A Very Quiet Week 

Warning: further on in this post there are potential triggers for survivors and victims of childhood sexual abuse, and their parents. 
Between the business and casual teaching, I have had a work filled week which has permitted not much of anything else. But it’s been a calm and soul filling week. 

The kids at the school I am working a lot at are getting to know me and I am getting to know them. I like the staff I work directly with and am becoming a little emotionally connected. I have some blocks coming up too. 

But the exciting news is that tomorrow I leave for the US. In forty eight hours or so I will be reunited with two of my tribe (from our meeting in India last year) and I am so excited. Nervous – I hate being in the way (a value thing) – and excited. I can’t wait to be in their space and share energy with them. 

And the following week I head to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding. And we are getting tattooed at Pussykat Tattoo Studio. And then she gets married and then I go to the Grand Canyon and then I fly home. A whirlwind trip incorporating time in two places I never thought of going to. 

This is what my gap year/mid life crisis is about: exploring life’s potential and trusting that where I am drawn to, I am meant to be. 

I have found a stillness within me. I’m meditating more and there is a calm in my mind and life. I am finding it infinitely easier to be and to exist for sustained periods of time in the present moment. I talk to my fear, to the odd pop of anxiety, to acknowledge it and then let it go. As a result, I am enjoying the things that I do because I am wholly present in them. 

Teaching is my means to an end. It pays the bills. My business, my study and my writing is my soul work. These light me from within and bring me home. 

I have always struggled to find inspiration and creative freedom to write whilst working, until now. During the week a block that I have found whilst writing my novel was lifted and I have been able to write in small chunks of time, at lunch, between clients, wherever I can, and it has just oozed out of me. 

I am at peace. I have found a type of balance. For now. Interestingly, I’m not taking a laptop with me on my travels – iPad yes, phone yes, laptop no. I hate taking it out of my bag continually at security checkpoints and don’t use it enough to justify it. I will use my phone and transfer it when I get home. 

My novel is about a teenage girl who is raped at a party. In the course of processing it, she learns more about herself, her friends, her family, and the world, than she ever wanted to know. It’s been easy to write at times and more difficult at others. I’ve been researching and have decided to include her mother’s perspective because the role of the mother, whilst pivotal, is never really explored. 

I think my recent experiences of helplessness – through the issue that resulted in the investigation last year – will enable me to empathise with the role of mother in these circumstances – the paralysis, the fear, the not wanting to open a hornet nest, etc. I will obviously also research in other ways. 

If you are the mother or father of a child who has been raped or sexually abused, I would love for you to write to me about your experiences if you feel that you can – not the specifics of the situation necessarily, but definitely your emotional/psychological journey. If you can

Our children live in such an unsafe and disconnected world, I fear for them. Manchester’s events rocked all of us during the week. Targeting young people specifically is a very cruel strategy. But when I reflected further, we always have targeted young people, just not as noisily or blatantly. 

The number of kids in care, or who should be, is ridiculous. The number of kids with parents who work so much they aren’t really present, grows. The number of kids subjected to sexual abuse, physical violence, neglect and emotional abuse, grows. CASA state that 20% of women and 10% of men have reported non-penetrative sexual assault occurred before they turned sixteen, and these numbers are significant disproportionate for indigenous adults. 

Childhood sexual abuse really has become and has stayed a silent epidemic. The long term impact of sexual abuse incapacitates adults, which impacts society. It is an issue that requires a higher social profile because it needs to stop. 

I know, am blessed to know many, and be, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I’m not whole. I am close to being whole. It has taken, and continues to take, effort and work to maintain emotional and psychological health. At forty six, the impact is significantly less on my life now than it used to be. I have worked hard and for a long time. 

I love that practice, I think Chinese, where the cracks in a bowl are filled with gold – a beautiful metaphor for survivors of trauma. It is our cracks that make us vulnerable to breakage but when filled, make us more resilient and more beautiful than we otherwise would have been. 

Yep. A quiet week but apparently not so quiet in my mind. 

Namaste đŸ™đŸ»đŸŠ‹

Some clarity, only some đŸ˜›

This month is about building business and success, lessons being learned and trust. It’s very easy to not worry about money when you have a regular and reasonable pay cheque.

I am not receiving much casual teaching work – a couple of days each fortnight if. It is forcing me to adjust the way I live, the way I spend and the way I think. My savings are almost gone; they were meant to last the year and finance all of my travel plans. Very little casual teaching means that they have financed my rent, loan repayments and life. 

This morning, after talking sense to myself for days, I’ve woken up focusing on the gift of this time of a transforming life. How truly blessed I was to have savings that enabled and empowered me to say no to working full time this year in a job that had left my passion for life behind at some point. 

And, my business has grown significantly this term. If I had priced myself appropriately and structured my business slightly differently, lessons learned, I would be generating more income. 

Today, I woke after 7. I have been waking at 6 every day, phone on volume, anxious to hear the phone ring or a message tone, wanting work but not wanting to go to work. 

An interesting bind, and very much a first world, white, privileged problem. 

I love my business; I’ve met wonderful kids and wonderful parents. I enjoy the preparation for my sessions, even if it is psychological and mental preparation only at times. My house is always tidy. My pets are happy – I’m home during most days. I’m happy. I’m balanced. I have time for me. This lifestyle is an empathic introvert’s dream. I’m not suffocated by the conflicted social emotions of being around people all of the time; it’s refreshing. 

I need to let go of the money concerns that have been plaguing me. I have enough. I need to trust that I will be provided with everything I need as I need it. 

It really is as simple as that. I am meant to be where I am. This is all my path, exactly as it should be. And I’m happy. 

So today, it’s 820, I’m lying in bed, reflecting, I’ll get up soon, I’ll have breakfast, I’ll update my business account, I’ll complete an assignment, and I’ll possibly write. I have four chapters of my book to finalise and I have enough space around me to create and write. 

I need to be focusing on that blessing; or is this the real root of my fear? Yep, interesting psychological turn there. That whole fear of failure/fear of success thing. 

Glory Days

When I saw Lucy a month ago, she suggested that I was struggling to let go of the financial predictability of teaching, and she was right. As a result, I hadn’t liberated myself from that lifestyle and the chains that were shackling me. 

Something has shifted during April. Advertising for my business, Tina’s Tutoring, has been somewhat successful and I have seen a rapid increase in the volume of clients.

It has also given me something else. 

I have been missing my friends from work and the experience of being in the classroom. I have missed watching kids engage and advance. I have missed the building of rapport and that feeling of success. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss being in a school or my job. I have mised the practice and art of teaching. 

However, during the last week, working with last term’s clients and meeting new clients, the diversity of need and experience within my clientele, has enabled that yearning to be fulfilled. I love working with my clients. I love it. 

I love my business. I love its potential. I love being the owner and the process of creating something magical. 

I am so excited for its future. And I hope that my hard work continues and it continues to grow. I can see its potential for generating long term consistent income. 

Most of all, I can smell freedom from the politics of education, freedom from the daily grind, freedom from meaningless administrative tasks that do not achieve the results required to justify the workload, and freedom to live my life my way.  I am creating the life that I want. 

It is magical. 

I am happier. I am less tired. I can’t wait to go to work each day but also value every minute of my day spent doing things other than work. I am loving my life. 

And interestingly, I do not feel the need for travel or movement away from home. I am content. And I am resilient, manoeuvring my way around or through obstacles. Life is not perfect. There is more uncertainty than the predictability and security of teaching, but I am valued by the kids I tutor and their parents. 

And I really am a gifted teacher. Who’d have thunk it 😜

Jumping has always served me well. Iit is scary. But so worth it. 

Disappearing

It’s been a significant week for me. A lot of emotional and psychological processing about a lot of things; some important, some not. 

One of the first students I ever taught is the Principal of a primary school in a very socio-economically disadvantaged area, an area that we both grew up in. But the disadvantage almost stops the second that you walk through the doors of her school. 

And I had that privilege on Monday. 

No school is perfect, I know that. But some schools function differently to others and the atmosphere very much reflects the leadership. I have never before walked into a school that felt so liberated and so open. The people I encountered all seemed to genuinely and unreservedly be happy to be at work. They seemed to be enjoying working together; no games and no undertones of treachery or malice. 

I left in the afternoon questioning whether it was time to retrain, become a primary school teacher and work there. It is a beautiful thing to see others following their calling and making a huge difference in the lives of others. A truly beautiful thing. I became inspired to teach again. Thank you, Tammy. 

This week too, my clientele has grown substantially. I am servicing more children. And I love it. I feel that passion I once felt for teaching returning. I am enjoying the diversity of client and love going to work. 

This has created small psychological hurdles, which I am navigating. Over time, unbeknownst to me, I have allowed myself to become impacted by the negativity of others, to the extent that whilst I say I am amazing, and often believe it, when someone else tells me or I achieve success, I question my worthiness. This week I have been questioning when I will be found out and my success will come crashing down. 

I think we all see ourselves as fraudulent some times. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am an exceptional teacher, and that I possess a way of working with kids that empowers them to see, and to trust, their own value/brilliance/ability etc – I own that. I guess I have pigeon holed myself in a role and never envisaged my own potential or the potential for my life. I was always going to be a teacher because I had always wanted to be a teacher. And now that my life is opening up, I’m seeing a world that is different to what I’ve always known as mine. 

I am a small business owner. I am a teacher. And, I am so much more than all of these labels. Labels provide safety but they also restrict growth. My teacher label provided job and financial stability, but the same label has also hindered me fulfilling all of my own and my life’s potential. Until now. 

Yes, the investigation I was under last year resulted in burn out, but what a wonderful gift it provided me to force transformation and growth. And how blessed do I feel in my freedom. I set my own hours and I can work when I choose to. 

This week I have started feeling calmer. I have stopped watching every penny that has left my purse, bathed in financial anxiety. I have started to embrace my alternative working life, a flipped employment. I have taken control of my business recording and I am enjoying getting up every day. I feel happy, content, focused and driven. 

And my blood pressure is almost normal (140 over 85 – amen). 

It hasn’t been easy emotionally, and I dare say I will still struggle at times, but I feel the new dawn rising above the horizon, and the darkness is ending. 

And what better way to mark this than with a tattoo. Tonight, this part of my life narrative will be etched into my skin; this part of my journey memorialised. 

#livingacharmedlife #blessed #withbravewingssheflies #tattoogirl

Pushed … Respect

I came to a further acceptance of sorts yesterday. I am not receiving casual work (or I am knocking it back lol). I have been looking for casual work outside of teaching with minimal success (which means no success). 

The universe is giving me clear signs and pushing me into following my bliss:

1. I am breaking my addiction to a regular pay cheque. 

2. Savings only last for so long. 

3. I have lots of trips to pay for. 

4. I have to trust that money will come. 

5. I need to grow and market my business. 

6. I need to be writing. 

7. Lucy said there would be times of struggle. And whilst I’m not there yet, I can see it coming. 

Life. At least I’m happy. I’m not selling out the way of life that I want, and this is all temporary. And, winter is coming. Teachers will get sick. Or not. I’ll be okay. 

I am also grateful that my business is slowly growing. I love the tutoring and working with kids that want to learn, and I love empowering adults to write their stories; navigating difficult paths and choices in storytelling. I still love the workshops but the business seems to be steering away from them. 

An interesting year. Nothing is looking like I thought it would. 

And I’m good with that. 

I wanted change. Lol. I’m getting it. 

Be careful what you wish for … you might achieve your dreams. 

I Love Lucy

I ended the third month of my gap year with an oracle reading from Lucy Cavendish. I usually won’t get readings because I firmly believe that we know the answers ourselves. In times of transformation though, I like confirmation or clarification. And that’s why I booked to see Lucy. 

Well, that was one reason. 

In my early twenties I started reading New Age stuff. Whilst reading Dawn Hill’s fourth book, I became excited. There was a chapter in it describing the person’s religion and all of a sudden I felt home; I had found a name for everything I believed in. It brought, after the excitement, a deep calm and joy that still exists today. 

I started reading everything I could get my hands on and entered Scott Cunningham’s world. As much as I usually shy away from labels, I found this one very empowering: Wiccan. I was a Wiccan. 

It was the nineties. The New Age and alternative religions were flourishing. The stigma was great and stereotyping rampant. I was a proud Wiccan. I didn’t care. I wasn’t alive to convert or indoctrinate others; I just wanted to live my life my way. 

Enter Lucy. 

Lucy Founded and edited the first magazine I ‘subscribed’ to: Witchcraft. I lapped up every edition. It empowered me, and I’m sure, many other solitary practitioners, by building a community of sorts. And community, at its most ideal, let’s us know that we don’t travel alone. 

The magazine eventually folded and I kept on my path. 

The year before last I found Global Contact in Berry. It’s a beautiful esoteric shop owned and managed by Patsy. And Patsy organises readers and teachers from a variety of disciplines to teach or facilitate workshops. 

Last year I signed up for Oracle Reading presented by Lucy. I had forgotten that Lucy had concocted Witchcraft. I read for friends but didn’t trust myself or my guides enough to not use the books; this day annihilated that habit. 

And I was so impressed by Lucy’s calm, gentle yet empowered presence. So I jumped at the opportunity of a reading. 

She did not disappoint. 

Since I could write, I wanted to be a writer. This gap year is partly to find out what my next steps are as well as to use the time to write. Teaching, in some ways, was supposed to fund my writing career. Yes, I was naive. 

The reading enabled Lucy to verbalise my ideal life. I welled up as my dreams poured from her mouth. 

“You are a story teller. That is your role.”

A cottage, surrounded by books, homely with the pets, happy, inspired working, a frugal life. But, my cottage. 

Yes. That is how I have always pictured my best life. 

But I don’t finish anything. I get scared. 

I am looking to my future and my hand has let go of teaching but my feet are still mired to it. And that is okay but it will change. And I need to let it/make it do just that. 

I will read my words in libraries. 

Lucy is not the first reader to envision this. My guides have told me this before. I listened then sort of – it gave me courage to take leave for this year. This time I need to make it happen. 

No excuses. Trust. 

On the way to tutoring, after the reading, my creative mind took over and inspiration ambushed me. Today, after cleaning, I will write. 

I am excited. 

As I said to Lucy as I thanked her, she has given me permission to give myself permission to be all that I have ever wanted me to be. What a beautiful gift! 

My friend Mel had a reading before me and we quickly met up in a cafe to exchange summaries. She texted me last night to say that my energy shifted entirely from before to after the reading and time with Lucy. I was buzzing. 

I guess that’s what happens when we are given permission to pursue our dreams; we become alive. 

What a blessing: to live whilst breathing. 

Bits & Bobs Upon Reflection 

I enjoyed going back to work yesterday. 

The first two periods were brilliant. I was worried about first period because I’ve had that class three times already, and whilst they were getting better and we all quite like each other, morning periods have been the worst. One of the boys went to open the infamous window (had thrown things out of it last week) and I said, “Uh uh,” and he assured me it would be okay because he’d taken his tablets today. 

No lie from him; what a difference some pills make. We went to the Library to work on resumes. 

And, in Period 2, I was in the Support Unit. I love the kids and staff in this unit. We worked on numeracy and capitalism/market strategising by playing Monopoly. 

I had a massive run in with two rude seniors during Periods 3 and 4, and a massive success with the rest of the class, surprisingly. And I think it stemmed from a few of us crying during Big Daddy. One of the friends/co-conspirators stayed behind to talk to me into lunch. I love those moments. 

And Year 7, last period, came in, in dribs and drabs, which made control and settling harder. 

I’ll follow it all up and eventually the kids will behave, but I’m too old for the patience required. And I’m just not into teaching as much, well, snobbily, teaching kids who don’t want to be taught. 

But I love tutoring, and love my business. 

Kids that do want to learn and do want to improve. My first client yesterday afternoon is a smart child who struggles with getting his ideas onto paper. I started some meditation and focus activities with him that worked. And my second client yesterday, well, she has been helping her friends in class with their Maths and getting it right. She said that she had never been able to do that before. 

And the best part is their faces when they see me; they light up from their toes and straight into their eyes. I love it. 

If I can grow my business, supporting people that want the support, I’ll be a very happy woman with lower blood pressure. 

Nice segue, hey.

Five days on my meds for Diabetes and I can feel the difference within me. 

At first I struggled with extreme hunger and needing to eat at night which is abnormal for me but has been happening for the last couple of weeks; I’d just put it down to my period and emotional eating. I now think my sugar levels were out. For the first few days I also suffered gastro but felt like it was a good clean out, and it’s stopped now. 

I’m managing my diet a lot better after a lot of reading, and will be seeing a dietician soon. I’ve minimised my sugar intake and now need to start on the carbs, but I’m adjusting well. Just the kick in the pants that I needed. Exercise will follow. I feel much better within myself. Oh, and I don’t get up to go to the toilet during the night. Who knew. 

I’m spending time with a sister and the nephews today. A Day Out With Thomas ( the tank engine) at Trainworks (across the road). Very excited to meet the Fat Controller (ironic) and ride on Henry. Woo hoo! 

Standing in my Truth 

I am home. I have slept most of today after a delayed flight and two hours of very disjointed sleep on the plane. And possibly, probably, after a massive and very transformational week in Western Australia. 

Man. Today, I can feel the shift deep within me. There is a sense that life has changed for me. I am owning, claiming, who I am and the power inherent in that. Today, I am standing in my truth. And it brings with it an organic trust that I will be okay. 

I am powerful. 

My arrival in Perth was a whirlwind experience; straight from the airport to breakfast to Mel’s and a workshop for us and Mel’s cousin. We opened with the I Am writing activity, the creation of personal affirmations and a clay manifestation of the intent for us. My affirmation, I am powerful. 

The days that followed provided opportunities for me to manifest this. More importantly, I met some incredible humans who enabled me to manifest this. And, this growth was consolidated yesterday when on two separate occasions, two groups of strong women stood in a circle of power around Mel’s lotus in meditation and manifestation. The power generated was palpable. 

Women, working together, rise together. The sense of community generated when women commune fuels the Goddess’ compassion in action. Women become buoyed and supported, inspired to reclaim what has always been their’s; their destinies. 

Between my experiences in India and Western Australia, I know this to be true. And I can feel another shift in my ever emerging business plan. I know the direction I am moving, and I embrace it. 

Bring on the best seller so that Rocky Point becomes a reality lol. 

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. 

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 đŸ™đŸ»