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.

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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It’s All About Choices

Our lives are a series of choices. We choose what we do, when we do it, how we do it, how we respond, what we think, say and feel.

If you are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed or tired, that paragraph may niggle at you and you might respond angrily or sadly or out of frustration.

That’s okay.

It took me years to work out how true that first paragraph actually is and how much it liberates you when you apply it’s wisdom. I’m still a work in progress, but because I keep working on it, I’m getting there. Wherever there is.

Mindful March is revolutionising how I spend my time. I am making better choices consistently. I am consciously choosing how I spend my time.

Exhausted after a big Friday and big Saturday, once I would have chosen to not get up early and go to the beach. Yesterday, I chose to do it anyway. Best decision.

I have not swum in the ocean for toooooo long. I love it. The feeling of cold when you first get in, going through the stages of synchronising your body temperature with the temperature of the water. Gaining the confidence to dive under, feeling the water rush past your body, pushing your hair back. Breaking through the surface, taking a breath, opening your eyes and then floating until the next wave comes through.

Heaven on Earth.

Complete mindfulness, complete presence.

There is no other feeling like it.

What will you choose to do for yourself today?

It doesn’t have to be big.

 

 

 

 

The Price of Healing

I was absolutely knackered yesterday. I fell asleep early and didn’t achieve much at all yesterday. I think this is the price for Saturday morning’s accelerated healing. Tiredness occurs because my thoughts, emotions and body are all re-harmonising after a realization.

And, that’s okay. I publish my journey here so that I have memorialised the process for myself, and so that anyone going through similar things, can either find hope or realise its time to run 🏃‍♀️ hehehehe.

Other after effects of healing or during the healing process can include a runny nose (processing emotions), a little bit of an upset tummy (purging the toxins from the emotion), a sore throat (needing to speak out). If I go over on my ankle (which I’m prone to do when more healing is required), I will know there is more work to do. At this point, I’m stable-y upright still.

I am very conscious and plugged in to what is going on in my body. I think the IVF process taught me to be. I can generally work out what I need to do.

This morning I woke with a need to stretch out my body. So, I did. Just whilst I lay in bed. I felt where I was seized up and I stretched it out. Felt good. I still think I would like to own one of those stretching racks they used in the Middle Ages. How good would that be when your body felt tight.

I know that I am body focused this year. I’m in the process of changing my diet, I’ve added another yoga class to my week and I’m going to try Pilates next week (and hopefully like it).

I also like that I will be supporting three local small businesses run by women to do this.

It is so important to be cognizant of what you need, to express it, and to then make it happen.

“Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin'” is all well and good, but action needs to follow. Thanks, Dusty Springfield for the lyrics.

What do you need today? Who have you told? How are you going to make it happen?

🦋

The Detour – the impact of IVF and the importance of shared narrative

I’ve had an amazing couple of weeks of connections. Like, truly amazing. And I’m learning some interesting things and having to grapple with learning from some interesting things.

Yesterday, I was meeting with someone at the Square. I’m not often in Campbelltown anymore – too many people in those public places. But, as I walked from the car into the centre, I heard my name called.

I turned around and two beautiful people I’ve known for, gosh, twenty years or thereabouts, were walking with their young children. We stopped and chatted and they said they were going to Big W – in the opposite direction to where we were heading. I was surprised. Trace laughed and said, We saw you and we took a detour.

I was humbled. I have not been an easy person to know throughout the years for any of the long-standing friends I have; I disappear frequently and for long periods of time at times. I become very immersed in wherever my life currently is. These two fit into this category.

My IVF journey made seeing friends with little children and babies even harder, so I didn’t, I couldn’t. It’s easier watching their children grow, the children from that period, in pictures on Facebook. Nowadays though, it’s nice seeing those pictures come to life. Man, this isn’t going where I thought it was.

The day before yesterday, Wednesday, I established a soul connection friendship. We shared our stories. Many similarities, many differences. We navigated the terrain of difference together and learned how to communicate effectively and authentically with on another. I left her home, almost six hours later, knowing I had reconnected with another member of my soul tribe.

Part of our sharing of stories involved me talking about my IVF journey. I don’t really ever talk about the whole process for me – there doesn’t seem to be much need and I blogged most of it here. It was nice talking about it though.

It was a difficult journey. It was hell emotional. It was my detour I think. I had to go through that to get here – empowered, whole, authentic.

I wouldn’t wish the uncertainty, the drugs and their ensuing impact, the alone-ness of the journey, on anyone. However, I am stronger for it.

The person I met yesterday, to talk about reiki and attunements, has walked a similar IVF path to me. Funnily (or not – the universe is a little bit of a prankster), we went to the same primary and high schools, and her brother was in my classes most of our schooling life. We have crossed paths (or possibly in the corridors and playgrounds at school) without realising the significance that would later emerge. It’s a very small world.

I caught up with a small group of girls I adore, girls I met through teaching at Reddall. Again, lots of laughs and honesty, and genuine conversation. Shared experiences. Again, some talk of fertility and struggles that come. In that group of four, two of us have miscarried and two of us have struggled to fall pregnant.

These conversations show how important having people in your life to share your experiences with are. Our shared narratives enable healing. Not just in one, but in all.

I love women’s conversations. They enrich me. They connect us.

My closest female relationships today all felt the pressure of my IVF journey in some way or another. Those women, my sisters, share an unbreakable bond with me now though. I know that in my heart. They couldn’t get rid of me if they tried. I will always pop up in their lives. The path we walked and navigated during very dark times for me has strengthened all of those relationships in the long term. They are oak trees.

I think this is our strength. As women, when we are authentic and vulnerable, we see our similarities rather than our differences. Our shared narratives empower and enable deep conversation which yields deep healing.

I have another recently connected soul friend. We were friends in the heart before we met face to face. The reason I connected with her is because she has created a network of women to support one another in business, but mostly in life. She reaches out to women, prompting them to share with one another to push themselves further. I believe she comes from a pure heart and pure purpose. And I respect and love her for that. She wants women to find themselves and creates opportunities for just that.

I am surrounded by exceptionally strong and powerful women, and we share more similarities than differences. I am extremely grateful for my life and for the people in it. I am blessed by meeting more and more sisters and being able to share and learn from each other’s narratives.

Ultimately, we all want the same things: love, support and happiness. Together, we achieve them.

Fear & New Opportunities

When we let go of something that no longer serves us, no longer brings us happiness, it creates space for new things and new people to come into your life.

There is always fear when we make a change to our life. It doesn’t matter how small or large that change may be, fear of the unknown and the what if always lurks.

Liz Gilbert, author of Big Magic, recounts the way she handles fear and I’ve found it useful. We can’t ignore the fear, so we acknowledge it. She uses the metaphor of taking a drive. She tells fear to sit in the back seat, so it is acknowledged, but she tells fear to keep its mouth closed – it has no voice – and she does what she needs to do, drive her car.

Sometimes, too, it can help to write yourself a permission slip. Brene Brown is a huge advocate for writing yourself a permission slip. The act of giving yourself permission just makes it a little easier to do what you need to do for yourself.

Fear is useful. It keeps us humble. We just can’t let it control our lives. Fear keeps us small. None of us are small. When we aren’t living our best life, we can’t be our best self, and that robs the world of what we were put here on Earth at this time for.

When I left teaching, I was scared and sad. I loved being in the classroom. I thought I would die at Reddall, teaching the grandchildren of the children I had taught.

Letting go of a stable and secure income was difficult. Terrifying. I’d only ever really known teaching. But, it became infinitely more difficult to stay somewhere where my values no longer aligned with my employer’s values. I was sooooo unhappy. I hated going to work. I had to change.

I left gradually. I built a business up. I had enough stability in that to leave teaching.

As a result, I have more energy, my passion for life is back, and there is space in my life for new things. I’m 47 and feel a youthful zest for life that I haven’t felt in years.

Change is scary. Change is necessary. We ALL deserve to feel passionate and happy in life. You have to be vulnerable and you have to leap into the unknown sometimes.

Childhood Trauma

Obviously, I’ve decided to start writing every day again. I’ve missed it. I think (it could change) that a lot of my posts might focus on childhood trauma and abuse and healing.

I was sexually and physically and emotionally/psychologically abused during my childhood. The way I perceived it all, I grew up believing that I wasn’t worth very much. This made it easier for other people to keep me feeling small in my life. After all, when you aren’t worth much you believe you don’t deserve much.

I have recently read two amazing books on childhood trauma. Dr Bessell van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score and Dr Nadine Burke Harris’ The Deepest Well. If you are interested, the second one is a much easier read than the first. She also has a TED Talk.

An ACE Score is an adversity in childhood experiences score. There are ten questions based on childhood experience. The higher the score, the more traumatic your childhood experiences were. This leaves you open to greater health problems and dysfunction in adulthood.

My score is 8 out of 10.

I’m flabbergasted I function as well as I do hehe.

I always felt motivated intrinsically to heal though. I never wanted my life to be restricted because of my childhood adversity. After all, it wasn’t all bad, it’s just that the bad had no voice and no way to release itself or moderate itself so it took over.

As I read The Body Keeps the Score, I realised how significant the impact of silence and shame has been – especially physically. The physicality extends into the psychological.

I have achieved a great deal in and throughout my life. I continue to grow and to heal. I don’t know why I never really fell off the rails into promiscuity and drugs. Possibly fear lol.

I do know though, that we are better informed today than we were in the seventies and early eighties. I know that counselling and support could make the world of difference in an abused child’s life.

I do not understand why it isn’t mandated in the Child Protection legislation. Trauma counselling should be a given for children experiencing trauma. Research indicates that it can make a significant difference to life outcomes.

So, I will be advocating for this. I want children to have hope, and passion for life, and the belief that they deserve to have their dreams come true.

That’s why I taught for so much longer than I think was healthy for me. I believe in our children, and I’ve seen too many parents, out of their depth, not know how to support their child through trauma. Parents need support too.

We know better. It’s time we do better.

Tina says 🤪

Self Perception

Two and a bit years ago, when I was in Varanasi, India, on a life changing retreat with Alana Fairchild and some incredible women, I realised that the label of shyness no longer applied to me.

I realised this because the women I connected with, informed me that I was basically full of it. I hadn’t realised that I had grown through my shyness; the label was limiting and false. That reality of shyness was no longer real. My perception was restricting my growth.

Letting go of that label, literally just letting go, has empowered me to own who I am and wear it with pride. I meet people now without fear and project myself wholly.

That has resulted in me flourishing. I am standing in my truth and holding myself with pride. I like who I am. I’m not perfect, but I’m perfect in every moment.

Sometimes, moving forward requires us to let go of the labels we use to identify ourselves.

I also let go of the school teacher label and my life has opened up. I have let go of the ugly and unattractive and fat labels. They no longer serve my higher purpose. I see myself as attractive, open and beautiful now (except bad hair months lol).

List the labels you identify as. Ask yourself: does this label serve me or restrict me? If it restricts you, let it go. Write it on a piece of paper and burn it into oblivion (over a kitchen sink with a working tap).

Similarly, if a label serves you, collect them all into one piece of paper, add other ‘labels’ you would like to be, and plant that piece of paper in the earth.

Let them grow. Let you grow. Empower yourself.

What Happens When We Let Go

I left teaching seven weeks ago. I haven’t looked back. I was past my ‘best before’ date and I knew it. I still have a hundred percent in the classroom, but I wasn’t as motivated outside of it. Probably because I was running a business outside of school hours and all day Saturday; there was no time.

I am now working seven days a week. I’m knackered lol. I’m blissfully happy too. I’m growing my business and creating new pathways for myself; I am living my dream. Did I mention, I’m exhausted. Lol.

The last couple of weeks has been bizarre.

I was first contacted by an ex-colleague who has offered me the opportunity to run a stress relief, mindfulness and meditation session for Year 7 students at her school. Yes, please, thank you. Humbled and initially terrified, I accepted. Of course I can do this 😳.

After saying YES, the universe realised I was willing to accept opportunities and was serious about not going back to teaching in a school.

I was then contacted by an ex-student from another lifetime altogether and asked if I was interested in running meditation/healing in his centre.

Yes, please.

From that meeting, a whole other new opportunity emerged to work with the Department of Housing, developing and implementing programs to support the empowerment of women. Oh my. It’s still sinking in. That was the end goal of my business; it’s come ten years early.

Yes, please.

And, then, realising that what they want is just who I am. No bells or whistles, just what I do every day being me.

What a gift. I am beyond grateful. It is amazing what transpires and manifests when you just let go …

Let go of everything that no longer serves you, of everything that does not bring you happiness and joy, of everything that no longer fits … and you create openings and space for everything that you do want, to come in.

It’s a process, but man, such a worthwhile one.

Trusting the Flow

I’ve attended every yoga class this term. That’s a minor miracle for me. Usually, by now, I would have become sick.

Not this term.

I’ve meditated almost every night. As a result, my deep sleep percentage is rising. I also have more energy every day.

This week, after Sunday’s minor implosion with massive purging, my perspectives have shifted. It’s like I shook off everything that has been holding me back. Sunday was hard, but needed to happen.

I woke on Monday, liberated. An easiness in my steps with a singing heart. I’ve had an amazing week.

I’ve stopped worrying about money. I have minimal stress. I feel fantastic. And the energies are flowing. I’ve loved working and feel so blessed to be creating the life I want to be living.

My business is thriving; my waiting list is surging. My intuition is at full strength and I’m trusting the signs. Ooh, and embracing opportunities.

Because I removed my self-imposed shackles, I am embracing and loving life. I no longer want to be small. I’m ready to shine. I am shining.

I am not controlled by my past or by distorted self- perception. My writing is flowing and my book is writing itself as a result. I’m learning, growing, becoming wholly me in every instant.

I’m not looking back. Eyes are pointing forward whilst my soul is very much present in the moment.

Gratitude.