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Month: August 2013

The Power Of The Pen

Posted in Heal Relationships, Live From Intuition, and Self-Care and Self-Healing

Some things are better left unsaid

How about writing it out instead?

image courtesy: http://www.grahamdarby.co.uk/
image courtesy: http://www.grahamdarby.co.uk/

When we find ourselves in the midst of rapid personal growth, life can suddenly feel hostile, hard and unfair.   When strong and seemingly irrational emotions come to the surface, we might feel tempted to express them in the form of harsh criticism towards someone close to us.

Ironic isn’t it? The ones we love the most are the ones we tend to blame for our feelings of angst when we are confronting our own inner demons.

I feel what is really happening here is that as change beckons, we meet strong resistance from the part of us that wants to cling to the past for its safety and familiarity.  This part of us also wants to defend the old patterns and their accompanying feelings because these ancient relics underpin our ego and personality.

Your wise inner self is attempting to integrate a new paradigm such as; “I am always loved and supported.  Everything happening in my life is helping me to evolve and be my most authentic self”.  In response, the part of the self wedded to the old ways says; “He’ll never love me the way I should be loved, he’s flawed, the relationship is doomed. I need to tell him how wrong he is!” This might be translated as; you don’t need to change, you are feeling out of sorts because other people in your life are wicked, mean and selfish.

This is where it may be wise to pause before you speak. Grab a notepad and write out your feelings before you pick that fight or confront that loved one with the intention of asserting your needs.

The magic of journal writing can only be experienced by doing it and doing it often. Miraculous revelations and releases can be triggered simply by writing fearlessly and freely. What or who you think is at the root of all your problems often slides away as the real issues materialise before your eyes, straight from the tip of your pen.

With a bit of practice, journal writing can bring about significant emotional release and personal growth, minus the upset and trauma that airing your grievances with your partner, parent or sibling can cause.

One method of getting the writing to flow is to write as if you were writing a letter to God, your inner self, a dearly departed loved one, or a pet.  Yes, that’s right; “Dear Tiffles…. (my childhood cat). Although I’m guessing your beloved cat or dog can’t read, they are wonderful confidantes.  You know they love you unconditionally and they can’t argue with your views or disapprove of your strong language.

The reality is, when you write it all out until you are dry, solutions present themselves, new perspectives emerge and suppressed emotions are set free.  I guarantee that when you write with honesty and openness, where you started will be a world away from where you finish.

Well, perhaps things won't look quite this good. But you never know...
Well, perhaps things won’t look quite this good. But you never know…

Now I won’t pretend that this is all sunshine and roses, not at all.  But when I compare the short-lived flows of tears that have come from some of my journalling escapades, with the layers of false thinking and restricted living that I have kissed goodbye in the process, well, I think it’s an exercise worth doing.

Julia Cameron writes far more eloquently than I on this topic in her wonderful book, The Artist’s Way. It’s worth a read.

In the meantime, just make time each day or so to pick up that pen and write down how you feel, it might change your life and at the very least, it could save your marriage.

What Happens After the Big Aha

Posted in Trust The Universe

I’ve had quite a few of those breath-taking experiences we call variously; ‘aha’, light bulb and eureka moments.  The feelings of celebration and release we all have when these realisations, solutions or insights hit are often powerful and exhilarating.

Make time for inspiration to emerge
Make time for inspiration to emerge

What comes later though can sometimes feel like a bit of an anti-climax.

You see, I’ve noticed that the aha moment doesn’t always lead to the kinds of immediate personal transformations and life changes I crave.  In fact for me, these moments are often followed by the exact opposite of what I was hoping would occur.

You know how it is, you believe you’ve created a whole new mindset around; not shouting at the kids, breaking your habit of running late, reducing sugar in your diet or criticising your partner’s every move and then life throws every possible obstacle in your way to stop those changes coming to fruition: The kids play up worse than ever, you get lost on your way to an appointment, you buy and then eat the fundraiser chocolates sold at junior soccer and well, you know what happens with your partner, they drive you bonkers, on purpose.

The old one step forward, ten steps back routine.

It’s as though the internal shift has yet to filter through to our external world and in the meantime, any residual beliefs and patterns still hanging around in the ‘post-aha’ self take the opportunity to wreak havoc and mayhem for their last hurrah.

It’s as though the universe is saying, “Oh yeah? You want to change? Well then, let’s see how serious you are about this. Try this on for size….and this…. how about THAT! KAPOW!”.

It can end up feeling that since we aren’t succeeding at ‘walking the mind-talk’ of our new outlook, then we must be completely back to square one.

Let me reassure you though that this assumption is far from true.  Just because a first, second, or fiftieth attempt at personal growth and evolution doesn’t stick, it doesn’t mean you haven’t made progress.  It’s just that when we humans work to break habits created from decades of family patterning and centuries of cultural conditioning, the really worthwhile, soul-liberating shifts take time for us to fully embody.

It’s a bit like getting used to a really short hair-cut after wearing it long for years or getting back on a bicycle after a decade of not riding, feels weird, wrong, not us. Plus there’s always that super-helpful ego kick-back I wrote about a little while ago.

What I’m saying is, we’re all in the same boat with this so don’t worry, you’re not alone in your frustration, impatience and self-doubt.

In my humble opinion, tools like journalling, meditation, being in nature and seeing a skilled counsellor can all help us along our pathway but good old simple patience and surrender to a higher power are also pretty darned helpful.

Just take that next step, you’ll get there eventually. Promise.

Mindfulness minus Multi-tasking = Inner Peace

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

On the walk across the golf course to school this morning, my nine year-old daughter asked: “Mum, why do you meditate?”

My reply: “Well, it makes me more peaceful and calm.  Also, it helps me to know myself better and become clearer about how I want to live my life, rather than just rushing around all day focused on what I have to do”.

“Hmmm” she said. “I’m already peaceful, sorta, well not really, but I’m happy (looking up at me with a funny grin).”

We had a little giggle at this because ‘peaceful’ is not a word either of us would often associate with this high energy, singing and dancing, extroverted, firecracker of a little girl.  But yes, she is mostly a pretty happy child.

And I guess, for the most part, I’m a pretty happy adult.  It’s just that since leaving childhood, I seem to have developed some not so helpful habits when it comes to being present, mindful, conscious and focused each day.

7.15am : Enjoying the peace and serenity of sunrise
7.15am : Enjoying the peace and serenity of sunrise

One of these is multi-tasking.  Are you aware of how often in your day you are trying to do more than one thing at a time? Also, are you aware of how sometimes doing more than one thing at a time undermines your enjoyment of both activities?

In my assessment, some multi-tasking works and some doesn’t.  It’s all a matter of being aware of how mindful you feel when combining activities and how you feel at the end of each day when you do it a lot.

For example, this morning I enjoyed listening to Dee Walllace on Masterworks Healing as I folded and hung washing indoors.  This type of multi-tasking feels fine to me as I can remain calm and present when I do it.

A not so healthy habit I recently broke was reading while eating.  When I did this, I found my posture became hunched, my abdomen was tense and I wasn’t really conscious of what I was putting in my mouth.  I think conversing while eating is fine (my husband is always telling me off for talking with my mouth full).  Reading feels different I think because it takes your mind away from the present moment and distracts you from enjoying the food. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

The bottom line is, when we try to do too much, we feel stressed and the notion that we are more productive the more balls we can juggle through our day, can actually be a bit of an illusion.  Slowing everything down allows us to see that a happy life is not about getting through the washing so we can do something more fun or about eating breakfast while reading a magazine because we’ve killed two birds with one stone (but probably enjoyed neither).

This is what I know about myself: I can’t listen to an interview and write emails or a blog simultaneously.  I can’t meditate and compile a shopping list simultaneously and I can’t truly taste my morning cup of tea unless I sit down to drink it instead of sipping it while standing at the kitchen bench filling lunch boxes.

What multi-tasking habits would you like to break?  I love to hear from you…

Seeking Mellow

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Live Your Passions

I tell my kids they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up.  And yes, I really believe they can.

What I often find myself wondering though is, can we be what we want to be on the inside as well as creating the lives we want to have on the outside? On the outside I’m a mother, wife, counsellor/healer, housekeeper, bush-walker, meditator, writer and yoga devotee.  On the inside I want to be mellow, chilled out and easy-going.  I want to hear myself using terms like “no worries”, “no problems”, “I’m easy” and “that’s cool with me”.  This, I’m still working on.

As cool as a kangaroo
As cool as a kangaroo

Now nearly half-way through my life, I suspect it’s actually harder to change how we feel within ourselves than to achieve the external successes we all strive so hard for, you know, the job, the car, the house, the marriage, the kids and the annual holiday.

In fact, maybe accumulating all the trappings of what many of us regard as a ‘regular life’ actually prevents us from achieving inner peace, wisdom and enlightenment.  How many of us have used the distractions of career striving, relationship dramas and money worries to avoid examining how we are truly feeling deep down inside?

I’ve always had a natural interest in self-analysis and self-improvement. I guess it’s what lead me to study psychology,learn meditation and read countless self-help books over the past two decades starting with Louise L. Hay when I was still a teen.

So have I managed to change my slightly tense, perfectionist and ever so mildly control-freakish nature at all?

Moving to the country 18 months ago to live a slower paced, more relaxed lifestyle has highlighted to me that although my intentions and desires to live a cruisey life and become a chilled out wife and mum are strong, there is this other layer of me that keeps bobbing back up to the surface like a ping pong ball in a swimming pool.

I still get down on myself when the washing has piled up, the floors are dirty and I have no clients booked in for a week.  I still work myself into a complete pickle when the kids run even two minutes late for class and feel daily guilt about allowing my daughter to indulge in her hour of TV after school.

Do I sound confused?

Or, perhaps we can be everything?

Yes, that’s it! Maybe I can be organised, punctual, healthy, disciplined and productive AS WELL AS…(drum roll please), chilled out, calm and cool as a cucumber (or kangaroo).

People say we all mellow with age and yes, I’ve observed this truth in many aged relatives (not all).  But I’m sorry to say I’m not content to ride out the next 20 or 30 years waiting for gentle circumspection and sage-like wisdom to settle over me like a multi-coloured crocheted lap rug.  I want to be mellow now, immediately, without delay!

Hmmm, I guess I’ll just have to do my best to let it all go and feel happy with how I am right now.  Loving it all is the key to being it all.  Plus, being a human living one of these ‘regular’ sorts of lives doesn’t really lend itself to being perfectly calm and easy-going at all times, that’s just not realistic. Much to learn.

Thanks for listening.  Bless you and all your wishes, hopes and desires.