You’re Dreaming

I had a nap today, which was probably the first one I’ve allowed myself in a while. I had the strangest dream. It was all a bit vague and tangled and I felt like a good portion of it was somewhat restless. I had images of being in a unit. It was just a normal day, but could have been a series of normal days. I was either watching TV or lightly dozing and hearing/seeing stuff in my peripheral vision. It was like I was part of things and at the same time distanced from it. I remember that my brother and dad were there, discussing stuff. I can’t clearly remember what they were talking about. It may have been a few things. Like what to have for dinner, which movie to go see etc. Normal, everyday, mundane kinds of stuff. There was nothing remotely abnormal about it. I have vague memories of my sister, mum and other brother hovering or flitting around in the background, but it was also like they weren’t really even there. The scene actually reminded me of when I was a teenager and young carer, when dad was ill and my brother took on the role of supporting him and making sure he had what he needed. It reminded me of a time when things were peaceful and relatively calm and routine.
 
The only thing “abnormal” about the whole thing was that my dad, brother and mum are no longer alive. It actually felt like I was back in the family home when I was a teenager, but the look of the unit itself reminded me of my brother’s home, which I lived in with him for a period of time.
Since I woke up from my nap I have been feeling a little … disconcerted. I’m not sure that is the most accurate word, but it’s the one that popped into my head so let’s go with it.
 
I have been wondering about the messages I need to get from it. What is my greater mind trying to tell me, given everything that has been happening recently. The stuff with my former foster son, they way I’ve been feeling with my health and mindset, and what came out of my PT session yesterday.
I guess it’s possible that it’s a sign that my dad and brother are around with me, supporting me, knowing that I can get through all this stuff. I just need to relax and allow it to unfold as it needs to. I need to create a routine, and relax into it as much as possible.
 
breathe and let go

You Can Hate Yourself Fat. Or Thin. But You Cannot Hate Yourself Healthy

This post really resonates with me. I feel like my entire life has been about hating myself “fat”. In the last several years I have been working hard to love myself, particularly in the last 18 months. I have had several “hiccups” in that time, no more so than in the past several weeks. I am working on refocusing on this self love and I feel the action I have taken in the last couple of days has been a great start.
I WILL get there! 🙂

Blubbering Mess

I had a complementary PT session with a trainer at my gym this morning. His first question, after getting me on the xtrainer to warm up, was to ask me what I wanted to get out of training. So I describe to him that I want to be able to trust myself. To be able to make my training an instinctive part of my routine, to listen to my body, hear  the answer and give myself what I need. To promote my mental health just as much as the physical. In fact, to promote an overall sense of well-being. I want to be able to know when I need to hit shit, when I need to lift stuff, or when I need to go with cardio intervals, to ultimately promote my sense of self.

I then mentioned that I have had a few things happen recently and could probably do with hitting some shit, so he grabs some boxing stuff and after 11 minutes on the xtrainer we do 20 going through just a few 30 second rounds with different combos. I discovered that some of the conditioning I had gained has disappeared. I felt tired really quickly and had to stop to rest a couple of times. Not surprising really, since I haven’t done any training in 6 months. And I know I can get it back 🙂

Afterward we sat down to talk about where to go next. And in the midst of trying to explain how I find it difficult to ask (or even know) what I need, I start blubbering all over him! Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I certainly had tears! While it wasn’t the most pleasant experience in the world to be blubbering all over a stranger, I think it needed to happen. I’ve been holding onto all kinds of emotions for what seems like ages and this recent stuff with my former foster son has I guess been the catalyst for me to take action on getting myself back together. 

I’m unsure whether I can sustain it financially, but I have scheduled 2 PT sessions this week with the same trainer. If nothing else, it will help me to refocus on myself and I will begin learning how to listen to myself. I’m hopeful that this is the first step.

Story of my life

On facebook I subscribe to a page called Brave Girls Club (www.bravegirlsclub.com). They have a “one minute journalling” prompt each day. I believe the idea is to write for one minute and  come up with a response. Today’s topic is “What would be the title of the story of my life today?”

Given all the stuff that has happened recently this topic kind of jumped out at me. So, today my title would be “Reclaiming my Power”.

I feel like my power has been ripped away from me, but I know that I have pretty much given it away. So today, I reclaim it and take steps to reclaim control and self respect. Appointments for a PT and kiniesiology sessions have been made, waiting on one for psychology, and I have applied for some leave from work so I can take some time to nurture myself. During that time I plan to make preparations for the coming uni semester. Meal prep, training, house clearing, brain nurturing, blogging. I need to get back to the basics of self care.

Lessons

I’m not really sure what I want to write today so I am going to see what my fingers come out with and go from there.

At the beginning of June I took in one of my former foster children and his fiancée, both of whom have now aged out of the system and are allegedly adults (18 & 19). The aim was to teach them the skills necessary to live independently, make adult decisions, take responsibility for actions, and so forth. Three weeks down the track and I am over the crap. This past weekend I was asked to rescue them when they took an action without first planning ahead, by travelling more than an hour away and then not having a way home. I refused, telling them that they needed to figure it out for themselves because that is what adults do (this is something they have done 3 times to me before and they weren’t in any kind of danger). I sourced bus timetable and costings and asked if they wanted to book it. They declined, telling me not to worry about it. Since my refusal 5 days ago I have not seen or heard from them. Yesterday I received a message from another person saying that they had been notified that they were no longer residing in my home. Who knew?

This is after I had spent 3 weeks providing emotional and practical supports, starting the process of bringing in organisations that could teach them practical skills that would put them on the road to independence and self-sufficiency. So, I am now left with a house full of their stuff that is strewn all over the place, including bikes, TV, clothes, lamp, bedding, journals, books and so on. Laundry, lounge, dining area, 2 bedrooms, bathroom all full of stuff. Not to mention the kitchen full of dirty dishes and the lino floor covered in sticky mess. And of course a fridge and cupboard full of food bought for 3 people and only 1 left to eat it. That is also not including the money for living expenses that have yet to be given to me.

So, what have I learned from this? The last time this kind of thing happened to me I decided then and there that I would never allow myself to be treated with such disrespect. EVER. I told them this before they moved in. And I told them why. I feel like I have been used, abused and violated. Clearly my authentic self needs me to hear a message. I’m not entirely sure what it is yet. I have allowed myself recently (not just because of the events I have described here) to slack off with my self-care practices.

I have stopped kiniesiology and acupuncture appointments, haven’t done any training and have been eating a heap of processed food. The Emazon convention in April sent my head into turmoil and since then I have had lots of trouble with uni assessments, which has also sent me into a spin. I have allowed excuses (I need to get assessments done, can’t spare the time to cook or go to the gym) to get in the way. Since the end of the semester I have been concentrating on work and supporting the people in my home (other than me, clearly). Now that this has happened, I need to figure out how to get myself back to where I was earlier in the year.

I’m open to suggestions, cause I am feeling confused.

Actually, I’m pretty sure I know what I need to do. I need to take ACTION. Clean my house. Get rid of all the crap. Spend some time nurturing myself. Prepare healthy foods. Get back to the gym, do some PT. Do the stuff that I know will help lift me up.

It starts right now. 🙂

And Friday morning, 6am, with a complimentary PT session at my gym.

Remembering …

In amongst all the chaos with working on final university assessments for the first semester of my masters degree, I realise that today is my mum’s birthday. It would have been her 66th year of life and I am feeling a little melancholy.

This woman gave birth to me, nurtured me, comforted me, nursed me, disciplined me, educated me, and taught me to be who I am today. When she died in 2002 I was going through a difficult time with some serious stress where I worked at the time. I was about 3 days into a period of stress leave when I received a call from my brother to tell me the news. Within the space of about 5 seconds I got some perspective in a big way. I very quickly figured out what was important.

I was honoured to be able to write and deliver her eulogy, remembering her in the way she deserved to be remembered. When she died she was doing something that she had wanted to do. Travel across the world and live her dream. She was strong and brave. She was determined and tenacious. She loved freely. And at the time I remember making a very clear and conscious decision to follow her example and live MY dream. As a direct result of this I began studying my psychology degree.

So, I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without her influence in my life.

This was one of her favourite songs. When she travelled she would play it every time she pulled out of one place to head to the next on her way around Australia. “On the road again” … We played it at her funeral, when we buried her with Dad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TD_pSeNelU

Happy Birthday Mum!

🙂

Boom Boom Boom!

I have been having a few difficulties recently dealing with all the “stuff” in my life. I have been doing my masters degree now for almost one semester and have to travel 2 hours each way to get there. This semester that trip is a weekly one, and my days starts before 5 am and ends when I get home at 9:30 pm. The campus I attend is HUGE! It’s large enough that it has its own post code! And as someone who is used to the smaller regional university where everything is within easy reach, even the idea of being on a campus that size is daunting. Until recently I have been thinking that I was coping well. For days a week at work, where sessions can be pretty emotionally intense, one huge day at uni, and weekends free.

I finally figured out that I haven’t been coping as well as I thought I was. I haven’t been taking care of myself. And I mean the basic self care that I have been working on for more than a year. My nutrition has been seriously crappy and training non existent. And I’ve justified it in my head by saying “I’ll just get these assessments done and then get back into it”, or “I’ll focus on a big cook-up during the semester break”. And in the meantime I’m falling to pieces, but numbing it all by eating shit. Old habits much!

I’ve stayed away from posting in here because I needed to get through assessments and focus on them instead of “wasting time” on my blog. It’s funny how we justify this stuff in our heads, cause I KNOW that blogging helps me to process a lot of head stuff. And with everything that has been going on, including all the stuff I went through at the convention, there has been a lot for me to process. It’s shown with a lack of ability to focus on the assessments, which I have been using as justification to not process what is in my head. Again with the old habits!

So, I have been feeling like the universe has been conspiring “against” me with all of the concrete obstacles I have been facing. Others have said the conspiracy has been in my favour and I have been holding onto that almost like a lifeline. Like I have been waiting for the message to become clear so I can say, “Right, THAT is what this is about”

I think I started to get that light glowing in the last week or so. My assessments are starting to come together and after some discussions with a friend and a couple of people at the uni, I have decided that all I need to do is to get out of my own way! My brain kicks into gear and goes nuts, and I end up feeling inadequate, lonely, anxious, lost and a whole lot of other things.

A little while ago I came across a Katy Perry song that I have listened to over and over and have not really heard it before. I mean really HEARD it. At the time a couple of lines stood out to me. Today I had it playing over and over on my ipad. I googled the lyrics and sat there singing it again and again. I then let it play on a loop while I had a shower and got ready for my day (of doing assessments). A good portion of this song speaks to me …

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under?
Scream but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

You don’t have to feel like a wasted space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through-ough-ough

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBdaqIw

 

I have been feeling like all the doors are closed, and all I need to do is open the one to the perfect road. When it’s time I’ll know. Ignite the light and let it shine.

It’s time to ignite!

Everyone needs a Champion. Are you yours?

http://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion.html?qshb=1&utm_expid=166907-24&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=button__2013-05-03

This link shows a TED talk that I came across this morning through my email subscription for the TED channel.

It’s from an educator, Rita Pierson, who told it like it is. She said that “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like”. That every piece of learning we experienced came because we had a relationship with the person doing the teaching.

For my educator friends out there, I challenge you to become a champion for your students. You CAN make a difference in a child’s life.

And to everyone, particularly those who don’t have someone to be THEIR champion, I challenge YOU to become your own!

Like yourself. How can you do that if you haven’t done it for a long time? Spend some time getting to know yourself. If you don’t like yourself right now, I would hazard a guess that it is simply because YOU DON’T KNOW YOU! You might be surprised at what you discover if you actually spend some time with yourself. And if you don’t know what you like doing, then become a kid again and explore. Try some things out. Jump in puddles. Play on the swings. Sit overlooking a fantastic view and allow yourself to simply BE. Read some books. Go for a walk. Watch some movies that you never thought you might be interested in. Do some research on topics you find inspiring. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something.

And most of all, be KIND to yourself! Follow Rita’s example and build a relationship with the kid inside yourself, even if you don’t think you like who that is.

Trust me when I say that you are WORTH it (even if you don’t realise it).

New Ventures

For the last several months I have been having lots of headspins, I have experienced lots of “messy” emotions and I have been allowing a paralysing fear to stop me from moving forward.

For the last few weeks I have felt like I need something new in my life. To help me to push past that fear and to continue to create the life I deserve. Or more accurately, to reveal the real Ali and allow her to LIVE. 

I have been thinking for a while now about joining a new gym and getting something different in my training. Now that my headspins have dissipated and since my last 1:1 with Emazon I decided to take action on it.

Yesterday I had appointments at 2 gyms for introductory tours. One gym in particular stood out. I felt welcomed as soon as I walked in the door. The “membership consultant” was very friendly and immediately set me at ease. He asked me what I wanted to get out of being a member, what I wanted to achieve and a little about my past experiences. He was funny and super encouraging. The second gym was very different. The lady behind the desk seemed very unsure of herself. She showed me around and then at my request explained the fee structure and how things worked. She took only a peripheral interest in me on any personal level. And I didn’t feel comfortable in volunteering anything really personal. Add to that, the prices were significantly more expensive than the first gym, the equipment was less extensive and much older, and the opening hours are less user friendly for those of us who can only train after hours (or early morning). And overall, the vibe just didn’t feel right for what I was after.

So, I went back to the first gym. Signed up then and there. The membership consultant went through the fitness class timetable with me and he said I should try out the Body Attack class immediately, one of the highest intensity classes on the schedule! 😮 Daunting much!! He said if I took the “bounce” out of the steps I’d be fine. Still daunting!

During the sign up process he asked when my first workout would be. I committed to doing it today. And as soon as I got home my brain kicked into its usual routine, “WTF have you done to me?!?!”

So of course when I woke up this morning it kicked in again and did its best to keep me away. I felt uneasy, uncertain and somewhat anxious about getting out the door. Three hours later than planned, I fulfilled my promise to the membership consultant and went to do my first training session. That promise was the thing that got me out the door.

It wasn’t a long one, but once I was there, while there was a little uncertainty for what I should do next, I was fine. And while I was checking in I booked an appointment for an initial assessment to have a program written up for me. Tomorrow. Which of course gets me back there for another workout.

My major goal in joining up to the gym is to discover more about myself, to become more self aware, to make training a regular part of my day. And to SHUT DOWN the voices in my head that tell me to avoid the gym!

Let’s see how I go 🙂