Category Archives: Self-Care

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.

Life Lessons from the Lobster

Today, the 10th of January, I finally feel as though the year has officially kicked off, with incredibly spectacular style and energy. I attribute this feeling to the events I attended over the past couple of days, and the first new moon of the year. That’s not to suggest that my new years eve or new years day weren’t great – they were actually quite wonderful. But today truly feels like a new beginning, like the shedding of an old skin has taken place, and a fresh and tender new phase awaits.


As Friday 8th January approached, my excitement was mounting. I had a ticket to attend the annual School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM) meet-up, which this year was being held in Melbourne – woo hoo! This gathering is an opportunity to meet with the school staff and many of our classmates, most of whom we only know through our online connection via the school’s Facebook page. It’s also a chance to meet our teacher Belinda Davidson, hear her speak, and receive an in-person White Light transmission. My education via the school has created a monumental transformation for me, so an opportunity to meet with my SoMM sisters absolutely thrilled me to the core.

When I woke on Friday morning, I was positively giddy with excitement! I literally danced through the morning, cranked up the music, and sung at the top of my lungs, much to the amusement of my children. When I arrived at the venue, I was still bursting with excitement, and the palpable vibe blasting from the room was intoxicating. As we met our friends there were lots of heartfelt hugs, and a sea of smiles on the faces of a beautiful group of women who were thrilled to be communing. I was so high on the wonderful energy that the smile on my face felt permanent, and all of my laughter burst out of me in loud eruptions. I felt pretty goofy, but I was so happy that I didn’t care a bit.

The event, as expected, was wonderful. Belinda shared herself so generously with us, answered our questions, and re-inspired our commitment to our daily spiritual practices. There was a strong focus on chakras 3 and 6, including a White Light transmission specifically directed at healing and strengthening these key energy centres for us as Modern Mystics.

I was overflowing with love, gratitude, and freaking awesome mojo on Friday evening. It truly felt like one of the best days of my life.

Saturday arrived, and there was more excitement in-store. I also had a ticket for an event being hosted by Belinda and her “fellow sister of the light”, Rebecca Campbell, author of Light is the New Black. The event, “Rise Sister Rise, Step Up & Shine Bright”, was designed to give attendees “the opportunity to step into a high-vibe, transformational space and create the shift towards your soul purpose you’ve been longing for”. Once again, the vibe was epic. It was a room filled with 200+ Lightworkers, heeding the callings of their soul, coming together in a spirit of sisterhood to create magic and light up the world. Absolute pure joy. Belinda and Rebecca each spoke separately, and the day included music, singing, chanting, and crazy-lady dancing! Belinda embodied the energy of presence, calm, and insight. Rebecca was positively regal, powerful, and all heart. Both women were funny, beaming with light, and the ultimate examples of women living their soul purpose.

Belinda’s lecture focused on the critical importance of self esteem, self worth, and putting yourself first to enable you to step up and shine bright – in other words, we must have a healthy chakra 3. In her experience, as Lightworkers and women, chakra 3 issues are our biggest hurdle to overcome. Lack of self esteem, self worth, and inability to prioritise yourself, creates a downward spiral that prevents us from committing to the spiritual practices that will allow us to overcome these very issues. We must find a way to overcome this self sabotage, and if we can commit to working on our chakras every day, these issues will become less and less of a problem as we grow in self worth. To illustrate the critical nature of this concept, Belinda told us, (and I’m paraphrasing):

“I wish I could tell you that my family is the most important thing in my life, but it’s not. The most important thing in my life is the White Light.”

This woman knows and lives the truth that in order to be of service to others, in order to love others, we must first take care of ourselves.

Rebecca’s lecture focussed on rising up and listening to the callings of our soul, following the intuitive whisperings and niggles, the nudges from the Universe, and trusting that they will bring your life into alignment with your soul. She spoke of allowing the feminine energy to attract into your life that which lights you up, as opposed to using the masculine energies of striving, controlling and forcing, to create what you “think” you want. She also spoke of true sisterhood, and how by working our light, we inspire others to do the same, and we light up the world. She also used a brilliant analogy of the lobster. Let me explain.

A lobster, as we know, possesses a hard, protective shell which covers its body. As the lobster grows, it becomes too large for the shell – it no longer fits. At this time, the lobster retreats under a rock, and sheds it’s shell, to reveal a fresh, new, larger shell to fit its larger body. Initially, this new shell is soft and tender, but with time it harders and strengthens, until such time as the lobster again outgrows it and the cycle repeats.

It’s the same for us. Life is a constant cycle of growth, outgrowing our old, safe ways, and needing to shed our protective layer and become vulnerable, allowing us to grow to the next level. This initial vulnerability transforms into our strength, if we allow it. If we resist the shedding of our shell, resist the vulnerability that comes with allowing new growth, we become cramped, stuck, and unable to grow. Our strength becomes our hindrance.


So my biggest take-aways from these two light-filled days are:

  • Coming together in the true spirit of sisterhood with fellow Lightworkers LIGHTS ME UP TO FULL WATTAGE!!! These two days were absolute bliss for me, I felt electrified, I felt alive, I felt at home. I WANT MORE.
  • Devotion to my spiritual practice is essential. My daily non-negotiable spiritual practice is the foundation of a wonderful, light-filled life.
  • The two most important chakras for me to work on at this point in time are chakras 3 (prioritising me) and chakra 6 (improving my intuition and psychic ability to guide me towards discovering my soul purpose).
  • I must be willing to let go of outgrown ways of being, and get vulnerable, in order to grow.
  • I’m doing a damn fine job of mothering my children.

So, that last point may seem a little random. Here’s what that’s about.

Towards the end of the second event, Belinda and Rebecca held a Q&A session. Initially I had no questions, but I did have a slight inkling that an important question was brewing inside me. As the session progressed, so did my inkling, and the question continued to very palpably bubble up within me until it sat in my throat and waited determinedly for me to raise my hand. Finally, I nervously took my opportunity. I’m generally pretty willing to speak in front of a crowd, but it doesn’t necessarily happen without nerves or fear – I usually do it anyway. My question felt difficult to ask, as it brought up feelings of guilt and shame, but I knew that I needed to ask it if I was to move forward. Time to get vulnerable.

My recollection of exactly what happened next is somewhat hazy thanks to my emotional state at the time, but I’ll do my best to retell the story.

I wanted advice on how I could move forward on my journey, given my ongoing struggles with motherhood. I did my best to explain that I am a devoted student of Belinda’s teachings, I am committed in my daily non-negotiable spiritual practice, and that the work I’ve done on my chakras is reaping rewards. My struggle is with the responsibilities of motherhood, the ways in which it feels as though motherhood is my biggest hindrance in following what lights me up. That despite my gratitude for the immense joy that my children bring to my life, I concurrently feel pain and resentment for the time and energy they demand of me. That despite my efforts to practice mindfulness in the day to day throes of motherhood, I find myself feeling guilty that I can only wish that motherhood lit me up, but the truth is that it doesn’t, and pretending won’t make it so. That I want to follow what lights me up, but so often it seems that it’s my mothering that gets in my way. I was shaking, and my eyes were filled with tears.

Belinda’s response was heartfelt, kind, supportive and uplifting. She reflected back to me the pain this situation creates in my heart. She reminded me that a crucial piece of this puzzle is continuing to strengthen my chakra 3. But most significantly, she demonstrated the true meaning of sisterhood, and prompted all the women surrounding me in that room to applaud my efforts and acknowledge the damn good job I’m doing as a mother. My tears flowed, and I felt so acknowledged, so heard, so loved. Belinda went on to say that in standing up and being acknowledged, a healing had taken place. Throughout what remained of the afternoon, so many women offered me hugs, words of support and encouragement, and gratitude for speaking the words that they too held in their hearts.

I’m not sure that I grasped the complete message in Belinda’s words, as my intuition tells me that this isn’t the end of my struggle (the ego is stubborn), but a shift has definitely occurred. Sharing my struggle was a relief, and forged a deeper connection with the women, especially the mothers, in that room.

As I gave Belinda a farewell hug before departing, she asked me if I felt better after what had transpired. I hesitated and admitted that I was still feeling a little emotional and shaky, but that yes, it had helped, and thank you. She told me that standing up and speaking my truth was an act of bravery, and that in doing so, I’d helped all the other mothers in the room who felt the same way.


So now, with the energy of the past 2 days still coursing through me, I feel that my 2016 has begun. Renewed focus, inspiration, and intention. As the first new moon of the year rises, I set my intention to shed my protective shell, and follow what lights me up. Hence, I’m here, writing for me, writing for you. In shedding my shell, I release that which no longer serves me – the feelings of pain, guilt, shame, and loneliness that I’ve felt around my struggles with motherhood. They don’t serve my children. They don’t serve me.

May your 2016 be light filled, and in the words of Belinda and Rebecca, may you rise sister rise, step up and shine bright.

xx


Image by Vic DeLeon, used under licence.

Spirituality: The Answer to our Prayers?

“Already for most humans, the only respite they find from their own minds is to occasionally revert to a level of consciousness below thought.  Everyone does that every night during sleep.  But this also happens to some extent through sex, alcohol, and other drugs that suppress excessive  mind activity.  If it weren’t for alcohol, tranquilizers, antidepressants, as well as the illegal drugs, which are all consumed in vast quantities, the insanity of the human mind would become even more glaringly obvious than it is already.  I believe that, if deprived of their drugs, a large part of the population would become a danger to themselves and others.  These drugs, of course, simply keep you stuck in dysfunction.  Their widespread use only delays the breakdown of the old mind structures and the emergence of higher consciousness.  While individual users may get some relief from the daily torture inflectied on them by their minds, they are prevented from generating enough conscious presence to rise above thought and so find true liberation.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, p.102


I’ve avoided writing about this topic for a while now, out of fear of being misunderstood, of being accused of denying the realities, severity and seriousness of mental illness, and the power it holds over those who suffer from it.  The last thing I want to do is make light of what can be a debilitating and lethal condition.  Yet as I journey forward, I’m strengthening in my ability to express my opinions and my truth.  As such, I now feel it’s important to share my experience, and to offer ideas for contemplation and consideration.  I hope my best intentions are evident.

I’ve suffered, in the past, with recurring bouts of clinically diagnosed depression.  In my opinion, these episodes were mild, in the sense that I managed to continue functioning in life, meaning that I was capable of holding my job, dragging myself through the days, and mostly hiding how I was feeling from most of the world.  I felt like I was trapped in dark despair and hopelessness, but I managed to keep my head above water.  I entertained fantasies of suicide, which elicited the simultaneous and seemingly contradictory emotions of anger and relief, because I knew myself to be incapable of actually committing such acts.

During each bout of depression, my medical carers recommended anti-depressants, but I avoided them, feeling certain that whilst they would no doubt make me feel better, they wouldn’t cure me of the cause of my illness.  I believed that the chemical imbalance in my brain, which cases the symptoms of depression, was preceded by something else.  I was convinced that the chemical imbalance didn’t just randomly occur – something caused it.  As such, I opted instead for psychological counselling, hoping and trusting that it would address that root cause.  Counselling definitely helped me, but the fact that I continued to relapse suggested to me that there was something else I was missing.  The last time I had depression, I agreed to take the medication, based on the fact that I had young children to care for, and as such I couldn’t afford the time it would take to recover using psychological counselling for treatment.

When, under the guidance of my GP, I managed to successfully wean myself from anti-depressants, I knew I had work to do.  I never wanted to suffer from depression again, and I never wanted to put my children or my husband through such an experience again.  I knew I needed to maintain the self-care practices I’d begun whilst on the medication, to prevent a relapse.  But, beyond that, I knew deep down that I needed to address the root cause of my recurring illness if I was to avoid living this cycle for the rest of my life.

I could sense that if I didn’t take action soon, I would be heading down the same path I’d been down before.  It was around this time that Belinda Davidson and her School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM) entered my world.  I was interested.  I was fascinated.  I was drawn in.  In a strange and subtle way, I believed that Belinda could help me to escape from my cycle of depression.  My instincts told me to enrol, and my husband was on board with my decision.  I haven’t looked back.

Let me be clear: Belinda does not claim to be a doctor or medical professional, or to be a substitute for such.  What she does claim is to offer teachings that enable you to change your energy, change your life, heal yourself, become intuitive, and discover your life purpose.  When I undertook Level 1 of SoMM, I was not depressed, but I was looking for my way to avoid becoming depressed ever again.

Having come out the other side of SoMM Level 1, I feel like the answer to my question of what was causing my depression, is that I’d been avoiding my spirituality for a long, long time.  I’d well and truly lost the true essence of me.  I was like an empty shell, with no vibrance or vitality.  I’d given up the belief that life is full of beauty and joy – it felt more like a hard slog, disappointment, and disillusion.  Sure, there were moments of fun, happiness, joy and love, but they felt fleeting and impermanent.  I was resigned to bleak “reality”, the daily grind, struggle, and settling for mediocrity.

Amidst this resignation, the flame inside of me, although dimmed, was never completely extinguished.  I spent late nights trawling the internet for inspiration and answers.  I attended personal development workshops.  I subscribed to every mailing list offering hope and salvation from motivational and inspirational authors.  I read self-help books.  I felt desperate at times.  But I never stopped searching.  Something inside propelled me to keep searching.

Religion didn’t do it for me.  The self-help movement didn’t do it for me.

My teacher, Belinda Davidson, has shown me that my spirituality is where I will find all the answers I seek.  She has shown me that my soul holds all the information I’ll ever need to live a life of purpose.  She has shown me that I am responsible for my energy, and that by raising my vibration, I play my part in changing the collective energy of the world.  She has shown me that I am not my thoughts, and she has shown me how to identify with my higher, light-filled self.  She has shown me that I am a Lightworker, and I always have been.  I just got lost along the way.

I’m not an expert, and I have no great understanding of what seems to be an epidemic of mental illness in our society.  Perhaps though, in my humble opinion, it is worth considering whether our cultural tendency to ignore our spirituality, is at the root of some of our problems.  Perhaps we would do well to encourage exploration of our spirituality, to introduce spiritual practices into our daily routines, to consider the larger questions of life as important enough to dedicate our time and attention to in our busy worlds.  It seems that so many of us are caught up in life, pursuing empty and meaningless goals that we think are important, but ultimately never satisfy us.

Only time will tell, but I feel certain that a relapse of depression is no longer something I need to concern myself with.  I have the tools, the spiritual practices, to ensure that I stay well, and free from mental illness.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

xx


If you or someone you love is suffering from mental illness, please seek professional help.

Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support

Black Dog Institute: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Headspace: http://headspace.org.au

PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia): http://www.panda.org.au/


Belinda Davidson's School of the Modern Mystic starts September 29th!
Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic is currently accepting enrolments for Level 1.  Click here for further information or to enrol.  Enrolment is open once a year, and the doors close for 2015 on Monday 21st September – don’t miss your opportunity!

*I am a proud ambassador and affiliate for School of the Modern Mystic.


Image credit: image by Wonderlane.  Under license.

 

The Milky Way is Always There

It is a divinely beautiful experience to stand under the Milky Way on a clear, balmy summer  night. The energy is exquisite. A few weeks ago, I did just this, gazing into the heavens, drinking in the atmosphere, and feeling a sense of perspective with my place in the universe.

The following night, I went out to drink in some more of the loveliness, but the stars were hidden beneath smatterings of cloud. It was still beautiful, in its own way, but it didn’t hold the magic and sparkle of the previous evening. And yet, I knew that beyond those clouds, the same Milky Way was still there, just hidden from my eyes.


Once again, it’s been quite a while since I last posted here. There are a few reasons:

1. Committing to Sleep
I think I’ve finally solved my sleep commitment issues. I made a pact with myself that I can only rise early in the morning to meditate if I’ve slept for 8 hours. Daily meditation is a part of the spiritual studies I’m currently undertaking, and I’m learning that the benefits are life changing. Further to this, I’m finding that meditation first thing after waking is an awesome way to begin my day, as it starts me off in the right head-space, and carries throughout my day. So, despite my natural tendency towards being a night owl, I’ve had surprisingly little difficulty in establishing this practice. The problem lay in maintaining my late night habits alongside my early morning meditation. Exhaustion does not facilitate mindfulness. Hence, the pact. That has been motivation enough.

Herein lies the next problem: my writing and publishing, thus far, has been confined to late night (or very early morning!) when the kids are asleep, and I have no other pressing responsibilities (aside from sleep, that is!). So, when I’m committed to sleep at night, it’s tricky to find daylight hours to squeeze in writing between the school and kinder run, playing trains, riding bikes to the park, keeping the house looking semi-respectable, preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner, cleaning up after breakfast lunch and dinner … I’ll stop there. It’s oh-so-easy to push yourself into the trap of “I don’t have the time” (all the while emphatically claiming that you fell in, against your most-determined will).

2. Wallowing in an Energetic Funk
I’ve struggled to generate inspired content that I deem publish worthy. This is a trend for me, it seems. I’m not interested in publishing just for the sake of it, despite all the advice out there that consistent content creation is key to a successful blog. I only want to share writing that I feel moved to share, writing that I believe will resonate, move, inspire, comfort, or spread love. I’m less about “successful blog”, and more about authentic connection.

I’ve struggled with this, I believe, because my energy has taken somewhat of nose dive from the heady highs of the early weeks of this year, when my chakras were rocking, and I was brimming with positivity and connection.

I don’t think I’ve done anything “wrong” to cause this downward turn. I’ve maintained my meditation practice. I’m continuously delving deep into spirit. I’m even sleeping more! I think it’s simply the ebb and flow of energy and life, it’s something I’m learning from and I’m yet to master. I understand that the level that my energy vibrates on is my responsibility, but I’m still learning how to manage this. I’m acknowledging the drains on my energy, such as the new routines and earlier mornings with a new preppy in the family. I’m making an effort to accept this experience for what it is, without making it wrong. I’m doing more “gentle” and “restorative” yoga classes, and less vinyasa, until my body is ready. I’ve turned down invitations for evening socialising, and instead substituted rest and sleep. But, I’m still a work in progress. I am so ingrained in the mindset of “pushing through” when it comes to matters of household and parenting duties, and this inevitably lands me in the state I’m in right now – succumbed to a viral infection, unable to do much, and forced to do that which I should have done to prevent this outcome: rest. It’s uncomfortable territory to put me as number one priority. I’m taking baby steps.

Anyway, my energetic funk has had me feeling like I’m incapable of producing shareable content, because I believe that high-vibing content can’t be faked. If I’m not vibing high, any content I create will stink of the funk I’m in. But I’m coming to realise that there is an antidote, a way to create that is authentic and share-worthy, even when I’m feeling down (because let’s face it, we can’t hide under the bed covers indefinitely every time we’re feeling off).

The answer: taking action, and being honest.

So, here I am.

Waiting around to feel “ready” to write, waiting for inspiration to hit, will get me nowhere. I’ve been trying to convince myself that the time will be right soon, but not right now. This has generated nothing. There is a time for stillness, a time for rest, but this is not the same thing. Knowing that I have these words bubbling up inside of me, clambering to get out onto the screen and in front of you, means that I need to take action. During the time between publishing posts, I don’t sit around feeling fulfilled by my last post – I feel magnetically pulled toward creating. I don’t always know what it is I want to write, but I can feel the words trying to escape from inside of me. Putting pen to paper, and turning on the computer, is what generates the inspiration for exactly what it is I will share with you.

As I’ve explained, my highs of the early weeks of the year have bottomed out. I’ve been doing everything I’m “supposed” to be doing to improve and maintain energetic vitality, but I’ve lost that sense of flow and connection that I was in. I’ve felt frustrated, frustrated, frustrated. Plus angry, embarrassed, and like a failure. I had thought that once I’d attained that lofty high, I was there to stay. A high is like that – it makes you feel invincible, like you’ll never return to the grotty lows from where you first rose. What am I supposed to say now that it’s waning? I’ve felt like a fool at times, like a naive little girl chasing castles in the sky. How can I progress from there?

So, I’ve had some time, to be with what is, and to consider my situation from different perspectives. I chose not to quit in disappointment and disillusionment, but to maintain my commitment to my spiritual practices – THANK GOODNESS. It’s paying off – a few days ago, I finally re-connected, albeit faintly, with source. It’s brought about an awakening:

• Energy ebbs and flows. It’s my responsibility to maintain my own high vibration of energy, but I also need to acknowledge the natural peaks and troughs of the energy that surrounds and impacts me, and do my best to work with it and flow with the currents. It’s my responsibility to prevent external low vibration energies from dragging me down.

 

Vibrate higher

Source unknown.

• This too, shall pass.
• I am exactly where I am supposed to be – even if that is in a funk – and my journey gives me everything I need to learn and grow. I trust the entire process.
• Beneath the fog of my funk, I’m still the same soul that I was at my vibrational high. It’s simply the clouds temporarily covering the starry sky. This gives me faith.

xo


Photo credit: The Milky Way Strikes, by Abdul Rahman.  Under licence.

Lying by accident

I noticed something kind of embarrassing this evening. I was recalling a conversation I had with my friend this morning, during which I told her that we’re moving house this coming week. I said something along the lines of “So everything’s a bit crazy at the moment!” Something about her response made me hesitate for a moment in continuing the conversation down the same track, and I slightly tweaked the trajectory of where my subject matter was heading, turning eventually to discuss things in a somewhat more positive light. I’m not certain of exactly what it was that she said or did that made me do this, and I can’t make assumptions about what she was actually thinking, but it was just something I sensed, that she perhaps thought I was being dramatic, or overly negative, or just a bit strange. Thinking back about it this evening, I remember another friend having a very similar response when we were discussing the exact same topic. I then thought about all the other people I’ve had the same conversation with over the past week or so. Something about every single one of those conversations just felt … off.

I realised tonight why they felt off. Truth be told, I don’t feel like “everything’s a bit crazy at the moment!” Things are actually ok. Despite having a lot of packing to do, whilst running a household, amongst the usual routines around kinder and playgroup and the usual kid-related shenanigans, and a husband who has “done his back” – things are fine. I’ve been packing when I can, sorting bits and pieces out here and there, and not getting in a flap about it.

So, why have I been telling everyone that things are crazy? For starters, I can tend to be a drama queen at times, so telling everyone that things are fine and on track wouldn’t get me the attention that a drama queen craves. But tonight, my epiphany has shed light on the deeper reason as to why I’ve been telling everyone I’m so stressed out.

I’ve changed.

If I had been in this position 12 months ago, or probably even 3 months ago, I would likely be stressing out big time. I would be freaking out about how much I need to do, with not enough time to do it, and not enough help. I’d be fretting and worrying, worrying and fretting.

Instead, I’ve hardly been thinking about the work ahead of me. My husband and I have talked about what needs to be done, and then I’ve done it when I can. On a few occasions when I’ve thought that I should be packing in the evenings, I’ve decided that a better idea would be to go to bed, or meditate, or do something enjoyable, so that I’m feelings refreshed and energized the following day, and hence able to do more.

It hadn’t consciously occurred to me until this evening that this is how I’ve been approaching this task. It’s just how I’ve begun rolling. And yet, when I talk about it with my friends, I’ve been telling them about how it would have been, in the past! My habits and actions have unconsciously changed, and my conscious mind hadn’t caught up! No wonder my negative chatter about the stressful move felt off!

So, this is good news. Great news, in fact. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments of stress and overwhelm, but they’re few and far between. This is actually amazing, and the reality of it is only just hitting me now, as I write this instead of packing boxes.

So, you may be wondering, what do I put this fan-bloody-tastic turnaround down to? A few things:

1. My commitment to self care
In my last post, I wrote about the importance of prioritising self care. I’ve done A LOT of inner work on this area since writing that post. The truth is, I understood and believed the concept at a deep level, but I was still struggling to put it into practice. My inner work led me to a crucial realisation – I couldn’t prioritise self care, when I wasn’t practicing self love. This topic on it’s own is worthy of a separate blog post, but for now I can simply say that I’ve delved deep in this area over the past weeks, and I’ve made massive progress. Hooray! So suddenly, when I experience true self love, the act of prioritising self care comes naturally. So, when I have the option of packing boxes at 11pm or meditating before snuggling in to bed for an early night, it’s really a no brainer. I’ve become very conscious of making choices based on whether they will have a healthy outcome for me.

2. My yoga practice
I resumed a regular yoga practice approximately 15 months ago, and I can say for sure that it has turned my life around. There are times when I forget the importance of my practice, and then there are times when it hits me just how much I am nourished by it, and the hundreds of ways in which my life is so much better for being a yogini. Physically, my practice gives my body movement and space, and this translates into my mind. When I stop practicing, both my mind and my body become constricted, tight, and prone to pain. I lack clarity on the specifics of exactly why and how yoga helps me, but I don’t care – I just know that with yoga, life works better.

3. My meditation practice
A regular meditation practice has been a very recent introduction to my daily routine. I’ve dabbled before, but this is the first time I’ve been committed, consistent, and enthusiastic about it. I have been using a guided chakra cleanse meditation audio by Belinda Davidson. I find using an audio makes it much easier to concentrate and stay present. The effects of my practice so far have been subtle but profound. I attribute my ability to “not freak out”, to staying present, which has been helped by my meditation practice.

4. Improving my energy
In September, I enrolled in Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic. Sounds pretty strange, but the premise of Belinda’s teachings is actually very logical. In order to change your life, you must first change your energy. This comes down to quantum physics, a fascinating subject, which I have a very (very!) limited understanding of, but at it’s core, everything in the universe is made of energy. So, to change something, you need to change the energy. School of the Modern Mystic teaches, amongst other things, how to change your energy (the Chakra Cleanse Meditation mentioned above is the primary way to do this). I’m currently at the end of week 9 of the course, and it’s been AMAZING. My energy is shifting, and there is so much I could write about this, but for now, I’ll just say that the turnaround I’ve experienced all
comes down to this. My energy is what has enabled me to experience true self love. My energy is what allows me to honour my commitment to my yoga practice and my meditation practice – in the past, I’ve been a world class self-saboteur. I’ve so much more to learn, but I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so grateful about where I’m at in life, or so confidently positive and excited about where I’m headed in life.

I’m changing my energy. I’m changing my life.

x


Image credit: pinnochio by jesiehart, used under license.

Prioritising You – How It’s Done in the Wild

I read a blogpost by Pinky McKay recently that described an analogy for the importance of prioritising self-care as a mother (or parent) that was even more powerful for me than the oxygen mask analogy that I read about so often. It described a wildlife documentary in which a lioness and her cub hadn’t eaten in two days, and the situation was becoming critical. When the lioness finally achieved a kill, she ate the whole lot herself, leaving none for her starving cub. The meal gave her the energy and strength to continue hunting, and she eventually made a larger kill, which she shared with her cub.

The lioness instinctually “knows” the vital importance and priority of self-care in her role as a mother. Her instincts instructed her to feed herself first for a crucial reason: if she had shared or given the food to her cub, she wouldn’t have had the energy or strength to make another kill, and consequently both she and her cub would have perished from starvation. She had to take care of her own needs first, to ensure the survival of her cub.

This story cuts deep. Since becoming a mum, it’s felt as though my every need comes second (or third, or fourth) to those of my kids. In the early weeks and months, they were so utterly dependent for everything, and the patterns were quickly formed: meet the incessant needs of my baby, and then if there is any “left over time” when they’re finally sleeping (even if attached to me whilst doing so!), I can quickly slot in meeting my own needs before they wake again and the cycle repeats. This worked for the first few days, when I was  high on a post-birth hormone cocktail mixed with the excitement of my newly birthed baby, but it wasn’t sustainable. Yet, being the stubborn soul that I am, I have persisted with this habit, to some degree, for close to five years. Any wonder I feel exhausted, burnt out, resentful, disengaged, often sick, and I fantasise about running away on a regular basis.

In considering the lioness analogy, despite understanding it on an intellectual level,  my automatic and immediate response is still that I would give that first “small kill” to my kids – it’s my responsibility to care for them first and foremost, after all. After a little more careful consideration, I might contemplate the idea of sharing it with them. It’s not until I stop to consider the longer term consequences, that I feel a slight guilt-inducing tug towards making the choice to “feed myself” first. Do I really want us all to eventually “starve”? Of course not! Getting real about it requires me to really think through what this means. Neglecting my needs is causing me exhaustion, burnout, resentfulness, disengagement, illness, and fantasising about abandonment, whilst the kids immediate needs are being met. Long term, this will lead to (and is already heading towards) more serious illness, disconnection and broken relationships, and an inability to parent my children well and guide them towards living happy and healthy lives. This is clearly NOT what I want for myself or my family. At this point in the analysis, the appropriate action is glaringly obvious – meeting my needs MUST be prioritised when caring for my family.

I see this pattern in so many mums I know. Why is it that this notion of unsustainable self-sacrifice is so ingrained in so many of us as mothers? I think that’s perhaps another rabbit hole to be explored elsewhere, but one thing is crystal clear: at the end of the day, it serves no one.

I’ll keep the lioness in my mind as I go about life this week, making my daily choices in caring for myself and my family. Following from my last post, I’m pleased to report that I’m on track with my daily  meditation and adequate sleep. I haven’t been perfect – life knows how to bring up great excuses to avoid your commitments – but I’ve been mindful, and making better choices more often than not. I’ll remember the lioness as I continue.

How about you – how do you feel about the lioness and her choices? Do you prioritise yourself, or are you in denial of the critical priority of self-care? Why do you think that is? What is one small action you can take towards prioritising self-care? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Image credit: Female lion on the prowl, by John Rawlinson.  Used under license.