A Perpetual Work in Progress

Massive lessons being learned by me at the moment. I am in transition again. So much movement in my life, and so much trying to be and do everything. You can only ever disappoint when you try to be everything to everyone.

Hmmm … I didn’t mean to underline, but there you have it. The first salient point in this post lol.

My whole life, I felt small. I felt like I had no worth unless I was doing and being for others. As I reflect, that core belief is what has always landed me in trouble during my adult life. And it is ultimately the belief that has lead me here to be able to smash through it. Gingerly lol.

Obviously, that belief started in childhood. I don’t hold others responsible for it – it was my perception (mis-perception) of the trauma I encountered. The same trauma that has made me who I am (who I like – an empowered, resilient, and beautiful woman – a little proud I can say that without any challenge or awkwardness).

Last weekend, I hit a snag on Sunday. I forgot I had organised to go to the beach and then catch up with one of my very closest people. I was too tired. Soul tired. I slept ALL day.

I knew I had to make changes.

I couldn’t keep watching people live their lives – explore the world, see family and friends, do stuff – whilst the vast majority of what I did was work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work. I just realised last Sunday, that I also love not working. It’s as simple as that.

I am most present and most liberated when I am doing any sort of healing work, be it with others or on my own self. Healing, and all that means, is my highest value and the reason I am on this Earth at this time – to empower and inspire others to be their best selves.

When I am not engaged in this work, I am not as buoyant.

This work takes many forms: tutoring, workshops, clients, writing, videos with Renee, and connections. And I’m sure there is more. It is my whole self.

But there needs to be a balance within the healing work.

And because of my ‘fear’ of disappointing people, my inability to say no for the same reason, all connected to my belief that my worth is connected to what I do for others, I have run out of mojo already this year.

When I’m working in my balance, I am energised. When I’m working out of balance, I become soul tired.

I’ve made difficult decisions this week, had difficult conversations, and the world hasn’t imploded. I still woke up this morning. People are managing to live their lives. Not much seems to have changed.

However, I have. As someone said to me yesterday, “It’s good you are setting boundaries, Tina. We would keep taking as long as you were still giving.”

As a person who has experienced trauma, standing up for what I want and being supported in that and not being belittled or punished, has been empowering.

The world didn’t end when I set some boundaries. People are disappointed, but we are all still functioning. The difference now, my needs are being met too.

And I AM worth that.

If You Build It

Tonight is the first night of my Moving Beyond Childhood Trauma workshop. I am excited and terrified all in one.

Running workshops always terrifies me. The impact of my own trauma becomes very obvious to me: the fear that I’m not good enough and have nothing to offer of use.

Obviously, this is garbage, but it is the narrative I’ve told myself my whole life. I’m not good enough. I think that’s why I stayed in teaching for so long – the system kept me very small and I enabled that because it fed my narrative – I’m just not good enough.

So, I have to walk the talk. I have to tell the fear to sit in the back seat whilst I drive the car. It can come, but it can not speak. Thank you, Liz Gilbert. I pay this metaphor forward and it changes lives.

Fear is normal. Minimizing yourself as a result of it is something you can control. To live our best lives, we need to learn to harness it. Acknowledge its existence, but do not give it power.

I scaffolded the program weeks ago. As you do. Something had been holding me back from fully committing to that scaffold. Yesterday, just before heading to work, tonight flashed into my brain.

The last week, first.

Always have the goal in mind. What do I want my life to look like? Who do I want to be?

Then, we will deal with the trauma.

I’m hoping the participants find the courage within themselves to attend; I have such a good feeling about the group.

Another impact of my own trauma is that I used to struggle with stepping outside of my comfort zone. Twenty seconds of courage to click yes and to knock on a door changed that. I now go when and where I am called.

Changing my trauma narrative comes one word at a time, one impact at a time, one change at a time. With lots of self-love practiced.

Trauma doesn’t have to define our lives. It is our choice.

What Am I Learning

I am so immersed in trauma at the moment, I’m amazed I’m functioning.

My friend and I have started a YouTube channel that focuses on moving beyond childhood trauma. Each month, we will post a short discussion on a topic that relates to childhood trauma and it’s many impacts.

I’m also preparing my workshop materials for Wednesday’s course, Moving Beyond Childhood Trauma.

So, what am I learning?

I’m learning that when you are delving into and immersing yourself in this issue, you really need to practice self-care.

I am learning that triggers will come fast.

I am learning that trauma makes you very vulnerable and makes you want to be so small that no one sees you.

I am learning that trauma’s voice is shame, and it speaks when it wants to.

I am learning that I am not the little abused child anymore. I’m a grown woman who possesses a fierce spirit and a compassionate soul. I am learning that the impact of trauma is ultimately a choice: we choose to stay in it or to get out of it.

We are in control of our lives. We choose what we do, where we go, who we hang with, and whether we get treatment or drown.

We choose.

A Week Later ๐Ÿคจ

I have had a bit of a yucky week. Woke up on Monday with the beginnings of what became a massive migraine that stayed with me, in a variety of forms, until Friday night. It forced me to really stop – something I struggle to do these days – and so, for that At least, I’m grateful.

I realise I have overcommitted myself this year. Leaving teaching has left me with a small fear of not having enough money and so I have overcommitted myself to my tutoring business. Add to that an inability to say no, and I have some issues to work through lol.

I laugh, but probably shouldn’t be.

All of this is a manifestation of unresolved trauma.

I’ve worked through quite a few layers since leaving for the cruise just before Christmas. Triggers come. I do the work. I resolve that aspect. Cycle continues.

Somewhere in there though, I’ve become vulnerable, a little overwhelmed and a little fearful again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong and empowered woman. I am also a work in progress, and sometimes don’t feel quite as strong as I want to.

All of that comes from deserving and self-worth. When I become triggered, when I do the work, I focus on the intellectual and forget to focus on the little girl.

I am not her anymore. I know this. The little girl has evolved into a woman who knows her power and stands in it every day. This grown arse woman though, doesn’t necessarily feel her worth as deeply as she should. The little girl definitely didn’t feel her worth.

This is the long term impact of childhood trauma. Intellectually I know I’m fierce, and lovable, and deserving. Emotionally, maybe not so much.

How do I cross that divide and merge the two?

For me, awareness is a massive thing. Once I’m aware, I start making different choices. I can already feel a shift within me regarding this.

I need to nurture myself: eat better, bless my food, ritualize eating, wear clothes I love, wear beautiful underwear, stand in the grass, hug a tree, play with my pets, laugh, live with intent, connect with old friends, affirm myself, make my life about me, burn candles, declutter my spaces, breathe deeply, meditate to love my inner child and bring her to maturity. Just a few things I can do that work for me.

And, I need to start saying no. People won’t hate me, and if they do, that’s on them and I don’t need them.

Easy to say lol – we all want approval, especially when we are vulnerable. But, we need to approve of ourself first. That comes from affirming that our own needs are as important, more important, than the needs of others.

We can’t give wholeheartedly when we are empty.

I will learn and manifest this. It’s my next layer to peel back.

Have a beautiful and inspired day.

Moving Slowly

This is unheard of. It’s 9am and I am still in bed. The morning ritual has barely started. It’s okay though – I’m giving myself permission to just be.

I noticed last night, I struggle to stop these days. I used to watch tv for hours and now I get really bored really easily and need to do something alongside it. In this lifetime, it is easy to become rushed and feel like you need to be doing something, anything, everything.

So, today, I’m moving slowly.

I will get up soon – maybe just to get my book from the lounge room, maybe to get the kids some food, maybe to feed myself – and I might not. Or, I could do some work, but only have music, not tv, in the background. And I need to water my plants, but if not now, tonight.

It’s already hot outside. No need for speed today.

I’ll be moving slowly, with my own permission.

The Long Term Impact of Trauma

I was having coffee with a great friend yesterday afternoon. We are in the process of developing an idea for You Tube content. The series will focus on childhood trauma and its impact.

We are both examples of surviving and healing childhood trauma, and creating impactful lives for ourselves in the process.

Our trauma occurred in very different areas: she lived in a cult and I lived in suburbia. We both have very high ACE scores (Adversity in Childhood).

The interesting thing about this, is that for both of us, the long term impact and effect of the trauma (unresolved and untreated during childhood) has been the same.

We both struggle or have struggled with confidence/trusting our judgement, we both have found a voice that had been silenced by shame, we are both workaholics, we have both suffered depression and contemplated suicide, and the list goes on.

The impact is not all negative though – we both want a different world and we work hard to raise awareness, and enable and empower the healing in others. We are both very passionate, very focused and love music (a safe place).

Trauma is interesting. It can keep us stuck, afraid, and unhappy repeating desperate cycles, but it can also liberate our souls so that we achieve bigger things than we ever dreamed possible.

Ultimately, our lives are what we make of them. Our lives are the collection of choices we make every day. Even after trauma, maybe because of trauma, life can be amazing.

Childhood Blessings

My mum sent me this photo of us last night. I became really emotional. My chubby body not facing the camera and leaning against my mum as she holds me. My mum’s smile.

My perceptions and memories of my childhood are quite focused on the negative: arguments, screaming, violence, me lying in bed bawling and making deals with God.

The negative always seems to create more of an impact than anything positive and this misdirects our perceptions.

If I could, I would teach everyone in the world, from birth, that the universe is always in perfect balance. When something negative happens, we need to look for the positive in that moment too, to keep balance. If we could do that, our perceptions would be more balanced, and we would be more balanced.

Sounds too simple, right?

It’s not. It’s hard to step outside of yourself and your situation to look for the benefits. Even as an adult, an intelligent adult, it is sometimes difficult to reflect. The negative, the drawbacks, are always so easy to pinpoint. We are geared to look for the negatives in a negative situation. We somehow thrive from this.

Looking for the benefit, well, that’s more difficult. However, doing it really changes your perception of events. My work with Mai Mai has really enabled and empowered me to do this, and I can do it quite quickly for most things now. Especially for the small ego hurts that occur. And doing it at the time, really empowers you to keep more balance.

Try it next time you feel miserable about something. Be in the moment, list the drawbacks, list the benefits. See where it takes you.

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 ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ 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?

๐Ÿฆ‹

A Quickie Before Work

What a weekend. I’m knackered. After work today, I will be engaging in some massive self-care. Hopefully by sleeping hehe.

I feel great – apart from tiredness – I feel a level of calm and peace within. Life is on track and I’m finding that I’m doing significantly more things that fulfill my three key values.

Choices are amazing things. Fear can be crippling – best we don’t let it be.

What step can you take today to make your dream life a reality?

Healing Truly Is A Process

Well, I’m exhausted lol. Another layer of healing pulled back and processed yesterday.

What I have noticed is that once upon a time, triggers took days, even weeks, for me to process, and during that time, I would slip into depression and sabotage my friendships. I would be immersed in and suffocated by darkness.

Yesterday, during the trigger and processing process, I was a little disoriented when a friend came knocking on the door, but I was functioning and to a high level. In fact, the visit brought the remaining cortisol down. Apart from tired, my self-care and tool kit of strategies took me through the process.

Very often, the triggers are not the cause of the emotional and/or psychological chaos. They just trigger it. I’ve found, that as I’ve added to my tool kit, the triggers no longer disrupt my life or my psyche for long.

I think the greatest tool I use to return myself to balance is what I’ve learned from Mai Mai in our sessions, and from reading Dr John Demartini’s books and applying the ideas.

I no longer have to look for the support in the moment – it is always there in some form – I still acknowledge the step as part of the process though.

The drawbacks are always fairly obvious, and then I focus on the benefits and list them one by one. I also now connect them to my values – how does this incident support my highest values?

Then, after that intense work, I’m just tired and yesterday, I practiced self-care. I apologized for not being able to attend an event I had been looking forward to, and I was honest about why, which whilst embarrassing and shameful (in my eyes at the time) liberated me in the long term.

It is so important that we use our voices and share where we are. Honesty enables trust in relationships and removes guilt.

Ultimately, yesterday was an opportunity for me to walk the talk, and to demonstrate to others how I did this.

Healing is a lifelong process, and that’s okay, because I’ve got this.

Poor George ๐Ÿ˜ onwards and upwards