I’m sending out a loud call for those who want to a decent, civil, civilised society to raise the call for these shock jocks to be boycotted.  Free speech has certain expectations – that you don’t peddle hatred, lies and savagery.  Enough is enough.
The time has come for a huge boycott of shock jocks. Spread the word. Stand up for decency and civil conversation and discourse in society.

We need hope not hate.

>Fashion – the stark naked emperors

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In  The Independent newspaper this week (a British publication), there was an article about the thin model, Chloe Memisevic.  She is tall and very, very thin.  Now whether this is her normal weight, I have no idea, but she is suddenly the model du jour.  And once again we are seeing fashion on women who bear no relation to the ordinary women on the street.  I posted a comment at the end of the article along the lintes that it’s about time some of the fashion writers had the guts to say that so much of the “fashion” you see on the catwalks is a load of old cobblers and plug ugly, and that the gushing reviews are because no-one has the guts to say that these designers are like the emperor with no clothes.  If you can’t design fashion that suits the majority of women, then you’re a crap designer. 
I was actually amazed that 42 people registered they liked my comments. So out there in the great wide universe, there are obviously a lot of people as cheesed off as I am with the “thin” fad, and up-themselves, half-baked designers and their over-rated clothing, AND the dangers unnaturally thin models represent to young women who, trying to make their way in the world, are being offered body images which are unrealistic and unhealthy. As are the rest of us women, actually, since the diet industry is thriving and making billions out of us (Heinz owns Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig is now owned by Nestle), magazines are guaranteed sales if “new diet” is flashed on the covers, and diet books also sell by the squillions.
I reiterate this comment above, because The Australian newspaper’s weekend review has just slobbered over the Chanel and Dior collections, and a more sorry load of outfits you’ve never seen in your life. The Dior collection was in pale, putrid pink, some sort of hankering for little girl frillies, complete with a dress that had big pink frilly sleevers (oh, really flattering, I don’t think) and frills hanging down under the dress which look as if the model’s knickers have fallen down. Galliano for Dior was a lot brighter and vivacious but, nevertheless, the styles were – dare I say it – pretty damned boring.  I was also appalled to discover that top couture dresses, costing upwards of $140,000 with 400 hours of work in them are expected to last for no more than three or four wearings before they split and shred.  God help me, what wasteful extravagence when so many in the world don’t even have enough to eat each day!
 
I know there are good designers around. Some of the outfits you see at the Oscars and other film premieres are totally gorgeous. (Although I may admire the designs, I’m not so enemoured of my newfound knowledge that theyr’e quite likely to have a very short shelf life). And there again, some of them are desperately bad.  I love the outrageousness of the British designer, Vivienne Westwood, love even more her recent comment that she’d offer to design for Kate Middleton, Prince William’s squeeze, but “we have to wait until she catches up a bit” when it comes to fashion. The woman (Westwood) certainly has chutzpah..  I also love some of the Australian designers, particularly Sass & Bide.  So I’m not anti-fashion per se.  I am anti-fashion which relies on snobbery, sycophancy and bowing and scraping to crap designers who, for me, embody the concept of emperors with no clothes at all.
More than that, though, it’s their insistence on skinny models which I find distasteful.  It’s not the models’ fault, it’s the mainly male designers refusal to countenance larger sizes because clothes supposedly don’t hang so well.  Women come in a range of sizes and the average woman never, ever comes near to the mini-sized fashion models, even though the fashion fascists ooh and aah over these miserable looking young women.  I mean, have you ever seen one of these models looking happy?  I think I’d fall off the settee if one actually smiled. But I guess when you’re teetering along on dangerously high heels, you’re concentrating on not falling on your arse and looking a complete fool in front of a load of people.
I got talking to an attendant in a changing room at Big W once. Big W is an Australian store which, among a range of goods, offers clothing including plus-sizes. Might I say that the idea “plus-size” starts at 12 is also ridiculous, and the idea also that sizes start at 0 is ludicrous.  Women are – shock, horror – curvy and, well, womanly in their natural state, so the sooner the “thin straitjacket” is put to rest the better. Anyway, onwards. The attendant told me that the best-selling size was 18, something the high-end fashion designers probably don’t even know exists.  So sod ’em.  I know that intelligent designers are taking up the slack and a range of plus-size stores and on-line sites are opening up catering to a huge plus-size market. To give some honourable mentions: Autograph; TS14+; Maggie T; Marisota.co.uk; RealWomenAustralia; Hope & Harvest; Lotus Traders (e-bay); to name but a few. 
I reckon these stores who have listened to demand and taken a punt on the woman in the street demand not only medals but our support. 
Now, in case you haven’t seen a pic of Ms Memisevic, here are two.
 I don’t actualy like the sneering that can take place around thin women, such as “matchsticks with the wood scraped off”, “stick insects” and so on, because many women ARE naturally thin. I had a friend who was 5′ 6″ tall, weighed 6 stone and ate like a horse. It was her natural metabolism and frame. It’s not a case of “us” against “them”.  It’s a case of ensuring that all women, whatever their age, work out what weight is right for them and then dress accordingly. My own style is for long, flowing, goddess dresses in summer because I can’t tolerate synthetic fabrics in hot weather, and tops, jackets and trousers in winter. I always gravitate to jackets, and it’s my style. Of course, one of the perks of getting older is that you get to say you like comfortable clothing, you can eschew tight clothing if you don’t like it, and you – with any luck – have found out what suits you.
And, of course, this is another thing about fashion. We’re supposed to be slaves to it: we buy this and that one season, and then we’re supposed to chuck out what is no longer in fashion and buy a whole load of new gear.  What a waste of energy and also a waste of resources. We are all different shapes and sizes, and the best thing we can do is work out our style and then buy what suits us, not what a load of morons are trying to push on us to make super-profits from sweatshops where workers are paid peanuts. Sustainable and ethical fashion – wow, what a concept!

>Some links to inspiring material – Barefoot Doctor

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For some years I’ve been reading stuff by Barefoot Doctor ina British magazine I used to subscribe to. I’ve found his various articles inspiring and helpful.  I came across his material when I lived in the UK and bought one of his books at Manchester Airport to use up my last British currency. Good stuff.  So when I came across his website, I thought I’d post a link. I’ve just downloaded some of his meditations which are enormous fun and the whackiest meditations I’ve ever come across. But I enjoy them and they’re really motivational which is what counts. This is the link:

I did get a free download of information about planetary movements in 2011 which is free and really good value, but I’ve lost the link. When I track it down, I’ll post it here as the info is really useful and extremely good value. So watch this space – or rather the next space which hopefully will include a link.

>Offering Tarot card readings again

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Been away for a while, I must have needed some rest and recuperation, I guess.  Anyway, I did a Tarot reading for a friend today and really enjoyed myself.  So I decided that I’d start offering Tarot readings again, $5 for 3 card reading, and $10 for reading around an issue, minimum 6 cards.  I don’t advertise widely, just like to make readings available to people who come across what I offer, as I figure it’s synchronicity which has led to the connection.  I don’t do “tall, dark and handsome”, I look at what’s going on with your energies, what’s blocking you and where you can head if you so choose.
I will also provide a photo of the cards that come up, so you have a visual image of your reading.
If you’re interested you can book through my website, http://www.stonesonglines.com or just order on PayPal, via: stonesonglines@westnet.com.au.
Hasta la vista!

>BellySun Healing Meditation

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I’ve been absent from these pages for ages (bit of rhyming there, snicker) mainly because I had a very quiet period when I felt completely unenthused and uninspired about anything for ages.  And as I swore when I started blogging that I wouldn’t write for the sake of writing, I just didn’t write, which is a weird feeling as I love writing. But I’m back, feeling very much more alive after a very debilitating hot spell in this neck of the woods – over a week of very hot, slightly humid days when the best thing for me is to stay quiet, out of the fierce sun, and keep cool under the air-conditioning.  The nights have been very warm too – between 23-27C – and interrupted sleep from the heat also drags your energies down. The return to cool weather is, believe me, very welcome and also highly energising. But it’s also a reminder to you all that sometimes it is quite okay to sit quietly, take it easy and rest.  Yes, just rest.  It’s a bit of a dirty word in our society where you’re supposed to be on the go and “doing” things all the time.  Sometimes, maybe often depending on your circumstances, time out is what you need, so take time out without any feelings of guilt and just tune into what you need from a period of rest, withdrawal and replenishing your spirt.
Anyway, on to the main purpose of this post, which is about how your body absorbs emotional pain into your emotional and physical memories.  I know, I know that the big thing these days is that, if you think the right thoughts, all will be right in your world, love and happiness will reign, your health will be hunkry-dory overnight, and money will shower over you like manna from heaven. Okay, I’m simplifying. If you can think positive thoughts, your sense of well-being will naturally improve. but I sometimes think that the “right thoughts” brigade ignore the fact that we live in a community with which we interact and which affects our world in ways we simply can’t control. We can’t be little bundles of light all the time because, whether we like it or not, the universe sometimes sends small hand grenades or whopping great neutron bombs into our lives and these can bring pain, sorrow, regrets, loss and all the challenges which life can throw up at a moment’s notice. Moreover, thinking the right thoughts reflects our society’s fixation with logical, intellect and factoids, at the expense of emotion, intuition and feeling.
So going back to the physical body, emotions and feelings, emotions to me are like roller-coasters: they rise and fall, positive and negative, joy and sorrow, and to my mind they’re why we are here on earth, to embrace emotions and learn from them at all levels – emotional, mental, spiritual and physical.  I remember reading that people were monitored for their response to various scenarios and their heart and head electrical impulses noted.  The first response came from people’s hearts, mini-seconds before their heads responded. So I’d like to ask you – do you remember when you have felt your heart turn over?  When you have felt punched in the heart? When your heart has felt ripped apart?  When you’ve felt your heart well up with emotion and that emotion has poured out of you? When your heart has swelled with joy or pride, for yourself or someone else?
Well, where do the emotions go when they”ve hit your heart?  How are they recorded in your body’s emotional memories?  I well remember when I attended a psychic art morning where we had to draw ourselves and the only picture I could draw of myself was my hands crossed over my heart.  When the art teacher looked at my painting, she said simply: “This is someone who has gone through so much pain but hidden it inside”. I felt my heart crack open when she said that and tears well up. But I didn’t want to cry in front of strangers.  Instead, a friend said something a week or so later which started a crying jag that went on and on, from my heart but much deeper within my body.  Because when I’d finished, she looked at me and said in awe and amazement: “I can’t believe it, but your tummy has subsided, as if a balloon’s gone down inside you.”  And she was right.  My puffed-up belly had suddenly gone down a few notches, much to my amazement.  It was if I’d released a tsunami of emotions that I’d buried in my body whenever I’d been hurt and not shown it, just kept a smiling face and never let on I’d been hurt by anyone.  I also remember giving Reiki to a person and finding a freezing cold spot on their body.  It was icy. When I questioned that person, they told me that it was where their parent had hit them with an iron bar when they were teenagers.  I also remember feeling pain in the shoulders of a woman who’d been receiving Reiki from me, and that was where her abusive husband used to hit her.
Your body remembers emotions.  So to start the emo-healing process, I’m going to suggest that, first off, you focus on your belly, which is your emotional centre, relating to your second chakra, the colour of which is orange. If you get the feeling (and honour your intuition) that this might bring up difficult stuff for you, ask a friend to sit with you and support you as you do this meditation.
Sit comfortably and take the time to breathe in and out slowly, letting out any tension with your out-breath, and feeling your body relaxing. As you do so, close your eyes and let the outside world fade from your awareness.  Focus on our inner world.
Now just picture your belly, from below your rib-cage to your pelvic cradle, as a circle.  Circles have a primordial resonance for us – so many things are circles – our cells, the world, tree trunks, the sun, the moon, our pupils, and so on.  So put your hands on your belly and see, feel or imagine a huge, circular orange sun radiating out of your belly.  As you feel this sun taking shape, note where in your belly you can sense feelings coming to the surface.  It could be right in your belly button, in your pelvic area, on the right or left, or under your rib-cage.  Don’t try to force this process. Let it take shape in its own good time.  Now tune into how you feel about the emotions coming to the surface.  Do you feel grief, sorrow, anger, happiness, outrage, joy, energy?  There is no right or wrong.  Just allow to happen whatever surfaces for you.
Now imagine, see or feel (depending on what sense you use) that your fiery, orange sun is pouring healing energy into whatever area of your body where you feel emotions are arising. Harmonise with the energy of these healing rays. As you do so, just surrender to whatever way your emotions respond to this flaming orange energy. You may feel the need to release grief, or perhaps open up to forgiveness, or tune into a feeling of joy and diffuse that joy through your body.  Whatever turns up for you is absolutely right.  There is no good, bad, right or wrong way for you as an individual to react.
Stay with this process as you feel fit.  If you feel you need to cry, then cry and release whatever emotions you’ve been bottling up.  If you feel the need to shout with joy, do so. If you feel the need to release anger, just relax and see how your body wants to release that anger and go with it.  This process may take a long time, or it may happen quickly.  Or you may well find that you feel the time isn’t right for you to process those emotions as it’s too challenging for you.  You may wish to sit with these insights until the time is right for you to work further with them, when you feel you’re able to handle them.  Or you may even wish to bring the process to a close and write about your experiences as a way of getting emotional stuff out of you, or discuss what’s happened with someone who’ll support you.  This last bit about support is important. Don’t share your emotional experiences with someone you know won’t take them seriously and who may well undermine any good which has arisen from your contact with deeply buried emotions. You need someone supportive, sympathetic and helpful!
You can take yourself out of this process when you feel it’s complete for you.  Take some deep breaths, stretch and, when you open your eyes again, make sure you’re really well grounded and back in the present before you get up and start moving around.  Check in with your body and how it feels.  If you feel the urge, have a dance around, spin in circles or just wave your arms around.  Feel your body freeing itself from any stuck energies and lightening up.  And then carry on with an awareness that emotions are okay, it’s okay to feel, it’s okay to cry, and it’s also okay to jump around with joy or howl with laughter.