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Category: Heal Relationships

Lessons In Attachment

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Trust The Universe

Earlier this week our garden shed blew away in a storm.

Oh dear, the shed has left the yard.
Oh dear, the shed has left the yard.

Last week I left my yoga mat behind in the community centre and didn’t realise for two days.

“The wise are so totally detached,
Pain is for those who are attached.”
― Mohit.K.Misra

I’ve been playing around with the spiritual teaching of non-attachment or if you like, detachment.  And as these things usually pan out, I’m getting to experience my attachments in full, vibrant technicolour and turned up a notch or ten.

I’ll admit from the outset, I find the idea of detachment being a key pathway to spiritual awakening and a blissful existence pretty confronting.  I feel strong resistance to the idea that letting go of my attachment to people, things, beliefs, knowledge, roles, dreams and goals would pave the way to my enlightenment. And yet another part of me sees that this is true.

We are all so very attached to our children, partners, families, friends, pets, homes and jobs.  But then there are also the roles we play; daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, wife, friend, the list goes on.

When you think about it, most of us feel a sense of attachment to pretty much everything we see, wear, touch, use and buy. Do you have a favourite tea cup, chair, lamp, pair of jeans, scarf, book, photo? How do you feel about your mobile phone? And don’t get me started on our warped attachments to our physical appearance.

Heck, I didn’t even realise I was attached to my yoga mat until I didn’t have it.  The relief and pleasure I felt when I found it in the yoga room today was sort of funny, sort of childish and sort of odd. It’s a yoga MAT! And attachments can be rather fickle because although losing our garden shed is pretty inconvenient, it hasn’t really bothered me at all because I felt no real attachment to it.

So, this is what I know about attachment:

Attachment is not love. Attachment is mainly about control and the illusion of security. When we are overly attached to anything or anyone, we often fail to truly appreciate the real meaning of that thing or person in our lives. Plus being overly attached to bad or even good memories, spiritual rituals, knowledge, beliefs and concepts of who we think we are, can really slow down or completely stall our spiritual development.

When playing with this idea a few years ago I noticed that when my daughter was throwing a tantrum or crying dramatically over a minor mishap, if I consciously detached myself from her reaction and observed her rather than being immersed in the moment with her, I was able to comfort and calm her down more effectively.

It’s all about creating a sense of space between ourselves and those close to us. They are themselves and we are ourselves.  Simple.  My daughter was really upset and I was her mother noticing her reaction and allowing her to be in it without feeling I needed to be in it with her.

Holding everything a little more lightly is what is called for here.  Playing the observer rather than the judge.  Allowing what is unfolding before us to just ‘be’. Letting go of our habits of feeling responsible and needing to rescue, fix or change. Realising we are not defined by our relationships, roles, possessions, dress size or bank balance.

I am not defined by my special purple yoga mat with the lotus flower print. There, I’ve said it.

But I’m still glad I got it back, cause it’s mine and I like it. The journey continues…



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:
image courtesy:

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.

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.



Why I Like Baking

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Live Your Passions

I’ve always enjoyed whipping up a batch of jam drop cookies, a dozen blueberry muffins or my latest obsession, scones with jam and cream (jam on first and then the cream for me please).

image courtesy
image courtesy

It’s not because I’m an expert cook, or because I’m a glutton, although I do enjoy a little treat or two with my afternoon cup of tea.  What I love about baking is the process.  Especially since becoming a mother, I enjoy tasks with a beginning, a middle and an end.  You know, a small, self-contained window of time where you start something and get a pleasing (well, most of the time) result at the end.

The mothers among you will relate, I’m sure.

Caring for my two little children in those early years of much washing, little sleep, and as many changed plans as changed nappies, my life felt chaotic and out of control.

A decade later I’m still getting my head around the reality that regular daily life is not supposed to feel like baking, it’s meant to be sort of unpredictable and a little uncertain.  Nothing at all in fact, like my foolproof self-saucing chocolate pudding.

This tendency of mine to prefer structure and predictable outcomes over spontaneity and free-wheeling goes way back into childhood and forms a strong part of my nature.  Why then did I choose psychology as a career path?

In my early years as a counselling and case management psychologist, the messiness of my work really freaked me out.  People didn’t behave at all as I expected them to; clients would often fail to follow my research-based suggestions and some of them would even miss their appointment without as much as a phone call.

It simply didn’t make sense to my twenty-eight year-old mind.  My approach to life at this time was, if I wasn’t happy about something, I would work out a logical solution and take action.  Of course, this didn’t work in all situations, least of all those involving the people to whom I was close to and would be directly impacted by my choices.  Hmmm much learning to do.  Enter motherhood, stage right.

Having my first child turned my rigid beliefs and unrealistic expectations about how my life should be, completely upside down.  Looking back at that first year of motherhood now, I can see how beautifully every moment leading to a frustrated sigh, a furrowed brow and knotted shoulder muscles, taught me to slow down, surrender and be in the moment with my child.

Okay, if I’m honest, this only happened occasionally.  But hey, we’re talking about changing habits formed over a thirty year period and I’m thankful these incremental changes are still happening in my forty-third year.

You want to know how I know I’ve changed since then?  Well I’ll tell you.  I can now happily bake with my son and daughter helping me and there’s not a sigh, frown or hunched shoulder in sight.  Now that’s progress!

Watch how life grows you and enjoy the process even when the outcome is not what you expected.





Posted in Heal Relationships



Have you ever found yourself wondering why another isn’t more generous in showing their love for you?

And then you realised…

There’s really no such thing as an other. It all begins, and ends with you.


It’s true, people will love us as we love them.

But also, as we love ourselves.


So, open your heart. Love and care for yourself,


Red Lily Mama