To Speak or Not To Speak – that is the question.

When I was younger, I stood up all of the time and spoke out whenever I perceived something was wrong or unjust.

I got burned – a lot. I was often standing and fighting on my own. So, as I’ve aged, I have carefully worked out which battles are worth fighting, and as a result, I don’t fight as much.

I’m not happy with this.

I’m in transition at the moment and I’m not quite sure where I’m going to land. The universe keeps giving me opportunities to work myself out, rediscover and rebuild myself.

Yesterday, a woman I greatly respect, reminded me who I used to be. It’s been on my mind since. I woke up thinking about, and reflecting on it, this morning.

At a polling booth, a man from an opposing group, whilst handing out, in public, made a comment that Liberal women are the “best roots”.

My friend was angered by her perception of his disrespect to the mixed company and the public (voters). When I arrived to hand out, she mentioned what happened several times. She needed to do something about it.

She was advised to speak to the Booth Organiser inside. She did. He came out with her to speak to the man responsible for the comments.

You know, all he needed to do was acknowledge that his comment was disrespectful to women and inappropriate in the company he was in, and it would have been over.

Being the person he is, he didn’t. He kept it going.

My friend became very angry. My friend became my younger self.

I tried to calm her down.

And, this is the interesting part for me, I’m not sure I should have done that.

I’m not sure I shouldn’t have turned around and stood with her.

He was clearly in the wrong, and he was, quite clearly, an arrogant dickhead.

The socially acceptable version of myself understands that we were representing a candidate and not ourselves, that nothing would be gained by taking on a dickhead, that it wasn’t worth the fight.

However, we also need to call out poor behaviour. My friend did, and she stood by her calling out of his poor behaviour.

Was she naive to think it would change something, change his perception, or was she just being plain hopeful and trusting that people would correct their ways when poor behaviour is pointed out.

Regardless, I’m proud of her for standing in her truth. It took courage to speak up, and then to stand by that.

Not only that, upon reflection, when she held her ground outside, the Booth Organiser from the Electoral Commission, turned on her and attempted to put her in her place, and I think he did this because she was a woman. Because we were all women.

The moronic guy kept making comments. Not in front of my friend – she had fairly cuckolded him. I warned him at least three times after that to pull his head in and he made comments about me. I, too, stood my ground and told him he was disrespectful and an idiot. His Booth Captain supported me in it.

He became cowardly in her presence, choosing to make sideways comments out of her ear shot.

Two different ways.

I like her’s more. There was passion and integrity. Calling out every idiot in the world takes time and energy and requires putting yourself in the firing line.

I think I prefer how that feels.

I’m proud of her. The jury is out on me.

I know I did what I had to do. I know that politically we need to play things a certain way. But I think I’ve become too politically minded, and that means playing it safe and only disrupting the apple cart sometimes. And I don’t think I like it.

I’m working out who I am and who I want to be and whether they are the same thing. Massive time of transition.

Grateful for it.

A Healthy Ego v Arrogance

I was chatting to one of my sister tribe this morning. I’ve said a hundred times before that whilst I was a teacher, I became used to keeping myself small. I was safe there, being small, working within the parameters I was given by an institution. It suited me to not expect very much from myself. I was scared of so much.

It took me fifteen years to acknowledge to myself and then to others that I was an amazing teacher. I still am.

I build amazing relationships with my students and I work from a place of love. And, I myself, am a lifelong learner. Education is holistic – it involves significantly more than delivering content and enabling skills.

I am now developing into an amazing business woman, but I am a work in progress and wouldn’t have come this far in my businesses without the help of four women specifically ~ Karyn, Donna, Mai Mai and Michelle.

And then, wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and extended family ~ people who love me and support me through the every day. I may not see them often, definitely not as much as I want to, but they are in my heart every day and I know they are in my corner which enables me to keep moving forward.

I am humble in my arrogance. Hehe. And I will never allow myself to be small again.

In our society, as women, we believe (are taught) that to stand in our truth, the truth of who we are, and express what we are good at, what we have achieved, what we can achieve, what we have done, is wrong.

It isn’t.

There is a distinct difference between a healthy ego and arrogance.

We should be able to speak our truth. We should be encouraged to speak our truth. We should stand proud when we speak our truth.

I’ve worked fucking hard in my life and on myself to be the strong resilient woman that I am. I have had very low lows and some amazing highs. I’ve lived a full life of extremes and of balance. I’ve weathered storms and basked in sunlight. I’ve had it all. I’m proud of myself.

Every day, I wake up, blessed (and bloody tired lol) and ready to serve. Every day, I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am. Every day, I take steps towards achieving the life I want to live, and every day, I live the life I want to live.

I own this. I own me.

If you call me arrogant, I ask you to look within yourself and ask where that need to judge comes from. If you think you shouldn’t own the best in you, ask who is keeping you small and who that serves.

Me being amazing does not diminish your amazing-ness. There is enough light in this world for us all to shine.

Today, mentally, vocally, in writing, List the qualities, the things, that make you amazing. And then, stand proud in your truth.

We are phenomenal people.

Losing Myself

I think one of the hardest parts of the losing weight/returning to wellness journey is the continual inner battle with yourself.

I want to be well. Inside and out. As a healer, I feel that I need to walk the talk. It’s okay to be a work in progress, but imperative to be doing the work.

Like my dreads, my weight, in some ways, is part of who I am. It’s been so long since I was at a healthy or near healthy weight, and even when I was, I didn’t think or know that I was. My inner narrative has always been that I am fat, ugly and undeserving of love. In fact, it has only been in the last two and a half years that I have started to rewrite that narrative.

Now, I’m fat, beautiful and worthy of all that is good. I chuckle to myself.

A few years ago I looked into the bariatric surgery which has been so successful for so many. I almost had it done. But something wasn’t ready within me. For surgery, it still isn’t.

I feel that my weight is baggage I am holding on to and to be well, I need to sort through and heal the baggage. Maybe that’s just another story I tell myself, I don’t know. But I believe it.

So, on the first of March, I started a new eating plan. I’m time poor and ignorant about food and portion sizes and all of that sort of stuff beyond a superficial level. I’m using a meal replacement system that is a whole system, including snacks. I’m carrying a bit of fear of judgement for this, but I’m doing what I need to do to return to physical wellness.

People say it’s easy. Just eat healthy foods. Exercise. It’s not easy though or no one would be fat. Not easy when you don’t know what healthy looks like and feels like, and not when your weight is attached to trauma.

I can’t just eat healthy because I don’t now what that is or what it looks like. I mean, for the most part, I thought I did eat healthily. I’m vegetarian and I don’t eat much crap. Meh.

My whole life I’ve been scared of being seen and noticed and adored. It’s happened anyway, and to rebel against it rather than confronting my true self head on, I kept myself small (ironically) by not living my best life and being shackled by unspoken fear.

I stayed in a job that minimised me and never embraced my talents or abilities. Staying in that job exhausted me. I didn’t make time for friends or love. I didn’t make time to be normal. I think my whole life I’ve been searching for wellness and belonging.

It’s hard to belong with others when you don’t belong to yourself. And it’s hard to belong, wholly, to yourself, when your weight is unhealthy. For me, my unhealthy weight is symbolic of a pain, a hurt, that runs deep. I’m trying to unpack that hurt as I journey.

Expressing and owning the reality of the journey is a massive part of that. This is the my first step to owning I have a problem, unresolved hurts, and work to do. My weight is just a symptom.

Pell Take 2 🥵

Aaaargggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

Getting the anger out yesterday helped.

We know I’m into acknowledging the benefits and drawbacks in every situation to maintain balance. I did that yesterday too. It empowered me to enjoy the day. And it gave me space to process.

The triggering I felt yesterday wasn’t about my abuse situation – I’m grateful for that journey in its entirety. What triggered me is that in this society, as much as we’ve seemingly moved forward, we haven’t really at all. Well, in a minuscule way. And, yes, it’s better than nothing.

I guess, until the patriarchal power structures change, we will continue to fall into the same sort of patterns.

It’s like in Child Protection – referring is mandatory, but the legislation stops there. Report, but no, there’s no real support for the mandatory reporter or the child who shares their story. You guys just do what you have to do.

If we were serious, really serious, about changing this culture and healing the children, men and women who have become prey to it, we would focus on rebuilding social attitudes, and ensuring help and real support for those who need it – perpetrator and victim.

Instead, we have a situation where a judge acknowledges the barbaric and self-serving acts of an official of the Catholic Church, acknowledges the short and long term impact for the victim who did not die from a drug overdose (the other did), acknowledges the lack of remorse from the official, and with the potential for a fifty year sentence, orders 6 with a non-parole period of 3 years and 8 months.

Because the perpetrator should not have to die in prison and has health concerns and has been vilified in the media. FFS.

Balance, Tina, and breathe. Fucking ridiculous.

So, where is the benefit?

In the outrage. Palpable outrage that people from all walks felt yesterday. From the outrage, change will come. From the outrage, healing will happen. From the outrage, people will unite and a community will be borne.

Yes, the outrage will start conversations – uncomfortable and challenging – but conversations that will spur movements and that, inevitably, will trigger the cultural shift in attitude that we need.

It’s All About Choices

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

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

That’s okay.

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

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

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

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

Heaven on Earth.

Complete mindfulness, complete presence.

There is no other feeling like it.

What will you choose to do for yourself today?

It doesn’t have to be big.

 

 

 

 

A War Within Yourself

I think one of the hardest parts in resolving trauma, in particular childhood trauma, is that it is a long process. A looooong process.

The journey for me, has spanned decades. I had to go through every uncomfortable thing I did to get to health, and I’m still getting there.

Through my twenties and thirties and early forties, I struggled to manage depression. I engaged suicidal thoughts too much and was a roller coaster of irrational emotions.

I endured an inner blood curdling scream for over twenty years. I never felt in control and I never felt worthy of good things. I sabotaged friendships and potential good relationships all of the time. I was almost happy being unhappy, but not.

My mid forties has been a reckoning for me. I’ve learned so much about myself, about the healing process, and about managing our pain.

Two things have to be present for healing to take place:

1. The desire to heal.

2. The right time.

You might scoff at both. You might say, No one wants to be unhappy.

You are wrong. It’s not that people want to be unhappy, but they have become safe in that place and pain has become their identity. Breaking through that requires a great deal of work.

I encounter people all of the time who say they want things to change, they want to heal, but they are stuck where they are and unwilling to take any steps away from the safety of where they are.

I get that. It sounds harsh of me, but it’s true. Sometimes, in our head, where we are and what we know feels safer than the unknown. Feels safer than risking it and failing.

The worst thing we can do though, is stagnate, not move, die where we are. You don’t want that.

And yes, the second we have little control over.

I have had opportunities my whole life to heal. Most I’ve taken, some I have not.

What I know for sure is that if we don’t listen to the whispers of intuition we get that we need to change something, our lives will eventually crash around us and force us to take action.

That’s what happened to me in 2016. I had been too scared, too stuck in the fear of life outside of teaching, that I had not left. As a result, investigation for almost a whole year.

Now, I’m grateful for every second of the torment and anxiety and life as it was.

The Phoenix rose.

Because of that, because of the psychological and emotional healing, I’m now ready to manage my weight effectively. The last frontier for my healing journey.

After this, it will become a journey of maintaining mental, emotional and physical health whilst I grow spiritually and intellectually.

I’m excited.

Healing takes a lot of work and a lot of time, but it’s worth it. Every tear, every breakdown, every second.

An Unexpected Lesson

I think this will crack you up.

I was sitting on my lounge, mindless TV on, and Max, my six and a half year old Maltese/Shih Tzu/Mini Poodle cross cake and sat right in front of me.

When I got Max, I had failed IVF cycles behind me and giving up on children, decided to buy a dog. We get the dog we need, not the dog we want.

Max has always been an obsessive dog. He gives and gives and gives love. He struggles to receive it back.

So, I’m sitting on the lounge, trying to give this kid a hug, and he is trying to lick me (hate being licked). I turn to him and I say,

“Max, it’s okay to give as much love as you do, but it’s important you also learn to receive love.”

Anyone who knows my story knows how ironic this tale is. It wasn’t lost on me. I laughed and said,

“Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black.”

And I’m still wryly smiling.

Hilarious.

Max is the black one – he’s a human trapped in a dog’s body lol. Aka very spoilt.

We Are All Different But The Same

Ridiculous title really. At our cores, I think we all just want to be loved and to live a happy life. I’m fairly secure in making that generalization that it’s true for most people, if not all.

Where we differ is how this looks in our lives.

For me, I’m busy building a business and running another one.

My healing business is a slow grower. People want advice and strategies, but most people don’t want to pay for that. Or can’t afford to. Or don’t believe they are worth the investment in themselves.

I get that. It took me a long time to believe my needs were worthy investing in. At the end of the day, I realised, I need to heal and to grow and that money is an investment and will come back to me in some way.

We are worth the investment.

Sometimes, I get a short stab of ego pain if someone chooses a different healer. I hate saying this and owning it, but it’s true. And it only is a short, two second stab. I am human after all.

So, I cut myself some slack and I remind myself that there is never a finite number of people that require healing. The people that are supposed to come to me will find me when the time is right. And I have my bread and butter business where the books are closed and I’m trying to reduce my client list.

All in good time …

Ekhart Tolle’s work taught me how to focus on the now, be in the present, alongside meditation. It is easy to get caught up in perceptions of fairness and equity, but at the end of the day, perceptions are just that. They aren’t truth or fact, well, not broadly.

I seem to be having a week where it’s important for me to reveal my shortcomings lol. I’m okay with that – I’m a work in progress, as we all are. And owning my shortcomings empowers me to work through them.

After all, ego doesn’t have to rule us and only can when we don’t acknowledge it.

Be mindful today in your interactions with others and in your thoughts, does ego dictate your choices or do you.

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.