Seven Weeks. Fourteen Days.

I am grateful that my windscreen was smashed. We have not found out who was responsible for it. But, I feel no anger, just gratitude. I hope that the child responsible finds the support they need to be able to fill the hole within them that lead them to the point where they believed their actions were appropriate and necessary.

Regardless, I am grateful.

Education no longer serves my highest self. This is no judgement on or against anyone else; these are just my thoughts and my perceptions. If you are a happy teacher, power to you. I no longer am.

I love children. I love working with them to empower them to fulfil their dreams. I love those light bulb moments when they get it. I love the jokes, the loving teasing, the rapport that is built through symbiotic trust. I love inspiring them to see the world and their place in it, in new ways. I am still a passionate and idealistic teacher. I always will be.

However, I do not respect or like the machine that education has become. I do not like the lack of humanity embodied in the broader leadership, and I cannot fathom or respect machinations that regard teachers and students as robots and tick a boxes.

I do not have the passion to fight it. There are too many who just follow it. My type of teacher is in the vast minority. I don’t see enough commitment to want to change; people don’t stand up and fight for anything anymore.

I will stand up and fight for me by being true to me, and putting me first. After all, no one else will. It is not anyone else’s responsibility; it is mine, and mine alone.

So, I have fourteen working days left until I hand in my keys. Keys that I will have held for very close to twenty years.

I have no intention of ever going back. I thought, when this time came, I would feel more heartbroken. Maybe the grief will come; maybe it won’t. At the moment, I feel like I’m finally answering a call to let go of fear and to start living. I feel liberated.

I have been sick this week, my body has been purging stress toxins, I’m sure. I have not been at school since the incident. I feel liberated. In the past, when I’ve been sick and had to take a couple of days, I’ve felt sooooo guilty that I was letting other people down. This time, I was able to prioritise my health and acknowledge my own worth. Illness requires rest. No one is let down; it just is what it is.

I feel happy. I have felt exhausted this week, every afternoon, as I’ve headed out to work with my clients. But my energy thrived as I arrived to the first door step each day and sustained itself until I arrived home. I feel very present when I work with my kids. I feel a happy heart and fulfilled soul; feelings, that in teaching, have been eclipsed by ever increasing administration demands and the systemic disregard for the welfare of teachers.

I know I’m a teacher. I always will be. But, at the end of the day, I am worth more and am more valuable than the system/broken machine of education decrees, and so, like all abusive relationships, I will move away from it so that my soul can thrive. I will not allow myself to be made small again in my life. This lesson is learned ( fingers crossed lol).

This time, I am breaking the abuse cycle that has ruled my life. This time, I empower me. This time, I am truly free.

Complicated

I was chatting to a friend yesterday about how complicated we make our lives. This week has really demonstrated to me just how true this is.

My leaving teaching has been years in the making, and I mean, years. For some people, it must be the most cliche and boring mantra ever lol. But, it had to be a process for me, and by being a process, I made it all a lot more complicated.

I still remember the day I raced home and informed my Mum that I was going to be a teacher. I just knew. I was five. I was so excited. And, I didn’t really or seriously ever from this path, until a couple of years ago. I’m now 47. I have been teaching since 1993. I was insanely passionate about it for the vast majority of those years.

What killed my passion?

Politics, bureaucracy, stupid decisions by the Department of Education, and their inability to see and respect teachers as a vital part of the education machine. Basically, teachers are required to sacrifice their soul, their personal ethics, their personal ideals, their identity, their lives, for a system that never supports their welfare first.

Yes, I still love my classroom and I adore my kids, but the stupidity of the bureaucrats is increasingly forcing its way into my classroom and into what I teach.

One of the best teachers I know refuses to play this game, at her own expense, but revitalizes my teaching every week. I will miss working with such a creative and empowering soul.

I want less fight in my life. I still want to create a different world. That was my motivation in my twenties, and it is my motivation now; however, the mode for achieving this has changed.

When I entered teaching, I was a victim of my childhood. I wanted to save others so that I could save myself. I succeeded, on both counts.

I have matured, and I have done a hell of a lot of healing.

My core values are still the same: we are all worth a lot.

Once I realised that I was worth something, it became difficult to stay somewhere I do not feel valued. The school I work at doesn’t make a difference because the system that underpins education in this country is broken. The management of it, is conducted by people who truly have no idea what teaching effectively involves and requires. The ‘system’ thinks one size fits all for schools, for staff, for kids, ironically, as they force more administration duties for differentiation onto staff.

I shake my head in disbelief.

The investigation year was difficult. I felt so guilty and so shamed. This triggered healing on different levels for me. Eighteen months after its conclusion, I realise that it is not me who was wrong. The system is.

My values no longer align with the values and philosophies of the system. I still believe that every child, every staff member, every family, is the most important thing and deserve, and are worthy, of being treated as such. One size does NOT fit all. Far from it.

And, if you’ve never experienced childhood trauma, if you’ve never set foot in a difficult classroom, if you’ve never programmed a unit, or written assessments, or spent hours marking, you shouldn’t be writing policy for education or legislating for Child Protection. It really is as simple as that.

The smashed windscreen forced me to stop living in fear of not having enough. My soul does not belong in a system that does not look after its people. My values no longer align. It is my responsibility to move to something that suits me better.

Last night, after an afternoon and evening of tutoring, I drove home with a full heart and a smile on my face. The same thing happened on Thursday night as I drove home.

I’m still making a difference in children’s lives, and they are still making a difference in mine.

I still program, I still teach, I’m still ‘saving’ kids. And, I’m doing it without fear. I’m not looking over my shoulder. I’m just being and doing, breathing and loving. Myself and them.

Maybe, I just reached a point in healing my own trauma and pain, and I’m ready to fly. Maybe, I’m ready to grow and live large, and really own my potential in changing the world. Maybe, I’m just remembering the whole of who I am, and systems don’t support the individual expression and accumulated knowledge.

And, maybe, I’m just overthinking it all, making it more complicated.

Anyway, I’m on the bridge. I’m almost to the other side; eight more steps. It’s scary and it’s liberating, all in one.

Doing what fills my heart is the right thing. I don’t know exactly where I’m heading, but I know I’m heading somewhere. I’m doing what makes me happy, where my skills and talents are at the fore, I’m living a passionate life, and I feel truly blessed.

I wish this for everyone who doesn’t have it. It’s scary changing course, very scary, that’s why it’s taken me so long. It’s hard to leave everything you’ve ever known and take a leap in faith.

Today, when I leave for a long day of work, I will feel light and happy. Tonight, when I arrive home, I will feel full and extremely grateful for the opportunity to work in a job I love so much.

Today, I won’t be sworn at, my windscreen won’t be smashed, my things won’t be stolen, I will only have the paperwork and admin to do that benefits myself and my clients directly. I’ll still be programming, targeting the needs of my kids, supporting their holistic learning, and connecting with community. I’ll be doing things that are purposeful and soul filling.

That’s the difference.

It’s time for this bird to fly. I might crash, but if I do, it will be on my terms and because of my actions.

Where do I start?

Five days in Katoomba to start my Diploma in Sound Healing with two of my soul sisters.

Wow.

I had been feeling that I was losing my way. I could feel that this life was not my best life. And, I had started to feel trapped and fearful. I was no longer standing in my truth.

I set the intention for the course to focus on healing my heath. I need my big arse belly to go.

The journey I took, after setting the intention, has been mind blowing. Mind blowing and multi-faceted.

My big arse belly, which I love deeply, is the result of living in the stress response my whole life – cortisol substituting blood – through my body. It is also the result of emotional eating because of trauma and the resulting belief that I am not worthy of deep love.

I am.

I am worthy of deep love. And I love my big arse belly because she is my inner child and because she has carried me to this point. Because I love her so much, I am going to liberate her. She will no longer be the prisoner of my emotions because I am worthy of deep love, and that starts with me loving myself deeply.

The full moon is here. A powerful full moon in Scorpio. Love and transformation.

I release self-loathing.

I release my beliefs that I am not worthy, that I am not good enough, that I am not deserving.

I release my fears about not having enough because I believed I was not good enough.

I release my inner girl, my big arse belly, and send her to fly freely.

I had forgotten the things that I was living last year. I had forgotten that I deserve abundance, freedom and deep spiritual divine love. I had forgotten that I was worthy of only the very best this life has to offer. I reset this intention here. I am worthy. I am love. I am peace. I am abundance.

I release my outdated beliefs and I reclaim my worthiness.

How did I come here …

We set our intentions and sealed them with sound.

We discovered our blocks through sound.

We transformed our blocks through sound.

We reformed ourselves through sound.

We reclaimed ourselves through sound.

And, we shared space with likeminded people, all at different points on the path, and worked with beautifully souled facilitators holding and nurturing the space, and found ourselves free to explore beneath the layers, peeling them back and discarding them one at a time. And, my soul sisters and I continued the healing and processing together every night at home.

Healing requires intention, safety, support, honesty, trust and a shitload of hard work. It requires owning your own healing whilst someone facilitates a safe space. Sound can be that space; the vibrations and the tones shifting and dissolving those redundant narratives we have held dear for too long.

I have learned so much in the last five days. I have made some small decisions regarding my way forward. And, I am finally ready to stay in my truth amidst the noise of every day life.

Om Shanti 🙏🏻

Blake

Video today. Words are hard to find at times like this. And, I forgot to mention, probably because it’s too hard, his mum and brother. Watching their grief makes you appreciate the loved ones you do have. None of us should have to lose people we care about. Much love to Lisa and Rory, universe.

The Benefits of Self-Care

Looking after your own needs is the best way to let yourself know that you are valuable and loved. We cannot give to others, without cost to the self, if we have not ensured that we are at optimum health first.

We carry so much guilt if we cancel plans, or fail to return a phone call, or aren’t there for someone else, but the truth is, it is okay, more than okay, to put your own needs first.

It’s taken me a long time to understand and to live this way. I am still a work in progress. But, I am working on it.

Yesterday, in the interests of self-care, I had a full body massage. I can’t really afford it at the moment, but last week was a rough week, and I hoped that the massage would relieve and release some emotional blocks.

In some areas, I felt such deep pain during the massage, wincing and cringing and praying it would be over. In other areas, absolute bliss and praying it would last forever. When it was finished though, and I took those first steps, my body felt loose in a way it hasn’t in a very long time. I was smiling from the inside.

Last night, I had the best sleep I’ve had in I don’t know how long. All up, about nine and a half, ten hours of sleep.

Today, my body feels at peace. I’m slowly getting my jobs done whilst a festival takes place on the road outside my house. I did the lawns late yesterday afternoon and the backyard feels like a haven. I’ve recaptured my feelings of independence, peace and hope.

I still have a snotty nose, have my business accounts to do, some school work and my tutoring lessons for this week to organise, as well as floors to vacuum and mop, a couple of loads of washing and a couple of phone calls to return.

The windows are open, the pets are happy, and I’m at peace.

It will all happen.

In its own time.

I am so grateful I looked after me first.

Dolores O’Riordan

I cried this morning when I heard that Dolores O’Riordan had died. You would have thought, had you seen me, that I had lost a close friend.

The Cranberries’ music is a part of my life’s soundtrack. I loved them. In many ways, Dolores being the same age as me, battling emotional demons, we shared a narrative. Simple as that.

My music idols and heroes are important to me. They provided refuge and companionship during some very lonely and difficult times as I came to terms with my past and who I was. We never get to tell them how important they are to us. I hope they know.

My dad introduced me to Zucchero. Dolores performed with him. I used to play it over and over, singing with her in kinship. My poor neighbours.

I know her soul will be at peace, and so I wish the same for her kids and loved ones here on Earth.

https://youtu.be/6rk8TsXdOeI

Deep Breaths

This time last year, I was excited by the potential of a new life. I was also absolutely terrified. That I wouldn’t have enough money. That I would fail. That I would be a hot mess for the entire year. That nothing would change. That I wouldn’t have enough money. That I wouldn’t have enough money. That I wouldn’t have enough –

You get the idea. More than all of that though, I was terrified I wouldn’t see it through. That everything would become too hard and I would just go back to what I knew. For the fourth time in my life, I had to jump, because if I didn’t, I knew I would be starving my life and my soul of something it needed, to breathe.

I think we know when we are hitting that point. We feel lost, stagnant, as if we are dying whilst we stand. We either become depressed or we change something. I had to change something.

So, I did.

From the outside, I guess it looks like I up and left my life. Big step. Lots of courage required. But, the truth is, I just put a pause on the life I lived. I created space to see what else my life could be. By doing this, I opened my life up, took the things I loved doing, and the space was there to do them.

I said yes to every opportunity, even if the opportunity was scary. I paused life as it was, and with it, I paused fear. As I’ve often said, twenty seconds of courage – acknowledge the fear, and then remind it that it isn’t driving the car (thanks, Liz Gilbert The Big Magic).

I have expanded. My life has expanded. I am happy.

At some point during the year, I let go of the fear of not enough money and really started to trust that I will always have enough. I am now working on becoming a multimillionaire within ten years, but that’s another story for another day. Especially as I face a January without income (or very little income because I will only receive what I generate for myself – and I’m cool with that. I think my bills are covered).

I have had many highlights this year. Many. I have been humbled beyond belief by the love that has opened within my life. I have been humbled by the growth of my business. I have been humbled by the sheer number of beautiful people and beautiful experiences I have encountered this year. I am in love with my life again. I am learning to see myself through the eyes of others, and loving who I am.

We create our lives. We create who we are. We create the potential and we create the lack of potential. We are in charge.

It might not be easy, but it’s easier than continuing to live a life that you don’t enjoy, and that is slowly killing your spirit and your happiness.

I am very poor. I am very happy. I needed to come to this point to embrace the riches I have, outside of money, so that the next chapters in my life generate both equally. Having money in a life not loved makes us rabid consumers and breaks our connection to who we authentically are. I am now living a life I love, it fuels trust that I will always be provided for, and generates the desire to earn more to enable the sharing of wealth with others.

It’s been an interesting year. The moment that best encapsulates it for me occurred very early on, during February, in Western Australia, when Mel taught me to snorkel.

Oh my. I still feel the fear, then the conquering of the fear as the cool water streamed past my face, stroking my cheeks, as my eyes opened to a whole other world under the surface of the water. It’s beauty caught my breath then, and holds it still.

What a wonderful life. What a wonderful world.

What will you do to create your best life?

Motherhood

I had a friend come over with her two young children today. We started several conversations. I don’t think we finished a single one. She is a great Mum. She doesn’t stop.

I spent yesterday afternoon with another friend of mine. Her two children had friends over. They are all a few years older than today’s children. She is a great Mum. She, also, doesn’t stop.

My nephews and a niece were here last Saturday. My niece is old enough now to look after herself. My nephews still need time and constant effort. My nieces used to be the same. Both of my sisters are great mums. They don’t stop.

Last week I spent time in Wagga with some friends I have had for over ten years now, since their two were 10 and 8. They are very easy to look after these days, but it hasn’t always been the case and they still require time. They are great parents. They still rarely stop.

Parenting, and mothering in particular, must be the most thankless and the most exhausting job of all time. Kids take you to your limits, and then push you that little bit further, just to see if you can endure it.

They need constant entertainment, they always need to be learning and having behaviour corrected or praised, they are always hungry, and they truly believe the Earth exists solely for their pleasure. Lol. Okay, some of this might be exaggerated. Sometimes.

They are relentless hard work. Just on their own, with their contexts just perfect, without trauma and without anything else impacting.

Realistically, most mother’s lives are not just perfect. Most mums work in and out of the home (and truthfully, inside is more than enough for anyone) and in contemporary society, most mums come from trauma or hardship (seventies and eighties were not kind decades).

Battling and resolving your own demons, whilst trying to provide the very best for your offspring, catering to everyone’s needs and demands, including society’s, and finding time to still be who you are and have some balance, makes existence really hard.

My mum, born during World War Two, forced out of home to live with other people so that she could be educated, leaving her home country of Finland 🇫🇮 to travel, finding ‘love’ in Australia, and marrying to settle here, did not have it easy. The marriage did not work and she was left with three daughters to raise on minimum income. Hurt and feeling betrayed, lost and lonely, she did the best she could with what she knew at the time.

I am grateful for that and for her.

For a while, I blamed my parents (illogically) for my inability to conceive. My non-biological daughter came into my life as a teen so I missed the chaos and self-doubt of raising a young child. I see that fear and self-doubt a lot in the eyes and words of parents, especially mothers. They worry that they aren’t enough, that they are messing up their kids, that they aren’t doing enough, that they are in some way failing their children.

Unless you are not present, and by present I mean in full mindful presence not just physically around, you are doing a good job.

Are you perfect? No.

But, your imperfections will be teaching your children tolerance and resilience, and you are modelling that they do not have to be perfect to be more than enough. They are valuable, important and perfect just as they are.

And, this my friends, is the best gift you can give your children.

Tonight, as I write this, I know why I am a mother to many rather than my own. I don’t have the personality or the patience or the selflessness required to be a present birth parent. This is not to say I couldn’t do it. If I had to, I would have. I’m grateful I didn’t have to.

I love my life as much as my friends with children love theirs. It is okay to be different and to follow a different path. It is important to own our limitations, and to be good with them. Mothering is an exceptionally important job, more important than it is given acknowledgement for. So, I acknowledge my friends that are parents. I acknowledge my sisters. I acknowledge my own Mum.

You are all more than enough. You are doing a phenomenal job, even when you are in the shower, or in your bed, or in the car, sobbing that you fear you aren’t, or that it’s all too hard, or you just want five minutes alone. I am grateful to you. It is hard, but you are succeeding, even when it feels like you aren’t.

I hope your children show their appreciation this Christmas. You deserve that.

My three kids are kids I can handle … shameless plug for my alternative children.

A Rollercoaster of Emotion

Well, it has been a while. Today, my brain won’t let me do anything else until I have blogged. Not sure I am quite ready to put down the emotional rollercoaster that is my brain every year at this time, but meh. What can you do. I must blog so that I can achieve other things lol.

I cried myself to sleep last night. Unexpectedly.

A friend of mine had commented on a Facebook post by Em Rusciano. Em was due to give birth yesterday, but miscarried earlier in her pregnancy. It was such a heartfelt post, something resonated, and I just released. No prize for guessing what the next thing will be to work on when I return to therapy in January. I will, under guidance and not by myself, Demartini the mother out of my miscarriage. This morning I awoke feeling emotionally hungover. I can feel the cogs turning in my mind, a lot of processing happening, I can’t access most of it yet.

I head back to my permanent teaching position in ten sleeps. Yes. I am counting down. Why do we do that to ourselves?!

I have had a phenomenal year. My goal was to heal from the investigation, and for the most part, I have. I do not think I carry any anger anymore, especially towards the people that I used as a symbol for all that went wrong last year (and not the people you would expect). I feel quite calm about returning to work from that perspective. However, this year has really solidified for me the people that regard me as a concept and those that value me. This is a good thing moving forward.

I carry concerns that I will fall into past patterns at work upon my return. I have no desire to be the person I was when I left, almost a year ago. I no longer desire to mentor any adults in the workplace; I no longer want to be the ‘go to’ person for all and sundry; I no longer want the long hours and excessive workload, watching those that I have supported drive through those gates to liberation before me.

My life has moved. I have moved. My values have changed. I am no longer the person that I was; I have liberated myself from the cage I had imprisoned myself in.

I think I felt a lot of shame and a lot of guilt. I had always wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t stop to think that teaching takes many forms and doesn’t necessarily just happen in a classroom. I was, and am, grateful for all of my years in formal education. I grew into myself, forged new paths, and inspired and empowered many. My legacy in education may not have reached award status, but my impact has been significant. So, I felt guilty thinking I may have outgrown it, shame that I wasn’t being grateful by needing to move away from it.

One of my clients had to watch a TED Talk to use as a related text for an assessment on “Discovery”. We were deconstructing it on Wednesday. It spoke to me on so many different levels.

Emilie Wapnick’s “Why Some Of Us Don’t Have One True Calling”

It sort of sums me up. I think I am a multipotentialite. I am a teacher, but I think my main calling, and this has been a recurring theme in how I teach, what I teach, and in who I am as a teacher, is that of healer. This year, even in my tutoring business, what I am really doing, ultimately doing, is healing the fragments within all of us that we carry with us every day. My multipotentials come in the myriad of activities I have engaged in through teaching and outside of teaching. I am always doing many things.

So, the shame and guilt I have felt have given way (or are in the process of giving way to) an acceptance that in our society, living and moving unexpectedly, requires courage. And, I am courageous.

When you are unhappy in life, and we all have moments – mine just became a long term series of moments, it is imperative that you do something to change it. It takes courage, even to mix it up a little, let alone to take leave to see what else is out there. I have always said that all change takes twenty seconds of courage. Thank you eternally, We Bought A Zoo.

We can all do twenty seconds.

It will take the same courage to go back, to be authentically me, to stand by the changes I have made this year, and to remember that I am worth putting me first. And, I can do it; I know I can.

This year has been successful beyond measure, a true legacy to my friend Natalie. It took me a while to make my promise to you real, but I will live with passion and energy. I will not waste my life, because I know how much you would have given to still be here breathing and living yours.

I firmly believe that our souls find peace when we are walking the path we are supposed to walk. My soul had been restless and scared for years. She liberated herself this year and she will not go backwards.

I do not know what the future holds for me. I know that I return to my school full time in a week (ten sleeps) and then five days a fortnight next year. I know that my tutoring business is going to be fine (most of my clients have already re-booked for next year – humbling and surprising to me – such is my naivete, and I have new clients booking). I know that the outline and focus for my book found its shape yesterday. I know that I have some ideas for an online business to source and build during January. I know that I am excited to start programming for my school students and to be back in my classroom next year.

I am moving forward. I am where I am meant to be. I am not stagnating again. I will continue to wholly love and breathe, embracing change and the moment with passion and wonder that I could be just this blessed.

I should stop there. It was inspiring and empowered and strong. However, this post is a true example of my brain, my rollercoaster. Be grateful you don’t live in it lol.

Much love …

In Transit

Waiting to check out, then we will be waiting to check in, then to board, then to get home. This is my least enjoyed aspect of travel. I am not a happy flyer. I tolerate it. I understand it is a vital part of the journey, but it is my least favourite.

Being in transit though provides time and space for reflection.

In two days this time last year, I would be boarding a plane to join others for a retreat in Varanasi, India. This time last year I had no real idea of how dramatically my life would change after that trip; no idea how much more and how fast I would move into myself with ease and comfort.

Twelve months have almost passed. My life is not what it was. I am grateful. I am blessed.

It hasn’t all been easy, and it hasn’t been without drama or pain. I set the intention to heal and healing is never easy. Having said that, healing hasn’t been as difficult as it could have been either.

I made myself a deal that anything I felt called to do, I would do. As a result, I have been drawn out of my comfort zone many times this year. Each time, I acknowledged the fear and then ignored it. And, as a result, I think I have had the happiest and most productive year of my life.

I am financially poor, but emotionally and experience rich. I know which I prefer. Bank accounts that were full no longer resemble that. I have met so many incredible people this year and have consolidated, in my heart, my existing people. I have no idea what my future holds and where I am headed, and I am at peace with that; content to be present and holding complete trust in the universe.

I am not healed; I am healing. I have not experienced anxiety in ten months and have not experienced any depression this year. I am in control of my life as much as any of us can be; it is fluid control and not dictatorial in nature.

I no longer feel shackled. I am liberated. A series of decisions and choices, mixed with naïveté as much as courage, pulled me from the mire I had been drowning in. It is an amazing gift to give to yourself. A gift that will keep giving.

I am excited to be coming home, to hug my kids, to start work again, and to continue healing and growing and moving more into the life I chose prior to this incarnation. I am happy.