Having a tantrum

Tuesday is my day this semester to attend classes at university. Which means getting up and ready, then getting in the care, driving for 2 hours, sitting in class for 4 hours, then doing the return drive.

This is the fourth semester that I’ve been doing this routine. The entire time I’ve been doing the drive I’ve had to navigate between 5 & 7 major lots of roadworks as they upgrade the highway after major floods a few years ago.

Today is the first time I’ve done the trip in 2 months due to the break between semesters. There have been changes in the configuration of the works and I am reminded of how painful and stressful it’s been to make this journey in each of the 3 completed semesters so far.

I have mentioned in recent posts that I’ve undertaken a 6 month food coaching program that I’m about 2-3 weeks into. This has created some pretty turbulent emotions even as recently as 2 days ago, so my emotional state has been somewhat fragile.

I’ve been rather negligent with my water intake recently and one of the things to focus on is to increase it so I can clear out some of the toxins in my body.

Can you see where this is going?

Almost 1 litre of water before 10:30am, followed immediately by a 2 hour drive (which turned into almost 3 hours) simply do not mix! I had to stop 3 times in the first hour!

By the time I actually pulled into the car park at uni I was ready to curl up into the fetal position and cry! Especially since 2 of the stops were very close calls! I actually almost pulled over onto the side of the road at one point to cry. Either that or turning around and going home! Or raging.

When I actually arrived I had 10 minutes to navigate my way to the lecture room all the way across campus, which for me means a 40+ minute walk. Up hills and stairs, carrying a heavy bag. And then I’d have had to walk the reverse trip to change rooms for the tutorial, which means leaving the lecture early or being late for the tute (still not sure how to deal with that each week for the rest of the semester).

Given my emotional state I decided to forego stressing myself even more and decided to locate myself outside the tutorial room and blog instead. Take some time to re-centre myself and breathe.

On the way home I stopped at the service station to use the facilities (for the 100th time that day!!) and I looked at all the food in the store. I felt resentful that I couldn’t have any of it. Then I spotted what was probably the only healthy thing in the place and chose to have sushi. But I still felt resentful that I even had to make that choice in the first place.

So, I spent most of yesterday feeling frustrated and resentful that I am in the situation I’m in. Pretty much tantrum material! Feeling disempowered and acting out because I didn’t have “freedom” to choose.

Twenty-four hours later and I’ve had a couple of lightbulbs go off in my head about what happened yesterday. Today I am very grateful for friends who care enough to call me out on my shit and don’t let me get away with it. I’m also grateful for coaches who can see through that same shit, not play into the victim role I was trying to go into and after the bulbs get lit, compliments me on my tenacity and determination to go through this process!

I am very blessed.

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It’s time to release

breathe and let go

After a lifetime of eating to numb almost every feeling I have ever felt, I have so much suppressed emotion lying inside me. My own as well as those belonging to other people I’ve met through my life. Anger, hate, distrust, hurt, pain, anguish, grief.

I’ve not only suppressed my own stuff, I have taken on stuff belonging to other people. I’ve always been a peacemaker. I’ve listened to others talking about the things hurting them. I helped them to make peace with things in their lives. I’ve helped them to make sense of the hurts and attacks from other people. It’s rather ironic that I am carving out a career doing exactly the same thing, really.

I’ve also been attacked by others. It’s true what they say about “hurt people hurt”. I’ve had siblings take out their shit on me. I was bullied at school so much that I went home crying every afternoon. I’ve been excluded, I’ve been made fun of, ridiculed and laughed at. And I’ve felt hurt and left out and worthless and useless and unlovable. I buried it all under layers of sugar and fat.

And I’ve had enough. I deserve to be loved. I deserve to love myself.

So I’ve decided to release all the suppressed shit. I’ve decided that I will change my relationship with food.

When I was asked today to finish this sentence, “food is my …“, my response included words like solace, comfort, safety, security, crutch, home, solstice, end, beginning, reward, payment, centre.

I want my response to be nourishment, energy, support and vitality.

So, as I am asked questions like this and I’m hit with a multitude of emotions my first instinct is to run for the fridge and to go back to those old methods that have got me through for so long. And I also know that they no longer serve me. I no longer need protection. I no longer need to hide. I no longer need to pretend I’m ok when I’m not. And I no longer need food to help me cope.

I have everything I need to be able to live the life I deserve. I have alternative coping strategies. I have the knowledge about how worthy I am. I have a spirit that knows exactly what to do. I just need to allow her to lead. To quiet my mind and listen to her.

She has led me to strengthen my mind, to learn about how my brain works. To learn about how much my body is truly capable of. To learn about how much determination, persistence and tenacity I have, how much strength I have, how much I deserve to love myself, how much worth I have.

She has led me to this point. She has taught me enough to know that I have exactly what it takes to get me through this final stage of releasing all those hidden emotions and the wrapping that has held them secure for most of my life.

It’s time to release. It’s time for freedom.

Letting Go …

For so long I have used food to numb my emotions. My entire life. I feel an emotion and the next thing I know it’s no longer there. And the house is empty of chocolate, chips, cakes, biscuits and everything else within reach. It became a pattern very early on and has carried me through into adulthood.

Less than a week after beginning a food coaching program my head is a mess and my emotions are chaotic.

I came to the realisation recently that it was time to really delve into the relationship I had with food and to figure out how to change the associations I have with it. Food has always equaled comfort and stress reduction. Feel sad, eat. Feel depressed, eat. Feel anxious, eat. Feel happy, eat. Feel anything, eat. It never worked for me to have emotions. I remember the first time I fully acknowledged that I even felt guilt and anger. I honestly didn’t even know they were there! Guilt and anger were emotions experienced by other people. I had no need for them. There was nothing in my life that would ever trigger them. Not my brother using me as a punching bag, not people walking all over me, not being taken advantage of, and certainly not ever making a mistake. Not really sure why I was surprised when they surfaced!

The need to change my relationship with food has been around for a while. Several years in fact. In that time I’ve been able to prove to myself that I am capable and strong and resilient and loveable and worthy and desirable (this one’s still a little shaky. Ok, a lot shaky if these tears are anything to go by). I have talent and intelligence and heart and caring and beauty (also shaky) and brains.

I’ve trained my body and my mind. I’ve begun the process of reconnecting them with my spirit.

And it’s this process that has brought me to the place of changing my relationship with food. The concept that food is simply fuel for my body is completely foreign. It’s always been connected to emotions and hiding and escaping and avoiding and …. And and and. Everything other than fuel. Everything other than nourishment and self respect and self love.

Up until now whenever I have attempted to connect wholesome, healthy, nutritious foods with self love and self respect it hasn’t received anything more than surface air time. I’ve come to realise that the connection exists intellectually but it hasn’t filtered below the surface to really penetrate those concrete bubbles surrounding my emotions.

Inside those bubbles is the association that unhealthy, fatty, oily, sugary foods equals comfort and love. And every time I needed those two things I have reached for something to meet that need.

I can’t do that any more. I don’t want to do that any more. I’m sitting here as I type with an ugly cry in progress, knowing that I need and deserve so much more than that. My spirit tells me I deserve more. She tells me I deserve to experience what it is truly like to love and be loved. And I can’t do that with things as they are. I can’t live my destiny with the associations I currently have in my brain. I need to break them wide open and create new ones that support me moving into the life I am destined for.

So I guess this post is the first of many that will allow me to let go of the safety net and swing freely from the trapeze, knowing I am truly where my spirit knows I am meant to be.

fly free trapeze

Remind me to buy some shares in Kleenex!

Where’s the beauty?

warwick 2

For most of my life I have found it difficult to see the beauty in things. Especially the small, every-day, run-of-the-mill things that millions of us take for granted. The hidden depths in the rock cracks, the dry grass lining the side of the highway, the scenery as you drive over the crest of a hill.

I’ve recently returned home from a very transformative holiday and immersion in all things self-care. And since I’ve been home it feels like I am looking out of completely different eyes. Even as I was driving the scenery outside my car window looked different. The views I would previously dismiss as ordinary were now extraordinary. No longer did I need to have the super extraordinary to see the beauty. All I needed to do was open my eyes.

moonrise

 

So if I couldn’t see these things before my holiday and I could see them after it, where is the difference?

armidale july 2014

The answer is in the beauty I now see in myself. It’s in the things I have always had but never been able to see through eyes unbiased by conditioning and self-hatred. I feel like my eyes have been covered by some kind of mask and my trip away has literally stripped it away.

I can now see the strength I have always held in my legs and hips. I can see the compassion I hold in my heart, the gentleness I hold in my hands, the power I hold in my mind. I can see that I have a whole lot of character in the dimples on my thighs. I can acknowledge that the pain in my knee is a result of the need to protect myself from the angst. And the curves on my waist hold the peaks and valleys of the suppressed emotions of a lifetime.

For far too long I have held it in and denied my beauty. For far too long I have pretended I am indifferent to the image I see reflected in the mirror. For far too long I have conformed to the societal belief that beauty equals skinny. For far too long I have minimised the reach and impact that I have in this world. My body has been instrumental in keeping me whole and it’s time I gave it the credit it deserves.

terrigal2 july 2014

Every hill, every valley, every dimple, every pimple, every freckle. The parts filled with fluid and the parts filled with fat. The parts that have carried me and the parts that have allowed me to learn from my mistakes. And especially the parts that now allow me to recognise and reconnect to the freshness and the beauty I possess.

What was once seen as mediocre I now know as beautiful. As stunning. As incredibly full of character and depth and possession and precision. What was once seen as non-existent I now know as present. As full of character.

terrigal17 july 2014

And what was once ignored now needs to be nourished. Nurtured. Loved.

terrigal9 july 2014

Powerful beyond measure: A love letter to myself

A while ago on my Mindset Effect Blog I set a challenge for people. To write a love letter to themselves. To show themselves some love and document it. At the time I was in the middle of completing university assessments and stated that I would do it when they were completed. I’ve now been away from home for 9 days on a trip to immerse myself in all things self-care. I have learned so much about myself during these days and this morning it occurred to me that now is the perfect time to write my letter. As I sit here ready to write I find myself feeling uncomfortable and wanting to procrastinate on it. There is something about the process that is confronting. I want to do it, now is the right time to do it, and I certainly know that every fibre of my being needs to hear the words that are about to flow out of my spirit. So I will sit with those feelings of discomfort and show myself some love. I deserve it, after all.

moonrise

Dear me,

As an entity you have been on this Earth for 42 years. In that time you’ve been through some serious shit. Some painful, horrible stuff that has suppressed your voice and led you to feel unworthy, unloved and small. And through it all you’ve adapted. You’ve changed. You’ve made it through. There has always been a part of you who knew it was your birthright to take up the space you deserved. There has always been a part of you who knew you were lovable and worthy. And that part of you has protected you. It forced you to take up the space you deserve. It grew your body and claimed that space. It comforted you and protected you. It helped you to keep your wings in perfect working order. It helped you to learn the lessons you needed to learn, so that now you are here, in this moment, you know exactly where you are, why you’re here and what your purpose in this world is.

You’re learning that you are safe. Loveable. Worthy. You’re learning about your physicality. Your strength. Your fears, your spirit. Your courage. Your resilience has allowed you to bounce from one experience to another to another, to take in and learn the lessons. To gain skills and to use those lessons to break down barriers. You thought you were unworthy and you’ve discovered the opposite. You thought you were unloveable and you’ve discovered the opposite.

Those early experiences taught you to be afraid. To hide. You stand here today knowing that you are powerful beyond measure. You are courageous beyond any thought you could possibly hold in your mind. You are intelligent beyond any classroom can teach. You are resilient beyond the bounce of any trampoline in existence.

Your mind has protected you. It has helped you to analyse and learn and create an existence that took you beyond the limitations that were infused into your early experiences. It has taught you skills that you can now take and utilise to change the planet, one person at a time. It has allowed you to think and to realise that you were much better than you were led to believe as a child. It has allowed you to analyse the data it was given and recreate a formula that will ultimately support you in taking care of yourself well into the future. And it has allowed you to be open to new experiences that let in new, supportive belief systems.

Your body has housed your mind and spirit in a fashion that has supported them and allowed them to do their work without outside influences to take you in a direction you were not meant to go. Your body has kept you alive and alert. It has supported your mind to learn all its lessons and has infused many of its own. It is now in the process of learning new lessons about your strength and power.

And your spirit. It has kept a fire burning deep down into the recesses of your body. A fire of hope. A small flame of knowingness. A knowing that you are so much more than your physical appearance. A knowing that you have always been much more than people have previously led you to believe. A knowingness that you can now trust with your entire being; mind, body and spirit.

You are strong, infinitely powerful, courageous and mighty. You are destined to change the world and impact many people in positive ways. You have talents and skills that deserve and need to be shared. You have infinite amounts of love to give. To yourself and others. Your simple existence is enough. Your simple presence is enough. Enough to influence. To lead. To create. To change human existence as it is now.

Infinite power, humility and influence.

Allow your light to shine. I know that as you learn more about showing yourself those small demonstrable lessons in self nurturing and love, you will take on even more to be able to achieve a greater reach on your life’s path. Everything you need, you already possess. Open the door, let it out. It, and you, deserve to be free.

I love you with every cell and vibration of my being,

Me xx

 

Self-Care is Key!

self care burnoutIt’s been ages since I have blogged on my personal page. I have lots going on right now and I have decided that I need to make some time to attempt to process some of it. I have been focusing on my career for several months, doing posts on my other blog, The Mindset Effect, as well as working and meeting university commitments for the first practicum experience of my master’s degree.

I’ve been finding that time for myself has been rare. I’m still doing personal training sessions twice a week, which is going well (and is a whole other blog post). Getting out of bed for those 6am sessions is really tough! I keep telling myself that I need to get to bed earlier and it rarely seems to happen. Something else seems to crop up. Every. Single. Time. I am making a concerted effort though.self care hardest job

With all of my commitments, and with the current summer heat, which always takes a lot out of me, I have been pretty stressed. I promised myself last year, when I knew what 2014 would look like on a weekly basis, that I would make time for me. Take it one day at a time and make sure that I spent time every day or two doing some self-care practices. And the academic year hasn’t even started yet! So I know that if I continue to do the same thing I am doing now, for the rest of the year, I am going to fall over pretty quickly.

Work has been crazy. Exciting. But crazy. As of March 1 I will be working 3 days per week even though I am employed for 4. My practicum requirements for uni dictate that I do at least 1 day at a placement. And I need to do another day on campus. So that means I really need 6 working days in the week to do everything. Doesn’t add up, right? So, I have applied for study leave. And have been told I need to keep my work output at a 4-day-a-week level. With the help and support of my colleagues we have developed a plan to make that happen. And the preliminary response from clients has been nothing short of phenomenal! Not that they know why we developed the plan in the first place, but they don’t need to know. The bottom line is that this plan will help a lot of people develop their resiliency and capacity to handle stress in the long-term. It complements the organisation’s long-term strategic plan on building up client capacity, it will keep my stats up, and it will allow me to complete my degree requirements without having to reduce my income and risk the roof over my head. A win-win all around.

self care fill cupThe stressful part of all this for me is that the phenomenal response not only indicates how our clients are craving opportunities like we are offering. It also shows me that I could spend more time implementing this plan than doing the other work I do. And it means that I run the risk of overloading myself by trying to get everything done and end up burning myself out.

So I need to make sure I take care of me. One day at a time. One moment at a time. Don’t try to do everything and be everything for everyone. Self-care is key. I need a mantra. Self-care is key. Self-care is key. Self-care is key. Self-care is key . Self-care is key . Self-care is key!!

self care meditation silence