The power is within (+ how to tap into it)

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I used to feel confused, often. 

I used to feel unwell, often.

I have spent a huge amount of time feeling lost, without a sense of purpose. 

I have spent so many hours, countless hours, reading books and seeing practitioners of all kinds to try and understand whatever it was that I felt I just didn’t understand, to find answers to the apparently complicated situation I was experiencing.

Feelings of stress, fatigue, pain- and a general sense of things just feeling ‘off’ would drive me to continue to search for answers to make sense of and cure the unpleasantness.

Over and over my thoughts repeated themselves ‘’what is wrong with me?’ And ‘who can I find to fix it?’. These questions became the centre point of what happened in my life for years.

I now know that life responds to us in ways which support whichever questions we ask of it. 

So, in response to ‘what is wrong with me and who can fix it?’ life responded. I found several answers to ‘what’s wrong with me?’ and each time someone provided a diagnosis I would become hopeful that they could ‘fix it’.  

None of them fixed it, not one single one, urghhhh, so disappointing, every-single-time.

The back pain was never resolved in the long term by the chiropractor, physio, shaman, kinesiologist or massage therapist (they were all shorter term fixes). 

The existential angst of ‘what the hell am I doing on this planet...and if I am meant to be living my ‘life path’ then what is it- no one ‘fixed it’. The shaman, the psychic, the astrologer, the numerologist (I’m a life path 11), the tarot reader, the counsellor, the psychologist- none of them fixed it. 

The anxiety, it was only ever relieved in the short term, again- no one fixed it, despite me being a diligent and conscientious patient.

The fatigue, oh the unbearable and ever so persistent fatigue. I’ve seen naturopaths, kinesiologists, had chakra balances, visited various GPs and paid big dollars for tests, supplements and made some dietary changes. This stuff helped, of course it did, but it didn’t ‘fix what is wrong with me’.

You see, I’d asked impossibly tricky questions of life: ‘what is wrong with me and who can I find to fix it?’.  Life dutifully responded to those questions, I showed incredible determination to find answers also. 

From the space of believing someone would fix it, I visited many (mostly) wonderful, kind, supportive and well educated folk hoping they’d fix it. I put my faith in them and put very little of it inside of me. 

Throughout the years I have met some amazing practitioners and they’ve helped me immensely through tough times. I imagine that some of them quite likely tried to point me back towards myself and my own power. I couldn’t quite hear them or understand what they were saying, because of the questions I was seeking to have answered. A sense of ‘there’s something wrong with me and there’s someone who can fix it’ underpinned all of my efforts & perfectly aligned with my belief system (and that of our medical system). 

Our culture teaches us that the answers to our well-being are outside of us, and illness is healed by professionals, who know best. I swallowed this pill early on in life, and when it came time for me to find answers to my own symptoms, I followed the path dutifully to find the right person to help me.

It’s not that healing isn’t helped or co-created with people in the healing professsion, it often is. 

What I really want to highlight is this: my experiences were decided by the 2 questions I was asking of life. 

Those questions were a source of frustration and hopelessness for me- and they coloured all of my experiences. They reinforced that the power of healing was in someone else’s hands and the big one- that there was something wrong with me. 

Yes, I had symptoms, many of them, I had many many people who would agree that there was ‘something wrong’, but the damage was done when ‘there’s something wrong with me’ became a part of my identity. ‘Something’s wrong with me & needs to be fixed’ seeped into every area of my life and eroded my sense of what was possible, diminishing my sense of hope.

I now understand why ‘no one and no thing ever fixed me’ - because there is no possible cure for someone who believes there is something wrong with them and that someone else needs to fix it. The only thing that will create change is when we decide to be that someone for ourselves and ask a question which better serves us, which demonstrates our love and acceptance of ourselves and recognises how powerful we truly are.

Just like Glinda told Dorothy, at the end of her journey trying to get home along the Yellow Brick Road, that she had the power to get home all along. Dorothy didn’t know that. She needed to experience what she did along the Yellow Brick Road, face the challenges she did and confront the fears that she did, in order to gain that belief that she’d had the power all along.

I invite you to consider what questions you’re asking of life right now, perhaps they could be tweaked?

If you’re curious about exploring things from a fresh point of view and finding a new way of meeting your own challenges you might just love a Soul Call Card reading. 

If you’re interested in reading more about the concepts/ideas I’ve shared I highly recommend visiting Amy at amyoscar.com & Dr Ken Hamilton at hopehealing.org 

Amy & Ken have both been incredible sources of support for me, I’ve learned a lot through spending time with them and consider them both to be great teachers and guides. They’ve taught me so much about the power of the questions we ask & the power that resides within. They’ve shown me that my inner guide will lovingly steer me towards knowing my wholeness, I need only learn how to listen to and honour her. 

I’ve also done this amazing training called ‘The Lightning Process’ which empowered me to heal & understand the power I have to influence my own physiology in a practical, enjoyable & evidence based way. Thousands of people have used this training to heal chronic health issues. https://lightningprocess.co.uk/ 


 

 

 

 

Letting go of anxiety with Mindfulness & Self Compassion

Alignment. It’s my word of the day. Today I’m in awe of where life has taken me, of the experiences I’ve been blessed to have and the absolutely shitty painful experiences that have provided opportunities for me to know suffering, to live and (barely) breathe it and to learn about how on earth we humans might move through it. 

I’ve just spent the last 3 days in training with incredible ‘Mind with Heart’ trainers to become an accredited ‘Mindfulness & Self Compassion facilitator’. This week I spent about 24 hours in total with a small group of incredible women, all devoted to developing their practice of mindfulness and self compassion, of living and breathing it and extending their experiences and their skills to benefit others. 

By day 3 something incredible and visible was happening in the room, it was apparent healing was taking place. It was like there had been some kind of magic created in the space- my guess is that it was borne of the willingness of each of us to be there for ourselves and one another, to respect each other’s journeys and see the light within one another. In the spaciousness of all that, we were able to tap into what we needed, recognise and release layers of ‘thought and beliefs’ that dim our light and recognise the ‘stuff’ that stops us from loving ourselves & embracing our lives fully.

Upfront and honest, I need to say that this is by no means a post of- ‘hey, look, I’ve made it, I’m enlightened now!’ Nooooo way. 

This is a post to celebrate what’s possible and to acknowledge how aligned it feels for me to be opening up to the healing power of group and mindfulnesss....and the big one, self compassion. 

I am reminded that if I continue to show up and engage in these practices I can watch my mind settle, my heart open and feel lighter for it. There’s nowhere I need to ‘get to’ with this, I just know that the showing up and willingness brings potential gifts. 

I’m not gonna lie, the first 2 days were hard going, I was scared to feel all the stuff I felt, I was afraid that others might see my immense vulnerability, that my emotions might slip out and others might reject me, they might think I’m broken, messed up...not worthy of their time and attention. Could you imagine if all my worst fears came true, right there with a group of women I really admire and respect? I sure could. #holyshit 

By the time I realised that the blanket anxiety I could feel was actually coming from a deep fear that I was ‘unacceptable, not good enough and weird’- it was Day 3. Once I could see what was going on under the surface, I called bullshit on the fear, it just didn’t have the same hold on me once I could see that in reality it was a fickle and unfounded belief- stemming from a long held core wound (probably one that’s been nurtured for lifetimes). 

I then chose to let go of the resistance to my inner experiences and trying to ‘keep it together’. The lesson? Day 3 was the best day, the day I felt most connected to others, the day I let love in and the day I could accept myself. It was the day my anxiety subsided and I felt safe to be there.

I share this with you, because I want everyone to be able to experience this- whatever your ‘flavour’ of resistance is, your flavour of ‘I’m not enough, I’m flawed’ is, I want you to know that it’s possible to make peace with it and discover that (the right people) might just love you more for it. The right people, who are there with pure intentions to explore being in the present moment and being more self-compassionate, they’re the ones who can heal in front of you and you can heal in front of. 

Today is Day 4- no class to attend, no group to sit with, just me and my boy at home, I’m integrating and enjoying more than ever playing with my essential oils and diffusing a lovely calming and grounding blend- clary calm. Enjoying being mindfully aware of what I need and what supports me. Ahhh the power of mindfulness practice!

And, finally, I want you to know that I’m inspired to create space for this kind of work, give me a shout out if you’re in Bendigo or surrounds and would be interested in exploring Mindfulness and Self Compassion in a group with like-hearted peeps.

Let’s get un-busy

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Why does saying ‘no’ to avoid being busy seem so radical that it feels akin to committing a crime? 

I said no to a request to do more work this week, to fitting something extra into an already full-enough schedule. That was not an easy NO to say, it felt radical and pushed me beyond my comfort zone.

Within that single No there were many more smaller no’s inside of it- much like a babuskha doll of No’s. I said no to expanding myself beyond my current commitments.

I said no in the name of wanting to protect my headspace, so as I could do what I already have to do, with as much clarity & focus as possible.

I said no to being pulled in new directions & entering into new responsibilities.

It didn’t feel easy, but it felt right. Before I could respond in the negative to this request to do some extra work, I had an internal argy bargy session with myself and a conversation with a couple of good strong supportive women. These glorious women affirmed my gut-feels and helped me to flesh out some good reasons to support it.

I know not too long ago I would have said Yes- so as I could ‘help’ & be a ‘good team player’, and avoid guilty feelings. 

But, the flip side of saying Yes when you really want to say No is costly. If I’d said Yes I might have ended up resenting my choice...and the work. How many of us are living with the consequences of a Yes that should have been a No right now? We position ourselves so as we have little choice but to play the role of martyr and sacrifice our needs for someone elses. 

Next time you have a choice to make, between an easy in-the-moment Yes and a more difficult No, I invite you to think of it as an opportunity to do something radically different. Consider that a change in defaulting to YES can have seriously powerful and positive ripple effects (invisible though they may seem).

You see, the more of us who are willing to say no, to put self-made and self-defined boundaries in place and commit to being not too busy, the easier it’s gonna be for all of us, because we’ll be shifting expectations and the ‘norm’. Just like the Pantene ad so wisely advised, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

By saying No to the request to do more work I was saying yes to myself. I was saying yes to what I’m already committed to. Not many others, if anyone will be able to see the Yes that goes simultaneously with my No. Perhaps no one will know that inside my babushka doll of No’s there are also some very cute little YES dolls that make my inner world much happier- just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not powerful.

But I do know how important and valuable the Yes’s are. I know those little YES babies will allow me to do my work with greater integrity whilst feeling more fulfilled.

I also know that my inner light feels supported and fuelled by me, I’m looking after and nurturing my light by honouring my gut feeling, the gut NO that I heard instantly in response to the request at work. So here I am, committing to fuelling my inner light, radical huh. 

Ladies, let’s not wear ‘stress’ as a badge of honour, that just keeps us all in a physical and mental state of survival. In this state we actually don’t have access to our whole brain, so it isn’t gonna allow us to be our best creative selves or to show up consciously and mindfully. We all know that we need the latter, lots more of it.

PS The image and inspiration for this post came from Be More With Less, I highly recommend you check out Courtney’s brilliant blog.

#bethechange #innerme #sayingnoisokay #innerlight #change #yestome #slowingdown #letsbeconscious #teamunbusy

And again...

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Inspired by the lotus

Lotuses are beautiful divine examples of what can Grow In Mud...


Funnily enough, human growth is often greatest during periods of difficulty. 


If you are experiencing a period of massive growth right now, remember the lotus. 

 

 

 

Why worry can be so hard to overcome (+ how to do it anyway)

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The truth is that there’s probably a million answers to this question. I’ve found so many ‘reasons’ for why it’s so hard for many of us to chill out. Why do ‘chill pills’ work for some, but not us?

Some of us are born with highly sensitive nervous systems, which makes them quick to set off the ‘alarm system’ in response to possible stressors.

The relatively new science called Neuroscience offers us a lot of insight (and hope) as to why it can be so hard for some people to feel calm.

Neuroscience has discovered that just like we can strengthen our bodies through exercise, we can also create change in our brains based on the same concept.

The old adage 'use it or lose it' is true for the brain also, because our brains are efficient, they only maintain the neural pathways that we use and allow the others to 'drop off' or weaken. Our brains naturally strengthen the neural pathways we use regularly, in the same way that repetitive physical exercise strengthens the body.

This goes a long way to explain why some of us who think and feel deeply have developed a tendency for worry, and that worry literally strengthens our brains capacity to, well, worry. Once we develop a neural pathway and use it regularly, it can become an autopilot path for the brain to use.

This goes some way to explaining how anxiety disorders develop, the repetitive use of neural pathways which are related to concerns about safety and survival actually strengthen them and they become the brain’s ‘default’ setting.

This means that even when everything is going well, the brain is so accustomed to looking out for danger and predicting anything that could go wrong, it does so without being asked. This explains why anxiety doesn’t necessarily only occur in situations we’re worried about. It can happen anytime and any place, because our brains have developed the ability to use the ‘worry muscle’ even when there’s nothing much to worry about.  

The good news is that the brain is changeable, we just need to slow down the use of the neural pathways used for worry and strengthen new ones that help us to feel calm. It is this understanding that this guide has been founded upon.

Remember that our brains change according to what we do. If your brain is good at worry or doing stress, then you’re going to need to do lots of practice of new things that help it to change.

Coming soon: practical ways to do calm. To get started immediately, download the app 'Headspace' or 'Smiling Mind' and invite your mind to find a healthy focus for 5 or more minutes each day. Remember, we are what we repeatedly do.