The journey

Sitting on top of the world

Connection, fear, anxiety, purpose.

Truth, spirit.

Feelings, emotions.

Connecting with the thoughts, allowing them to line up with the emotions and the spirit. Making room, making space to allow the process tow ork, to allow the connections to occur in their own time and in their own way.

Allowing space, creating space to flow, to connect, to release, to cleanse. To rid the body of the physical manifestations of the pain, of the past, of the anxiety and fear that it has used to protect my spirit for such a long time.

To release the chemicals, to allow them room, to help them to find their own unique pathway to travel out of and away from the body they have called home for 43 years.

The range

To create sacred space to honour their purpose in protection and supporting their host on her journey of discovery.

To allow the body to heal, to rediscover, or to initially discover, at least consciously, the nutrients and the scaffolding that will support it to function in the way my spirit and mind now need. To reveal the pathway forward into new, unchartered territory, into hope and joy and abundance and spirit and purpose. To support my body, mind and spirit as we move into and claim the space that has been rightfully mine for centuries. To claim the space that is my destiny and birthright.

To stand up and grasp hold of a future that is shining brightly, that is freedom, that is exactly where I am meant to be.

Sun through trees

So as I move into this space and get used to being here, I support my body by listening to and honouring its needs. By  grounding myself in “centre”, by connecting with SELF, by using movement to release. Setting my intention.

Slowing down and looking inward before training, to hear the voice that KNOWS. The voice that I know will never lead me astray.

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.

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

 

Purpose

beach sunrise terrigal

Spirit. Soul. Purpose. Connection.

Connecting purpose with spirit with mind with body. Creating a method of communication between them that will also bring a sense of peace, harmony and “rightness”. Like things were meant to be.

From a lifetime of being completely disconnected from every part of me, beginning to come into my own and bringing them together feels … well, right. It feels as if I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time for exactly the right reason. Connection.

I’ve known for a while that career wise what I am meant to do is to help people. I’ve had the feeling that I was doing what I was meant to do since the very first time I was face to face with a counselling client. The woman who hired me for that job told me that the second I walked in her door for my interview she knew that I was the person she wanted. She fought for me. And she hasn’t stopped since.

The opportunities and experiences I’ve had in the last 7 years haven’t always been pleasant. In fact some of them have been downright painful! But each and every one of them has brought me closer to truly understanding that this work is my destiny. My purpose.

Before it was a “this moment is where I am meant to be”. Now it’s “this life, this work, this service, is my destiny and purpose. My destiny is vast, pure and amazingly awesome”.

There was a time when the vastness of it produced incredible amounts of fear. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it, fear I wasn’t worthy of it, fear of the sheer size of it. Now it produces excitement. I can’t wait to get there. I know it will be incredible and it will feel even more right than it does now.

And I know that every step I take to get closer to it teaches me one more lesson I need to learn so that I can truly do it justice.

I am a writer. A teacher. A leader. I am strong. I am powerful. I am energy. I am clarity. I am joy. I am power. I am meant to be.

beach vast terrigal

New Wave

I’ve come away to immerse myself in 9 days of self-care. Day 1 and it’s already started.

I feel … different. Strange.

It’s been a while since I felt this way. It’s the feeling of change. The next step of transformation.

Knowing I needed to unlock some stuff I booked a couple of personal training sessions while I was away. I had the first one this morning. Hitting shit by the ocean at Terrigal, NSW. Perfect. The trainer was amazing. Encouraging, gentle, nurturing. And at the same time she pushed me to do stuff that I always avoid from fear.

View from this morning's training space

View from this morning’s training space

My fingers are shaking as I think about it, 3 hours later. Just a slight tremor in memory/sympathy of what I felt then. Remembered adrenaline. Probably existing adrenaline *shrugs*

I’ve long been someone who avoids stuff when it becomes “too” physically demanding. Obviously what I consider demanding differs from others’ versions of demanding. For me it’s anything that leaves me feeling breathless and shaky. Adrenaline rush shaky. I’ve done sessions on the treadmill before that push my heart rate up to the point that I am hit with a rush of adrenaline and my arms and legs become wobbly.

That’s the point where I usually give up. Or more accurately, panic. My brain goes into overdrive and my thoughts kick in, screaming at me to stop, I can’t do it, I’m not going to be able to cope, I need to feel safe and all that rot. I’ve had it happen when I’ve been walking across campus at uni. That place is so huge, I’m trying to get to class carrying a 10kg bag on my back, walking uphill. My legs and lungs scream at me. STOP, you’re going to fall over and you won’t be able to get up. You’ll embarrass yourself. You’ll hurt yourself. Give up give up give up!!!

This is my “fuck it” story. The story that tells me I need to fuck it, to give up before I even start, so I can be “safe”

You know what? No more. I’m sick of the “fuck it” story ruling my life. I have a destiny to get to, a purpose to live. And it certainly doesn’t include sitting in a little cocoon hiding away from the world to feel “safe”. That’s not safety, that’s a slow death! It’s what I’ve been doing most of my life. It kept me protected for many years but now all it does is prevent me from living the life I deserve. The life I am destined for.

All the work I’ve done to date has brought me here.to a place of awareness, where I know that the thought patterns in my head, while having had a purpose, now hold me back.

Which brings me to the now. This holiday has been in the planning for 6 months. I set the dates with the intention of immersing myself in all things Emazon. Her training principles, mindset lessons, and complementary forms of therapy to support the transformation process. Massage, reflexology, crystal therapy, spiritual awareness, plus more. I’ve done some work with Emazon before. It’s made a huge difference in the way I think and feel about my “stuff”. It has helped me to shift a lot and make some big changes in my life.

I’ve spent probably the last 9-12 months allowing those shifts to “be”. To settle. For me to get used to this new way of being. To cement them.

And now it’s time for the next wave. These 9 days will be about unlocking the next layer of neural pathways that will allow me to move forward into the next wave of changes.

So what did I uncover this morning? Panic. Fear. Shame. Tears. Emotion.

It’s time to move. It’s time to let it out and let it go.

Fuck it. I deserve to have spectacular things in my life. I deserve to feel a deep sense of peace and contentment. And yet with everything I do it’s always just underneath the surface. That fear. The fear that I can’t do the things I want to do because I “won’t be able to”. Every time I feel the urge to go for a simple walk I stop myself “just in case” I won’t be able to make it. Just in case someone sees me. Just in case I need to hide myself away. That I’ll be judged and found lacking. That I’ll find myself lacking. That I’m not enough.

That I’m not enough.

This phrase is the key. Under some pretty heavy layers of shame.

Let’s see what the next 8 days brings …

Listening to the waterfall as I write this post

Listening to the waterfall as I write this post

 

Watching the ripples across the water

Watching the ripples across the water

 

 

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

 

Am I in Denial?

My previous post on trauma was written in the way I usually write; by simply allowing my fingers to do their thing on the keyboard without censorship. At the time I felt ok about what had come out, like I had some kind of resolution and a ‘next step’ to take. Well, I took that next step last week – I went to see my psychologist. I feel … I don’t know, really.

We talked about things for a bit, I caught her up with what’s been happening in my life and then she tells me what she thought of my post on trauma. Great insight, until she got to the dot points. Then it was “you don’t want to own your trauma”. At that point I looked at her with puzzlement. How could a series of dot points mean I don’t want to own it? I thought I was doing a quick summary so I could use the list as a reminder to speak with her about it.

And then her explanation hit a nerve. Big time. I find it so easy to support other people through their stuff, to help them confront the tough, traumatic things in their lives. I ask the tough questions and it gets emotional and messy and uncomfortable and scary. And I don’t want that. I don’t want to go there for myself. It hurts. The thing is, I don’t have to do anything with my trauma. I don’t have to respond in a certain way. I can allow it to be there, to sit with me, to accept that it’s mine. To accept that is a part of my past. That it’s there and it’s not going anywhere. I keep asking the question about how I can do things like that. How can I deal with this, how can I deal with that? The question is, how can one do anything with something like this kind of trauma? Trauma that has been an insidious part of your life for a long time and has not been acknowledged until recently. Trauma that has put a load of stress on your system that you have essentially ignored for 30+ years. What can you do, really?

I think one of my main issues has been allowing my emotions to sit with me. I’ve always hidden them, turned away from them and avoided them. It’s become a long time coping mechanism to hide from them so much that I don’t realise they are there. I’ve been working on being more aware of them, allowing them to surface naturally. And not being afraid of them.

It’s certainly a process! One that I don’t have a clue how to do. And that is upsetting. I guess a big part of everything I have worked on in the last 2 years has been to deal with and recognise emotions I never have before. And I have come to this point, where I can recognise that there are issues.

I am unsure what to do. The prospect of “owning” that trauma fills me with anxiety. There is so much of it sitting there and I truly don’t want it. If I take it I worry that it will totally swamp me. If I were working with someone else I’d encourage them to do it slowly and to take small steps. My mind is going a little nuts with it.

Nothing new there!

*Breathe*

 trauma