The whole picture
Thoughts to ponder...
It’s messy, it’s exhausting and amongst all of that it’s the most beautiful thing I ever allowed.
I can clearly pin point the long chapter in my life that I spent travelling away from myself. A journey of disconnect from my soul, from my intuition, from my choices that once aligned with my highest good and my natural state of happiness.
For years that chapter has been a stand out to me because it found me in the depths of darkness. Happy from the outside, but, beige, disconnected, glazed over on the inside. It was the chapter that saw excess, indulgence, behaviour that I can now relate to as distraction, as external fulfilment, and while I never consciously had the intention to “let so loose that I came undone” – on a lot of occasions, that is exactly how it ended. Time and time again.
Without the tools, the time, the trust or reason to go “there”, without even knowing there was somewhere I needed to go, I caused pain, I created drama, I continued attracting more pain, more drama.
There was no space.
There was no certainty.
There was a whole lot of fear and a lot of fractured relationships.
I struggled to be truly heard, understood, witnessed, accepted, but little did I know that the missing link was me.
Even after this chapter, I believed that I was beginning again. Only today I realised that I stepped from “total disconnect” onto a path of “oh I was completely disconnected back there” but it took many many more years and more mistakes, and more pain to find myself at the next crossroad.
These signposts were familiar, I’d been guided to this junction on a few journeys with various plant medicines but working with this kind of medicine is not the solution on its own. These intentional ceremonies are incredible, the transmission of intelligence, insight and wisdom is POWERFUL – but this is still not the medicine.
Stepping onto a pathway of healing isn’t neat, it sure isn’t tidy.
Sometimes the medicine is the mistake we made.
Sometimes the medicine is the ending of a relationship.
Sometimes the medicine is the S P A C E.
Sometimes the medicine is subtle, gentle and compassionate. Sometimes the medicine is brutal, hard to swallow but potent all the same.
Sometimes we will resist the medicine venomously cursing the messenger of the necessary truth.
Sometimes we mistake books, courses, retreats, readings, healings for our medicine jumping from one to the next without any self-responsibility to meet ourselves and integrate the experiences in between. The gesture and intention is beautiful, but the ultimate healing awaits us…within us.
Sometimes we need to step into a safe pace of healing absolutely, but no one can wave a wand over us to relieve of us the insights we came here to recall and gather. Sometimes we do need support in gently moving ourselves out of our own way. Healing modalities, plant medicine and even various types of therapy will pave the way indeed, but at some point we must begin to take responsibility for how we are spending our time. With whom. For the behaviours that are moving us away from clarity and vitality towards escapism and haze.
I say this from my own experience as well as strong interest and years of study in human behaviour, our psyche, the personalities of our mind, our motivations, our coping patterns, our self- destruction and our heartbreaking lack of belief in ourselves.
I speak this with more knowing than I have ever anchored in anything.
I will go as far as promising you that YOU are your own medicine.
I am my own medicine.
My medicine is my trust.
My medicine is my devotion to myself, my growth, my connection to spirit and my regular practice. Not in times of despair but every single day.
Through breath, through enquiry, through sitting in the space that aligns me with my state of peace, my state of ease, my state of harmony. By surrounding myself with experiences, well aligned people, the natural world, all of which are buzzing at a vibration higher than me, inspire me, mirror me. Through creating and seeking JOY as a high priority. Through prayer to a source of love that is both outside of me, far greater than me and also….me. By sitting in peaceful stillness to receive.
This doesn’t mean I don’t find myself in the shit storms of life, drowning at times, confused, anxious, stressed OUT, experiencing conflict, feeling misunderstood – what it means is, I don’t stay there, I don’t “become” these states, other areas of my life can still function alongside my challenges and I respectfully create time to be with myself to meet these emotions and stories and the pathways that led me to experiencing them. These states are a form of language, and a language that I am super grateful for taking interest in.
It is no coincidence that I found myself working with girls and women in a counselling space who are experiencing this disconnect or curiosity for “something more”. We reveal the path ahead through our own wrong turns, upside down short cuts, trips and triumphs and I accepted the responsibility a long time ago to support others back towards themselves through joy and education and by committing to being the finest expression of my own unique essence – every single day.
I sit here with a heart so full for this path, for every painful moment, several rock bottoms and an epic “forgetting”, because it was those moments that launched me (in slow motion but at least forward motion) to this moment of remembering right now.
It is an honour and a freaking privilege to be a human on this journey. And whoever you are, I am grateful to be one of your fellow explorers.
It will happen more than once in your life and sometimes you just need someone to hold the light for you for a brief moment. Or pass you your map. Or remind you that you aren’t going that way any more. Or help you craft a new map that is appropriate for you, easy enough to digest and integrate, and...exciting even.
You may know what to do. You might even know how you should do it...but you don’t have the energy to gather up your forward momentum.
You have tried different therapies, diets, challenges, you have counted and weighed things, measured things, restricted things and maybe even tried different medications but still feel a little confused about how other people seem to be managing better, how they seem to be...happy.
If it came down to words alone, I am more than certain you would have read a book or post or blog containing your solution, and if it came down to words alone why don’t the perfect words from a trusted friend guide us directly towards the change we need to create...there is far more to healing than our intellectual minds could possibly comprehend and that’s why I integrate the super intelligent plant medicines into my sessions. These plants support us by revealing the parts of us that we shut down, or didn’t completely develop, or do engage but in a way that robs us of our worth, our happiness and our health.
Mindbody medicine invites us to rise to its higher vibration , so that we can navigate our life again. Through the storms of our patterns, and our own behaviours
Choose from a 1 on 1 coaching call, a 90 minute session in my home clinic that includes a Mindbody medicine treatment and take home dosage, or an 8 week Holistic Health Program that includes 3 x face to face sessions and 8 workshops delivered to you weekly, allowing all of this to unfold beautifully with a coach by your side.
If this sparks curiosity in you...fuel your curiosity. It is our soul that creates that curiosity and our soul always knows the way.
The journey of pain in it's varying depths from mild discomfort to absolute heart break will lead to an experience of an emotion and eventually the decision to unhook from that emotion...that will lead us to the wisdom buried in that experience.
Pain can be our biggest blessing, capturing our attention as deeply as it needs to in order for us to act.
Is it the beauty of an aching heart to remind us just how deeply we can feel?
The inconvenience of an illness, or an injury that offers us time to rest, to take interest in the energetic reason behind the circumstance, to take on a beginners mind that moves gently, with curiosity and a healthy amount of caution.
The moment of feeling so alone and hopeless that we are forced to cultivate the tiniest speck of hope that even the subtlest of momentum would be born from.
Is your pain present in the distance between what you desired and what actually came to be? Experienced as disappointment, "buts" and resistance that asks you to bless the beauty of the unknown and to open your heart in T R U S T.
Not to be avoided but to be experienced in it's wholeness, the journey of pain, of suffering, of physical heart ache or the heaviness of your spirit...it speaks to you...and asks you to be with it completely.
I KNEW when I was no longer living my life in alignment with my deepest truth. Even though back then, I didn’t quite know what that meant. Even though it meant giving everything up to be alone, I left my marriage, I lost a lot of “friends” in the process and even some of family didn’t speak to me for a while. It was a confusing decision for everyone except me. It has the hardest decision I ever made and even though I knew it was right, it still hurt more than anything I’d ever experienced.
I DIVE into things fuelled by only joy and then figure out the details later. Some choices require thought, sure. But some projects really are created by and fuelled by EXCITEMENT and VISION and if it ends up an epic fail...well there’s a lesson in that and I’ll take it!
I am a romantic and a D R E A M E R. I believe in LOVE and if there is even one tiny sparkle to be found in a pile of shit, I WILL find it.
There is NO doubt in my mind that we can create the E X A C T future we crave. From nothing more than our unshakable desire for those circumstances , and our unshakable belief that we deserve every tiny detail it involves and an unshakable belief that we are already there. When you sit in that space or creation, and celebrate its arrival now...you begin to shape your story at a cellular level. That’s so FREAKING exciting!
I plant seeds of JOY around my day. Between commitments, amongst responsibilities, in every shape and form. From coffee dates with the girls at Hyde Park, to kitchen dancing and frequent stupidity but also the most epic, strange weird conversations with my amazing husband who is also my best mate and everything awesome in between to time by myself staring at the ocean and time in reflection, connecting to something so super special that I can’t see, know is there, trust fully and feel so supported by. There’s kitten cuddles, creation of make believe stories about the lives of my kittens including them driving a little red car and attending button club, to chasing my favourite sound in the world ---> that of the black cockatoo, my spirit bird.
I CHOOSE HAPPINESS, which doesn’t mean I don’t experience sadness, I’m just more CURIOUS.
I steer clear of things that involve restriction, guilt and lead to short term growth at the expense of sustainable change (dieting, restricting food, training when I have no energy to do so, relying only on physical measures or beating myself up)
I give myself permission to enjoy things that bring me JOY. And if I feel afterwards it didn’t actually align with who I am now and who I actually want to be, my future choice will be a different one.
I eat the rainbow. I eat chocolate too because it brings me joy.
I own my shit. I’m human, I lose it too. And I own it as soon as I can. I say sorry, I don’t sit in that shame or guilt for too long, but I sit in it for long enough to explore it.
Instead of escaping discomfort I try to understand it.
I admit when I’m wrong. Not all ideas are good ones afterall!
I see everyone as a teacher. The teachers, my friends, the people who hurt me, the people I hurt, the children, nature - now NATURE has it sorted right? She really does.
I move slowly more often than not. I love to sweat and burn too, but life gives me enough of that so I’ve learnt to sit. To breath. To ponder. To imagine. To smile at what I see in my imagination. There is so much to smile about. It might just be different to what we once had or thought we would experience. Don’t forget that xx
Defense - the action of defending from or resisting attack. Shielding, guarding.
Defensiveness is something I have mastered throughout my life. And this isn't a good thing. I defend my defensiveness as expressing my truth, expressing my loving intention, expressing the work I AM doing behind the scenes. So why should I let others tell me I'm not doing enough, I'm not being supportive, I'm not trying? It's something I find incredibly hard to wrap my head around...it's like someone telling me I'm actually a unicorn, and me having to just hear that? (Although...how coooool!) I think I'd make a pretty sweet unicorn 😬😬😬
So I've been reflecting on this. A lot. I've been asking for guidance, for understanding, for the ability to create space. And guidance came. Defence means we are being attacked, or in opposition to someone, therefore me defending my truth still says "we are not on the same team".
Processing the opinions of others is TOUGH, oh boy is it tough, when you know your intentions, your capacity, your truth. So how on earth do we stomach the accusations without the hurt and the need to defend? Maybe we commit to space. Followed by compassion. Followed by careful selection of words (because you cannot pull those bad boys back into your mouth) that include the appropriate tone and genuine inquiry into what this other person may have H O P E D for - I used the words hoped for here because needs are well...going to affect how we hold ourselves up - our basic human needs, but our hopes, well they are our desires. Our ideals. Maybe they turn into our expectations.
After several conversations with @dalbyandco on our recent holiday, he worded this perfectly. We can desire anything we want. But unless the other person in the relationship is aware of those specific desires, we cannot put expectation and our own disappointment on them. It's true. Just because we want or desire or expect something from our partner, our friend, our colleague, our family, doesn't mean they are able to provide that - whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually.
We enter in professional relationships with clear expectations from our employer, both on a basic operational level and in fulfilling and representing a particular side of their business, their creation. When we slip up, we sometimes have to sit, and absorb that feedback (rightly or wrongly) and it would be rare to curse and defend and attack - because our JOB is at RISK. Yet in human relationships, without such contracts in place, without such clear expectations of one another, without such clear and precise requirements like show up at this time, wear this uniform, be progressional and represent my brand well, without too much RISK - it's a tangled mess of complexity, of swallowing our truth, of absorbing our hurt, of being more than you have available but still not enough to satisfy. Human relationships are TOUGH.
We are in a relationship with everyone around us. We are also in relations with nature, with the person processing our shopping, with the other drivers on the road. But the depth in all of these relationships varies from superficial with great understanding to deep and potentially little understanding of what that relationship needs to survive and desires to fulfill.
So how do we know what is required, and how do we step from defence to the same team - we are all on the SAME team. We reconnect to ourselves. We reconnect to nature - doing these 2 things alone would invite space and perspective back in. From there we begin the practice of processing the opinions of others - not defending our own actions and beautiful intentions, but processing (understanding) the reason for that opinion. Understanding the part we played. The careful selection of words, and tone to enquire, and the reminder that you can do all of this, and sometimes STILL not meet the needs of others. Defence is resistance is FEAR. Space is compassion is LOVE. Be love. Respectful, compassionate, same team LOVE.
What does that mean? To me it means bringing awareness to everything we do.
Many of us have developed the ability to bring mindfulness to our training sessions, to our mat, whether we are practicing yoga, or pilates, and this is amazing, but with many more hours in our week spent doing things that are not training... It the during those many other hours we need to find that awareness
I'm talking about how we hold ourselves when standing - in line, at work, in the shower, how we sit in the car driving to and from work, or at our desk - often for lengthy periods...
We may spend 6 hours training each week, but there are 168 hours in the week, and outside of training and sleep time - there are another 113 hours in the week that we need to be "awake" for.
The way we hold ourselves in the situations I mentioned, as well as the way we react during stressful times will certainly affect our posture and our therefore our movement patterns, so bringing the mindfulness to daily life as well as during your practice - whatever that may be - will also improve your practice... Is seems simple! And it can be!
It starts with simply noticing your patterns - how you hold yourself, without trying to correct them initially, or analyse why you move that way. It continues with simply noticing more often... From there, we start to break these patterns... Learning how to move this human spacesuit we will be spending many years in is SO important, and I can tell you, when you learn how to breathe in it, how to move it efficiently, how to preserve energy and use just as much as necessary and where to move FROM - your mind will be blown just as much as mine - we hold a lot in, we treat our bodies fragile china
We need now develop a new understanding, we need to change our focus, we need to bring in some balance, and that starts with mindfulness
Mindfulness is not something we can practice "sometimes"...it is something we should incorporate into every aspect of our lives.
I went for a float tank session this week and had an amazing spiritual experience. I have these experiences whenever I remove myself from the existence that is busy day to day living, set an intention and then be 100% open to and accepting of what comes during meditation (which for me is either reiki, yoga, pilates, painting, sound therapy or floating which is sensory deprivation)
After this particular float session, I thought to myself "wow I need to set time aside to have an experience like this every few months... My next thought was - every few months?! This means in 90 days, I would be meditating/setting aside time to tune out once - 1 out of 90 days... When I look at it like this, meditating 1 out of 90 days is closer to not meditating at all, than making it a practice! Don't get me wrong, it's better than nothing, but it is not going to get me closer to where I want to be.
Mindfulness is something that has to be practiced daily, in every aspect of our life. It begins with being 100% conscious of everything we do. From feeling the water as we wash our hands rather than think about what we are doing next, to giving 100% of our attention to the person we are speaking to, listening - without thinking about our response, to thinking about what we are putting into our bodies - and why... It sounds like hard work, and it is, but it means taking responsibility for our own path, which means taking steps towards our goals, and our wellness to ensure we can be the best version of ourselves in this existence.
The difference between humans, and animals is that we have the freedom to choose. It would be silly to not to.
When you get tired of reciting the same "story" do you realise that you are in control of the characters, you are in control of each scene, and you decide how the story will end?
Clinging to our story - the reason why we are the way we are, what we lay victim to, the people who are to blame - it's all the bullshit we continue to tell ourselves to let ourselves off the hook. If we blame others, if we blame what happened "to us", it relieves us of responsibility... Well guess what... It's your story, you are the writer, you are the editor, you are the lead character, and everyone else who is a part of "your story", so when you become tired of writing it, and reciting it, and acting it out... Not to start telling a new story, but to cut the excuses and direct that energy to a life you want to live, amazing things will happen.
There are parts of your life that you can't control, but I believe there is more that you CAN influence. Small things, that add up to your moment to moment happiness, until that becomes your day to day happiness, and soon these things become unconscious, they become habit. You are without a story, without drama, and you may just be happier than you have ever been.
As we start to become more conscious of our thoughts, where our mind goes, where we direct our energy and the words that we choose to use, it is interesting to notice how we identify ourselves.
When you bump into someone after a long time and they ask "what's been happening?!" do you find yourself relaying your achievements or is it always what you perceived as the negative experiences that you recall first?
When something goes wrong during the day, or you feel unwell, or you injure yourself, do you become THAT story, retelling everyone and anyone who will listen for the rest of the day - replaying those same emotions over and over?
These emotions we attach to our circumstances do have an effect on our physical bodies, as do our thoughts - so it is critical that we start to become more aware of our behavioural patterns. Without trying to change them, first just notice them. Then notice them more frequently. From there, with more presence, there will be space in which we can respond, rather than react, choose our words, and start to live from a more loving and thoughtful space - for ourselves and also those around us.
I am not discounting traumatic events, or injuries because I too have experienced these and know how very real they can be. I've also been guilty of making them my "story"... But we are not our job title, our past relationships, our injuries or the mistakes we have made... They certainly influence who we are today, but I think it is important we accept these experiences for the impact they did have on our being and make the journey from here on in about what we HAVE learnt, what we HAVE achieved, what we CAN do...
If we start to recognise the emotions, patterns or injuries that frequently come up for us - we can start to use these as signposts in our life...
Stephan Klein say "for biological reasons, the direction given by pleasure and displeasure must aim, above all, to keep the organism in optimal condition. This is why pain almost always overrides other feelings. We are NOT supposed to ignore the signal that something isn't right"
Isn't that awesome?!
Start to recognise you patterns.
Start to notice how the words you choose, and the thoughts you pay attention to, make you feel.
Accept stress, be it in the form of pain, injury, anxiety as a signal that something is out of balance
And most importantly... Start directing your energy towards what you can control, the abilities you do have, and the people and things that bring you joy.
What will your story be?