I thought the hardest part of yesterday would be giving my keys back. Not so much. I stood with Matt and Jane in the car park, just not wanting to leave, after sitting with them in the staff room, not wanting to leave. What a day. And, I think almost every aspect of my teaching career happened yesterday (no referrals, thank god). So much love. So overwhelmed. Still. I had work after work. I cried on the way home. During 2016, every morning on the drive to work, I cried and belted out Defying Gravity from Wicked. It got me through by reminding me to stand in my power. I decided to listen to it, on repeat, in the car yesterday morning. So much more power now, in those lyrics, and I realised that I had been setting intentions for my life; I am now starting to realise those intentions. I am excited for new pathways. I know my time in school education as a full time permanent teacher is at an end; I need to continue to grow. Today though, I am a little sad. A little scared. A little deer in the headlights lol. Not really the last one. I was being a little funny. When I returned to Reddall this year, and all year, I didn’t really feel like I was making much of an impact. I felt a lot like I had disappeared into the ether. Yesterday reminded me how significant even the seemingly non existent things can be to other people. Just the energy we have as individuals can impact other people. The most humbling parts of yesterday were the genuine moments of honest love. One of my colleagues knitted me an incredibly beautiful and warm shawl, and gave me a beautiful brooch to close it with. I had seen this type of a brooch as a child and I had always longed to have one. She didn’t know that, but I did. I still haven’t been able to finish reading her card. One line in and I was a mess. Such gratitude. Thank you, Kathryn. The kids. Notes from unexpected places. Hugs. Tears. Genuine love. Readings from Lucy Cavendish’s new deck – the irony – thank you, Margarita. Beautiful words shared from my the people who see me every day in the staffroom – who laugh at my jokes, listen to my whinging and whom I share my dysfunction with. I still get that choke in my throat. Some of the students made these wonderful cardboard posters and got kids to write a message – I haven’t read all of the messages yet, but I’m excited to. I only taught one class yesterday, for a double, and we watched Remember the Titans. Timeless classic. At the end of the lesson, one of the kids stayed, and cried with me. He said, “I love you. I’m going to miss you. Why do you have to leave?” I cry again now. He’s a beautiful boy. Hard to explain it to the kids – it’s time to move on, I’ve been doing this for so long now, I need a change – none soothe their feelings of loss. I’ll be honest though, it surprised me how many kids, without drama, expressed this, yesterday and in the lead up. Very humbling. And, again, I’m very grateful. My sister, AP at the primary school I taught a few casual days at during last year, left me a message to let me know that one of the Year 6 students was sad I wouldn’t be at Reddall next year. I can’t say the exact words because it dissolves me into tears. I think I thought I was past the ability to make kids feel. I don’t think I quite believe who I am. Isn’t it funny – all this growth and I still don’t truly get my impact on other people, especially kids. I think because I’ve always looked at what I get and how I feel – I have mostly always felt so blessed to be a teacher. Man, I’ve got some healing to do lol. The best parts of teaching are the relationships and the light bulb moments when you can see that the kids get something for the first time. I have been so blessed in my career to have many of both. I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve grown up through being a teacher and teaching. I am grateful for all of it. And, I am so grateful to every single person who has walked the journey to this point with me, including the kids and experiences and staff that have taught me through the pain. One very lucky woman here.
Today is my last day of teaching in a school on a permanent basis, I hope. On March 31 last year, Lucy Cavendish used a metaphor of a bridge with me. She said that I had one foot on a bridge to a new life, whilst my other foot was still teetering in my old life.Today, I am crossing the bridge. Tomorrow, I land on the other side. I am excited about the potential for my life. I am also, a little bit, sad about moving on from Reddall. It has been my home, inextricably linked to my identity, for twenty years. Wow. That’s a long time. I love my kids. Always will. It’s not about them, it’s not really about the system either. It’s about claiming my life as my own to fulfil my real purpose: inspiring and empowering the masses to live a happy and fulfilled life. That’s my teaching mission. There will be tears today for me, inside or outside, who knows. Yesterday, I packed my desk up. Today, I put the things I’m taking from my classroom into a bag. I’m not taking much. Yesterday, speaking to Jane, the tears threatened and a little bit of loss was felt. Change is hard, regardless of the excitement. Letting go of all you know to move into uncertainty is scary …But, it’s also liberating. Onwards and upwards.
Yesterday was an interesting day. It ended in frustration at what I perceive to be the inefficiency of the health system.
This morning was also interesting. After going to bed very late (happens because I finish work so late), I woke this morning with a strong message from the universe.
The lump in my breast (more than likely a benign fibroamenoid), the smashed thumb and the smashed car – all on the left side – are signs to let go of needing to control and be in control.
A shock, I know lol. I’m usually so trusting 😳
And, that message is right. Life has a fluidity that, when trusted, leads us to exactly where we are meant to be, in peace. I guess it’s similar to having faith in God. But, different too.
I arrived for my appointment on time. I was quizzed about cancelling the mammogram. It was accepted. I was relieved.
I had the ultrasound. Nothing unexpected. A big lump on my left breast, near the surface, very obvious. The routine questions:
When did you discover it? How long do you think it has been there? Do you have a family history of breast cancer? Any cancer? When was your last mammogram? Do you have the slides?
My last mammogram was in my twenties when I had been hit by a student throwing something and it resulted in a lump. So, no, I do not have the slides. In fact, never received the slides.
No history of any cancer.
I found it two and a half weeks ago. I hadn’t noticed it during my last self-exam. No, I don’t remember exactly when that was, the last three months or so.
Why didn’t you come earlier?
I booked in with the doctor and it took me a week to get an appointment. Then, I immediately booked in here and today was your first free appointment. I called eight days ago to book in.
Oh. And giggles, God love her.
Then the doctor came in. Felt the lump. Looked at the scans. Asked the questions. Explained that whilst he is fairly certain it’s a fibroamenoid, he is concerned that it grew suddenly when usually they are with you since menstruation starts. I mentioned the IVF for five years. Faces changed and ohs were emitted.
Yep. IVF – the gift that keeps giving.
Again, for me, a lesson in trust over control. One I think I’ll still be learning on my death bed lol.
Then, half naked, that gross gel over my chest, Why did you opt out of the mammogram?
I gave my reasons.
I don’t want to pressure you. It’s your choice, it’s your body. But …
I got so frustrated. I know enough to know I didn’t want it, but I can’t argue with a doctor. Ended up with the mammogram too.
Frustrated with my lack of balls here. And, that frustration lasted until this morning’s message.
I’m at peace now. Wish I’d been dressed and standing for that argument. There’s a vulnerability that is disarming on a table half dressed. But, it is what it is.
I am a work in progress. Constantly evolving and learning.
I’ll be fine though – I know that for sure.
Pic 1 – visual metaphor – Tina yesterday between scans lol
Pic 2 – nice view behind the visual metaphor
Pic 3 – the sunrise of illumination and trust this morning
😉 yep, I’m crazy lol
Two weeks ago, I found a massive lump in my left boob. Once, finding a lump would have sent me into a massive tail spin. This didn’t.
I felt a stillness from within, a trust that this is meant to be, for whatever reason. Whatever it is, I will deal with it, I’ll manage it, I’ll do what needs to be done. And, if it is worst case scenario, then I’ll make sure I make the most of each new day and live, doing things I love, being with people I love. And, the stillness and peace continues.
A couple of days after finding the lump, I made an appointment with a doctor. The appointment was last Wednesday, the earliest I could get.
My appointment was for 11.20. I had clients from 12.30. I thought I could make it. However, ended up cancelling first two clients due to the doctor running late.
Getting in to the car to go to the appointment, I smashed my left thumb in the door jam as the door closed unexpectedly. I have no idea how it happened. It hurt. My language was very unladylike lol. I held an ice pack around my thumb on my drive to the doctors.
Congested car park. One spot next to a brick wall. Figured I could make it. Figured incorrectly. Metal from the door jam to the back wheel on the left side pulled back. Yep. What the.
Pulled out. Drove to another spot, further away. Looked at the damage. Shook my head. Went in to surgery to wait for two hours. Still relatively calm.
I suffer high blood pressure (is it any wonder lol), but came off my medication last December because I didn’t like the side effects. I started meditating more to compensate. Also, watching diet and monitoring stress and self care strategies. I know I’m not a doctor, but I know my body best and me. Drugs weren’t helping; they were making it worse. No point managing one thing only to create others, and realistically, the drugs were managing the high blood pressure, not correcting it.
The doctor, whom I haven’t seen before, but I prefer a female for female things, looked at me, then to her screen, then back to me, and exclaimed, You look amazing for your age! I laughed.
Confirmed I have a tumour, not a cyst, and gave me the referrals for a mammogram and ultrasound.
Blood pressure 150 over 100. I was ecstatic. Yes, that’s high. But, that was my blood pressure medicated, occasionally it went lower, but not by much. More often, it was higher.
For me, on a day I had smashed my thumb in the door and smashed the back of my car, then had to wait for a doctor and cancel clients, whilst having a lump that after googling, I knew was a tumour, this blood pressure reading shows that I’m managing it! Ecstatic.
No family history of breast cancer. Older than 40. Approaching menopause. Doctor thinks it is more likely it is benign too.
I’m not worried. I trust that whatever is going on, is ultimately for my benefit.
One thing I know for sure, every time I’ve perceived I’ve gone through hell, I have discovered exquisite beauty and greater happiness on the other side. Every negative situation has created greater positivity in my life.
The universe is always in balance. Where there is pain, there is also joy. Where there is hardship, there is also ease. I trust that I will be okay. I am okay now.
Three things – left side – nurturing the feminine. I have lived so much of my life in masculine energy, it makes sense I need to balance my energy.
At school, I’m called on for masculine energy. In my business and life, I’m more feminine in my energy. Affirmation that my time in organised education is up. Time to nurture me, just like I’ve nurtured so many others.
I had a healing client yesterday. Seeing her face open and light come back into her soul, I knew that I had made the right decision.
Everything happens for a reason.
We all need to trust that.
Oh, and after extensive research, I will have the ultrasound but not the mammogram. It’s my right to say no.
I am grateful that my windscreen was smashed. We have not found out who was responsible for it. But, I feel no anger, just gratitude. I hope that the child responsible finds the support they need to be able to fill the hole within them that lead them to the point where they believed their actions were appropriate and necessary.
Regardless, I am grateful.
Education no longer serves my highest self. This is no judgement on or against anyone else; these are just my thoughts and my perceptions. If you are a happy teacher, power to you. I no longer am.
I love children. I love working with them to empower them to fulfil their dreams. I love those light bulb moments when they get it. I love the jokes, the loving teasing, the rapport that is built through symbiotic trust. I love inspiring them to see the world and their place in it, in new ways. I am still a passionate and idealistic teacher. I always will be.
However, I do not respect or like the machine that education has become. I do not like the lack of humanity embodied in the broader leadership, and I cannot fathom or respect machinations that regard teachers and students as robots and tick a boxes.
I do not have the passion to fight it. There are too many who just follow it. My type of teacher is in the vast minority. I don’t see enough commitment to want to change; people don’t stand up and fight for anything anymore.
I will stand up and fight for me by being true to me, and putting me first. After all, no one else will. It is not anyone else’s responsibility; it is mine, and mine alone.
So, I have fourteen working days left until I hand in my keys. Keys that I will have held for very close to twenty years.
I have no intention of ever going back. I thought, when this time came, I would feel more heartbroken. Maybe the grief will come; maybe it won’t. At the moment, I feel like I’m finally answering a call to let go of fear and to start living. I feel liberated.
I have been sick this week, my body has been purging stress toxins, I’m sure. I have not been at school since the incident. I feel liberated. In the past, when I’ve been sick and had to take a couple of days, I’ve felt sooooo guilty that I was letting other people down. This time, I was able to prioritise my health and acknowledge my own worth. Illness requires rest. No one is let down; it just is what it is.
I feel happy. I have felt exhausted this week, every afternoon, as I’ve headed out to work with my clients. But my energy thrived as I arrived to the first door step each day and sustained itself until I arrived home. I feel very present when I work with my kids. I feel a happy heart and fulfilled soul; feelings, that in teaching, have been eclipsed by ever increasing administration demands and the systemic disregard for the welfare of teachers.
I know I’m a teacher. I always will be. But, at the end of the day, I am worth more and am more valuable than the system/broken machine of education decrees, and so, like all abusive relationships, I will move away from it so that my soul can thrive. I will not allow myself to be made small again in my life. This lesson is learned ( fingers crossed lol).
This time, I am breaking the abuse cycle that has ruled my life. This time, I empower me. This time, I am truly free.
I was chatting to a friend yesterday about how complicated we make our lives. This week has really demonstrated to me just how true this is.
My leaving teaching has been years in the making, and I mean, years. For some people, it must be the most cliche and boring mantra ever lol. But, it had to be a process for me, and by being a process, I made it all a lot more complicated.
I still remember the day I raced home and informed my Mum that I was going to be a teacher. I just knew. I was five. I was so excited. And, I didn’t really or seriously ever from this path, until a couple of years ago. I’m now 47. I have been teaching since 1993. I was insanely passionate about it for the vast majority of those years.
What killed my passion?
Politics, bureaucracy, stupid decisions by the Department of Education, and their inability to see and respect teachers as a vital part of the education machine. Basically, teachers are required to sacrifice their soul, their personal ethics, their personal ideals, their identity, their lives, for a system that never supports their welfare first.
Yes, I still love my classroom and I adore my kids, but the stupidity of the bureaucrats is increasingly forcing its way into my classroom and into what I teach.
One of the best teachers I know refuses to play this game, at her own expense, but revitalizes my teaching every week. I will miss working with such a creative and empowering soul.
I want less fight in my life. I still want to create a different world. That was my motivation in my twenties, and it is my motivation now; however, the mode for achieving this has changed.
When I entered teaching, I was a victim of my childhood. I wanted to save others so that I could save myself. I succeeded, on both counts.
I have matured, and I have done a hell of a lot of healing.
My core values are still the same: we are all worth a lot.
Once I realised that I was worth something, it became difficult to stay somewhere I do not feel valued. The school I work at doesn’t make a difference because the system that underpins education in this country is broken. The management of it, is conducted by people who truly have no idea what teaching effectively involves and requires. The ‘system’ thinks one size fits all for schools, for staff, for kids, ironically, as they force more administration duties for differentiation onto staff.
I shake my head in disbelief.
The investigation year was difficult. I felt so guilty and so shamed. This triggered healing on different levels for me. Eighteen months after its conclusion, I realise that it is not me who was wrong. The system is.
My values no longer align with the values and philosophies of the system. I still believe that every child, every staff member, every family, is the most important thing and deserve, and are worthy, of being treated as such. One size does NOT fit all. Far from it.
And, if you’ve never experienced childhood trauma, if you’ve never set foot in a difficult classroom, if you’ve never programmed a unit, or written assessments, or spent hours marking, you shouldn’t be writing policy for education or legislating for Child Protection. It really is as simple as that.
The smashed windscreen forced me to stop living in fear of not having enough. My soul does not belong in a system that does not look after its people. My values no longer align. It is my responsibility to move to something that suits me better.
Last night, after an afternoon and evening of tutoring, I drove home with a full heart and a smile on my face. The same thing happened on Thursday night as I drove home.
I’m still making a difference in children’s lives, and they are still making a difference in mine.
I still program, I still teach, I’m still ‘saving’ kids. And, I’m doing it without fear. I’m not looking over my shoulder. I’m just being and doing, breathing and loving. Myself and them.
Maybe, I just reached a point in healing my own trauma and pain, and I’m ready to fly. Maybe, I’m ready to grow and live large, and really own my potential in changing the world. Maybe, I’m just remembering the whole of who I am, and systems don’t support the individual expression and accumulated knowledge.
And, maybe, I’m just overthinking it all, making it more complicated.
Anyway, I’m on the bridge. I’m almost to the other side; eight more steps. It’s scary and it’s liberating, all in one.
Doing what fills my heart is the right thing. I don’t know exactly where I’m heading, but I know I’m heading somewhere. I’m doing what makes me happy, where my skills and talents are at the fore, I’m living a passionate life, and I feel truly blessed.
I wish this for everyone who doesn’t have it. It’s scary changing course, very scary, that’s why it’s taken me so long. It’s hard to leave everything you’ve ever known and take a leap in faith.
Today, when I leave for a long day of work, I will feel light and happy. Tonight, when I arrive home, I will feel full and extremely grateful for the opportunity to work in a job I love so much.
Today, I won’t be sworn at, my windscreen won’t be smashed, my things won’t be stolen, I will only have the paperwork and admin to do that benefits myself and my clients directly. I’ll still be programming, targeting the needs of my kids, supporting their holistic learning, and connecting with community. I’ll be doing things that are purposeful and soul filling.
That’s the difference.
It’s time for this bird to fly. I might crash, but if I do, it will be on my terms and because of my actions.
I thought I could work part time in a school for just one more year to get my finances back on track. As a fail safe to my own stubbornness, earlier this year, I asked a friend to tell me if she felt it was time for me to leave earlier. I told her I would argue, but I would need to hear it.
On Tuesday, a student, no idea who, decided to smash the windscreen on my car. It became undriveable, I had to cancel clients, and I woke up on Wednesday with cortisol running my system and a migraine.
A sign from the universe to remind me that I went back to a path that was no longer intended for me. And yesterday afternoon, my friend reminded me of what I had asked of her. There was no argument. I already knew. I just needed permission.
I finish up this term.
I’m scared, and liberated. I have woken up today, early, and migraine free. I need a massage desperately, and will get that tomorrow.
I have renewed vigour because I know I will have time to grow my businesses to create the life I want to be living.
We sometimes think it’s okay to stay somewhere that no longer fits us; it isn’t. Staying destroys our passion. It isn’t easy to be somewhere you’ve outgrown.
It’s time. Own your life. Live your best one. You deserve it.
Five days in Katoomba to start my Diploma in Sound Healing with two of my soul sisters.
I had been feeling that I was losing my way. I could feel that this life was not my best life. And, I had started to feel trapped and fearful. I was no longer standing in my truth.
I set the intention for the course to focus on healing my heath. I need my big arse belly to go.
The journey I took, after setting the intention, has been mind blowing. Mind blowing and multi-faceted.
My big arse belly, which I love deeply, is the result of living in the stress response my whole life – cortisol substituting blood – through my body. It is also the result of emotional eating because of trauma and the resulting belief that I am not worthy of deep love.
I am worthy of deep love. And I love my big arse belly because she is my inner child and because she has carried me to this point. Because I love her so much, I am going to liberate her. She will no longer be the prisoner of my emotions because I am worthy of deep love, and that starts with me loving myself deeply.
The full moon is here. A powerful full moon in Scorpio. Love and transformation.
I release self-loathing.
I release my beliefs that I am not worthy, that I am not good enough, that I am not deserving.
I release my fears about not having enough because I believed I was not good enough.
I release my inner girl, my big arse belly, and send her to fly freely.
I had forgotten the things that I was living last year. I had forgotten that I deserve abundance, freedom and deep spiritual divine love. I had forgotten that I was worthy of only the very best this life has to offer. I reset this intention here. I am worthy. I am love. I am peace. I am abundance.
I release my outdated beliefs and I reclaim my worthiness.
How did I come here …
We set our intentions and sealed them with sound.
We discovered our blocks through sound.
We transformed our blocks through sound.
We reformed ourselves through sound.
We reclaimed ourselves through sound.
And, we shared space with likeminded people, all at different points on the path, and worked with beautifully souled facilitators holding and nurturing the space, and found ourselves free to explore beneath the layers, peeling them back and discarding them one at a time. And, my soul sisters and I continued the healing and processing together every night at home.
Healing requires intention, safety, support, honesty, trust and a shitload of hard work. It requires owning your own healing whilst someone facilitates a safe space. Sound can be that space; the vibrations and the tones shifting and dissolving those redundant narratives we have held dear for too long.
I have learned so much in the last five days. I have made some small decisions regarding my way forward. And, I am finally ready to stay in my truth amidst the noise of every day life.
Om Shanti 🙏🏻
The intensity of healing is insane. We have just finished Day 3 of our Sound Healing Diploma Course in the Blue Mountains, and it is soooooo intense.
Issues I thought I had resolved have now revealed and shed another layer or twenty. Insecurities I thought I no longer held have come running to the surface to rear their ugly heads. And, if that isn’t enough, I have a fang baring serpent residing in my solar plexus.
I am processing …
Ohhhh. After I posted about my upcoming birthday (today) last night, I found a private message on Facebook, from a friend, letting me know that another ex-Reddall student had died.
It was late and I debated letting others know that late, finally deciding to let them know. I have no sense of what year Justin graduated; I just remember him and his friends. Years roll on and merge into each other for this old teacher these days.
I’ve been working for weeks. School and my business. As well as trying to put some order into my life, and I’m exhausted. I’m also still reconciling Blake’s death. So, at first, I was just numb. You trace memories of conversations, of defining moments, over in your head. I am grateful for positive and loving memories. However, they make the person real, and their loss more painful.
It would appear Justin chose to die. There has been a huge outpouring of love for him online. He was a gorgeous person. I am sad that he didn’t find a way out or through his pain during life. I also believe there is purpose here somewhere.
In 2008, I had a massive breakdown. I was carrying shame, guilt, decades old pain, and really, just wanted it all to be over. My brain was so coddled that I was able to wear a mask outside and appear functioning, whilst at night I got my affairs in order, found care for my cat, and plotted how I would die.
I was not in a good place.
It was a trip to the Hunter Valley with one of my nearest and dearest that ultimately saved my life that year. That, and I couldn’t get passed the destruction I would be wreaking on the person who would find me. Luckily, a modicum of sanity prevailed.
When I realised I could not take my own life, I pledged to myself that I would live wholly. I would get off the rollercoaster I’d been on for so long and would set goals to work towards. If I was going to live, I was going to live.
And, I have. I stayed on the rollercoaster a while longer (a long while – infertility, miscarriage and IVF cycles are not the best way to stay balanced emotionally 😳 – and then there was wretched but blessed 2016), but as a result of staying on a journey, have moved my life to an almost perfect place.
I don’t tend to experience the extremes anymore. It has taken a hell of a lot of work, but I’m there. I feel blessed, more so every day, for the life I have sculpted and for the people I have collected. It truly has been a massive process, and I’ve slipped towards the precipice many times, but I’m on surer footing now. I’ve established the strategies that work for me when I first see the signs of falling,
If you feel lost, completely lost, reach for help (easier to say than do) or do something to force you to not give up hope. Man, if only it were this simple. I’m just trying to say, I hear you, I see you, I get it, but please stay. And then make the changes you need to make, whatever they are. We all deserve to find our happiness and our way. We all deserve that.
My birthday wisdom this year is that when we choose our lives, we choose our happiness. If we feel stuck, we aren’t choosing life, even if we are still breathing and physically here. Choices make the difference. I think.