Out of the Darkness

Intense past month or so for me. And many others, I know, I feel you.

I have been (and am) in a massive place of transition at the moment. I can feel it – it’s like I’m lost, utterly lost, but know I need to feel that way to be able to shed and leave behind everything that no longer serves me.

As many of you know, I once thought (and for a very long time) that I wasn’t worth very much and I was pretty much an ugly duckling. I’ve had a recent lesson that has supported me in owning and accepting my worth and my beauty (in and out).

I finally believe that I am worthy and deserving to be my best self and have people around me who are striving to create a beautiful inner and outer world for themselves and others.

I feel like I have developed, through the darkness, a stronger sense of why I am here. It’s a little scary – not in achieving it, but in the machinations of how to achieve it.

I have a vision for this world.

A unity and community borne of, and from, love, as well as a deep connection arising from our collective similarities rather than our differences. I believe it is achievable. And I believe the way to get there is through collective healing.

I’ve had to step back from my normal lifestyle to regenerate and repair my energy. At the end of last term, I was completely exhausted – physically, emotionally and at a deep soul level. I tend to give a lot of energy out. All. Of. The. Time.

I have slowed down. I am realising that too much work brings money in, and takes happiness and fulfillment out. For me, in this moment. Money is great. I’m not knocking it. I’m just not wholly fulfilled earning it the way that I am. So, I’ve started pulling back from that. If I don’t believe I am serving people well, I need to step out. It’s hard, but necessary.

I have also realised that I am worthy of a deep and profound love. I do second guess it a bit, but in my core, I am worthy.

I have chatted to a couple of people over the last couple of days, overwhelmed that people can see me as amazing when I’m just being me.

I’ve been me my whole life, and have never been regarded with as much enthusiasm and validation as I have since India in November of 2016. Just recently, it has amped up even more.

My healing intentions for the world are being supported and people are ‘impressed’ by me. Freaks me out. Little girl lost is finding herself. I wish that for everyone.

I’m ready to evolve. Ascending higher. I know that won’t be solitary work. And it will be fraught with challenges for me to learn and grow from. But, I’m learning that there is a larger plan, that I need to be patient, that everyone who enters my life enters to teach me something, and that not everyone is here to stay. And, that’s okay.

A little lost still. Reread a book today and finished another book. Peaceful, but a little lonely. An interesting feeling for me because it’s a foreign feeling. I also feel raw, open and exceptionally vulnerable. Yet, I blog. I’m such a weirdo.

I am grateful for this darker period. I am grateful for the light occasionally flickering to remind me it is temporary. I am grateful for the deep connections I am able to build with people. I am grateful that I have courage. I am grateful that I am me. I am grateful for growth. I am grateful for pain. I am grateful for loveliness. All serve to remind me of where I have come from and where I am.

A Valuable Lesson

I’m back to being self-absorbed (am I ever not 🤔). I cried a lot yesterday. I felt very sorry for myself in parts. Sorry for others in the other parts. I woke up this morning after a long sleep, feeling like I’d been hit by a bus and rolled over by a truck.

No surprises there. When I’m sad, I become self-destructive in the sense that I start to have very high expectations of those around me. So high, that no one can reach them or come close to fulfilling them. The soul sisters had messaged me. They were both awake, with time, and we could unpack the purpose of the shadow self.

I knew there were old behaviour and emotion patterns that needed to be broken, and were so presenting themselves AGAIN. They have reared their heads now because I am in transition and they will not serve me in my next phase. I needed to acknowledge them, wrestle with them, speak to them, and ultimately, love and release them.

Healing work takes time, and I’ve realised, with such busy lives, we don’t tend to make time for it. I used to a lot more than I do now. Ironically, running a healing business takes my time. I grin wryly and shake my head at the folly that is human.

I gave myself permission to not feel guilt when I cancelled my plans today. When the guilt rises, I let it know that it’s okay that today, we put our needs first. And it is okay, even though I feel like I’ve been doing it a hell of a lot, too much, in recent weeks. Then, I chat to my shame and I let it know that it’s okay, we are in transition and we are growing and that causes disruption.

It’s important to walk the talk. I preach at others to do what they need. When they present excuses, I am firm. It is more than okay that I make myself do what I tell others to do because I know it works. So, I have.

Off to Bunnings to grab a few final touches for my meditation space. I realised that just being near the plants released stick parts of myself, so on the way home, I explored roads I’ve never been down (I did think they lead somewhere different, but it didn’t matter that they didn’t go where I thought they would).

Words kept going through my head – you have to become lost to find yourself.

A constant mantra as, mesmerised, I stopped the car to be mindful of and to where I was. I expressed gratitude and kept going, stopping every fifty or so metres to acknowledge the different sights, sounds and feelings.

I was free. I was empowered. I was present.

After hitting the car’s undercarriage on a rock, I was forced to turn around and head back to a road I knew.

I live very close to a national park. It’s one of my soothing places. I don’t go there enough. I’m scared of being raped and murdered and no one finding the body because I’ve turned location settings off on my phone. I know. Welcome to my brain. Residue from childhood trauma.

Today, though, I turned right without hesitation and started the descent to the dried out lake beds.

I love water and I am devastated that there is no water in the lakes anymore (thank you, fracking). However, the bush is still there, and it soothes my soul almost as much as water does. Well, today it did that and more.

There were people eating lunch and I’m avoiding humans to the best of my ability, so I decided to walk down a walking track – just a little way.

Oh my. Forget your pain. Forget your self-obsession. Forget everything. Just be.

I started to feel inspired. Ideas for workshops started to crystallise. Directions became clear. My spirit strength gushed back through my veins and arteries, exploding my heart.

I only felt mildly concerned when some guys on trail bikes were at the head of the path and the other picnickers had gone. I don’t think males appreciate how vulnerable females can feel.

I started the journey home. I felt lighter.

And then, the purpose to the misery yesterday revealed itself. Funnily, I had to feel, really feel, something I believe and something I always say, to the extent it’s the byline for both of my businesses – empower yourself.

Healing is a solo journey. Healers hold space so that you are safe as you journey your healing path. But, ultimately, healing is a solo endeavour. And, it’s scary to do it alone.

I think it’s human nature to want someone else to hold you, to save you, to do the work. To be there, even just to listen and to hold your hand. I also think that that doesn’t really help you brave the healing wilderness and come out the other side, more whole than when you started.

This is MY life. I am responsible for it. I, and only I, am responsible for it. I make choices, as an adult, that dictate my days and my life. I need to walk the path alone so that I can be mindful of everything I experience along the way. Other people can offer their wisdom and their support, but ultimately, I need to do the work to attain my own wisdom.

Personal responsibility and empowering the self.

I know what makes me feel peaceful. It’s nature. When I’m out of balance, and I know when I am, I need to go into nature. But, so often, too often, I don’t. I put the needs of others and my ‘responsibilities’ first. I have dozens of excuses to not do what my soul cries for.

And I face the consequences for not listening.

I am worthy of giving to myself first. Just as you are. In fact, it’s my core responsibility. Without fulfilling it, I am less able to do the things I choose to do for others.

Healed. Lol. Thank you, kind old tree.

Death is a Profound Teacher

I have been to too many funerals. Definitely too many funerals for people who died before old age. Death is an amazing teacher. Like all classrooms though, we don’t all choose to learn the lessons.

Today, a group of broken people gathered to remember and celebrate the life of a beautiful human being. Belinda and I sat and stood together, as we always have, and we supported ‘our babies’ and each other in our collective grief.

Trae’s death has impacted me beyond – I am not sure why. Love is love. Bel suggested it’s because this group of kids is the last group that we had such a strong connection to. We both taught 8E and we shared stories and jokes and learning. So many of that class are no longer at school. One, no longer alive.

Meh. I am writing this out so often because I don’t know how to talk about it. I can’t find the spoken words. I’ve turned to my faith to try to make sense if it, and I can.

Death teaches us.

When my friend, Natalie, died, I vowed to live my best life because her life ended way too soon. I wanted to honour the gift that my life is, that each of our lives is. I still think of Nat every day. Every day without fail. And I love that. She drives me.

I also think of all of the people I love every day. I carry them with me, even when I can’t see them for loooong periods of time. I feel blessed to be able to love so many people. To have known so many people. To have shared life with so many people.

Death has taught me that even a long life, is really a short life. Our time in this body, in this incarnation, with these people as we see and know them, is short. Some, a lot shorter than others.

We all have choices to make; I choose life.

It’s often the seemingly insignificant and routine things that are the hardest to let go of. Trae’s brother, whom he lived with, spoke beautifully today, remembering the dumb shit that brothers do that in the day to day, means nothing really, but ultimately, means everything.

Everyone that spoke, touched on these things. The memories that make the loss of Trae significant. We are all that for someone. We touch people’s lives, often in ways we never fully appreciate.

One of our beautiful kids humbled us by being her authentic self today. I’m so proud of her. She’s had a tough life. She knows where she’s at, even though she’s not always sure, and she knows she has a long path ahead of her to heal her childhood trauma, but she’s walking it, every day.

The trust kids hold for adults they connect with never fails to humble me. Being a teacher to so many kids has truly been a great blessing in my life. I truly do hope they know and believe how very very much I love them and how significantly they have imprinted on my soul.

There is more that connects us, than divides us. Sometimes we struggle to see that. And when someone so well loved dies, it is easy to look for someone to blame, someone who can be responsible, someone we can take our extreme feelings of loss out on, to unleash the anger and the pain and sometimes, the misplaced guilt.

The thing though, is that Trae wouldn’t want division. He wouldn’t want his death to be responsible for more unnecessary pain. When people die, we need to honour their life and their impact by living our best lives and being our best selves. This is what death teaches us.

There are broken young adults en masse today. I hope they find peace. I love them. I always have and I always will. I hope they feel that and truly know that. I miss those connections; would be lying if I said otherwise. Like all parents, I want them to live long and happy lives, but ultimately, that choice to do so is their choice, and their choice alone.

If only cotton wool was sold in massive bulk.

Meh.

Until we meet again, Trae. You were a gorgeous kid. Thank you for being my student and being a great kid. I wish I’d told you more.

Broken People

I don’t know how many of you will remember an email chain that went around in the late nineties – yep, I know lol – focused on the paradoxes. One of the tenets was that we are more connected than we ever have been, but people feel lonelier than they ever have.

That hasn’t really changed in the last twenty years, just become worse.

I think society has broken down. I also think we are all responsible for changing that.

Community is the way. Holding each other accountable for our behaviour is the way. Loving one another by looking for similarities rather than focusing on difference is the way. Checking in on family and friends is the way.

I feel most alive and most present in service to others. And travel, but that isn’t the norm for my life. I love my businesses. I love working. Not so many hours, but it is what it is and it is temporary.

Now though, that I see more of the world, I see how many people are broken and living in fear of change or even being themselves. At our core, I think we all want to belong and be loved. Ego tells us we want power and notoriety, not our core selves.

Ego disconnects us from one another. Ego is hurt feelings, vengeance, anger, frustration. Ego is the I. Ego serves the individual – sometimes – but at the expense of the heart and at the expense of community.

Real and true community, like when I grew up and people looked out for one another. Community where you want others to succeed. Community of loyalty and trust and empowerment and support.

The sort of world our kids deserve to live in.

Maybe, if we lived in a communal society, so many kids, so many adults, wouldn’t be feeling hope-less and lost and alone and disconnected. Maybe people wouldn’t be so broken and there would be more love. Maybe more people would survive.

Pain and loneliness is temporary.

When we make different choices, life gets better and we get healthier.

How are the lost meant to see this when we are so disconnected we don’t share it.

I don’t want to see more sadness, and tragedy, and pain. I think our leaders need to stop focusing on the silly things and focus on reconnecting people, growing community, finding peace and balance. They need to serve from love and not ego. They need to model a different way.

I want our children saved.

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.

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.

img_1075-1

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.