Adventure, children, Presence

Go with the Flow

 

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Jasmine and I were putting on our goggles to go see fish in the ocean, and her earplug thingy fell into the water. I tried to grab it but it’s translucent and I just couldn’t see it. I searched for it for a while but eventually gave up, and just took a deep breath and floated, and let the current sweep me away. It was a strange sensation of drifting backwards so fast, but where it left me, guess what I found? … the earplug, floating underwater dangling right in front of my eyes.

 

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When I stopped searching, and just let myself go, with the flow, that’s when I found it!

 

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I was looking where I was but the water was moving constantly. “Go with the Flow” the ocean whispered.

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Adventure, children, Music, Presence

Let it Go

 

Outing to our favourite spot at Palmar beach. We found these lenses that Uncle Anthony gave us when we were staying with them in PE, and so we took it with to have some photographical fun, and we decided to take our tent with. After pitching our tent, we started taking some pics before our swim.

 

 

 

We kept finding these little clay prayer bowls in the beach sand so we collected them, and Jazzy found a lovely round one and so we made that one the centrepiece of our little prayer shrine, between the rocks.

 

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Then Varkha came from her meeting to join us and while while Jasmine and her mummy swam…

 

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 I was listening to my fav band, Switchfoot “Daisy let it go…”, and “Vice Verse”

 

 

 

I know that there’s a meaning to it all
A little resurrection every time I fall
You got your babies, I got my hearses
Every blessing comes with a set of curses
I got my vices, I got my vice verses
I got my vice verses”

 

children, Healing, Psychology, trauma, Travel

Reprocessing Memories

 

 

Reprocessing Traumatic Memories

with Anna Nieuwenhuis

at Bulungula Backpackers, E-Cape, South Africa

Towards the end our stay, we met two lovely, friendly Dutch ladies who were touring South Africa, and during cooking time in the communal kitchen, we became friends and discussed recipes for adventure and healing. Jill was very talkative and musical, Anna was more quiet and I assumed that she didn’t speak much English, but when I discovered that she was a Psychologist, I persuaded her to talk a bit on camera, and I was surprised by how articulate and knowledgable she was about the subject nearest and dearest my own heart, how to heal from trauma. I love how she talks about reprocessing memories to remove the intense emotional charge from them, I love how she talks about everything to do with trauma; the effects, the symptoms, and the healing process and treatment!

Art, children, Magic, Travel

Fairy Meander

 

 

“Remove the mask of life and enter”

This line and the sculpture that followed it, did something to me. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, it was captivating and arresting. I was artistically arrested. As we meandered through this mythic fantasy world we were charmed, enchanted as we discovered hidden pixies, and sprites, dragons, elves and fairies. Jazzy loved it. Well she had a fall right at the beginning and so she cried and then her mood was gone and then we had a fight and our moods were gone, but after a while we were mesmerised back to our senses. Jazzy’s imagination was ignited and she was making up stories and games, and then we had a nice brief chat with Patrick, the creator sculptor.

 

http://www.hogsback.co.za/activities/camelot_meander.aspx

 

 

children, Healing, Shamanism, Travel

Gift of Presence

On our first day in Hogsback we met a spritely pixie named Yellowfoot. She was peddling her craft, lovely handmade amulets, necklaces, hairpieces etc. and we had an instant connection. She is so youthful, bright and playful, still retaining the child-like twinkle in the eyes, and still excited about adventures and healing. We loved her work and spirit and placed an order for amulets for each of us.

When we met again at “Away with the Fairies” we had a nice visit and long chat and discovered that she is also a Shaman and does healing ceremonies that go deep into the forest to the waterfall, and deep into the psyche to the creative source, where visions are born… She talked to us about how people disempower children, and the importance of being conscious and responsible about our behaviour and energy, especially around children.

 

 

She told us to leave our shoes behind to really experience the forest, and after a little while I felt something, a shimmer in the air, and so I stopped and closed my eyes, and then i saw an energetic being moving in extreme super slow motion, in an arc, swinging, like a reaper, perhaps the mythic grim reaper, but there was nothing grim about this reaper.

Later we reached the great great grandfather tree down in the heart of the forest. This huge ancient tree which was surrounded by a tall fence. Yellowfoot made me climb it and sit inside a hollow in the massive trunk and here i had my second vision. I can’t say why but i was a little overwhelmed and i cried a few little tears, and then i had the second vision. Another energetic being, a feminine presence this time seemed to be presiding over my tears, and she joyously proudly scattered blessings from them, as they rose spinning and sparkling.

We finally reached the waterfalls deeper down in the forest, and its ceaseless gushing and energy probably inspired the third vision. The night before I had a dream of a shark that dove deep into the darkness, and now in my vision it rose like some kind of phoenix but not in flames, but in glimmering energy, once again in ultra super slomo. These visions were made of my own stuck energies liberated, i could feel them as much as I could see them.

children, Healing, Live Music

Songs of a Soul

 

 

Recently i have been going around with my video camera interviewing inspiring people, people who really are doing interesting, amazing things, but more especially who have that twinkle in the eye and the warm natural smile, people who are sources of inspiration to others and so… i have been following Zain Bhikha’s travels around South Africa and reading the comments and I felt it would be nice to have a chat and share with more people. Someone who goes around spreading good vibrations and positive ideas to the youth is doing the most important work!

I have always loved uplifting music and have enjoyed Zain’s heartfelt beautiful sincere songs, i think it was the song “Our World” (the whole album actually) that  really captured my heart and imagination. I cried the first time i listened to that song, and several times after that… it comes from a very deep place.

 

“Every morning on every news flash,
I hear the sorrow of the world
It seems like everybody’s lost and scared
trying to make sense of it all
And as I travel to and from,
so many faces pass me by
I see lonely hearts living lonely lives
just biding their time,

And while we call ourselves civilised,
many people living empty lives,
As they drone their way through day and night”

 

For someone like me struggling to find my way in faith and music, his was a harmonizing voice in the world’s of faith and music. The music speaks for itself but there is value in hearing from the artist and getting to know them a little better and so I requested an interview and Zain and his team were very kind and accommodating to squeeze me in to a very tight schedule. It was very cool to attend his last show in Johannesburg before heading off to the UK leg of the tour.

The new CD and DVD are amazing, we are really loving it. My two and a half year old daughter, Jasmine’s favourite is “Mum is amazing” we listen to it over and over and watch the music video over and over… she is even learning the words. My wife, Varkha’s favourite is “Someday” (Salaam’un salaam). My fav is still Our World but there is a part in “Mount Hira” that for me is one of those magical moments in world musical history, where he sings:

 

“…And in the sky, was angel Jibra’il
He said O Muhammad, O Rasulu’llah…”

 

My heart skips a beat every time. The songs are having a positive effect on our lives and making us think about our role as parents, and basically just being inspired to be more patient, more positive and happier.

So thank you, Zain,

We wish you all the beautiful things of this world and the hereafter!

Salaam

Abuse, children, Family, I12BF3, Relationship

Diary of Mr. Niceguy

Saturday, 8th June 2012

My wife had another violent psychotic episode/eruption/outburst. There were signs for two days before that she was beginning to get irritable and angry. Then on Saturday some friends were coming over to record a new song at my home studio and because we have a small apartment and it’s difficult to record when Jasmine, who was seven months old, is in the house. So we arranged for the nanny to be there and take her to the park while I am working, and my wife could stay and listen, or go with them, or be wherever she wanted to be. My wife got upset about this and felt like it is an inconvenience for her. I calmly explained to her that she can decide what she wants to do, and it’s just for 3 hours and only once every two weeks. She doesn’t have to be angry about it, she must support me in what I do just like I support her. She got very angry, shouted at me swore at me and broke a shatterproof ruler. I was trying to calm her down but she kept telling me to shut up. I was telling her that it is not such a bad situation… she can actually be happy about the choir coming, because they are our friends and they are always full of life and fun, and they are coming to sing about love and spirituality and these are good things which we need in our lives. She got even more worked up and started slapping me. I didn’t defend myself I left her and she slapped me over and over with all her strength. The nanny came to take Jasmine away and they stood outside. She continued to shout and swear and hit. It got too painful and so I defended myself, by holding her wrists and keeping her down on the mattress. She started launching herself forward and bumping her head on the wall so I dragged her back slightly so she couldn’t do that. Then our friends arrived and I asked them to wait outside. She wailed and cried on the bed for a while and then eventually went up to shower.

She then left with the nanny and our daughter to the park. (Unbeknownst to me she dismissed the nanny and sat with my daughter there). The choir finished their recording and my wife returned and was still very upset. My sister had invited us to her place and I wanted to go, I needed space from her. I said that I would be going and I was not happy with her behavior and how she hit me, and that I didn’t want to be around her. This sent her into a rage… she threw my clothes and my daughter’s clothes out the door and told me to get out and when I was walking out the door started threatening to kill herself. So I blocked the door as she tried to bang it closed. I was carrying Jasmine and she was shouting and banging and she was scaring Jasmine and she started crying too. I tried to talk to her hoping that she would calm down and not hurt herself. She grabbed my hand and twisted my finger very painfully and managed to get the door shut and locked. She then stormed off into the kitchen, I could hear clearly cos the small frosted kitchen window is right next to the front door. She opened the draw and pulled out a knife and went to the lounge. I phoned the police and explained the situation and they sent two policeman. I explained to them what was happening they went up and knocked on the door. She didn’t answer. They knocked harder and shouted her name and then she came and opened. She went in and sat down. The policemen went in and tried to talk to her, she shouted at them and stormed out of the house angrily. The policemen advised me on what to do and said that since she has not hurt herself there is nothing they can do – it looks like she is just trying to scare me, so they took our details and left. I started walking with my daughter to the complex park to sit in nature for a while and recuperate and have some fun like we do on weekends, but when we were halfway there still walking through the complex, my wife catches up with us… still furious. She takes my cell phone from my pocket because she is afraid that I will phone her uncle or someone and tell him what’s going on. (Nobody is supposed to know about her behavior), I am supposed to silently endure. She puts my phone in her pocket. She starts slapping me again. There are some children and adults around, but she doesn’t care. She hits me many times, and uses vulgar and sexually explicit language. I am carrying our daughter in my arms and she continues hitting me in the face. I am asking her “What are you trying to achieve? What is your goal? By doing this do you think you are helping our relationship or hurting it?” that was all I said in a calm tone, I did not touch her or hurt her at all. There was dark madness in her eyes. She tried to take Jasmine from me and I refused because obviously she was not in a sound state of mind, and I was afraid that she might do something to compromise her well-being and safety. I was wearing my tracksuit pants so in order to get to me and humiliate me further she pulled down my pants and underwear. Because I was carrying the baby it was hard for me to stop her and she kept doing it over and over, exposing my private parts. It was out in the middle of the road in our complex and there were people and children around, I don’t know if anybody saw any of that, I hope not, but her mind seemed so completely twisted that she didn’t care at all, she was possessed, but she was looking around and timing her actions so that no one would see what she was doing. She wanted me to be compromised and humiliated but she had enough presence of mind to protect her self. She carried on doing this until a small group of people were coming towards us and so I was able to distance myself from her and she waited a while till they passed. I thought to return to our apartment but she continued doing it as we walked. I begged and pleaded for her to stop and that it was not appropriate for our daughter to experience, or anyone’s child, to see any of this, but she didn’t care, there was no feeling, no concern, nothing! A family were sitting close by on their balcony and so I went closer hoping she would stop… I appealed to them, asking if they saw what she was doing, but they were too embarrassed and just looked away. She thought it was very funny and laughed at my humiliation. Someone called on my phone so my wife took it out and answered in an angry rude tone… it was my mom asking if we’re coming for lunch: “No… I have his phone… No we’re not coming! No you won’t see me again, you will see him, but not me!” and she cuts the call.

Eventually we got back home and the abuse continued, she would bring up anything that she thinks can hurt me… my mother, my father, my sisters, my past relationships, one by one she rehearses these trying to hurt me, attack me, and provoke me, but I have long since become immune to those, I was even immune to her slapping and attempts to humiliate me and I had done very well not to react to her at all, the entire time, but to continue to talk to her, calmly. I wouldn’t even talk much because it is futile to talk to her when she is in that mode, but she would push and push, she is seeking some kind of response, she wants me to also get worked up… angry maybe… and join her in the drama yes I think she wants me to become violent… it’s like… she wants to be beaten… and the more I remain calm and do not engage her in her battle the more it bothers her even more and angers her even more. Eventually after all her methods broke down, she started crying and seemed to force herself into some kind of attempt to talk and break through the anger and express herself. But she cannot speak sincerely, still everything she says is full of sarcasm and attempts to blame me for everything bad that she perceives is going on.

Eventually she calmed down and she kind of acknowledged that her behavior was unacceptable BUT… there was always the big BUT trying to justify all that madness… after a while she relaxed and accepted a timeout and then I went to eat and feed Jasmine and she started with her work. There was silence for some time and then when it came time to sleep I went straight to bed, I was tired, hurt and sore and just wanted to sleep. She got upset that I did not say ‘goodnight’ to her. She started the verbal abuse again for about an hour of non-stop accusations, insults, etc. occasionally I would say something to clear up a misconception. But there was no possibility of getting through to her, she ignored everything and continued talking absolute twisted diarrheal bullshit, lies… but getting more and more frustrated becos I was not reacting. So she sat up and started pulling my face and arms, trying to turn me towards her… then she was unhappy that my eyes were closed and she dug her fingers into my eyelids. Then she started slapping me again, very hard. I took it for a while thinking she might get tired and see her madness, but then I realized that just sitting passively was not helping me or her so I pushed her off me and defended myself with my feet pushing her away. She got up and took her clothes off and fully naked started attacking me trying to scratch and bite me, she resembled a wild animal at that point. I tried to avoid her scratching and biting and took hold of her wrists and took her up to the kitchen bathroom area, away from bedroom and the baby so that she wouldn’t wake her up and infect her with all this negativity and violence. On the way to the bathroom we both fell. My head hit the wall and my knee hit the ground. She lay there crying and I lay there holding my head. The baby awoke and she got up suddenly very concerned and she said “Janoo let me go feed her!” and I was surprised that through all this she would use that name Janoo which means “My Love” and I said with utter surprise “Janoo?” She then slapped me hard across the face. I held her hands and put her down on the ground and called her a “Fucken Psychotic Lunatic!!!” and left her there and went to see to the baby. I tried to put her to sleep hoping that my wife wouldn’t come down and continue the assault. My wife remained on the kitchen floor crying and howling. I wanted to go see to her but I didn’t want her to get started again, especially since the baby was awake. I put a Barney DVD on to keep the baby entertained but my wife carried on howling and moaning loudly. I thought that she must be cold because she had no clothes on so I took the blanket and went and covered her. She still cried and moaned and then she called out to me to help her: “I can’t move my legs”. I put the baby down in her cot and carried my wife to the bed and covered her, and she cried herself to sleep and that was the end of Saturday.

During the night we both dreamed, in the morning she told me her dream, that there was some conference and I was giving a talk and she needed to help me and support me, and I was walking ahead and she was running to find me. I had a dream that there was a guru giving a talk to some people and three men were sitting before the guru, they had come to listen to his wisdom. The guru called me to sit next to him and then later sent me to talk to “the Mother”.

I felt that our dreams were complimentary and she also felt this and she felt bad about the day before and what she did. But as we got up and started talking about it she quickly fell back into justifying her actions and behavior and I continued to explain that she needs help, I can help her, we can find a psychologist who can help her, but she has to firstly admit that there is a problem and then open up and let someone help her, because all the things I suggest are positive things that can help the situation and can help her. She seemed to agree and calm down and I started to talk about what she needs to do and I explained that she needs to apologize to my mom, because she was rude to her the day before in her anger, and actually my mom is not a bad person that she cares and tries to help. This set her off again and she started accusing my mom (normally they have a good relationship and my mom is very nice to her there is none of the usual mother in law vs daughter in law stuff between them, none at all) and then she starts accusing me and justifying her behavior again. It takes some time to calm her down again but she is still angry and then my mom phones, probably still concerned after the previous days strange terse conversation. She speaks to my mom and then breaks down over the phone, she sobs and apologizes… my mom is trying to calm her down and sooth her and advise her about relationship ups and downs but she says to my mom: “No mom this time I really broke it, I broke the relationship…” After the call ended she was truly remorseful and sorry for the first time since the whole drama began. She really apologized and didn’t have any BUT or justifications, she was sincerely apologetic and my heart opened to her and I held her and soothed her and talked to her about the problem and the solution, that whatever behavior is coming out of her, it is not her, it is something that she saw and learned and is now repeating in her own life and that she needs to break that cycle and not pass it on to our daughter. She felt better when she could dis-identify from the other her who does all these horrible things, and that she herself was not the horrible person. I talked to her about love, and spirituality and meditation and about what can help us, what can help her, and at the end of it she really looked like she had come back to her ‘normal’ self, to her ‘senses’. I went out to buy lunch and in the car I listened to my favorite rock band Switchfoot and at some point I cried and cried, and I had not much time but I processed and dissolved what I could, but there was still a residue – there always is, but I would have to suppress that and leave it for later. I was ready to forgive and patch up what was broken… and move on without showing that I was deeply disturbed, hurt and upset, traumatized actually, and angry, and terribly saddened. I couldn’t allow these things to show because she would misinterpret it, and revert back to her defensive-aggressive mode. I had to forgive as best I could and I had to let go of the need to seek justice, but to accept that this storm was over, and be happy that she came to some awareness of the problem.

Who knows how this has affected Jasmine and what our daughter was absorbing out of it all, and what it is doing to her? This scares the hell out of me, more than anything else, it is what frightens and angers me the most. But expressing myself fully to her would not help the situation. She is still too volatile and her state too raw and volcanic. I can’t speak to family or friends about it either and so I endure in silence… I suppress… I repress… I take on her burden and carry it for her, so she can be lighter. I consider it my service. “If someone gives you bitter poison, give them sweet honey” is what I was taught, is what i believed.

We had a nice lunch, the rest of the day went ok she studied while I looked after Jasmine, and she seemed to be quite normal like nothing had happened and all that horrifying, hurtful, heart breaking words, actions and abuse, was just like a dark storm which passed on and now it was a bright sunny day and no need to dwell on the storm, cos it’s over, in the past, gone… forgotten. I have become accustomed to this phase of her pattern as well and there’s no point in bringing up the storm when she is in the calm so I also enter her ‘empty after-space’ the lightness that she is addicted to… the lightness after her pain body has released all its anger violence negativity and exhausted it, hurled it at me, at my heart like a dark, smoldering, shit missile. There’s not a trace of remorse or sorrow, but that’s ok… at least she’s not in the mode, not lost in the deep dark pit of despair! I think I can take all that she throws at me and hold it, process it, dissolve it, transform it, release it… well not completely, there’s always a lot that goes unexpressed and of course what remains is a broken relationship… Feels like she does not really love me, she doesn’t know what love is. I don’t like her anymore, she is not nice to me, she abuses me, she treats me badly, and I cannot just pretend that in between her dramatic violent outbursts that everything is ok, but it seems like that’s exactly what I have to do. She is really good at pretending like it never happened and everything is fine and back to normal again, and so we carried on… and on… and on… and on…