Healing is Hard

I am in a slump, spiralling down into the hole.

The difference this time is that I am mindful and have been mindful and am doing what I need to do.

I could feel and see it coming. I was tired, like soul tired; I had nothing left to give. I became impatient. It was harder to stay in balance. I just wanted to hide away. I got sick and couldn’t shake it. I had no patience for other people who’s experiences are mirroring mine – no one likes a mirror on a bad day.

I started to self care. I cancelled appointments, but I explained why. I have said no. I have been careful to not over commit. I have had a lot of silence. I have been really honest with myself about where I am at.

I know this transition is temporary. I know my body, mind and spirit need time out to process all of the changes I have made to my life in the last twelve months. I need to process who this new identity is. And I need time to really love her, for all that she is. She’s pretty darn amazing and quite a beautiful person. I’m happy to be her.

Massive growth right there.

I think when we’ve experienced trauma (and I did this for more years than I can count and feel blessed that people have stayed with me), it is easy to feel like the world owes us something. It is easy to blame other people for not getting it and for not trying to get it.

The impact of trauma really changes the way your brain is wired. A traumatised brain doesn’t see the world the way a healthy brain does. Everything is personal – everything. It is a horrible way to live. It keeps you victimised. It doesn’t permit happiness or stability.

During my tapping class last night, I was triggered by what we were doing – playing it small in life. I had a flashback to a moment in childhood. The word uncertainty kept popping into my head.

I was uncertain I would be safe, uncertain I would be cared for, uncertain that I would be okay.

I was safe, I was taken care of and I was okay in this moment.

However, that loss of certainty because of the trauma I endured has lead my life. It has kept me small – the what if question was always framed negatively. Now, I am rewriting it positively. Or need to.

Because I am not that child anymore. I am a strong, resilient, empowered woman with a strong voice and a massive heart who doesn’t tolerate bullshit.

As children, we didn’t have choice, or control, or the knowledge that we were going to be okay.

As adults, we do. As adults, we create our lives through our choices.

I think it is easier to stay where you are safe, as a victim living in the trauma, but it keeps you small and none of us were destined to be small.

As adults, we can change what we aren’t happy with. We can move through and alter patterns. We can own our own shit. And we need to. If you aren’t happy, be honest with yourself, step out of the victim mentality, and own your healing.

Empower yourself.

You are worth that effort.

Unsettled

This doesn’t happen often anymore very much at all. I’m going to own it though now that it has happened.

I’ve woken up with a head heavy with swirling thoughts. I think one of my friends sensed the downward spiral starting yesterday because they randomly asked if I were okay.

I was – mostly – I have been sick and have pushed through except for Tuesday when I cancelled all of the clients I remembered (a sign in itself) and slept through the afternoon.

I’m exhausted. It’s been a big start to the year and feels like December already. The term is almost done, and I decided to write the bloody trauma book lol. It triggered my process last week. This week the process has triggered something.

I dreamed of sexual abuse last night. I can’t remember the dreams. I was not the abused. I feel that. Meh.

I knew the book would be difficult to write. And I know I’ll be okay. I’ll work through whatever this is.

I have already stood on the grass to ground myself. I’m going to do some body groove and I’m going to do a grounding mantra I learned at yoga yesterday.

Once my brain is ready to release whatever emotion it is processing, I’ll work through that too.

Childhood trauma is the gift that keeps giving. Like IVF lol.

Memories, feelings, stuff can come up at any time and knock you. And that’s okay when you have a self-care strategy. I do – years in the making to deal with these times. I won’t slide deep. I know what to do. And I’ll take the time I need to do it by saying no more often.

I’ve got this. You’ve got this. We’ve all got this.

One Choice After Another

One March 1, I started a food program to improve my physical health.

For years, I have been healing the emotional and the psychological aspects of myself, and consolidating and extending the intellectual.

I felt last December that it was time to embrace the physical wellness aspect of myself. I had already worked on loving my body as it was. Embracing all it can and has done for me throughout my life, and just generally being grateful for and to it.

I ordered the Isagenix program the week leading up to the 1st March and was ready to start.

I’m not advocating Isagenix for everyone; I’m sharing my story. I am well aware that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I am advocating for it for me.

A few years ago I looked into the bariatric surgery. It didn’t feel right for me because I believed I needed to work through the reasons I was holding onto my weight or no method would be successful for me. I didn’t just want to lose weight, I wanted to empower holistic health for myself. Hence, starting the process of living my body and expressing gratitude towards it.

Initially, because of the bad press around Isagenix, I felt ashamed of my choice. I felt judgement – this is my perception, and I think it existed because of my old fears of not pleasing people and low feelings of self-worth – and was reluctant to voice my choice.

I am losing weight. But I’m not obsessed about it. This is a marathon and not a sprint. I’ve never felt that way before. The program has also just slipped into my life – fairly easily.

The benefits for me though, extend beyond weight loss. I feel empowered. Truly empowered.

At first, I had more energy. I live a busy life. Energy is great. I felt like I had control over what I put into my mouth and how much I put into my mouth. I’ve become very mindful about my food choices.

I also organised an appointment with my nutritionist, Michelle from Eat to Treat Nutrition. Her aim is to get me off relying on a food program and being knowledgable enough to do the same thing with natural foods, ensuring sound nutritional balance from natural foods. At the moment, she has advised me about good combinations and small changes I can make to ensure that as a vegetarian, I’m getting enough fats etc.

My blood pressure has become relatively normal and amazing for me. I’m sure this is the loss of teaching too and really loving what I’m doing these days.

A couple of weeks ago, I became excited about exercise. I’ve tried to get to a group PT session, but first rain and then illness stifled those plans. Signs from the universe maybe. I am going to Pilates once a week and yoga weekly. And now I’ve discovered Body Groove.

I love dancing, but I’m not a dancer. I have no coordination in following routines – it isn’t organic for my body. But Body Groove seems to work. I love Misty Tripoli and her methods. More than that, I’m getting up, and willingly and easily, doing it. I think I’ve found my groove. Lol – strength (Pilates), fluidity and consciousness (yoga) and now cardio.

Also, when people say to me I look like I’m losing weight, I don’t freak out. A very short time ago, comments would have sent me straight to emotional eating. Not anymore. I’m also resisting cravings. I stop and really think about what it offers me. I haven’t been drawn into a craving yet, close but not filled. I just don’t want to pollute my body. I don’t feel the need to.

I was ready to do this. Isagenix provides a tool that compliments my time poor lifestyle. It is enabling me to make better choices in moving towards all I can be. My mindset and relationship with food is transforming and becoming much healthier.

This too, is a journey. And it is a journey I was ready to take.

I think with emotional weight gain, you need to work on loving yourself and your body before you can lose weight and keep it off. I think that’s something our society doesn’t get.

Meh … my thoughts. I’m happy. I’m on the road to healthy. I’m not feeling shame. I accept I’ve always lived my life my way and I just ain’t normal. Whatever that is 😉

To Speak or Not To Speak – that is the question.

When I was younger, I stood up all of the time and spoke out whenever I perceived something was wrong or unjust.

I got burned – a lot. I was often standing and fighting on my own. So, as I’ve aged, I have carefully worked out which battles are worth fighting, and as a result, I don’t fight as much.

I’m not happy with this.

I’m in transition at the moment and I’m not quite sure where I’m going to land. The universe keeps giving me opportunities to work myself out, rediscover and rebuild myself.

Yesterday, a woman I greatly respect, reminded me who I used to be. It’s been on my mind since. I woke up thinking about, and reflecting on it, this morning.

At a polling booth, a man from an opposing group, whilst handing out, in public, made a comment that Liberal women are the “best roots”.

My friend was angered by her perception of his disrespect to the mixed company and the public (voters). When I arrived to hand out, she mentioned what happened several times. She needed to do something about it.

She was advised to speak to the Booth Organiser inside. She did. He came out with her to speak to the man responsible for the comments.

You know, all he needed to do was acknowledge that his comment was disrespectful to women and inappropriate in the company he was in, and it would have been over.

Being the person he is, he didn’t. He kept it going.

My friend became very angry. My friend became my younger self.

I tried to calm her down.

And, this is the interesting part for me, I’m not sure I should have done that.

I’m not sure I shouldn’t have turned around and stood with her.

He was clearly in the wrong, and he was, quite clearly, an arrogant dickhead.

The socially acceptable version of myself understands that we were representing a candidate and not ourselves, that nothing would be gained by taking on a dickhead, that it wasn’t worth the fight.

However, we also need to call out poor behaviour. My friend did, and she stood by her calling out of his poor behaviour.

Was she naive to think it would change something, change his perception, or was she just being plain hopeful and trusting that people would correct their ways when poor behaviour is pointed out.

Regardless, I’m proud of her for standing in her truth. It took courage to speak up, and then to stand by that.

Not only that, upon reflection, when she held her ground outside, the Booth Organiser from the Electoral Commission, turned on her and attempted to put her in her place, and I think he did this because she was a woman. Because we were all women.

The moronic guy kept making comments. Not in front of my friend – she had fairly cuckolded him. I warned him at least three times after that to pull his head in and he made comments about me. I, too, stood my ground and told him he was disrespectful and an idiot. His Booth Captain supported me in it.

He became cowardly in her presence, choosing to make sideways comments out of her ear shot.

Two different ways.

I like her’s more. There was passion and integrity. Calling out every idiot in the world takes time and energy and requires putting yourself in the firing line.

I think I prefer how that feels.

I’m proud of her. The jury is out on me.

I know I did what I had to do. I know that politically we need to play things a certain way. But I think I’ve become too politically minded, and that means playing it safe and only disrupting the apple cart sometimes. And I don’t think I like it.

I’m working out who I am and who I want to be and whether they are the same thing. Massive time of transition.

Grateful for it.

A Healthy Ego v Arrogance

I was chatting to one of my sister tribe this morning. I’ve said a hundred times before that whilst I was a teacher, I became used to keeping myself small. I was safe there, being small, working within the parameters I was given by an institution. It suited me to not expect very much from myself. I was scared of so much.

It took me fifteen years to acknowledge to myself and then to others that I was an amazing teacher. I still am.

I build amazing relationships with my students and I work from a place of love. And, I myself, am a lifelong learner. Education is holistic – it involves significantly more than delivering content and enabling skills.

I am now developing into an amazing business woman, but I am a work in progress and wouldn’t have come this far in my businesses without the help of four women specifically ~ Karyn, Donna, Mai Mai and Michelle.

And then, wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and extended family ~ people who love me and support me through the every day. I may not see them often, definitely not as much as I want to, but they are in my heart every day and I know they are in my corner which enables me to keep moving forward.

I am humble in my arrogance. Hehe. And I will never allow myself to be small again.

In our society, as women, we believe (are taught) that to stand in our truth, the truth of who we are, and express what we are good at, what we have achieved, what we can achieve, what we have done, is wrong.

It isn’t.

There is a distinct difference between a healthy ego and arrogance.

We should be able to speak our truth. We should be encouraged to speak our truth. We should stand proud when we speak our truth.

I’ve worked fucking hard in my life and on myself to be the strong resilient woman that I am. I have had very low lows and some amazing highs. I’ve lived a full life of extremes and of balance. I’ve weathered storms and basked in sunlight. I’ve had it all. I’m proud of myself.

Every day, I wake up, blessed (and bloody tired lol) and ready to serve. Every day, I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am. Every day, I take steps towards achieving the life I want to live, and every day, I live the life I want to live.

I own this. I own me.

If you call me arrogant, I ask you to look within yourself and ask where that need to judge comes from. If you think you shouldn’t own the best in you, ask who is keeping you small and who that serves.

Me being amazing does not diminish your amazing-ness. There is enough light in this world for us all to shine.

Today, mentally, vocally, in writing, List the qualities, the things, that make you amazing. And then, stand proud in your truth.

We are phenomenal people.

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Massive Week of Processing

Ohhhhhhh what a week it has been.

I know that we have to wait to see the results of the George Pell appeal yada yada, but meh.

For me, our society has moved forward from when I was growing up forty years ago, but it hasn’t really come forward enough in ways that count.

Lip service and token gestures. Even with the Me Too movement, it appears that victims/survivors/victors of sexual abuse and sexual assaults are still not regarded as worthy humans in our legal system or in broader society.

The fight continues, and I will more actively continue the fight. Just working out how …

Then, Christchurch. I’m still feeling the force of it. I cannot fathom the evil that resides in the hearts of human beings.

The shining light in all of this is the compassionate and highly intelligent leadership of Jacinda Ardern. Role modelling for a peaceful world where people are included unless they are evil.

I choose love and I choose peace and I choose inclusion.

We do not have a leader like her in Australia … yet. We vote in NSW on Saturday. We vote as a country in a couple of months.

Our vote counts. It’s important to know exactly who you are voting for in your electorate, and what they represent. If their values aren’t synonymous with yours, irrespective of party, don’t waste your vote.

On Saturday, I’m voting for our local independent. The first time I haven’t voted for a major party. I’m done. None of the three parties represents me anymore. Time to change.

Our local independent (Wollondilly) may not be perfect (who is), but she truly cares about the local area. You can hear it when she talks. She might not always make the right decisions for my liking, but she comes closest out of my available choices.

I have a clear conscience in voting for her and working on a booth for her and scrutinizing for her. I implore you, do your local research.

Massive time of processing for me … not sure where I’m heading really, but I’m on my way.

Losing Myself

I think one of the hardest parts of the losing weight/returning to wellness journey is the continual inner battle with yourself.

I want to be well. Inside and out. As a healer, I feel that I need to walk the talk. It’s okay to be a work in progress, but imperative to be doing the work.

Like my dreads, my weight, in some ways, is part of who I am. It’s been so long since I was at a healthy or near healthy weight, and even when I was, I didn’t think or know that I was. My inner narrative has always been that I am fat, ugly and undeserving of love. In fact, it has only been in the last two and a half years that I have started to rewrite that narrative.

Now, I’m fat, beautiful and worthy of all that is good. I chuckle to myself.

A few years ago I looked into the bariatric surgery which has been so successful for so many. I almost had it done. But something wasn’t ready within me. For surgery, it still isn’t.

I feel that my weight is baggage I am holding on to and to be well, I need to sort through and heal the baggage. Maybe that’s just another story I tell myself, I don’t know. But I believe it.

So, on the first of March, I started a new eating plan. I’m time poor and ignorant about food and portion sizes and all of that sort of stuff beyond a superficial level. I’m using a meal replacement system that is a whole system, including snacks. I’m carrying a bit of fear of judgement for this, but I’m doing what I need to do to return to physical wellness.

People say it’s easy. Just eat healthy foods. Exercise. It’s not easy though or no one would be fat. Not easy when you don’t know what healthy looks like and feels like, and not when your weight is attached to trauma.

I can’t just eat healthy because I don’t now what that is or what it looks like. I mean, for the most part, I thought I did eat healthily. I’m vegetarian and I don’t eat much crap. Meh.

My whole life I’ve been scared of being seen and noticed and adored. It’s happened anyway, and to rebel against it rather than confronting my true self head on, I kept myself small (ironically) by not living my best life and being shackled by unspoken fear.

I stayed in a job that minimised me and never embraced my talents or abilities. Staying in that job exhausted me. I didn’t make time for friends or love. I didn’t make time to be normal. I think my whole life I’ve been searching for wellness and belonging.

It’s hard to belong with others when you don’t belong to yourself. And it’s hard to belong, wholly, to yourself, when your weight is unhealthy. For me, my unhealthy weight is symbolic of a pain, a hurt, that runs deep. I’m trying to unpack that hurt as I journey.

Expressing and owning the reality of the journey is a massive part of that. This is the my first step to owning I have a problem, unresolved hurts, and work to do. My weight is just a symptom.

Pell Take 2 🥵

Aaaargggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

Getting the anger out yesterday helped.

We know I’m into acknowledging the benefits and drawbacks in every situation to maintain balance. I did that yesterday too. It empowered me to enjoy the day. And it gave me space to process.

The triggering I felt yesterday wasn’t about my abuse situation – I’m grateful for that journey in its entirety. What triggered me is that in this society, as much as we’ve seemingly moved forward, we haven’t really at all. Well, in a minuscule way. And, yes, it’s better than nothing.

I guess, until the patriarchal power structures change, we will continue to fall into the same sort of patterns.

It’s like in Child Protection – referring is mandatory, but the legislation stops there. Report, but no, there’s no real support for the mandatory reporter or the child who shares their story. You guys just do what you have to do.

If we were serious, really serious, about changing this culture and healing the children, men and women who have become prey to it, we would focus on rebuilding social attitudes, and ensuring help and real support for those who need it – perpetrator and victim.

Instead, we have a situation where a judge acknowledges the barbaric and self-serving acts of an official of the Catholic Church, acknowledges the short and long term impact for the victim who did not die from a drug overdose (the other did), acknowledges the lack of remorse from the official, and with the potential for a fifty year sentence, orders 6 with a non-parole period of 3 years and 8 months.

Because the perpetrator should not have to die in prison and has health concerns and has been vilified in the media. FFS.

Balance, Tina, and breathe. Fucking ridiculous.

So, where is the benefit?

In the outrage. Palpable outrage that people from all walks felt yesterday. From the outrage, change will come. From the outrage, healing will happen. From the outrage, people will unite and a community will be borne.

Yes, the outrage will start conversations – uncomfortable and challenging – but conversations that will spur movements and that, inevitably, will trigger the cultural shift in attitude that we need.

F’ing George Pell

I am massively triggered.

George Pell’s sentence is 3 years 8 months non-parole period for five counts of sexual abuse.

Justice Kidd spoke for an hour or so to justify this piece of bullshit. At any rate, Pell should have got the maximum.

Six years and he still maintains he is innocent, so no remorse shown. One victim dead from an overdose and the other living a life sentence, having to reconstruct and rebuild his life.

How on earth are kids and adults supposed to feel that they can trust the justice system and disclose sexual abuse when this is the punishment that is meted out.

What the fuck is going on with this world.