Category Archives: Mindfulness

Desire is of the Divine

For the longest time, the negative voice in my head, that I had always thought was me, ruthlessly scolded and shamed me for my dissatisfaction, for desiring more. And for the longest time, thinking that the voice was me, I believed every word. And so, for the longest time, I felt so much guilt. I thought it meant I was ungrateful for my blessings, and undeserving of more. I felt so guilty and ashamed, that the very idea of ever actually attempting to achieve that “more” would be immoral. And of course, when I worked up the audacity to try anyway, subconscious self-sabotage reigned.

But now that I know that the negative voice isn’t me, now that I’m recognising that I can hear it and disagree with it, I’m realising something else. I perceive bodily sensations that come along with these thoughts, and I realise, in hindsight, that they’ve been present all along.

My body bristles, seething in rebellion against the restriction of denying my desires. I previously mistook the discomfort of these feelings to be confirmation that my yearnings for better and more were wrong and should thus be quashed. But I know now, on reflection, that this visceral sensation is my body communicating to me that my thoughts about my desires are out of alignment with the divine source within me.

Desires are meant to feel good. Their purpose is to drive us to achieve or obtain something. They’re the motivation behind virtually everything we do. Even when we’re pursuing seemingly selfless aims, we do so because we know that doing the “right” thing will make us feel good (or at least prevent feeling bad), and we desire to feel good and avoid feeling bad. Desires are part of our design; they are of the divine.

Nothing is inherently good or bad, right or wrong. It is our critical mind, with all its conditioning, that makes judgements of right from wrong, good from bad. It is only when this judgemental mind gets involved that we work ourselves into a mess over our desires. We load them with meaning, heaviness, and struggle.

By all means, use the gift of your critical thinking to assess and confirm whether a desire is truly in alignment with your highest good. But once you’ve confirmed that it is, leave it at that. Continued analysis is likely to be that critical voice, hijacking your desires.

Dream your dreams. Revel in your wishes. Fill your imagination with the glories of all that your heart and soul desires. Allow yourself to feel the light-hearted, deep joy that their manifestation will bring. It’s all a part of your divine purpose.


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

LIFE INTENDED

Thoughts: What am I doing? What do I want to do? What is my purpose? Motherhood isn’t my be all and end all, I know there is more. I try stuff, but it doesn’t quite feel right. I get excited about stuff, but I eventually lose my enthusiasm. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been floundering with this for ever.  I think I’m destined to live, stuck in this limbo of “not knowing”, for the rest of my life. I’m a failure. Always have been. Always will be.

Feelings: Frustration. Annoyance. Despair. Shame. Resignation.

Thoughts: Hold on. Practice presence. Observe the thoughts. They’re not the truth. They’re not me, because I’m the one observing them.


Frustrations climaxed as I struggled with my ego one again.  When I finally began to quiet my mind and go within last week, this 2 word phrase  – LIFE INTENDED – came to me. Since then, it has continued to flutter into my awareness, seemingly wanting to make itself known.  Something about it feels so right, but it’s taken some reflection to tease out exactly what this phrase is about for me.

My life experiences, especially since becoming a mother, and even more significantly over the past 12 months, have ignited a rage within me. A rage about the fact that we, as a species, have fallen so out of sync with what LIFE INTENDED, and that this is hurting us deeply, even destroying us. I want to share with you (a non-exhaustive list of) what is enraging me.


In our modern society, we (mostly mothers) raise our children largely in isolation, brewing stress, emotional disharmony, mental illness (particularly post-natal depression), and overall ill health. So many of us believe that if we’re not attending to everyone’s needs, maintaining our home, contributing to the household income, keeping up a social life, looking hot, and following our dreams, we aren’t doing it right. We even believe that if we’re not super busy and stressed and exhausted, we must be lazy.

We live in climate controlled, airtight (even energy efficiency has its down side) homes and workplaces, cut off from the nature of which we are a part.

We eat chemically-laden, highly processed foods that our ancestors wouldn’t even recognise, that mess with the intricate and perfect physiological design of our masterpiece bodies, causing imbalance and ill health. Even if we eat what most would consider a “healthy” diet filled with real food (fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, meats, seafood etc.), if it’s conventionally farmed, it’s still hurting us thanks to all the chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics and more that are considered essential for modern farming practices.

We sit and stare at screens, often for hours at a time, straining our eyesight, destroying our posture, and addicting ourselves to passive digital entertainment, social media, and the dopamine rush of “follows” and “likes”.

We expose ourselves to artificial light, messing with our circadian rhythms, our hormones, our ability to get the quality sleep that our bodies need.

We expose ourselves to thousands of chemicals via air pollution, transportation, off-gassing from furniture and household fixtures and fittings, cleaning products, personal care products, air fresheners, medications and more, again messing with our physiology.

We visit doctors, expecting pills to cure our ills, creating side effects and failing to address what caused the issue in the first place.

We consume media, believing the hype, forgetting to question the source, the purpose, the money trail.

We have ravaged our environment: polluting seas and lands, decimating forests, triggering mass extinctions, slaughtering fertile lands, depleting natural resources and instigating catastrophic climate change.

We put our heads in the sand, because it’s all too hard – someone else will deal with it. Or we seek all of the answers outside of ourselves, having long forgotten the access we have to eternal wisdom within us. We’ve lost our way.

This was never what LIFE INTENDED.

Sometimes, I yearn to escape this madness, to get off the grid and back to nature to reconnect with that which LIFE INTENDED. To live how LIFE INTENDED us to live. Don’t scoff – I’m as attached to my modern conveniences as the next person, but a part of me knows that this way of life comes as a tremendous, devastating price.  And so I fantasise.

The rage has bubbled up within me again this year as I’ve suffered the consequences of living out of sync with what LIFE INTENDED. Multiple hormonal imbalances. Depression. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Brain fog. Memory and word recall problems. Addictive behaviours. A crippling lack of self-esteem. Disconnection. And more – all of the cascading set of symptoms that essentially stem from the same source: not living as LIFE INTENDED.

These consequences – this was never what LIFE INTENDED.

So, what was it that LIFE INTENDED for us?

To live in harmony with nature, because that is what we are.

To be in community (in person, not just online). To raise our families with abundant support. To rest when we’re tired. To spend most of our time outdoors. To eat from nature’s bounty. To move our bodies every day. To rise with the sun and sleep when it sets. To utilise nature’s gifts. To value and care for our environment. To be attuned to our own intuition, our connection with Source.

I know that I’m not off my rocker in recognising this. I do appreciate many of the modern marvels and gifts of our ingenuity, the advances that we’ve made in medicine, technology, science and more. I’m not suggesting that we throw this all away to live as the animals do. But I believe, with all of my heart, that we desperately need to find balance, back toward what LIFE INTENDED.

Changing our ways, globally, is a dauntingly massive task, but the ache in my heart knows that it’s vital. The rage within is a gift, communicating the urgency and importance of such an undertaking.

I don’t want to focus on the problem. It was necessary that it to be brought to my attention, so that I could crystallise what it is that I’m aiming to achieve. And now, I know.

It’s time to focus on living as LIFE INTENDED.  It’s what I’ve been trying to work my way towards, without having specifically identified it as such.  But all the research, reading, podcast listening, documentary watching, meditating, diet changes, lifestyle changes, habit changes, purchasing changes … everything has been geared towards this: supporting myself and my family to live closer to the way LIFE INTENDED.  The purpose I’ve been searching for has been weaving it’s way into my life for years now.  It’s not something else “out there”.  It’s here, what I’m already doing, for me and my family.

If you’re so inclined, I’d love to support you to do the same.



Main image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

Weaving webs of consciousness

My heart aches.  A dull and persistent ache.  I feel it distinctly, physically, and yet I know, with a quiet confidence, that it is not from some physical pathology.  It’s an energetic, emotional ache.  I’m well practised, as I believe so many of us are, at ignoring it.  At getting on with things, relegating it down to the bottom of the list of priorities, because life is “busy”.  From time to time I notice it and acknowledge it.  When I get still and quiet, there is space for it to be felt and acknowledged.  I question where it comes from.  At times it builds to a seemingly “out-of-the-blue” and unexplainable fit of anxiety.  I do my best to squash it, to make it go away.  But it doesn’t.  It stays.  Waiting for me to listen to its message.


The morning was cold and foggy.  After the rigmarole of school drop off, I rugged up and headed out for my morning walk, looking forward to moving my body in the crisp cool air.  Not long after reaching the wetlands, a 2 minute walk from my front door, I was greeted with spider webs.  Hundreds and hundreds of dew-drop covered spider webs covering almost every tree, bush and plant along my trail.  Web covered branches reminded me of fairy floss sticks, wrapped in the gauzy layers of spiders silk.  Single strands stretched loosely from bush to bush.  Spectacular orb webs were to be found here and there, and every corner of every railing was decorated in patterns of strung pearls.  The spiders had spent a very productive night.

 

Whilst I marvelled at the beauty of their creations, it struck me that the Spider, one of my Soul Essences, hadn’t occupied my thoughts in quite some time.  Always seeking to understand the communications of the Universe, I wondered “Is she speaking to me now through this marvellous display?”  Surely she must be; it seemed so blatantly obvious that she was pulling out all the stops to garner my attention with such an extravagant exhibition laid out before me on my path where it would be virtually impossible to ignore.  Whilst I’m always seeking to understand the messages of the Universe, there are plenty of times when I succumb to downplaying or dismissing them out of laziness or doubt.  It can be easier to ignore them, feign ignorance, or justify their meaninglessness, allowing me to sit in my familiar comfort zone and go on pretending that I don’t know what I need to do rather than having to get uncomfortable taking new and unfamiliar action.  Not today – she was in my face, staring me down, almost daring me to ignore the voice of my soul.

The messages and symbology of my Spider are many and varied, and I have a tendency to psychoanalyse them til the cows come home, which is really not the way that soul communication works.  But putting aside the intricacies of who she is in my life, today her message was loud and clear: Slow down.  Take note.  Go within.  Listen.  The answers are within.  Your effect on the world is determined by your consciousness.

I’ve been hearing these whispers the past few months, but they’ve been quiet enough that I’ve managed to override them with reasoning that seems so sensible that it’s been easy to follow: You’ve got work to do, you don’t have time to slow down.  You can get to that later.  You’re building a new business.  And you love it, you’re committed to it, it’s in alignment with your desires and values and visions, you have a purpose now, so you’ve got to get on with it!  Action action action!  Just do all the things first, then you can get back to the business of soul alignment.

Ha.  You’d think I would have learnt that lesson by now.  It turns out old habits die hard, especially when they’re upheld by societal trends and norms.  And what has the outcome been for me?  Anxiety.  Unnecessary stress.  Lack of flow.  Anguish.  Despair.  The pain in my heart.

As I began more deeply exploring the spiritual path a few years ago, I thought that the answers to my yearning for a purpose-driven life would be neatly spelt out for me with step by step instructions handed to me by my soul.  In hindsight, it’s no surprise that I struggled with that soul journey, and have as yet been unable to complete it, given how ego driven it was.  Because here’s the thing: the soul’s journey operates in a completely different paradigm to the ego’s desires.

Purpose is not necessarily a fixed task.  A God-given mission does not necessarily align with modern ideals of a stellar career and financial “success”, however you define that.  And whilst it is perfectly possibly to create these successes in alignment with your divine purpose, I’m coming to realise that much of my soul searching and yearning has in fact been an ego driven desire for significance, recognition, specialness and worthiness.  I’m quite certain I’m not alone in that.

My Spider was reminding me that consciousness is the only way forward.  The quality of my consciousness impacts my experience of life, impacts those I interact with, impacts the world, indeed the Universe.  My heart chakra pain had a message for me, and I needed to face it square on, acknowledge it, feel it, accept its presence, and bring the full light of my consciousness to it, for it to be transmuted.  Continuing to avoid the pain would have prolonged it and made it worse as it grews in an effort to make itself heard.  My body, my soul, the Universe, were all telling me that I was off course, because the truth of my desire is that I want to weave webs of consciousness that will positively impact the Universe.


So many of us are disconnected.  From our bodies, our environments, each other, our souls, the Universe.  Our culture does not support a way of being in which we can tune in and connect and be guided towards healing and deep satisfaction.  We are so heavily scheduled, rushed, pressured, and distracted that we become disconnected and disengaged.  It strikes me that so many of us are so disconnected that we don’t even notice our pain.  It blends into the background.  We don’t realise how sick we are or how unwell we feel, until it grows to a point where it’s impossible to ignore: disease, severe pain, catastrophic life events.  We don’t realise that our bodies, our souls, the Universe, are constantly in communication with us, offering warning signals that we’re heading down an unfavourable path and that we’d be wise to course correct.  We’ve forgotten how to receive and interpret that communication.  We’re too distracted and focused on externalities to hear the quiet whispers.  We have bought into the modern mantra of busy-ness, constantly doing and striving.  We don’t even realise that we could feel so much better than we do, we aren’t even aware that we’ve accepted that feeling pretty crap is just how life is.  So many of us are deaf and blind to what is possible, how good it can be.  We don’t take action to improve things or even acknowledge what isn’t working, until we reach breaking point and crisis hits.

We’ve forgotten that:

  • We are inherently lovable, loved, and worthy, without needing to earn it.
  • We are of God/the Universe, therefore all the answers we seek are within.
  • Working and striving and seeking won’t bring answers. Getting still, quiet, and going within will.

This doesn’t mean that we should all sit around navel gazing and twiddling our thumbs.  What it does mean is that when our minds and our lives are overflowing with chaos and confusion and endless distraction, it’s an act of courage and commitment (and ultimately, productivity) to consciously slow down and turn inward.  If we are to live lives of meaning and contribution and fulfilment and divine purpose, the action that achieves that must be fuelled by connection to our divinity, which is found by going within.  It cannot come from a sense of duty or obligation or pressure derived from external sources.  Soul alignment doesn’t happen through blindly following societal norms, or even forcing yourself to conform to someone else’s idea of conscious living.

So give yourself a break.  Stop pushing so hard.  Take a stand for your life and your legacy and opt out of the disconnection.  Become aware of the unending impulse to be numbed out with mindless entertainment via ever-available devices and their social media rabbit holes designed to lure and capture us with distraction and quasi-connection.  Remove the overwork, over-scheduling, overwhelm and busy-ness from the pedestal that society seems to have placed it on – it has no place there whatsoever, and it’s killing us.  I dare you to slow down, get quiet, and listen.  Listen to your body, feel its sensations.  Notice your thoughts.  Cultivate an ability to cut through the thoughts so that you may hear the voice of your soul.  And discover a life worth living.

Mindfulness: A practice, not a desination

I’ve spend much of the past three months forgetting to apply much of what I’ve learnt over the past three and a half years. I’ve been focused on the future, attached to a specific idea of success, falling into old habitual thought patterns, and failing to practice presence.

The effects of this have not been pretty. Yearning, worrying, failing, and then judging myself for said failures, criticising myself, and then feeling self loathing, shame, despair, anguish, and excruciating frustration. All of which continues in a negative loop.

Self analysis comes easily to me and I am self aware. I’ve been able to see what I’m doing and how it’s affecting my world, but the excruciating part has been feeling powerless to change it. Especially when I know that I have the tools.

None of this is actually all that surprising. You see, this new journey I’m on with building a dōTERRA business is stretching me like nothing before. It’s taking me out of my comfort zone, and forcing me to address blockages and pain points that I’ve avoided and hidden from for years. And as a result, my ego is going bananas, fighting tooth and nail to survive.

You see, the ego is an ancient evolutionary survival mechanism. Its purpose is to keep us alive and safe. It evolved to ensure that we would focus on danger, threats and negativity (such as the tiger that might be hunting us or the condemnation of our tribe that might see us thrown out and left unprotected) and then do whatever it takes to prevent them from eventuating. And it’s bloody good at its job – because back in the day, it was quite literally a matter of life and death.

So my ego is keenly aware that if I am to achieve the vision I’ve created for my business, I’m going to have to do things that feel very threatening:

  • Share and speak my truth in ways that will resonate with some, but that will be negatively judged by others: there will be people who won’t like me and my message.
  • Drop negative subconscious programming around “success” and generating income, which will take me into unchartered waters i.e. unfamiliarity and discomfort.
  • Drop my habitual thought patterns of “I’m a failure”, “I’m incapable”, “I’m ashamed of myself”, “I’m not good enough”, and “I’ll never succeed”, which are all very effective at keeping me small and safe and dependent.

So whilst I’ve been wallowing in despair, anguish, self hate and frustration, my ego has been high fiving itself for a job well done. Cause there ain’t no one gonna build a successful business off the back of that!

I writhed with the pain and frustration of knowing that I have the tools to move through this yet felt so completely stuck. I could observe my thoughts and see what my ego was doing and why. Yet I couldn’t separate myself from it. I watched helplessly as my ego took the driver’s seat, and pummelled me down even further as I hated on myself for being so stuck.

Then one day last week I had an instant of clarity. I was in the kitchen, despairing about my latest results, when I suddenly realised I was buying into a story of failure and what that meant. I realised that I actually had a choice as to whether I allowed these results to send me into wallowing self-pity and despair. I could actually conjure any alternative story of my liking – for example, I could accept the results, and recognise them as a step towards learning and progress and ultimate success. Or I could drop any idea of story altogether – the results are the results, and without my mind-created thoughts and judgements, they have no meaning. Whatever the case, I could instantly let go of the story that this was a situation worthy of despair and self criticism. And importantly, I noticed that buying in to the negative story is what comes automatically. And despite the pain, there is an aspect of the negativity that is comfortable and so easy to choose, because it’s familiar and safe. Choosing differently requires bravery and diligent effort.

It hasn’t been a fast and complete turnaround since that revelation, but it’s reminded me to come back, once again, to my mindfulness and presence practice. Without ongoing and intentional diligence and persistence, I will continue to be overcome by my ego, finding it in the driver’s seat of my life again and again. She’s got staying power.

So it’s back to The Power of Now. Back to my mindfulness resources. Back to my practice. Back to the continual, moment by moment remembrance that I have a choice – to identify with my ego, or identify with my higher self. I’ve remembered that results are subjective. Whilst they hold importance when we consider things like being able to pay the bills, put food on the table and a roof over out head, focusing on them is not conducive to success. When we focus on the now, and act from a place of love, service and faith, our needs are met.


Main image photo by me.

Self-care soul warnings

I woke up one morning 2 weeks ago, having had another of my recurring dreams.

The recurring dreams I have aren’t exactly the same, but they have a recurring theme.  Each time I have one of these dreams, I am observing lions, tigers, or big cats of some sort, in an enclosure, sometimes at a zoo and other times in some other random setting.  The thing that is unusual about this is that in every dream, I eventually discover that the enclosure is not secure – either a gate has been left unlocked, or the fence is broken, or sometimes it’s even just a matter of me suddenly realising that this ain’t no regular big cat enclosure – wire farm fencing or flywire is hardly going to protect me if they decide they want to come and play.

I’ve pondered on the meaning of these recurring dreams over the years.  Of course there are many different interpretation guidelines and methods I could follow, but I prefer to take the intuitive route.  I’ve always felt into my dreams, to contemplate what emotions they evoke, and how they make me feel, and what the themes and specifics symbolise for me personally.

My hunch has always been that these dreams are a warning signal for me.  A soul warning that whilst on the surface things may seem to be hunky-dory, I’m actually in dangerous territory.  It feels as though I’m not paying adequate attention to a situation that seems to be under control right now, but that won’t take much to turn into full blown and life-threatening catastrophe.

I’ve wondered what specifically these dreams are pointing to.  What is it that I’m not being careful enough with?  The past 3 years in particular have seen me dedicate to working on improving my life by practicing self-care from a spiritual and energetic perspective, and I feel incredibly grateful that I’ve found and followed this path.  If I hadn’t made the changes I’ve made, I believe I’d be in a state of worsening depression and overall mental health, and declining physical health.  So I felt that even though I couldn’t pinpoint the specifics of where I was in danger, I felt as though I was taking proactive action from a broad perspective.

So, when this dream cropped up again the other week, it caught me off guard.  Haven’t I come so far?  Aren’t I doing all the right things?

Pondering this again has prompted me to get a lot more real with myself this past week.  I’m doing a lot of stuff “right”.  I generally eat very well, I exercise, I meditate, I do yoga, I manage my energy, and more recently I’ve begun incorporating my new love – essential oils – into my life for their therapeutic benefits.  But the truth is, in so many ways, I’m ignoring a number of aspects of my self-care that are having a negative impact on my health.  I’ve made no secret over the years of the fact that I struggle with disciplining myself to get adequate sleep.  There are days when I eat an entire block of chocolate within the space of 15 minutes, kidding myself that because its 95% cocoa it’s “healthy” and therefore ok.  And since beginning my business, I’ve really succumbed to the compulsion to be “on” all the time – checking and responding to emails and messages into the night and first thing when I rise.  Then there’s also the “I don’t have time” excuse creeping in here and there: my daily morning walks have become “sometimes”, and there have been a few too many instances where I’ve let my meditation practice slide.

The truth is, whilst deep down I know these actions aren’t helpful, I do them mindlessly.  I slip into habits that are supported by cultural and societal norms.  I allow my conscientiousness and work ethic to dictate over and above my inner knowing.  I zone out and let my actions happen, rather than acting with intention.  I let my ego take the driver’s seat, bowing to her justifications for emotional eating and behaviours that set my nervous system on edge.

And when my inner truth, the voice of my soul, gently whispers to me that I know full well that these behaviours aren’t helpful or sustainable or aligned, I pretend that I can’t hear her, or that I don’t know how to do things differently, feigning helplessness.

This recent dream has prompted me to sit a little more still with these gentle whisperings.  When I do so, it’s quite laughable how hypocritical I have been, always singing the praises of self-care, energy work and alignment, and yet completely disregarding the truth of my actions.

I started this business for so many wonderful reasons, many of which centre around how it gives me the freedom and autonomy to work the way I want to work – in a way that is sustainable and flexible for me and my family.  I work this business educating others about the importance of improving our health and wellbeing using simple and natural self-care solutions, and yet here I am sabotaging all the efforts I do make.  The leaders within my team promote self-care and sustainable work habits as essential to our success.  And yet, my ego does its best to convince me that I can get away with these dirty little secrets by making up for them with the good stuff that I do actually do.

But that’s not how it works.

As I sit with these truths, I can acknowledge that when I’m not getting the sleep I need, my mind isn’t as sharp, it takes me longer to complete just about everything, and I don’t look my best.  Added to that the longer term health implications of inadequate sleep in general, coupled with the hormonal imbalances and disease I am challenged with.  When I wire my nervous system with screen time into the evening and night, my sleep is affected.  When I drown my sorrows in a block of (oh-so-delicious) chocolate, the pleasure only lasts as long as the mouthful takes to swallow, and I’m left with the sugar crash that inevitably follows.  When I skip a few too many morning walks, my body gradually becomes stiffer and I feel less and less grounded.  The cumulative effects of all of these actions include sluggish digestion, mental fogginess, skin breakouts, susceptibility to illness, long term health decline, inability to practice mindfulness, mood swings, difficulty articulating myself clearly …  this list is nowhere near exhaustive.

We all know, deep down, what we should and shouldn’t be doing.

So if we know this, why do we sabotage ourselves?  I think there are a few key reasons.

Firstly, we are seduced by the notion that ignorance is bliss, that if we just squish that little niggling, knowing voice down far enough, we can hide out in the luxury of shunning responsibility for our lives.  This happens so easily and comfortably that we’re virtually unconscious of it.

The ignorant path may seem the easier option in the moment, but when we live our lives day in and day out with the consequences of our actions, the “easy” option doesn’t seem so easy to live with.  We’re forced to live with the pain of our karma.

The truth is, we essentially know what we need to change about our behaviour.  Acknowledgement is the first step.  Then it’s a matter of taking responsibility to create the kind of life that we want to live, a life that makes us feel good.  So, why don’t we do this?

This brings me to the second key reason we sabotage ourselves.  As I’ve sat with this topic since having my most recent dream, the answer has become clearer with each passing day.  I believe it comes down to our egoic yearning for approval.  Let me explain.

So often, when chatting with friends and fellow mums in particular, I find that we’re all having an almost universal experience in our daily lives: the feelings of being perpetually busy, over-extended, drained, overwhelmed, stressed, unable to get ahead, and constantly tired or even exhausted.  And what is also almost universally similar is that so many of us feel powerless to change by implementing self-care habits that will turn this situation around.  We know we should exercise more, we know meditation could help, we know we need more down time, we know we need to review our diet, we know we should get more sleep … BUT, these things require effort and energy and time.  So, we repeat the mantra of our societal era: I DON’T HAVE TIME.

The very idea of practicing self-care feels like adding more to our already overloaded list.  So what do we do?  Nothing.  We lament the so-called fact that we just don’t have the time or space to implement these changes.

We don’t prioritise ourselves.

The truth is, we could swap out these changes for other stuff that we are doing, but we don’t make them a priority, so they fall to the bottom of the list where to-do’s that are never-gonna-happen live.

I believe there is an insidious little cultural norm that drives this pattern.  We do what appears “right” from an external perspective.  We are terrified that if we actually prioritised our health and wellbeing before anything else, that we would be judged and condemned as selfish, uncaring parents, heartless citizens, and just plain bad human beings.  We think that everyone believes that self-care is a luxury for the self-centred.

We know deep down that if we took prime care of ourselves, we would have more health, energy, and vigour to gift to our families and the world.  We would get more done in less time.  We would succumb to illness less often.  We would have the energy and motivation to give our everything to the causes that most touch our hearts.  But our ego slyly pipes up with that devastating question that shuts down our sensibility: What will everyone think of me?

What will my children think?
What will my spouse think?
What will my family think?
What will the school mums think?
What will the neighbours think?
What will my employer think?
What will my work colleagues think?
What will the world think?

And as quickly as that, we place everyone else’s opinion of us before our own knowing.

The point I’m trying to make here is not to make you feel bad about yourself.  Rather, I’m observing that we all slip into habits of thinking and behaviour that society deems normal or required in modern life, and we allow these habits to derail us.  The team I am a part of in my business fully promotes and supports sustainable self-care, lifestyle and work habits to support our wellbeing, and yet it has been SO EASY for me to disregard these and slip into habits that leave me depleted, all the while telling myself that I’m practicing adequate self-care.

Looking after ourselves isn’t rocket science.  But I’m discovering that it takes courage.

Are you triggered by this idea?  Do you feel helpless and trapped in your current circumstances?

I challenge you to sit with this notion that your wellbeing is completely within your control, and that you know what to do, right now, and that you actually can do it.  I’m not downplaying the challenges that so many of us face in our everyday lives, but I truly believe that you can create true wellbeing for yourself.  I truly believe that if you are privileged enough to be reading this right now, you have the power within you to shape your experience of life.

It’s time to take stock of our lives, and notice the areas where we are vulnerable: where are we ignorant of the fact that the lion enclosure isn’t protecting us?  I for one am spending this time in the lead up to Christmas and the new year getting real with myself about where I’m shirking my self-care responsibility and succumbing to the herd mentality that it’s all too hard to create a life of health, wellbeing, and success that incorporates caring for myself as well as others.  I’m building the courage, step by step, moment by moment, to take a stand for prioritising my self-care.  I invite you to join me in creating a 2018 where we dare to buck the trend, and place our self-care at the top of our lists.  Let’s not leave it to fate to determine whether we find ourselves suddenly face to face with a metaphorical lion, all because of our fear of judgement.  Let’s be brave together.

 


You may also find this post relevant to this topic.

Also see the previous post for ideas on how to get started with cultivating calm.


Relevant resources that I stumbled upon in the lead up to writing this post:

The Kate & Mike Show podcast: Karen Brody, Daring to Rest: https://katenorthrup.com/podcast/episode-64-karen-brody-daring-rest/

The Quote of the Day Show podcast: Work Doesn’t Work Without Play, with Shonda Rhimes: http://seancroxton.com/quote-of-the-day/289/


Main image credit: Lions by Christopher Michel via Flickr.  Used under licence.


Hmmm … seems I have a bit of a thing for lion images 😉

Consciously Cultivating Calm this Christmas

I’ve been so challenged recently with keeping grounded, maintaining my self-care practices, and maintaining calm and order amongst so much “busy-ness”.  As Christmas draws nearer, there are moments when anxiety and fear of not being able to “get it all done” sets in.  In truth, there are times when it’s tempting to admit defeat and resign myself to a sea of overwhelm.  Sometimes it feels like it would be so much easier to throw my hands in the air, give up and wallow in self-pity and victimhood.

But I’ve come far enough on my path to know that what seems the easier option in these moments, actually ends up feeling so much worse.

I’m keeping my head above water, and I know what to do to help myself to rise above these challenges.  I come back to my spiritual practices.

Meditation is the basis of my spiritual practice that keeps me sane during good times and bad.  As I shared recently on my Facebook page, it’s often during the more challenging times that we find it increasingly difficult to commit to or keep up with a meditation practice, when in truth, these are the times when we need them the most.  It’s so easy to believe the excuse of “I don’t have time”, especially during the festive season, and yet prioritising the time to commit to this action actually has this seemingly magical effect of opening up more time – it never ceases to truly amaze me.  Then on the other hand, when things are going smoothly, it can be easy to fall into the trap of letting our practice slide here and there because we’re feeling good, and it doesn’t seem to urgent or necessary.  However, it’s important to maintain our practice so that when challenging times do arrive (as they inevitably do if you’re human!), then you have the resilience to face whatever comes your way with more ease and grace.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  I don’t pretend to be the perfect example.  And I most certainly do not wish to make you feel that you’re inadequate or a failure if you don’t add my suggestions to your list of “Things That I Really Should Be Doing”.  Been there, done that.  And I’m pretty sure that your To Do list is more than long enough as it is.  I share based on my experience, with the intention of inspiring you, because I want you to feel better.  I invite you to take some serious consideration of the possibility that prioritising meditation can literally turn your life around and create the space and calm you crave.

So today I’m sharing some resources that can help make meditation a regular part of your life.

Chakra Cleanse Meditation

If you’ve been reading my words for a while, you’ll know that I love and recommend Belinda Davidson’s Chakra Cleanse Meditation, which is my daily practice.  It is incredible, and it has changed my life.  Having a guided meditation recording makes things so much easier in my opinion.  I personally have found it easier to focus when concentrating on the guidance of Belinda’s words and instructions than simply focusing on my breath, which finds my mind wandering almost instantly.  And, of course, this particular meditation is specific to cleansing and strengthening your chakras, so whilst you’re getting all the regular benefits of meditation, you’re also intentionally creating a strengthened energetic/vibrational state from a chakric perspective.  This version is 35 minutes.  Read more about chakras and Belinda’s work here, and about my experience with Belinda’s School of the Modern Mystic and my chakric journey here, here and here.

Meditones

If, the concept of meditation is new to you, or you’ve tried it and it all seems too hard, then another incredible tool that I love and recommend is the amazing work of Tahlee Rouillon of Sonesence.  Tahlee incorporates binaural beats into her divine meditation tracks that she’s dubbed “Meditones”, which in layman’s terms basically means this: listen to her Meditones tracks through headphones, and you effortlessly get many of the benefits of meditation.  Tahlee’s music is truly heavenly, and I adore listening to it in the evening before bed as a beautiful way to wind down.  If you’ve attended any of my essential oils classes, it’s Tahlee’s music that I play on loop as gorgeous background tunes to help set a high-vibe tone.  I love recommending Tahlee’s work, because it essentially means that there is NO EXCUSE!  Anyone can sit back, relax, and listen to music through headphones.  You can find out more about Sonesence meditones here and visit Tahlee’s online shop here.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is another pillar of my spiritual practice, which for me is more about the way in which I go about my day, rather than a specific period of time when I sit down with my eyes closed.  Mindfulness is actually quite a broad topic, but to begin with, it can be described as being aware of the thoughts that you are thinking.  People often get caught up in thinking that they’re no good at meditating because they can’t focus, they drift off, and spend their time in meditation thinking about what to cook for dinner or the million things on their To Do list.  The truth is, meditation is not about emptying your mind of these thoughts, but rather being aware that you’re having them, and then re-focusing your attention onto the object of your meditation, whether that be your breath, a mantra, one of your chakras, or something else.  Simply becoming aware that you’re having these thoughts is progress in mindfulness!  So please, don’t give up.

My mindfulness practice sees me aiming to be aware, as often as I can throughout the day, of the thoughts that I’m having.  I found this very challenging initially, and it’s taken a lot of practice.  When I’m doing something as common as washing the dishes or having a shower, I notice with more regularity what I’m thinking about.  When I notice this, I automatically disconnect from the thought, and then I do my best to focus instead on the experience I’m having: the feel of my hands in the gloves, the scent of the shampoo.  The effect of this practice, over time, has been phenomenal in keeping me calmer, and dealing with my children with less reactivity.

A great book to start with as you embark on your mindfulness journey is The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris.  It’s a simple, easy read and very practical.  The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is an incredible and much loved “bible” of many a spiritual seeker, but it is definitely a more challenging read, and perhaps not ideal if you’re in a state of overwhelm or new to the spiritual path.  Please don’t dismiss it, but perhaps keep it on the shelf and know that the time will come when you’re ready for Tolle’s enlightened wisdom.

Essential Oils

How can I not mention the new loves of my life as such a beautiful way to support you with a meditation practice?!  I love diffusing my dōTERRA essential oils every time I meditate to help me focus, to help me feel grounded, and to connect more easily to the spiritual realms.  In addition to the physical therapeutic properties of essential oils, there are also the more subtle emotional effects that their chemical composition has on our brain.  When you inhale the aroma of an essential oil, the scent is processed in the olfactory system of the brain, which connects to the limbic system where emotions and memories live.  As you breathe in the scent of the essential oil, the limbic system creates a response in your brain based on memories associated with that particular aroma.  Many times, the responses triggered by the limbic system can be emotional responses that are calming or uplifting, depending on the unique chemical structure of the oil as well as the your unique memories associated with the aroma, so each person can have a slightly different response to a particular oil.  However, essential oils have specific chemical elements that can create a desired benefit.  The following images from dōTERRA illustrates the properties elicited by an essential oil based on its chemical constituents.

I particularly like to use my oil blends with grounding and soothing properties during meditation, such as InTune or Balance, but it also varies depending on my emotional state and what I’m wanting to achieve.  Frankincense is a favourite, but if I’m tired I’ll add an energising oil such as Peppermint.  I’m also finding that aromatic use of essential oils are contributing to my mindfulness and presence practice, as they help me to be less in my head and more in my body – they give me something experiential to focus on.  I become aware of the aroma of the oils in the diffuser, or the scent of the oils I’m wearing topically.  In addition to these beneficial effects, they’re just such a yummy addition to my day and give me a little boost of motivation to sit in meditation and enjoy them.

Find out how to purchase dōTERRA essential oils here.

Delete or Delegate

So my last suggestion is not so much a resource, but a tip for you.  If life is so full and so busy and so overwhelming that not one of the suggestions and resources above seems possible for you to incorporate into your life, please don’t feel bad.  Try this: commit to removing at least 1 item from your To Do list.  In our overstimulated and overworked society, we have the habit of over committing and often overcomplicating things.  It doesn’t need to be this way.  Take a look at your list, and find something – anything – and delete it.  There is something that you can say no to.  There is something that you can delegate to someone else.  You don’t need to do it all.  Just lightening your load that little bit can make a difference to how you feel.  And if you make it a practice to delete 1 item from your list monthly, weekly, or even daily, it will soon add up and free up some space for you.  This practice will help you to consider what you put on your list in the first place more thoughtfully.  It’s about prioritising, about asking for or accepting help, and about knowing and believing that your worth is not determined by what you accomplish.  You are enough, you are worthy, just because you exist.


Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive an affiliate commission.


Main image credit: Road meditation by Nickolai Kashirin via Flikr.  Used under license.

Perfectly imperfect – the bumpy ride is better than no ride

Oh it’s been a bumpy ride so far, this new business venture and adventure!

I’ve been so challenged with finding balance, because I’m so lit up by this “work”, and I just want to do all-the-things and share with everyone!

I’ve been so challenged with staying true to my why, to my intentions, with staying aligned.

I’ve found myself so easily falling into the dark holes of FOMO (fear of missing out), rushing to “get there”, comparison, and trying to emulate my mentors instead of sticking to my own path.

I’m loving what I’m doing, and I’m on fire with the message of the oils, the empowerment of the business opportunity, and the philanthropic heart of the company I’m partnering with. This is not the issue.

The issue is falling into old habits and thought patterns, allowing my ego to creep back into the driver’s seat intermittently.  I find myself with a scarcity mindset, feeling fearful, being in a lack mentality.  I find myself worrying, I find myself operating from a place of fear of failure, which has me slip into desperation mode.  This all drives me into old behavioural patterns of poor boundaries, working late, and getting inadequate rest.  This leaves me feeling tired (or exhausted), overwhelmed, ungrounded, forgetful, and foggy, and all this leads me become at risk of triggering or worsening my health challenges, and making poor choices.  This becomes a perpetual downward spiral, and sees me focusing on unaligned goals out of a desire for validation, approval, and praise.  And then, I recognise all this and I feel bad that I’m doing this to myself, and that it has a negative impact on those around me.

Gosh, that’s draining just to write!!

So why am I sharing this story of woe with you?

Because, as always, I know that if I’m experiencing it, someone else is too.  Because in my lessons, you may find lessons relevant to your own path.

None of us is perfect.  We each have our “bad” habits, tendencies, and negative programming that keeps us stuck.

We each have the voice of our ego telling us that we’re inadequate and doomed to fail, that we may as well give up.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t do good in the world.  It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a go, that you shouldn’t give it your best.  It certainly doesn’t mean that you will fail.

What it does mean is that you’re human.  Every single human, including all those out there who appear to be “successful” (however you define that for yourself), have an ego that tells them just these kinds of thoughts every day.  The key is, not everyone listens to it.  Not everyone believes what their ego has to say, or allows it to dictate their actions.

What it does mean is that the road may be a little (or a lot) bumpy.  You will no doubt make mistakes.  No matter how much your inner perfectionist strives for impeccability, it won’t all be perfection.

The point is, it doesn’t matter.

When you notice your mistakes, fix them.  When you recognise the voice of your ego, don’t believe its words, or allow them to dictate your actions.  When you see you’re stumbling or veering off course, pick yourself up, re-establish your footing, and course correct.

Keep coming back to your why.  Keep coming home to your soul.

The universe is forgiving.  You won’t be marked down for getting sidetracked or swept up in egoic delusion.  Every time you return to your soul, all is forgiven.  The slate is wiped clean.  Just ask for guidance and help, and trust that the answer is given before the request is even made.

You don’t need to be perfect, or get it all perfect.

I’m so glad that I’m in a place energetically where I don’t allow these challenges to stop me.  I’m so glad that I can recognise and observe what I’m doing, forgive myself, and course correct.  I’m so grateful that I have my spiritual tools to keep me on track or to get me back on track.

Do what your soul guides you to do, and it will all be perfectly imperfect.  It’s all part of the human experience.


Image credit: via Death to the Stock Photo, used under license.

The glorious perfection of a messy life

For so long I’ve felt stunted in writing in this space.  In fits and spurts I manage to create a little something here and there, but consistency has eluded me, pretty well from the start.  I go for weeks or months without writing, and then announce out of the blue when I’m back.

I’ve questioned this erratic pattern, I’ve told myself that if I want to make something of my writing I need to get consistent, I need to be creating content, I need/should/must do this and that.  Constant judgement and criticism.  And that, my friend, is a prime recipe for procrastination & paralysis.

When inspiration hits, the words come flowing in my mind.  I’m consumed by them, I’m illuminated by them, I’m propelled by them.

Sometimes, I prioritise getting them out of my head and onto the paper or screen.  Other times, I tell myself “later”, because there’s the cooking and the washing and the million other things on the to-do list.  Generally, later never comes, or if it does, the words seem to have left the building – what was earlier an abundant overflow of ideas and words becomes a deserted, empty, echoing chamber.  That is frustrating.

The thing is, I know that it’s futile to wait until my ducks are all in a row to make a go of creating something of beauty, meaning or significance.  And yet, it mostly feels like life is always in the way.

My journey, particularly over the past 3 years, has bought me so far.  So much healing, so much growth, so much expansion.  And yet, so often I find myself questioning why I haven’t reached my destination yet – I have this vague concept of arriving in a place of perfection where all my wounds are healed, I’ve got my sh*t completely sorted, I’m in perfect health, I’m living a life that from an external perspective looks successful, and I’m in perfect alignment with the divine and living my soul’s purpose.  From that place, I tell myself, I’ll be able to share words of wisdom that are truly of service.

This egoic questioning is ceaseless, and the judgement and criticism of not being “there” and of being where I’m at, of course, drags me down and pulls me further and further away from this imaginative nirvana.  It also goes against everything I’ve been taught.

It physically feels like being caught in the thick and tangled web of a mammoth spider, so rope-like and thick that it chokes my breath and holds me captive, blocks my view, weighs me down and slows me to a crawl.  It feels incomprehensibly penetrating, like it pierces through my body as though it wasn’t even there.  And yet, I know there is a way out.  I know that I haven’t been wound and tightly bound by any spider, helplessly trapped and doomed for annihilation.  I walked my own way into the web, and got myself into this mess, entangling myself more and more with every egoic thought that I entertained.

And so, the time eventually arrives when I see the thoughts for what they are, I recognise that they’re just thoughts and they’re not me and they’re not truth, and I am freed.  Things pick up, and I swing into an up-cycle where I’m on top of the world and at peace within.

I know, when I’m on the high, that the low thoughts will return.  I’m aware and on the lookout.  Sometimes, when they arrive, I see them for what they are, and I sidestep another low.  Other times, they hit me and I forget all I’ve learnt, and I go through the cycle again until I catch a glimpse of the light and bring myself back to peace again.  And on and on it goes.

The downs have become fewer and further between, but they have persisted.  Sometimes, the very fact that I’ve avoided a downer in so long becomes fodder for my desperate ego to latch onto, as I criticise myself for falling victim to this habitual pattern again after doing so well.  Why, I ask myself, do I allow this to happen when I know better?  Why do I fall continually when I know how to rise, why do I fall victim when I know what’s coming?  Why do I allow myself to descend into hell when I know how to reside in heaven?  Why do I do this, as I watch my peers and teachers continue to rise and transcend their hell?  And then, in a disorienting twist of consciousness, I know that this thought is just a thought and if I allow it to it will drag me down further, and yet I believe it.  I merge with it.  I become overwhelmingly ensnared within the web.  I identify with the egoic part of me that says this is true, even though I know it’s not and I know it’s simply a thought that my mind is having.  **Exhausting.**  Confusing.

So today I’m here.  The thoughts and ideas of my morning mind wanderings are not morphing into the words right now that I expected, but they’re along similar lines.  What I know is this: just because I haven’t got it all worked out, just because I haven’t arrived in that utopian paradise where I’m essentially a saint or a guru or spiritually enlightened, doesn’t mean I don’t have value to share.  Just because I don’t have all the answers doesn’t mean that there’s not value in the lessons I have learned, or even in sharing my lows along with my highs.  My intention has never been to seek sympathy or publicly air my demons for the purpose of narcissistically offloading my woes.  I speak of my shadows and darknesses in the hope that I can aid someone, anyone, even just a little, in lightening their load along with me mine.

And then, so easefully and gracefully, everything changes.  I remind myself that the utopian paradise, the idealistic destination, doesn’t exist – it’s a figment of my imagination.  There is no destination.  Only a perpetual journey.  In the simple turn of a thought, I find myself surrendering to what is and letting go of the pain and the epic struggle.  The spiderweb disolves into nothingness.  I discover that I’m back on the upswing, and I’m once again living in heaven on earth.


Main image credit: Rain and Rust by Mooganic via Flickr.  Used under licence.

The Vulnerability of Devoting to your Biggest & Boldest Dreams

I sat under the shade of the magnificent ornamental pear tree in Mum’s backyard, soaking up the glorious early autumn weather on a lazy afternoon, watching the kids play on the grass. I marvelled at the miracle of the tree. I gazed at the branches above me, the leaves, the canopy, and considered the fact that this sprawling beauty had begun life as a tiny seed. One small, seemingly insignificant seed contained all the potential within it to grow into that beautiful big tree that stood above me, home and playground to a myriad of insects and birds, a source of shade, a beauty to behold in the backyard.

That tiny seed, buried in the earth, was given all the right conditions to allow it to sprout and reach for the light, until it broke through the surface of the soil. Cell by cell, it continued to grow and transform as its trajectory remained focused on the light. Cell by cell, from tiny seedling, to sapling, to small tree to large, cell by cell, transforming from green shoots to wooden branches. Cell by cell, growing leaves to soak up the energy of the sun, and transmute that energy via the miracle of photosynthesis into new growth. Can you even comprehend the number of cellular processes it took over the course of more than 15 years to get from seed to sprawling tree? There was no rushing, no striving, no taking shortcuts, no lamenting how far there still was to go.

Seedling with seed case

Seedling

It seems that so many of us are so identified with our ego, and so accustomed to an instant gratification culture that we’ve lost the ability to allow slow and steady progress. We want what we want, and we want it now. I know that I often find myself abandoning possibilities that seem like too much work for too little return in the near or foreseeable future. What a loss – so much potential abandoned in the name of speed and ease.

I’ve been told by a trusted seer that in a past life, I was successful architect living and working in Italy. I worked in partnership with my father on a huge project of thirty years duration. Within days of the completion of this monumental venture, the area was hit by a severe earthquake. My life’s work was flattened.

I sense that I’m only just beginning to comprehend the gravity of this experience and the impact it’s still having on me today. I’ve learnt that we carry our energy from lifetime to lifetime, and as such, the energy of the experiences we have can stay with us too. From my admittedly limited understanding, I’d say that the soul-destroying devastation of having my life’s work ravaged within days of its completion was not something that I adequately processed or healed from that in that lifetime, nor in any of my lifetimes since. And so, today, I still carry that burdensome energy in a way that has me avoid committing to dreams that require slow and steady incremental progress, a long term large scale outlook, or little returns in the near future. The excruciating pain of committing to such a dream, and pursuing it for so many years, only to have it destroyed virtually as soon as it was finally realised, taught me to protect myself from ever having to endure such a shattering experience again. That unbearable pain still resides deep within my energy field. My ego feels the fear that it induces, and it knows well how to best protect me: to prevent me from ever attempting such a feat again. It whispers, almost inaudibly, “Don’t attempt to realise such a grand and large-scale dream, because then it can’t be taken away from you, and that would destroy you.” Even more shrewdly, my ego gives me all the seemingly sensible and valid reasons why I don’t really want to pursue that dream anyway. Simple solution.

Except, that it’s not. The seeds of our dreams, big and small, lie dormant in our soul. All that potential and possibility, encapsulated within an unpursued dream. Waiting for the right conditions to allow them to sprout and reach for the light of day. When you begin to awaken to your spirituality and the truth of your soul, these things can no longer hide quietly. They become illuminated, and you can’t un-see them. They can no longer be ignored.

Our ego holds those seeds captive. It keeps them sealed in a packet, stored high and almost forgotten somewhere on a shelf in the dark garage.

By shedding light on these egoic shadows and blockages that past life experiences, or any other negative life experience, have created in our energy field, we might initially feel more stuck than ever. When we shine a torch upon an object, it suddenly casts a more defined shadow than what we might previously have been able to observe in the regular light of day. But once we know it’s there, we can use mindfulness to disidentify from our egoic thoughts, and transmute that shadow into light. That’s all the shadow is, an illusion. The shadow cast by the torch is not a tangible object, and it comes and goes depending on the angle and strength of the light. The shadow within is similarly just an illusion cast by the darkness of the ego. When we know that, we can use mindfulness to infuse our energy field with light, and transmute the shadows. We can say to ourselves:

“Those fears aren’t me. They are my ego, doing its job of keeping me small and safe by avoiding the potential greatness lying dormant within me, because greatness implies vulnerability. I don’t need to obey my ego. I can chose differently. I can give the seeds of my dreams the conditions they need to begin shooting towards the light. I can chose the step by step, slow burn of committing to a grand dream, knowing that it has the potential to reap the most glorious of rewards. I can remind myself of the beauty and light inherent in the process of pursuing my dream, that it’s not all about the final outcome. I can remind myself that in truth, in the eyes of God, without the judgment of any ego, there is no tragedy in a fulfilled dream being destroyed. Loss is not inherently bad, but our thinking makes it so. I can remind myself that even under such circumstances, there was so much beauty and love and light in every step of the way.”

It could be said that the real tragedy is in a dream never being pursued in the first place, in unfulfilled potential not even being attempted. But the truth is, even this is only a tragedy from the perspective of ego. But given that we have this beautiful opportunity of life, why would we not want to bring as much light into it as is humanly possible? Why would we not jump wholeheartedly at the marvellous opportunity to give form to the miracle of God inherent in the potential of the seed, by allowing it to physically express it’s divinity as it journeys toward the light?

Grow little one


All images photographed by me. ©


I’m looking forward to diving deep into my shadow with Belinda Davidson at her Shadow Working Workshop on the Gold Coast next week.  Details here.

shadowworkingeventsquare28129

Taking Orders from the Cardinal

A little birdie (a cardinal, in fact) told me that it’s important for my soul that I get my butt back into this space, and start getting light-heartedly serious about the business of being me, loud and proud, through sharing my story.  I listened, took note, and proceeded to do nothing about it.  Excuses, you know.  Seemingly valid ones.  Then, that little birdie got in my face again.  The instant I saw him the second time, I knew he meant business.  It’s time that I follow his guidance.

This was my first cardinal messenger - the animoon reading for the week email from Sarah Wilder at The Fifth Element Life. Click image to link to Sarah's site.

This was my first cardinal messenger – the animoon reading for the week email from Sarah Wilder at The Fifth Element Life.


So much beauty and light has been shining down on my little world lately.  I feel as though I’ve turned another corner, a very distinct corner, and the path forward here is upward.  Not upward in an uphill slog kind of way, but upward as in towards blessedly higher ground.  I’ve let go of those niggling doubts and worries that were telling me that my spiritual path perhaps “doesn’t work for me”, that “I’m not as good or worthy as all those beaming lightworkers”, and “I’m doomed for failure and mediocrity”.  I see you Ego, and I say “Thanks for sharing.  I choose differently.”

My beautiful little boy began school a few weeks ago, and it’s been a wonderful new beginning for both of us.  He’s ready and raring to step into this next phase of his sweet childhood, and honestly, so am I.  I’ve learnt to delight in the joys of motherhood, and to weather the challenges with as much grace as I can muster.  But I’m so excited for this next phase in our journey, and the energy of these past few weeks has been that of excitement, anticipation, positivity, new beginnings, and growth.  He’s transitioned into school brilliantly, and I’ve transitioned into being a mum of two school children without a hitch.  (OK, I almost shed a tear before dropping him off on his first day!)

My word for the year. Image by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

My word for the year. Image by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

The summer holidays allowed me some space to re-establish a DEVOTED practice.  I realised at some point that last year, whilst I was showing up to a committed daily practice of a chakra cleanse meditation, most of the time I wasn’t really connecting.  The lights were on but nobody was home.  It was surface level, and I was just going through the motions.  This was partly because I felt that the only time I could fit my practice in with consistency was at 5.30am, but bleary eyed and sleep deprived, I often struggled to keep myself from drifting to sleep, and I couldn’t muster the energy to do it standing up to prevent that.  I felt proud that I was doing the work, but I was ignoring the reality that I was actually only managing to do half the work.  I couldn’t concentrate, my mind would constantly wander, and I would be rushing through it before it was time to get on with my day, instead of allowing the time to feel my way intuitively through the process.  I was still reaping benefits, but I certainly wasn’t experiencing the magic I’d come to expect and witness in others on a similar path.  The gentleness of our summer routine provided the breathing space that allowed me more time and less pressure, so that I naturally found the depth and connection again that I realised I’d been mostly missing for months.  And so, as a consequence, my energy has skyrocketed off the charts, into seriously high-vibing territory that not only feels wonderful, but is what I knew I was missing last year.

Practically, this new energy I’m rocking looks like:

  • Feeling naturally moved to begin a daily routine of walking in nature. This is something that I began intermittently last year, but for a long time I found myself saying “I should walk more”.  The difference now is that I’m moved to do it, I’m eager to get out there, because I love it!  There’s no pressure, no forcing myself, no yearning for motivation.  It just happens.  I also realised that I really didn’t have an excuse – we live less than 2 minutes walk from wetlands with a walking track!  Until this year, I’d kind of ignored that fact, and used the excuse that it wasn’t very nice, it was too close to the roads, and there was often rubbish lingering around.  But I see it with new eyes now.  Those wetlands are teeming with bird life, native flora, and miracles everywhere I look.  I love my morning walk, and I’m feeling the benefits on SO MANY levels.
  • Committing to a 5 minute morning yoga practice. Again, this has evolved naturally, and it’s something I look forward to.  Physically, my yoga flow has never been smoother, my biceps have never been stronger, and my body feels limber and spacious.  In the past I’ve used time as an excuse to avoid a home practice, but 5 minutes a day has had incredible impact for me.
  • I’m getting more sleep. If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that this has been a life-long self-sabotage issue for me. I decided to surrender.  I let it go.  I stopped listening to the beating my ego would give me after every late night.  I accepted that this is something I do, it’s possibly going to be something I do for the rest of my days, and trying to fix it isn’t working.  I’m not clear on the exact mechanism at work here, but something shifted – I naturally began choosing to head to bed earlier.  It became a priority.  I wanted to accept the responsibility of making choices with consideration of the consequences.  Far out, it feels so much better when I’ve slept a decent stint for consecutive nights!  Who would have thought?!?!  It’s still something I need to be very mindful of, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve overcome this destructive habit, but I’m finding it increasingly easier to be aware of the impact of my sleep choices, and of wanting to make choices that have positive longer-term outcomes (rather than the instant gratification of rebelliously revelling in an late-nighter).  (The late-nighters often aren’t even that enjoyable anyway!!) (Disclosure: I did stay up late to complete and publish this post! I was driven, it felt as though it was almost beyond my control.  The words were hankering to get out of me and onto the screen to be shared with my audience. I went with it. More on that below.)
  • I’m manifesting like a boss! Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. I won 2 free tickets to see Danielle LaPorte speak live in Melbourne, and then I scored an extra ticket as well, total value $375 (I’ve delighted in telling the details of this awesome manifesting story to anyone who’ll listen!).  I’ve secured a 3 month pro-bono 1:1 life coaching series.  I’ve been invited to participate online programs with incredible women that have come with PERFECT timing, taught me huge lessons, and given me amazing outcomes and momentum.
  • I’m feeling more energetic, less grumpy, and better able to remain mindful in my parenting experience. My overall demeanour and energy is lighter – I’m even saying hi to people I pass when I’m walking, which is totally out of my comfort zone!  I have the energy and motivation to do basic things like housework, without having to force myself.  I just get stuff done.  Messages, omens, and signs are flowing to me constantly.  I see the beauty and miracles in everyday life.

Magic & Miracles 1Magic & Miracles 2 miracles 3

  • Life is just working better. I have two examples to illustrate this.
    Example 1: A few weeks back, we purchased a large filing cabinet for our office.  Because it is so large, we arranged delivery, and the sales assistant advised that the delivery company would contact me on the morning of delivery to confirm a time.  On the first of the two possible delivery days, I kept my mobile within reach at all times.  No call.  At 3.30pm, I bundled the kids into the car to head to swimming lessons.  I turned the key in the ignition – nothing.  I got the kids out again, cancelled their swimming lesson, and called the RACV.  I quickly knew not to get upset or annoyed about it – worse things could happen, and I was grateful that it happened at home rather than in some random car park.  I thought that was the silver lining.  But it got even better.  At 4.20pm, when I “should” have been sitting poolside, I heard a vehicle out the front, and peeked through the window expecting to see the RACV truck.  Instead, it was the delivery truck with our filing cabinet.
    Example 2: It was a Wednesday evening, and I was in the backyard admiring the beautiful summer sunset.  I invited my husband outside to see it too.  Whilst there, gazing upward, he noticed that we had some significantly broken tiles on our roof.  The next day, he called a professional to come and check it out.  The roof guy was able to come that same day, and he confirmed that it needed substantial repairs.  He was booked to do another job the following day, but was waiting on a part needed for that job.  The part didn’t arrive, so he was able to fix our roof that day, Friday, instead.  That weekend, there was a massive downpour.  Bullet dodged.

There’s so much more I could share.  Suffice it to say, life is grand.  That’s not the same as perfect though.  There are still challenges, there always will be.  But how I’m facing them is shifting.  For example, we’ve been having ongoing and protracted drainage and plumbing issues with both of the showers in our house since we moved in over 2 years ago.  After repairs and complete replacements, we’re still having serious water leakage issues.  I’m tempted to be stressed out about this situation, but I can see beyond it.  We now have one water-tight and working shower.  We’ll sort the other one out in due time.  Worse things have happened.  I’m also feeling into the energy of the situation, to ascertain the reasons why we’ve attracted this into our experience, as well as contemplating the symbology represented by water leakages.  I know, with certainty, that we can resolve this situation at its root cause by resolving the blocked energy.  When we’re in alignment, this will resolve with ease.

So I’m feeling good.  There is ebb and flow, and that is to be expected.  I’m observing and learning every day.  Magic surrounds me.  That magic comes via my devotion.  And it’s is why I’m here in this space today.  I’ve been on the verge of sharing here a few times over the past few months, but something has held me back (it seems to be an ongoing pattern of mine).  I’ve hesitated and questioned whether my stories, my experiences, are worthy of sharing, whether they hold any value.  This hesitation and questioning has peaked in response to an experience which took place shortly after publishing my last blog post, in which a dear friend of mine was very brave and honest with me.  She told me that she had deep concerns about my spiritual path, and that she needed to put some boundaries in place for her own protection, and that of her family, if we were to continue our friendship.  This revelation shook me deeply.  I can’t recall ever having had an experience before where someone essentially condemned, albeit in a loving and considerate way, my beliefs and my way of life.  Initially, it was unnerving and incredibly uncomfortable, but I put on a brave face and told her that I was ok with her requests.  However as time went on, and the situation marinated in my mind, my ego began to launch savage battle with my higher self as I tried my best to not take my friends opinions and actions personally.  I wasn’t sure whether I could accept her requests.  I wasn’t sure whether I could be friends with someone who wouldn’t accept me in my entirety, who felt that my spirituality posed a danger to her and her children.  The situation drew anger, opinion and judgment from most of those whom I shared with.  I knew in my heart that I didn’t reject my friend or her stance, in fact I respected her bravery, honesty and integrity in approaching such a delicate topic with both care and respect.  I have no issue with us having different beliefs.  But I found it difficult to determine whether I could continue to spend time with her.  I have a strong value of respect for others choices and beliefs, religious and spiritual included.  In my world, I can accept and live with the reality that others have different beliefs to me, and that we can coexist harmoniously with that difference.  It is my belief that there is more than one path to God.  But not everyone shares that belief.  How could I share a friendship with someone who rejects my path and feels the need to protect herself from my way of life?  Initially, I thought I could find a way to continue our friendship in line with her boundaries, that we could meet in neutral territory and simply avoid the topic.  I thought that would be the moral and loving thing to do.  But I soon realised that such a path would come at a cost.  I would be dishonouring myself.  I would be saying, symbolically, that my beliefs and my spirituality are not worth taking a stand for.  That it’s ok for someone to place conditions on our friendship that dampen my spirit and leave me feeling like there is something inherently evil about how I live my life.  I know my friend had pure intentions in what she shared with me, that she came from a place of love.  But ultimately, she was saying that how I live, and who I am, is not ok.

My uncle's tatoo - people of all belief systems and religions CAN coexist in harmony.

My uncle’s tatoo – people of all belief systems and religions CAN coexist in harmony.

Whilst I’m proud of the way that we both handled this situation, and that we’ve come to a mutual understanding of how to respect each other’s wishes, the after-effects are lingering for me.  Whilst I believe in the depths of my heart and soul that the crux of my spirituality is nothing but unconditional love in its purest form, this exchange with my friend has given my ego fresh fodder to keep me safe and small.  It speaks to me of the risks of speaking my truth, that I might be judged and attacked, next time with hatred and viciousness.  It tells me that people will misunderstand me, that people are looking for an argument, for a way to wield their power.  It tells me that people might associate me with things that are not, in fact, a part of my belief system, and use that against me.  It tells me to be scared.  It tells me that life is so much easier when I just keep my mouth shut and fit in with the crowd.  It tells me that I don’t need to share this stuff anyway, I can keep it to myself, keep it private.

My ego is doing such a beautiful job of protecting me.  All she wants is for me to survive, and she’s making use of the most effective tools that evolution has given her, the tools that have brought humans so far in perpetuating the species for eons.  The thing is though, I’m beyond survival.  I’ve got that handled.  Thank you, dear ego, for lovingly doing your job.  But I choose differently.

Life might be “easier” when we keep quiet and fit in, but for me, that feels unbearably stifling.  I have these words, these expressions of my experience and my truth, that are conceived to be spoken, not swallowed.  When I suppress them, they don’t just magically disappear – they are energy, physical matter on the quantum level, that doesn’t vanish through repression.  They stay inside of me, and they turn bitter.  They’re there, and they’re so loud that I can’t ignore them, so unless I allow them to move through me, they fester and grow, and eventually seek an alternate route of expression, through rage, tears, or illness – they’ll find any means of escape.  So “easier” is perhaps not an accurate term to use.

Tell your story with pride, said the cardinal.  Accept this moment as it is, he chirped.  So I’m acknowledging the truth, the words, the expressions of my experience, and I’m accepting that they are here, to be born out into the world when I’m moved to give voice to them – when they’re ripe and ready to flow.  It’s a lesson I’m learning over and over and over again.   I’ve discovered that it’s my destiny to share – one of the many essences of my soul is to give expression to my words, and to have them be heard.  And I’m devoted to being in alignment with the light of my soul, so silence is not even an option for me.  My words are part of my soul’s purpose here on this human journey.  I am devoted to living that purpose.

Image credit: Fire by Zdenko Zivkovic. Used under license.

Image credit: Fire by Zdenko Zivkovic. Used under license.


Main image credit: Mr Cardinal by Dawn Huczek, used under license.