Serious Face


New Year's Day, 2016. 
I ran three 5km park runs one after the other, from 7am to 10am.  

Lots of tall lean people, chunky mesomorphs and mums with pink gym gear.  The last three k's were particularly poignant as I faced the old existential dilemma whilst my knees throbbed, my head pulsed and I barely stayed the course.  Why am I doing this?  Who really cares?  What does it matter?

Running is good like that.  So is yoga.  But running has registration and online times so you can prove you did it and others can verify that you actually did - if you register - and I didn't - so there is no proof that I actually did the 15k.  Except I know I did it and that should be all that matters.

Yoga has no registration or milestones or t-shirt that you can buy that proves you have done fifty classes or whatever.  It's just that silent acknowledgement each morning as you uncurl on the mat and you can perceive the energy in the room from the other yogis and yoginis.

Same with meditation - at the end of each phase, there is no badge or lapel bar or rise in status - it's just a deeper immersion up the spiral of awareness.

It's as though I was planted among ego and status soil and my life's goal is to grow and lean across out of my plant pot and into a soil of self content, confidence and inner acceptance.  Without that urgency and pressure to be seeking and achieving and getting bits of paper to prove where I have been or what I have done.

Now, my cycle is to actively seek out that which is not measured or assessed or a step towards something - and instead dissolve into the purity and flow of the process simply of and for itself.  It's mindfulness and meditative all at once and there are no signifiers of success or attainment - except for some faint muscle definition, or the clear alabaster of the whites of my eyes.

The ballet?  It's just clean and powerful and complete - 2 mins in if you are patient.  Namaste.

Dolphins Cartwheeling

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Back in 2010 when I started blogging - I wrote raw honest shit about falling down drunk and running around the neighborhood in my pajamas with friendly Police skipping after me calmly, but firmly, saying "We just wanted to check how you're doing"

I wrote about getting sober and then getting caught up in some life crap and then drinking again - and stopping for 94 days and then secretly, inelegantly drinking from the bottle before 11am.

And how I could rebound back up from underneath my desk with the bottle hidden against my chair and go "mmm" or "oh - uhuh" a lot so you couldn't smell my breath.

My life was unfiltered chaos and the blog was a reflection of that.  People loved the failure and the disaster and the complete fucking mess of me unpeeling word by word.

It was deliciously voyeuristic - peering through the keyhole at my screwed up life.

But then...

Then I stopped smoking.  Started running half marathons.  Chained myself to 6am yoga class. Became a devout meditator.  Stopped drinking completely, finally, forever. Found space for spirituality.

And people drifted away.  In search of the next slow motion car wreck blog - complete with pathetic angst ridden writer and hopelessly hair-brained plot - complete with failure, bubbling resentment and vacuous personal insight.

The passing crowd shrugged their shoulders and moved on and I was left in their wake - fitter, happier, in touch with myself - but hopelessly overlooked and publishing post after post to empty comment sections.

*

I'd love to say I don't care.  I'd love to say that running along the beach, with dolphins cartwheeling alongside me, yoga babes grinning those silly upside down smiles, drinking raw green berry smoothies and finding that delicate space in the gap when I meditate - I'd love to say it is enough and I'm happy to retire from my bruising encounters with the drink and existential torture.

I'd love to say more - but I also know when things have moved on - when things have evolved and maybe that's me right now.


Emptiness is OK

On Saturday I spent 10 hours at my surf clubhouse, listening to a Buddhist monk share his take on overcoming anxiety.

We paused no less than six times for meditation - long eight and ten minute meditations on topics that arose during his talk.

I'm in.  Hooked.  Sorted.

When I combine

1 - the Buddhist philosophy of not clutching at things
2 - finding awareness through meditation
3 - the deep body satisfaction of yoga
4 - solo long distance runs
5 - and an ongoing commitment generally for personal development

I really can feel the absolute oneness and coming togetherness of everything.

Last Sunday night at the yoga launch party my daughters had henna painted on their hands whilst I listened to the yogis share the story about

Please read the rest of this post over at brenmurphy.net 

Pay it Forward - True Story!

Yesterday, I got four new tires for my black van - (yawning already I know!) anyway - my business credit card only does $1000 max per day, so my card wouldn't work.

A Tibetan Singing Bowl like this creates a simple clear sound.
Picture this - me, in line at the grocery store, with an armful of groceries and the card declined - twice.  And then, the woman behind me tells me not to worry - SHE will pay it for me!

Pay It Forward 
happened to me in real life!



Subscribe to Bren Murphy here


Rescue Chickens and Whales

On Friday I collected ten chickens from the local egg farm and saved them from slaughter.  Now they scratch and peck my backyard.  I have to walk about 63 steps morning and night to lock them in and out so the fox doesn't get them.

But the eggs.

The eggs change my life.

These bird are 18 months old and have been laying an egg a day since they fledged, now they have stuttered and may only lay five eggs a week, so they are not commercially viable.  So the farm culls them.

At my place they have an acre of beachside sub tropical rainforest to scratch around in and look silly as they get used to living in the real world.

*

First day at nippers today - my daughters run in the soft sand and slip under the waves and learn what it takes to be a seven year old life saver - the beach not bleached with sunlight but a grey European teal with goosebumps and pregnant rain and mothers with arms crossed grizzling about the cold.

*

And Joe is hungover and face-purple - I could pop his head like a grape and spurt stale wine everywhere.  And he complains about something and is itching for afternoon so he can recline and get back into the drinking.

*

And a whale bursts on the horizon like a comma, and we look away from our children and then a second whale lifts up, out in the air and we see it and inhale and then it is gone.  And we hold up towels for our wet kids, nodding and smiling as we look beyond them, to see if the whales will jump again.

*

Hello Sober Sunday.

Self Sabotage 101

Speaking in public is second only in fear to death?

I was afraid of being successful and being under the spotlight.

Becoming successful meant I would be under more scrutiny.

And then people would see me as myself.

But I hated myself.

So I got stuck and drank and drank and waited  - like ten years.

Success = Revealing that I hated myself.

Wow.  Bam.

Then it all came to an end.

I was lying there, doctor's peeking at me behind the curtain, nurses disdainfully tsk tsking, and family a million miles away - (politely estranged I think I was calling it) - a drip in my vein, trying to ride the pain and somehow re-arrange my brain so that I was self - lovable.

I realized I had to start loving myself.

So as I waited for a taxi to pick me up, still wearing a gown and with little bits of sticky shit up my arms and on my chest, head throbbing, eyes squinting in the bright Australian sunshine, I unclenched.

I unclenched my buttocks, unclenched my shoulders, unclenched my jaws, unclenched my neck, my chest, my eyes - and exhaled and released and unclenched my life.

I was reborn or something in that taxi ride.  I told the driver quite frankly what had happened and where I was at.  He said his brother went through the same thing.  No big deal.

*

Right now, I work through the pain everyday.  Face it confront it and work through it.

My latest pain is public speaking.

I've joined a speaking group and once a week we get together and practice speech craft.

It will help me speak cause that's where my business is taking me - I am learning to speak and present in front of an audience.

I'm a big believer in simplicity and stripping away the extras.  That's why public speaking is the ultimate extreme sport.

No equipment - no helmets or protective gear - just you, your body and a room full of expectant strangers.

Welcome to the full body rush of public speaking.

*

Look, I'm no longer updating this blog as regularly as before - my mentor has told me only to share the good stuff with people who are willing to commit to you - so if you can't commit to entering an email address and getting an occasional update via email - you can read the less frequent updates here.  There's nothing to fear - it's safe and warm inside, come on, try it...