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Archive for July, 2014

Monday Muse 14 July 2014

Posted by jackiepope on July 14, 2014

Good morning on a perfect Druid morning

Misty, grey; I stood under an oak tree this morning and breathed in the divine perfume; and now you all think you are in for a nostalgic, wandering Monday muse….

I have often been asked two questions:
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given.
What is the best piece of advice you can pass on.
The answer is the same to both questions.


Having a strong bladder is a wonderful thing. Imagine in ancient celtic times the Boudicca rampaging through the Romans, spears flying, blood letting and suddenly she has to step out of melee and have a whizz.

It is truly a good thing to have when you are following a spiritual pathway. There are times in workshops, classes, meditation where you cannot just get up and excuse yourself. Sitting at the feet of Sai Baba… and he only let in a chosen few at a time was not the time to think ‘where is the ladies?’ You sometimes have to wait for hours.

Another time I was thankful for the said iron cast piece of machinery was living in Tonga. Picture an idyllic day, a cute little blue and white boat (that thankfully did not break down), an hours ride accompanied by dolphins ‘sigh’, looking into the clear waters and seeing our own personal aquarium. Landing on the beach. Walking maybe a kilometre inland… and there is the building we are responsible for… and I’m thinking… hmmm need the bathroom. ‘Oh no, the bathroom is not ready, that goes in next week, here is the bathroom’.

I am proudly ushered to a three sided shelter of woven leaves, the open side looks away from the building site ‘thank goodness’. And there is a great hole. Well I am a girl guide, yes I have even been a Girl Guide Captain (except I got fired), I can handle a hole…. I checked the hole first – one always does. And staring up at me was the largest spider I had seen to date. It looked at me, it winked and said – you squat over this hole lady and I’m jumping your ass. I stepped back. And I held onto my water for another 2 hours until I could politely go for a swim….and even then because the water is so clear you have to make lots of splashes and pretend you are playing and frolicking otherwise they would see what you were doing.

There have been rituals and ceremonies that have gone on forever. I make very sure that any ritual I have does not go beyond the bounds of the weakest bladder present. No I do not ask people; but I know my friends well enough as to what they need… and that is about all sorts of things – needing a chair, not having the room too hot, too cold. Making it comfortable for everyone – but that is another muse.
I can control my rituals, I cannot control other people’s.

Churches test our bladder limits. I was invited to a wedding recently. The Bridge thoughtfully put on the invitation ‘Ceremony is shortened version’. So I figured – 30 minutes max… it was Catholic, so short version would mean no communion, no sermon. I can do 30 minutes. 1 ½ hours later I was stretched to the max. Yes it was shortened, from the extra long, full high mass and added extras to full mass without the choir boys solo. I got to the vestibule, and dashed to the ladies to be confronted with a confection of women in hats very desperate.

Now… this leads me to another piece of advice to give you. Never, ever stand in a queue in a ladies convenience. The energy builds, and so does the urgency. If you stand in the queue you lose at least a good 5 to 6 minutes holding on time. The best thing to do is dash to the car, and try to make it home; or to the nearest park (in NZ there is usually a toilet block – sure that will be pretty nasty – but you can cover the seat with loo paper).

And here is a question for you – do you know where the convenience are in your city. I know I have escape loos. In each suburb I have a ‘go to’ place if I need it. There used to be a fabulous one in High Street, they even had a lady who handed out hand towels (Yes I am old, Milne & Choice still existed). Of course you have Maccers to dive into nowadays. But it does not hurt to have a few loos up your sleeve. Perhaps that is something we can share … emergency loo stops – even down the country – driving from Auckland downwards – very hard to find a good loo. No I don’t like petrol station loos – I have a phobia.

It is not too late. Look up online – lots of exercises to do. I did receive one fantastic tip from a Reflexologist (I think that is what she was). When you feel the need place your hands on your knees and stroke upwards three of four times, firmly. This will give you another 15 minutes relief.

I have had my moments; I nearly lost it in a certain third world airport when confronted with concrete open trenches (this was the 1970’s remember) I did hold on thinking I would be at the hotel soon. The hotel toiler (shared) was worse than the airport. I had thought I was being clever booking the cheapest hotel on the best street. However, the best street was 40 km long and ended in what can only be called a ghetto. I wondered why the taxi driver kept asking if I was sure this was the right hotel. I stayed one night, changed my ticket and flew somewhere else.

Yes, there was one occasion I did not make it. I was 15. I had been to Church Camp (I went to Church because I was in love with a certain Michael Wood who was a good Christian) and the drive back from Huia was sooo long. Michael asked if I was coming to Church or going home. I knew if I stayed for Church we would be going into the Garden of Memories afterwards to make out. I should have gone home, I was busting. No time to use the Church lav. I thought I could hold on. I walked into church in my blue and white check hipster jeans, my pure white sloppy joe jumper, I looked fabulous. I felt it, I could not run, I could not hide. I walked like a duck, when I got out of the church a quacked like a duck and ran home. I never, ever went back to church, I never saw Michael again. I figure he is married with 3 children, an SUV, is a lawyer or mortgage broker and lives in pakuranga and sends the kids to his old school St Kents.

I thank the goddess every morning when I wake up that I have not had my sleep disturbed on a cold night by having to trudge to the bathroom.

Blessings on this mystical, magical day

Monday Muse July 7 2014

Posted by jackiepope on July 7, 2014

Good morning punters, jumpers, riders and fliers….. (goddess knows where that came from..)


I have been having a little will o the wisp following me; this niggling energy that has been messing with my mind, and nudging me in the ribs. It has come to the fore so much over the last few days that I figure it is a muse; and I have to let it have its say..

It has not been a bad thing, it has tugged at my brain but I understand why, well I think I do. It is called Perception. Yes that little beige, furry thing that sometimes has eyes that magnify what goes on around it; or it closes its eyes so it cannot see. It has big ears that hear all sorts of conversations and transmits them to our heads – and these conversations never even existed. Or it puts on ear muffs so we cannot hear what is so obvious.

It has rose tinted glasses and gives us the vision that other’s lives are so much better than ours; and it has green lenses for envy; and smokey glass for when we do not want to see; or black out so we cannot see.

Perception is such an interesting thing. It has many facets; our perception of the world, the world’s perception of us; our perception of how things will happen; other people’s perception of how they think it will happen and the list goes on. For such a little thing, it holds us tightly in its grip.

When I do readings I remind people that what I am reading for them will happen – maybe not how they perceive it will happen. And the feedback has always been – yes it happened; but not how I expected; not how I perceived. So we do need to keep a very open mind in this amazing world of ours. There are so many scenarios, so many variables, we have no idea what is coming around the corner; who we are going to meet that is going to change our lives. The danger is having a perception of how our lives should be or how they are going to play out and shutting out any other possibilities. Then when serendipity (a lovely fellow companion to perception) and synchronicity (the rolex watch of perception) comes along we are blind to it.

Then there is our perception of other people. There is the old adage – Walk a Mile in my Shoes (whoever said that did not wear stiletto shoes); however it is true. I was sharply reminded the other day about my perception of other people’s health and life situations. Of am very sensitive to health issues right now for all the reasons you all know about. I mentioned to a friend that a friend of hers (who is an acquaintance of mine) has a lovely life. She is slightly younger than me, and my perception is that she bounces around the universe in robust health. Imagine my surprise to be told that she has arthritis, and it is chronic; that she has to make choices about operations that will affect her future; that she has other physical issues and takes medication. In fact I feel that her plight is far more difficult than mine. I did not have a choice – and there is a security in that. I would be hard pressed to make the choices she is facing. I had no perception of what she was going through. A very short, sharp reminder to be more aware.

We all have perceptions about how we think our friends and family should live their lives. I have been on the receiving end many a time about how I should live my life…. we all have been at both ends of this spectrum I think. I personally try to not turn my perception into judgement; and I have mused on being judgemental in other musings. I think we can perceive how we would like people to live their lives, that comes from a place of caring, of wanting them to fulfil their potential, and to have the best life possible; but then that beige little furry can bring in its friend Judgement – which is usually quite black, charcoal coloured with a touch of sanctimony. So we need to be very careful about that boundary between perception and judgement.
Self perception is when that little beige ball screws itself up into a knot and causes us to doubt how we look. We look in the mirror and think my boobs are too big, my ankles too fat (actually I like my ankles… they are the one thing that does not seem to be fat!) or that we are out of proportion; you know… all of that stuff. Our perception of that man or woman in the mirror is not the perception of what other people see. There was a wonderful experiment on Facebook at while back – a video clip with a police artist drawing people as they described themselves. Whilst they waited for each other in a room – they talked to each other; then the artist drew a picture from another person’s point of view… how different they were. Other people saw beauty, happiness, depth, and things that we do not see in ourselves. We must be careful of letting that beige ball of perception bending us out of shape. Perhaps we need to affirm to each other the fabulousness we see in each other. A gentle reminder that we are not necessarily what we perceive ourselves to be – and that can go the other way. Other people’s perception may be that we are not the nicest person in the universe, and that we are not their cup of tea… and of course that is where the blue fluffy square of discretion kicks in. If you perceive someone to not be all of that and a bag of chips; you might like to hold your tongue and use discretion.

And…. Then… the perception of creating… I know I have a perception of how I want a necklace to look when it is finished – the reality is that the necklace will look nothing like how I perceive. I remember walking in the Domain with a friend this time last year – looking at the oak branches – empty of leaves, making this amazing design; there was a Swarovski crystal competition coming up – and my perception of the branches against the sky and the perception/vision in my head was totally screwed. The beige ball had turned itself inside out and had a hernia. I could not get that necklace to look like my perception. All of us create in some shape or form – writing, art, craft, intellectual, spiritual… creation is an amazing thing; for me I have to sometimes put the beige ball in the cupboard and slam it shut; double lock it and ignore it! It will scream, squirm and threaten. My best work has been when I pick up whatever the project is without any perception of expectation of how it is going to turn out – it evolves, it creates itself, it is an enjoyable journey, the result is perfect because I had not perception of how it would look, and therefore no expectations of myself that I could not possibly reach.

Look at these words: Perception; Judgement; Discretion, Expectation…

Little will o the wisps; they dart in and out of our lives, and can wreak so much havoc; they can take away the simple joy of being; they can infiltrate and undermine our confidence; cause us to see others in ways that are not so kind.

I like discretion – I think we should keep her; I would like to challenge you put perception in the cupboard for the week; because then judgement would fly out the window; and let’s put expectation out in the garden to play and not expect so much of anything, everything or anyone – because our perception of what we expect can deprive us of wonderful moments; and moments become minutes, that become hours………..






Wednesday Waffle 2 July 2014

Posted by jackiepope on July 2, 2014

Good morning

I know it’s Wednesday… so this can be a Wednesday Whizz; or Wednesday waffle.
Continuing along the theme of putting musings into a book.. a more childhood muse…

My first introduction to Napier was aged 10, maybe 11. I am not sure. It is interesting how childhood memories can be so clear or so obscure. My Mother worked. When we arrived from the UK in 1961 she wanted a new life for us, new beginnings. And so she worked as did many Mothers although full time working mothers were not the norm. I am sure a few women looked at my Mum sideways, and sometimes I did hear whispers when I went to play with other children that it was a shame my Mother was not at home doing the traditional Mother thing. Anyway… the point is when school holidays came the question was ‘what to do with Jackie’.
This particular holiday I was to go to a horse ranch in Napier. The worst possible thing I could think off. I was a child of the beach – we lived in Raumati Beach – and my days were spent in and around the sea. Now I was going to the country, and even worse – to be with horses. It was my worse nightmare. But there was no escaping it either.
I was put on a plane – by myself. I had no idea who was meeting me at the other end. My mother had never met the people, although I assume she vetted them, got references and made sure that it was a good environment. I was sent off on a Friday afternoon for 7 days, returning the following Friday afternoon.
I managed the flight, I was picked up by a typical cowboy you would expect from a ranch; we rattled out of Napier in a ute, and he said nothing the whole way. It would seem I was a nuisance in his day. I was dumped at the gate; I rang the bell and a woman answered the door and asked where the lad had gone. I said the ‘lad’ just left me here. She scuttled me out to the ‘bunkhouses’. Rough sawn, kitsch bunkhouses. The windows had cobwebs, the beds were made up with clean sheets and tartan blankets. Here was home. The others it seems were out riding.
I will not go into further detail about the ranch, there is a specific day I want to muse on. I had been at the ranch for 3 days. On the fourth day we were taken into town to the swimming pool! I was in heaven. I had the best day. I had my spending money and bought myself pie, lemonade, icecream; I swam, I read my book, I didn’t talk to anyone else. It was total, utter Jackie Heaven.
That night over dinner we were told it was the big trek day next day… I figure this would be Thursday. That is why the horses had been rested and we had gone to the pool. A whole day on a horse. Everyone woke in the morning at 6am excited. I was very quiet, I am not even sure how I hatched the plot, or even if the plot was hatched. It was like magic. Suddenly nobody seemed to notice me, see me. Before I knew it they had all left for the barn. I kept in the corner of my bunk, read my book. Breakfast was on the trek, I had some chocolate – and some water out of the tap. I waited. Nobody came to the bunkhouse. Why would they? We cleaned the bunkhouses and made our beds in the morning. I slept until 8.30/9am I think. I got washed and dressed.

I knew the bus went by on the opposite side of the road about 9.30am. I did not have a watch, but as kids you kind of knew the time. I put my togs, towel in a bag. Grabbed my money (I had been very frugal this holiday –well there was nowhere to spend it). And went out the gate and across the road. The bus arrived in 5 minutes, I paid the fare, and off to town I went. I also knew the bus stopped at the pool. I had watched the day before. How did all this happen? I was surprised I had not been caught.
And so a blissful day at the pool. Nobody questioned that I was there all day. I bought my lunch, and afternoon tea; I had money left for the bus home. I was just a kid in the middle of a whole lot of kids. I had another fabulous day.
A woman came over to me about 4pm and asked me if I was on my own, and was someone picking me up? I assured her I was catching the bus home, and she said I had better hurry up. I had a last dip, dried off, got dressed. Finished my bottle of coke (a real treat) and went to leave the pool.
As I went through the gate I saw the bus, I waved – he waited – bus drivers did in those days and he remembered me from the morning run. ‘Have a good day love?’ I assured him I had. And off home I went.
The gate creaked, suddenly the woman was up close and personal – where have you been? Why aren’t you out on the trek – why have you come back early? I looked at her blankly and she realised I had not been on the trek; she saw the bus in the distance and asked where had I been – I told her. I had been to the pool.
She gave me tea, cake and then told me to go the bunkhouse. A few minutes later the trekkers arrived back. I heard the woman talking, no shouting at her husband. Demanding to know why he had missed me, did he count heads? Had he not realised I was not with them. He went white, he was obviously worried, so was she. What are we going to tell her Mother?
That night the woman came and sat on my bed and asked why I didn’t go on the trek, I told her that I hated horses, I hated the country and I had such a good day at the pool I thought I would do it again.
Slyly I said – my Mother does not have to know. I won’t tell her. The woman’s face was a picture. You could see her struggling with the need to tell the truth, and to accept with both hands the way out I had given her. I smiled. She smiled.
The next day I flew home. Mother met me at the airport and asked how it all was. I told her it was ok; that I did not like horses, or the country.
Nothing more was said.

Have a whimsical Wednesday