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Why Are We Afraid of Being Soft?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

To be soft, yielding, gentle, quiet, accepting, open, innocent, trusting….

They’re not qualities we value so much these days.

Our culture seems to value their opposites – tough, strong, critical, resilient, decisive, assertive, cynical and street-wise.  It’s the yin and yang, the feminine and masculine at their extremes.

Because of course we can be soft and strong, quiet and assertive, gentle and tough.

Yes indeed. Think of a rose – soft and delicate petals with tough leaves and strong, thorn-laden stems. Nature at its most wondrous.

I feel we’ve forgotten the value of softness.

Softness is love, warmth, praise, compassion, open-mindedness, trust, vulnerability, acceptance, appreciation…

Just think about it, when you’re with your family, is the mood one of softness or hardness?  Could there be a softening?  Would it feel better?  Would it allow more love in?

When I’m quick to assert an opinion, make a judgement, defend myself or speak without really listening, I’m not adding a loving presence.  I’m certainly not bonding more closely with the people I love. If anything, I’m holding them at a distance.

If I could just soften a little, slow things down, be more gentle and open:

Would people walk all over me?

Would I lose my way?

Would I be diminished in my effectiveness, my productivity?

Would I count for less?

The archetype of the soft and loving mother has become an anachronism.  She disappeared out of fear and shame in the face of a masculine-oriented world.  The gentler feminine qualities were subjected to ridicule and derision. It became an insult to be soft.  Toughness and boldness became the goal.

The harshness of the world has taken this quality away from us, men and women both.

We’re hard on ourselves.  We’re taught to compare and compete against others from a young age.  We’re taught it’s a dog eat dog world – you’d better get the prize before your neighbour does.

Try harder, do better next time, don’t let yourself down, toughen up, keep going, don’t give up, don’t be so soft.

You got this!

I want to break it all down and let it go and not just because it doesn’t feel good….also because it doesn’t work.

I don’t do better when I strive harder, are more critical of myself or more uncompromising.  It just makes me freeze up and feel panicked.  I’ve always been sensitive to stress. When I was a student I had performance-stunting anxiety in exams, became mentally scattered and unfocused under deadline pressure and would end up ill after prolonged periods of emotional strain and busyness.

I do not thrive under pressure.

Does anyone really?  I suspect we get addicted to the adrenaline rush and the ego-trip of being so busy we haven’t got time to scratch ourselves.  I’m busy and stressed, therefore, I’m important.

Of course having some degree of structure and discipline is essential for getting things done but do we really need to harangue ourselves into feeling a slave to every task, overwhelmed and a failure?

So where does that leave us?  I feel we’re starved of self-love and self-compassion.  Danielle Laporte raises this point in her new book White Hot Truth…check out some excerpts here.

We’re all trying so hard to be too much to too many people and it hurts.

What if we just softened a little?

I’d love to hear your thoughts….

For sessions with me click here and give me a call to book your FREE 15 minute consultation.

Am I Excited? No, I’m Letting Go of Expectations

Posted in Live Your Passions

Our expectations of upcoming events set up how our reality unfolds…in a very real way.

“Are you looking forward to it?” This is what everyone says when I tell them our family is about to take off on a holiday to France.

And sure, we’re looking forward to being there. Yes, it’s going to be great….do I seem less than excited?

Hmm, I guess I do.  But try as I might, I just can’t seem to get myself buzzing and leaping around with glee about our wonderful upcoming holiday.

Am I depressed?  No, quite the opposite….I’m really quite happy and at ease in my daily life, so the prospect of flitting off on an amazing journey through France feels great and I’m so grateful we’re able to do it, but it’s not like I’m hanging out for it as an escape from ‘normal’ life.

Because my everyday life is pretty awesome (sorta like a holiday half the time), I’m not putting a stack of expectations on how our trip is going to give me a break from normality or compensate for an unhappy existence.

And that feels like kind of a relief because expectations can be problematic can’t they?

I’ve lived through some serious ups and downs (haven’t we all), and I’m learning more and more, that the less developed – or indeed completely absent – my expectations are, the better I end up enjoying myself.

When in the past I’ve built up a coming event to be the most fabulous, amazing time ever! I’ve often ended up feeling let down by the reality. Anyone else?  It might be just my personality type, but I prefer the gently undulating ride of the walking pony to the thrills and speed of the galloping stallion.

Here’s some more context for you:

My husband and I set a goal back in 2012 to do an overseas holiday with our children every couple of years until our oldest has finished high school.  So in 2014 I took a crash course in Airbnb and Rail Europe and we took a family holiday to Spain. It was wonderful.  We saw lots of amazing places and enjoyed some really memorable moments together as a family.

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Mmmm, pastry….with custard

But I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, it’s not all sunshine and roses when travelling abroad as a family. Ordinary life has a habit of creeping in:

  • We all came down with colds
  • We had a few tense moments standing outside restaurants trying to pick a suitable venue for dinner
  • We got lost trying to drive through the city of Malaga because we had no idea how to use the GPS (more tension)
  • Sometimes we got tired of being around one another 24/7
  • One night we had to create a meal from very little because none of the shops were open

Yes I know, it’s a feeble list of slight inconvenience and mild hardship.  It was indeed a wonderful holiday with nothing much to complain about and also, it was just life for me, life in a fascinating, foreign-speaking, unfamiliar place.

We loved it and we were thrilled to arrive home when it was over.

So of course I’m looking forward to our holiday (in only two days!). I’m sure it’s going to be mind-expanding, exciting, wonder-filled and delightful.  But it’s also going to be tiring, stressful and overwhelming at times.

My expectations are simple and vague…there will be a bed to sleep in, food to eat, people to meet, air to breathe and new sights to see. Beyond that, I don’t want to imagine and set forward desires.  I just want to wait and see.

Hey, wish me bon voyage won’t you? And check out my Facebook page here for the photos next week.

Love, Tricia

You’re Not Wrong and Neither Are They

Posted in Heal Relationships

We think we’re aware right?  We think we know ourselves and all our foibles pretty well by now. Yes?

Well I’m sorry to say this, and of course I’m speaking just for myself here 🙂 , but I feel many of us still have a long way to go before we can claim any sort of seniority in the AWARENESS stakes…

Find yourself complaining about certain people in your life?

Still have one or two family members that really know how to push your buttons?

Get so caught up in your reaction to what someone has said or done that you aren’t able to be the compassionate person you are deep down?

Welcome to humanity, I guess…AND also, we are making some progress aren’t we?

Well you know and I know that this month of December right here, right now, is THE month of the year for family get-togethers and family explosions (either silently muffled or loudly proclaimed). Bring it on I say.

What I find in my sessions with the gorgeous humans who come and sit with me each day, is that while we may understand we are always an active participant in any unhappy happenings between ourselves and others, it’s far easier to just want the other person to change.

True growth and freedom begins with the realisation that in some way or another, that person you are cursing and criticizing is actually being of service to you via their behaviour. And it’s often those we love the most and have most meaning to us that have the power to really tick us off.

What they are showing us is usually one of the following things:

  • An aspect of ourselves that we may benefit from embracing and loving instead of denying and condemning.
  • An unmet need from long ago that we can most often meet for ourselves rather than demanding they meet it.
  • A strong fear or belief we are suppressing and projecting onto them as an excuse for not confronting it. For example; “Oh no, we couldn’t possibly go on an overseas holiday, Mary is such a scrooge.”
  • A demonstration of how we don’t honour and respect ourselves enough with regard to speaking our truth, looking after our own well-being or saying ‘no’ to the things we don’t want to do.
  • A need of theirs to feel heard, more valued, acknowledged or forgiven by you. Maybe this will smooth the way?

Here’s a little exercise we can all do this holiday season to bring a greater sense of peace and calm to every interaction: Notice how you are feeling, acknowledge it and ask yourself this beautiful question posed by Neale Donald Walsch.

“What would love do now?”

Coming from this perspective can only soothe us and return us to our gentle selves where we are more able to breathe, welcome the realities of others and bless them for their humanness.

Also, make time and space for yourself in the coming weeks to go outdoors alone, take a rest during the day or just doing any small or big thing that makes you feel nurtured and relaxed.

Being in nature is my best therapy, just look at this cute ball of fluffy baby bird I photographed just outside our home this morning. So sweet.

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When all is said and done, just be yourself and let others be themselves and love will be the victor.

For some personal assistance with all of this relationship stuff, read about my session work here and feel free to phone or email me so we can get to know each other a little before your appointment.

Many blessings, Tricia

 

 

 

Three Tips for Keeping Calm this Christmas

Posted in Heal Relationships, Live From Intuition, and Trust The Universe

You can feel something shifting, can’t you.

We’re coming to the close of 2014 and this is our opportunity to reflect, release and realise how far we’ve come this year.

The Australian native we call a Christmas tree.
The Australian native we call a Christmas tree <3

Celebrate that you are still here and breathing.  Breathe in, breathe out…

Go softly into the coming year.  Be gentle on yourself and know that as you grow into greater love with who you are, your world will expand and your potential for your bigger life will be realised.  Allow that this may happen quickly or slowly, in a steady or a stop and start manner, or for a long while it may feel as though nothing is happening at all…

Be assured, all that you need is present in your life in every moment:  That problem with the computer, the package that hasn’t arrived, the friends running late to meet you at the restaurant, the lack of energy just when you had a long list of tasks to get through.  It’s all there for you.

When we embrace the truth that life is always guiding and gifting us with precisely what we are ready to face, it all feels so much more calm and easy.

See if you can look at whatever you are presented with on Christmas Day with this kind of open-hearted trust. And you know I’m not talking about the presents you unwrap, I’m talking about the people you spend the day with and how they present themselves from your perspective.

Remember, we all are here with our own pathway to travel, they’re not deliberately trying to upset or annoy you, they are your wonderful family and they are part of your life for very mysterious and magical reasons.  We all serve one another in many ways as we work through (or even settle into) our own dysfunction.

Also, please remember, you have free will.  You may feel obligated to spend time with certain people at this time of year and if that leaves you feeling drained, triggered or angry and resentful, then perhaps you’ll make a different choice next time.  You have the power to choose who you socialise with, no matter what the occasion.

So here are my three simple tips for being in your own integrity and staying calm this festive season:

Number one – Be mindful of who you commit to spending time with and find a positive reason to be with those whom you choose. If you can’t find a good reason to be there, bow out graciously.  Feelings of obligation and guilt have no useful role in our lives (thank you Anita Moorjani).

Number two – Allow that if tensions are high in certain family dynamics, that others (and even you), may end up expressing some long-suppressed truths in what look and feel like arguments.  These moments, while unpleasant can be very cathartic and be catalysts for healing and reconciliation.  When we hold fear around them happening we may contribute to the intensity rather than prevent them.  Being outdoors for at least some time during the day together can help to calm everyone down.  Perhaps you could suggest a stroll after lunch?

Number three – Set some loving intentions for the group, for yourself and each individual prior to arriving or greeting your guests.  While we are not responsible for any other person’s behaviour, we may set the energetic tone by holding ALL in light and compassion as the day commences.

Be yourself and be kind to you.  That is your Christmas gift to your soul.

I’m available this week for appointments to help you get your year started with enthusiasm and direction.  To learn more, take a look at my Inner Guidance Coaching page and contact me for a chat.

Letting Go to Create Anew

Posted in Uncategorized

The Australian Bush Flower Essence’s Bottlebrush Essence helps us to cope calmly with change

What’s becoming really clear to me at the moment is that a really big part of moving forward as a human being is letting go. A couple of weeks ago I went to an early morning (well, not that early, 7.15) yoga class, leaving the man to get the kids ready for school and deliver them with all the important stuff in their bags like hats, water bottles and library books.

Now it’s not as though he hasn’t been around to help with the morning routine for a couple of months.  It’s just that I am usually the one in charge and the last defence when it comes to checking that everything is sorted.

Just before I cycled off to yoga I couldn’t help myself making some little preparations. I got the lunch boxes out and carefully placed April’s reading book next to her diary on the table, making sure there was a pencil there ready for her to write with.  I then crept into the bedroom where Dad was still dozing and casually mentioned what needed to be done with the diary, being careful to seem relaxed lest he detect any unease about leaving him in charge.

I loved my yoga class and having a break from the school morning palaver was sheer bliss!  What really surprised me was the low level anxiety mixed in with a little bit of loss I felt about not being at home to make sure everything was done right.

My conscious self is ready to share the parenting more evenly with my partner but ten years of doing a lot of this day to day care of kids and home on my own has clearly had a deep affect on my psyche.  It feels like I need to nurture myself through letting go of this strong role I have created for myself so I can become more balanced and more able to enjoy other aspects of my life.

My husband is going through his own process of letting go of his role of being the sole provider of the family income and adjusting to being more present in the domestic sphere.  It all feels right and better for us as a family but we are certainly going through an adjustment phase as we find our feet in our new life.

Going to my second morning yoga class the following week was easier and who knows, one day I might even walk out the door without so much as a thought about where my daughter’s homework folder is.

It’s funny how it’s not until we make some changes in our lives that we realise how attached we are to our roles and habits.  For me it all comes back to the idea that we are whole and perfect regardless of what we “do” in the world.

I’ve said it before and I offer you this chance to do it again with me.

Sit down right now and take a couple of deep breaths letting the exhalations out with a little sigh.  Say lovingly to yourself, (out loud if you like):

“I AM”

Focus on your heart space.

“I AM”

This brings a smile to my lips and a feeling of peace to my heart.

How about you?

All is well.

Namaste ( I like the interpretation “The light in me sees the light in you”)

Tricia