Tag Archives: Nicole’s story

arts and entertainment :: peoplecare

when i was 20 i was an award-winning stage actress, aspiring international model and a lithe young dancer.

but when it came down to it, i chose peoplecare, in the form of motherhood.

i made a brief, unremarkable return to the stage when i was a single-mother-of-two-little-boys-by-two-different-dads…as a “chorus” dancer.  when we went into the theatre for our first dress rehearsal i cried to be standing in the wings again.

the theatre has always called me.  loudly.

my body has always wanted to move, express.  i am not one for whom “dance like nobody’s watching” is inspiration…i have the performance gene, i prefer an audience.

my training in Mi Lee, an ancient form of movement meditation has been the perfect x-spot, the eye of the needle through which peoplecare and arts/entertainment merge into one practice.

when i was done that ‘sewing project’, evolutionary movement, a movement modality designed to bring radical self awareness, deep healing and to facilitate authentic self expression, was the result.

it has yet to be shared with the people for whom it is intended.

i am a sucker for performance.  no wonder costumes and The Regalia Project are such a joy for me…it’s all about making life your stage.

and yet here i am, feeling a kind of crossroads has come again, choose arts and entertainment OR peoplecare.

i choose both this time.

i can do both at once.

i think that’s what theatre’s highest form IS: peoplecare.

inspiring us to be all we can be.  the word THEATRE stems from enomological roots meaning “to behold”…but THEOS also means “god”.

if theatre, arts, entertainment can be about beholding god, inspiring us to embody the divine, and performing can be the opportunity to embody the divine for others to behold…it will also be peoplecare.

and if peoplecare principles can be infused into choreography, rehearsing, costuming, performance, audience care, marketing and the other aspects of arts and entertainment, it will help bring heaven to earth.

on with the show 😉

 

everyone cares

it’s pretty cool what happens when i open my heart/voice/mind to someone who has faced the shit i’m facing, who is as sensitive as i, who has time for me, and the love and bravery to say what’s true for her.

here’s to you, ivan marko.

in conversing with ivan, she hit this beautiful chord of words:  everyone cares, really, deep down.

 

i’d lost sight of that.

because “everyone” also misunderstands, jumps to conclusions, is scared to ask hard questions, worries what people think of them, doesn’t want to be taken for a ride, errs on the side of caution, prefers to play it safe, judges before the evidence is all in, forgets to give credit where credit is due, fails to notice the truth, takes the easy way out, pretends to be strong when they are sad, blames multiple someone elses for their unhappiness, is waiting for the world to change, forgets how to feel hard feelings and think hard thoughts, is a sucker for love, wants to protect their image, worries that being generous wont pay, is embarrassed when they fuck up, gets jealous of others sometimes, forgets to tell others they care, uses careless language that leaves room for misunderstanding, assumes the worst of others, defers to others opinions, worries about rejection, thinks crying means you are weak, judges anger, is wary of power of any kind, has growing pains, and forgets who they really are…

…sometimes.

 

and all this hurts.  every time it happens. at least a tiny little bit.

and sometimes a whole paralyzing lot, especially if it’s another hurt piled on a pile of other hurts.

 

i have been hurt, and hurt and hurt some more.

and as a sensitive thing, i have been hurt when no one meant to hurt me, and then hurt again for hurting.

 

but everyone cares.  even when they don’t look like they do.  even when they don’t talk like they do. even when they don’t act like they do. and perhaps…even when they don’t think that they do.  and even when they think they don’t want to.

no one means to hurt, really.  when they do it, they think it is their only choice.

 

 

no one meant to hurt me.

too few people can accept that feeling hurt happens when you get hurt.  it just does.

it happens, and when it does, it lasts until it stops.  you can’t pretend it’s gone when it’s not.  you can’t make it go away before it goes away.  and when it’s gone, there is no need to pretend, not even an inclination.  and only the one who was hurting can tell.

 

all of us who care, let’s spread this truth:  healing happens when hurting has run it’s course.  hurting when you have been hurt is ok.  once it’s happened, it’s done. and…if we stick around (giving space, perhaps, but not too much)…it will pass.  and…

…it will become obvious…

that everyone cares, really, deep down.

 

 

walking on shards

as i write this today, my life is broken in some critical ways, deep down.

i am walking on the shards these last two weeks.

i have given up my two sweet girls entirely into their father’s care, for i have no money to buy gas to drive to fetch them, for food to feed them, for activities…

i haven’t been able to work since…since…well, i don’t work.  i don’t function.

i have been pretending REALLY WELL that i do.  but i don’t. not in this world.

i told my kids i was sick, i couldn’t see them.  my physical body is alright, it is strong and healthy, by design.  i have cared for it well enough.

it is my emotional body that is a wreck.

it has been cut so many times, by all these shards.

 

one cut isn’t much.  oops, a little cut.

but little cuts have added up.  little cuts like

the shame of letting myself accidentally become pregnant at 20, before i was formally educated, established in a career, and in an excellently secure relationship.

the hurt and shame of words of judgement and withdrawing of connection by family, friends, as they struggled with what had happened to me, or simply got on with their own lives, leaving me to mine.

the noticing that the man i was a parent with was scared, troubled, wanting out.

the hurts of trying to please him so he would stay, and the hurt of him being unpleased, and leaving anyways…three years of tiny cuts all over me.

the hurt of pride as i walked into social services to apply for welfare so i could raise my son, rather than handing him over to the care of others while i worked to net roughly as much pay as welfare would provide.

the hurt of having to prove, month by month, that this little angel boy had a right to a home, food and his mother’s company.

the hurt of learning that i couldn’t be the mother i wanted to be with all the stress of poverty.  each cut when, in a moment, i could not be or give what he needed.

the stabbing blow of my father’s cancer diagnosis, all the little cuts over the next two years of losing him bit by precious bit, not being able to see him, for money’s sake: I was too poor to take the ferry to his hospital with a baby in tow.

the hurt each day ever since of not having him here on earth.

the shame of becoming, in my lonely vulnerability, pregnant again;

and of keeping this secret while I waited for my appointment, booked on the first anniversary of his death.

i couldn’t do it, couldn’t cut out this life from inside me.

more cuts as isolation closed in, no money to pay my way into help, respect, security.

still i stood, gave birth at home again, nursed, gave, gave

and helped others in their times of need.

and was cut

for not getting it right; for not following the rules of a broken way; for feeling, speaking up, challenging the status quo with innocent questions no one else was brave enough to ask; cut as i faced cutting judgements and the distances over which the judgements were passed, for my “choices”; my self-education doubted, dishonoured, discredited though it was true; for feeling, for feeling, for being angry, i was cut down for feeling angry that a mother with two little boys was unsupported, abandoned, left at a loss.

these hurts went unhealed for so long. there was no time between them to heal.

for so long i have walked in and with this cycle of brokenness: our society, me.

i was not broken by motherhood.  i was broken by poverty, lack of support, then broken again by my own brokenness.

now i am 44.  a broken marriage (that was all my fault.  FAULT) and now my girls, my beautiful daughters given over into their father’s care because i am broke.

broken.

faulted.

feeling.

but i am healing.

now i see and feel and nurse each tiny cut, each badly scarred wound.  i cry out the shattered pieces of my soul so they will come together again in the ether and i

breathe

my soul

in.

 

for i am a mother, a healer,

i know the difference between fake and real.

the difference between break and feel

 

and this hurt is real.

feel it with me?  honour it?  nurse it and cry it out so the soul of life can be heard and reassembled as it was created to be, breathed in to each of us and then…

maybe, just maybe, we can find the way to fix this broken world…

so babies can have their mothers and fathers and a world that isn’t broken.

 

 

 

Today I Met a King

I have found a way to love, Love, LOVE Stampede here in Calgary, AB.

Free Hugs.  Giving them on street corners on Stampede Saturdays.

That’s what I did today.  I was the last hugger standing.  I was in for something amazing.

The last man I hugged was covered in drywall plaster, a drunk – but not belligerent – French Canadian.  He was hungry for hugs.

He had one, and a few moments later, asked for another.  I gave it with grace. He asked again … and again.  I moved on.  He sat down for a bit, shaking his head and looking touched.

After watching me a while, he came over to me again, when there was a lull in the hug takers.  He thanked me for doing what I was doing.  He said it did him good.  I said, “you are welcome.”  And took a good look at his eyes.  He took a sudden breath in and put his hand on his heart.

“It hurts?”  I asked. He nodded.

And opened his arms for another hug.  Given.

“I work so hard he said.  And then I drink too much.”

“I’m so glad.” I said “… that you know this”.

He paused.  Held out his hand as if for a handshake.  I took it.  He lifted my hand and kissed it.  I thanked him.  He breathed in sharp again.

He looked at me.  I smiled at him.

“I’m a good man,” he told me.

“I know.” I said.  “You are a king”.

He breathed in very hard this time and tears started to run down his cheeks.  “My name, he said, “is Nolan.  Nolan King.  How did you know?”

“I had no idea.” I said.  “What your name was.”

He opened his arms and I hugged him again, more like a mother hugs a child.  He sobbed.

A while ago I could not have stood there with a sobbing, slightly drunk man in my arms on a busy street.

I am so glad that today, I could.

When he was done, he stepped back and looked at me.  “Your eyes are like an angels,” he said.

“Wow.”  I said. “What a wonderful compliment…THANK YOU!”

He shook his head.  “You are thanking ME?”

“Yes.” I said, and, because I was, “I am so glad I met you.”

His hand on his heart again, he said, “my heart feels so sparkly.”

“I’m glad.” I said.  “Take care of it, okay.  Get your crown back on your head, okay?  Stand tall.  You are a King … and your people need you.”

He cried some more.  We hugged some more.  Time was standing still.

I felt something shift.

“I’m going to go now,” I told him.  He nodded and we hugged one more time.  “Merci,” he whispered.  “Bienvenue,” I whispered. “A dieu.”

And I let go, and walked.  Free hugging was done.  I wondered at it.

Knowing I could not have done it a while ago.

Because a while ago I carried too much hurt my self.  A while ago I might have been too self conscious about what others think of me to have stayed the course. A while ago I might have taken pride for hugging a soul in need.  And that kind of pride would have changed things.

I am so glad I could do it.  So glad.  He needed it so much.  I trust he shed some sadness for good…I saw it running down his weathered cheeks.

I trust he will never have to shed those same tears again.  I realize there are likely more tears under that layer…and I hope, I pray, I insist … that he will find someone to bear witness to them, when the time comes.

I am not anyone special. I think we can all do – for each other – what I had the chance to do for Nolan King.  If we have shed enough of our own hurt, the love, compassion, intuitive knowing – of what a person needs – is there, underneath, and we are happy, so happy, to let it flow.

Sometimes I need someone to do this for me … hold space, reflect my self back to me … “It hurts coming out, doesn’t it? … I see your goodness … I see your divinity”.

And the tears course down my cheeks.  Opening the way for my goodness, my divinity, to shine forth for the sake of others.

Peace be with you Nolan King.

Peace be with you King Nolan.

Happy Stampede.

 

Stuff That Knocks My Crown Off

My metaphorical crown, of course.

Nonetheless, when it gets knocked off, or even bumped a little skew…it SUCKS.

And this is all the same stuff that made it hard to “get it there” in the first place.

To be clear, this crown thing is all about owning my sovereign nature, got that? And I write about this in an achingly sincere effort to help you clear ANY and ALL blocks you have to owning, knowing, LIVING YOUR sovereign nature.  It is my wildest dream for us all.

I’m going to really work the metaphor, okay?  Because the WHOLE Regalia Project IS a living metaphor…it is GETTING DRESSED AS a metaphysical practice.  Sovereign nature via wardrobe.  Dress your body; express your soul.

First block:  putting “so much” energy into what I wear is shallow.  Ooooh…this one kept my wardrobe weary for soooo long!  Coz beauty is skin deep, right?  Only superficial people are so concerned with image, right??

I had to remember.  Remember how much I love getting dressed up.  To make it fun. To delight in what everyone is wearing and not judge…like it was a contest. I had to remember how good it feels to show up looking like MY SELF, 100%.  And remember that though this sometimes seemed LUCKY…it was actually something I could intentionally, consciously create.

GOT THAT?? Paraphrasing:  “It sometimes seemed lucky…BUT could be consciously CREATED.”

Like what else?

A good day.   A heart-expanding poem.   A smooth trip to the vet with your sick cat.   An evolutionary breakup.   A progressive marriage.   An amazing project result.   A magical Father’s Day dinner (Happy Father’s Day btw.)

Like anything in life.

Consciousness helps.  Consciousness works.  To create peace, love, joy, BLISS.  That feeling of having my crown sitting just right upon my head.  Owning my sovereignty.  Living it.  And treating each and every person as a cherished, beloved member of my kin-dom (the “g” is missing on purpose…)

So that’s the blanket description for the stuff that gets in the way…un-consciousness…in any form.

And getting dressed (ie. envisioning, manifesting, constructing, assembling and ROCKING any given outfit) can be…might as well be! a conscious practice that is NOT shallow, and certainly not only skin deep.

So…bring on the crowns.   What is your body-soul wearing today?

 

The cult of the world

I’ve had some experience with cults.

All my life in fact.  I was born into the cult of the world…people telling me what to do and when to do it, trying to get me to think like them, choose what they would choose, be on their “side”…or telling me I was “wrong.”

I was told I was in a cult on a few occasions.  I disagreed, but I saw their points.  I explained that I was where I was by my own free will and I knew I was free to leave when ever I wanted.

They still thought “it” was a cult.  (If I had been badly hurt, I might have agreed.)

I looked around at where they “were”… and saw advertising, politics, cliques, and idea-containers of all kinds.

It begs the question, “What is NOT a cult?”

Here’s my answer (for today :) :

A cult is when there is no us/them, no right/wrong, no good/bad.

A cult is when existence just IS.  No one is trying to “sell” you anything, or trying to convince you that they are “right” and you should change what you are/how you do what you do/what you think/how you feel….

A cult is when others are interested in you for interest’s sake, not to achieve anything.  They listen if they want to, and if they don’t…if they don’t listen it doesn’t mean they are against you…or that they don’t care…it just means they are doing something else.

And if they don’t want to listen…SAME THING.

And if they do…they just do.  Because it resonates…?  Or maybe for NO REASON.

And we go where we feel to go, where it resonates.  And we don’t go where we don’t feel to go and no one is offended or thinks we should have done X instead.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

This post came up after I resonated with Terry Patten’s recent blog about cults.  He gives a definition.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I am interested 😉

Manifesto: As of Today

I am here to assist in the radical co-creation of Earth, and to hereby radically expand consciousness.

 

I am compelled to do so by the tension that has affected me, and inspired to do so by the potential I fathom.

 

I know that change begins with my own transformation from

– hurt, by consciousness, to healing

– fear, by curiosity, to wonder

– poverty, by wisdom, to plenty

– separation, by partnership, to unity.

 

And that by this transformation I become ever more empowered to play my part in transforming the Earth from

– poisoning, by cleansing, to purity

– waste, by nurturing, to bounty

– barrenness, by the generous redistribution of resources, to fertility

– neglect, by the work of many willing hands, to Heaven on Earth.

 

I recognize that the physical and non-physical tools that make this possible are the most valuable resources I can gather:

– accurate information, from research-tested hypotheses through open minds building an accumulation of wisdom, taking into account reason, and intuition.

– effective methodology; habits and systems that work

– quality tools, designed and produced soundly to do the required work efficiently and effectively, taking into account all considerations.

 

I recognize that it takes practice and intuition to use these tools skillfully.

 

I recognize that the restoration of the Natural Order of life on Earth will require:

– an attitude of equanimity:  that ever part of the whole plays a unique part

– an attitude of possibility:  that the impossible can be broken down into possibilities

– an attitude of expectation:  that unfathomable good can come from good intentions

 

I understand that what is truly good and right for me, is, by our interconnected reality, good and right for all; I have only to open my conscious awareness to be able to see all circumstances.  What causes tension for one, also, by interconnection, causes tension for all.  What creates happiness for one, creates happiness for the whole.

 

I trust in my capacity for good, to create mutually beneficial working relationships, deals/contracts of mutual benefit that will produce a surplus of results, which I intend to share generously.

 

I commit to clearing toxicity, un-natural barriers, and dis-ease in physical and non-physical forms, according to appropriate order, as revealed in Nature.

 

I honour the Free Will of each living thing, understanding that thwarting this natural law creates a rippling of disharmonies, which can and must be remedied for greater potential to be realized.

 

It follows that I must, in order to be an effective agent for transformation, take full responsibility for my jurisdiction (awareness, thoughts, words, deeds, stewardship, connections, deals), and honour the jurisdictions of others as their own and act accordingly.

 

Understanding too, that as a part of the whole, the whole is my jurisdiction, by indirect effect.

 

I honour all forms of life, recognizing that all physical creation is founded in non-physical consciousness.

 

I recognize the sensation of resounding LOVE to be the indicator that I have found someone of my Tribe, with whom I am to create one of many work forces for this processes workable unfolding.

 

And I love nonetheless those with whom I do not feel such depth of connectivity, understanding that we are in this together, just not as closely.

Embodying the Divine

It is authentic of me to embody the feminine aspects of the divine, primarily.  This does not mean I do not embody masculine divinity…in fact, I am very aware of the call to embody masculine qualities more fully in my life and being.

 

What do I mean by this?

 

I began a more conscious exploration of the masculine/feminine dichotomy after experiencing awful imbalance and excruciating hurt in my relationship with the man whom I had vowed to love unconditionally and to help toward self realization.  It was not working between us.

 

Why?  I asked my self.  What was I believing/thinking/doing…to contribute to this unworkability?

 

I asked for the help I needed, and the Universe provided me access to the teaching of Allison Armstrong, through her organization, PAX.

 

Through these courses I gained a more clear understanding of the masculine as the energy behind providing, protecting and procreating; and the feminine as the receptive space for the masculine’s offerings.

 

I realize more fully now that my beauty, receptivity, sensitivity and my authentic, compassionate self expression are the primary ways of being which call forth the divine masculine in my life.

 

This clearly manifests in my relationships with men and boys.

I learned that I must hold my feminine space powerfully, and ABOVE ALL, I must trust and appreciate the men in my life as they embody masculine power…strong, focussed, logical, problem-solving energy which, if I am not aware, can feel scary to me.

I learned that as a woman, I embody feminine ways, and I have a natural tendency to assume that males think like I do…but I am very often wrong.  Since the masculine is about logical, problem solving…there are many ways in which men (and sometimes women who are in masculine mode)…SEEM to be doing and saying things that, if they were women, would be hurtful.

 

An example of this?

A huge issue with the man to whom I was avowed was how he helped me when I was upset.  As a problem solver, he wanted to get to the root of why I was upset, and fix it.  He asked questions and gave his perspective on what was wrong.

 

As a women, I heard and saw him in these cases as a “hairy man” (as Allison likes to say).  My perspective was that if I was listening to another woman who was upset, I would understand that she needed to be heard, to have her feelings and thoughts validated and repeated back to her so she could hear them better herself.  I understood that if I problem solved, it would sound to her as if I thought she was weak or stupid, and not capable of figuring things out for herself.

 

Since I understood this so clearly, and assumed he knew this too, I sincerely thought he was choosing to go against “his” understanding, and intentionally hurt me…he was not just a hairy man, but he was willingly “misbehaving”.

 

It hurt so much!  I would lash out and the issues I was upset about receded into the background and the arguments began about how he didn’t care and couldn’t possibly mean it when he said he loved me.  And there were many other examples.

 

But it was a simple misunderstanding, on both our parts.

 

If he had known, I trust he would have wanted to learn how to respond differently.  He was a good man.

 

A masculine man, wanting to help.

 

PAX gave me tools to communicate differently with men, to take into account their nature, to understand and allow for them to be masculine…to be MEN.

 

Learning this didn’t mean that my avowed and I stayed together.  We parted ways, and how I understand this is touched on in my piece about juxtaposition.

 

As this learning process unfolds, I am also discovering the masculine part of my self, the part that wants to protect and provide for my feminine essence, and co-create, with “her” for the mutual benefit of all.

 

I need this masculine side.  I need to think logically and to focus and problem solve, to come up with answers, to analyze and find new ways of working.  Without this support, my feminine side is mush, and ineffective.

 

Within myself and between me and the men in my life, the potential for creative partnership has become THE THING I am most excited about.

 

As I shine my light, my talents, my beauty, my divine feminine presence…it activates the masculine aspects of men and women, inspiring higher forms of problem solving, more beneficial and true forms of providing and more pure ways of creating.  As I value my femininity more deeply, I provide and protect myself more clearly.

 

When we, equipped with language and tools that cultivate partnership, dance the dance of embodied Divinity, we create Heaven on Earth.

 

I invite you to consider how you embody Divinity.  Does it feel more authentic when the masculine or the feminine is in the fore?  Do you have judgements as to the qualities of one or the other?  Where might there be room for deeper understanding?  How might you shift to allow for more full and co-operative partnership between your self and those who physically embody the other gender?  What hurt might you need to clear in order to do so?

 

Here is a link to Alison Armstrong/PAX.

 

Please email me at nicolebradford110@gmail.com if you feel you need to be provided with information or inspiration to help you on your upward spiralling path to unity.