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.

Letting Go: Failed IVF, the Investigation, Fear and Control

Hi. My name is Tina and I am a recovering control freak.

As a child, I felt so out of control so much of the time, that as an adult I have tried to control everything.

I figured that if I had control, life would be good and I would become blissfully happy. I have spent my entire adult life controlling or trying to control everything. I have never really just let go.

Until now.

Thank you, Uluru, for your sacred healing energy that infused a trust for the divine into my soul. I am still, still. There is a calm and a peace in my depths that tranquilises any fear or anxiety that may arise.

I am very zen.

And as a result, obstacles are dissolving.

I only know this because I know the other side, too intimately.

For the best part of five years I tried to control falling pregnant and having a baby. When I did fall pregnant, my fear of not having control expunged the foetus from my body.

This was an opportunity to learn a strong lesson, that I failed to learn. The lesson was that I needed to trust the higher powers, whatever and whoever they are. I needed to trust the flow of life and the contract I made with myself prior to my birth into this incarnation. I needed to trust, full stop.

I then didn’t trust my family and friends to be there for and with me, and I tried to control that too. And so, I was alone.

Fear is a great controller. Broken, from failing to control everything, fear seeped into the wounds and kept me bound. I couldn’t move forward, or even see behind me. There was just the moment, and not in a zen way.

Failing at pregnancy, I turned to fostering. Again, trying to control, I wasn’t enough; my reason for fostering wasn’t enough. I was confused and broken, belittled and worthless. Again.

All the while, I was being bullied at work, reliving aspects of my childhood I thought I had resolved years before. I was used by people whom I trusted. I was belittled and betrayed. I tried to fight back without conflict, with understanding and compassion I told myself, but really, my fighting was fear manifested. I tried to control from a very weak and inauthentic place, and that resulted in poor choices.

The fear resulted in a ten month long investigation. Ten months of fear and anxiety, and a strong, visceral reminder that I control nothing. Subconsciously this fed the I am worthless narrative I had been telling myself my whole life. My desire and need for control was really just me trying to feel like I was worth something and trying to prove that to everyone else.

“I’m pregnant, look everyone. I belong. I am normal. I am one of you.”

“I’m a head teacher, look everyone. I belong. I’m normal. I am one of you.”

“I’m a foster parent, look everyone. I belong. I’m normal. I’m one of you.”

Years ago, at a crossroads professionally, I went to a medium. She acknowledged my crossroads. She told me my two alternatives. Promotion at work, or book signings as a healer and teacher.

Fear, manifested as control, kept me bound, until the investigation and then India. Prior to the investigation, the universe had started to untie my bounds. I had paid my deposit for India. I had completed many natural healing courses. I had registered a business name and received an ABN.

Last year, paradoxically, I had my worst professional year and my best. I was amazing in the classroom; I was exemplary. I was an amazing mentor slash healer. I loved teaching and being with the kids. But, my life and my soul fell apart.

I was forced to relinquish control. I needed to find trust that I was being redirected. I was coming home.

But, in the midst of anxiety and fear, I couldn’t see this. Almost a year after the investigation concluded, I can see it. Clearly. And today, I can feel it. Freedom. Bliss. Purpose. Fulfillment.

I am a healer. I am a teacher. I am a writer. More than that, I am me. A recovering control freak, a survivor of childhood dysfunction, and a braver scaredy cat.

🙏🏻🦋

Trust – Yikes.

As a result of the way I processed the trauma from my childhood, I really struggle with trusting people to support me. I don’t expect that they will because, ultimately, I believed the narrative I wrote for myself as a child: I wasn’t deserving; I wasn’t worthy.

As a result, I have ALWAYS struggled to ask people for help. ALWAYS. And, when I say struggled, I generally haven’t been able to ask for help because I haven’t believed it would be there and then the narrative would be true.

As I grew up, as I moved through adulthood, until recently, I shut down in times of stress and pain, rather than be told I wasn’t worthy or important enough to receive help. It was never helped that when I did find courage to reach out, I either wasn’t clear enough in my request, or it was too hard for people to support me (not knowing how, not realising how desperate I was, etc).

All legitimately, and often because I failed to communicate my needs clearly through abject fear of rejection. However, in my traumatised brain, the ensuing refusal to support or failed realisation that I needed it, only reinforced my childhood narrative. It made me shrink further.

I have been working hard on improving and healing myself. I have worked to remove blocks to abundance and worked to remove obstacles that I imposed in friendships. I have worked hard to become the very best version of myself, and that has also meant sacrificing control.

As a traumatised child, I had no control. As a damaged adult, I have over compensated the control area of my life. Detrimentally.

For years, decades, I have tried to control everything. The investigation last year was a real and significant turning point for me in my healing journey. I had no control over anything except me. No control. Read, nightmare.

But, it forced me to start to trust myself. And I started to trust and utilise my Higher Self and my guides (those nagging voices we sometimes here; call it what you will). I heeded the call and went to India, and my life completely changed. A true transformation to become my best self.

Very recently, I have struggled with some minor obstacles (first world problems completely) and I have had to reach out twice for real support. I struggle with this still. But I have grown enough to realise that I need to clearly communicate what I need. I also accepted that support may not be possible through no fault of the others; I was asking a lot.

Both times, my request for support was very lovingly heard and acted upon. I spent more time agonising than was necessary. More time stressing and feeling awkward than was necessary.

I am so grateful. Grateful for the support I received lovingly. Grateful that I am growing. Grateful that I have created a life where second, third, fourth and tenth chances are offered. Grateful that I can trust other people to support me. Grateful that I realise it is on me.

It is easy to blame others and say, I am always there for others and no one is there for me. I hear this often. I used to say it. Often. But, it’s on us.

The universe is a big place; there is enough for all of us to have what we need and want.

However, we need to clearly communicate what we want and need. And, we need to understand that to achieve it, we need to trust those around us. We need to provide the opportunity for others to support us. We need to accept that not everyone will or can support us, and this is not a reflection of our worth and value.

Easier to say than do, I get that. I am a forty six year work in progress. But, it is getting easier. I am surrounding myself with people who have been through a lot with me, who have tolerated a lot, but also, in the last four or so years, I’ve also become discerning in who I give my heart and trust to, and that is making the difference.

I am a giving person. I am a loving person. And, I am surrounding myself with like minded souls who get me. I am grateful for this.

Trust will be an ongoing journey for me. I feel guilt when I accept help. This is ridiculous. I would do what I could for most people, whether they are in my inner circle or not. I should at least expect and accept the same for me.

And, if this has resonated with you, so should you 😘

🙏🏻🦋

What a difference a day makes … or six 

I leave Western Australia tonight for home. Molly, Max and Sammy wait for me there, as does a different path. A path that will require ritual, nurturing and above all else, patience. 

I trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in time. 

When I arrived last Thursday, Mel and I created a mini workshop to complete with her cousin. The workshop involved affirming, I Am, and a manifestation of this through clay. It set the tone for the days that followed. I was open and excited to experience the opportunities that lay in wait. 

A huge thank you and bounteous gratitude to my buddy, Mel. She provided opportunities to try new things, meet many new people, see different places, and welcomed me into her life. I have met many people who are living their creative paths wholly. This has inspired and empowered me. Our friendship has grown because we have navigated hurdles with grace and honesty. I adore her, her beautiful family and her wonderful friends, many of whom welcomed me willingly into their worlds. 

What a trip! 

What a beautiful state; Australia’s best kept secrets reside here in WA. Such beauty and virtually untouched landscape. Whole foods abound – choice is vital for a healthy lifestyle – and regular commune with the divine is inevitable, consciously or not. 

I will return home, somewhat healed, refreshed, open and trusting. 

Forgiveness is a process. Trust is a process. But the return from both when given is monumental. A freedom of spirit and an enthusiasm for life that is unrivalled in the journey of personal growth, and fulfilling life goals and dreams. 

My life, since commencing my fertility treatments in the hope of conceiving and carrying and nurturing a child all of those years ago, has been frenetic and painful, but has landed me here. And here is pretty awesome. Renewed hope, renewed faith, renewed dreams and goals. 

What a privileged path and blessed journey. 

Namaste. 

Feeling the Forces of Change

When I sat with my Principal towards the end of last year and told him that I needed to take leave this year, he said that he didn’t think I would be back. I replied that I thought I would be; I just needed a rest, and time to heal from the trauma and anxiety that the investigation had triggered. I am due to start back in my full time substantive position in the first week of December. 

Last night I started to look for shop assistant employment in my local area. 

Yep. 

There was nothing. 

This morning I drew an oracle card that told me to trust the universe. What I need will be there when it is time. So I am trusting the unknown. And I am good with that. 

I no longer feel anger towards all that encompassed the investigation. I accept that in the eyes of policy, my actions should not have been delayed, and I forgive myself for my tardiness and perceived wrongdoing. I also accept the divide between policy and humanity, and understand why policy is important. As a result, I forgive those that lied to the investigators when they were questioned, and I forgive all involved for the behaviours and choices that resulted in the investigation in the first place. 

Importantly, I understand that it needed to unfold the way that it did so that I could grow and prioritise my health/life. I was not looking after my needs and had stopped looking after my needs a long time ago. 

In the chain of events of my life, I was still healing from my miscarriage, resolving many failed IVF attempts, and coming to terms with a necessarily intrusive foster carer process. A process that I felt that I failed because my answers were not deep enough for the assessors yet I had nothing more. 

My needs – the basic needs of love, security and health – were not being met by me. I had let them go. I had not been nurturing myself, my relationships, or my life outside of work. There was no balance, and I was suffering but caught on a treadmill without brakes that moved faster and faster.

The investigation was the brakes. This devastating trauma and anxiety forced me to stop, pause and then question EVERYTHING. I fell apart, bits of me lying everywhere. India started the process of picking the pieces up and I gathered them in my arms. 

And then I decided to put me first. 

And now I am here. 

And I don’t want to teach anymore. 

I want a different life. 

I am walking forward, in trust, that I will walk where I will serve myself and this world best. 

Without …

Without India and without the trauma of the investigation, I would not be here. 

Without here, I would not have snorkelled. 

Without snorkelling, I would not have realised I fat shame myself and sometimes permit myself to live from fear. 

Without one thing, the other would not have existed. 

I am in a period of transformation. Not a period of change as such, but a period of deeper awareness of who I am and what I want. 

I need water. 

I need like minds. 

I need difference. 

I need happiness, more like bliss. 

I need movement. 

I need … all of this. 

I am about to fall asleep in one of the most beautiful places I have ever journeyed to. My soul is alive. 

Today I walked near the ocean. 

Today I walked in a forest. 

Today I loved. I swang. I chatted. I held a hand. I hugged different people. I felt. I soared. I sparked. 

Today … 

a single day. 

I am blessed beyond belief. This damaged girl from Campbelltown has empowered herself to really live, to discover what centuries of mystics have shared … life is to be lived. 

Life is not to be worked. 

Life is gratitude, blessings, sunsets, oceans, rivers, properties, like minds, lost goggles, lost childhoods, lost minds, a swing, new experiences, new friends, profound connection, hearty conversation. 

What a perfect day and perfect trip! 

Without the darkness, this light would not have come. 

The Representation of Weight

Whilst I was in India, my different selves started to integrate. As a result of the wonderful and beautiful women around me, I started to see myself through eyes other than my own. What was being reflected through them wasn’t any different to what my friends and family say here, at home, but maybe I was just ready to really hear it or because it came from people who didn’t know me, it was easier to hear. Maybe a combination of both. 

I stopped wearing make up, liked how I felt in my own skin, could see beauty in and through me. 

I have battled with my weight my entire adult life. As a child and teenager I was told, continually, that I was overweight. I believed the words. 

My sisters were thin, blonde and continually told how pretty they were. I was darker and not quite as thin, a different shape, and allegedly not pretty. I never questioned whether I was pretty. I just thought I wasn’t. I was smart and I focused on that. 

When I left home for university, far from home, I started processing the trauma of my childhood, and weight started to come, mostly to protect myself and comfort myself. I still wasn’t massive in real terms but I believed I was. Our brains are powerful instruments that allow us to believe the information we feed it. 

As a teacher, I think this is the main motivation in me not permitting, empowering, enabling kids to put others down. I have no tolerance for bullying and pride myself on kids feeling safe in my presence. I’m sure there are exceptions but mostly … 

Teaching really empowered my wit to develop. Before I went to India, I believed I was intelligent, shy, unattractive and hilarious. Coming home from India, I believed I was intelligent, hilarious, not shy and beautiful. Quite a mind/perception transformation. 

Like with any massive change, there is always processing time when your world is turned inside out and you become sad/scared/insert appropriate word here, and find yourself challenged. 

My weight is that for me in terms of beauty. After all, society and media continually tell women that beauty comes in a specific package. Forty plus years of low self-esteem with regards to beauty is very difficult to overcome. My brain believes I am beautiful but my eyes see weight. Interestingly, I don’t see my dreads or tattoos detracting from my beauty, or my glasses. It’s all about the weight, in all likelihood, my only flaw 😉. 

In March last year I attended an information session with Dr Zarrouk in Park Central with a close friend. That night I became sold on the Gastrectomy Surgery (cutting part of the stomach out to inhibit food consumption). I checked out my insurance the next day and changed my plan. 

Not for one second have I doubted this surgery choice. I have tried a lot of diets. The most successful was the Juice Reboot but I couldn’t sustain the diet (not healthy to do so) and the weight gradually came back. This has been the story of my adult life. Even with relentless exercise and healthy eating, I just can’t/don’t sustain any loss. 

This year, the surgery is on my to-do list. I see it as my outer starting to reflect my inner, and my selves integrating physically. 

I think it is important though, to acknowledge  that my mind has shifted. When I look at photos of myself, I am not repulsed. I used to be. I don’t necessarily adore the extra weight but I also no longer have an unhealthy attachment to it or focus on it (outside of this post lol). I no longer see it as the totality of me, it is just an aspect of myself that I am going to change. 

I do have a little bit of ‘something’ lingering that I am working through, where I wish I could do it without surgery, but I also know that whilst I can, I can’t sustain it. It’s almost like a shame I feel that I have let my weight defeat me. Completely illogical. And nonsensical. Ridiculous even. And possibly attached to the remnants of sexual and physical abuse memories – ghosts that need to be put to bed entirely. 

A lot of me though, the rest of me, is excited about a new potential for my life. An integrated, empowered, strong, resilient, beautiful woman standing in her truth, inspiring others to do the same. 

Yep, that sums it up. 

Synchronous Moments

It is the first of February. Thirty one days of 2017 gone. Thirty one days into my reckless gap year. And January was an emotional rollercoaster. 

After tutoring yesterday afternoon though, and missing the kids at school, I have remembered how much I absolutely love teaching. The act of teaching fills my soul with warmth and love, connectedness and vigour. And, I love writing. The ability to weave lessons and beauty and truth into a tapestry of words – man, nothing like it. 

I start February calm again, with restored focus and stronger trust. Lessons from India and the beauty of Hobart rolled together into one last night in the guise of a film, that everyone should see. If only for the artistry and sophistication in how the story is told. 

Lion.

Dev Patel must be my favourite contemporary actor. He can tell any story authentically. No words. 

Lion. A reminder to me of all I desired achieving this year. A reminder that life is short and that suffering mindfully yields a beautiful life, ultimately. And, a reminder that life happens and that we should embrace it with compassion and purpose. 

India and Hobart. The last two places I have travelled to. Together in one film to remind me that this year was still about service as well as telling stories. The goals I had gently pushed to the side in the anxious flurry of not working and excitement in organizing travel. 

I trust that I have needed to work through something and that is why I have been anxious, and I am at peace with that. 

Yesterday culminated resolving my sense of value and worth, and the love for teaching that I possess, as well as remembering the different things that I set out to explore this year, and trusting that this is all a process and was never meant to be easy … or everyone would do it. 

Maybe this is why a couple of people have called my gap year brave. 

Maybe I am. 

Crisis of Confidence

I finished last year on such a high. My Indian experience truly transformed my life by empowering me to integrate the different aspects of self and identity roles. I was unable to return home and not make significant change. This was a process. By following the signs and saying yes to different opportunities, I finally opted to take leave from permanent full time teaching this year. A massive decision. My identity as a teacher has sustained me for many years. 

During the last four weeks, my identity labeling has shifted. I am now considering myself as more than a high school English teacher. And man, that is terrifying. 

But today, interestingly and ironically, Mike Baird has resigned as Premier of my home state, New South Wales. He has cited the necessity to spend more time with his family as his main reason. I hope there isn’t a scandal waiting in the wings because his reason has impressed me. 

As a people, we seem to have surrendered the important things in life for work, addiction, fear. It doesn’t seem that many of us are living our best and most authentic lives. Most people I speak to feel a yearning, irrespective of how small, for something different. And most of us use fear as a reason for not seeking it. 

I am feeling that fear every day. I am so worried that I won’t have enough money for all of my adventures, then not enough time for everything I want to achieve. Bloody fear. It won’t stop me from walking this path. I have paid many deposits for a variety of travels and have paid in full my flights to Perth and Minnesota/Las Vegas. I will write my book and I will empower my business to do what it needs to do, but I am scared. 

Today I pulled out a Butterfly Affirmation Card and I giggled: 


I have faith that all will be well and that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I just want to acknowledge out loud that it isn’t easy. I am hoping that disclosing it will calm my mind and pacify my fear. 

You have to laugh. 

Mike Baird answered questions at the end of his resignation speech. The journalists attacked him, expectedly. Why did you promise to continue as recently as December last year? When did you make this decision? Where were you? Why are you doing this? 

It takes courage to stand against expectation, to walk a different path, your own organic path, to put yourself first, to create a new reality for your life, but I think it costs the soul more if you don’t. 

Kudos to Mike Baird today, for his resignation has reminded me that my choices are right for me. As a result, this upcoming year of transition, transformation, and discovery will continue to permit growth, and enable me to live fully and authentically. 

Scared but infinitely blessed. 

🙏🏻

Identity

I have been so busy. I wanted to make this year The Year of Living. I wanted to trust that the universe would provide what I needed to make my life happen. I wanted to reconnect with the people I love and adore. 

And, I have, am and will be. 

I saw the new year in at Eden, on vast acreage, overlooking the coastal towns with Donna, John, their cats Odin and Loki, and my two boys. Max didn’t cope with the wide open space or the cats so surprisingly, found himself happier on the lead whilst Sammy was fine to roam. I spent a few nervous moments thinking the eagles soaring and protecting the property would swoop and steal Sammy (thanks to The Proposal for this fear) but settled eventually. 

The three of us started planning a retreat we hope to host in June/July with building a scarecrow one of the feature activities. It sounds weird, but the mindfulness required and the act of creating something tangible and useful was highly therapeutic. Meet Hilda the Healer …


I drove home on the 3rd feeling hopeful but nervous. I love Nimmitabel, a village out of Cooma. I want to buy land there, lots of land. At the end of this year, it may easily be do-able. I’m excited about this. 

I am surrounded by reinforcers and inspirers. Ginny and Marcus, also moving in different directions, are also hoping to host and run retreats in the Mountains eventually. In a sense, we have been building our own community and seem to be on the verge of auctioning it all. Again, exciting. And terrifying. 

Lunch with Amanda, Nathan and newborn Brody, and when family has babies I no longer feel that sense of painful longing. I possess an inner acceptance of where I am and where I am not. And their willingness to accept me back has been a real blessing for me after a few years of necessary hibernation and healing. 

An then an important shift started to happen for me. I am seeing myself less as a high school teacher and more of a small business owner, life teacher. I am loving how the transition in identity feels. It is wholly empowering. And today, I’m feeling less terrified and more excited. 

Birthday celebrations for Karyn and more catch ups. Quality time with quality people, reinforcing old bonds. 

Time at Swansea, revitalizing my love for camping, and more quality catch up time with more extended family. And my obligatory summer burn. Once every year. I never learn. A childhood longing to be brown. 


Home to more catch ups on a bloody hot day …


And, this weekend working on promoting my first course for the year, assignments, planning before another week of catching up before cruising to see January out. 

My cousin comes to stay in February. I am heading to Perth to see one of my soul tribe from India. And somewhere in there I need to work to raise money to fund this new life. 

It is liberating. I had a vision for the life I wanted to be living. I’m heading there. The journey is happening. 

I am blessed. And exceptionally grateful that the trauma of last year has forced me to liberate myself. I feel alive. I am not just existing. Life is transition and flux and chaos and the unknown. I will not have regrets. 

Namaste 🙏🏻