Khmer Lessons

It has been a year since my trip to India kickstarted massive transformation in my life. My life and I are unrecognizable lol. It is awesome that I start and finish my travel in an Asian country.

What have I learned …

That travel is education. When we travel, we learn. I have learned so much about Cambodia: it’s history, culture, lifestyle, politics, and peoples. I love this country. I have some fears that it may not remain a ‘democracy’ much longer, but I hope that I am wrong.

That I can achieve anything I decide to achieve. Those 352 steps, one way, are staying with me. I did it. I took breaths as I needed to, I didn’t compete with anyone else, I was lacquered in my own sweat five million times over, and I did it. Fitness is an obstacle for me. I have chosen that. Since the steps, I have chosen otherwise. Every activity, every chance to walk, I have taken. Because I can if I decide to.

That people are basically the same. We all want to belong, to connect, to fit, to be valued, to be seen. Age, gender, socio-economic status, none of it matters at the core. At the core, we are one.

If you choose to give to beggars, especially children, you become part of the problem. Children who earn more money begging than going to school, will not go to school. Education is vital to break cycles, and to improve the condition of our planet and us. Find another way to assuage the guilt of privilege.

That my passion for teaching exists deeply. I have no time for the politics and admin. Enough said.

That those of us living in the first world have no idea what poverty and suffering is, evidenced by our overconsumption and misery. People here have nothing but smile broadly. We should learn from that.

And I have learned that girls from Campbelltown can become something, anything, everything. I am truly blessed.

On to Vietnam.

The Magick of Kampuchea: Battambang

We are achieving so much every day; I really need to be blogging more to capture it all. Thank god for photos.

I am feeling a strong connection to place here. I’ve started entertaining the thought that one day I might come here to teach English for a little while. We stopped at a temple near an English school yesterday and I became absolutely mesmerized by the children’s chanting of language. I have been feeling a strong sense of the unknown long term future; maybe a new path is being etched in other places.

We were also blessed to have been blessed by a monk in another temple a couple of days ago. It was amazing. We gathered around him and his fellow monk, closed our eyes and ritualized respect, before I was transported to another world through their chanting. My hands remained on fire for the entirety of the blessing.

And, then yesterday, proof that the mind is more powerful than the body. My unfit body managed to walk up and down 352 uneven steps because the mind wanted it to. The reward at the end of the walk was well worth it.

Opening myself to this experience wholly. Oh, and I accidentally ate some chicken yesterday at lunch – oops. I thought it was tofu. A small sliver about 1 x 2 cm. Couldn’t taste it. Felt it was going to happen. It did. I survived. Lol.

The Magick of Kampuchea: Phnom Penh

Weaving through the streets of Phnom Penh in a comfortable bus adorned with red fringe, exhausted from an early start to get to the airport and delays in arriving, and I see two kids on a scooter dancing the rhythm of Asian streets. My heart smiled as my mind flashed back to Varanasi, Thailand and Nepal, and I felt home.

My travel tiredness (I know, ungracious of me) dissipated and light filled my soul; I love these adventures, experiencing different ways of seeing the world and living in it. Blessed. Truly blessed. And, the Intercontinental is a beautiful hotel.

We woke, dressed, ate breakfast, boarded the bus, and made our way to the palace – beautiful. Gobsmackingly beautiful. Phnom Penh is similar to everywhere else – same, same but different – and not so similar too. It is greener and cleaner. A little more refined. I have no words.

As much as the political climate is and has been unsettled, the place has a stillness and peace that I would regard as spiritual – 97% Buddhist, maybe it isn’t surprising.

Anyway, the humidity is shocking. Hate sweating profusely, especially when I put makeup on. Needless to say, no more makeup during the day. My cheek was a bit bung this morning and disfigured my face so I felt the need for magic makeup lol. I was sleeping with a nasal strip.

Anyway, back to the hotel for a swim before dinner. And, I will let the photos tell the story and hopefully tomorrow, finish this post gracefully lol.

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.

The Pursuit of Happiness

I think one of my greatest lessons this year has been that happiness makes life better.

No, we can’t always be happy, and I get that. We ‘need’, for want of a better word, moments that aren’t happy, for balance, for perspective and for understanding.

By happiness I don’t necessarily mean we are always smiling and laughing and dancing, but more a stillness, a calm, an inner peace, and a knowing that pain is temporary, and even whilst in pain, we need to remember that it too, is temporary. Happiness is knowing. It is trusting.

You are okay.

You have been okay.

You will be okay.

Happiness is also easier to achieve and to maintain when we are being authentic and living our best lives, as our best selves.

It could be easy for others to say things like, Well, we can’t all just abandon our lives for a year, and, Easy to do when you don’t have kids or responsibilities.

Maybe that’s right. Maybe it isn’t. We can never know. But, we can all make some changes. Even small changes like spending one day each weekend outside is do-able, if it brings you happiness.

And, taking this year off hasn’t all been holidays and happiness. Financially it has been difficult. My savings went earlier than expected and casual work hasn’t been as forthcoming as I thought it would be. But, I’ve survived it. I’ve asked for help when I’ve needed it. I’ve really grown the business to support me. And, I finally learned that I can live with less money, and that the universe will always provide.

More importantly, I have reconnected with me, on less money, and with more happiness. I’ve reassessed my values, and altered the way I think and the way I live.

I am also more cognisant of my need to suspend judgement regarding what makes other people happy. Thank God, we aren’t all the same and that diversity is encouraged in our country. We are reasonably free to be who we are, who we want to be, and do the things we want to do, even if it means we sometimes have to think outside of the box to achieve our goals (hopefully very soon same sex couples will not have to leave their home country to get married, and our first people will see real opportunity, acknowledgement and respect from us invaders).

Happiness is relative, it is subjective, it is forever fluid. But, what I know for sure, is that when we spend time with people we can be ourselves with, when we spend time doing things that make our hearts sing, when we are aware and conscious, it is easier to sustain happiness.

What makes you happy? How can you do more of that or bring more of that into your life?

Have a happy week. Let others have a happy week.

My Next Charge

As a woman who has never birthed her own children, I have been truly blessed by the generosity of so many friends in their willingness to let me love their kids. Tonight I attended the birthday party of three of them.

These girls, and their sisters, have always just treated me like I was valuable to them. They are three of quite a few. So, whilst I have never been a birth mother, I have been blessed to be welcomed into their lives.

I have also been adopted and have adopted an incredible person who I have written about before. Honours me as her mother even though I never feel quite deserving enough; she loves me anyway.

Under the Tuscan Sun has a scene in it where the protagonist realised that everything she had desired for her life in the villa came to pass, but not always in the way that she had expected or hoped.

I think it is the same for me as a mother. I am a mother. Just not in a traditional way (shock horror) and that is more than okay. I am so proud of all of my surrogate kids, past and present, and am grateful that this has been and continues to be, my path.

Well, this post didn’t go quite where I wanted it to. My heading is so not what this is now about.

Tonight I also realised what my next emotionally charged issue to work through is. I had a close friend die a few years ago. I still think of her every day and talk to her often. I caught up with her husband tonight. I just wanted to cry.

I had disappeared from their lives leading up to her death. I do this. When my life overwhelms me, I tend to force myself into time out to process and assimilate whatever it is that is going on. At this particular time, I was in my IVF journey and just didn’t know how to communicate so didn’t.

You never expect that one of the people closest to you might not be there. It just doesn’t factor in to your thinking. I’m a great person and give a lot, but I’m not perfect. When I saw Nat again, she was in hospital, and we were waiting for her to pass.

I was blessed to have been included in this process and to have been given the opportunity to sit with her on my own to say goodbye. Definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And the tears pool, blurring the words on the screen, and fall. And one of the most beautiful opportunities I have ever received.

I sat with her and told her how important she was to me, and I apologised for disappearing, and I just held her hand. I promised her that I would not waste my life. In honour of her I would live my best life.

Several hours later, at home, I felt her passing before I received the text to tell me that she had passed. I sobbed quickly and then pulled myself together to contact the people I needed to contact. I think I stayed in that mode for days and weeks after. The funeral is there in my mind but only as impressions. I remember nothing of my delivery of my words for her, except seeing her husband and kids in front of me.

We do tend to forget or look over the faults in people that have passed; their lives take on an inflated status.

I lost my friend. Paradoxically, I gained my life.

Redefining Sexual Abuse

This post may contain some triggers for sexual abuse survivors. I would also like to point out that this post represents my own current state of healing. There are no rights or wrongs, just differences.

Today I attended and participated in my second session with Mai Mai to dissolve the emotional charges on significant events from my past. I’ve had a fairly full on emotional processing week since last Friday. This has resulted in an almost constant headache, which I’m okay with. I’m making good ground 😉.

In Manly for two days, I almost completed the first chapter for my book. It provides the context for my healing paradigm, and thus, the book. In the first chapter, I cover physical and sexual abuse, IVF and the Investigation. Not comprehensively, but a solid overview. As I wrote, I found that some elements created an emotional charge which I Demartini’d as I went.

This morning, when I read my list of memories, as a result of my writing, I found that I could tick off most of my memories as resolved. There was no emotional charge anymore.

I asked if we could focus on my relationship with food, and I recounted two significant memories for me. In our discussion regarding those, we moved into the area of sexual abuse. I can’t remember the exact topography now and it probably seems a bit far fetched lol, but it is what it is. It was logical I assure you.

Anyway, Mai Mai asked me to think about the words sexual abuse and how the language already connotes a negative association which is a judgement. I think an underlying component/understanding behind dissolving the charges is removing judgement from our memories and the associations from our memories.

I had to think about this, the meaning and connotation and inherent judgement in the language. It is very confronting in so many ways. Predominantly, because we are conditioned by society to ascribe moral judgements to things like abuse and ideas that disrupt that conditioning require processing.

The Demartini Method, to bring balance, requires us to focus on the perceptions that we hold, emerging from the notion that negatively impacting perceptions are often unbalanced. This means that we have focused more on the drawbacks in the situation, rather than equally focusing on the benefits we gained from the situation.

Thinking about early sexual encounters in this light is very confronting. I discovered this morning that playing a victim role has brought me benefits even though I have focused on the drawbacks.

Mai Mai took me back to my first memory. I recounted it for her, as honestly and comprehensively as my recollection allowed. The drawbacks were easy: fear, no choice, no control, discomfort, through to shame and guilt.

People have often said to me that writing my posts demonstrates courage. I have not understood that until this post. I am feeling exceptionally vulnerable in this one. I told things to Mai Mai today that I have never shared and I intend to keep that honesty going now, even though I will not reveal all of the details I shared today including the identities of the perpetrators. This might be confronting for some people who have encountered/experienced sexual abuse or uncomfortable sexual encounters.

In the context of the specific memory, Mai Mai then asked me to focus on what I gained from the encounter, the benefits. Whoah! Confronting.

Mai Mai tempered this by asking about what I could have controlled in the situation. Again, confronting. However, being honest, I acknowledged that I could have left the space we were in, I could have shouted out for help, and now I realize I also could have punched him probably.

It was at this point that my perception of the situation started to change a little, and the emotional charge started to temper. I was consciously changing my frame of reference.

I then focused on the benefits: I was a victim, I received attention, I felt seen and acknowledged, my body felt aroused, I felt that my existence was validated. It is important at this point to highlight the context I was living in. My parents fought a lot and I didn’t feel seen or safe.

Mai Mai then asked me to focus on how this perception of myself and the situation had then continued to serve me throughout my life.

Illumination! I could rattle off exactly how the labels of victim and the benefits in the situation had served me throughout my life to lead me here.

I then sat there, more than a little stunned, because my perception of the situation had become filled in, expanded, changed. I no longer felt like a victim and I no longer felt negatively towards the situation. Again, I moved to feelings of gratitude for the actions of the ‘perpetrator’.

Not only that, my beliefs are that I had a soul contract before this incarnation started and that I had selected all of the lessons that I wanted to learn. I also had people from my soul tribe offer to be the ‘perpetrators’ of yuck and violence against me to enable the lessons and empower my learning. There is a moment when our beliefs and life events hit a moment of complete connection. Today’s session served to remind me of all of this and see how the theory of my beliefs actually manifests in real life events.

I am seeing the bigger pattern now. I am also remembering my lessons. I am moving from teacher to healer, starting with my own healing. I am flourishing. And, I wish this for everyone. I’ve been reminded of my soul’s purpose. Power.

Happy to answer questions about this one.

Emotional Congestion

I am waking up every morning with either a head cold starting or a headache. I am Demartini-ing everything that comes up lol. My body is manifesting symptoms to keep me from sliding. I become conscious and I nurture myself.

Whilst away in Manly for thirty six hours, I finished (almost perfect) Chapter One of my book. It is about the context that lead to this healing year. There were potential emotional charges throughout it: physically damaging childhood, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, IVF, last year’s investigation.

As I wrote, I found that I was using the Demartini method as I went to dissolve the charges. It became a reflex. I shared this with Renee; I was so surprised and so happy that it was happening.

Changing the narrative is empowering and makes it so much easier to write.

At one point, on the way back to the unit, Renee (unintentionally) made a comment along the lines of all women fulfilling purpose by bearing children. Six months, even a month ago, this would have caused a twinge of emotion (failure/regret/loss) within me. Yesterday, it just elicited a facetious response, but more significantly, there was no emotional charge for me. I had to assure Renee I was fine, and I truly was.

Every step, every event, every single thing in my life has brought me to where I am right now, and right now, my life is charmed.

I am not wealthy, but I have enough, most of the time. I am healing and I am happy. I am surrounded and immersed in love always, my own and the love of others. I look after myself and I am very kind to myself. I am kind to others. I feel light. I feel fulfilled. I am creating my ideal life. I am blessed. I am grateful for all that has lead me here.

A human cannot ask for more.

Waking Up: More IVF Resolution

It’s 7:30am. I’ve been awake for two hours.

I meditate every night before I go to sleep. And, what I mean by that, is that I am asleep within minutes of putting the meditation on; I usually don’t get beyond the first few breaths and comfortable position lol. So, I also meditate when I wake. This morning I didn’t because I was lathered in kisses from an excited puppy before my eyes were even open. However, I still practiced gratitude and set my intentions for today.

It’s a glorious way to start the day: in calm and at peace, lavished by love.

I have set today’s work, put the washing on, stripped the bed, organised my healing work, done the dishes, watered the plants, and dissolved the emotional charges on my failed IVF procedures (started yesterday).

The benefits of doing IVF:

~ I was enabled to support others in their journey

~ I have no regrets about not trying

~ I felt the excitement of selecting donors, loved the many needles, loved the routine, loved the process, loved learning, loved the promise

~ greater empathy for the struggles of pregnancy and miscarriage

~ I experienced another version of myself

The drawbacks of doing IVF:

~ I didn’t give birth

~ I miscarried

~ I was a different person for a few years

~ I struggled in alone-ness

The benefits of not holding the pregnancy and giving birth:

~ I just worry about me and my fur kids

~ I travel

~ I complete learning courses

~ I meet new and incredible people all of the time

~ I am free

~ I am soul happy and fulfilled

~ I started my businesses

~ I reignited my passion for teaching through tutoring

~ I still impact a whole heap of people’s lives positively

~ I am healing all of my baggage and have the time to do it

~ I can be selfish

The drawbacks of not holding the pregnancy and giving birth:

~ I have not been a birth mum this incarnation; however, I am a mother (albeit a bad one a lot of the time) to Amanda and a mother spirit to countless others

I am grateful for the experience, and I am equally grateful I didn’t become a birth mother.

I am feeling a deep sense of blessing, love and gratitude again. This is such a powerful method for bringing balance.

I need to dissolve the charge on the miscarriage. That will be my next venture. Some of it will be similar, but I need to look at the balance of support in that one too. The universe always provides.

Now, I’ve blogged too, and it’s only 7:52am.

Winning.

Have a great day!

🙏🏻🦋

Demartini and Gratitude

I have mentioned the Dimartini method before. It is a method, that when used, brings the body, mind and spirit into balance by dissolving the emotional charge that memories have created.

The main purpose for me in taking this year off from my full time job was to heal my mind, body and spirit after the events of last year. Not just from the investigation, but everything that I have chosen in my life to this point. I wanted to leave 2017 in balance and healthy, emotionally, physically and spiritually. In light of this intention, I pledged to myself that I would answer every call that I received.

I have done that. Even when I haven’t understood why or have been terrified or uncomfortable, I have answered the call.

This has been the best year of my life.

It is the first best year of many, many more best years to come. Every year from now on will become the best year of my life.

Today I answered another call. When Peter Bliss started talking about the Dimartini Method during our mindfulness sessions at Yulara, I felt that it was the missing piece for me in my life journey.

I listened intently to everything that Peter and his beautiful wife, Mai Mai, had to say about this method and how it worked. I started to incorporate the language into my vocabulary – the principles I sort of understood because they weren’t far removed from where my own healing journey and work has lead me thus far this year. Mai Mai possesses a beautiful and still energy that I was drawn to and I resolved to book in for a session when we returned home.

My first session was today.

I went a little nervously, armed with my list of memories of events that still trigger emotions today because of their connection to the past. It is a fairly long list, but not as long as it would have been had I not worked so hard on myself all these years. A big hug started and ended our session; how blessed am I to be in this woman’s energy.

I talked about my post this morning, and how I keep having epiphanies and ah-ha moments. Mai Mai explained how emotions and charges work, and outlined what we are striving for.

Most people do not grow very much and experience the extremes of emotion; imagine a straight line across the page with sharp, jagged lines up and down on both sides of the line, similar to a heart monitor, that shape. The straight line is the person and their lack of growth, and the jagged lines are the emotions, a never ending cycle of ups and downs.

What I am aiming for is a diagonal line from left to right to indicate growth, with soft undulating waves just above and below the line. This is growth with balance, as I understood it.

We started work. The need for control in my life has emerged from a misperception from my childhood that I wasn’t worth very much. One of the key incidents that resulted in my lack of belief in me as an attractive person stemmed from a message I received when I was young. I have written about it here a few times (yep, it needed dissolving).

My sisters and I were standing together whilst mum spoke to a hairdresser friend of hers. The friend commented on how pretty my two blonde sisters were.

Mai Mai asked me who gave me support in this situation. The idea is that when there is a situation where we feel attacked or unseen or unheard (you get the drift), there will also be someone providing balance by giving the opposite action.

Initially, I was struck dumb by the question. I received no support from anyone, that’s why it impacted. Mai Mai kept digging. Then I thought of Aunty Ann who had validated my other-ness my whole life. No, it had to be someone there … processing the memory, reliving it (with my dodgy arse memory), perplexed, then realising, I didn’t feel disconnected from my sisters or my mum. In that moment, I still felt a part of my family, and my mum may even have touched my arm. Ah. There was support as well as derision; my narrative hadn’t empowered me to remember this or focus on it at the time.

Then, Mai Mai asked what the drawback was for me (felt like I was ugly), then what the benefit was (yikes!). Well, she was a bitch. There could be no benefit. Could there?

Yes. There could be a benefit; a whole stream of benefits. As a result of my early awareness that I was ugly, I focused on developing my intelligence, and my compassion and empathy for others. As a result of this, I excelled at school, went to university (hold a Masters degree), have taught successfully for twenty five years, am well regarded, fondly remembered and often told how strong my impact on others is, run a very successful business and am a lifelong learner, as well as fucking attractive (swearing for emphasis of the gains).

Mai Mai then asked me to consider what my life might look like had this incident not occurred. Oh my.

A light bulb sparked for me. I literally felt the negative emotion dissolve away to intense gratitude and love for this woman that I have scorned for decades. I had no words. I had tears rise. I could not believe the gift this woman had given me by ignoring me that day. In part, everything I am in this moment is as a result of this memory, now diffused.

My perception of the incident is now balanced. The charge is gone. And, then the most bizarre physical reaction occurred. In my belly I could feel the cells re-pattern and reorganise themselves, similar to how I feel the BodyTalk sessions; butterflies but not.

In my mind, young ugly Tina (😜) put her hands in prayer and thanked the woman, like we were reliving the moment again with the wisdom now accrued.

And so, thank you woman in the salon, many times, THANK YOU! Your negativity empowered and inspired me to be better and to be rounded. It also ensured my underlying philosophy for teaching, all children will be included and reminded that they are perfect just as they are.

And Tina, thank you for heeding the call. What an incredible journey this life is, and it will only get better as you continue to grow and dissolve charges.

And, Peter, thank you for the retreat that lead me here, for your wisdom and love.

Mai Mai – thank YOU for being you and for embracing me in all my imperfection and perfection. I am so excited to share this part of my journey with you.

Blessed. Grateful. Empowered.

🙏🏻🦋