Autobiography… Call for new reading practices….

September 30, 2008

Having recently completed a unit in Autobiography at Southern Cross University, I was very interested in researching just how of Auto/Biography/Memoir(s) is fact or fiction, truth or falsity.

The two texts that I studied were:

Close A (2008) Before You Met Me: A Memoir of One Man’s Troubled Search for Love, North Sydney: William Heinemann.

 

Langford Ginibi R (2007) All My Mob, St Lucia, Queensland: UQP.

Is there Truth in Auto/Biography or is it all fiction?  Ruby Langford Ginibi writes that she doesn’t “write fiction’ while Alan Close notes that “all stories ARE fiction, whether they are true or not”

In my research and the subsequent paper that I wrote for that subject, I came to the following conclusion…  

In conclusion, the notion of truth in life writing remains a much contested space that is at times abused and other times, unwittingly misused by authors and publishers. Despite this Hobbs affirms that while the lines between fiction and life writing have blurred and wavered, the ‘autobiographical pact’ and the ‘truth’ remains the benchmark for life writing (Hobbs 2005, p.32). That said, Gutkind (1997, p.121) posits that the truth is often ‘larger than any single fact, not a cut and dried positive and negative value. It is quite elusive and, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder’. In this quest for truth, Watson & Sidonie (1992, p.xiv) call for ‘standpoint’ reading practices whereby different texts from different locales are interpreted through the development of theories appropriate to the reading of those texts. In this way, it becomes possible to decolonise Ruby’s memoir and Alan’s memoir as texts that hold their own truth within the private space in which they are written, moving away from the ‘universal’ politicised space from which they are traditionally judged (Watson & Sidonie 1992) and in so doing, collapsing the binary opposites of truth and falsity, fact and fiction.

 

References…

Watson J & Sidonie S (1992) ‘De/colonization and the Politics of Discourse in Women’s Autobiographical Practice’, in De/colonizing the Subject: The Politics of Gender in Women’s Autobiography, eds. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

 


Proof of ME on a plane!

December 14, 2009

Please hold your breath!… Yes, yes, yes  its me, ….on a plane.. Ron Borassi took the picture… J

Part 2 is part way written, and will be posted by the end of this week…Xmas is very time consuming…

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Melbourne – Brisbane Return Journey – Part 1

November 30, 2009

It had been a hectic three days in Melbourne. I had been summoned down there to deal with a notoriously difficult person from whom I had to extract information about a process that he knows intimately but has difficulty in communicating due to an overdeveloped sense of ownership and a stubborn personality. All I can say is the three days spent there were very trying with regular and repeated minor incidents of workplace conflict that required me to bite my lip and resolve despite the emotions that flared up inside me.

That said, I was exhausted by the time Wednesday rolled around and I woke up in a state of mental tiredness that I knew didn’t bode well for the return trip home.

I knew I was more vulnerable to stress in this state or mood and as a result I found myself growing more concerned by the minute as I realised I was just plain exhausted. Even getting in and out of the lifts triggered my anxiety response too easily and I found my negative thoughts were more present than when I am feeling rested and relaxed.

I started to observe the frequency and occurence of my thoughts. I wrote on a piece of paper next to me while I was at work going through the last bits of the process with Mr ‘No-one can do it better than me’. I noticed what I was thinking and how often the thoughts occurred.

8.15 I’m never gonna make it back to Brizzy in this state. I am just not in the right place with my mind.. God I feel whacked. Just look at how panicky I was in the lift.

9.10 Aogh! There it is again, that hot burny panicy feeling in my tummy. Flip! I am not going to handle this flight very well. Nonsense! What a thought to have – I just wanna get home and rest so I am going no matter what. If you stay in Melbourne another night I will be doubly whacked tomorrow so just deal with it ok? Thoughts are ‘just thoughts’. Yeah but remember we learned ‘thoughts become things’, … u know like that self help email u get everyday from ‘The Universe’. Well these ones aren’t helping so don’t entertain them, just let them pass thru yr mind like trains going through a station. Only entertain thoughts that are useful to u – invite them in, and use them to your best advantage. Now focus on your work and just get off the Worry Train will you? Ok?

10.50 Oh geez, it’s almost time to leave for the airport – I don’t feel much better, in fact, I feel WORSE! I love my pink polka dot case but I am just like it – a fruit loop. Why do I have this affliction? Why can’t I just be normal like other people Damn! it’s nearly one o’clock. I am gonna die. Comeon Nikki you ay the victim so well – take respionsibility for your fear girl – only you are scaring yourself … You are normal – just that you insist on this self- sabotage so stop weakening youself. There are weakening thoughts and strengthening thoughts so be responsible for filtering them. Yeah but my body doesn’t lie hey my tummy is burning my back feels tense and I just don’t feel comfortable in my skin. Yes this is true but it’s your thoughts that r triggering this feeling of being hnsafe. You won’t feel comfortable because you r fighting the feeling – don’t resist just feel the anxiety, relax into it. The feelings don’t live fir very long if you give them air and acknowldge them – your body will have achieved it’s objective because it has notified you that you are feeling anxious. Ekhart Tolle says ‘the body is the truth, the thought is the lie’. By this he means that you need to physically sense what is going on inyour body to know what you are really feeling about a situation. We often have too many thoughts to know which one affects us to the level of discomfort we are feeling.

1.00pm in taxi en route to airport 25 minute ride: yikes this is it chicky. Your goose is cooked. I have taken 1 tranquilizer but I still feel yukky nervous. My tummy is on fire. Why do you dothis to youself girl? Because I wanna fly home and see
My family ok? I need them my spirit resonates with my own flesh and blood and I need to replenish. It’s something I have to do. That is why I am doing this plus of course if I want to keep my flash job and the pennies coming in thru the door I have to do this. Hmmm change your job girlfriend!! nah! You won’t get away with avoidance this time girl – you have been running for too long. Now we turn around and face it. It no longer serves you to run – other aspects of your life are severely impoverished as a result of you not standing in the face of your fear. Your world has shrunk beyond belief. Time to expand your comfort zone because to be honest you have become quite boring in your needing to feel SAFE all the time. Live life on the skinny branches girl – much more fun and interesting. It’s only tiredness.

Chick-Chick Boom

Posted via email from Fearless Flyer Nikki


Melbourne Trip…the way down …

November 27, 2009

It was with some trepidation that yet again I found myself on a plane to Melbourne. Here I was in the airport. My friend kindly took me to the airport at 5am in the morning and I was feeling rather relaxed given I had taken 1.5 mg Ativan. I felt the cougar lurking in my mind.. everytime I got nervous, I heard it roar. I knew I was only having ‘thoughts’.. thoughts that were not positive, creative or that would amount to anything simply because I refused to entertain them… but they were there, very much there… I let them pass through my mind, like trains through a station.. as soon as one came in… I would feel the physical effect in my body, I would tighten the area, then release, say relax, and dismiss the thought.. I was starting to understand mind-power… when to entertain thoughts and when not to entertain thoughts.. especially since thoughts can become things, and sometimes we don’t want those things that our thoughts are producing… (sound like a mad-woman.. you are prolly right).. I have done enough self-talk the last few weeks to warrant a place in a sanitarium FULL-TIME! J

At check-in, the lady told me that the air-tickets had not been ‘booked’ in spite of the e-voucher I had in my hand. The plane had started boarding and I was in a bit of a spin.. talk about stress-city.. I felt the tears just beneath the surface as I dialled the number on the voucher. Luckily, the ticket number was supplied by a very calm voice on the other end of the line. By this time, the check-in lady said: “Its too late to check in your baggage, you might have to take the next flight”. In my mind I suddenly saw myself being late for the meeting in Melbourne, my baggage landing up on another plane, and I was already geared up to go on this flight, the tears literally bounced out of my eyes onto my cheeks and I heard myself saying: “Please just let me get on this flight”… She saw I wasn’t’ mucking around, and she said, “Oh just take it on the plane, it’s small enough, but hurry”..

A quick goodbye and I boarded the plane. As I stepped into the plane, I felt like it was a rather ordinary experience, and I found that I was in seat 11C… quite close to the front of the 737. The 737 has a 3-3 seat configuration and I found the ascent into the air to be a lot ‘tighter’ than the 767.  The 767 feels like a banana heaving off a launch pad… I sat in between two ladies and I got chatting to the one to the right of me. She seemed really pleasant and was travelling to Melbourne to the day to meet with a client as part of her HR consultancy. I massaged her hands and we nattred about all sorts of manner of things.. I felt the cougar creep up a couple of times but then I got out the iPhone and played my favourite game, Tetris…

The flight was definitely longer and we went into a holding pattern, I felt myself saying:

“Oh God, why this, why now? I am doing so well, why does the flight have to be any longer than it is…” but then I noticed the Tetris bricks were catching up on me and I had to do something about that.. soon we touched down, and I instantly felt lighter. I floated into the taxi and nattered away until we reached the ParkView hotel. I dropped my luggage for storage by the concierge and the taxi drove me down the road to the office. I noticed the tree-lined streets and the air seemed a little crisper than Brizzy but overall it was rather refreshing.. I hopped out the taxi, feeling like a real business traveller, and disappeared in the building with my laptop and handbag, looking very much the part.

It was great to see everyone I had been speaking to for months by phone in the Melbourne office and I was abuzz, it had been a big day for me, but a quiet celebration because what I considered as conquering my worst nightmare fears was ‘everyday’ for everyone else. I celebrated with a cuppa tea and a biscuit….

Next Melbourne – the way back… to follow….

Thanks,

Nikki Ward | IT Documentation and Training Analyst

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Tatts Group

240 Sandgate Rd, Albion, Queensland, 4010, Australia

Tel: 07 3637 1445 | Fax: 07 3262 5742

Blog: http://thetechwriter.wordpress.com

SP Blog: http://myworkcentre/personal/nikki_ward/workblog/default.aspx

IT Training Blog: http://tattscentral/sites/technology/BusSystems/Training/ITTrainingBlog/default.aspx

 Quote of the Day: Think More, Write Less

                

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I AM ALIVE!!!

November 23, 2009

New blog entry
Today I flew down to Sydney in a 767 for lunch AGAIN!!!!

This time I had a friend with me. This is what teachers call level 2 competency learning where the individual completes a task with only partial assistance.

Now onto ‘chemical assistance’ – while I don’t condone the use of tranquilisers in facing ones fears as I hv had personal experience in how addictive they can be – I have enlisted the guidance and counsel of my doctor to show me how to use them in the most effective way without pulling the tiger’s tail. I feel that given everything I learned in the Fearless Flyers course and flying drug free for the first time in twenty years bears credence to the value in doing the course – however (yes Madalyn – I can hear you tsk tsk-ing right now) but in my case i feel that given i experience a literal ‘asthma of the nerves’ as my psychologist put it – i feel that the use of these drugs for a limited timeframe will aid in my recovery – it only takes the edge off am experience that is now becoming more familiar and I aim in time to reduce my reliance on tranquilisers. Right now I am sticking to a regime of I have a crutch that just helps me get thru. My confidence with each flight is building and I have felt a definite shift in my recovery on a scale of 1-100 – I started at -5, then after the first fearless flight it moved to 35, to my trip to Sydney it moved to 85 ESP since I was tranquilised. Let me hasten to add here that I have been practising Madalyn’s relaxation twice a day PLUS I have been rereading her booklet, reviewing Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers PLUS Dr Burns The Feeling Good Hand book – especially the chapter on how to deal with fears by testing them using a variety of techniques.

Keep a record of your Panic Attacks to see how long they last Time: 0-99 rating: Thoughts:

The experimental method
Paradoxical technique
Shane-attacking
Confront your fears
- sudden exposure or flooding
- gradual exposure
- the partnership
Daily mood log
The cost benefit analysis
Positive imaging
Distraction
The acceptance paradox
Gettin in touch

All these and more I have been practicing – I am so focussed on eradicating this fear I feel that in time, and that is key, in time, I will feel more comfortable about flying. It is like a muscle – it has to be developed – it doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen – that much is a certainty. The road ain’t easy but it had brought so many gifts and raised my consciousness in an almost spiritual sense if the word.

We had a fabulous day in Sydney – we hired a car and drove to Stanwell Tops in Sydneys Royal National Park. It was so hot up there but while we were driving thru the back of beyond I felt the old panick start to arise – what if I hyperventilate and we are miles away from anywhere and suddenly I realised that I know what to do no matter what or where I am – it’s OK!!!! I am OK!!!! Whoooooo!

I felt a surge of confidence and my spirit soared while the realization washed over me just how restrictive this fear had been for me and how I had receded from all spheres of my life that I really used to enjoy, especially that which feeds my soul -being on nature – this, nature, is what feeds my life essence, my mana, my spirit, my energy. Whooooohoooo! I feel so fucking ALIVE!

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Fearless Flyer Nikki


Flights booked for Melbourne

November 20, 2009

K, so now I have a double whammy, I am flying to Sydney on Sunday & back to Brizzy.. and then have to be in Melbourne on Monday.. oh YAAAY!… back to Brizzy on Wed.

I have been avoiding this but I know this is the only way through – head on, straight through the middle. I am not sure where to… but it will mean that a great deal of courage is called for.  Courage.. well anyone who knows me well enough knows that I am the first to burst into tears when the going really gets tough.. (including all my fearless flyer mates) and right now, I do feel that I may have bitten off more than I can chew but again, anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do things in small doses or in halves.

I have been feeling a little light-headed and dizzy all day yesterday and today… but I figured is just nerves and tension and that I need to get back to the relaxation exercises.. Madalyn did say: they are ‘just thoughts’….> I am aware of my thoughts going nuts again.. but they are really “just thoughts”.. as I have reminded myself a dozen times already as all the snarly cougar thoughts roar through my head  – I realise that nothing could have prepared me for the actual event so ‘scenario spinning’ is really just pointless. Man, I feel like downing a beer right now!!.. anyone else care to join me?

Interesting: Thoughts become things (Title of a book currently in print).. As far as I currently understand it we can use thoughts to create our world yet our thoughts can also be our own worst enemy… this really makes me see how the mind can be our most powerful ally in terms of being the ‘artist of our life’… but at the same time, our thoughts can also not serve us… our programming during our years, from our experiences, contribute toward our blueprint and create obstacles for us based on our ‘filters’…our fixed habits of behaviour, the real practice then is knowing when and how to use our thoughts powerfully…

Our language is key to us discovering whether we are creating our world or just talking about our world.. and this comes down to certain ‘key’ words….I will say this….when the sympathetic nervous system takes over, you are really at its mercy, regardless of ‘thoughts’.. the thoughts only control what anticipatory anxiety you experience prior to an attack so when it hits, you can only focus on feeling it, not fighting it and then when you emerge from the attack only then can you work on how you come recover from it.. so even when you are in the middle of an attack, all you can do is ‘have an attack’.. then as you surface.. try as far as you possibly can.. to distract yourself or get yourself to a point where you can rebalance until the next one creeps up.. that’s it.. just deal with it as it arises until it stops.. then only have you conquered your fear…  

You can ‘not think’ negative thoughts while you are in situ with your fear because you are at its mercy… your thoughts only serve to escalate your anxiety which is why there  is so much focus on producing thoughts that are conducive to not triggering a chemical meltdown reaction in the brain.  I argue that the real focus is instead on just ‘feeling the fear’.. I mean really just feeling the fear… being the observer, maybe even timing it to see how long it lasts… because at some stage it does disappear.. but it does return  so really there are ‘waves’, and it is panic nonetheless.

When you welcome it and observe it and look towards it.. it does tend to evaporate. Remember as the doctor said: Panic Attacks are SAFE.

I mean lets face it.. there is a lot of crap written out there.. and I feel that its time for us to dispel the myth that these self-help books that claim they can change your life actually work. I can categorically state this because I have read these books.. there is a lot of good knowledge in them, very descriptive but until you take the plunge and ‘experience’ it for yourself – there is nothing happening except someone’s pocket getting fatter because of your inability to face your fear. Read the books by all means… as there is always knowledge to be gained but knowledge doesn’t cast out fear, action does.

What is real for me is that I am starting to realise each solution for each fear is as unique as the individual who experiences it. So I assert: NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL … I am going to dispel another myth: fear is not like a condom = seriously… NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL. Each individual must chart their own course through the dark waters of fear until they find the solution themselves, and if they choose a helper to do so with them then again caution must be taken that this is not someone they come to rely on.

So what I have just said is controversial. Naturally no-one wants to hear that self-help books are pointless. No-one wants to hear that we need to take responsibility for the way we feel.. I know I don’t – I am the worst offender, AND I have a cupboard full of self-help books at home… (that cupboard full of books simply means is I have become an expert at gathering knowledge AND practicing avoidance!!!)  So, realise that in facing your fear, you have to work on this with someone who is experienced in this area to assist you and guide you but does not usurp your process.

That said, I got onto the topic of this ‘fear’ being there for me.. what I have become really present to is that this fear has taken me to a level of consciousness that I don’t think many people have an opportunity to experience. Most will practice avoidance, and rare is the day that people will tackle this type of thing head on, unless there is a compelling reason for them to do so. Why? Because I have to say, it is THE most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. Why? Because I like to prepare in advance, be proactive, make sure everything is laid out as it should be rather than just live in the moment.. this is a matter of habit and one that is tough to break.. preparation and planning ensures you don’t have ‘piss-poor performance’.. All my life I have been preparing for some challenge, moment, test, etc.. its exhausting I have to admit. Frankly I would rather go skipping through a field full of daisies, not with a care in the world, but unfortunately I am unable to locate such a person that will make that happen for me …so back to myself.. I have been of the opinion that I do have to face the fear and do it anyway..

The benefit of such a fear is such that you get to experience the real inside of you… that you can only do it for yourself and no-one else. That one person is YOU.. you are responsible for YOU… you get to see what is really going on at a physical, mental, spiritual level… deep within the core of who you are.. you see what you are and who you are.. and you realise that you are just ‘shit-scared’… vulnerable, immobilised, and until you stare it back in the face, you are powerless.. until you actually stand in the company of that fear there is nothing you can do – no, no book, no guru, no mentor, no course, no food, well.. ok maybe chocolate and maybe …  J

Yours in flight,

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Posted via email from Fearless Flyer Nikki


Untitled

November 19, 2009

This is worth an entire post.. I would like to think that our beliefs and attitudes should also appear down at the base of the lenses.

It is these things that when removed, allow us to try on the possibilities of what our lives would be like without those beliefs and attitudes.

A whole world of possibility becomes available outside those beliefs and attitudes…

J Nikki

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Posted via email from Fearless Flyer Nikki


Problem Solving Flow Chart for the Flight Engineers at QANTAS…

November 19, 2009
Download now or preview on posterous

Problem Solving Flow Chart.pdf (77 KB)

This will solve all their problems..

Downed a tranquiliser this morning and am feeling peachy.. think I can do the flights now.. Sydney Sunday Here I Come.

J N

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CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: Please consider our environment before printing this email.This email and any attachments are confidential and may be subject to copyright, legal or some other professional privilege. They are intended solely for the attention and use of the named addressee(s). They may only be copied, distributed or disclosed with the consent of the copyright owner. If you have received this email by mistake or by breach of the confidentiality clause, please notify the sender immediately by return email and delete or destroy all copies of the email. Any confidentiality, privilege or copyright is not waived or lost because this email has been sent to you by mistake. ———————————————————————

Posted via email from Fearless Flyer Nikki


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