Birthdays and Death.

Ohhhh. After I posted about my upcoming birthday (today) last night, I found a private message on Facebook, from a friend, letting me know that another ex-Reddall student had died.

It was late and I debated letting others know that late, finally deciding to let them know. I have no sense of what year Justin graduated; I just remember him and his friends. Years roll on and merge into each other for this old teacher these days.

I’ve been working for weeks. School and my business. As well as trying to put some order into my life, and I’m exhausted. I’m also still reconciling Blake’s death. So, at first, I was just numb. You trace memories of conversations, of defining moments, over in your head. I am grateful for positive and loving memories. However, they make the person real, and their loss more painful.

It would appear Justin chose to die. There has been a huge outpouring of love for him online. He was a gorgeous person. I am sad that he didn’t find a way out or through his pain during life. I also believe there is purpose here somewhere.

In 2008, I had a massive breakdown. I was carrying shame, guilt, decades old pain, and really, just wanted it all to be over. My brain was so coddled that I was able to wear a mask outside and appear functioning, whilst at night I got my affairs in order, found care for my cat, and plotted how I would die.

I was not in a good place.

It was a trip to the Hunter Valley with one of my nearest and dearest that ultimately saved my life that year. That, and I couldn’t get passed the destruction I would be wreaking on the person who would find me. Luckily, a modicum of sanity prevailed.

When I realised I could not take my own life, I pledged to myself that I would live wholly. I would get off the rollercoaster I’d been on for so long and would set goals to work towards. If I was going to live, I was going to live.

And, I have. I stayed on the rollercoaster a while longer (a long while – infertility, miscarriage and IVF cycles are not the best way to stay balanced emotionally 😳 – and then there was wretched but blessed 2016), but as a result of staying on a journey, have moved my life to an almost perfect place.

I don’t tend to experience the extremes anymore. It has taken a hell of a lot of work, but I’m there. I feel blessed, more so every day, for the life I have sculpted and for the people I have collected. It truly has been a massive process, and I’ve slipped towards the precipice many times, but I’m on surer footing now. I’ve established the strategies that work for me when I first see the signs of falling,

If you feel lost, completely lost, reach for help (easier to say than do) or do something to force you to not give up hope. Man, if only it were this simple. I’m just trying to say, I hear you, I see you, I get it, but please stay. And then make the changes you need to make, whatever they are. We all deserve to find our happiness and our way. We all deserve that.

My birthday wisdom this year is that when we choose our lives, we choose our happiness. If we feel stuck, we aren’t choosing life, even if we are still breathing and physically here. Choices make the difference. I think.

The Big 47

So weird. I’m happy about my birthday, but I’m quietly happy.

Last year was a beautiful day; I could not have asked for more. I just felt loved. It was truly beautiful.

For years before that, I didn’t celebrate. The whole infertility thing.

Before that, I always did something, organised something, was somewhere.

This year, I’m just quietly happy.

I’m working. My business; the job I love. And then I’m doing nothing, happily.

I’m so tired at the moment. Any chance to be on my own, I take. So, 47 will come and then it will go, and I will remain happy, knowing that I’m living the life I want to be living right now because it will create the life I want to live permanently.

I am truly blessed. I am truly grateful.

Gender Fluidity and Authenticity

I have heard the term gender fluidity. A few years ago, I had a close friend who was ‘gender fluid’. I thought it meant you were bisexual. In my defence, I am almost forty seven years old.

Today, I had an intriguing and illuminating conversation with someone who was trying to explain what the term means, to me.

This is my disclaimer: I do not mean to cause offence to anyone. I am trying to understand it, and I am blogging about it to help others understand it to minimise ignorance.

Through my discussion earlier today, I have come to understand it more by what it isn’t. My understanding is that it is the eradication of labels of any sort, especially as those labels pertain to gender and issues around gender.

What this means, is that ascribing the terms/labels of boy or girl, brings with it a preconceived bucket of expectations and standards that restrict the freedom of the labelled. To be gender fluid, means to free yourself and your life’s choices from preconceived expectations prescribed by gender.

If we remove the gender expectations, we free the individual to be whatever they choose to be. We empower them to fulfil their true, authentic potential, unrestricted and uninhibited.

This extends to sexuality, I think, by way of enabling one person to love another person irrespective of socially defined and culturally biased mores.

It struck me, as I was in discussion, that this idea is not from the Third Dimension. Here, in the Third Dimension, labels and expectations and boxes creates an ordered society for us. However, it also restricts the potentiality of individuals and our society/planet.

This notion of gender fluidity, as I understand it, is elevated and must be from beyond the Third Dimension. In its ideal form, it moves us to a broader definition of our potential, and of the ideals of love, tolerance and acceptance. In a sense, I think it will move us into a higher energy vibration, alleviating the use for labels.

I can feel my Third Dimension form resisting understanding the potential of this, but my higher self sits quietly, in a state of knowing and acceptance.

I think the Crystal Children are paving the path for the oneness that the Rainbow Children bring with them; they are continuing the Indigo Children’s work of breaking down paradigms and rigid structures.

Throughout the entire discussion, my energy body was very active. Energy courses through my entire body, each cell alive and firing. Our joined energies sat in harmony and for a moment, we were almost one consciousness.

Amazing experience.

Authenticity of the soul and being who we wholly are is how I interpreted it from my life experience. Dreads are organic for and to me. My tattoos are my voice. I am who I am.

For ten or so years, I tried to fit into the boxes, I tried to be normal. As a result, I was not happy and not free. Now, moving away from systems that do not inspire, enable or empower the authentic individual, I am finding the connection to all is returning.

I am freeing me.

Blake

Video today. Words are hard to find at times like this. And, I forgot to mention, probably because it’s too hard, his mum and brother. Watching their grief makes you appreciate the loved ones you do have. None of us should have to lose people we care about. Much love to Lisa and Rory, universe.

Tears That Affirm

There is a show on TLC called The Healer. It features an Australian energy healer called Charlie. I started watching it to see what he was about. I decided to give it a few episodes before I judged.

Forgot who I was I think. The only thing I didn’t really like was that he doesn’t believe he should charge for his services. His choice for his life, but most healers need to pay bills and don’t have a television show.

I watched the fifth episode tonight. I love the show. Like, LOVE it, never want it to end, want to watch it for the rest of my life.

Tonight, I worked out why I love it so much. I had me an epiphany.

I often shed tears during the segments. They aren’t tears of sadness or even of joy. They are a different type of tears. They are affirmation tears gifted to me by the universe.

A woman tonight, Millee, a writer with arthritis and back pain, received healing through Charlie. The look she gave him after she walked the block, I have seen on people’s faces before. As recently as Thursday.

As a healer, I am the vessel or channel or conduit for the energy. It comes through me. It is something that I believe we all have. So, I am not special as such. But, when I channel the energy and people feel something, the look on their face afterwards changes.

They no longer see you as they did before.

It’s so surreal. I saw it twice on Thursday, using the tuning forks. I love it. I love channeling the energy. I love serving those people, and I love when their burdens become lighter.

I think there will be an uprising of energy healers, uniting to save us all. Anyway, this is my true authentic holistic identity. It’s nice to be remembering it and living it.

It’s All About You

Human beings are amazing. Each of us has the potential to survive anything, be anything, do anything, and everything. Even in death, we can inspire and empower others.

So many humans, though, choose not to. We allow ourselves to become stuck, to become crippled, to become small, to not achieve all that we can.

I was stuck for so long. When I reflect, I know that my soul was no longer filled with passion for the work I did. There were moments of passion, but they only served to make me think I hadn’t become stuck.

I learned new pedagogies to support my teaching (which I am and will always be grateful for). I had new adventures, like trying to have a baby (for too many years). I studied and learned new things. I went on annual trips with people I love. But, I was still stuck.

I’ve written about this before. 2016 became a life-changing year for me. I had not listened to the whispers of being stuck, had not listened to the talking or the shouting or the screaming of the universe. I was paralyzed. All I had ever wanted to be was a teacher. Or a writer. I didn’t know what else was out there, and truth be told, I didn’t think there was anything else out there.

When I let fear dictate inaction, the universe decided to give me one more shot before my passion for life was extinguished and I just went through the motions of being alive.

Out of fear, I made a decision at the end of 2015 that would come to haunt me, repeatedly, throughout 2016. Rebelling against fear, and realizing I needed a complete change, I made a decision at the end of 2016 that has saved me life.

I took a year leave from my job. I was lucky to have a boss who saw the need and, even though he knew it would mean the eventual loss of an amazing teacher from the public education system, he approved my leave and didn’t force my hand towards resignation. I will eternally be grateful to and for him for his support during the yuckiest year of my life.

Jumping forced me to do and to try and to experience different things. I saw the potential for my life, for anyone’s life.

None of us have to be stuck. It takes a bit of courage to change things, whatever things might need changing, and a jump doesn’t have to be as extreme as mine was (I hadn’t listened for a long time). We all deserve to be living wholly and happily.

My life is in transition. Last year was my gap year. This year is a consolidating and transitioning year. Next year, who knows.

I won’t be going backwards. I love living again. I love the potential of, and for, my life. Every day is magickal. I feel things again, deeply, everything. And most of it is infinitely positive and happy.

I stop to take photos of beautiful things. I talk to the animals as I drive past them. I notice the trees, the clouds, the sun, the moon, life. I have rituals. I work hard, with love. I trust. I have faith. I smile, from my heart.

This … this, was worth the jump.

When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be

I had an epiphany on the way to my mentoring appointment today. I was listening to Sage Levine again, hoping for inspiration regarding what I want to do with my life.

I love tutoring, with my whole soul, but it’s transitional. I need a business that is mobile. By 55, I want to be living on my land in my cottage on the cliffs by the ocean, with Tracey and Dave on the same plot, and others who would like to join us in our utopia.

I haven’t been stressed about this. I have known that when the time is right, the epiphany would occur. Today, it did.

Life mentor. I want to empower others to empower themselves to live their best lives.

Some people say that a lot of the inspirational posts are simplistic and superficial and, basically, no good. They are wrong. Those posts serve as reminders. As sign posts. As ideals.

I have been stuck. I became unstuck. I’m living my best life and it’s only getting better.

It’s about process. About knowing what brings you happiness. About courage. About truth, honesty and risk.

Epiphanies are gold. I feel like I have an occupational purpose again. It’s good.

In This Together

What a week. I feel so drained today. For so many reasons.

My business has grown again this week. I’ve made the decision to work my butt off this year, sacrifice some social time, to consolidate the client base and establish my reputation. I feel that this will allow me to really move towards leaving teaching sooner than I originally anticipated.

It will also enable a very strong financial foundation going into next year. My finances are much better, but I have ongoing expenses that mean my savings aren’t strong. I am looking at the positives though, and I am paying in cash for things I need. Nothing grand. Things like new tyres for the car, servicing, etc.

My true love is healing though. I really want to focus on growing that side of my business. I’m also learning to set boundaries on my healing skills. This means that I’m not completely wrecked like I once would have been in a week like this one.

Interesting times. Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor and John Dimartini’s How To Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get To Heaven have done more than restructure my finances. They have empowered me to start to really see and appreciate my worth. The services I offer, in business, at school, and in my life, really are valuable.

I am valuable.

And, appreciating this, empowers me to live my life differently. I’m not as scared or nervous of asking for what I need. And the guilt I feel is less. Significantly – a twinge only now. I need to put my welfare first, my needs, my dreams. It’s okay to support and empower others, but we need to live the dream too.

And the mask crumbles.

I wore my big girl pants all day today, until ten minutes ago when the tears came sobbing out as I drove closer to home. Too late to go and get a hug from someone, especially with a shit load of marking to do.

I have changed as a teacher. The compassionate, loving creature that this year’s Years 11 and 12 know, I don’t think the younger years have met. It’s sad. This me is a cool teacher. But, fuck, it’s hard.

When I have taught, prior to this year, I was all in. Heart. Mind. Soul. No wonder I have burnt out.

I remember this heart break and all the prior heart breaks, fresh. Belinda has said that this is our seventh student loss. I’ve been close to every single one. And, that’s not the hardest part.

No, the hardest part is watching the kids left behind, breaking in front of you, while you stand with them, powerless to fix their pain, to take the hurt away, to stem the flow of tears. We can only hold them, tell them we love them, and say, “Yep. This is fucked,” as we hold them tighter, scared we might lose them too. Scared that we won’t be enough. Scared … just plain scared. Whilst we break too.

No child should go before old age. But, they do. All of the time. It’s devastating.

I told a couple of the kids today that we honour Blake’s life by becoming our best selves, living our best lives. And, I believe this.

Death of loved ones changes us. It doesn’t matter who we are; death and grief are equalizers.

I am holding a lot of anger towards the senselessness of this, and the selfish arrogance of the ‘perpetrator’. I’ll work through it. He has people grieving him and praying for his recovery. I am sure if he had a chance to do over, he would change each decision that resulted in this devastation. Still …

It’s hard as a teacher. People don’t expect us to have these deep emotions for our kids. We do though. It’s hard not to. We see them every day. We see them at their best and at their worst. You get to know their souls, and you get to help them navigate their way through this sketchy thing called life.

I will never forget many things about Blake: white bloody shoes and a myriad of other ongoing uniform infringements, cheeky grin, stubborn spirit, his compassion and love for those he was closest to, and his honesty.

I had a conversation with him during 2016, before I left, that really highlighted his maturity and battler spirit. I will never forget it. It reminded me of how much some of our kids contend with to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Blake was a survivor.

I believe (ever so gratefully) that his spirit lives on. That his cheeky grin is a flicker away. And that his life will continue to impact those he knew positively through death. Some things just live on.

For now, my big girl pants are with my mask, away for the night, and as I tell the kids, I’m being real and doing what I need to do to self-care and to move through this, peacefully. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to vent. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to do whatever you need to do.

β€οΈπŸ™πŸ»πŸ’¦

Our Narratives

Last year, I started to think about where I was born. I was trying to connect with my roots here, in Sydney, in this incarnation. I had never really cared too much about it before. As I started to write my book, I felt a longing to know more about my birth story.

I always knew I had been born in the Salvation Army Hospital in Marrickville. It was called Bethesda at the time.

Bethesda refers to a part of Jerusalem. It contains a pool of water, associated with healing. The hospital was closed two years after my birth. It had also been a home for wayward teen girls. The building is now used for apartments.

It has had a rich history.

I am a part of that history.

I went to see it yesterday, only because I was in the vicinity. My attraction to it is bizarre. I felt a strong connection to it yesterday.

This is the place that my life started. It’s a bit surreal.

My dad told me that he had been sent home. The nurses thought I would be ages yet. I arrived whilst he was gone. I’m yet to talk to my mum about my birth. I have a yearning to know.

Also, though, I’ve been wondering how much the place we are born impacts on who we become, or do we choose a fitting place for our births, maybe to trigger us to remember our purpose here. I’m not sure, but I’m curious.

The Salvation Army do a great deal of charity and welfare work. Bethesda is a pool of healing. My connection to water and my mermaid self is strong. I just query how random all of this is, or isn’t.

Food for thought.