Lessons from India 

I have been home for just over a week. Every day, it becomes more apparent to me that something deep inside of me has shifted. In some ways, I almost feel like I have recaptured the enthusiasm/idealism/passion of my younger years. In my twenties I possessed a fighting and partying spirit. I had formed a community of like minds around me, and I felt purposeful. 

I have also lost my patience for shit. In all of its forms. My soul is crying out for difference and I need to nurture this. 

The most significant place this is appearing is at work. And I knew I would struggle with school after being in India.

I have always believed that education solves problems. It saved my life by providing me with opportunities to escape and break a cycle of dysfunction (even though some may argue I am still dysfunctional lol). I see similar attitudes outside of the privileged west. And, so, it kills me when I see education and opportunity taken for granted. Ask my kids, they’ll tell you I’m not lying. 

And, all hell broke loose yesterday when I stood on chewing gum that transferred itself to my dress, my beautiful dress. I screamed the block down, somewhat humorously, but the frustration was real. How selfish must one be to spit gum on the ground when there are bins everywhere! 

I’ve lost my ability to put on a mask or play ‘the’ game. 

I’m playing my own. This is who I am. The real me. A crusader for ‘right’. 

It’s been 39 weeks since I found out I was under investigation. For the most part these days, I am okay. However, it doesn’t take much to trigger a relapse of sorts. In fact, now that I am consciously reflecting, it’s been a massive week, beyond just going back to work, jet lag and illness. Significant shifts. The reinforcement of lessons. 

On Wednesday, I was concerned for the welfare of one of my students, and as a result I referred her, correctly, to the Learning Support Team (Year Advisot and Counsellor too), and I informed the parents of my concern, so that they could keep an eye on her at home. I documented all of this. Our LST Co-ordinator jumped on it straight away. She and I had a conversation to clarify what could and could not happen immediately. Perfect. 

However, last period of the day and I am on class, knock on the door and I am asked to have a word outside. The person asks me to speak to them privately before I leave for the day. My body reacts like it did 38 weeks and 6 days before when a different person had a very similar conversation with me, and I walked back into my classroom, filled with anxiety and dread. I had only been back at work for three days, who could I have possibly offended in such a short time! Like, WTF! 

And, so I went to speak to the person. The parents had contacted the school and this person was blind sided. It isn’t our process to notify the person I failed to notify. And I had a small window to operate in because I was teaching four periods and Head Teacher on duty the rest of the day – I only had ninety minutes off. That was when I referred the student. I apologised profusely, and genuinely; I do not like causing other people pain. 

But, upon reflection, I became indignant. I did my job. I followed process. I shouldn’t have been spoken to. It’s ridiculous. And, ego driven. This is not my future. 

The child was happier on Thursday. And I have lost considerable respect for a lot of things. I cannot tolerate a lack of humility and integrity. We need to know ourselves as adults, and function accordingly. I can’t abide people in positions of power who do not know themselves. Effective leadership never extends from ego. 

This isn’t rocket science. 

Yep, still angry. Lol. 

And then yesterday, another student needed support. Followed the process. More ego unleashed. And I wonder why education is so troubled at the moment. Again, though, child will receive support. So ultimately, two wins this week. Yes, I am needed in education. But, it isn’t what I need any longer. 

I am valuable. I am beautiful. I am deserving. I am of the divine. I am worth something, everything. 

These are my lessons from India. Thank you to my soul sisters and Richard for empowering me to integrate these lessons. These are the lessons for all of us. If we aren’t being respected, valued, adored, then we need to move to an environment where we are. We all deserve abundance and prosperity and soul bliss (thank you Alana and Lakshmi).

Simple. Trust it. 

PS. I am writing letters tomorrow. My fight continues. I never want someone else to have to endure what I have endured this year. It is criminal. 

But today, well, today is my day. Gardening, decluttering, feeding my soul. Being in my bliss. Being home. In my head, my heart, my soul, my location. Yep, today is my day. 

Oh, and I have decided my next tattoo. Lakshmi. 

The Danger of Labels 

I was shy as a child. I was shy, unless drunk, in my twenties. I said I was shy in my thirties, and I believed it. I have said I am shy in my forties, but it’s no longer true. I was told I was fat as a child. I was told I was fat as a teenager. I was not fat, not as a child and not as a teenager. I am now. 

I call myself ugly. This isn’t true. Even though I am fat. 

Labels are dangerous. They limit us. They hinder us from fulfilling our fullest potential. Even positive labels. I am a good person. But I can be a cranky cow. If you believe I am only a good person, you won’t accept me when I’m not. 

The labels we put on ourselves are the most damaging. I have let, I’m quite sure, my labels define me, and define my life choices.

I was unworthy, undeserving, unlovable. 

All garbage. And, as a result, I didn’t believe that I was worthy, deserving and lovable. 
I am. 
I am perfect in my imperfection. 

And, so are you. 
Today we welcomed and explored Lakshmi Shakti. We honoured ourselves collectively and individually as priestesses of Lakshmi. We started cleansing our shame. 

The group connectedness and energy here is palpable. We are a mighty group of women, empowering ourselves here whilst immersed in a culture that does not offer the same to all of our sisters. 

The individual connections I have made here are inspiring in their illumination of what is possible. Today we embraced our voices. We sang our song. Literally and metaphorically. Today, healing became conscious. 
I forgive myself for labeling myself. 

I forgive myself for self-imposed limitations as a result of the labels. 

I forgive myself for everything that I failed to do as a result of the limitations of the labels. 
I forgive me. 
I will not let me be silenced by labels, arbitrary rules or by others any more. 

For over 34 weeks I have been under investigation for allegedly failing to report the alleged misconduct of others. I have been shackled and made voiceless. This shackling triggered memories of childhood dysfunction and abuse. It brought back childhood shame. It breathed fire into dormant feelings of not being enough. 

And for thirty four weeks I have struggled because a system is telling me that who I am, a warrior woman, is not allowed to be. 

Today, I have reclaimed my voice. 

Today, I am me. 

I forgive myself. I forgive the system. I forgive those that enforce the system. 

And I have faith that all is as it should be. And that all that is meant to be, will be. 
Thank you to my new friends, Mel and Rayleigh, for allowing me to find the words. And to Alana, for the opportunity in sacred space to heal.