Saturday, June 18, 2016

Becoming Questions Number 8 - the answers here * Beautiful * Becoming * Blessings to read.

If we met I would ask you a question or two.
NOT ones which disclose 
but one or two which disclose 
Becoming stuff - not just human BEING stuff.

Becoming Questions have now reached Number 8
and here are the answers from beautiful humans who I much appreciate for joining in.
Sharing themselves for their BECOMING and mine and yours I BELIEVE!

This week the questions was::
You deserve a book about your unique life - the inner one - the outer one.
Can you disclose the title of your autobiography and
WHY you have decided on this one?

If we met I would ask you a question or two.
NOT ones which disclose FACT but one or two which disclose FEELINGS.
Becoming stuff - not just human BEING stuff.

Becoming Questions have now reached Number 8
and here are the answers from beautiful humans who I much appreciate for joining in.
Sharing themselves for their BECOMING and mine and yours I BELIEVE!

This week the questions was::
You deserve a book about your unique life - the inner one - the outer one.
Can you disclose the title of your autobiography and
WHY you have decided on this one?
I start by sharing my own::
'Seeking the Shalom of the City’
My favourite book of all time, by John Powell, has a title on the front cover and the real/FULL  title on the back cover 
FRONT::   ‘Why am I afraid to tell you who I am.. ’
BACK::     ‘…because if I tell you who I am, and you don’t like who I am, that is all I have’ )
So I will use the same idea.
FRONT:: 'Seeking the Shalom of the City’
BACK::   ‘..and in it’s Shalom I will find my own Shalom’.
WHY? Shalom is a Hebrew word which translators into English have used the word ‘Peace’.
Shalom means much more than peace, quietness, no wars etc..
It is about wholeness - completeness - spiritually, relationally, socially, pshycoligically, emotionally, between women and men, between nations and creeds …… and more.
This next book is about how I have, and still do, yearn, stumble, fumble, stammer and strive to be a Shalom maker in all places & contexts. I believe that we find wholeness ONLY as we seek wholeness beyond ourselves.
It reminds me of the Mandela Quotation. 
“I don’t win or fail. - I win or learn”.

The title of my book would be “Riders on the storm” 
because life seems to be a constant change of different weather.
Ups and downs, sometimes the wind blows you in your face and sometimes it´s in your back. 
It can slow you down and it can quicken you. Sometimes your hair is tousled and sometimes you can spread your wings and learn to fly.

What title for my book?
'Hope Again'.
And Why?
In my own experience, without hope pretty much everything is in danger of going down the pan. 
But when i can remember about Hope there are very often silver linings to be found, choices, alternatives, other ways of being and doing
And I think that my own experience is transferable ….

question 8 my title would be “I am bored" how not to do youth work. this book title is a phrase that i heard in youth work and i just wanted to use it to open up the readers interest in my life story. the sub title of how not to do youth work would be about the issues how i have been challenged whether i did right or wrong. i am fed up of reading so called quick fix solutions and the "much needed resource for every youth worker" . the bread and butter of building relationships and being that person who is tested or terrorized as one person put it. so i don't want people to read and think this guy never made mistakes and could deal with any situation. you can read about successful projects and i don't have an issue. it is when you are involved in front line work, week in week out, when you get the verbal abuse and then you are expected to just keep going. my book would be about how it feels and what you do to survive.
it would be the time when you have been spat on or called a fat xxxxxxxxx and then they still want to come in the next time as if it was nothing. so all those fancy books with perfect solutions of how to have the perfect piece of youth work. it would be about managers that let you down or don't support. about the time you did put your arm around someone that needed it. the times when you don't want to be there yourself and it is about the hope you witness in ayoung persons live.

The book would be called "Dodging Raindrops", a subtle euphemism for the good fortune, intelligence or sheer blatant luck that seems to have, against the odds, protected me for the last 20 years.

My autobiography will be called... 'Ramblings of a Reforming Ratbag'
This is not a new title - I used it for a blog at one point, but found actually keeping up with it rather tricky - I guess I'm more of a starter than a finisher! It is a real discipline for me to complete things, especially if there's no deadline. Plus, as an educator, maybe the Internet wasn't the appropriate platform for some of my deeper thoughts.
So, why the title?
Well, my style for this would be conversational - I'd hope people could relate to some of my experiences and potentially respond in some way in their own lives.
Jesus 'grabbed' me in 1989, after my beautiful girl arrived and he's been working on me and with me, since. 
It's not been easy; God didn't give me a personality transplant, so I was still free to make rubbish choices - and I did - spectacularly bad, damaging, wrong, hurtful ones, compounded by undiagnosed depression.
But, through everything, I've known deep inside that God is with me. He is renovating me, gently chipping away, bit by bit. Even the deep gouges that tore me apart are being repaired. There have been times when I believed I might be the only person in the history of the Universe, that God gave up on...I can be quite dramatic at times!
I'm still reforming, thanks to Jesus. I doubt I'll be fully reformed this side of eternity, but hey, that's okay, I'm human, with faults, but I look to my creator to help me. I don't know where, or who, I'd be without Her.

'The Wild Adventures of Connie’
by Conniepops age 6

My book would be called 'The Humble Servant'
If I leave a legacy in this world, I want to be considered as someone who served God, my religion and the people I encounter. 
To be a servant, you must humble yourself. 
Although I am a teacher, I consider myself a servant of my students. 
Although I try to be a good Muslim, I'm just an insignificant servant of God. 
Although people may seek me for help, by helping them, I consider myself their servant.
My biography would depict my story of simply trying to serve people to the best of my ability and explain why I do this. 

The book of my life story would be ….'In the world but not at home'... 
Because I live here and now, but I never feel like I fit in, I never have felt like I fitted in, I'm different, good different, I don't share values the world values, I don't want money, fast car, well paid executive job... I feel like I'm made for a different place than this, as a Christian I know my home is not here on earth but in heaven, with Jesus, forever.. And my book would explain that and how my life points to better and greater things.

Becoming Question Number 8 is::
When you write your story - biography, 
(not IF you write, but when you write ……..)
1  What would be the title of your book?
2  AND why did you choose that title?
It's a word that merges my name with a word that describes me well and is misspelt on purpose 

Title 'Lucky Man'
Why ? Because in spite of everything and where I come from I have lots to be grateful for lots of people that love me, I have an insight and wisdom that I have learned over the years that had stood me on good stead, A good job and life skills that have aided me over the years ,so although I still have pain stresses and anxieties I can deal with them and find gratitude.
No Name

Hiya Pip, great question once again.... Think I'd go with ‘Faithful Bumbling' or something like that, or maybe 'love, listen, learn', basically representing not having all the right answers and choices, but trying to just put my hand in God's and get it as right as I can manage.....

My book would be called 'Regret'. Regret because I never met that someone special and had children of my own, now I am getting older and quite alone.  I keep positive in the knowledge that there is somewhere better waiting for me at the end of my life with my lovely mum and dad. 

"It’s all in the detail”
because so often, if not always, it’s the little things that make a difference and it’s often the small things that we remember - like a scent that can take you back to a moment, a smile that can change how you feel, a few words that make us feel valued, a splash of colour that catches our eye, the tone of someone’s voice, the clock ticking round while we wait to hear important news, a late night conversation, someone taking time out to care. We may not always remember exactly what someone has said or done but we do remember how they made us feel… and we recall who was there with us at key times in our lives. 
Big things happen and we can’t change that, but it’s often the details that help us cope and get us through.

The title of my autobiography would be: "Strong After All:  The adventure of life that was explored."
Why?  I guess my life motto has been, "life is an adventure waiting to be explored." I have no idea if I copied this saying from someone or modified a quote to suit me. But somewhere along the way I adopted this motto for my life. 
In addition,  my brothers would always say to me when we were young that I was "socially inadequate." You see, I always fumbled with words. In my head I knew exactly what I wanted to say but it came out all mumble jumbled. It didn't help that my two older brothers made fun of me. These words have never left really even though I am not bitter and am a confident woman now. But I always struggled with self esteem issues in this area and never felt I was strong. I felt I never had anything of value to say. 
I was also always overshadowed by my two dearest friends I chummed around with all the time. They were the popular ones whom everyone seemed to listen to. 
Who knew... I WAS strong after all!  Even though some insecurities creep back into my soul at times, I know I DO have something of value to say! 
I look back over my life and not only see God's hand upon it, I see a strong, independent, smart, beautiful woman who loved life to the fullest and was always up for adventures. No where was she socially inadequate and no where did her voice need to be silenced. 
I cannot believe I moved to a totally new city, far from home, knowing no one and formed a new life for myself. I cannot believe I lived in Sweden for a year. I cannot believe I travelled the world-well part of our world-on my own. I cannot believe I backpacked across Europe experiencing incredible adventures. I cannot believe I made it across a zip line ropes course at camp as an adult. I cannot believe I survived the worst year and a half of my life living through my loved one's mental health challenges. I cannot believe I had the courage to leave a toxic church and find peace in my new parish. 
Who knew I was strong. I AM strong. I am proud. I am proud I inherited this strength from my Grandmothers.
Who knew I WAS socially adequate. I AM socially adequate.
 Who knew I had a voice. I HAVE an important voice.
Look out world! God is not finished with me yet. More adventures await. Never stop exploring. Never stop using your voice. Stop believing the lies and believe the truth. Strong after all! 

The title of my book would be:-  "Oh squiggly line, it's alright- you are forgiven" 
This line derives from one of my favourite quotes of all time. Although this title does not seem spiritually deep, in my opinion it is. In the same way, if someone were to judge me, I would not strike them as being spiritually deep & I love to keep this hidden. So firstly, this title teaches not to judge. In this title, there is so much spirituality; for example the squiggly line represents the imperfections that we may have. It reminds us of our human nature and that we are bound to make mistakes. Secondly it illustrates the aspect of forgiveness that we all crave when we make mistakes. Finally it shows our aspect of love; our loving nature when we say "it's alright" makes us beautiful. All I wish in life is for forgiveness, love and acceptance. This quote sums this up in the weirdest way possible and I love it! If your mind is boggled after reading this then I know I have chosen the right title name. Thanks! 

“An unexpected journey” - WHY? I would never have foresaw the places, jobs, faith and change - impact on total life. Moving from home patch, Young Offenders, Inner City ….. As a teenager leaving school I would never imagined my life ahead. Decisions made in faith, for faith and love.
No Name

“Not for the faint hearted…” (taken me a lot of brain racking for that - all I can think of!” 
Life for many is not a “walk in the park”. First ever memory was hiding in the wardrobe with my teddy bear to hide from my mother’s anger & violence. Children at age of 4/5 think if they hide away then no one will find them? It’s hard to discover you will never really be safe again. The beatings come thick and fast and you don’t know why. So you blame yourself and believe that you did something wrong but you just do not know what it is. You are so frightened that you have bad dreams of the bogey man coming for a very naughty, bad child. You run for all you are worth and end up in the street in your pyjamas and the front door shuts behind you! You bang on a neighbour’s door calling for help. She wakes up and takes you home. All the anger and abuse start again. You finally go to sleep very deeply, too deeply and wet the bed. Taken to the doctors and your mum is told: “she is lazy and cannot be bothered to get up in the night.” You protest your innocence but no one listens. So the beating starts again due to your “lies”. You begin to grow up in total & absolute fear. When will the next blow come? When will it end. My dad works from 7am to 8pm and doesn’t see what is going on. Is persuaded by mum that I have been bad AGAIN. So I get smacked again with the back of brush. It’s not the beating that leaves me so upset but not being believed, even by my dad. “Please help me God. Can you hear me? Miss Brown at Sunday School says you can hear me! Please help me. How can I stop my mum from drinking and beating me? What did I do that was so wrong? Why am I such a horrible little girl?” 
Then one night mum comes in at 2am drunk again. Shouting at me and dragging me out of bed. I want to go to sleep but there is smell of alcohol and lots of shouting. Neighbour comes to my rescue and hits my mum. My mum goes quiet and leaves the house. Don’t hear from her again for over three years. Accept for a beautiful dress with a velvet bolero which I refuse to wear in case it means she can come and take me away with her. Cuddle my teddy for comfort. 
Life becomes quiet and I don’t have to hide anymore but I still have nights when the bogeyman comes to get me because I have been naughty again and I continue to try and escape. I still wet the bed but my dad doesn’t tell me off anymore. I don’t understand why? He doesn’t tell me. 
I am seven now! Dad takes me swimming and to Southend and Battersea Park on all the roundabouts and I laugh and laugh and laugh. We go to the pictures every Saturday after my dad asks his usual question: Do you want a toy from Woolworths or go to the pictures? I choose the pictures every time as I love being with my dad. 
My dad comes home from work at 7pm on the dot but tonight he’s late and I’m scared, really scared. I cry and cry for him to come home and plead with God to take my life and not his because I’m scared to lose him. I panic and run down the street and then he turns the corner and I wipe my tears on my dress so he doesn’t see. I never tell him how scared I am that I might do something that will make him leave. 
I become daring do scared of nothing tomboy. I learn to stick up for myself. So small but still pack a punch. Take on anyone anytime. "Don’t say anything bad about my dad or you’re for it.” I see a film with my dad called “Francis of Assisi” and life is never the same again for me. Want to be like Francis caring for people and animals forever and ever. 

What a good question...I think my story will be called, "It's Complicated" because all of the important things in my life have been complicated. I'm drawn to complexity and paradox, especially in people. Also, quite a few people in my life have recently told me how complicated I am and how they struggle with this. It's something I'm not sure how to feel about when they say that...I feel a bit like a problem. But there are aspects of complexity that create and appreciate a beauty that many are not lucky enough to perceive or understand and I feel grateful for that. Equally, much of that comes from from painful places, which is hard to deal with, but always moves you forward and creates new paths and spaces. I love my complexity and that of those I'm drawn to...sometimes it burns me and sometimes it freezes me out, but I wouldn't want to be without it. Pain and damage create the space in which new understandings and meanings can emerge...possibility, learning. I like possibility, I like learning. It keeps me moving and searching.

This is actually the easiest question so far for me
As I have often said in various settings
When I write my book:
“How not to live your life (my life story)”
I will include a chapter on…..”How not to run a company”;
“When not to put up a tent…”, “How not to be a police officer”, etc
I would use my self-deprecating humour 
To provide a “how not to…” manual 
Not a look at me – a super hero – and follow my tips to success
Look at me a honest stumbling human being,
Who gets it wrong more times than right
But still knows he is alive
And wants others to rejoice in their mistakes and struggles
Where we are all honestly in it together
 Beauty Humour Personality: BHP Peace and Hope,

1. I want the title of my book to be "I'm Happy Most of the Time."
2. It hasn't been easy being a gay high school teacher in America's deep South for the past 30 years. And even now, when gay rights in America have seen unprecedented advances, the South continues to be the very last to get on board. That said, I have one more year before I retire. 
I promised myself early on that I would never pretend to be straight, evoking phantom girlfriends in conversation, etc. Strictly speaking, lying consists of what you say. The elephant in my room was wondering how I would respond if a student asked me publicly and outright, "Are you gay?". My hypothetical solution? I planned to laugh it off with, "I'm happy most of the time," and then change the subject. 
I wouldn't want to risk a job I love with brutal honesty. I wouldn't want to snap, "That's none of your business!" and alienate students. I suppose I could have moved to a more tolerant part of the U.S. in which to teach, but then where would these kids get to know a teacher like me who chose not to risk my job, yet who didn't want to lie, either? I have a lot to offer. 
Three decades, and no student has asked The Question. When I'm out and about with my partner of 35 years and I run into former or current students (or colleagues), I introduce him as "my very best friend in the whole world." The truth. My students know that I detest bullying, bigotry, and homophobia.  I'm sure the talk among former and current students and colleagues is that I am, in fact, gay, and that's okay. We humans are a curious lot. But I hope that they all see, too, that I care about my job, my subject, and those with whom I interact.
Mine hasn't been a life of suppression or equivocation. Here at the end of my career, things are so much better in the profession for LGBT teachers and students, and I couldn't be more thrilled about that. I know that when former students think of me--no matter what they think--they cannot remember a man who lived a lie or who lived in fear. And for that, I AM happy ... most of the time.

This one took a while! 
On & off then on the path again.
44 years of my journey so far.
Track record in out of coming off and back on the rails, good support put me back on the right path a number of times!

Title of my book:
'Just because your wings are broken, it doesn’t mean you can’t fly!'
To me, this title means that whatever happens to us in life, it doesn’t need to limit us! There are often times, certainly in my life, that I thought I could never repair the damage, or reach any further than the life circumstances I found myself in. But then I realised that you just have to learn a different way or try a new method. Just because life can deal you some s**t, that doesn’t mean it has to limit you forever, and just because your bruised, broken or tossed aside, you don’t need to live under limited expectations. We are all born with an ability to fly, to succeed, to do good, to see the world from an amazing viewpoint, and you can still do so with broken wings, you just have to adapt your flying technique! 
I would use my life story to try and bring hope to others that their possibilities are still there, that dreams can still happen, and they can still reach heights they never thought they still could. Well, that’s my hope anyway!!