Tina’s Tutoring ~ A Love Story

I think it was either late last year or very early this year that my forever friend suggested I start tutoring to help out my finances this year. I balked a fair bit. I had never really enjoyed tutoring, but it made logical sense, so I started the tutoring branch of my business.

Thank you, Karyn.

Another of my closest friends hired me to mentor her and tutor her child, almost straight away. This pushed my business into start mode and empowered my confidence.

Thank you, Renee.

English, reading, writing, spelling and mentoring adults in writing. Bliss. I decided to use Facebook as my main tool for promotion and advertising. I set my rates. I encountered some public opposition to them. I countered that.

Small businesses are taxed approximately 30c in the dollar. Plus, I am a mobile tutor which means petrol expenses, and wear and tear on the car. Plus, purchasing teaching aids and stationery. Plus, I have to make a living to pay bills.

Add to that, I am an exceptional teacher. It has taken me a long time to own this. I am not exceptional for everyone, but the right people find you and stay a while, and I am exceptional for them.

And, not only am I an exceptional teacher, but I am an amazingly resilient and wise human being. I know stuff, because I’ve suffered and learned from my suffering. I share this with my students; I always have.

My students get the whole Tina package. We work on what we need to work on. Some days this is academic stuff, some days it is anxiety, or stress relief, or trust, or confidence … whatever my client needs, I try to offer.

Then I received a question about Maths tutoring. I responded to say that I didn’t tutor Maths, but I would try to find her someone. I spoke to Renee (a Maths Head Teacher) who told me to pull my head in because I could definitely teach Year 6 Maths. I replied to the parent and told her I could give it a go, and we could see if it worked and she embraced that.

I offered my services in Maths tutoring at a discounted rate, because I didn’t believe I would be good enough. I have surpassed my own expectations and now my rates are equal.

Thank you, Sophie.

Tina’s Tutoring grew, and grew quickly. I now work every afternoon and evening during the week, and all day on Saturday.

And, I love it. Every second of it. What’s more, I love my clients, and I love their families. I always imagined it would be awkward being in people’s homes, but it isn’t. I feel very welcomed in all of the spaces I work in.

I had a rough few days as a casual teacher this past week. In the old days, before the business, I would have felt sorry for myself and come home to mope. This week though, I got into the car, left work, breathed deeply, listened to my audiobook, and became even more excited to see my clients.

We have also started seeing improved results and happier, more confident children.

I firmly believe that success at school comes from the relationship between the teacher and the student; if a child likes their teacher, they will want to learn and they will learn. That relationship forms the foundation for success. Without it, learning is achievable, but loveless.

Relationships take time to build. I will miss my kids when they no longer need me, but I know that we both leave enriched. See, I get just as much as I give. If not more.

I love seeing kids finally get how to do something. I love seeing kids grow in confidence. I love seeing kids celebrate their success. I love seeing kids learn that marks aren’t everything. I love seeing kids love learning. I love seeing kids try, more than anything. I love seeing their smiles.

I love my business. It doesn’t feel like work, and even when I am utterly exhausted, feeling demoralised in life, I find the spark to keep going and am rewarded for it as soon as the door opens.

I used to feel this way about teaching in schools. The politics, and increased and unnecessary workload, has changed that for me. It is important to be happy and to feel fulfilled. As a teacher I felt taken for granted, minimised and very over worked. I do not feel that way anymore.

I earn significantly less money, am always very, very poor, but I am blissfully happy.

I know which I would prefer.

Perplexed

I often stay away from using those little ads-ons on Facebook. You know, those things you can attach temporarily to your profile picture. I think the only ones I have ever attached were for the Syrian crisis and miscarriage awareness. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so.

I realised this morning why I stay away from them. I’m fairly open with what I believe, and most people can predict what’s my politics lie after even a short conversation with me. This morning I was scrolling through my newsfeed and one of my friends has one of those things on their profile picture. Irrelevant what it is about, but it goes against what I believe and I felt jarred when I read it.

One of my fundamental beliefs, lying at the core of all of my beliefs, is that we all have the right to do whatever we want to AS LONG AS WHAT WE DO HURTS NO ONE ELSE. I try very hard to not hurt others, and when I feel that I have, I own it and try to make good.

I understand why we need laws: to protect the rights and freedoms of all. But, for the life of me, I do not understand why marriage comes under that, for two consenting adult people anyway.

It perplexes me that this is such an issue in my home country. We tout ourselves as a welcoming and inclusive country, very relaxed and happy people living the good life.

I think we must mean though, only if you are white and a Christian and heterosexual and mainstream and you don’t push any buttons or believe in weird things. As long as you fit into the box.

My whole teaching career, I never really fit into that box, the one that makes you an acceptable teacher, a role model for others. No one looked at my practice and said, “Man, she really gets the kids to work hard and they seem to enjoy it. We should try to learn from what she is doing.”

Instead, I was marginalised, talked about, targeted, judged, shut down. People perceived me as arrogant rather than knowledgable. People think I pushed the boundaries too far rather than doing what I needed to inspire my kids to want more from themselves.

Interestingly, the qualities I felt condemned for in schools, that I believe made me an exceptional teacher, definitely one of the very best, are the qualities that are growing my business. I am grateful.

I think society, meaning all of us, needs to be careful how we judge other people, and really look at the boxes we confine people to. I think, too often, we are stopping integral people from being exactly who they are and exactly what this world needs.

I think we need to check ourselves on this. All of the time.

Making It Real

I have been doing a LOT of reading lately. I am trying to manifest abundance, regularly set and stick to intentions, and mostly, trusting the universe to break connections to my old life. I do not want to go back to the life I lived that was not really any sort of happy life.

Much easier to say than do. And, I'm a nerd. I don't like getting things wrong.

I know that I have to stay the course; what I feed, I create.

I want my healing business to succeed. I want people to feel safe enough to embrace the life that waits for them. I want the same for myself.

I want to be a published author. I want financial freedom so that I can live this life without the constant worry of money and making ends meet.

I am grateful for everything that the universe has already supplied to me to empower this vision.

I had a test of all of this last night. I have a practise healing session today, postponed from last Monday because I was exhausted after working in a school as well as with all of my clients. I also received two offers of casual work. I declined both, putting the healing session and my client first, even though I know she would understand if I had to postpone again.

I went to sleep debating whether I had made the right choice. My savings are gone. The only money I am bringing in is from my tutoring business. I use it for food, petrol, and in the next fortnight, it will have to pay all of my fortnightly bills too. This is overwhelming.

I woke up this morning at 7; the natural time my body wakes. But for work, I need to be up by 630. Interesting in itself. Work makes me go against my body's natural rhythms. I opened my emails, only one, and Reid Tracy's Hay House newsletter was there. He wrote that the distinction between dreamers and successful people, is that successful people take action. That's it, they take action.

I have chosen to interpret that, in line with feeding that which I want to see thrive, as having made the right decision. For today. I have been offered work later in the week; I have accepted that single day. It makes next week's target more do-able.

We shall see. Any which way, I'm about to learn a lesson lol.

Trusting is not easy. This is the first step.

Sliding after the High

For the last four to five weeks my life has been go go go. For this introvert, there has been very little down time. And there have been trends in emotion, mostly very high.

Today, I am so drained.

My soul is positive. I know that days like today are temporary. I am doing what I need to do, and very little else.

I have finally arrived at the point in my evolution where it is okay for me to say, not today, without guilt.

I am eating well. I am still drinking my crystal water. I am sleeping (albeit last night on the lounge, waking up disoriented at 5.18am, swearing to myself that I'm sure I got up to go to bed). I am living my life, answering the calls from the universe.

I am heading to work early. At home, I will watch television. At the Library, I can write. I'm going to get a coffee on the way, and sit and enjoy today's writer's life.

I am nourishing what I would like to see grow. Feeding the intention. I'm going to start drafting my book proposal for Hay House.

This excites me. Even on a fatigued day, this excites me. Working towards my goals, manifesting the reality I would like to be mine, there is nothing better.

Full moon in an eclipse time. Emotions are going to be impacted. It's okay.

Deep breaths and stay the path; we will all make it.

Much love and big hugs,

🙏🏻🦋

A New Moonย 

I have been chanting two mantras for over seven days now. Both are about manifesting abundance in my life. Yesterday afternoon, randomly, a woman who owns a tutoring business locally, approached me to offer the sale of it to me. 

Since starting my tutoring business, this is what I have envisaged it growing to. However, my end game is a wellness centre. I’m going to see the business space today, and the question I need to ask: is this a step or a detour? 

It will take me out of teaching, definitely. But will it take me to where I ultimately want to be. Do I want to take someone else’s business on or grow my own? Is the business model that the tutors work under, harmonious or discordant to my business philosophy? Is there space to operate weekend workshops, meditation and healing? 

This is an interesting time. Regardless of the decision I make, my excitement and wonder at the offer has reinforced that this is the direction that I need to move in. 

I need to let go of the fear, embrace the challenge, put my best business mind into gear, and actively start planning, one way or the other. 

So, new moon last night; a time to set intentions. I wrote mine down in my healing journal …


And then I pulled this card from my Lightworker deck …


And I read what it meant …


And I laughed and laughed and laughed. 

A Very Quiet Weekย 

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 ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿฆ‹

Some clarity, only some ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ˜œ

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.