The whole picture
Thoughts to ponder...
There is so much heart, care and thought that goes into the creation of my retreat offerings
I have been holding retreat space for around 10 years now and have many repeat guests return with us which is a beautiful testament to what we create and hold for women
Every aspect of your experience is carefully considered.
The location, your retreat accommodation, the schedule - a compassionate balancing of you needing to be somewhere and receiving through necessary rest and non doing. The space in between.
The daily practices that each invite you to come home to yourself and your body, exploration through these practices, through a creative component, and through adventures in the local wilderness to connect to and receive from the aspect of nature that you are.
The meals which are cooked fresh, oh so nourishing and very comforting, and of course your hosts.
My beautiful retreat support are incredible women. Each with a background of counselling, we work in the healing arts and dance joyfully and easefully around one another on retreat.
We are there to support you. explore beside you. Be of service to you.
These aspects of retreat that we share with you are the aspects of self respect and self responsibility that we embody in our own lives to ensure to we can meet you, serve you, hold you and honour you through your experience with us.
When it comes to retreat, there is much more involved that it may seem which means there is also much more to be received from retreat than you may expect.
A retreat experience with us continues to expand into every aspect of your life. Through the replication of retreat meals, through the inspiration your received during a meaningful conversation with another guest on one of our hikes, through connection to your own wisdom during a workshop or during your healing treatment, through pausing and resting and respectfully saying “no” to morning practice out of honouring your own needs. It is your retreat.
The essence of retreat is one of remembering.
And it would be an honour to connect with you and hold you in that energy in one of our upcoming offerings.
Esperance Women’s Retreat 15th September
Pemberton Women’s Retreat 9th Feb
Can you feel it?
Request further information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you feel that pressure building when things begin to stay with you rather than move through you?
When we “hold” our emotion which might look like swallowing our words rather than giving voice to them, or “parking” our problems for a more convenient time, or letting our blood boil rather than letting off some steam it gathers in our body or it comes out sideways as aggression, reactivity, frustration, anger, or even violence, causing damage to and hurt within our relationships on the way out.
When it gathers in the body it waits patiently at first, until it begins to become heavier, more toxic, and something our body just doesn’t want to hold anymore. It manifests as dis-order, or dis-ease. This will surely get our attention. A loss of voice, some kind of ailment that temporarily makes us stop, a migraine that sends us to bed, even a body wide condition that ensures we finally notice our body (even if it is through pain).
By creating our own warning lights we can catch ourselves in a part of our own cycle before we reach that full blown destructive tipping point.
Perhaps your warning light is reactivity: when you recognise this you know that it’s time to decompress - some time, some space, some perspective and some ownership, circling you back to a place of inner peace.
Perhaps your warning light is a fury within, rage or a sense of spiralling out of control and you create a process for yourself in that moment that opens the valve to let some pressure out in a way that brings relief without destruction - screaming underwater, crying, sobbing, stomping, punching a pillow, getting it off your chest by sharing with someone you trust and then intentionally doing something soothing and settling for the nervous system - a walk, the ocean, a bath, some time in nature.
Imagine years of this waiting patiently in your body, all of those words unspoken, the emotions parked, until it expresses as something physical or worse. You become so used to ignoring it or avoiding it that you disconnect from it, closing off and in the process finding it hard to experience or feel much at all including the joy.
That is the danger of the build up. As you finish up this article I invite you to consider these two strategies that are certain to relieve some of the stress and pressure and in the process act a a gesture of self responsibility, self regulation and self care.
Some unstructured time in and with nature. A coastal trail, the ocean, you decide where you feel good and make it a priority to spend some time there. Ideally before boiling point, because these spacious moments add up but certainly as a response to “too much”. Natures wisdom waits for us. It shares a sense of space with us, it holds us for a little while, and when we take a moment to take some cooling breaths, we breath with nature so if you can’t physically get there please know that breathing does connect you to nature - you breathe out and the trees breathe in, the trees breathe out and you take that breath in.
Expression. Which means moving it rather than holding it and the options are endless. Verbalising your challenge with someone you trust, crying, screaming, stomping, shaking it out, jumping, dancing, singing (music is a powerful channel for expression so create a playlist that supports that emotion and moves you) running, breathwork, boxing.
Our body is always communicating with us. We are either choosing to take part in that conversation or choosing ignorance and the consequence is our happiness and our health.
Someone else's expectations of us are not personal.
In a way this might sound strange because you are in a relationship of some kind with that person, so in a way it might seem personal, but it is likely those needs existed before you came along
That preference of receiving love existed before you came along
The insecurities existed before you came along
The way or means of feeling seen or accepted most likely existed before you came along
Knowing what someone needs is valuable
It is also valuable to understand that this works both ways
Your preference for receiving love is yours and has been yours before this relationship, circumstance or experience
Your own insecurities are yours, and illuminate possibility to nurture your needs through a more gentle, accepting and intentional relationship with yourself
The way you need to be seen or accepted has likely been so in previous experiences or relationships
Sometimes the other person doesn’t know how
Sometimes the other person doesn’t have the awareness
Sometimes the other person does know how and does have the awareness but doesn’t value this thing the same way we do
We take it personally
But we also make it personal
A relationship has two directional movements, it has to, for this is the law of nature, a giving, a receiving, outward, Inward and regardless of this, It is no one else’s responsibility to make us feel a certain way
We do get to choose whether that relationship or experience is nourishing us enough, whether it is well balanced, and still aligned, but when we reach outwards to feel these things we will continue to be disappointed because this rich self worth is our own to be remembered
No one else can remember our richness for us
They can affirm it
But our belief in our own worthiness, our value in the space we take up and what we contribute to this world simply by being here...that beautiful knowing can only ever be our own
Next time you make it personal or take it personally...know this
You are already enough
This other person, just like you has their own shit to deal with and experience and navigate too
You are each dancing in and around your own fears and sometimes you need a new dance partner, a new song, some new dancing shoes, some new moves, a different stage or...compassion for the journey including the toe stomping, tantrums, and accidentally wrong played songs.
I began writing this back in May after I supported someone close through an incredibly powerful purge which felt to them like a break down, or a rock bottom but I knew with all of me it was a beautiful space of healing for this person.
It was one of the most natural and powerful things I have had the privilege of witnessing, but I could also sense the fear from their loved ones who stood close by because of how it looked, how it sounded, how foreign this healing pathway was and could be.
As I sometimes do, I begin writing a piece and pop it aside in trust that sometimes the contemplations are just for me, but having experienced the last month I have personally, I feel this topic was one of importance.
What do you naturally think of when it comes to a healing space, a healing pathway, a healing journey?
Sometimes, depending on the healing modality, a healing pathway may be subtle, gentle, nurturing, soothing, but sometimes, a healing space can be rough, it can be messy, you might even feel worse in the middle of it, it may come in the way of deep despair, it may bring with it the complexities of the root cause. It may unravel the layers of conditioning you have put in place (not necessarily knowingly) that allowed you to make sense of something, hold yourself together, give meaning or reason to something, to forget something, to survive, to feel loved, to ensure you would never be hurt again, the list goes on.
We do what we need to in order to stay upright and continue some kind of forward momentum, but at what expense?
At the expense of our peace, ease and happiness – our natural states of being
At the expense of our own growth and freedom from our own shackles
At the expense of our health – our true and whole health including our mental health and our spiritual joy
It requires time
It requires energy
It requires trust
It requires un understanding that we are not our thoughts, we are not our experiences, we are not our hardships, we are not the conditions of our health, we are not our emotions, we are not our qualification our job title or our marital status, we are not our diagnosis, we are not our dis-eases
When we begin to understand that we absolutely experience all of those things but are not those things, it takes pressure off.
We are just having a human experience, and another, and another, and we will meet these experiences and conditions and communications from our body and our spirit with interest and curiosity or we will grasp onto them, hide behind them, attach to them, identify with them, maybe even fear who we might be if we weren’t them.
We keep our selves held together so so tightly, sometimes trusting more in medication than our own innate knowing or trusting medication over really sitting in the murkiness of it all to take some kind of interest in ourselves, take some kind of responsibility for the path that led us here, truly honouring our journey so far, the “glue” that is holding us together, the things that help us “cope” with the pain whether that be addiction which can be in anything – shopping, drinking, drug use, social media, exercise, learning, distractions…or reaching externally for the peace, ease and happiness that we carried into this life with us and have unlimited access to at all times.
I am by no means suggesting anyone stop taking medication without a doctors consent, but rather, spend as much time, energy and money on truly sitting with ourselves to understand what choices we have made, what choices we are still making, the possible effect of our medications on our emotional and spiritual welfare, let alone the state of our body systems.
Consider the respect or lack of respect we are paying ourselves, consider the relationship we are in with ourselves, how much importance we even put on this, and the health of communication within that relationship, the level of conflict between different aspects of ourselves, the breathability of that relationship, the honesty of that relationship we have with ourselves.
Being a pure expression of our truth, in complete alignment, uses the least amount of effort, because that is who we are, who we should feel comfortable to “be”, but when we find ourselves pretending, or hold many aspects of ourselves back to fit in over here, and fit in over there, to be seen over here, and important over there, we are costing ourselves unnecessary energy, we are telling out bodymind that we are under threat, we begin functioning in a state of fear which “costs” even more, and we are moving further and further away from our natural state.
This is not to say we won’t experience the FULL spectrum of emotions – we absolutely will, that is the human journey, and so is becoming comfortable with those emotions because they are communicating something to us and when they do – how do you respond?
Do you allow yourself to be deep in it?
To cry, to yell, to move, to breath, to support your body in moving what it needs to move.
This is different to going and destroying yourself in the gym - which is beneficial for other reasons but more of the same “stress” on the nervous system, more heat, more fire, when the body needs nurturing, needs soothing, needs stillness in order to relay your own wisdom to you and needs a whole lot of compassion.
We are responsible for our happiness
For our growth
For our rock bottoms, our time down there, the wisdom we can gain from such an experience, the beautiful shedding, the new space we create as a result of that shedding.
For taking interest in not just our physical appearance, but the true health of our internal world.
The most toxic thing we feed ourselves is our own fear, our own worry, our own stories – and even more so – the fear, worry and stories we give no voice but give a home in our body. Our cells are literally carrying all of this, and we can begin a healing journey by first taking deep and compassionate interest in ourselves in this way.
By saying “I am ready to meet you, all of you, let’s do this”
Considering the roles we are playing
The resent or bitterness we are carrying
The rules we place on ourselves
The patterns in our day that we are attached to, at the detriment of our physical, spiritual or emotional health
The patterns we justify
The stories we tell ourselves including “this is just who I am” or “I’ve tried everything” or “there’s no point”
The triggers in our life that have the potential to activate our healing
We do not have to wait for rock bottom to begin developing this new relationship with ourselves, but I can tell you having hit one of my own emotional rock bottoms last week, it was incredibly healing. I had experienced the first layer a few weeks earlier, and then found myself literally swallowing down an energetic purge to make it home to safety where I spent the next 5 hours breaking down.
I was aware of what was happening, I was surprised at how much I had been holding, I wanted so badly to just lay in someones lap so they could tell me it would be ok. I also knew that I needed to experience this fully on my own and remind myself it was ok.
We need not be afraid of being in this place.
We can purge in many ways, because it is literally a clearing, so at times when we think it is something that is “going around” or even unexplained food poisoning that doesn’t make sense, while nurturing ourselves physically and taking necessary action, allowing for rest, we can also trust that our body knows exactly what to do.
Our purge may present through energy release, through an outburst, through tears, through sobbing – this is grief that needs to be moved, in fact sobbing supports the clearing of the sadness and grief from the lungs according to traditional Chinese medicine.
A break down is literally a breaking down
Of old fears
Of a soul that cries out ENOUGH
Your body saying NO MORE
And it is something we can absolutely sit with, meet, allow and embrace
By doing so we can rebuild, re-organise, create new stability, new space and begin to experience the peace and joy we so deserve.
My door is open if you need support in this process and within the contemplation. If it is a safe space you need, a trained practitioner to help you in processing what you are experience, I can be this safe space for you in a session, but I want to empower you in this moment, you can also do this for yourself.
This may be a friendship, a family member, an intimate relationship, even a relationship with a colleague.
Fear can express itself in many ways. From the turmoil inward and via the subtle voice of behaviour outward, through our language, those little comments we throw out or receive that don't feel so nice, through outbursts of anger or epic explosions.
We might recognise our own fear as not feeling valued or seen in that relationship (this may actually be the truth or a an expression of fear)
We might recognise fear as paranoia, anxiety or jealousy, or the need to be with that person to feel safe or worthy or loved - that is no ones responsibility other than our own and it is possible.
This might look like stories we create, tell ourselves and believe ie “I’m obviously not important enough” “They don’t make time for me”.
It might look like comparison and expectation “they make time for that person” or “I want my relationship to look like this this and this” which is actually passing our own judgement and expectation onto someone else for them to hold and juggle.
It might look like needing something from that person, and that person not actually having the capacity or learned behaviours to meet you there or give you that (or the desire at that stage of their life).
It might look like needing to resolve something for the sake of it being resolved because some aspect of you feels validated by being in that relationship. This could include casting all of your own knowing and your own values aside just to simply be at peace within something that may not actually be respectful or aligned with you.
Here is what will help:
Remind yourself that every single person is juggling their own balls. Their work/study ball, their family responsibility ball, their mental health ball, their physical health ball, their awareness of self ball, every other relationship ball....your relationship with that one person is just one ball, and it is not their responsibility to make you feel loved, safe, needed, worthy, seen, supported. You deserve these things of course, and in healthy, balanced relationships built on trust it will be the natural environment but it is not their responsibility
Things also change, life circumstances change, priorities change, paths split in two and take different courses, we are met with health challenges or health challenges of loved ones which might take our time, energy and attention for a while.
Our insecurities, although not all our own doing, are our own responsibility to meet, understand, process and move beyond. Human relationships are an incredible part of this journey, our mirrors, our training grounds, our battle fields at times...you get to choose whether each relationship is creating the conditions for personal growth, happiness and therefore health, or depleting you of these things.
Just be aware of these expressions of fear, the language of fear, the behaviour of fear...you will pick on them because they feel “bleh”, they feel lower vibrational, they feel the opposite to your natural state of being which looks, feels and sounds like love and trust.
Know that conflict is a form of heat and fire has the potential to burn away that which needs to be renewed, restored. Conflict is not something to be feared but something to develop as a skill - like any other. It takes deep self worth and practice to be able to stand in your centre and own your truth. Just remember that truth is yours only - the other person has there own truth in that moment and that is ok too.
The relationships of love and trust don’t need anything from you, do not expect anything of you, they inspire you, they have a sense of joy, ease and lightness about them. These are the people in your life that you can go weeks or months without seeing and that's no big deal, because their foundation is trust. I am so grateful for many of these beautifully meaningful relationships in my life and I hope that this brings light to the relationships you are in.
I believe it was Elkhart Tolle that said if we find our here and now intolerable we only ever have three choices
1) remove yourself from the situation
2) accept your situation
3) change it somehow
This morning I sit here pondering whether it could be a combination of all threes Remove yourself from your own hooks of expectation, accept the part you play in that relationship and make a choice for yourself about whether the season of that relationship is naturally evolving OR change the dynamic of that relationship i.e. find a gentle, peaceful ok-ness in how you dance with one another in that relationship, dropping away the "shoulds", the expectations, the neediness, the comparisons with other relationships which are only going to weigh you down. You don't need that.
You do need to know that what you contribute to any relationship (your half of it) will only be as much as you contribute to yourself. Meaning what you are needing from others you are truly needing from yourself. When we make peace with this idea, the edges of expectation soften and we begin to remember and reconnect to the beauty in each of our relationship containers, because we realise we are partly responsible for the cleanliness and sacredness within them - and if that relationship doesn't feel sacred, balanced, equal - that is your insight right there. Begin with deep respect for yourself, and a gentle, compassionate unpacking of your own suitcases from your past that have been craving your time and attention.
With love xx
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.