Values, Judgement and Empowerment

Every single one of us has the power to make a difference to other people, thereby changing our world. In every second, we have this power, whether we see it or not.

I try to use this power for good. I don’t always succeed, but more often than not, I think I might.

I’m a little addicted to social media when I have free time. I read a lot of articles and a lot of posts. I love reading the comments. However, sometimes they also challenge me. People can be very aggressive and very unthinking in their responses (yes, I mean unthinking instead of unthoughtful). I try to think carefully before I respond; sometimes I initially misinterpret the intent of a comment. If I responded without thinking, I could cause pain to someone by minimising them. I do not like doing this to other people.

I think we should all be a little more measured in our comments. And, in our thoughts and actions beyond the internet.

Something I have been practising learning since Uluru is my need to bash people with healing strategies. One of my core values is healing and the belief that we all should be striving to be the best we can be by healing what isn’t right within us. As a result, if you tell me something, I’ll go into Miss Fix-It mode and start healing you.

I am learning and trying to remember that sometimes, just sometimes lol, people don’t want a solution or pathway out, they just want to be heard. I am also learning that not everyone wants to be healed or is ready to start the process. I struggle with this too. It works against my values. But, I’m learning.

My values, upon last assessment, encompass healing/empowerment, learning and spirituality, and developing and strengthening my business practice.

By spending more time in the areas of my values, I am finding greater happiness and fulfilment in my life. They have also enabled and empowered me to learn better communication with others because I am more conscious of how my values impact my relationships with others.

We are not all the same. Understanding our differences empowers stronger relationships, fosters inner peace, and enables happiness. Understanding why we respond in certain ways enables us to be better friends and citizens, less judgemental and more open. In turn, this broadens our world and our experiences. Our lives and our selves become richer.

And, this can only be a good thing.

I worked my values out from the link below, using the worksheets that Peter has posted. It is something you might choose to do over the next couple of days.

All of the instructions are there and it is easy to do:

https://www.businessisbliss.com.au/demartini-method

How?

So, I keep saying follow your heart, jump and you’ll be okay, pausing my old life was the best thing I ever did, and things like those. But, how? How do we do this if we have kids, a mortgage, people to care for, no time, etc?

In small ways. Any change starts a ripple that could eventually turn into a tide of change. If that’s what you need.

I needed to jump. You may not need to or can’t. And, that’s okay.

I was feeling dead. I was just going through the motions of living. I was working long hours, coming home and watching mindless television or surfing the internet, getting sick all of the time, and sleeping most weekends. I was miserable. However, I was mostly competent at work (some inconsistencies in marking one task) and was putting on a brave face most of the time.

That’s not life. People comment now on my eyes. They have repeatedly said that my eyes have changed: they are alive, your eyes sparkle. Yes. Because I’m happy. Because I’m living.

It starts with one step.

1. What in your life brings you the least joy?

2. Write it all down, or say it out loud.

3. Are there things on that list that can be delegated and done by someone else (maybe not to the same quality, but well enough)? If so, delegate (at home AND at work). Is there anything you can just stop doing without the world self-destructing (maybe a cleaner once every six months to do the windows, or a cleaner every month to give you one weekend off, or a gardener or handyman occasionally to give you some time off)?

4. What things, that you already do, bring you the most joy?

5. What other things, that you don’t have time for, would you do if you had the time?

6. For the things you listed in 4 and 5, make a plan to do one of those things more or at least once during the next month. I’m not asking you to change your entire world overnight, just take small steps.

It could be as simple as getting up ten minutes earlier to stand outside with your face to the sun for five minutes before your day starts. It could be as complex as planning a camping trip or a weekend away in four weeks time, or for right now.

It is up to you. We are not machines. We do not have to live our lives without happiness and inspiration; it only takes one small change to change your perception of your world. Even if you feel happy enough, why not spend extra time doing something you really love to bring you a little extra joy.

It is Christmas, after all, and ’tis the season to be jolly falalalalala lalalala.

Merry Christmas Eve.

And, if you do try the above, drop me a line and let me know how you go. This is a mini version of a chapter in my new book (currently being written).

And remember, twenty seconds of courage. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Just stop making excuses. It’s your life, and it’s a short one. You deserve to live the way you want. Free your mind.

Thank you Paula Chalker for permission to use the image.

Deep Breaths

This time last year, I was excited by the potential of a new life. I was also absolutely terrified. That I wouldn’t have enough money. That I would fail. That I would be a hot mess for the entire year. That nothing would change. That I wouldn’t have enough money. That I wouldn’t have enough money. That I wouldn’t have enough –

You get the idea. More than all of that though, I was terrified I wouldn’t see it through. That everything would become too hard and I would just go back to what I knew. For the fourth time in my life, I had to jump, because if I didn’t, I knew I would be starving my life and my soul of something it needed, to breathe.

I think we know when we are hitting that point. We feel lost, stagnant, as if we are dying whilst we stand. We either become depressed or we change something. I had to change something.

So, I did.

From the outside, I guess it looks like I up and left my life. Big step. Lots of courage required. But, the truth is, I just put a pause on the life I lived. I created space to see what else my life could be. By doing this, I opened my life up, took the things I loved doing, and the space was there to do them.

I said yes to every opportunity, even if the opportunity was scary. I paused life as it was, and with it, I paused fear. As I’ve often said, twenty seconds of courage – acknowledge the fear, and then remind it that it isn’t driving the car (thanks, Liz Gilbert The Big Magic).

I have expanded. My life has expanded. I am happy.

At some point during the year, I let go of the fear of not enough money and really started to trust that I will always have enough. I am now working on becoming a multimillionaire within ten years, but that’s another story for another day. Especially as I face a January without income (or very little income because I will only receive what I generate for myself – and I’m cool with that. I think my bills are covered).

I have had many highlights this year. Many. I have been humbled beyond belief by the love that has opened within my life. I have been humbled by the growth of my business. I have been humbled by the sheer number of beautiful people and beautiful experiences I have encountered this year. I am in love with my life again. I am learning to see myself through the eyes of others, and loving who I am.

We create our lives. We create who we are. We create the potential and we create the lack of potential. We are in charge.

It might not be easy, but it’s easier than continuing to live a life that you don’t enjoy, and that is slowly killing your spirit and your happiness.

I am very poor. I am very happy. I needed to come to this point to embrace the riches I have, outside of money, so that the next chapters in my life generate both equally. Having money in a life not loved makes us rabid consumers and breaks our connection to who we authentically are. I am now living a life I love, it fuels trust that I will always be provided for, and generates the desire to earn more to enable the sharing of wealth with others.

It’s been an interesting year. The moment that best encapsulates it for me occurred very early on, during February, in Western Australia, when Mel taught me to snorkel.

Oh my. I still feel the fear, then the conquering of the fear as the cool water streamed past my face, stroking my cheeks, as my eyes opened to a whole other world under the surface of the water. It’s beauty caught my breath then, and holds it still.

What a wonderful life. What a wonderful world.

What will you do to create your best life?

Them December Shivers

Summer Solstice today. Ascension, enlightenment, return to the divine. Also, not coincidentally I am sure, the anniversary of my friend, Natalie’s, passing from this physical world into another, five years ago.

Time moves quickly when you count it in years. Yet, some memories stay. On this day, five years ago, I did not care about Summer Solstice and whether it was today or yesterday or tomorrow. I was exhausted. Emotionally fatigued. I had visited Nat at the hospital, sat with her, chatted to her, apologised to her, said goodbye to her.

I had been carrying a lot of guilt for not having been around as much. I dropped out of contact after another failed pregnancy attempt. Within myself, I hadn’t been sure how to reconnect after grief and had hidden myself in a new friendship to try to find a way through, that also ultimately failed. Then, I was grieving that.

It is what it is. Life sometimes gets in the way and you just don’t expect your friends will die.

When I arrived home that afternoon, I just sat on my lounge, staring at the wall, absentmindedly patting my dog. I was waiting for the text from her husband or kids to let me know she had moved on. Waiting. Reflecting on how her passing would impact so many people, but more importantly, her husband, brother, parents and kids.

Abruptly, my dog jumped from the lounge and moved in front of the chair Nat had always sat in, tail wagging and barking. I felt her.

Then, shortly after, the message came.

Nat’s passing has taught me a lot. I always believed that there was more, that our soul lives did not end with our bodies. I had always believed that souls could still communicate with those on this earthly plane if we were open to it.

Nat and I have had many wonderful conversations since her passing. Sceptics might argue that it is the way I have processed my grief and my guilt, and not really real. But, I believe otherwise.

At first, obviously, I thought I was going crazy. It took me a while to realise that it wasn’t just me making stuff up, projecting my thoughts into an alternate reality. Her voice was real, her smile, her laugh, her being.

One of my friends during this time, a medium, contacted me one night with a message from Nat. It was undeniable that Nat was communicating because my friend had no way of knowing about the information she shared with me. In fact, only two people outside Nat and myself knew about it. It centred around a conversation Nat and I had had a couple of years earlier concerning her treatment.

The message that was delivered to me was so specific that it validated her reality beyond this earthly plane. It also validated my conversations with her. I felt like I had my friend back.

It is because of Nat that I gave IVF another go. She had always hoped I would conceive so that she could sneakily feed my child meat (spare your judgements here – not interested lol). We used to laugh, well, she did. Initially I was angry with Nat. I needed to blame something outside of myself and I patched into any tiny betrayal I perceived to emote outside of myself.

However, that miscarriage has fertilised a whole new way of life for me, albeit a childless one. My life is rich and blessed. I vowed when Nat passed that I would live fully. For the most part, I have succeeded in keeping this promise. It is funny what motivates us sometimes.

I still speak to Nat. She is still in my thoughts and part of my life. I know that she is around, checking in on all of us. We still chat and we sometimes argue. But, the love is constant.

We all learn how to keep moving forward after a loss, after a while, and it is important to assimilate the loss and move forward. It’s also okay that getting to this takes time, and can be a process of one step forward three hundred steps back. Grief is a funny (not so funny) thing. It can completely paralyse us, and it can stimulate and nurture rich new growth.

It really takes work, trust, patience and faith. Well, it has for me.

I still struggle. I like to keep today clear so that I don’t feel overwhelmed to be something I’m not feeling. It doesn’t always work. I try to navigate it and be kind to myself, trusting that if I make plans thinking I’ll be okay, and I’m not, I can cancel them.

You just never know. And, that is okay. We live for ourselves, not others, and we are not responsible for their perceptions.

Ahhhhh. It’s also okay to be enlightened and say, F this Shit.

Oh, and Nat was an amazing Mum. Knowing every day was precious, she mummed her way. She had faith that it worked for her and her boys were absolutely loved. She was not perfect (as she laughs and asks if I’m sure), but she gave it all she could. That’s all anyone can do.

It’s okay to make mistakes; come from a place of love, and all will be okay.

Motherhood

I had a friend come over with her two young children today. We started several conversations. I don’t think we finished a single one. She is a great Mum. She doesn’t stop.

I spent yesterday afternoon with another friend of mine. Her two children had friends over. They are all a few years older than today’s children. She is a great Mum. She, also, doesn’t stop.

My nephews and a niece were here last Saturday. My niece is old enough now to look after herself. My nephews still need time and constant effort. My nieces used to be the same. Both of my sisters are great mums. They don’t stop.

Last week I spent time in Wagga with some friends I have had for over ten years now, since their two were 10 and 8. They are very easy to look after these days, but it hasn’t always been the case and they still require time. They are great parents. They still rarely stop.

Parenting, and mothering in particular, must be the most thankless and the most exhausting job of all time. Kids take you to your limits, and then push you that little bit further, just to see if you can endure it.

They need constant entertainment, they always need to be learning and having behaviour corrected or praised, they are always hungry, and they truly believe the Earth exists solely for their pleasure. Lol. Okay, some of this might be exaggerated. Sometimes.

They are relentless hard work. Just on their own, with their contexts just perfect, without trauma and without anything else impacting.

Realistically, most mother’s lives are not just perfect. Most mums work in and out of the home (and truthfully, inside is more than enough for anyone) and in contemporary society, most mums come from trauma or hardship (seventies and eighties were not kind decades).

Battling and resolving your own demons, whilst trying to provide the very best for your offspring, catering to everyone’s needs and demands, including society’s, and finding time to still be who you are and have some balance, makes existence really hard.

My mum, born during World War Two, forced out of home to live with other people so that she could be educated, leaving her home country of Finland 🇫🇮 to travel, finding ‘love’ in Australia, and marrying to settle here, did not have it easy. The marriage did not work and she was left with three daughters to raise on minimum income. Hurt and feeling betrayed, lost and lonely, she did the best she could with what she knew at the time.

I am grateful for that and for her.

For a while, I blamed my parents (illogically) for my inability to conceive. My non-biological daughter came into my life as a teen so I missed the chaos and self-doubt of raising a young child. I see that fear and self-doubt a lot in the eyes and words of parents, especially mothers. They worry that they aren’t enough, that they are messing up their kids, that they aren’t doing enough, that they are in some way failing their children.

Unless you are not present, and by present I mean in full mindful presence not just physically around, you are doing a good job.

Are you perfect? No.

But, your imperfections will be teaching your children tolerance and resilience, and you are modelling that they do not have to be perfect to be more than enough. They are valuable, important and perfect just as they are.

And, this my friends, is the best gift you can give your children.

Tonight, as I write this, I know why I am a mother to many rather than my own. I don’t have the personality or the patience or the selflessness required to be a present birth parent. This is not to say I couldn’t do it. If I had to, I would have. I’m grateful I didn’t have to.

I love my life as much as my friends with children love theirs. It is okay to be different and to follow a different path. It is important to own our limitations, and to be good with them. Mothering is an exceptionally important job, more important than it is given acknowledgement for. So, I acknowledge my friends that are parents. I acknowledge my sisters. I acknowledge my own Mum.

You are all more than enough. You are doing a phenomenal job, even when you are in the shower, or in your bed, or in the car, sobbing that you fear you aren’t, or that it’s all too hard, or you just want five minutes alone. I am grateful to you. It is hard, but you are succeeding, even when it feels like you aren’t.

I hope your children show their appreciation this Christmas. You deserve that.

My three kids are kids I can handle … shameless plug for my alternative children.

Anniversaries and Endings

Today is the anniversary of my miscarriage. I feel it every year. This year has been no different. I am going to Demartini it before the next one.

Earlier this week, I decided I needed to do something for myself tonight to honour me and movement forward. I am attending a local Red Tent Women’s Circle. I’m nervous – new people and no idea what to expect – but it feels right and it’s about saying yes to every pull and every calling.

A short post. My head has been processing so much. I am going to be writing a series of reflection posts this coming week to make up for my absence.

Anyway, to all of the women I know and love, who have also endured baby loss, much love.

An Unfortunate Culture

I woke up this morning to my Facebook feed, as I do most mornings (this from a person who in the early nineties was never going to get the internet because only bad things could come – insert forehead slap here).

Van Badham, an Australian commentator, has shared an article about Don Burke’s predatory bullying and misogynistic behaviour, and how the Channel 9 Television Network took no appropriate action because he was their cash cow. They acknowledge, at the least, that there was gossip about Don Burke’s behaviour, but nothing was formally reported.

Who knows what is true.

In the comments, often the best part of anything on the internet, was a seemingly harmless comment along the lines of, “This is so sad if it is true.” The man, probably thinking nothing much of the words he chose, opened himself up to some not nice responses. In one, he was called a “douchebag.” He tried to defend himself by replying that he hadn’t said he didn’t believe it, but he was erring on the side of caution until Don Burke was in front of a court, rather than being tried on social media alone.

God love him. His argument appears logical. I lean towards agreeing with him. I do believe that any court would find Don Burke guilty; there seems to be a lot of evidence, a lot of reports with similar themes, and a lot of witnesses to the behaviour.

However, it sent me into a tail spin. I was drafting a comment to let him know that I had heard him, but I couldn’t find the words to express it clearly, without sounding like I was supporting Don Burke’s disgraceful behaviour.

That forced me to look at my own potential biases. Where does my need to defend this man come from? Am I being so careful to not become part of a witch hunt that I am complicit in seemingly condoning bad behaviour? What is right and what is wrong?

I get that the man who commented and was then attacked, probably didn’t think his seemingly innocuous comment would unleash what it unleashed. Probably didn’t think. Probably doesn’t need to think. It is obvious from his replies and attempts to protect himself, that he didn’t mean harm and was not condoning Don Burke’s behaviour. The responders didn’t want to see that.

But, our society’s culture did and still does permit Don Burke’s behaviour. Women and girls are still routinely subjected to comments about their appearance, their sexuality, their personalities, their everything, and much of it is demeaning.

We are held to ridiculous standards of beauty and minimalised for our opinions if we dare speak them. For Christ’s sake, our first female Prime Minister was routinely attacked for not being married, for being childless, for her clothing choices, for the size of her bottom and for the colour of her hair. And so many moronic imbeciles condoned this behaviour from the media, and it validated misogynistic behaviours and attitudes from unintelligent people who then felt they had a public platform and public permissionto air this vitriol.

Australia went backwards at this point. Thank you, Tony Abbott and Australian media.

We then had the atrocious behaviours from Harvey Weinstein in the US made public, following the #metoo movement (interestingly, following on from the allegations against Bill Cosby which did not give rise to such a furore – I wonder if colour plays a part here). This opened Pandora’s box. In the US and here too. And, rightly so. For so long there has been none or not enough public condemnation of this type of behaviour.

I used the me too hash tag. I debated using it. I read articles from women who were against it, believing it marginalised men and vilified innocent men. It may have done. It was also argued that no woman should feel pressured to own their abuse/assault in a public forum. I don’t think there was pressure; it was personal choice.

I think it was powerful, ultimately. I think it provided an alternative platform for women to own their assaults/abuse (the distinction being that abuse is longer term). It was empowering. For me, who speaks and writes openly about my life, it wasn’t too big a deal. For others, who don’t, and who chose to use the hash tag, it was empowering and unifying. They knew they were not alone.This enables and empowers healing. It strips shame away. It makes the abuse the focus, not the individual.

And, the hash tag wasn’t gender specific – males suffer abuse and assaults. That is undeniable. The impact of violation does not discriminate; however, for way too long, too many women have endured the shame and guilt that comes with behaviour that is not condemned by our society. And I feel myself checking myself, too many people.

Gender politics. I am a feminist. I have been marginalised because I am a woman. I have fought harder because I am a woman. I have been abused because I am a woman. And, a strong woman at that. Intelligent, compassionate, articulate, informed.

I have also been privileged to work with a therapist who has empowered me to see what I have yielded as a result of the abuses against (for) me. And I mean privileged. So many are not in the position where they can afford or access this type of therapy (Demartini).

For every male student who has disclosed abuse to me, I have had five female students disclose. Neither is supported adequately at the end of the day, despite all of the child protection rhetoric. It’s all about ticking boxes. And this entitled behaviour from all genders needs to stop.

But, we all need to understand that change is a process and learning the right language takes time, and at the end of the day, only compassion and love will move us forward.

Abuse, assault, bullying, aggression, unkindness, violence – it all stems from the same place – disconnection. We need to work together to change this unfortunate culture, not against one another.

A Rollercoaster of Emotion

Well, it has been a while. Today, my brain won’t let me do anything else until I have blogged. Not sure I am quite ready to put down the emotional rollercoaster that is my brain every year at this time, but meh. What can you do. I must blog so that I can achieve other things lol.

I cried myself to sleep last night. Unexpectedly.

A friend of mine had commented on a Facebook post by Em Rusciano. Em was due to give birth yesterday, but miscarried earlier in her pregnancy. It was such a heartfelt post, something resonated, and I just released. No prize for guessing what the next thing will be to work on when I return to therapy in January. I will, under guidance and not by myself, Demartini the mother out of my miscarriage. This morning I awoke feeling emotionally hungover. I can feel the cogs turning in my mind, a lot of processing happening, I can’t access most of it yet.

I head back to my permanent teaching position in ten sleeps. Yes. I am counting down. Why do we do that to ourselves?!

I have had a phenomenal year. My goal was to heal from the investigation, and for the most part, I have. I do not think I carry any anger anymore, especially towards the people that I used as a symbol for all that went wrong last year (and not the people you would expect). I feel quite calm about returning to work from that perspective. However, this year has really solidified for me the people that regard me as a concept and those that value me. This is a good thing moving forward.

I carry concerns that I will fall into past patterns at work upon my return. I have no desire to be the person I was when I left, almost a year ago. I no longer desire to mentor any adults in the workplace; I no longer want to be the ‘go to’ person for all and sundry; I no longer want the long hours and excessive workload, watching those that I have supported drive through those gates to liberation before me.

My life has moved. I have moved. My values have changed. I am no longer the person that I was; I have liberated myself from the cage I had imprisoned myself in.

I think I felt a lot of shame and a lot of guilt. I had always wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t stop to think that teaching takes many forms and doesn’t necessarily just happen in a classroom. I was, and am, grateful for all of my years in formal education. I grew into myself, forged new paths, and inspired and empowered many. My legacy in education may not have reached award status, but my impact has been significant. So, I felt guilty thinking I may have outgrown it, shame that I wasn’t being grateful by needing to move away from it.

One of my clients had to watch a TED Talk to use as a related text for an assessment on “Discovery”. We were deconstructing it on Wednesday. It spoke to me on so many different levels.

Emilie Wapnick’s “Why Some Of Us Don’t Have One True Calling”

It sort of sums me up. I think I am a multipotentialite. I am a teacher, but I think my main calling, and this has been a recurring theme in how I teach, what I teach, and in who I am as a teacher, is that of healer. This year, even in my tutoring business, what I am really doing, ultimately doing, is healing the fragments within all of us that we carry with us every day. My multipotentials come in the myriad of activities I have engaged in through teaching and outside of teaching. I am always doing many things.

So, the shame and guilt I have felt have given way (or are in the process of giving way to) an acceptance that in our society, living and moving unexpectedly, requires courage. And, I am courageous.

When you are unhappy in life, and we all have moments – mine just became a long term series of moments, it is imperative that you do something to change it. It takes courage, even to mix it up a little, let alone to take leave to see what else is out there. I have always said that all change takes twenty seconds of courage. Thank you eternally, We Bought A Zoo.

We can all do twenty seconds.

It will take the same courage to go back, to be authentically me, to stand by the changes I have made this year, and to remember that I am worth putting me first. And, I can do it; I know I can.

This year has been successful beyond measure, a true legacy to my friend Natalie. It took me a while to make my promise to you real, but I will live with passion and energy. I will not waste my life, because I know how much you would have given to still be here breathing and living yours.

I firmly believe that our souls find peace when we are walking the path we are supposed to walk. My soul had been restless and scared for years. She liberated herself this year and she will not go backwards.

I do not know what the future holds for me. I know that I return to my school full time in a week (ten sleeps) and then five days a fortnight next year. I know that my tutoring business is going to be fine (most of my clients have already re-booked for next year – humbling and surprising to me – such is my naivete, and I have new clients booking). I know that the outline and focus for my book found its shape yesterday. I know that I have some ideas for an online business to source and build during January. I know that I am excited to start programming for my school students and to be back in my classroom next year.

I am moving forward. I am where I am meant to be. I am not stagnating again. I will continue to wholly love and breathe, embracing change and the moment with passion and wonder that I could be just this blessed.

I should stop there. It was inspiring and empowered and strong. However, this post is a true example of my brain, my rollercoaster. Be grateful you don’t live in it lol.

Much love …

A Modern Day Witch Hunt?

Western society is currently experiencing a flood of Entertainment Industry sexual abuse/assault claims. A flood. One after the other coming out to share their story, either in support of others or to point the finger at their own perpetrators.

I think that any victim finding their voice and minimising the shame that victims experience is brilliant. As a person who has experienced sexual abuse, I find it refreshing that the media is shining the spotlight on the issue. However, I am not sure that shining the light is all that is required, but more on that later.

I was at a Trivia Night on Saturday. One of my best friends said that she didn’t believe that a couple of men who have been vilified are actually guilty of what they have been accused of. I couldn’t believe it. I think, in my disbelief, I may have made her feel less than. I hope not, but I shall discuss that with her later. Ultimately, I don’t know. Maybe they are guilty. Maybe they aren’t.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my other best friends about the proliferation of claims when she asked me why I thought it was happening. We discussed reasons why and where we thought this might all be leading (hopefully, towards enlightenment and transformation on a grand scale).

This morning I read and shared Facebook posts written by Ellen Page and another by Caitlin Johnstone about this issue. And then, I paused.

George Takei is the most recent to be accused and he is emphatically denying the allegations. I don’t know whether he is innocent or guilty. I like George. I love and follow his Facebook page. And so now, I understand why my friend has reservations.

And, then I started a dialogue with myself. How do we know who is guilty or not guilty? After deliberation, I discovered the answer: the volume of claims made against an individual. Yep. That’s how we know.

And, then I had a flashback to one of my all time favourite plays by Arthur Miller: The Crucible. Abigail managed to manipulate many fraudulent claims and then the witch hunt (literally) started. From there, I made the natural leap to the McCarthyist era in the US and in Australia during the fifties and sixties.

And, realistically, the volume of complaints used as a barometer of innocence or guilt could only make many ‘normal’ people, without a massive media platform, feel disenfranchised because they have no means to assess the volume of victims who suffered at their abuser’s hands. Myself included.

So, how do we know?

We don’t.

It is important to validate the experience of victims. It is also important to exercise caution in our judgements as the momentum continues to spiral. Some people facing allegations levelled against them will be innocent of those allegations. And, their lives will be impacted as much as the fabric of our society will be (hopefully in a good way).

As for the light that is flooding on the issue now, that is not all that is required. This is a first step. The next step must be education and support and resources and real change in the attitudes of people who use sexual behaviour as a means to power and control over others. No human being is the toy of another, or the property of another. And sexual behaviour, should never ever be used to control or marginalise another.

I am sorry, NS.

Returning Home

I arrived home in the early afternoon on Friday. I had an amazing time in Kampuchea and then in Hoi An, Vietnam.

I was travel tired before leaving, or so I thought. Upon return, and the reality that this wonderful year draws to a close in five weeks when I return to teaching full time temporarily, I think my pre-trip feelings were more about me not wanting this year to end rather than me travelling again. Meh.

I fell asleep at about 3 on Friday, rose to go to work on Saturday morning, and was asleep again by about 3.30 on Saturday afternoon. I slept most of Sunday too. There is only a four hour time difference. What the.

The last two days I have managed to not nap during the day. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until 2.30 this morning. I woke at 6 and fell asleep again until about 9.30. I’m really tired now and hopefully will be in bed at a normal time, like in half an hour. Fingers crossed.

In my waking moments though, during the weekend, I felt a real loss and a sadness descending. A loss of direction, a reluctance to go back to a life that caused me so much pain last year, a fear of returning to what is infinitely easier but less fulfilling. Meh, again.

When I woke yesterday morning feeling the darkness biting, I watched a clip with Oprah and Wayne Dyer about manifesting what you want. He said, “If you want to be happy, decide to be happy.” I scoffed. Like it’s that easy. But I still tried it. Within half an hour the darkness had dissipated. At first I could feel me deciding to be happy and the fog lifting, but by the end of the half hour, I was just normal me again.

And, I haven’t looked back.

I just decided to be happy, and to trust that I am exactly where I am meant to be, and that the universe will direct me where I am meant to go when I am meant to go there.

It was that easy. I have been training myself for years I think.