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.

I Just Can’t Sleep – Ughhhh

And I emotionally ate some biscuits.

A week and a half ago, one of my ex-students died. I was so shocked. It feels like I heard the news months ago. I kept an eye out for funeral details until I went back to work this week.

Today, the bestie shared the information. I only saw it tonight after I had packed up my workshop. That was probably an hour or so ago.

We messaged back and forth, organising our travel plans. I need to cancel some appointments so that I can go.

After that, I ate some biscuits, not immediately realising why. Not caring really when I did realise why. Meh. This is just so wrong.

Belinda and I have ‘buried’ too many of our kids. Some funerals I just couldn’t go to. It’s so bloody hard. No one tells you, that when you become a teacher, funerals feel like they become the norm. No one can tell you how much the kids become part of your soul either.

I have always just expected that when they leave they go on to create wonderful lives. That’s what they deserve. All of them. Even the ones who give you grief. After all, they’re kids, and kids are full of angst. That’s not meant to continue though. They deserve to be happy.

I cannot believe that Trae has died.

Cannot believe it. I feel for his family – there are no words to bring peace to their hearts and no words to make it okay. I wish that there were.

I feel for his friends. The friends I know and the friends I don’t. I feel for my babies. Trae’s Year 8 class, whom Belinda and I both taught – a blessing for us and them (lol) – were gorgeous.

Some exceptionally smart kids and all nice (even Tahlia for those who remember that for most of the year I was a “slut” to her lol – love that kid’s spirit – I hope she still has it and it has served her well). We had some good laughs.

Trae tried really hard all of the time. He was always smiling, grinning or laughing. He loved his friends and they loved him. He possessed a beautiful heart. Possesses.

I can only hope that we learn from his death, what we learn from all death, and that is that life is short and we should do what makes us happy.

I remember my first student who died. That was a massive shock, like this. Erin didn’t wake up. Year 10 Graduation was cancelled and I went home to stare at the walls for months after. One of her friends vowed to live her life fully in honour of the life cut short. She did and has and will always I think. She created a bucket list of things to do before thirty.

Death serves us.

It reminds us that all life is temporary. And, it teaches us to share our love for others, and to not take tomorrow for granted. It teaches us that judgement is stupid and love is sacred. It teaches us, after grief, how to live better, more fully.

But, it also hurts. It does force us to stare at walls, to be numb, to say dumb stuff, do dumb stuff, want to belong and to fit in.

Ugh. I still can’t sleep.

One Choice After Another

One March 1, I started a food program to improve my physical health.

For years, I have been healing the emotional and the psychological aspects of myself, and consolidating and extending the intellectual.

I felt last December that it was time to embrace the physical wellness aspect of myself. I had already worked on loving my body as it was. Embracing all it can and has done for me throughout my life, and just generally being grateful for and to it.

I ordered the Isagenix program the week leading up to the 1st March and was ready to start.

I’m not advocating Isagenix for everyone; I’m sharing my story. I am well aware that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I am advocating for it for me.

A few years ago I looked into the bariatric surgery. It didn’t feel right for me because I believed I needed to work through the reasons I was holding onto my weight or no method would be successful for me. I didn’t just want to lose weight, I wanted to empower holistic health for myself. Hence, starting the process of living my body and expressing gratitude towards it.

Initially, because of the bad press around Isagenix, I felt ashamed of my choice. I felt judgement – this is my perception, and I think it existed because of my old fears of not pleasing people and low feelings of self-worth – and was reluctant to voice my choice.

I am losing weight. But I’m not obsessed about it. This is a marathon and not a sprint. I’ve never felt that way before. The program has also just slipped into my life – fairly easily.

The benefits for me though, extend beyond weight loss. I feel empowered. Truly empowered.

At first, I had more energy. I live a busy life. Energy is great. I felt like I had control over what I put into my mouth and how much I put into my mouth. I’ve become very mindful about my food choices.

I also organised an appointment with my nutritionist, Michelle from Eat to Treat Nutrition. Her aim is to get me off relying on a food program and being knowledgable enough to do the same thing with natural foods, ensuring sound nutritional balance from natural foods. At the moment, she has advised me about good combinations and small changes I can make to ensure that as a vegetarian, I’m getting enough fats etc.

My blood pressure has become relatively normal and amazing for me. I’m sure this is the loss of teaching too and really loving what I’m doing these days.

A couple of weeks ago, I became excited about exercise. I’ve tried to get to a group PT session, but first rain and then illness stifled those plans. Signs from the universe maybe. I am going to Pilates once a week and yoga weekly. And now I’ve discovered Body Groove.

I love dancing, but I’m not a dancer. I have no coordination in following routines – it isn’t organic for my body. But Body Groove seems to work. I love Misty Tripoli and her methods. More than that, I’m getting up, and willingly and easily, doing it. I think I’ve found my groove. Lol – strength (Pilates), fluidity and consciousness (yoga) and now cardio.

Also, when people say to me I look like I’m losing weight, I don’t freak out. A very short time ago, comments would have sent me straight to emotional eating. Not anymore. I’m also resisting cravings. I stop and really think about what it offers me. I haven’t been drawn into a craving yet, close but not filled. I just don’t want to pollute my body. I don’t feel the need to.

I was ready to do this. Isagenix provides a tool that compliments my time poor lifestyle. It is enabling me to make better choices in moving towards all I can be. My mindset and relationship with food is transforming and becoming much healthier.

This too, is a journey. And it is a journey I was ready to take.

I think with emotional weight gain, you need to work on loving yourself and your body before you can lose weight and keep it off. I think that’s something our society doesn’t get.

Meh … my thoughts. I’m happy. I’m on the road to healthy. I’m not feeling shame. I accept I’ve always lived my life my way and I just ain’t normal. Whatever that is 😉

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.

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Massive Week of Processing

Ohhhhhhh what a week it has been.

I know that we have to wait to see the results of the George Pell appeal yada yada, but meh.

For me, our society has moved forward from when I was growing up forty years ago, but it hasn’t really come forward enough in ways that count.

Lip service and token gestures. Even with the Me Too movement, it appears that victims/survivors/victors of sexual abuse and sexual assaults are still not regarded as worthy humans in our legal system or in broader society.

The fight continues, and I will more actively continue the fight. Just working out how …

Then, Christchurch. I’m still feeling the force of it. I cannot fathom the evil that resides in the hearts of human beings.

The shining light in all of this is the compassionate and highly intelligent leadership of Jacinda Ardern. Role modelling for a peaceful world where people are included unless they are evil.

I choose love and I choose peace and I choose inclusion.

We do not have a leader like her in Australia … yet. We vote in NSW on Saturday. We vote as a country in a couple of months.

Our vote counts. It’s important to know exactly who you are voting for in your electorate, and what they represent. If their values aren’t synonymous with yours, irrespective of party, don’t waste your vote.

On Saturday, I’m voting for our local independent. The first time I haven’t voted for a major party. I’m done. None of the three parties represents me anymore. Time to change.

Our local independent (Wollondilly) may not be perfect (who is), but she truly cares about the local area. You can hear it when she talks. She might not always make the right decisions for my liking, but she comes closest out of my available choices.

I have a clear conscience in voting for her and working on a booth for her and scrutinizing for her. I implore you, do your local research.

Massive time of processing for me … not sure where I’m heading really, but I’m on my way.

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.

F’ing George Pell

I am massively triggered.

George Pell’s sentence is 3 years 8 months non-parole period for five counts of sexual abuse.

Justice Kidd spoke for an hour or so to justify this piece of bullshit. At any rate, Pell should have got the maximum.

Six years and he still maintains he is innocent, so no remorse shown. One victim dead from an overdose and the other living a life sentence, having to reconstruct and rebuild his life.

How on earth are kids and adults supposed to feel that they can trust the justice system and disclose sexual abuse when this is the punishment that is meted out.

What the fuck is going on with this world.

Integrity 🤪

John Demartini says that when you work from a place of your highest values, your life feels better and there is less time for less important/trivial stuff to come in and take your time up. He says, that if you can, you delegate or pay someone to do the less important stuff.

I love mowing my lawn and taking care of my garden, but I’ve become exceptionally time poor. This has resulted in me feeling guilty for not getting the yard done as quickly as I would like to. My yard is tiny – it doesn’t take long.

Guilt, guilt and more guilt.

And I also hating not having a space I love look beautiful.

Just before I left for work yesterday, a post from a local business popped up in my Facebook feed saying that they had availability for mowing today.

I messaged.

They replied.

By 8.30 this morning, my lawn looked beautiful. I supported another small business. And I don’t have to worry about doing the lawn today or tomorrow or Sunday.

Now I have guilt free time to dye my hair.

Everyone’s winning.

I’m living this new me. Giving myself permission to do what I need to be happy and balanced.

It’s the small things that make a difference.