Excitement

I have a weekly doctor’s appointment at the moment to keep an eye on my blood pressure. The last couple of times it’s been measured it has been 170 over 115. One week of medication, at the lightest dose, and it is down to 150 over 95. One week! I am excited. And with my dietary changes, I just feel so much better. 

I feel like I am on the right path. 

And it isn’t just the diabetes and blood pressure. 

This year, my gap year, was taken to explore opportunities and options, something I don’t have time to encourage within myself when working in my permanent full-time position. 

Already, I have realised how much of the world there is to explore when you aren’t committed to a permanent full time position. Life is different when lived in balance. And very different when you are doing things that inspire you. 

I don’t know exactly when teaching became work for me. I used to love it; I would jump out of bed in the morning excited to go to work. I can’t remember the last period of time that I consistently felt this way. Probably when I was working in CAPA, but even then, the hours were killing my life. 

Anyway, kinesiology is a modality that I have felt a pull towards for a long while. I’ve been researching courses. I want to be close to home so have focused on the Southern Highlands. This afternoon I spoke to the teacher of said course, and as I was speaking to her, listening to her, I began to understand the pull I’ve felt. 

The point being, trusting these pulls towards certain things this year is opening my world in a way I never dreamed possible. 

I have my Sound Healing course. I am attending a writing conference. I am seeing Elkhart Tolle. I am travelling. I am writing. I am building my business. I’m socialising with friends and family regularly. And soon, I will commence my studies in Neuro Training and Kinesiology. 

I am just so excited this afternoon. 

Life is good. 

And, it is good because I am making it so. I am controlling what I do. I am transforming my life. I wasn’t happy with the lack of balance and I’m correcting it. It’s not always easy but I’m doing it. And I’m loving it. 

I wish the same for everyone. 

Ah, Sunday Mornings …

Lying in bed. Scrolling through Facebook. Finding inspiration, or consolidation, or articles of interest as I listen to the clock ticking and the birds chattering. Light is coming through the open back door whilst my room breathes in the last moments of darkness. The summer heat is gone and a fresh chill settles the air. Max scratches his head whilst Sammy’s jaw rests on my leg. Molly is sitting on the floor next to me. 

My home. My family. My life. 

Solitude and happiness; contentment I never thought I would experience. 

It is these small things and in these moments that I feel peace within my soul. Nothing is worrying me, I feel no pain, I am safe and I am free. The day spreads out before me. I have no plans. 

I might write. I might work on my Sound Healing course. I might read. I might dig out the garden bed. I might dye my hair. I might sit outside and reflect. I might – 

Possibility. Endless possibility. 

It reminds me of some of my childhood days. Usually summer. Neighbourhood friends. Daisy chains. Lemonade. Play. Days that seemingly lasted forever we were so present in each moment. 

And that takes me to the days that were the opposite extreme. I didn’t know that the pain would be temporary at that time. In childhood we don’t know that we will be okay; we have no life experience to know this. It is one of the gifts of aging: resilience. I didn’t really learn or believe or know that I would always be okay until my thirties; only I could defeat myself, life would not defeat me.  

It had no desire to. 

I was here to learn as much as I could and experience as much as I was able. 

This damaged child has travelled, studied, loved, and continues to do so. I have grown into myself, trusting that all will be as it should be in every moment, and that I will be okay. It’s been a process, a long journey, and I am grateful for it. 

I choose to learn from experiences, not to be bitter. I choose to feel the pain and choose to work through it to attain wholeness, irrespective of how long it takes. I choose to see beauty and to express my gratitude for it. 

Especially in the seemingly small, blessed moments; they sustain me and remind me that life truly is worth living. It is a special gift to be present as the years unfold, and as life becomes richer and I become more myself. 

A beautiful, wild, intelligent, empathic, powerful soul. 

Namaste. 

And, I wish for you, gratitude for the small moments of beauty you experience today. 

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! 

A Thoughtful Week

Generally, when I go quiet here it is for one of two reasons: flat out or processing something big. 

This week I have been processing. I have also had a cold, then gastro, and then a migraine (which is still here but permitting some function finally). 

Since finishing IVF a couple of years ago, and after my miscarriage, I have had ongoing issues with my menstrual cycle. Prior to fertility treatments, my cycle was regular as clockwork (with only a couple of exceptions in like thirty years).  Since finishing IVF I have experienced two runs of menhorragia (abnormal bleeding) with my last run of bleeding lasting from September last year through to February this year, virtually every day. 

As a result, I went to see a new doctor and he referred me for full blood work. The results came back to me on Monday. 

My iron, expectedly, is low. My sugars are high. My blood pressure continues to be high. 

I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. A bit of a shock on Monday and it has taken some processing. I’m on meds for both now, hence gastro. 

It is reversible and I will reverse it. 

I hadn’t mentioned it here, but last year I attended an information session regarding weight loss surgery. I actioned my health insurance and had my initial consultation with Dr Zarrouk last week. I also booked in the surgery for later this year. 

With lifestyle changes and the surgery, my diabetes is entirely reversible. 

I’m okay with it; it is the kick in the pants that I needed. 

However, the diagnosis also forced me to track my journey to this point. And, as a result, I’ve had to focus on some negative things that cause shame (stupidly). 

There is family history of diabetes and hypertension, so I should always have been more proactive regarding prevention. 

I’ve had to revisit why I wasn’t. I don’t feel sorry for myself but I felt the need to acknowledge how I got here. I asked myself why I emotionally eat, when did it start, why did it start, why did it continue, when don’t I emotionally eat, why, etcetera etcetera. 

Childhood trauma, shame, silence, inability to form healthy relationships, poor life choices, work related stress, being empathic, alcohol, experimentation with drugs, self harm and suicidal tendencies, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, putting others’ needs first, failed IVF, failed fostering, and the list could go on. I don’t emotionally eat when I travel; travel equals happiness and comfort in my own skin. I like me when I travel. 

And as an emotional eater, last year was a horrendous year for me. Diet and exercise just didn’t factor into my choices; anxiety reigned supreme and getting through each day became an achievement. 

I’m an intelligent person. I could have prevented this. But I didn’t. And as a result, I’ve had to work through feelings of shame and fear all over again. Ridiculous, really. 

And I do trust that things happen when they are meant to. So I haven’t cried over this and I’m alright with the diagnosis. For real. 

I’ve modified my diet. I’ve read heaps. I’ve thought heaps. I’m taking my medication. I’m making appointments. 

I know I will beat this. 

My mum was diagnosed similarly at my age and she reversed it with diet and psychological strength. I’m her daughter; I will achieve the same. 

I am regarding this as a continuation of the wake up call I had already given to myself. And, as affirmation that the surgery decision was the right one to make. 

This year for transformation really is becoming a year of transformation. 

I’m blessed, really. 

My Lesson is Patience 

I believe that we are born to learn and to be happy; that learning will lead to our happiness. 

One of the cliches often shared with me in my whinging times is, good things come to those who wait

Hmmm. I do believe the essence is true but I have also come to realise that I lack patience. I hate waiting … for anything. It definitely is my lesson to learn this lifetime. 

What prompts this grand epiphany, you might ask. Well, a few things thus far this year. 

Waiting for work to come and trusting the universe that it will be there when I need it. It did come. Too much of it has come – be careful what you wish for lol. 

My hair colour – I am unhappy with its darkness at the moment but lightening will be a process so I haven’t started yet lol. I do understand that lightness won’t come without any action whatsoever. 

And the big one. Last year in March I attended an information session about the Weightloss Surgery (sleeve gastrectomy). I had to wait a year for my health insurance to activate. I have had my heart set on the surgery in April/May. I had an appointment with the doctor last week and due to travel plans, I can’t have the surgery until July 20. 

I was the same with pregnancy and then fostering, it was all about waiting. And this last week, I know the kids at the current school will come to show respect for me (some already are) but I want them to show it now. Lol, I’m so not patient. 

With my things. 

I am in the classroom with children’s learning and I am with the pets, most of the time. 

Just my life, I want things now. 

I guess I’m set to learn the hard way …

😜

My mum once gave me this … ‘Nuff said. 

Owning It 

At the workshop yesterday I felt that we were a room of like minds. One of the beliefs that we seemed to share concerns ownership and responsibility. 

Today I was chatting to a mate, and she said that she believed that people always left her and never came back. 

I have had times (many times) when I have made similar sweeping statements that lay responsibility on the shoulders of others. Predominantly through my IVF journey when I often felt misunderstood, sorry for myself and very much alone. I don’t hate or dislike myself for this; it was what it was. 

But, I do think it was important and vital to my happiness that I was able to move on from these feelings. The only way I could do that was to focus on what responsibility I held in maintaining the situation. 

I could not control what my friends and family chose to do, but I could own my part in it. Once I owned my part, I found that I was liberated from expectation. Not in a bad or bitter way, but in a loving way. In turn, I think this made it easier for me to maintain my friend and familial relationships. It has also empowered me to work through my own issues as well as reach out when I need to. Basically, from owning my part, I have liberated myself from unnecessary psychological torment. 

Our host yesterday spoke about this too. If we have a recurring pattern in our lives that is unproductive, unhealthy or unhappy, we need to own our part in it. 

Often in life, things occur that are beyond our control. This is normal. But there is always something that we can control ~ us: our physical reaction, our emotional response, our future choices. 

There is always something. 

Sometimes it may just be that we control whether we take another breath. The important think is to own the choice. Once we can control one thing, it becomes easier to believe that we can control more things. 

Like with anxiety, focus on what can be controlled rather than what can’t be. Own what we can, because yes, we can’t control everything. 

Saying it makes it sound so easy. It isn’t. Like with everything, it is a process that requires consistent effort, stuffing it up, and then trying again. But it’s a worthwhile process. 

For me, it has resulted in an unrivaled and unprecedented happiness/wholeness that I am also owning. 

Intergalactic Activation 

Waving my freak banner here. 

During the week I saw an event that one of my good friends was attending. Curiosity inspired me to click on the event to see what it was about; the name intrigued me. I don’t know much about other worlds and realities, and during my Body Talk sessions, mention has been made which had already piqued my interest. Also, since following my instinct regarding India and that being such a phenomenal retreat, I decided that anything that feels right I will do, regardless of fear (remember my snorkeling adventures). 

I’ve been on such a mad growth/transformation trip thus far this year, and I’m happy for the learning to continue. I feel so at peace. 

Well, not knowing what to expect and after waking at 9:25 (workshop starting at 10:15 twenty minutes away – this is not who I usually am) I made it on time and opened myself to whatever was coming. 

Amazing. So much reinforcement and so many things explained for and to me. For want of a better word, the workshop consisted of a series of meditations followed by discussion and laughter. Our host toned and channeled. 

Throughout our first session I kept hearing the word Palidean or something like that. I don’t know what it means. Googling may help, and it may not. But I have a feeling …

For many, many years I have broken into gibberish – random times – usually because I feel that my brain is going too fast and my mouth can’t keep up, or so I’ve told myself and others. In one of the sessions, I became overwhelmed by emotion as I recognized the tone of the language. But even before that, in the very first opening session, I saw a being. I thought, as you would, that I was just being silly. But later on I saw an illustration of a similar being on the wall. 

I wasn’t making it up; it was real!

Add the language, the goosebumps and ear ringing, and I felt less of a freak than I do in my everyday life. 

I was asked what I do. Hmmm, a bit of a lot of things, but teaching wasn’t my automatic response, neither was writer. And I realized I really am in transition this year with no real knowledge of what my life will look like after this year. It is liberating and empowering. 

Ideally, I would be living near the ocean and writing, running workshops to empower other people to be their best selves living their best lives. Together, we would raise energy and spread some peace. People working together to empower others. 

So much processing happening. 

And on the way home I got ‘lost’. A voice told me to trust and I did. I moved in the direction of home, through bush on dirt roads, and eventually came out at a point I recognized. You can’t ask for more than that. I could have used my phone but decided to trust. No stress because the phone was there; a safe gamble. 

And at home I remembered that last week I asked for my spirit guides to make themselves known to me. 

I think they have. 

Season 6 Episode 3 Girls

“I want to write. I want to write stories that make people feel less alone than I did,” Hannah, and Tina. 

But, not the whole point of this post. I dislike Hannah, and not a huge fan of the show, but something caught me when I saw the first episode of Season 1, and I’ve watched every episode since. It’s like a pulling to waste time. I’m weird like that. 

I like the episodes. This one, in particular, is exceptionally clever and Hannah seems to be finally growing up, into herself. I don’t know. Maybe she reminds me of how I once was, am, will be, and that’s why I don’t like it but watch it anyway. 

This episode, number three of season six, targets an issue that seems to be popping up for me in conversations, my friends’ experiences, TED Talks, everywhere. 

Consent, sexual violence, intent, power, imbalance. 

Relationships are difficult enough to navigate, attraction more so. 

I think it is safe to say that more often than not, women need closeness to be intimate whereas men feel closer after intimacy (thank you Kell, for putting it so succinctly). Women feel the attraction and want to know the man, but also feel ‘valuable’ and ‘special’ when men pay attention. It does seem to be the way that we are socially programmed. Our worth is intrinsically linked to the status of the men who ‘love’ us. 

I don’t completely believe this to be true unequivocally but it can be true. Meh. I should process before writing. In this case, trying to process through writing. 

Anyway, sexual violence changes a person permanently. This is true. A person, male or female, is never the same again after sexual violation. What constitutes the violation though? This area can be murky and grey. 

Tom Stranger (video link yesterday) reflects that he believed it was his ‘right’ to violate his drunk girlfriend, and that the culture he grew up in gave permission for this. Chuck Palmer, the writer in Girls, eloquently crafts a story that forces us to question his abuses of college girls and the extent to which he is victim too. 

Our society demonises perpetrators of sexual violence. I don’t this is wise. 

When I wrote the final piece for my Masters, I wanted to really write by exploring a voice that wasn’t mine. I chose to research and write the voice of the pedophile. One scene in particular made me physically ill but to be able to write the character well, I needed to find that part of myself that was a demon, for want of a better word. 

We are all capable of evil, of darkness, of violation. Maybe not in terms of sexual violence, but I remember I once killed a spider with bug spray and took delight in watching it writhe futilely (no, I’m not proud of admitting this). I became disgusted, repulsed, abhorred by my behavior, and don’t use bug spray or kill anything intentionally anymore. 

I learned the value of life in that moment, and the responsibility of power. It was a significant moment in my life. 

On Q&A on Monday night, Josephine Cashman, was quite condescending to the experience of Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger, and of the concept of forgiveness as it relates to sexual violence. I found her perspective way too literal and too rigid. Obviously, her context as a legal warrior has created this; she experiences the darkness of women in domestic violence situations who forgive others from fear only to be abused again and again. 

I believe that forgiveness is vital for mental health. When I hang on to anger, I am unable to live unencumbered. Forgiveness is not for others. Oprah suggests that forgiveness is really just giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. And when you do this, the weight literally lifts from your shoulders. Forgiveness is a gift that everyone who has ever experienced anything negative, any violation, deserves. 

Meh. Many thoughts weaving in and out of my consciousness. 

I think the way forward for all of us extends from people owning their behaviors, out loud and often. When we own our shadow selves, we bring light to them, and this reduces the impact of shame and guilt. The more light, the more voices, the healthier we all become. 

This is why I write this blog. I own my experiences, good and bad. Killing the spider, still seeing the delight I felt as I watched it die, reminds me that I have a shadow that thrives on power. I am vigilant to ensure that I do not abuse the power I have. But it does require vigilance. 

I emerged from a childhood devoid of power, and my natural instinct is to desire and covet power. I have met many adults, and due to dysfunctional pasts, in childhood or adulthood, they claim power against other people all of the time. 

They do this in a variety of ways, but mostly they keep others small by relentlessly putting them down. They stop others from being their best selves with criticism, by silencing their voices, through not creating an environment where others feel safe to just be, warts and all. 

I struggle in these environments, and I struggle to defend myself in these environments (when turned against me). My first instinct is to run. My second instinct is to shut a part of myself down, away from the ‘abuser’. When a person loses power to another, they try to address the imbalance by exerting power over someone or something else. If we just started by owning these times, I think we would all be happier. 

At the core of most sexual violence is the issue of power. 

Let’s light this up. Let’s fix it at the most basic level in all of us. Let’s change our world. Together. With many united voices. 

When you put my beliefs down, it makes me feel worthless and like you don’t care, and then I don’t trust you. When you don’t own your behaviour, our relationship breaks down. When you do own your behaviour, we both flourish. 

The Power of Words 

Warning:

I don’t want to say too much about this TED Talk; the power is in viewing it. However, it is about sexual violence and could trigger you if you have suffered or perpetrated such acts. 

I love that it humanises both victim/survivor and perpetrator; something I aimed to do when I wrote my final piece for my Masters in Writing a few years ago. 

I think everyone should watch this, think about it and talk about it. 
Our story of rape and reconciliation https://www.ted.com/talks/thordis_elva_tom_stranger_our_story_of_rape_and_reconciliation

Living Your Best Life 

I ran a successful workshop a few weeks ago. Yesterday we had a catch up to see how everyone was going. It brought to light something I have learned in my quest to live my best life. 

Last November I made the decision to drop to part time for this year, and ultimately in December, decided it needed to be all or nothing, so took most of this year as leave without pay. The day I made this decision I sat with it before I informed my boss. By the end of the day I was ecstatic. 

I sat in this happiness until January. In January, anxiety set in about money. I kept moving forward, acknowledging the fear but not bowing down to it. This fear has since passed and I know that I was right to not return to work this year. My time in Western Australia has reassured me that I am on the best path for me. 

I am at peace and trusting that all will be provided when I need it. I am loving my life. I am living with minimal stress and happier than I remember ever being. 

However, as my catch up highlighted, living your best life is a journey, a process, and there will be glitches, moments of doubt, and fear at times. And this is all okay. It is also okay if your journey has no complications or glitches or doesn’t move as fast as someone else’s. 

Every journey, every process, is unique. Even within your own life. 

The important thing is to acknowledge the glitch, manoeuvre through it, and to keep going. Moving forward is vital to the success of living your best life. Availing yourself of opportunities for support is also vital. 

Take a deep breath, take some time out, re-evaluate the steps, and when you’re ready, keep moving forward. 

It will be worth it, I promise.