Stories About Life
Cleaning Up Your Act
Introduction To The Story Collection
The Minnie Kerchevsky Stories
Real wisdom can often be found in the most unlikely places....not from teachers, coaches, professors and so on, but from ordinary people who have their own life experiences to draw on to help others.
Cleaning Up Your Act is a collection of the stories of one of these very special people.........
Minnie Kerchevsky is a so-called ‘ordinary woman’, a cleaner, a 'daily', with no pretensions, no super-ego….just a desire to make things better in any way she can; helping those around her to “clean up their acts” in her own unique and heart-warming way!.Minnie believes that what stops us being happy is thinking we don’t have choices - and that feel-good is a state of mind we can always choose to be in!
So in ‘Cleaning Up Your Act’, we gradually learn about Minnie’s own life and events - and how she dealt with challenges and learned how to see raindrops as sunbeams in disguise! - interwoven through the stories she shares about the people she impacts with the homespun wisdom that is the essence of who and how she is, because of who and how she has been.
Cleaning Up Your Act - Part 1
You mis - heard my name - I'm not Millie...I'm Minnie - Minnie Kerchevsky. When I was born they called me Miriam; but I was so puny, they didn't think I'd survive! So they gave me a new name to give me a new life…..and Mum said as I was so small they'd call me Minnie instead!
I think that's what I do, in a funny kind of way, cleaning all these people's homes and offices...... it's like I'm giving them a fresh identity, a new way of living. Listen to me already.........! But you know something even crazier? ,
I also sometimes think there's a part of me, deep inside, who is still Miriam ..........and that maybe we're all really all the different parts of us we might have been, and can still be if we want to........but what do I know? I'm just a cleaner from Clapton.......!
You know Clapton? Used to be a poor but respectable part of London……. But now? Well, you should see the price of the houses! I don’t know if that’s about how the value of property has gone up, or how the value of money has gone down! Both probably……I’ve found that life is not very often about “either or”, it’s mostly about ” and”, isn’t it?. All I know is, Sarah Jane, my daughter, can’t afford anywhere round here: she’s moved out to Watford……….and that’s not exactly cheap, is it? But that’s another story.
So yes - as I was saying, I’m Minnie: I’m sixty-eight, a bit overweight (so the new name all those years ago really worked!), and I clean to earn some extra money….no, that’s not the whole of it – I do need the money, sure…..but also I actually enjoy what I do! And not many people nowadays can honestly say that, can they? Which is sad really……
But also funny …..a nice Jewish girl who loves housework! When my mother’s biggest dream was to be able to afford someone who came in to clean for her! And what happened? Eventually the time came when she could afford it…..and you know what? Every Friday morning, for an hour before Gladys the cleaner arrived, my mother would go round the place furiously tidying, dusting
“I don’t want she should think we live like pigs!”, Mum would exclaim!
But I love making things clean, sorting out a mess; I like everything in its place. Because then my head feels tidier inside as well. Of course that’s not how I was brought up….I mean, Mum tried her best…….but with two of them and three kids in a council flat it wasn’t easy for her. I sometimes think that’s why I’m like I am. I mean, it’s just the natural way of things, isn’t it? We start off doing what they do, talking like they do, being little copies of the grown-ups round us; then we go through what Mum used to call ”a phase” - we do the exact opposite!
And then we seem to strike a balance somewhere between the two extremes - like them, but not, different but not. And maybe that’s when we’re most ourselves. Course, then as we get older, we start to get more like them again……..! The number of times lately I’ve found myself saying or doing something, and I’ve thought
“Oh my God - I’m turning into my mother!” Funny really………
But you know, secretly I find it’s sort of comforting as well: because I like to see patterns in things, in life. I always think it makes the world seem more….more…intentional somehow. Yes, that’s definitely the word - intentional. Like there really is order, and not chaos. That someone or something somewhere had a plan, that things don’t just happen. And it’s just that because we’re so caught up in our tiny part of this pattern, we can’t see the whole thing.
Do you know, it’s just dawned on me, telling you that………..maybe that’s another reason I love cleaning other people’s places - because I’m not caught up emotionally in their chaos! I can stand back, see what the big pattern is - how their office, or kitchen, or whatever, is meant to look, and then get on with sorting it out!
And maybe that’s the secret of how I deal with any kind of mess in life……… maybe I ‘step back’ from it for a minute, and I imagine I’m standing on the moon, looking down at it: and then all the feelings inside me seem to change! It’s like stepping out of who I am, and seeing what a small part of the pattern it really is……….and then I can go in and clean up the mess, just like it was someone else’s!
But what do I know? I would think that, wouldn’t I…… a cleaner from Clapton?
SO WHAT’S YOUR GUT FEELING ABOUT INTUITION?
I do hope you’re not feeling gutted about that question…….! But now ask yourself……how many times have you - have each of us - made decisions that went against all apparent logic, facts, and reasoning - and which nearly always turned out to be right! - based simply on what we called our ‘intuition’? We just had a feeling so strong it outweighed what the Conscious, left-brained, part of our mind told us “made sense”, in favour of what our Unconscious, right-brained, mind just ‘knew’ “made sensES!”
In other words, we “went with our intuition”, right?
And this is centred in the creative Unconscious mind, which had tuned - ie made congruent - all our five senses, and created out of this sensory congruence a sixth sense, intuition; which is almost literally, learning from - TUITION - what is INside us!
And when we remember how it has variously been described throughout time, we realise that it actually IS inside……. not just our minds, but our bodies too! Listen to the language we use - we talk about having a “gut feeling” about things, which is an intuition an emotional reaction, which is also frequently felt in the abdominal area, a “feeling in the pit of my stomach”.
Throughout history, this physical area, the gut, belly, stomach, NOT the heart, was considered to be the centre of our emotions …….. for example, think about Queen Elizabeth the First’s famous speech to her troops
“Although I have the weak and feeble body of a woman, I have the mind and stomach of a king…….”
Meaning she had the emotions, courage, and instincts of her royal father and forefathers.
Or think about how many times we ourselves have talked of “not having the stomach” for something facing us, meaning some inner wisdom, a sixth sense - IN - tuition - was telling us - from experience - that whatever we were contemplating “didn’t feel right”. Again, a feeling, an Unconscious-based emotion.
But oh, how often have we ignored this, done the logical thing, seen it go pear-shaped, and then said those immortal words
“If only I’d listened to my instincts…..!”
Instinct,or intuition, or gut feeling, is all part of the most ancient self-preservation process hard-wired into us. From pre-history, when we were hunter – gatherers for whom survival was ‘ kill and eat’ or ‘be killed and eaten’, we learned that the Conscious, logical, mind was too slow to rely on in dangerous situations. It had only short-term memory, whereas our Unconscious, intuitive, mind stored all our long-term memories and experiences, and had all these to call on to know how best to immediately respond to any threat…….. and it also works VERY fast, as long as our Conscious mind can be distracted and doesn’t keep butting in!
So we developed the ability, when faced with any real or perceived ‘fight or flight’ situations, to ‘block’ the link to our neo-cortex, our logical mind, and trust the instant reactions of our Unconscious…………which instantly sends all the blood to muscles needed to fight or run away; and also pumps adrenalin into our system to speed up our responses. This also goes to our stomach and bowels to empty them , thus making us lighter and therefore faster!
Isn’t that brilliant?
Still today we get a ‘gut feeling;, or feel ‘sick to the stomach’…….. even when it’s not a man-eating tiger facing us, but stage-fright, it’s the same process working. And we get a physical response to an emotion - a ‘lump in the throat’, or in the chest, as a feeling starts in our stomach or belly area and moves up through us…………. because an emotion is just that - e = energy, and motion = movement!
And as emotions are the expression of whether our values are being honoured or violated, they are how we respond to how what is important to us is being treated, by ourselves and by others.
And just as adrenalin pumps through us to speed up our reactions, giving us the ‘stomach’ instinctively, to fight or run, so the positive emotions work in a similar way……..to heal ourselves, to feel good, we need endorphins: and what is it that triggers the greatest number of these endorphins to flow into us………? That’s right - when we have a good old ‘belly’-laugh..!!
So whether this all makes sense to you or not doesn’t matter……… as long as it ‘makes senses’ - just trust your intuition to decide!
The Ten Commandments obviously did NOT originate from God. Because an all-knowing God, who had created Mankind, would have known that the minds of his created creatures cannot compute the negative. So He’d NEVER have come up with a whole catalogue of “Thou shalt not’s”!
“Every truth starts out being derided
Then it’s attacked
And then it becomes self-evident!”
So it is with dreams. It is difficult enough when the world scorns our dream, and attacks it - so what point is there in also doing it to ourselves, to our own dream?
Listen to your inner voice……… is it telling you what you CAN do to realise your goal, or what you CAN’T do? Even if it IS ‘away from’, still thank it - because there is a positive intention for you behind it. However, that might now be better achieved by changing the language.
Sabotaging your dream is like being untrue to yourself, because it means that your Conscious and Unconscious are incongruent with each other.
Your dream needs agreement between all parts of you, all your Inner team members: let it have air to breathe, room to grow; like a plant, talk to it and encourage it to be.
And it will………… and it will become your own self-evident reality!
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT TIME
‘Living on borrowed time’. Who lent it?
‘Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it’. Condemned? As far as NLP is concerned, our Unconscious remembers everything we’ve ever experienced, and can use it all as resources.
Do we live longer if we slow down?
In the car, when fuel is running low, do you slow down to conserve it, or speed up, to get to your destination before it runs out?
Does it serve you well to believe that time is like bathwater - the nearer it gets to empty the faster it runs away?
Living in the past may give us a dissociated sense of perspective.
Living in the future possibly gives us a dissociated sense of adventure.
Living in the now gives us an associated sense of being who we are.
From ‘CAN DO’ to ‘CAN DID’……..!
In today’s economic climate, we all have to do more with less, and so we’re told that there’s a real and imperative need for a ‘can do’ attitude. Yet one of the most powerful secrets of business success is not just a ‘can do’ attitude, but an ability to ‘live’ your goals backwards. – in other words, to have a ‘can did!’ attitude instead…… and the ability to action it!
So here’s the secret of how to do this:-
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TLC…… THE TENDER LOVING CARE OF TEACHING, LEARNING, AND THE CHILD.
When I was a child, there were two constants in my life….I loved learning; and I hated school. The two were apparently incompatible – with a couple of notable exceptions.
In my Primary school it was George Breeze, the music teacher. The first time I had a lesson with him I sat reluctantly at the piano, waiting for instructions, Instruction! But he simply asked me what I wanted from music, and what it would be like when I got it. Sharing that with Mr Breeze crystallised it in my own head, and also made me feel comfortable…..in rapport with myself as well as with him.
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© NEW OCEANS 2012