Buying A New Car

When I bought my last car four years ago, I hoped that it would eventually transport my children. So, I bought my dream car, a big car. One thing after another, organizing my life and my finances to ensure smoother sailing for my business, and it’s time to buy a new car. 

And I’m downsizing. By choice. Reprioritising my material possessions. 

I won’t have children so I’m buying a smaller car. Realistically, it’s usually just me in my car, and then Max, my dog. My fur family. And yes, very much my child substitute lol. 

A friend subtly pointed out yesterday that I’m letting go of two dreams with the purchase of the new car. Yes, yes I am. 

My dream car was not all I dreamed it would be, and my dream of being a birth mother is further in the rear view mirror. 

And you know, I’m okay with it. Not one tear shed. And no real pain felt. In a week where anxiety has been high, and a good friend gave birth, I am okay. 

I am in a place of acceptance that those were not to be my life path or choices this time around. I’m not here for better things, but different things. I joked with a different friend yesterday how I sometimes think I experience so much to be able to better empathise with others. And surely, this will help my business to grow. Here’s to hope lol. 

So, I should pick up my new car within ten days, and thus begin a new chapter in my life. 

Tina, the teacher and the healer. 

Go me. 

But what a release to feel me moving beyond the stigma I created in my head about childlessness, moving towards freedom and new growth in a completely different direction. Maybe my business is my birth child, raised and grown to service others, as well as nurture myself. 

As Diane Lane’s character in Under the Tuscan Sun discovers, sometimes our dreams come to us in unexpected ways.

❤️

Gratitude

The anxiety rollercoaster continues. But I can laugh at it. Today. 

Sometimes I think my life is a rollercoaster of events because I want to be able to understand and know everything, to be more empathetic. That is the result of this introspection and processing. I hope. 😉

It’s a positive reason for suffering: to learn, to grow, to become more resilient. 

One of my friends said that yesterday at work my face expressed that I was somewhere else. I did find it difficult to be present yesterday – in every moment. I did bring myself back as I realised I had drifted. The lack of control is difficult with anxiety. Maybe, the perception of lack of control. 

At any rate, it is difficult but not hopeless. I have taken control where I can. I am off work today. This is hard for me, assuaging the guilt that follows. But I was surrounded by people who told me, instructed me, dictated to me, that it was okay to put me first. And I trust and love these people, so they must be right. 

And I am grateful for that, and grateful for them. 

Amen. 

😃

  

Anxiety v Depression 

Hmmm … It isn’t a competition lol. The use of ‘v’ is hyperbole I think. However, I have been processing the differences between the two over the last little bit of time. 

As far as I can tell, the only real similarity is the impact both exert on your ability to function day to day. How it impacts is vastly different. From my experience. 

Prior to March I thought I understood anxiety, and I had been giving advice to sufferers like I understood it. I was so wrong. But I thought I understood it because I have suffered from depression in the past. I thought they were two sides of the same coin. But I haven’t experienced them that way. 

When I was depressed I didn’t feel sick. The anxiety is causing a sick belly for me most of the time (the last week was good but it’s back as return to work approaches). It forces me to second guess everything that I think, feel and say. Before, during and after. It is insane. And as a result, it is hard to commit to anything and everything. Even communicating with other people is too much. 

I am better than I was. Significantly. I can now believe that this is temporary and that it will pass. Then I will rebuild myself. I think committing to an alternate plan has helped with this, ie. removing the source of the anxiety from my life. My strategies are in place. And I am willing to put myself first and if something feels too much I am postponing it. 

Depression was different. I just wanted to die. I was able to function in public and in my roles but could only perform for short periods of time. And I had a desire to keep it hidden. And did, generally speaking. This might just be my experience though. I think everyone’s is different. 

What I understand about anxiety now is:

* as well intentioned as other people are, tough love does not work for anxious people. 

* very small steps are required and only in the sufferer’s time; rigid commitment is impossible. 

* suggestions are great, especially if they are strategic, but the sufferer only wants to hear them once, and will probably feel very vulnerable and incompetent as the strategies are given. 

* telling yourself it is a temporary situation does not alleviate any anxiety. The sufferer knows it is temporary. 

What has helped me work through it and be a little resilient over time:

* focusing on breath. 

* yoga. 

* meditation. 

* planning forward after some time. 

* time out. 

* not being there as much for other people, ie. putting myself first. 

* gratitude. 

* writing. 

Two different mental health experiences. Anxiety impacts life but I refuse to let it destroy my life long term. 

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

A horrible night of sleep. Bad dreams have returned and I just couldn’t stay asleep. Only two days of holiday time left. To look after myself, I am considering taking some leave. 

This is the healing way though. Moving backwards forces us to process events and process our growth. The continual to-ing and fro-ing eventually results in core balance. 

It’s okay. I’m okay. The anxiety is okay. But it is temporary. 

It was a significant turning point to realise the anxiety was serving to force me to move onto the path it is time for me to be on. I can’t let go of the fear that change brings but I can choose to not let it cripple me. 

That is my choice. 

I wish my life …

Could be soundtracked. From my earliest memories, music has always been a vital element in my life. Throughout my childhood, music was pivotal in providing escape from my reality, as pivotal as reading was. 

Writer. Folk musician. Teacher. 

My dream jobs. 

Whilst I have started to learn to play many instruments, I am not a natural musician and whilst my singing voice won’t make your ears bleed, it also won’t make your soul sing lol. 

Until recently, music also framed my drive to work and fueled my imagination. Anxiety – meh. Robbing your life of all that you know. However, it’s absence is temporary. 

My childhood years were dominated by The Seekers, Dusty Springfield, Elvis, Cher, Abba, The Beatles and Nana Mouskari. Obviously, my dad’s records were all I had access to. But it didn’t matter. 

Moving into adolescence, I was consumed by the radio and the Top 40. Enter Pseudo Echo, Kids in the Kitchen, Cindy Lauper, Uncanny X-Men, Spandau Ballet, Bananarama, Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Wham. Yep, enough said. 

The nineties and grunge. To this day, Pearl Jam are still my favourite. That will never change. Pearl Jam incited my activism, my writing, my teaching, my spirituality. Pearl Jam has sustained and supported me for well over twenty years now (thank you Andrew). And then there was Nirvana, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine, and anything else alternative. It was during this time that I also caught up to Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil and Queen. 

I love musicals. I have always loved musicals. They have been constant. A combination of story and music – nothing better in this world. 

But as time passes, my musical heroes are retiring or dying. The deaths of both Bowie and more recently, Prince, this year highlight the passage of time. We are all dying. The one guarantee that we have from the moment that we are born is that we shall also die. Our mortality is what makes us human. 

I am sure that every generation feels a nostalgia for their childhoods and time gone past. 

I wonder though, if this generation will be able to reflect on their childhoods with similar nostalgia. I’m not so sure that their musical idols will offer the lasting legacy that my childhood has. 

Music is one area, of many, that epitomise for me, the growing reality of Orwell’s proles. We are raising a generation that lacks depth and the ability to look beyond. And our musical heroes are dying. 

Hmmm. 

A Clearer Head 

A clean house. Washing done. Groceries done. Outdoor dining setting in garage waiting to be put together. High pressure hose borrowed. Just need the rain to stop. 

My belly is still rough. But my head has the power at the moment to overule it. I want the anxiety to be gone but I know that it won’t until the cause is resolved, and I am not in control of that. 

So, clean house, washing done, groceries done … You get the picture. I’m controlling what I can, acknowledging what I can’t and acknowledging how that makes me feel. 

I have started to plan forward, consistently now over the last few days, and I’m looking forward to other things outside of work. I’m also preparing myself psychologically to fight the inequities that I realise now exist in some of the policies and procedures that govern the lives of teachers. 

It’s been eight weeks now of anxiety every day. But time is giving me strength. Putting myself first is making me stronger. Making plans for my business and the backyard is making me stronger. Controlling consciously what I can is making me stronger. 

A Drive 

I have only sat outside in my backyard twice since moving in ten months ago. Abnormal. 

I started to question why. I also haven’t gardened much and recently, I am struggling to contact my lawn man to have it cut. It’s like I don’t care about it. Abnormal. 

So, before I moved I debated getting rid of my outdoor setting and buying a new one.  My backyard, and especially my covered area, is so much smaller here. I decided to bring the setting here and set it up out the back. I’ve cleaned it. I bought new cushions for it. I put solar lanterns up and my wind chimes. 

And I’ve sat out there twice. 

My sister introduced me to her outdoor setting, purchased on EBay. I looked. I found. I bought. 

Today I picked it up. Saturday I will assemble it. It’s perfect. 

I drove an hour each way to get it. I’ve stopped listening to music when I drive, preferring to absorb my environment and process. A beautiful run through the country today to get my new setting. I felt relaxed. Calm. Peaceful. 

This week I have felt more like myself. Still some anxiety but my personality has come back a little more strongly. I thought about why. 

1. Away from the cause of the anxiety. 

2. Controlling what I can control:- 

a. To Do list

b. When I go out 

c. Who I see

d. My home environment 

e. Organising to buy a new car

3. Realising the whispers are turning into roars and focusing on my business plan again; making a stronger commitment and devising a strategy forward. 

And I think this is key. I was ready to take back control of the things that I can control but had to be out of the environment of the anxiety for a good solid week before I was able to do that. 

I’m still feeling anxiety, especially in my tummy. But I feel like I have some control over my life and I’m starting to slay the fear. 

Interesting. And as a result, I don’t think I’m going to be ready to return to the source of anxiety on Tuesday. 

We’ll see. 

What clearer sign …

A real crossroads. I am absolutely dreading going back to work next week. So, I am thinking I won’t. 

I love being in my classroom and wielding magic but it isn’t enough anymore. 

I was talking about my business plan with different friends over the last three days. All very positive and supportive, and so I’m in a place where I can almost commit. 

It will be hard work and long hours, but the change in lifestyle will be worth it.

So, basically Akashic Healing will start as a counselling/coaching service. There will be a Writing to Heal workshop component. I am now formulating the course structure and price to participants. Setting the price is exceptionally difficult – how do you quantify your time and expertise whilst making a service affordable. Hehe. Hmmm. 

It’s going to be fun😳

45 Down 

Forty five years gone. But man, feeling so blessed to have lived them as intensely and as authentically as I have. 

There have been a lot of bad, even traumatic times. There have been infinitely more beautiful moments. This kid has done well for herself thus far. 

My life isn’t perfect, but it’s close. 

I have learned so much. And I have travelled. I have read. I have written. I have photographed. I have experienced. I have fucked up. I have succeeded. I have loved. I have been hurt. I have suffered. I have fought. I have won. I have lost. I have cried. I have screamed. I have felt. 

I have laughed. 

And I have laughed. And laughed some more. 

This birthday is a turning point. I feel it deep into my core. I will continue learning and suffering and everything else … But I will also be creating the life I yearn to live. 

I envision a business. A place people come to heal and to be whole. A safe place. A place that has a spirit that just keeps giving. 

I envision peace. And tranquility. And hope. And divine happiness. 

A New Week

I thought it was going to be cold and wet today. It isn’t. The sun is absolutely bright and when I opened my shutters this morning, a warm glow embraced my bedroom, and I smiled. 

I slept well. I woke once to Molly vomiting, cleaned it up, and straight back to sleep. For the first time in a long time, I have woken mostly refreshed. And I feel calm. Optimistic. Trusting. 

I still have an odd feeling in my belly but my mind is fighting it. I have heard the universe’s screaming. Really heard it.

I need to write up my action plan. I need to get things done. It’s time to push forward and be open to accepting what comes my way as a result. 

Good and bad. 

It is time.