Category: self

Tools for my toolkit

These tools came from a book I listened to today by George Simon. They were presented nicely the context of communication with particular aggressive character types but I think that there is application in a broader sense as well. My own thoughts I will include in bold. Otherwise it is a direct summation.

  • Accept no excuses especially from myself. The ends never justify the means for inappropriate behaviour.The objective of aggressive behaviour is always to resist civil conduct.
  • Judge actions not intentions.
  • Set personal limits; both for what you will tolerate including from yourself and what you expect.
  • Make direct requests. Use I statements.
  • Insist on direct responses
  • Stay in the here and now.
  • When confronting an aggressive communication, behaviour or person keep the weight on the aggressive behaviour.
  • When you need to confront someone avoid sarcasm, hostility or put downs.
  • Avoid making threats. It’s a form of manipulation.
  • Take action quickly
  • Speak for yourself.
  • Make reasonable requests.
  • Be prepared for consequences.

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Intentional shopping quarter – the rules

It was my birthday last Tuesday.

Birthdays matter to me. Mine and also other people’s (though I admit that I’m not as good at remembering them as I should be): and IDPwD are my sacred days. Much more so than most of the other Day festivals.

It’s a reflective time for me. I tend to start resolutions and try to start a project. I take myself in hand a bit more on my birthday. This year I had a lot to challenge myself on especially in terms of my character. I’m actively starting to work on some of that now.

Instead of trying for an all year project I’m going to try a 3 month project to actually behave more minimally. Rather than just talk about it and do a rash three-day purge only to go shopping out of boredom or a mix between boredom (3 or 4 things) mixed in with the 1 thing I actually really needed.

So these are my rules (subject to change with reflection)

  • Use things up. I have several instances of unnecessary multiples eg moisturisers, breath mints, USB cables. Multiple things can be useful in some instances like having a cable in your handbag and one at home, but beyond that usefulness I need to pare down. I did try this but found I felt too wasteful. A lot of my duplicates are just knocked around enough by even light use that they aren’t worth ebaying, so I felt like I was wasting money that I don’t have by throwing them away.
  • If something needs replacing, throw the old out and go ahead and replace. If I get weekly use of a critical item and it ceases to be capable of doing the task, I will replace it with a product of the same value. After the project I might reassess for upgrade.
  • If I lose something, I will wait to replace it. Exceptions being life critical items for which I will look for cheaper alternatives during the project.
  • I will renew my web hosting (if you want to help cover the costs, click on an ad every time you visit or if you prefer making a donation via PayPal)
  • For gifts, I will offer experiences with or without me, or a donation to an item they will choose.
  • I won’t buy food for time or respect. I have a bad habit of buying food out to allow me to use a table to write, read or think. Or sadly to convince the general nobody-in-particular that they don’t need to worry overly about my welfare. I will drink coffee when I need coffee.
  • I will recycle or donate purchases I make in this timeframe. Like the two books I ordered today (more on that later), I will read and then donate to the library.
  • I will track my spending, using apps or equipment I already own.
  • I will not pay for any new subscription services till the end of the trial. But I will maintain the services I am currently actually using.
  • When shopping, I may browse in person, but will try to buy online.
  • Use wish lists. When I want to get stuff I don’t need to get in the next three months.
  • I will make lists
  • I will document the journey here.
  • I will try to be intentional in all things.
  • I will enjoy the precious things and people in my life.

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I’m pretty deep into some serious rebuilding of my soul. Party self-inflicted. Partly a big-for-me birthday. Partly some relationship issues and betrayals. So I’m reading a lot. Literally sitting in my woman made cave somewhere. I’ll get there. But I’ve never gone this deep, on my own before without just labelling it depression and having that colour the experience or have me pull back from the work. It’s hard but it’s going to be better to have been through, rather than to the edge, or around the chasm. It’s also multi faceted, which makes it easier.

All that to say courageously that in my cave reading yesterday I came across this quote that I’m loving, strike that finding challenging from Brené Brown’s work Daring Greatly.

Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose;the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.

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I had a sloppy day yesterday. By the time that it got to 11 am, and I hadn’t yet done my spiritual practice or anything else on my todo list or my bed side pile of books, I had more or less accepted this fact and yesterday turned into a rest day. It was filled with a game on my iPad that will ultimately means nothing and thinking. The study I still have to do by the end of today still needs to happen. I need to get back on the horse in terms of my spiritual stuff.

But at some point yesterday I was okay with letting yesterday go. In rest. Not like the day was stolen from me in laziness like others have felt before but because  I chose to let it be my sabbath. Without any scheduling, or ritual. Without the promise of a routine. Fully aware in my own mind at least that I far from deserve a day off at this point.

There was no great crash out on Friday. I’ve had it lot on my mind lately and I do need to reboot some major stuff; like my integrity. But it wasn’t one of those.

I also needed  to lie down earlier I was planning on last night so I didn’t get to write about it. But between Friday night and now a few things have come into focus. This is nice as I have felt like a study in contradictions lately.

  • I realised that there are a lot of books that I want to read but my library doesn’t have and I don’t want to buy a lot of books.
  • I realised again that I want to write more, speak less, think more.
  • I want to live minimally but be well informed and have just what I need when I need it.
  • Silence doesn’t scare me. Judgement does. My own stings more than anything another can do.
  • I realise that I fall to easily into trying to be someone that I am not. That needs to stop now even though it’s going to be very uncomfortable for a while.

I have always thought that when I was being really me, I lived very consciously. Things like; Think carefully through what you are going to do, say, wear, eat. Not just once but each time. Make your choices consciously and be aware that the act of not making a choice is in fact a choice. That even when a situation doesn’t seem to have a choice, your response to that situation is your choice. That there will be hard choices, but being adult means accepting that even those are choices.

This lifestyle felt right but very hard and very unpopular. It seems out of kilter with the way I was “supposed” to be. It was not easy or fun. It was hard to be unpopular again. But I think that I need to go back to that. A life of intentionality and conscious living and see what happens. I am older now so maybe that will help.

It will require radical honesty. First with myself and then with others. About who I am, and what I really want. That will take time, but after my Sabbath i feel quietly ready. Not in a zealous let’s run and have a packing party and I’ll move to India. But in a confidence and courage that I haven’t felt in over 10 years. I feel more myself today.

I can now see some intersections between what I think my values are and actions I can take.

I was listening to a podcast on YouTube interviewing Colin Wright who moves intentionally every 4 months. Watching a TEDx talk of his gave me a word for it all. The seemingly endless contradictory goals.


Coming into another birthday my word of choice will be intentionality for the next phase. His talk was not just looking at stuff; the minimialism piece but intentionality in relationships. Contextual friendships. Draining relationships. Being “on purpose” here too. This is an area I need to address, both in the repair (if possible) of some that I have abused and or neglected and in the clearing of others which do not serve now in the way that I have been trying to make them work.

But first to me. I’m not going to make radical commitments to myself right now. That hasn’t been healthy for me. I’m just going to start by trying a little harder to pay attention and use my hypersensitivity to my advantage. To think more.

Start from there.

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Raw, mild updates

I have been writing lately, just not posting. After losing a post this morning I wrote the following on 750words as a head empty. Step gently as you read this but to prevent me from losing the nerve to post I will post unedited, typos, mis-capitalisations and all. The idea at the time  was that my fingers didn’t leave the keyboard and that I didn’t pay any attention to how it looked .Hence the raw title. There are probably the germination of three posts here. I won’t promise, but if you see me repeating myself in future posts, forgive.  

The only thing I did edit was I turned a few specifics that I won’t name into “various reasons”.

A bit frustrated. After months of avoiding the blogging thing because of various reasons I woke up this morning and, after listening to the 3d audio thing, decided i’d start working on the post to introduce the new wheelchair that actually and finally arrived yesterday. Then I had the whole “which writing tool do I want to use here?” internal debate, which led me to reading the article about Obama’s decision minimising (to avoid decision fatigue) which in my own mind led to a blog on its own about that whole process as a phenomena linking to the fast company piece. So i wrote it it was casual, without being too draft-y, explained that now seemed a good time to reboot the whole blogging thing again, and was just saving the post from the draft screen to be able to add the link and was sure I had saved it but something went wrong and I think I’ve lost it. I was in the zone, it wasn’t my best piece of work but I was definitately doing something and re-vitalising. I was useful.

But interesting, i’m not really that far off that feeling now and maybe the previous post,  this decision making tree stuff isn’t that valuable on the blog especially as an re-intro but might it has served its purpose as a free write or something. I’m still writing now aren’t I? I have overcome the whole question of which program to use and maybe just use this as a cut and paste starting point. I like the fact that I seem to be able to see the resistance ok, even yes feel it and work through itr even here. I’ve always noticed when the various self-help gurus would talk about letting thoughts go, float away and thought that meant ignoring them or just being disciplined. I’m sure that helped. I think it was better than nothing and certainly better than sinking into the feelings, but it wasn’t quite the same as the thing I’m talking about. Choosing different without the denial but in spite of feelings and perhaps better before the feelings can have an inpact because it will feel better each time I choose won’t it? So if I want to be a writer, yes I should do it because I enjoy it. Because I feel time and even words fly by but I can’t afford quite literally to wait till I feel like writing, or not just then. I should fill my time with the activities that improve or could improve my writing regardless of how I feel at the time, and pear back on the other stuff. seeing myself as a writer is more than a romantic gesture here. As that muscle of deciding gets stronger I will feel the flow more likely I’m guessing. I’ve slowed down a bit in the last two hundred words I’ve noticed distracted by leg cramp, noise and word count and grabbing too hard onto sentences that now are long gone, but i do think the flow is actually better and so yes I’m getting some reward for sticking with it.I must write more regularly anyway to capture thoughts like some of the people moving stuff i noticed yesterday driving around in the new chair, how people saw me just a little bit differently i think as being a person not a point of pity, how I was struggling to find a speed that felt right. How I felt like more of a person and strangely more part of the action and more visible. People were a bit more anxious. I was more anxious. How I’m over how torn up the footpaths are and what that does to the camber, and how everybody seems to want to use the flattest bit for themselves be they pram, shopper trolleys, street furniture, slow walking couples meandering right down the middle, the footpaths can’t handle all of it and leave enough space for me to apply the breaks when I need to because every time there is a gap that is a safe gap to leave it is intercepted. this means going out is painful as people don’t like me to inter up their flow or look like I’m going to hit them but I need to assume that the camber will throw me into someones shins! I should go out for a long roll to help condition the battery but I’m not sure given pre-existing decision fatigue and the prospect of the above or thinking where to go will keep me in bed and the chair today unused.

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A card carrying bone fide

Yippee I think! I’m officially still a disabled person again as far as an airline is concerned. The wheelchair or the fact that they have loaded it or me before is apparently not enough evidence. I need to have the right “card” telling them and me that yes I am in fact disabled. All the proof I need that I was neither imagining nor dreaming this life long pain arrived in the pobox today!! 😉 next time I express any pride on having been a bureaucrat bop me one.

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The email I wrote for international day last year

Dear All,

I’m sending this out on a personal note.

In simple terms this email is a thank you. It is international Day of People with Disability. I refuse to deal with Christmas till after today every year!

Regardless of how stage managed events around it need to become to raise the profile, IDPwD is intensely personal and profound for me.This year it is quite emotional for me. For me it is an opportunity to take a big breathe and acknowledge the journey, the wins, the losses and the inevitable work arounds. This starts with looking at my own life and using that reflection to look outwards. It involves giving thanks to all the powers that might be and to those in my circle who give me strength and courage and other resources to make “it” happen. You are each getting this because you have personally helped me “run that gauntlet”

Interestingly, looking out for a minute I see a big disconnect between parts of the messages that are being sent out this year. Domestically we are being told to celebrate the successes and the achievements and while fighting for the NDIS, keep it light and fluffy and a-political, This is even though there are enough people with disability to fill Victoria and we are under-utilised and more likely to be in all sorts of other not-nice minorities as a result .

On the other hand, the United Nations who proclaimed the annual observance in 1992 still tell us that:

“Persons with disabilities make up an estimated 15 per cent of the world’s population. Almost one-fifth of the estimated global total of persons living with disabilities, or between 110-190 million, encounter significant difficulties. Furthermore, a quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability, as care-givers or family members.
Persons with disabilities encounter many disadvantages in their societies and are often subjected to stigma and discrimination. They remain largely marginalized, disproportionately poorer, frequently unemployed and have higher rates of mortality. Furthermore, they are largely excluded from civil and political processes and are overwhelmingly voiceless in matters that affect them and their society”

I think this is a call to action if ever I heard one!

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle and that for those of us who are “active participants” have the balancing act ongoing. It is because of people like you that I find the strength “to run the race before me”, even if we never talk about disability! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. . It takes courage to be sit on the margins. The marginalisation may have have changed but it is still present and I still feel it so thanks for the gifts of courage I am given in the big and small ways..

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it was a time

Whoa what a strange week. Global and local highs and lows. Not sure what the parallels are if any but I think there will be some.

It was a really personal time me, it was my birthday.
It was a time for new technology, my own and others.
It was a time for the best shower of my life, when I had been ready to accommodate and adapt.
It was a time for good friends from near and far.
It was a time for new barriers and new vision.
It was a time to mourn and celebrate.


Whole chapters of this blog  could and might yet be written about any one of these lines, but the need to say a lot has paralysed me from saying anything and so I post.

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Moments with Socrates — making choices

My recent readings having included re-reading Socrates’ Apology (as reported we think by Plato).

A passage has struck me: — apologies for the gendered language


“You are mistaken, my friend, if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend his time weighing up the prospects of life and death. He has only one thing to consider in performing any action; that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly, like a good man or a bad one” 27B-28C




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