Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….




‘Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?’

The first thoughts that entered my head on reading the above challenge were:



What does that mean exactly?  

Cussing my woeful lack of erudition and unable to look around the class for clues re what everyone else was doing, I quickly googled the quote and found this:

Turns out old Gibbie wrote this book called ‘The Prophet’ which is made up of 26 prose poems, delivered as sermons by the protagonist, a wise man called Al Mustapha who is about to set sail for his homeland after 12 years in exile on a fictional island when the people of the island ask him to share his wisdom on the big questions of life: love, family, work and death which he delivers by way of these ad hoc one liners.

Which would explain why it’s so frigging long.

I did start reading it with every intention of (a) finishing it (b) learning something from it (c) getting something useful for my post, but by the time I’d got a third of the way through it, I kinda wanted to slap the beard off of him.

Whilst The Prophet had it’s critics (noo, really?), it also had some very influential fans including John F Kennedy, Indira Gandhi and even the Beatles, but let’s face it, they were on a lot of gear at the time, and would have found meaning in a copy of the Yellow Pages had someone handed it to them mid spliff…


And even if you were happily off your tits, you’d never want to be stuck in a corner with Khalil at a party, as he’d nail you to the wall with his homilies and insights, and you’d end up slamming your cocktail stirrer in your eye in order to have an excuse to go to casualty and make good your escape….

But he MEANT WELL, lots of his insights are valuable and seven does seems to crop up quite a bit.  That said, seven is a bit of a magic number overall, all tied up with spirituality, searching, reflection, work, completion and redemption.

Think about it: we have the seven virtues and seven deadly sins, the seven voyages of Sinbad and of course, the seven wonders of the world.  In numerology seven represents struggle whilst in search for the truth, and there are seven colours of the rainbow.

In the bible, Job Chapter 7, he says “Is not all human life a struggle?”, and poor Detective Mills had to work through Se7en murders with grumpy old Detective Somerset before achieving an extremely unsatisfying outcome when some bloody fingered nutter handed himself in, and then finding his wife’s head in a UPS box as a final conclusion surely added insult to injury….

I mean the only one who doesn’t suffer is God himself as seven represents his perfection, sovereignty and holiness, exception being Craig David in ‘Seven Days’ where ‘he was making love by Wednesday and on Thursday and Friday and Saturday then chilled on Sunday’, the smug twat, but for the rest of us it’s all a bit of a grind….

So I guess the question is, if restricted to only being able to grunt a maximum of seven words at each other like cavemen (yes I am going to take this challenge that literally), which ones should be used in order to make our days with one another tolerable, or at least marginally fucking bearable?

Here, at long last, are my recommendations:


This has to be numero uno.

It can be used during disagreements when you want the other person/people to back off, as an introduction when meeting new people i.e. ‘We come in peace’ a la Mr Spock, and just as a general appreciation when all is calm and bright accompanied by a happy sigh. It would also be good for breaking up others who may be fighting over something, which leads me to No. 2….


2. BACK!

In truth I’d have preferred ‘Fuck off!’ but that’s two words, and like ‘Go!’, sounds rather aggressive and final.  If this strange seven worded world is populated by people like me, there would need to be at least one that will be able to facilitate a little space for one as we all need a bit of time on our own, plus a way of getting someone to fuck off if they are getting on our nerves, and ‘Peace’ guy isn’t around to calm things down.

Plus if accompanied by hand gestures, it can mean either get back or come back, so can also be quite ingratiating and welcoming.


As in try and understand how I feel/my position/what this is for/why I/we/they did this.  In other words, think beyond your own feelings and try to come to peace with what was done, why is was done, and what is going on for you right now.


And before any of you accuse me of being all ‘Khalil’ after taking this piss out of him so mercilessly (had to be done 😉 ) I do think the idea of going somewhere and sitting down quietly to gather your thoughts, think about what has happened, how you might do things better or differently and, if you can, meditate and touch base with the Almighty (whichever one you use) is a good one.

Church/mass is meant to facilitate this for us.

Unfortunately for me and many others, the Catholics made it a boring, joyless duty, plus my church was lousy with sniping, carping, gossiping old hypocrites so I bucked against going as soon as I was old enough to not be scared of my parents anymore.

Now I am an old bird, I try to pray on my own regularly, either before sleep, on waking or just yelling stuff out loud to the man upstairs (doesn’t go down very well in a queue at my local Sainsburys), and I would happily gather with like minded folk in the spirit of contemplation, community, acceptance and fun were such a gathering to exist.

‘Pray’ could be used as an instruction e.g. ‘Go and pray you little shit!’, a way of letting others know you’re going off somewhere to pray, and an appeal to gather together and congregate when times are tough and people need support, or when there is something to celebrate.


Of course.  Do I really have to explain this?  Didn’t think so! 😉


Which doesn’t just seem to be the hardest word, it IS.  Especially when you have a vast vocabulary at your fingertips and can wield words like Indiana Jones handles his whip, but even without being limited to the top seven, it always comes back to this one.

As no other word does the job it does, or benefits the sayer and the recipient quite the way ‘Sorry’ does, both for menial issues like standing on someone’s bearskin, or more major ones like deliberately being an utter shit to someone you love.


I told a lie; trusting is harder than saying you’re sorry.  But it’s essential as far as building communities, letting people in, fostering love and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

For the record, I don’t trust anyone.

I think everyone is out to get me in one form or another, that my nearest and dearest wouldn’t care if I died tomorrow and would, and do, use what they know about me in order to control me to the benefit of themselves.

But I’m off my fucking rocker, and I’m learning very slowly that giving people a chance is much less frighening then believing that the whole world is against me, hardening my heart and hiding away.

So there they are; the seven words I would choose if so limited to that number.

I might even go out for dinner tonight and test them out, Dice Man style:

Waiter:     ‘Good evening madam!’

Me:           ‘Peace!’

Waiter:      ‘Right…..’, retreating rather nervously

Friend:      ‘Can I have one of your chips?’

Me:            ‘BACK!’

Me:            ‘Understand?’ after I’ve stabbed her in the back of the hand with my fork.

Me:            ‘Sorry…..’ as the police arrive to escort me out of the restaurant, and my companion hides under the table….

Thank God for our beautiful languages and extensive vocabularies, how did we survive as a species with such limitations?

Though in some ways I think we were better off back in the stone age, despite being so limited, where we had to work harder to make our societies work, knew everyone in our community and families lived and stayed together.

And words, as we all know can be twisted and used for less than honourable means than honest communication, so a world without the press and politicians would be worth living in a cave and chewing on the arse bone of a giraffe as far as I’m concerned, so maybe Khalil Gibran does have a point.

Pass me a bearskin and a nice big club; I’m going to get dinner started…..

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  48. How To Communicate With Your Spouse In Seven Words Or Less! | The Political and Social Chaos Blog
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  68. Communication In Seven Words or Less | Kansa Muse
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  70. Seven Wonders or the Seven Words of Life | mother of nine9
  71. Expression in Seven — E.I.T.C.A.W.M. | e. e.
  72. Sette parole – A very short post | Neva Samaki
  73. The Daily Prompt: Seven Wonders | Lucid Gypsy
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  75. My Secret Seven | Winging it
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The Phoenix from the Flames

Spot on as always Kozo 🙂
I really need to get the hang of this as I’m finding that the people I love are getting very unpredictable as I change and I’m trying not to take it personally (says she after losing her temper big time yesterday)….
And what happened to you Kozo? You grew up to be a highly empathic, sensitive man, a great father and an inspiring, entertaining blogger who influences many by sharing his lessons along the way, so you can tell your step father that from me with a complimentary nice hard kick in the balls (optional)   😉



Big love my friend x

everyday gurus

How neuroscience offers hope to survivors of abuse and peacemakers of the future

“What happened to you, then?” my step-father’s booming voice echoed out into the early evening crowd at Outback Steakhouse.

The question was not asked with compassion or caring. It was a jab, an attack, a verbal confirmation that I was a failure in his eyes.

I had been explaining to my extended family how my son was a highly sensitive boy (HSB), when my mom chimed in that I, too, was highly sensitive as a child. She used the term “glass feelings.”

I explained to my sister-in-law how HSBs, if nurtured, could become compassionate artists or peacemakers like Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, and Carl Jung.

That is when my step-father interrupted me with “What happened to you, then?”

What amazed me most was my reaction. In the past, an aggressive comment like this would have sent me to…

View original post 340 more words


“Stop Breathing on My Neck. I’m Trying to Be Compassionate.”

I love this blogger, his insights, honesty and observations, and this post made me smile, albeit somewhat wryly.
Being out of the workplace at this moment in time, I currently have the luxury of being able to avoid most of those irritating ‘other people’ as I can, for the most part, pick and choose who I want to be around, but know that it’s only a matter of time when I am catapulted amongst them again and will have to put up with their annoying shit and not take them down, either physically or verbally :-s

Being something of an intolerant, easily offended biatch who takes everything personally (I’m HSP with attitude), I’m certainly going to give this a try, but I’ll know I’ve reach a spiritual landmark if I can do it (a) at rush hour on the Tube (b) on a bank holiday in Ikea, or (c) in a packed cinema populated with (i) popcorn rattlers, (ii) iPhone addicts and (iii) fidgets/seat kickers/elbow nudgers, all which tend to make me nigh on homicidal with suppressed rage.


Which is better than my limited edition ‘expressed’ variety, believe you me…..

I will, however start small and test it out at my local park. At 6.30am. When it’s closed to the public.
One day at a time, sweet Jesus….. 😉

everyday gurus

How to obtain peace when other people are around.

Listening to Adyashanti explain how resistance causes our suffering, I could not focus because some guy behind me was breathing like a hot furnace.

View original post 362 more words


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Genuinely good things are happening in my life at the moment.

Strong new authentic friendships, promising liaisons with members of the opposite sex, creative ideas for making money and a growing acceptance of who and what I am, but it seems that the closer I get to happiness or redemption, the harder the demons pound on my door.

I’ve had strange, scary dreams this week, usually after a day when something nice has happened; dreams of being attacked, chased, wounded, betrayed. The ground crumbling beneath my feet; being lost and naked; something huge, wild and brutal trying to break down the door and get into my dream house.

After months of having little in the way of day to day stress in my life (other than the Fear, which is part and parcel of my condition) my body seems to have reverted to back to that work fight-or-flight mode; my shoulders are tight, my neck has seized up and my teeth hurt in the morning, a sure sign that I am grinding or clenching them in my sleep.

But there’s no way back now.

Just as the fall of Winter snow told me ‘Hunker down, wrap up warm and lie low’, the Cherry Blossom snow urges ‘Take heart, get your arse out there and LIVE’, and as hard as it is to keep up this endless, exhausting battle, I’m nothing if not a hard core, seasoned fighter and I don’t intend to quit now.

So bring it you fuckers, bring it on; you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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THE ARTIST’S WAY: Week Five Part 2 – ‘Presence, Not Presents’ and the ‘Cupboard of Doom’


So since the last time I worked on Part 5 with that, erm, shall we say ‘opportunistic’ group in 2012, I do recognise that just because certain people choose to interpret how God’s/Higher Power’s generosity should be accessed to their own ends, that doesn’t mean that the book encourages that kind of behaviour so I was willing to give it another shot.

The reason it’s taken me a while to get back here this year is that I tried the Evening/Morning Q&A pages experiment, and I didn’t feel that I’d been heard at all, in fact I almost felt ignored and was bitterly disappointed.

Anyway it seems that God (sorry, bored of typing Higher Power all the time, so am dropping it now) has stopped playing hard to get and that, as I’ve always professed, he/she clearly has a sense of humour.

So, yesterday morning, I sit down, start re-reading Chapter Five and got to the bit about God’s generosity and thought to myself ‘Huh!’, then saw something poking out from behind a cushion.

I pulled it out.

A carpet sample square.

And somewhere in my little head, I think ‘If you wanna help me Mate, try making one of those bloody cats puke up.’

Minutes later I hear a very familiar sound:

‘Blup, blup, blup, blup….’

Disbelievingly, I run out into the hall just to catch the momentous event in action.

Dexter-cat had just been sick!

To say that I was amazed, would be something of an understatement.


I rush to find an old gardening implement then scoop up the warm, steaming vomit <blup>, smear it over the carpet tile like pate on toast <blup, blup…retch> and shove it hastily in the cupboard under the sink, hereby known as the Cupboard of Doom (because it stank) pause for a moment, clinging to the sink and screwing up my eyes in an attempt to stop wanting to heave, then made myself a rejuvenating cup of tea and sat back down to my book in a daze, feeling very much like the victim of a practical joke.

Very funny, Big Man…

Half an hour later, my grocery delivery arrives, and as I unload my stuff from the plastic crate, I notice that they had given me two bags of oranges instead of one.

‘Mate, can you take these back please, I only ordered one?’

The guy rolls his eyes a bit and takes the charge off my bill and leaves.

But, as I take everything out of the plastic carrier bags, it’s apparent that they sent me double the amount of quite a few items.


Again, I get the distinct impression that someone is taking the piss out of me.

I also have a quandary; the book advises not to send ‘gifts’ back but accept them, but I don’t want to get the poor sap who packed this order into trouble.

My (ex) Catholic guilt wins out.

I ring up the supermarket and explain.  The operator listens patiently then goes away to speak to his supervisor.

‘OK,’ I think to myself, ‘if I’m meant to have this, he’ll come back and thank me for being honest and tell me to keep everything.’

He comes back.

‘Hello again madam,’ he says, ‘this happens quite often with this branch, so I’ll send them a message and they’ll call you to arrange a pick up for the extra items.’

I put the phone down, a little deflated.  That’s what I get for being honest.


…I’ve had my phone on me for the last 24 hours and no one has called to arrange a pick up of the extra goods.


What else can I say except ‘Thank You Dude!  Very clever!  Now, if you can rustle up a cottage by the sea for me and the mogs to live in, and a job that I can do from home, that would be brilliant…. ;-)’

So, being serious for a moment, this could be all in my imagination, but in fairness, it isn’t the first time I’ve felt the presence or influence of something/someone, so I have to admit, I’m more than a little chuffed that a teensy weensy connection may have reformed….

After all, you know what they say, ‘It’s not about the presents but the presence….’

P.S.  For those of you sad enough to want to know, the cat sick didn’t stain the carpet sample!  Hurray!!

P.P.S. The Cupboard of Doom still smells awful.  Boo!!




I thought I’d heard the last from the Guru for a while, after our rather uncomfortable exchange last week where I was forced to rebuff his kind offer to use my flat as a frickin’ hotel whenever he was in the country.  But non.  I came home from a nice lunch today to find the following in me inbox:

Dear Sista

I don’t enjoy many peoples company these days but dinner with you was a rare exception.

I believe that you enjoyed it too, so shall we try a little experiment? May i stay with you for one night on ??rd May?  I’ll try not to snore too much, ha ha!


What?  After spilling my guts to him re my condition and how uncomfortable it is for me to have strangers staying over in my tiny, claustrophobic shoebox of a flat, he’s still pushing me on this? Really?!  I can just picture Jesus shaking his head, going ‘Tsk, tsk, what a dick, you wouldn’t catch me doing that ….’

My overriding urge is to reply by sending him a link to the Premier Inn website which guarantees a good nights sleep, something he would not get here due to marauding cats, a hissing air bed and me either pacing the floor trying to quash a panic attack or thwacking him on the forehead with a ladle if he did indeed happen to snore like a pneumatic drill.  It’s as cheap as chips if you don’t stay central and considering what his company charges for tuition, I’m surprised he doesn’t hole up at the Wolseley whilst he’s over here. But perhaps that would be a little blunt and it’s important that we keep things cordial.

After giving it some thought (well five minutes), I respond as follows:

Dear G

I enjoyed our dinner too, but like yourself, if I get a strong instinct that I do not want to do something I tend to honour it, especially in this instance as i would wish neither of us an uncomfortable nights sleep.

Hope you understand


Sista x

This should do the trick as the last time we met, he told me that he never did anything he didn’t want to, but people (including his kids) accepted this because ‘that’s what he’s like’.  Well this is what I’m like buddy, so back the fuck off.

Still, I have an uncomfortable feeling that I still haven’t heard the last of it, ‘cos G is clearly used to getting his own way.  Better go find a beta blocker before I go into a full blown panic attack about being rejected/reviled/stoned to death by all of his adoring, limpid eyed, lycra clad clan at the next tuition session.

Men eh?  Gurus or ordinary Joe Blows, none of them seem to be able take ‘no’ for an answer….





I received a sweet, flattering email from the Guru last night emphasising how much he enjoyed our evening and his belief in my inner fire and strength of character.

I replied in kind, then explained my condition, how it affects me, and how ultimately because of this, I would not be able to offer him pre arranged or ad hoc hospitality when he was in London.  I apologised for my shortcomings, stressed that it was ‘not him it was me’ and hoped that this would not harm our budding friendship.  I then wished him a safe journey home and looked forward to being taught by him later in the year.


He may not have received this message.  He may have been 30,000 feet above sea, hence incommunicado. Unlikely though given the arctic weather conditions.

More likely however is that he was ringing around for a bed for the night, bunking down at a chilly B&B with nylon sheets, UHT milk and a wonky telly, or freezing his nuts off at Heathrow, anxiously scanning the departures board, preparing to bunk down on those uncomfortable backless seats until it flickered and clicked back to life with new flight times.

Pissed off.

Especially with me.  Despite my explanation.  To the extent that he was not prepared to reply and reassure me that he understood, and that everything was fine between us.

I don’t blame him.  Honestly.  An entirely understandable, very human reaction from a mere mortal, i.e an ordinary bloke from Birmingham.

Strangely enough, I don’t feel paranoid anymore and any guilt I felt has finally dissipated.  I did the right thing by myself and ultimately got to teach G a valuable life lesson.

When planning a trip to the Big Smoke, always pre arrange accomodation, and never rely a paranoid, territorial, soiitary fruitloop you have barely known for five minutes (or any other woman living on her own for that matter) to give you a bed for the night with barely a moments notice, let alone a weekend.

Hey, maybe he’s right re my inner strength and fire.

Amen to that.