Seven Weeks. Fourteen Days.

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.

Where do I start?

Five days in Katoomba to start my Diploma in Sound Healing with two of my soul sisters.

Wow.

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.

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 🙏🏻

Grounding

I woke up this morning with the stirrings of illness. My usual MO: sore throat, running nose, lethargy. I know what’s caused it. Doctors might say I’ve caught a bug. Probably correct.

But, the reason I caught the bug is being run down, burning the candle, you get the drift.

Last year, it took me a while to get used to the lack of routine. For probably the first time in my life, my life was unstructured. This year, well, it’s taking me time to get used to the routine lol.

Transition is always difficult in different ways at different times.

Self-care is vital in a smooth transition. So often we make excuses or feel guilty about putting our own needs first. Most of the people I know put everyone else before themselves. I have spent most of my life putting the needs of others first, often missing out on positive things that bring me happiness, along the way.

This afternoon I had the pleasure of offering some healing with the forks to a friend.

We both benefited from this.

We went to Macarthur Park in Camden; I felt a calling for us to be in natural surrounds and up high. We sat in the gazebo, looking out over the park and the church group congregating, and I used the forks on my friend.

Afterwards, as we walked back to our cars, we took our shoes off to walk in the grass. Grounding our souls in to the earth’s life force. I hugged an old tree, and as I rested my cheek alongside its girth, I heard it’s hum.

It’s an amazing feeling, synergising your energy with the energy of another sentient being. Barefoot, connecting to source, slowing down our fast pace, deliberately and consciously breathing.

Perfection within imperfection.

My priority this week, is me.

I will not get sick. I’m listening to, and hearing, the warning symptoms. I have learned. I am worth putting my needs first.

The Bridge Is Falling

Something very sad happens to a child who grows up in a home with dysfunction and trauma. They develop creases and tears in their concept of self. They don’t see themselves as worthy or valuable.

And, as a result, they either act out and get angry and aggressive and don’t comply, or, they become very compliant and afraid to get into trouble and do everything they can to please others, subconsciously hoping that others see the value they don’t believe exists. Sometimes they act out as both at different times.

The thing that is common though, the thing they share, is that they don’t believe they are worth much and they don’t believe they matter. These people are the ones who say things like, I am always there for others and when I need someone, no one is there or Talk to such and such because they are really good listeners.

Most of my life I’ve been that person. The combination one, but mostly the compliant and scared one. The one that feels like she gives and gives and drops everything for others and is always alone. The one that others, intentionally or unintentionally, use and abuse.

I realised this about myself a few years ago, after the miscarriage. One of my friends said to me that if no one was ever there for me and I was always disappointed in the responses of other people, there was one common link I needed to focus on, and that link was me.

Now, at the time, this cut me very deeply. I was sure I could never and would never speak to that person again. I was adamant, within myself, that this was a problem for all of those other people to solve, this was their problem. They were all just selfish. After all, if always been there for everyone else.

If you are like me, you’ve probably used this narrative yourself. Or versions of it. At its core, the language reveals a resentment that we still don’t think we are valuable or worthy or good enough, and we do and do and do for others in the often desperate hope, that someone will see us and validate us, in the hope that by them seeing we are enough, we might start to believe it too.

A very sad cycle.

The result of that comment from my friend was that I did shut down from others for a while, in a tantrum, and I did go inside and focus on me. Petulantly at first I said, Fine. I won’t rely on anyone. I’ll show you all. And, I did. I didn’t reach out. I didn’t share, I just went about living and healing myself, from the miscarriage, not my piss weak sense of self.

After my tantrum passed, and this took a while because I was grieving my child too, I started to stand on my own two feet, and I found myself in situations that forced me to heal other, deeper parts of my soul hurt. I found the strength to really hear myself and to start to acknowledge that because I didn’t value myself, because I didn’t see my worth, I was expecting behaviours from others from the perspective that it was their responsibility to fill my lack, to prove to me how much I was worth.

No one can, or should have to, prove to someone else that they are valuable or worthy. It can’t be done. And when we look for it outside of ourselves, we ain’t gonna receive or find it. External validation does not fill the lack or the hole. In fact, I think it does the opposite, I think it makes the hole bigger or never ending because we become reliant on external validation rather than seeing our value for ourselves.

When we truly know we are valuable, the world changes.

Well, the way we perceive it and represent ourselves within it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a perpetual work in progress. Whilst I know my worth at some very deep level, I still have many moments where my thoughts go through a process to remember it. However, this week, back at school, I am seeing my growth.

I have always appeared confident at work. I am now confident at work, through to my core, something has shifted. I don’t need my workplace to tell me I am worthy. I know I am worthy.

As a result, I stand in my shoes as an authentic human. I am me.

I can’t wear my professional clothes anymore – they are uncomfortable on my skin and I squirm all day. I can say no. I can ignore things that take me away from my core business of teaching. I really don’t care what other people at work think of me. I am me. I like me. I am worthy. I am valuable.

Matter of factly, without emotion, if you don’t see me or my worth, that’s not my problem, it’s your problem. I don’t care. I will still be me, still do me, you’ll just miss out.

This is liberating. It is empowering.

When Lucy read for me last year at the end of March, she said I still had one foot in my past and I wasn’t ready to completely lift my heel up and move into my new life. The image gave me courage to strive forwards.

When I went back to work at school this week, I was concerned that I was moving backwards. Three days done, today is my weekend and I’m going to yoga this morning, and I realise that I haven’t gone backwards at all.

I needed to measure my growth. I needed to come back so that I could realise and understand that I no longer need this life at all. I have outgrown it. With this realisation, taking my foot out of the past is much easier, still scary, but much easier. I don’t need what it offers.

I still love teaching because I love the classroom and the relationships that I build with my kids. I taught at one of our feeder primary schools last year. I taught some of the Year 6 students. Yesterday, when a fair few of them turned up in my Year 7 English class, we were all genuinely excited to be reunited. My soul smiled.

When my Year 12 class were so willing to engage with me and our unit on travel, my soul smiled.

When Year 11 trusted me, in and through their writing, in our first period, with the insecurities of their soul, and let me really see who they were, my soul smiled.

When Year 10, last period, sat and worked quietly, trying their guts out, my soul smiled.

My heart is full. I am truly blessed. My life is rich. I can walk over the bridge. I will be safe on the other side.

I have come home.

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?

Just a quickie 

As anyone who reads regularly knows, I am in massive transition this year, moving away from the life that was and into the life that will be. And obviously, there will be some minor obstacles, hiccoughs, and the like. Change is rarely simple or easy. 

What I have had an epiphany about this morning whilst responding to a friend (truth be told, something I probably needed to say to myself more than to her), was that the obstacles and ensuing sadness, have only really come in moments when I have struggled to let go of my old life. By this, I mean when I am feeling resentful because I feel snubbed by my old school, or when people I thought would stay in contact haven’t, or when I am fearful I won’t have enough money so kill myself working long hours. 

When I resist the changes, I feel the friction and this causes moments of unhappiness. 

If I flow and trust and embrace what is happening in the present, and trust, because I know that I will be okay, more than okay, in the future, life should become easier. 

I know this yet still need reminders. Shaking my head but I guess I am only human so should cut myself some slack. 

The Secrets to a Happy Life 

1. Don’t ignore the hard work. If you are sad, work out why. Talk to people about it. Write about it. Paint it. Do something with it. Get it out.

2. Put your needs first when you need to. Do not feel guilty about this. You can’t serve others if you are depleted. You are important too. 

3. Serve. Give back. Be compassionate. Give. 

4. Practice gratitude. Find the small things in every day that give you something. Memorialise these things somehow, somewhere. Be open. 

5. Embrace opportunities. Say yes, even if you want to say no. Try new things. Learn new things. Don’t be stagnant. Go to different places. Explore. Try. Yes. 

6. Get out into the natural world as often as you can. Be still. Close your eyes. Feel the sun or the wind or the rain. Be quiet. Just be. Deep breaths. Feel the spirit coursing through everything, including you. Walk barefoot. Hug a tree. Have your hands out, palms facing. 

Excitement

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

I feel like I am on the right path. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am just so excited this afternoon. 

Life is good. 

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

I wish the same for everyone. 

Finding Courage Within 

It’s so bizarre. My whole life I’ve had battles to fight. Childhood trauma, gaining permanent employment, being the teacher I want to be, lifestyle choices, infertility, work issues. There has always been something. 

You would think I’d be a fierce warrior by now – no fear, just go into battle and do my best. But, no. Fear still comes first. Overcoming fear may be becoming a faster process but it is still a process, and a process to be reckoned with. 

I think even at my strongest points there has been an underlying base of fear within me. I guess that might be healthy, and might stop me from being unaware of consequences and impact. 

It’s so much easier to give advice to others. Lol. 

I woke up this morning and said, “Tina, if someone was in your position and they asked for your advice, what would you say to them?” 

And my answer was unsurprising. 

Take control. Write a letter. Tell your truth. 

And so, now I am lying on the lounge, about to put a load of washing out, if I can move, drafting the letter in my head, and fighting the fear of the first step. 

I will write the letter. 

Just being human … Definitely feeling more myself.