Institutions That Bind 

It’s been a while. The power of the institution has eclipsed me and I have felt bound. I am currently loosening the ties. 

However, yesterday a sportsperson has found themselves in a world of trouble for associating with an ex footballer, now known for their membership in a bikie gang and facing prosecution for crime. The sportsperson hasn’t commented at this point. What could they possibly say?

I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to choose my own friends even though I’m an adult. Or, perceptions are more important than reality or truth. Or, because of my community profile I’m not a person permitted the same freedoms as others. 

I don’t know the context of their relationship. I also don’t care, as long as no one is being directly hurt by it. If Haynes’ friend is a criminal, well, our justice system will take care of that. 

I do not understand why the institution of public scrutiny is given the power it has. It is absolutely ridiculous. People should be permitted to live their own lives, free from institutional intrusion, as long as they are not compromising the rights of others. This higher level of accountability and scrutiny is absolutely ludicrous. 

The binds of the institution likewise. 

For most of this year (seven months almost), I have felt bound. A circumstance I find myself in has changed me. It has instructed me to be someone I am not. It has forced me to question every choice that I have ever made. I do not walk this earth freely as a result. And I am filled with irrational fear and anxiety. 

And that is attracting like energy. I find myself feeling shame, feeling guilt, feeling fear. I second guess almost every decision, choice, action. I have silenced and castrated myself. Not a healthy way to live. 

But, the institutions of our society have power. It isn’t real power. I still have free will. Fear represses the urge to manifest it. 

I think it is similar to how victims/survivors of bullying, abuse, violence, addiction feel. That loss of freedom and trust in the self. 

I am moving through this. My core essence is still with me. The witch is trusting that magick will win. After all, persecution is not new here. This is not the first time she has felt silenced. But, this will be the last time. 

Some of our institutions have passed their usefulness. In this day and age, in this western world, we can choose freedom. It just means sacrifice. I am now preparing myself for that. 

New paths await. My soul is singing to soar. I will not disappoint it. 

The Importance of Faith

Yesterday, after the kids’ performance, the audience was invited to ask questions or make comments. The questions were dense and used sophisticated language – we really are very ignorant – but one raised a pertinent point for me about survival. 

An audience member respectfully asked about the place of religion/faith in the journeys of the refugees. The kids predominantly fled from Iraq and Syria, the world’s hotspots, through secondary places like Jordan. The kids identify predominantly as either Muslim or Christian. 

They responded that their faith is irrelevant in the friendships that they have built together, and has been instrumental to their survival. 

Their faith enabled hope to flame in very hope-less situations. That hope enabled them to keep moving forward and to keep fighting for freedom. 

Often in the mainstream media, refugees are depicted as manipulative and cunning tricksters who know how wonderful Australia is, and plot to come here because they don’t want to be in their place of birth; they want to pillage what we have. Achmed (not sure about spelling), an outgoing 19 year old, here for less than a year, fled Syria with his family and said, along the lines of, he is grateful to be in Australia, to be safe and to be free, but if his village hadn’t been razed he would love to still be in Syria. And I get this. 

No one wants to leave their homeland behind when all is safe, never to return, never to see it again. Even when I travel, my home is Australia, as much as I feel at home in many other countries. If I was in a situation where I had to flee my homeland to stay alive, never to return and never to see the many people I love, I would be devastated. When this departure is a choice, the impact is different. 

Further to that, and back to the point I started making (obviously still processing – significant too that we saw it on the day that Paris was attacked), I often in recent times have suggested that our youth are not resilient. They suffer in their lives, and become drowned and suffocated by their suffering. They don’t know how to move forward, how to survive. 

I wonder if that is due to a lack of faith … in anything. 

I am not a Christian, and have never been. I am religious though. I only found a name for my religion in my early twenties but I had been practicing my entire life. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the back verandah of the flat my parents lived in on Petersham Road in Marrickville, talking to the moon. I’m sure my memory is idealised; I was only three, and the flat and world seemed so big around me, yet the moon was so close. As my childhood progressed I would often talk to the higher beings, and these conversations, as well as the faith that there was more, sustained me. 

I survived. 

Similarly, these refugees have survived. 

Is our society disconnecting at the most basic level because many individuals have no faith? 

I do believe that this disconnection creates the opportunity for extremists to recruit. After all, we all want to belong somewhere and to something. I’m not saying that dogmatic, often hypocritical, organized forms of religion are the way to go. I’m suggesting that maybe faith permits us a path to follow or a hand to hold in bad times; an awareness of something greater or bigger than ourselves. 

And maybe, just maybe, that’s where we have collectively let our kids down. Decadence and capitalism do not offer that hope. 

My 2014 …

It has been a big year and a mixed year. But I really love living. And I love ageing. And growing. It really can’t be beaten.

2013 ended with a failed IVF attempt and that too, was repeated during 2014. However, the former proved to be a miscarriage that resulted in bleeding constantly for three months in 2014 (oh lucky me lol). Apart from hormonal migraines and other hormonal issues I was able to dodge the more feral cold and flus that circulated until two weeks ago when I contracted a horrid chest infection (not enough balance in 2014). Of course, it eventuated right at the very beginning of my holiday period, as life is prone to do. Just when we think we are safe … hehe. 2015 hopefully will see a reduction in hormonal issues for me and a generally healthier year with more balance; fingers crossed, strategising started.

2014 started with my very first real cruise and has ended with a cruise. I truly am blessed to be able to undertake such things, remembering too that I cruised in October for a few days too. Truly relaxing way to holiday but not very adventurous. And ultimately, P&O has great showers in the staterooms and unbeatable vegetarian food but Royal Carribean trumps it in so many ways. April saw a getaway to Melbourne with Lauren and Sara for a few days that cemented those friendships.

I regained my dreads. Focused a bit more on my witchcraft, healing and talking to the spirits. Finished my Masters. Started this blog. And need to extend all of this practice into 2015 religiously.

Whilst I do not have a friendship group, I have many friends. Most made it through 2014 with me, even though I have reconstructed some walls. Some friendships grew much stronger, others just persevered, and some have become a little more remote. My family relationships are strong and I have invited myself into the Cusack clan as part of their family; happened quickly and seamlessly with no real effort. I hope that they choose to stay in my life. I like them.

I am still collecting people, and I like that.

Books remain my truest friends. Thank the universe that Jodi Picoult writes at least one book a year and I am now immersed in Deborah Harkness. I also read a life changing book in Melbourne during April (The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg); reinforcing the notion that everyday practice strengthens the psyche and the soul. This was probably one of my best years in terms of living in the present moment and minimising stress.

Not that work helped that. Probably the biggest time chunks during 2014 centred on work. Whilst I love my job unconditionally, I really need to bring balance back in 2015. Long hours are not conducive to relationships and broader life experiences like religious practice and writing.

I gave much advice during 2014; professional and personal. And I accepted advice during 2014. I sought out advice at times (rare for me) but still remained disappointed at times (referring an ‘alleged’ paedophile at work and no real support from DET or the counsellors because there is just no way to move through working with an ‘alleged’ paedophile in teaching when a victim chooses not to come forward and make the allegation formal). I grew to empathise with others more and become less judgemental (except for the ‘alleged’ paedophile), and developed very strong relationships at work through my work as a visionary and a leader (the former a little tongue in cheek).

I learned how to teach my kids how to read through David Rose’s exceptional Reading to Learn program and strengthened my own practice by embracing creativity and embedding more 21st Century Learning skills. I missed Renee, Donna and Jenny at work. They had been my creative stimuli during 2013. I continued my fetish with dresses and tattoos but failed to get a tattoo after my two in January. Definitely need to rectify this during 2015.

I do not know what 2015 will bring me but I have faith that I am on the path to where I am meant to go. I know that I want to include more religious practice, and hone my witch skills in healing and being autonomous and powerful, in my own right of course. I want to continue to love teaching and expand my skills further, helping to create a wonderful climate of learning, and raised expectations and standards at school. I want to clean out all of my baggage in my home and create a more open and minimal space (minus losing the books; I will never part with my books). I want to rid my body of its new found allergen and live a less convenient but infinitely more natural food life in 2015. I want to reconnect strongly with those I have drifted from and consolidate the bonds with those I truly love. I wish for my Max and Molly to stay healthy and happy (my pets) and I wish to resolve, one way or another, my journey to motherhood.

It will be another interesting year. I am sure it will have its own ups and downs. But I relish the opportunity to have breath so that I am able to take the first steps towards it tomorrow.

For those of you have who have read my blog, who have commented, who have supported me since June, I wish you the very best for 2015 and hope that majick weaves its way into your lives, making them incredible tributes to all that is good and beautiful in our world.

Much love and strong blessings from my household to yours …

Tina

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