The Lesson I Refuse To Learn

I am too wise for my own good, she says with a chuckle.

I am able to understand lessons, able to know that they are to be learned, trust that they will be, think I have learned them, except for one in particular, that sort of extends into two. Might just be one. Wise, humph.

I taught in schools for four days last week. As a casual working in a school, you are generally on all day, and in primary schools, all day plus a duty, giving you about 50 minutes off during the day. And in teaching, when you are with the kids, you are on the whole time. There is no break or processing time.

I also ran my business every day, and was almost grateful for the cancellations this week. My business hours, with travel, are long. I generally start between 3 and 3:30 and arrive home by 8:30, a couple of nights I finish by 930. And all day Saturday, seven clients. I love my business; it does not feel like work unless I am working in a school too many days.

By last night I was exhausted. I was asleep on the lounge early and slept straight through to 7:30 this morning (I’m usually awake by 6/6:30). I had no desire to get up and fought with Sammy for just a few more minutes taking me to 8:30.

It will be a slow day here. I’m being kind to myself. That lesson I have learned. I will only do what I want to do.

The lesson I haven’t learned is balance. But, I have learned that in my case, that lesson extends from trust. I can only practice balance when I trust.

I possess a fear of not having enough money to live on. School holidays are coming and I am travelling just before and just after the holidays (bad planning), and am focusing energy into fear that I will not have enough money to pay bills. No sooner do I earn money that it feels like it is gone, so I keep working when it is offered because there have been so many times this year when it wasn’t offered.

And so, because I fear I have not enough, financially (I am abundant in riches everywhere else in my life), I seem to never have enough. Funny, I know that the energy we feed is the energy we receive. I exhaust myself fighting against the fear lol.

I never really possessed this fear/lack of trust when I was teaching because I had a stable income. I hope to leave teaching permanently so this is a lesson I must learn (and to do that, I probably need to remove the pressure I put on myself).

So, I am working myself into the ground. And, I am not feeling the liberation that should come from that, because there is no balance. Learning to trust is difficult. I trust the voices I hear that tell me it will all be fine, but struggle to let go and release into that.

With the exception of last night, I have been meditating every night.

Meh.

I am very quiet today, very still. There is no panic or fear. I am too tired lol. I am happy in my stillness. I am not sad. I am grateful for a rest day. And, I am grateful that I head to Uluru on a road trip/meditation retreat on Wednesday. And I trust that everything that needs to be done before I leave, will be done. Even though I am working again tomorrow.

A cycle of unnecessary thought. I think I need to go back to my chanting of abundance mantras. I didn’t feel this fear as acutely then.

There we go, asked and answered. I am truly a work in progress lol.

Trust – Yikes.

As a result of the way I processed the trauma from my childhood, I really struggle with trusting people to support me. I don’t expect that they will because, ultimately, I believed the narrative I wrote for myself as a child: I wasn’t deserving; I wasn’t worthy.

As a result, I have ALWAYS struggled to ask people for help. ALWAYS. And, when I say struggled, I generally haven’t been able to ask for help because I haven’t believed it would be there and then the narrative would be true.

As I grew up, as I moved through adulthood, until recently, I shut down in times of stress and pain, rather than be told I wasn’t worthy or important enough to receive help. It was never helped that when I did find courage to reach out, I either wasn’t clear enough in my request, or it was too hard for people to support me (not knowing how, not realising how desperate I was, etc).

All legitimately, and often because I failed to communicate my needs clearly through abject fear of rejection. However, in my traumatised brain, the ensuing refusal to support or failed realisation that I needed it, only reinforced my childhood narrative. It made me shrink further.

I have been working hard on improving and healing myself. I have worked to remove blocks to abundance and worked to remove obstacles that I imposed in friendships. I have worked hard to become the very best version of myself, and that has also meant sacrificing control.

As a traumatised child, I had no control. As a damaged adult, I have over compensated the control area of my life. Detrimentally.

For years, decades, I have tried to control everything. The investigation last year was a real and significant turning point for me in my healing journey. I had no control over anything except me. No control. Read, nightmare.

But, it forced me to start to trust myself. And I started to trust and utilise my Higher Self and my guides (those nagging voices we sometimes here; call it what you will). I heeded the call and went to India, and my life completely changed. A true transformation to become my best self.

Very recently, I have struggled with some minor obstacles (first world problems completely) and I have had to reach out twice for real support. I struggle with this still. But I have grown enough to realise that I need to clearly communicate what I need. I also accepted that support may not be possible through no fault of the others; I was asking a lot.

Both times, my request for support was very lovingly heard and acted upon. I spent more time agonising than was necessary. More time stressing and feeling awkward than was necessary.

I am so grateful. Grateful for the support I received lovingly. Grateful that I am growing. Grateful that I have created a life where second, third, fourth and tenth chances are offered. Grateful that I can trust other people to support me. Grateful that I realise it is on me.

It is easy to blame others and say, I am always there for others and no one is there for me. I hear this often. I used to say it. Often. But, it’s on us.

The universe is a big place; there is enough for all of us to have what we need and want.

However, we need to clearly communicate what we want and need. And, we need to understand that to achieve it, we need to trust those around us. We need to provide the opportunity for others to support us. We need to accept that not everyone will or can support us, and this is not a reflection of our worth and value.

Easier to say than do, I get that. I am a forty six year work in progress. But, it is getting easier. I am surrounding myself with people who have been through a lot with me, who have tolerated a lot, but also, in the last four or so years, I’ve also become discerning in who I give my heart and trust to, and that is making the difference.

I am a giving person. I am a loving person. And, I am surrounding myself with like minded souls who get me. I am grateful for this.

Trust will be an ongoing journey for me. I feel guilt when I accept help. This is ridiculous. I would do what I could for most people, whether they are in my inner circle or not. I should at least expect and accept the same for me.

And, if this has resonated with you, so should you 😘

🙏🏻🦋

The Importance of Voice in Healing Trauma

We all experience some type of trauma during our lifetimes; it is inevitable. The type of trauma can range from childhood trauma (accident, disability, abuse, you get the gist) to losing a child or parent or grandparent or friend or partner, or rape, unemployment, anxiety, the list is endless.

We are all different and we all come from different places; however, I believe that if we are to heal from this trauma, get to a point where we can think about it without anxiety, stress or pain, we need to give it a voice.

For me, the voice first came through when dealing with referrals at school, kids disclosing to me about their own abuse and/or trauma. I would then journal, always trying to get it out of my head so that it couldn't fester. My voice, unbeknownst to me at the time, has also shown itself through tattooing. My tattoos are all markers of moments, experiences and memories. Intermittently, I have journaled and spoken my truth during my life. In mid 2014, I started blogging, expressing my voice through written word to a larger audience.

As a result, I can speak about the truth of my experiences safely. Rarely does talking about, even my IVF journey, bring me residual pain that still needs to be resolved. Finding my voice and sharing my experiences has lessened the impact of the trauma.

It is through sharing (which requires a voice) that I have processed the events, re-lived them enough that they no longer hurt, and ultimately, become grateful for them because I am a better person as a result of them.

I would not be as empathetic, as compassionate, as sensitive, as loving, as resilient, or as inspiring without each of the traumas that I have survived and flourished from.

Finding and reclaiming my voice has been a long journey, starting from when it was first silenced when I was very young. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to healing trauma. For me though, finding and using my voice has been integral.

My voice is not your voice. But there will be a voice that suits/fits you. It might come through painting, or fitness, or drawing, or dancing, or running groups, or volunteer work, or traveling, or it could be like mine, through writing. I implore you, if you have suffered and endure trauma, give it a voice.

Share the experience. You never know whom you may help.

You can explore this journey with me further on my Facebook page Tina K Meyer.

A Very Quiet Week 

Warning: further on in this post there are potential triggers for survivors and victims of childhood sexual abuse, and their parents. 
Between the business and casual teaching, I have had a work filled week which has permitted not much of anything else. But it’s been a calm and soul filling week. 

The kids at the school I am working a lot at are getting to know me and I am getting to know them. I like the staff I work directly with and am becoming a little emotionally connected. I have some blocks coming up too. 

But the exciting news is that tomorrow I leave for the US. In forty eight hours or so I will be reunited with two of my tribe (from our meeting in India last year) and I am so excited. Nervous – I hate being in the way (a value thing) – and excited. I can’t wait to be in their space and share energy with them. 

And the following week I head to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding. And we are getting tattooed at Pussykat Tattoo Studio. And then she gets married and then I go to the Grand Canyon and then I fly home. A whirlwind trip incorporating time in two places I never thought of going to. 

This is what my gap year/mid life crisis is about: exploring life’s potential and trusting that where I am drawn to, I am meant to be. 

I have found a stillness within me. I’m meditating more and there is a calm in my mind and life. I am finding it infinitely easier to be and to exist for sustained periods of time in the present moment. I talk to my fear, to the odd pop of anxiety, to acknowledge it and then let it go. As a result, I am enjoying the things that I do because I am wholly present in them. 

Teaching is my means to an end. It pays the bills. My business, my study and my writing is my soul work. These light me from within and bring me home. 

I have always struggled to find inspiration and creative freedom to write whilst working, until now. During the week a block that I have found whilst writing my novel was lifted and I have been able to write in small chunks of time, at lunch, between clients, wherever I can, and it has just oozed out of me. 

I am at peace. I have found a type of balance. For now. Interestingly, I’m not taking a laptop with me on my travels – iPad yes, phone yes, laptop no. I hate taking it out of my bag continually at security checkpoints and don’t use it enough to justify it. I will use my phone and transfer it when I get home. 

My novel is about a teenage girl who is raped at a party. In the course of processing it, she learns more about herself, her friends, her family, and the world, than she ever wanted to know. It’s been easy to write at times and more difficult at others. I’ve been researching and have decided to include her mother’s perspective because the role of the mother, whilst pivotal, is never really explored. 

I think my recent experiences of helplessness – through the issue that resulted in the investigation last year – will enable me to empathise with the role of mother in these circumstances – the paralysis, the fear, the not wanting to open a hornet nest, etc. I will obviously also research in other ways. 

If you are the mother or father of a child who has been raped or sexually abused, I would love for you to write to me about your experiences if you feel that you can – not the specifics of the situation necessarily, but definitely your emotional/psychological journey. If you can

Our children live in such an unsafe and disconnected world, I fear for them. Manchester’s events rocked all of us during the week. Targeting young people specifically is a very cruel strategy. But when I reflected further, we always have targeted young people, just not as noisily or blatantly. 

The number of kids in care, or who should be, is ridiculous. The number of kids with parents who work so much they aren’t really present, grows. The number of kids subjected to sexual abuse, physical violence, neglect and emotional abuse, grows. CASA state that 20% of women and 10% of men have reported non-penetrative sexual assault occurred before they turned sixteen, and these numbers are significant disproportionate for indigenous adults. 

Childhood sexual abuse really has become and has stayed a silent epidemic. The long term impact of sexual abuse incapacitates adults, which impacts society. It is an issue that requires a higher social profile because it needs to stop. 

I know, am blessed to know many, and be, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I’m not whole. I am close to being whole. It has taken, and continues to take, effort and work to maintain emotional and psychological health. At forty six, the impact is significantly less on my life now than it used to be. I have worked hard and for a long time. 

I love that practice, I think Chinese, where the cracks in a bowl are filled with gold – a beautiful metaphor for survivors of trauma. It is our cracks that make us vulnerable to breakage but when filled, make us more resilient and more beautiful than we otherwise would have been. 

Yep. A quiet week but apparently not so quiet in my mind. 

Namaste 🙏🏻🦋

Twists and Turns 

Life contains very unexpected moments, not always good. 

I won’t go into detail (people can be sensitive) but I have experienced irregular bleeding for close to five months. It seems to have settled a bit now. 

I went to the doctor. The bleeding went on the back burner so that we could manage the diabetes and blood pressure. We started on the bleeding yesterday. A couple of jokes about the certainty that I am not pregnant (last time I had something similar it was the result of a miscarriage) and then his research. 

It could be caused by a polyp or fibroid (hopefully one of these) or, more disturbingly at my age, it could be uterine, endometrial or cervical cancer. I need to go and have an internal ultrasound and a couple of other things. 

And, I will. 

I updated my family. Not over reacting but conscious that this year seems to really be a turning point for me in this life. 

Life is short. Even if we live into our nineties, in the broader context of humanity, one life time isn’t an overly long time. 

I wasn’t going to post about this yet because it isn’t anything yet; it might become something but in this present moment, it has not filled that potential (and hopefully won’t). However, I slept badly and woke up a little tired and then let my ego take over for a few minutes as I reflected on my work status. 

I know that if I continue to fail to pick up work I can just speak to my Principal and go back to my substantive position. I’m not ready to do that just yet, but if I have to, I can. 

What then hit me, is that so many people play games with the lives and emotions of others. And I’m a tad tired by it. 

For the most part I live my life with integrity and what you see is what you get. I try hard not to visit pettiness or ego or emotionally driven responses on anyone other than my circle (I am only human after all). Before I commit responses in writing or verbally I try to talk sense and logic to myself so that my response is appropriately measured. And I try to see things from the other side. I also try to serve others by being present for them, not always successfully. 

I have launched some business promotions on Facebook. Yesterday morning a man wrote some horrible things about me under the post (I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me) because he didn’t want to read my boosted post in his Newsfeed. 

As a business person, I know that perceptions count – I deleted his comments. I thought about replying in a positive way, and then I thought about messaging him to apologize and to explain how he could turn that feature off, but after thought I decided that I didn’t want to engage with his negativity, even though it stung a little. 

After all, I’m just a girl, standing here, trying to create something beautiful 😜. 

This morning, after not much sleep, I recalled hearing that some people at my old workplace have been saying some nasty things about me (I was told this ages ago, it only surfaced today because I’m tired and feeling a little sorry for myself hehe), coupled with the lies that were revealed post investigation, little communication from a lot of work people, and the lack of work situation (yep, because I won’t work in a school where I am abused too many times), I’m feeling raw. 

And I just can’t post the glossy ideal moments of this gap year. That wouldn’t be real. 

And I’m purging it so that I can own it as a small glitch in an otherwise blessed life. Twists and turns, my friends, twists and turns. 

Life is short. This post will be too. An irony that I posted about negativity in a post about life being too short? Perhaps. But now that it is out, I can let it go and continue my day in a loving and peaceful way. 

Life is short. We need to share the small things so that we don’t turn them into bigger things than they are. 

Lesson noted, Tina. 

Have a good one! 

Owning It 

At the workshop yesterday I felt that we were a room of like minds. One of the beliefs that we seemed to share concerns ownership and responsibility. 

Today I was chatting to a mate, and she said that she believed that people always left her and never came back. 

I have had times (many times) when I have made similar sweeping statements that lay responsibility on the shoulders of others. Predominantly through my IVF journey when I often felt misunderstood, sorry for myself and very much alone. I don’t hate or dislike myself for this; it was what it was. 

But, I do think it was important and vital to my happiness that I was able to move on from these feelings. The only way I could do that was to focus on what responsibility I held in maintaining the situation. 

I could not control what my friends and family chose to do, but I could own my part in it. Once I owned my part, I found that I was liberated from expectation. Not in a bad or bitter way, but in a loving way. In turn, I think this made it easier for me to maintain my friend and familial relationships. It has also empowered me to work through my own issues as well as reach out when I need to. Basically, from owning my part, I have liberated myself from unnecessary psychological torment. 

Our host yesterday spoke about this too. If we have a recurring pattern in our lives that is unproductive, unhealthy or unhappy, we need to own our part in it. 

Often in life, things occur that are beyond our control. This is normal. But there is always something that we can control ~ us: our physical reaction, our emotional response, our future choices. 

There is always something. 

Sometimes it may just be that we control whether we take another breath. The important think is to own the choice. Once we can control one thing, it becomes easier to believe that we can control more things. 

Like with anxiety, focus on what can be controlled rather than what can’t be. Own what we can, because yes, we can’t control everything. 

Saying it makes it sound so easy. It isn’t. Like with everything, it is a process that requires consistent effort, stuffing it up, and then trying again. But it’s a worthwhile process. 

For me, it has resulted in an unrivaled and unprecedented happiness/wholeness that I am also owning. 

Living Your Best Life 

I ran a successful workshop a few weeks ago. Yesterday we had a catch up to see how everyone was going. It brought to light something I have learned in my quest to live my best life. 

Last November I made the decision to drop to part time for this year, and ultimately in December, decided it needed to be all or nothing, so took most of this year as leave without pay. The day I made this decision I sat with it before I informed my boss. By the end of the day I was ecstatic. 

I sat in this happiness until January. In January, anxiety set in about money. I kept moving forward, acknowledging the fear but not bowing down to it. This fear has since passed and I know that I was right to not return to work this year. My time in Western Australia has reassured me that I am on the best path for me. 

I am at peace and trusting that all will be provided when I need it. I am loving my life. I am living with minimal stress and happier than I remember ever being. 

However, as my catch up highlighted, living your best life is a journey, a process, and there will be glitches, moments of doubt, and fear at times. And this is all okay. It is also okay if your journey has no complications or glitches or doesn’t move as fast as someone else’s. 

Every journey, every process, is unique. Even within your own life. 

The important thing is to acknowledge the glitch, manoeuvre through it, and to keep going. Moving forward is vital to the success of living your best life. Availing yourself of opportunities for support is also vital. 

Take a deep breath, take some time out, re-evaluate the steps, and when you’re ready, keep moving forward. 

It will be worth it, I promise. 

Synchronous Moments

It is the first of February. Thirty one days of 2017 gone. Thirty one days into my reckless gap year. And January was an emotional rollercoaster. 

After tutoring yesterday afternoon though, and missing the kids at school, I have remembered how much I absolutely love teaching. The act of teaching fills my soul with warmth and love, connectedness and vigour. And, I love writing. The ability to weave lessons and beauty and truth into a tapestry of words – man, nothing like it. 

I start February calm again, with restored focus and stronger trust. Lessons from India and the beauty of Hobart rolled together into one last night in the guise of a film, that everyone should see. If only for the artistry and sophistication in how the story is told. 

Lion.

Dev Patel must be my favourite contemporary actor. He can tell any story authentically. No words. 

Lion. A reminder to me of all I desired achieving this year. A reminder that life is short and that suffering mindfully yields a beautiful life, ultimately. And, a reminder that life happens and that we should embrace it with compassion and purpose. 

India and Hobart. The last two places I have travelled to. Together in one film to remind me that this year was still about service as well as telling stories. The goals I had gently pushed to the side in the anxious flurry of not working and excitement in organizing travel. 

I trust that I have needed to work through something and that is why I have been anxious, and I am at peace with that. 

Yesterday culminated resolving my sense of value and worth, and the love for teaching that I possess, as well as remembering the different things that I set out to explore this year, and trusting that this is all a process and was never meant to be easy … or everyone would do it. 

Maybe this is why a couple of people have called my gap year brave. 

Maybe I am. 

Showering by Candlelight

On Sunday my anxiety was a twenty on a scal that goes up to ten. Monday it was probably at a thirteen/fourteen. This morning it started at an eight. Dropped to a five/six after moving my office back to English. A zero after yoga. 

Calm again, feeling a little India bliss (my yogi has just arrived home after her own Indian retreat), drove home, decided to shower in candle light. 

Amazing serenity. The light was bouncing off the walls and reflecting in the mirror. No noise apart from the boys playing. Just calm. Peace. Quiet. Happy play. Water washing away a forty plus degree day. 

Reflection on the relaxation. An image of me leading my first workshop for next year. Now needing to write the program, advertise it, find a space to run it in, find a date, and done. 

This world truly can be your oyster. Courage. Patience. And more courage. And it will be. 

Namaste. 

Rollercoaster

Wow. From calm, serenity, peace on Saturday to overwhelming anxiety and the physical manifestation of that yesterday. I was so churned up last night that I have had to call in sick today. I won’t go into detail about how my body physically manifested. I’m sure you can imagine. 

It’s been a big few weeks. I think sometimes we forget that our bodies and souls need to process our lives and that takes longer than it takes our minds to decide or process things.   

India was life changing. People say I seem different now. I have integrated I think. I feel whole. But it was also life changing because I’ve taken big steps to change my life. I have worked out what I would like my life to look like, to feel like (moreso, I think I’ve used courage to just own that my life wasn’t bringing me joy) and I’ve taken steps to address that. 

Big steps. 

Then, two funerals within eleven days, one close and one not as close, resolution on the investigation, deciding to take leave without pay next year, and organizing some big travel plans, all in like two and a half weeks, and, man. Of course it was going to catch up. 

So I’ve chosen to be kind to myself, to sit with myself and let everything settle. Again, I’m choosing myself first. That I am doing this, putting my needs first, with minimal guilt, still surprises me. 

I have grown. I do value myself. I embrace my worth. 

Our society tells us that doing this is wrong. That selfishness is a bad word and is wrong. 

But, it’s not. Everything in balance. I give a great deal. I am no use though if I am depleted. I need to give to myself first. 

So do you. 

Are you?