Having an attitude of gratitude!

Being told to be thankful or grateful when you aren’t in a good space can be rather annoying. I personally don’t think it is helpful to say these things when some one is struggling and in need of support. Listening, being supportive and non-judgemental as well as adding in something that is actually helpful or beneficial, for example ‘the way you are feeling is perfectly understandable, I’m glad it wasn’t any worse’ or ‘I know how much you are struggling, it’s a good thing you have  such as x, y, z in your life’.

At the end of the day we are the only ones who can choose to be grateful and thankful for the things we do and don’t have in our lives. No one else can do it for us and being told to be grateful is just annoying. It is an internal decision, a daily choice to be thankful for our lives and everything in it. Always look for the good, no matter how down you are or how difficult things life is. There is always something to be thankful for. At the very least, you had the opportunity to learn, grow and become a better person. Through your experience you may even be able to help or guide others.

When we regularly practice forgiveness our awareness moves from the lack in our live to the things we do have. This results in feeling more fulfilled and opens us up to receiving more. What you focus on grows, we have the choice whether to focus on how we are deficient and without or how we are blessed and abundant. I know I choose to always be grateful, my life seems much  enjoyable when I think this way. It doesn’t mean it is easier but the difficult isn’t as difficult. Everything just flows a little bit better, like a car does when adding oil.

Forgiveness will set you free

We all carry unforgiveness at some point in our life. Often it is over trivial things and it is therefore easy to forgive. Sometimes things are a bit hard to forgive and may take weeks, months or even years. Then there’s the type of wound that is so deep, we never completely heal. There will always be a scar as a reminder. Sometimes we have trouble forgiving some of the smaller things, how on earth can we forgive these life altering and unforgivable things? The best thing to do is start with the smaller things and make this a regular daily practise. Then work your way up to the bigger thing. Always remember that forgiveness does not excuse another persons behaviour, it doesn’t make it ok. If they have done wrong they deserve their own karma and if they have broken the law, they deserve the consequences of breaking the law.

Forgiveness does not mean that you have to remain in contact with a person. You can still forgive some one and have nothing to do with them. When you hold resentment and unforgiveness in your heart, it is actually more damaging to yourself than to the other person. It is even more frustrating to be hurting so deeply when you are not even registering on the other persons radar. Forgive for your benefit, not because the other person deserves it but you deserve to be from. Carrying unforgiveness is a burden and carrying the negative thoughts and emotions is heavy. It weights us down and this type of  negativity can impact us physically. Our immune system weakens, symptoms similar to fibromyalgia and burn out can manifest in our bodies. It seems rather unfair that the other person seems to have no repercussions whilst day in day out you are struggling emotionally and physically. You can not do anything about them, they have their own karma coming but you can do something about how you are. Being able to rise above, from victim to victor is the ultimate power.

Despite what has happened to you or what any one did, you have become a stronger and better person. If some one treats your poorly, that is a reflection on them. Normal people don’t go around causing harm to others and taking advantage of them. Some one who is causing harm to others is suffering with in themselves. Due to this suffering they are not fulfilled. Their behaviour is a reflection of how they feel about themselves and the things they are lacking. They are trying to fill that lack in ways that harm others.  Try to remember this when practising forgiveness. They may be suffering but suffering within is not an excuse to cause harm to others. We can’t force other people to be accountable for their behaviour. The best we can do is to acknowledge they are suffering and hope that one day they will take responsibility for their own behaviour and there for chose not to harm.

Practising forgiveness can be as simple as saying something along the lines of;

I forgive “insert name”, I understand their actions and behaviour is a reflection of their own internal suffering. I release ‘insert name’ to their highest  good.’

. Another very important person to forgive is yourself. We can be very hard on ourselves and put ourselves down for everything we did or didn’t do should or shouldn’t have done. When forgiving yourself it can also a simple line like the following;

I forgive myself for ‘insert reason/s why you are forgiving yourself’. I know I am not perfect and just like every one else, I too have my own challenges and sufferings. I was doing the best I could at the time and my best is good enough. 

Repeat forgiveness of others and yourself as often as necessary, whether it be days, weeks, months or years.  It may take a while for you to begin to feel the benefits, but you will feel much lighter when you do. Good luck with it ❤

 

Wake up call

It was Friday morning and I was driving to work. I was driving down busy pennant hills road, sipping on a chai latte that I had bought at a service station. All of sudden the car in the middle lane did a sharp turn, lost control and did a 180 degree turn. They were flowing in the same direction of the rest of the traffic until they suddenly were driving head on towards me. I hit the brakes, it have only been a second but everything seemed to go in slow motion as I was heading towards the car. I was thinking to myself `we`re going to hit`. Sure enough we did collide head on, but luckily we didn`t hit each other very hard. Every one was ok and the cars only had very minor scratching. I was in a little bit of shock but was able to continue to drive to work and have a relatively normal day at work. Well as normal as you can get when you work in the disability industry, lol.

The accident was a bit of a wake up call to me. I have written blogs about some of my experiences, my marriage separation last year and some of the ways it has impacted me. After having a break down later in the year last year, I had spent this year trying to recover and for most of it being unwell. It is now towards the end of May and I`m  in a much better space. Although I did feel I was still in a rut. Some how the accident motivated me to once again realise that life is so fragile. One minute you can be minding your own business, then in the blink of an eye it can be taken from you. I was lucky peak hour traffic was relatively slow and that I was no longer on the freeway. A head on collision has the potential to be very devastating if we were going any faster. I have seen it many times before, especially on the freeway.

The accident some how motivated me to get out of my rut and find my passion for life again. I did a spectacular fall off the horse, but now I feel I`m getting back on the horse. I can now feel an inner joy and this appreciation for life. My goals and plans are all still there and I`m now able to take action on working on making them happen. I feel very excited that I`m getting myself back. I always knew I had a purpose, for a while there I was in a dark spot but now I feel my purpose.

I would encourage any one who feels they have lost themselves, their clarity or who is going through a dark patch. Don`t put too much pressure on yourself. You are the way you are for a reason and it is a signal that you need to take care of you. For the past few months I have been doing the basics. That is going to work, looking after the kids and taking care of my wellbeing. You will come back, your clarity will come back. Healing takes times. The first step is believing, the second is regularly doing little things for you and third is being patient. It will happen in time. I just hope when it does happen for you, that you don`t have to have a car accident for it to happen. Honestly I was heading back to myself any way, the accident just made it happen a faster. Like a wake up call to remind me I can take control of my life and that I have something to offer. All of the things that have happened in my life have contributed to where I am now. No matter what has happened in your life. You don’t have to remain powerless. They are opportunities for you to learn and become a better stronger, version of yourself.

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Entering the Void

Have you ever felt you are in ground-hog day and on autopilot? Sometimes it is too easy to get caught up making sure we do the basics and keep on top of our responsibilities. Life just gets so busy and we forget to our own inner work and examine how we are thinking and feeling. Why do we think the way we do? What are our values and what is it we want out of life. May be we know these things but don’t take any real me time to reflect, process and be creative. When we get so absorbed in our busy modern life, we lose touch with ourselves.  That is until everything comes crashing down and we are stopped in our tracks. It may be our body that caves in and get sick, it may be our minds that have a mental break down or difficult life events happens. Things such as death, separation or illness. Often it takes a life altering event for us to wake up. For me it was more of an internal event than an external event. 

 

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Picture by Blaize Pacall  http://www.pascallphotography.com/blog/

One day I woke up and it was as though I had been numb, shut down and asleep for years. When I awoke I felt I suddenly had all this energy and was finally able to be there person I had never been able to be. Before this I  just plodded along and had never questioned my marriage. We didn’t talk or connect much, it was as though we were just existing in the same house but  it still was a rude shock for me when I could no longer see a future with my husband. I no longer felt for him like a wife should feel for her husband. I wondered why I had never realised that before but I how could I realise anything when I had for so long been so busy, disconnected and practically just a physical body who wasn’t there in any other way. I really did not know what to do because despite knowing marriages don’t always work out, I had this deep seated belief that marriage is for life and there should be a pretty good damn reason if it doesn’t work. A reason such as domestic violence, gambling, cheating etc. He was a good person but I felt being with him triggered my anxiety and brought out the shut down in me. Were these good enough reasons to separate? Was I putting my needs above my kids? Was I being selfish? Should I have just stay ed and forget myself? Does it matter if I felt dead inside? All these thoughts went over and over in my head. What I felt deep inside and what I believed were two completely different things. I was so conflicted and I didn’t want to hurt my husband either. Deep with in my gut I knew  had to go to truly be me, the better version of myself and therefore a better parent. . It was very difficult on him but since leaving my day-to-day anxiety has decreased, I am more myself and I feel I am a better parent. We also get on much better now. I won’t rule out getting back together one day, but for now it has been a good move and I am not ready to be with any body.

Recently I had another experience where it was as though a light switch had suddenly been turned off and I could no longer see my goals, purpose or where I was heading in life. I questioned who am I, what am I doing? I could not answer those questions. It was as though there was nothing and I wondered where it all went. The experience was very unsettling and uncomfortable.  I wanted to grasp onto something just to get my bearings but what could I grasp onto? It’s too easy to fill the gap with going back to my ex, jumping into another relationship or drinking too much alcohol.There are so many ways we try to fill that void. It was such a bizarre experience and reminded me of the red pill, blue pill scene out of ‘The Matrix’. Do I hold onto who I thought I was, everything I thought I wanted and all my current beliefs? I could have just taken the blue pill and continued living in illusion but instead I chose the red pill. I realised I didn’t have to fear the void I was in but instead to trust  and embrace it.  It was as though everything that was no me had to be taken  so I could see clearly. It was  opportunity for me to let go of everything that isn’t truly me so I had the confidence to be my true authentic self, find happiness with in and as a result be a better person, a better parent. The void forced me to be honest and get real with myself.

Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Matthew 19:7

A Buddhist Rice Bowl

 It’s Something To Think About. . . .

“In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept called ‘zen mind,’ or beginner’s mind.’  They say that the mind should be like an empty rice bowl.

If it’s already full, then the universe can’t fill it.

If it’s empty, it has room to receive.

This means that when we think we have things figured out, we’re not teachable.  Genuine insight can’t dawn on a mind that’s not open to receive it.

Surrender is a process of emptying the mind.”

                                  ~ By Marianne Williamson, “A Return To Love,

Reflections on the Principles of A Course In Miracles

 

 

 

Go for it!

 

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One of my pastel drawings I did in 2017

My Mum is brilliant artist. I have never been as good at art as she is. I’ve always tended to write more, however I don’t mind drawing occasionally. I discovered pastels and I quite enjoy doing pastel drawings. This is a heart pastel drawing I did last year.
I think we worry way to much what others think. Now this coming from me is like the pot calling the kettle black. Through out my life I was probably the queen of worrying too much about what others thought but I got tired of it because I wasn’t enjoying life as much as I could have been or really going for my dreams. I was holding back way too much and I realised that I was worrying about what others though because I needed reassurance. I wasn’t able to find that reassurance with in myself. I was constantly doubting and criticising myself. There fore I was seeking approval outside of myself. I mentioned in my previous blogs that we already have all the love, all the power and all strength with in. We can’t find it elsewhere, we create happiness within. I needed to find these things with in and only when I began to find them with in myself was I able to not worry so much about what other people thought.
I realised I just had to be myself, follow my heart and do the things I love. No more holding back and no more bringing myself down. Nothing and no one else was bringing me down, they didn’t have to, I was doing a good enough job of that myself. Many times I have said writing is my passion. Yet it brought so much inner conflict because I so much wanted to write, yet I held back out of fear. Fear that my writing wasn’t good enough, fear that I would say the wrong thing and upset some one. A part of me felt I had so much to share, yet another part just wanted to hide under rock.
I had to push past my insecurities and go for it any way. Writing is not only my passion but my purpose for writing out weighed anything that was holding me back. A big part of wanting to write is share my story and I hope to encourage, empower and inspire people, especially women who have gone through similar things. No matter what you are going through there is always some one out there experiencing or who has experienced the same. We aren’t alone and no matter how hard things get, we can rise above them. I’m very passionate about shining a light on mental health, domestic violence and sexual assault. I want to shine a light because I’ve experienced these things and I want to help others who have experienced these things. I think raising awareness is important but also education. I think society has made progress with awareness but there is still a lot of misconceptions out there and sadly these type of things are far to common. Ideally it would never happen but that’s a bit unrealistic to expect. I think domestic violence and sexual assault statistics can be greatly improved. I believe as a society, as friends, family, co workers we can better understand these things and support each other. These are my reasons for wanting to write, far out weigh any discomfort I may have.
Helping people to rise up again and sharing our stories makes me feel I have purpose in my life. I feel I’m doing something worthwhile and contributing my little bit to society. It might not be a lot, but I’m still doing my bit and it happens to be with something I love. What ever makes your heart sing, do more of that. If you want to find your purpose in your life, then follow the things you are passionate about., they will lead you to your purpose. No matter what you do, some one is not going to like it. We can’t please every one, so we may as well do what makes us happy. As much as I want to share my story, connect with others, yet also try to be respectful, thoughtful and tactful when including others in my writing, there will always be some one who takes it the wrong way. There will always be some one who doesn’t like it or judges and that’s fair enough. every one is entitled to their own opinion. At the end of the day I have to follow my heart and be true to myself. It is impossible to please everyone. No matter what it is that you are doing, if you love what you are doing, then I encourage you to go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes you are worthy!

Men! They can be a woman’s greatest dream, a complete nightmare or something in between. Many of us go through so much of our life wanting to be loved and to find the right guy. Yet as we get older we realise nothing outside of ourselves can fill the gap. A guy isn’t the missing piece in our life. We can only be whole when we realise that we already have all the power, all the strength and all the love with in. Don’t let any one else make you believe otherwise, even that voice inside your head that tries to bring you down. I have had some really valuable lessons with this recently, I thought I knew it well but I guess I still had more to learn and more growing to do.

Last year was an absolute shocker for me with men. It really made me question my worth. I went through a difficult separation with me ex and he went off the rails for a while. Then there was the 11 women guy who pretended he was interested in me and wanted more than just a one-night stands . I was clear I wasn’t ready  for  anything serious but at the same time wasn’t into meaningless one-night standards. I know I can’t do purely phsycial with out liking the other person at all. It turns out he lied and manipulated me just to get sex and then afterwards cut me off. I was one of eleven women and it t really shook me up at the time I questioned myself because I wasn’t able to tell the difference between what is genuine and what is good acting. I wasn’t in madly in love but I did like him and think he was a decent guy. I didn’t expect much but I wasn’t expecting to be used and discarded like an object. I don’t think a bit of honesty and respect is too much to ask but I guess you can be disappointed no matter how reasonable your expectations are.

Then there was the very drunk one-night stand with a work colleague which  turned out to be the worst experience of my life with a guy. I drank a lot, so my memory is a bit patchy but what I remember was not good at all.  I know with casual sex there isn’t supposed to be that intimacy or  feeling that you have when in a relationships with someone but no matter how casual sex is, a woman still wants to feel wanted, sexy and as though the guy is into her. She wants to enjoy herself too but I didn’t feel any of these things at all. Not one bit of pleasure, it was as though I was just an object. There are other things that occurred which I thought you’d only do if the woman specifically requested but I won’t go into detail about that. Afterwards I feel asleep and woke up at 5am in the car park freezing my arse off. I realised I hadn’t even locked the doors. We had both been drinking, so none of us would have given our best performance. Even though it was terrible, the drinking made it more forgivable. The thing I that found hardest was afterwards he acted different and has been avoiding me ever since. I did try to talk to like normal but his responses were very short, he barely stopped to talk and kept walking away whilst I was still talking. I thought it was quite rude, so I gave up on trying to continue on as normal like it was before anything happened. I don’t have the time of day for anyone that doesn’t have the time for me.

Shit experiences happen, especially when drunk., get over it move on, At least I didn’t have to see the 11 women guy again, it was just harder to do when it was someone I already knew and see regularly. Then add to that, he has the reputation of being the town bike and I was not only one who has had a really bad experience with him. I now know we all our experiences were pretty much the same. For the past five years, I had always liked and respected this person but now that has changed. My perception my have changed but I do not dislike him or think he is a bad person. I do not think either of these guys are bad people.  I know everyone has their own issues and is not perfect. I am very far from perfect, therefore I’m not pointing fingers at any one. I was an active participant in these situation and no one can make you feel anything. Our emotions are products our own thought processes. So why blame anyone else when I needed to check myself. I had to look into why these experiences where such triggers for me. The only person I have control over and the ability to change is myself. How, when and if these guys do any self-work is their business, it is not mine or any one else’s. It’s not place or any one else’s to judge.

Last year may have been a difficult  year but I have a lot be thankful for. Obviously for kids, family, friends, good health, having a job etc; but I am also thankful for all the difficult people and experiences in my life. They have  made me stronger, more certain of who I am and gain a stronger sense of self-worth. Now I wonder why I was letting anyone make me feel insecure. The way they were is a reflection of them; it was not a reflection of me or any of the other women. It does not say anything about us; it says everything about them and who they are.  The way I dealt with it and reacted says everything about me and where I was at the time.

I was aware things like this happen and that many women in their late teens and early 20’s experience this sort of thing, along with casual sex and dating. Here I am at 37 years old and I can say well I have now experienced dating and casual sex. When I joined up to do online dating, I did it for the experience because I had always just jumped into relationships too quickly, with the first person who came along and never took the time to look around. I wanted the experience of meeting different men and consciously not jumping. That is exactly what I did (for dinner and coffee, not sex) and I met some nice people but none of them were it or any one I would want a relationship with.  I was also understandably really wanting a connection after being show shut down for so long in my last relationship. We didn’t communicate or really connect physically and emotionally. I know I’m not ready to be with any one, so no one is it at the moment. I’m not in a hurry and happy to wait. It doesn’t bother me how long I have to wait, I’m happy with my life and trust the right person will come along at the right time. The whole experience made me realise what I do and do not want when it comes to men. I had always set the bar way to low. I am so much better than I thought I was and capable of achieving much more than I ever dreamed. I

I have daughters and a son and  hope through my experiences  I will be a better parent with understanding and supporting  my kids with this sort of stuff when they are older. I really want my girls to know their worth and to never have regrets because even in difficult things, there is always an opportunity to grow and learn. I never want them to be ashamed of themselves or anything they do because we all make mistakes. I want them to know they are beautiful, inside and out.. I hope to encourage them to go for their dreams because they will be capable of anything they put their minds to. Never settle for anything in life, especially a guy because women do not need a man to be happy or fulfilled. I want the same for my son and hope to teach him to respect women, to be thoughtful, consider how they are feeling and treat them really well no matter how casual a relationship is. I want him to never do anything that he would not want done to his own mother or sisters. I want this for my kids because they not only deserve it but I did not have them within myself self. It took me a hell of a lot of hard work and big part of my life to gain these things.

I am thankful for these experiences, lessons and realisations. I am beginning to feel more empowered.

2018, A Fresh New Year!

It’s been a while since I have written and I haven’t done as many blogs lately. Things have been pretty full on recently. I would say this has been both the worst and best year. There has been separation, endings and new beginnings. This year has had many struggles, lessons learnt, re-learned, lots of personal growth and finally finding some self worth. It has had the lowest of lows with anxiety and a the highest of highs with new found energy and sense of self. It is most definitely been a challenging year and I will always remember this year. I will always be thankful for the lessons and letting go of things that no longer serve me, that are no longer good for me. I have always held back so much, but this year was the time I was finally able to be myself, my true authentic self. That is a massive step forward for me. I still have a long way to go but I know I will get there . I’m not usually one for news years resolutions.  I like to have goals all year round but this new year I am going to have some resolutions. I have had a big fall recently and have become stuck in some bad habits. It’s most definitely time to let go of those and move forward, focus on my goals and being the best person I can be. It’s time to rise up again and get on with life. This year I had two tattoos done for the first time. one is a lotus and the other a Phoenix. They are both great symbols of re-birth, rising up and new beginnings. I’m looking forward  to 2018, a fresh new year with many possibilities. Happy New Year everyone! I wish you all happiness, peace, good health, prosperity and lots of laughter.

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