The Price of Healing

I was absolutely knackered yesterday. I fell asleep early and didn’t achieve much at all yesterday. I think this is the price for Saturday morning’s accelerated healing. Tiredness occurs because my thoughts, emotions and body are all re-harmonising after a realization.

And, that’s okay. I publish my journey here so that I have memorialised the process for myself, and so that anyone going through similar things, can either find hope or realise its time to run πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ hehehehe.

Other after effects of healing or during the healing process can include a runny nose (processing emotions), a little bit of an upset tummy (purging the toxins from the emotion), a sore throat (needing to speak out). If I go over on my ankle (which I’m prone to do when more healing is required), I will know there is more work to do. At this point, I’m stable-y upright still.

I am very conscious and plugged in to what is going on in my body. I think the IVF process taught me to be. I can generally work out what I need to do.

This morning I woke with a need to stretch out my body. So, I did. Just whilst I lay in bed. I felt where I was seized up and I stretched it out. Felt good. I still think I would like to own one of those stretching racks they used in the Middle Ages. How good would that be when your body felt tight.

I know that I am body focused this year. I’m in the process of changing my diet, I’ve added another yoga class to my week and I’m going to try Pilates next week (and hopefully like it).

I also like that I will be supporting three local small businesses run by women to do this.

It is so important to be cognizant of what you need, to express it, and to then make it happen.

“Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin'” is all well and good, but action needs to follow. Thanks, Dusty Springfield for the lyrics.

What do you need today? Who have you told? How are you going to make it happen?

πŸ¦‹

A Quickie Before Work

What a weekend. I’m knackered. After work today, I will be engaging in some massive self-care. Hopefully by sleeping hehe.

I feel great – apart from tiredness – I feel a level of calm and peace within. Life is on track and I’m finding that I’m doing significantly more things that fulfill my three key values.

Choices are amazing things. Fear can be crippling – best we don’t let it be.

What step can you take today to make your dream life a reality?

Healing Truly Is A Process

Well, I’m exhausted lol. Another layer of healing pulled back and processed yesterday.

What I have noticed is that once upon a time, triggers took days, even weeks, for me to process, and during that time, I would slip into depression and sabotage my friendships. I would be immersed in and suffocated by darkness.

Yesterday, during the trigger and processing process, I was a little disoriented when a friend came knocking on the door, but I was functioning and to a high level. In fact, the visit brought the remaining cortisol down. Apart from tired, my self-care and tool kit of strategies took me through the process.

Very often, the triggers are not the cause of the emotional and/or psychological chaos. They just trigger it. I’ve found, that as I’ve added to my tool kit, the triggers no longer disrupt my life or my psyche for long.

I think the greatest tool I use to return myself to balance is what I’ve learned from Mai Mai in our sessions, and from reading Dr John Demartini’s books and applying the ideas.

I no longer have to look for the support in the moment – it is always there in some form – I still acknowledge the step as part of the process though.

The drawbacks are always fairly obvious, and then I focus on the benefits and list them one by one. I also now connect them to my values – how does this incident support my highest values?

Then, after that intense work, I’m just tired and yesterday, I practiced self-care. I apologized for not being able to attend an event I had been looking forward to, and I was honest about why, which whilst embarrassing and shameful (in my eyes at the time) liberated me in the long term.

It is so important that we use our voices and share where we are. Honesty enables trust in relationships and removes guilt.

Ultimately, yesterday was an opportunity for me to walk the talk, and to demonstrate to others how I did this.

Healing is a lifelong process, and that’s okay, because I’ve got this.

Poor George 😝 onwards and upwards

The Hard Lessons – Shame

Third post in this series that started this morning with a mid post breakdown.

I mowed the lawn after the last (second) post. The cortisol moved through my body, I sweated heaps, showered and vomited, and after my shower, I felt cleaner and the cortisol had subsided enough that I knew taking time out and just being, with some meditation later on, would bring my body back to balance. Oh, and eating food with nutrients. Plus a coke or chocolate (this part is not nutritionally sound and a habit I need to break – just not today – don’t judge).

I have worked hard to dissolve the actual abuse triggers. I realised this as I pushed the mower through the grass. This isn’t about the sexual abuse itself. I am grateful to those people for my abuse; I have posted about that before, and this trigger hadn’t changed that. This is about the impact that the trauma of my childhood made. This is about my automatic reactions to things and having to work through every trigger as it comes up.

And that’s okay. Three hours after the incident, I am lying on the lounge, feeling much better, empowered and fully feeling that my mission to empower others is my soul work for this lifetime. So, I’m good.

I want to talk about the shame though. Receiving those messages made me feel like I had done something wrong.

Maybe I shouldn’t have replied. Maybe I said the wrong thing. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

Intellectually, I know otherwise. Trauma is a funny thing though. And trauma is not intellectual.

Posting my initial Facebook post yesterday made me feel vulnerable; I was worried that people would judge me, blame me, hold me responsible. I was worried that people would say, and I shit you not, that I am ugly and no one would look twice at me, how many tickets have you got on yourself. I posted anyway.

I wasn’t letting irrational fears guide my choices – this is real growth for me. Trauma is fear based and very hard to ignore or move through. It requires feeling the vulnerability and dealing with the shame.

When people, out of love and kindness, pointed out that George was probably a bot or a Nigerian catfish scammer, my brain told me that I was stupid and I should have known that (how, I don’t know). I felt significantly more shame. I am still unwriting this shame narrative. It will take time.

I think my belly weight is the shame manifested physically. This is really important for me to realise because that knowledge will empower me to lose my excess weight. I thought it was the abuse that caused the weight. I think it is actually unresolved shame. I think my underlying narrative is a strong shame narrative that I fight against.

I now own that I’m an amazing teacher. It took me years to not feel like I was being conceited and to stand in that truth. When I said it to some people, they tried to shame me out of it, but I refused to be shamed.

I now own that I’m a very attractive woman – and the belly twinges – I am, I argue with my belly. I’m not model beautiful, but I’m gorgeous. I am me, wholly and proudly, and shame only has the power to make me buckle, not drop.

Trauma is insidious. It told us we weren’t valuable, we weren’t important, we were disposable, unworthy, undeserving. Trauma is wrong though. And my trauma and my healing is the legacy I will leave this world.

There is more to say. I’m not sure what it is at this point. But I am so grateful for being able to express my self, grateful for having a medium to express myself in, grateful to have the courage to acknowledge the shame publicly, and grateful that I empower myself to stand in my truth.

Oh My. Healing the trigger.

If you have read my last post, you were witness to a triggered reaction/break down from unwanted male attention. I had to stop writing and responding to comments, and move away to process what I was experiencing.

I felt shock at first, as I realised the extent of the violation because I connected it to my childhood sexual abuse. I have always known that my weight issues were connected to unresolved childhood trauma and the subconscious desire to protect myself. I have been wanting to resolve that – ask and you shall receive – as I roll my eyes at myself.

After the shock and the realisation I was breaking down mid post, I felt sick in my stomach and my shoulders tightened. This is where I usually carry stress. I walked through my house and fed my pets. Made the bed, opened the blinds and turned on my salt lamps.

Amidst that, I started to unravel purpose. I need to resolve more layers. I’m good with that. This is a healing opportunity, and a teaching and learning experience. That’s the purpose.

Then, to gratitude. Find the gratitude in the discomfort, Tina. What am I grateful for?

I am grateful that I am still healing, for I am human and I love learning. I am grateful for the immediate support I received, and for the love and solidarity that was so strong in their comments and messages. I am grateful that I have a voice that empowers and enables me, and hopefully others. I am grateful that I am strong and that I am resilient. I am grateful that as I write this, I can feel the cortisol that was coursing fast through my body, start to abate. I am grateful that I am taking deep breaths and that I know to do and how to do that. I am grateful that I know this is temporary. I am grateful for all of my past healing. I am grateful because this will not destroy me, not ever. I am grateful that I have grass to mow. I am grateful that I can apply all that I have learned, including self-care. I am grateful for my ability to help others. I am grateful for the intensity of the experience and for the ability to feel my body’s response so that I can empathize with others to become a better healer. I am grateful …

These are my first steps. I will take the time today to continue my work on me. I will give myself the space to do that. I will walk the talk.

I will cancel my commitments today. I will mow the lawn and water my plants. I will make a nutritious breakfast. I will focus on me. I will Demartini the experience and look at the benefits and drawbacks which I’ve already started to do.

The beauty of having done so much work is that I feel already that I’ve got this. This will work for me. I needed to do this. I will model what others can do.

Funny thing – I’ve been blocked bowel wise since this happened yesterday and I rarely get blocked. After this, my body let go. Something in that for all of us I think. Our bodies hold our trauma and our grief. That isn’t healthy.

Unwanted Attention and One Man’s Inability to Listen πŸ€¨

I run a healing business. I post weekly videos on my Facebook business page (@akashichealingthirlmere). Yesterday, I went to our local botanic gardens to film my video. At the moment I have very blonde hair and feel very empowered. I’m in an exceptionally good place. I am radiating that.

Already I’m looking for reasons.

Blonde hair (men love blonde hair – seems to suggest sluttiness).

I’m happy (suggests to men I’m low maintenance).

Ridiculous, Tina. Stop believing the conditioning.

I posted my video. A couple of hours later, I received a private message from a man, possibly not a real account – how do you eve know.

He said, “Hello pretty angel.”

Automatic replies are sent to all messages (important to keep that response banner there). Because it is my business page, I felt the need to reply and to be kind. On personal pages, I ignore these messages. I choose to not engage.

Too many men, too little time – as I roll my eyes.

Business pages are different. My reply was short and dismissive, I thought. It resulted in a very long message about who he was and what he was looking for. I realised my initial reply was not dismissive enough. I became more blunt. No change.

I posted about it on my personal and private Facebook page and beautifully, one of my friends told me how I block/ban him (I’m old lol). So I did.

I was not intimidated, but I was very uncomfortable. I wasn’t being heard which diminished me. He treated me like an object and showed no respect and no regard for what I wanted, which diminished me. And frustrated me and aggravated me.

He wasn’t sexual. But he was belligerent. He said he was a good listener, but he isn’t.

I am going to post the chat here. I have reread it. Some people might say I answered inappropriately – odds on some people will say – oh, you shouldn’t have said that or done that – yep, that’s why people don’t speak out about these things.

The response of others suggests the person receiving the unsolicited attention should feel ashamed. I don’t think I’m expressing this very well – abnormal for me and a sign that I really am uncomfortable about this, as much as I could laugh it off yesterday.

Today I feel angry. I could unban him just to abuse him. And I’ve literally just realised why.

This is why I keep weight on.

I was sexually abused as a child, by three different males, of different ages and with different relationships to my family. Male attention makes me uncomfortable unless I’m in control of it. Fat keeps men at bay.

Fuuuuck. Now I want to cry. And am.

Those males had no right to impose their needs and desires for power over me as a child. And George Hackman had no right to impose his needs on me yesterday.

I should be able to be my best and healthiest self without needing to worry I’ll be targeted or receive unwanted male attention. Now I become articulate. What the. I just do need to write the C word.

How dare any man or any person violate the peace and safety of any other living thing. How dare they. How can someone feel so entitled and be so selfish that they impose their will onto others.

I need to decompress. I’ll post the messages. I’ll get up and process what I’m feeling. I’ll be back when I have.

The Detour – the impact of IVF and the importance of shared narrative

I’ve had an amazing couple of weeks of connections. Like, truly amazing. And I’m learning some interesting things and having to grapple with learning from some interesting things.

Yesterday, I was meeting with someone at the Square. I’m not often in Campbelltown anymore – too many people in those public places. But, as I walked from the car into the centre, I heard my name called.

I turned around and two beautiful people I’ve known for, gosh, twenty years or thereabouts, were walking with their young children. We stopped and chatted and they said they were going to Big W – in the opposite direction to where we were heading. I was surprised. Trace laughed and said, We saw you and we took a detour.

I was humbled. I have not been an easy person to know throughout the years for any of the long-standing friends I have; I disappear frequently and for long periods of time at times. I become very immersed in wherever my life currently is. These two fit into this category.

My IVF journey made seeing friends with little children and babies even harder, so I didn’t, I couldn’t. It’s easier watching their children grow, the children from that period, in pictures on Facebook. Nowadays though, it’s nice seeing those pictures come to life. Man, this isn’t going where I thought it was.

The day before yesterday, Wednesday, I established a soul connection friendship. We shared our stories. Many similarities, many differences. We navigated the terrain of difference together and learned how to communicate effectively and authentically with on another. I left her home, almost six hours later, knowing I had reconnected with another member of my soul tribe.

Part of our sharing of stories involved me talking about my IVF journey. I don’t really ever talk about the whole process for me – there doesn’t seem to be much need and I blogged most of it here. It was nice talking about it though.

It was a difficult journey. It was hell emotional. It was my detour I think. I had to go through that to get here – empowered, whole, authentic.

I wouldn’t wish the uncertainty, the drugs and their ensuing impact, the alone-ness of the journey, on anyone. However, I am stronger for it.

The person I met yesterday, to talk about reiki and attunements, has walked a similar IVF path to me. Funnily (or not – the universe is a little bit of a prankster), we went to the same primary and high schools, and her brother was in my classes most of our schooling life. We have crossed paths (or possibly in the corridors and playgrounds at school) without realising the significance that would later emerge. It’s a very small world.

I caught up with a small group of girls I adore, girls I met through teaching at Reddall. Again, lots of laughs and honesty, and genuine conversation. Shared experiences. Again, some talk of fertility and struggles that come. In that group of four, two of us have miscarried and two of us have struggled to fall pregnant.

These conversations show how important having people in your life to share your experiences with are. Our shared narratives enable healing. Not just in one, but in all.

I love women’s conversations. They enrich me. They connect us.

My closest female relationships today all felt the pressure of my IVF journey in some way or another. Those women, my sisters, share an unbreakable bond with me now though. I know that in my heart. They couldn’t get rid of me if they tried. I will always pop up in their lives. The path we walked and navigated during very dark times for me has strengthened all of those relationships in the long term. They are oak trees.

I think this is our strength. As women, when we are authentic and vulnerable, we see our similarities rather than our differences. Our shared narratives empower and enable deep conversation which yields deep healing.

I have another recently connected soul friend. We were friends in the heart before we met face to face. The reason I connected with her is because she has created a network of women to support one another in business, but mostly in life. She reaches out to women, prompting them to share with one another to push themselves further. I believe she comes from a pure heart and pure purpose. And I respect and love her for that. She wants women to find themselves and creates opportunities for just that.

I am surrounded by exceptionally strong and powerful women, and we share more similarities than differences. I am extremely grateful for my life and for the people in it. I am blessed by meeting more and more sisters and being able to share and learn from each other’s narratives.

Ultimately, we all want the same things: love, support and happiness. Together, we achieve them.

Fear & New Opportunities

When we let go of something that no longer serves us, no longer brings us happiness, it creates space for new things and new people to come into your life.

There is always fear when we make a change to our life. It doesn’t matter how small or large that change may be, fear of the unknown and the what if always lurks.

Liz Gilbert, author of Big Magic, recounts the way she handles fear and I’ve found it useful. We can’t ignore the fear, so we acknowledge it. She uses the metaphor of taking a drive. She tells fear to sit in the back seat, so it is acknowledged, but she tells fear to keep its mouth closed – it has no voice – and she does what she needs to do, drive her car.

Sometimes, too, it can help to write yourself a permission slip. Brene Brown is a huge advocate for writing yourself a permission slip. The act of giving yourself permission just makes it a little easier to do what you need to do for yourself.

Fear is useful. It keeps us humble. We just can’t let it control our lives. Fear keeps us small. None of us are small. When we aren’t living our best life, we can’t be our best self, and that robs the world of what we were put here on Earth at this time for.

When I left teaching, I was scared and sad. I loved being in the classroom. I thought I would die at Reddall, teaching the grandchildren of the children I had taught.

Letting go of a stable and secure income was difficult. Terrifying. I’d only ever really known teaching. But, it became infinitely more difficult to stay somewhere where my values no longer aligned with my employer’s values. I was sooooo unhappy. I hated going to work. I had to change.

I left gradually. I built a business up. I had enough stability in that to leave teaching.

As a result, I have more energy, my passion for life is back, and there is space in my life for new things. I’m 47 and feel a youthful zest for life that I haven’t felt in years.

Change is scary. Change is necessary. We ALL deserve to feel passionate and happy in life. You have to be vulnerable and you have to leap into the unknown sometimes.

Childhood Trauma

Obviously, I’ve decided to start writing every day again. I’ve missed it. I think (it could change) that a lot of my posts might focus on childhood trauma and abuse and healing.

I was sexually and physically and emotionally/psychologically abused during my childhood. The way I perceived it all, I grew up believing that I wasn’t worth very much. This made it easier for other people to keep me feeling small in my life. After all, when you aren’t worth much you believe you don’t deserve much.

I have recently read two amazing books on childhood trauma. Dr Bessell van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score and Dr Nadine Burke Harris’ The Deepest Well. If you are interested, the second one is a much easier read than the first. She also has a TED Talk.

An ACE Score is an adversity in childhood experiences score. There are ten questions based on childhood experience. The higher the score, the more traumatic your childhood experiences were. This leaves you open to greater health problems and dysfunction in adulthood.

My score is 8 out of 10.

I’m flabbergasted I function as well as I do hehe.

I always felt motivated intrinsically to heal though. I never wanted my life to be restricted because of my childhood adversity. After all, it wasn’t all bad, it’s just that the bad had no voice and no way to release itself or moderate itself so it took over.

As I read The Body Keeps the Score, I realised how significant the impact of silence and shame has been – especially physically. The physicality extends into the psychological.

I have achieved a great deal in and throughout my life. I continue to grow and to heal. I don’t know why I never really fell off the rails into promiscuity and drugs. Possibly fear lol.

I do know though, that we are better informed today than we were in the seventies and early eighties. I know that counselling and support could make the world of difference in an abused child’s life.

I do not understand why it isn’t mandated in the Child Protection legislation. Trauma counselling should be a given for children experiencing trauma. Research indicates that it can make a significant difference to life outcomes.

So, I will be advocating for this. I want children to have hope, and passion for life, and the belief that they deserve to have their dreams come true.

That’s why I taught for so much longer than I think was healthy for me. I believe in our children, and I’ve seen too many parents, out of their depth, not know how to support their child through trauma. Parents need support too.

We know better. It’s time we do better.

Tina says πŸ€ͺ

Self Perception

Two and a bit years ago, when I was in Varanasi, India, on a life changing retreat with Alana Fairchild and some incredible women, I realised that the label of shyness no longer applied to me.

I realised this because the women I connected with, informed me that I was basically full of it. I hadn’t realised that I had grown through my shyness; the label was limiting and false. That reality of shyness was no longer real. My perception was restricting my growth.

Letting go of that label, literally just letting go, has empowered me to own who I am and wear it with pride. I meet people now without fear and project myself wholly.

That has resulted in me flourishing. I am standing in my truth and holding myself with pride. I like who I am. I’m not perfect, but I’m perfect in every moment.

Sometimes, moving forward requires us to let go of the labels we use to identify ourselves.

I also let go of the school teacher label and my life has opened up. I have let go of the ugly and unattractive and fat labels. They no longer serve my higher purpose. I see myself as attractive, open and beautiful now (except bad hair months lol).

List the labels you identify as. Ask yourself: does this label serve me or restrict me? If it restricts you, let it go. Write it on a piece of paper and burn it into oblivion (over a kitchen sink with a working tap).

Similarly, if a label serves you, collect them all into one piece of paper, add other ‘labels’ you would like to be, and plant that piece of paper in the earth.

Let them grow. Let you grow. Empower yourself.