A DriveĀ 

I have only sat outside in my backyard twice since moving in ten months ago. Abnormal. 

I started to question why. I also haven’t gardened much and recently, I am struggling to contact my lawn man to have it cut. It’s like I don’t care about it. Abnormal. 

So, before I moved I debated getting rid of my outdoor setting and buying a new one.  My backyard, and especially my covered area, is so much smaller here. I decided to bring the setting here and set it up out the back. I’ve cleaned it. I bought new cushions for it. I put solar lanterns up and my wind chimes. 

And I’ve sat out there twice. 

My sister introduced me to her outdoor setting, purchased on EBay. I looked. I found. I bought. 

Today I picked it up. Saturday I will assemble it. It’s perfect. 

I drove an hour each way to get it. I’ve stopped listening to music when I drive, preferring to absorb my environment and process. A beautiful run through the country today to get my new setting. I felt relaxed. Calm. Peaceful. 

This week I have felt more like myself. Still some anxiety but my personality has come back a little more strongly. I thought about why. 

1. Away from the cause of the anxiety. 

2. Controlling what I can control:- 

a. To Do list

b. When I go out 

c. Who I see

d. My home environment 

e. Organising to buy a new car

3. Realising the whispers are turning into roars and focusing on my business plan again; making a stronger commitment and devising a strategy forward. 

And I think this is key. I was ready to take back control of the things that I can control but had to be out of the environment of the anxiety for a good solid week before I was able to do that. 

I’m still feeling anxiety, especially in my tummy. But I feel like I have some control over my life and I’m starting to slay the fear. 

Interesting. And as a result, I don’t think I’m going to be ready to return to the source of anxiety on Tuesday. 

We’ll see. 

What clearer sign …

A real crossroads. I am absolutely dreading going back to work next week. So, I am thinking I won’t. 

I love being in my classroom and wielding magic but it isn’t enough anymore. 

I was talking about my business plan with different friends over the last three days. All very positive and supportive, and so I’m in a place where I can almost commit. 

It will be hard work and long hours, but the change in lifestyle will be worth it.

So, basically Akashic Healing will start as a counselling/coaching service. There will be a Writing to Heal workshop component. I am now formulating the course structure and price to participants. Setting the price is exceptionally difficult – how do you quantify your time and expertise whilst making a service affordable. Hehe. Hmmm. 

It’s going to be funšŸ˜³

A New Week

I thought it was going to be cold and wet today. It isn’t. The sun is absolutely bright and when I opened my shutters this morning, a warm glow embraced my bedroom, and I smiled. 

I slept well. I woke once to Molly vomiting, cleaned it up, and straight back to sleep. For the first time in a long time, I have woken mostly refreshed. And I feel calm. Optimistic. Trusting. 

I still have an odd feeling in my belly but my mind is fighting it. I have heard the universe’s screaming. Really heard it.

I need to write up my action plan. I need to get things done. It’s time to push forward and be open to accepting what comes my way as a result. 

Good and bad. 

It is time. 

Life as LearningĀ 

What an incredible learning experience life offers us. Never a dull moment. Lord help us all lol. 

I am in a calm place at the moment, and have been for a few days. Solitude supports me quietening the noise that life usually offers. As a result, I have started ticking things off a to do list, and more importantly, started formulating what will become a five or ten year plan. 

Small things to take control of my life back. 

I have always said that Oprah is quite right when she says that the big things that happen to us, often happen because we haven’t taken heed of the smaller signs that fate/the universe/God has shown us. I have now started to listen. 

Obviously, I’m a phenomenal teacher and a great leader. I love the work. But it isn’t all fun, and the workload in modern teaching practice effectively corrodes a life/work balance. And realistically, my employer (NSW Department of Education) does not care one iota for my welfare or my contribution to their business. I am dispensable. Ridiculously. Because I am not. 

As much as I love the classroom and as much as I love making a difference through leadership, I resent what teaching has done to my life. What I have let teaching do to my life. Mostly from fear of not knowing and not trusting what lies beyond teaching. 

I wanted to be a teacher from five. I found a nobility in providing opportunities for kids to learn and to empower them to realise their dreams. Obviously, not all of that when I was five. At five, it just seemed magical to learn. I still find a nobility in teaching. But the cost in achieving it has become too high. 

I am a highly competent and resilient and intelligent human being. I am also a gifted healer. And I love writing. I can create opportunities for myself. And I will succeed. 

Breathe. Lol. Faith. 

I am in my seventh week of anxiety. I know that once a situation is resolved, one way or another, relating to work, I will be able to move forward. The anxiety will come under control (fingers crossed) and I will recommence living. Hopefully, with renewed vigour. 

But, I think the situation causing the uncertainty aka anxiety, is also serving as a big shout out to me that teaching is no longer my life path. I deserve more. I deserve better. I am valuable. My value is unrecognised and unrewarded beyond myself, my peers and my students. 

And that’s just not good enough anymore. 

So, I’m going to conquer the anxiety, conquer my fear of the unknown beyond teaching, and jump … If all else fails, I can always go back to teaching. 

Now to put the steps together so that I can reach the platform from which I will jump … 

To reclaim my life. My value. My self. 

Self DiscoveryĀ 

So, I have contacted the fostering agency and let them know that I am postponing the application/assessment process for six months to discover who I am. They have acknowledged this and informed me of the process if I decide to continue in six months. 

I had an amazing time away. I loved seeing different parts of New Zealand, and it reinforced for me how much more I love natural environments than city environments (NYC being the exception). 

We were having lunch one of the Sunday’s and there was a pod of dolphins playing behind the ship, swimming, chasing and diving. You can’t buy that sort of beauty. What incredible creatures my totem animal are. And I was blessed to see them like this, in their natural state, twice. Amazing. 

And the trip reinforced how much I love travelling. And how whole I feel as a traveller, explorer, searcher. I love the peace that I find within me. A calm that I don’t often experience in my real life, working life. I love having the contrast in my life. 

And I didn’t yearn for children. My fur family was at home, safe, being cared for by others. And that is enough. I loved coming home to them and missed them whilst I was away. 

I read Brene Brown. Two books. Daring Greatly has had a profound impact on me, and I am really practicing elements of her suggestions. 

During my IVF attempts, I often said that I could feel the process altering who I was, and believed that I would not be the same person I was when I started that journey. At times, I felt like this would be a loss, and at times, I think it was. 

However, today I see myself becoming more of who I have always had the potential to be. I think I am becoming more myself. Wholly myself. I’m not entirely sure who that is but I can feel subtle changes every day. 

I am living more consciously, more mindfully, more presently. I am thinking about things I would like to do and then expressing it, and following it up. I feel a sense of control is returning. 

It has taken a long time though. It’s been fifteen months since my last unsuccessful IVF attempt. That’s a long time to be drifting, and not be aware that you are drifting and not wholly living. But it was also necessary. 

I think sometimes we can all be prone to drift. To just stick to the same patterns and rituals, and not think about what we really want or how we really want our lives to look. 

Today, I feel like I am in the process of receiving a significant gift. I am moulding the life I want to be living. I have been given the opportunity to explore my life’s possibilities. I am taking stock and making plans. Today, I am enjoying this process of my life unfolding anew. 

Gratitude. 

LessonsĀ 

It has been a massive couple of weeks for me – thanks Brene lol. I go back to work next week and if I wasn’t travelling, I think I would be excited. This is going to be a good year. 

Over the next couple of days, in the middle of the ocean, sailing home, without Internet, I am going to write out some plans for myself to help me achieve my goals for this year. 

One of the biggest obstacles to my success in anything is myself. Go figure lol. I am resolved to not being so this year. And one of my most important goals for myself is to lose some weight. 

I realise that my weight is how I keep telling myself I don’t think I’m worth very much. Intellectually I know I am exceptionally valuable but emotionally, not so much. My weight clearly tells me this. Somewhere in my psyche I am stuck in my past. I need to find out where (I have some ideas) and work through the shame issues that are attached to this. 

In terms of diet, I was using the optifast shakes at the end of last year and whilst they are sort of working, I can’t maintain it. Juicing has also worked temporarily in the past. 

But I need to move from temporary so I am opting to just watch what I eat and add some regular exercise. I am ultimately aiming for health, to stop emotionally eating or at least minimise it by becoming more conscious of it. I’m hoping that by putting more nutrients in, expending a little more energy, and working through the shame attached to my weight, I may be onto a winning formula for me. 

I can only try …

Giving the Self Permission

I woke this morning, firstly at 1.10 am to kids playing knock and run on the cabin doors. Children need leashes. Parents should have licenses. Then at 4 am to go to the toilet. And lastly at 6 am. Tired. A little irritable. I am usually a morning person but today I found out what it was like to not be a morning person. Within an hour I was rebalanced. Gratefully.

At one of those times though, I knew I needed six months to really assess where I am in my life. I have been heading towards this decision for days but I was struggling to give myself permission to say this, out loud, for me. And really feel it. And mean it, wear it, own it.

Having digested so much Brene Brown in the last week, I know that the feeling of potentially ‘giving up’ has brought out a lot of shame type response from me. My internal dialogue has been a little chaotic and bouncy. I couldn’t have my own children, and the fostering process is long and hard, and so it is easier to just give up. People will think I am more of a failure. You’re being selfish if you don’t continue the process. How can you not know what you want. Or who you are.Ā 

You get the drift. And I have been wrestling with these absolutely unreasonable thoughts for days. But I had to own them first. I had to feel them. Explore them. Unpack them.

I am now in the process of releasing them.

But not before they have forced me to question my choices and myself. I have written before about how the process of IVF can completely erode your sense of self because you start living your life in terms of cycles and the two week wait, failure or success. IVF destroys your naivetƩ, steals your innocence and impacts your sense of hope.

When I chose to get off the roller coaster, I thought that because I owned that decision/choice, I was okay. But I think it was just a first step towards being okay. I think it is also so hard to really process the process because, like in my case, I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it who got it. That’s not to say people didn’t try, but unless you’ve struggled with it I think it is very hard to know what to say or what to do. I try to support others now so that they do not feel quite as alone, but I second guess myself too, all of the time. I know that no words take the pain away or minimise it but the acknowledgement that it exists helps. And the permission to make yourself and your healing the priority is vital.

There are still times that I struggle because I am childless but tried to have children. There are still some things that I can’t do. This year was my first Christmas with my nieces and nephews in years. The first Christmas I didn’t choose to be alone. So I am moving forward through the grief.

I think it is also important to give yourself an infinite time frame. Healing cannot be rushed. And I think that sometimes people don’t realise this. And how can they when we don’t stand up and say, “Hey, I’m still grieving. And that’s okay.”

By grieving too, I don’t mean that I am locked up in a room struggling with depression or bad thoughts. Ninety five percent of the time I am really happy (no real data to back that stat up hehe). And I am at peace in my life. There are just some days, or moments in days, when I am not okay. And it is healthy for me to acknowledge that, to own it.

As it is healthy for all of us to acknowledge, explore and own our emotions. We can not live a wholehearted life without being wholly present in our lives, and that means the bad moments as much as the good.

So, Tina has given herself permission to continue on her life quest and take six months off from the fostering process so that she can resolve who she is post IVF. This means that if fostering is in my future, I will be able to enter into the process without any doubt that my reasons are the right reasons. I will not think that maybe there is a small part of me who is fostering to create a surrogate family. There will be no doubt.

Thus far, just the length of the process, indicates it isn’t the right time. For me.

And that’s okay.

 

 

 

 

Timely Reminders

One of my favourite authors is Paulo Coelho. Amongst many other novels, he wrote The Alchemist. I have read it a lot of times, each time highlighting and bookmarking different sections. Brene Brown has become my favourite social scientist (nah, I know no others that instantly spring to mind lol). I am now reading her new book, Rising Strong. 

Brene cited Paulo in the section I read yesterday: 

When you’re on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.

We can apply this to life. If something is happening that is meant to happen, it won’t be necessarily easy, but we will find ways to resolve and clear the obstacles. It may seem easy at times. 

Some things in my life happen quite easily. Teaching for one. However, changing schools not easy at all. And I do know and do believe that that is because I am in the school that I am meant to be working in for me, the kids, the staff, and the broader community. My Masters in Arts happened quite easily. Because I am meant to fulfill my dream of writing (as I am). Vegetarianism comes easily to me; 23 years and going strong. Holidays and travel happen quite easily for me. Working hard comes easily to me, and gives my life and existence purpose.

And I am mostly happy. Happier than most. In my own power more often than not. Feeling fulfilled the vast majority of the time. I love easily and am loved mostly easily. Blessed and living in gratitude all of the time. 

There are worse things to be. 

And so, applying Paulo’s doctrine, letting go of what I do not have becomes easier. It isn’t a cop out. I still have to deal with the grief, like all of us. I still have to work hard to achieve the other things that I am passionate about. The work does not lessen. But my happiness and fulfilment increases. 

I am exactly where I am meant to be. 

And so today, I pose you the question, are you where you are meant to be doing what you are most fulfilled doing.

If so, brilliant! If not, how do we get there? 

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Nervousness

I have received contact from Fostering Young Lives; about to confirm my appointment times throughout December and January for the continuation of the application process to become a foster carer. 

And I am so nervous. 

The unknown does that. Insert nervous giggle. 

I am sure that I could be a good foster parent. I think I have resolved most of my issues as a human being. At least enough to make healthy decisions regarding parenting responsibilities. 

I think I am nervous because whilst I feel I will be accepted as a carer, I know nothing beyond that. And there is always a fear that I could be a bad carer, that it will be way too hard, and that maybe I’m not ready to sacrifice the freedom of my life. 

All big questions, and funnily enough, the same questions and fears I had throughout my IVF cycles if I became pregnant and carried successfully to term. 

My logic says that the fears and questions are sensible, even healthy, and so if I am questioning but continuing the process, then it will be okay because this is the path that I am meant to be on. Realistically, the path that I continue to choose to be on. 

I really am grasping my life and giving it a good shake. 

And it’s empowering more than nerve wracking. But the nerves are there. So many unknowns. 

Will I be at my school next year? Will I start my business by running my first workshops next year? Will I become a foster carer next year? Will I be successful? Will one happy? 

What I do know is that life is incredibly short. And none of us know what tomorrow will bring or when we will take our last breath. And that it is our individual responsibility to be the best we can be and to live the best life we can live. 

I feel that I am succeeding in trying. 

Fear is not crippling me. 

The Perpetual Fight for Elusive Balance

I found all of the answers to life’s big questions and the path to happiness in New York City in July. It is now November, and even though my resolve was strong and I’ve had flashes of balance since July, I am losing the battle, but not giving up. 

When I am not blogging is a sure sign that balance is elusive; it’s become my indicator that all is not right in my world. When I force myself to make time for blogging, I’m closer to balance. 

This week’s trigger came on Monday during my appointment to become a foster carer. I had to draw my support network, a never ending drawing this one for which I am grateful, and then had to draw the things I do every week for me. 

Hmmm. I thought I had a life. I feel like I have a life. But there was no life. 

Rather than feel bad about it and spiral into uselessness, I laughed and acknowledged the wake up call. Time to make time to do the things I love. And to enable that, I have to get the things that I am responsible for done. And so I started ticking things off from my work To Do list. And I’m slowly moving forward. 

I came back from NYC looking amazing, feeling amazing. I had been eating well and walking heaps. I maintained this for a month upon returning home and then I let work take over. 

So, after chatting to my best friends/soul sisters during the last week, and thinking hard about my body and how it works, yesterday I started Optifast. For the first two weeks I am doing two shakes per day and one semi regular meal. After these two weeks I will do two weeks of three shakes OR I will start my juice reboot, depending on my level of laziness in juice preparation. I needed a quick reboot. Optifast will provide this. 

A friend that I have failed to catch up with since returning home contacted me during the week to meet up for coffee. I couldn’t do the date but suggested another one. As a result, we are now going to Bowral next weekend to see a performance by refugees called The Tree of Life. And I am so excited. 

I have huge decisions to make regarding my work life. I haven’t been overly happy, inspired or encouraged in recent weeks. I am responsible for a huge range of tasks, and there really aren’t enough hours each day to live and to work. I have resisted moving because I love my school – the staff, the kids, the teaching. But some nastiness has crept in from ego driven people and I’m not sure I like it or where it is leading the school. Am I ready to leave a boss I like working for and staff I love seeing every day? I’m thinking about it. 

And then, the last bastion of balance, spirituality deriving from activity. When I first moved to Thirlmere I was going to attend My Yoga Space around the corner. That was June. It is now November. One meditation is all I have managed. Really Tina? WTF. Pull your head in. 

So, this morning I looked at the timetable. This week I have too much on. Next week, no excuses. Gentle yoga will start, possibly Pilates. 

The point of this is that I am human. I need to forgive myself. Transforming a life is a process, a journey. And journeys have obstacles. The trick is to keep moving forward, and to not lose sight of the destination even though there are times that the only part you can see is the fuzzy outline of intention. 

Resolve. Movement. Forgiveness. Compassion. Remembering. Evaluation. Resolve. Movement. 

Yep, I got this. 

Today. 

Lol šŸ˜œ