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Tag: happiness

Look at the pain and you’ll get the gain

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Are you willing to experience some pain in order to get a healthier body? What about the emotional pain that sometimes accompanies personal growth? Not so much huh. Let’s face it, most of us want to avoid facing our negative emotions and painful memories. But then, sometimes we have no choice. Behold, the crisis.

When I was 24, only 15 months after we said our vows, I quit my marriage. It’s a long time ago now and I’ve never regretted doing it but jeez, it took a while to process the emotional fallout. My initial approach was to get on with my new life and bury the grief and guilt. That got me through the first year but then about six months later, when on the outside, my life looked pretty good, I began feeling really bad inside.

It wasn’t because I was unhappy with how things had panned out. It was because I was harbouring a ton of sadness, regret and guilt, not just about what I’d done but also about having gotten married in the first place. Ugh! I felt so angry with myself and filled with uncertainty about whether I even deserved to be loved by my new partner or anyone.

What really got me was that when I looked back to the lead up to my wedding day and the day itself, I knew I was doing the wrong thing. I knew in my heart that I shouldn’t have been marrying this person and yet I just kept on going through the motions and suddenly it was done. But what’s done is done. And then I went and left him which made me feel relieved certainly but also very wrong. Wrong in my eyes and wrong in the eyes of many people who knew me. Especially since I’d left him for someone else.

So here was my crisis. I was 25 and going through a divorce. And I was the last person anyone would have expected to have found herself in this predicament. This made it a little harder to face. Who was this wild young woman who’d left her husband and hurt him so badly? It wasn’t me. Was it?

For the first time in my life, I had to face my shadow self and she’d been a long time in hiding, so she wasn’t all that cooperative. There were moments during the sessions with my wonderful psychologist, that I observed myself splitting off and becoming the watcher of the ‘Tricia’ who was talking. I dredged up a lot of unpleasant thoughts and beliefs about myself there on that chair, and spent most of every journey home crying my eyes out.

But you know, it helped. It helped me so much and got me through a very tough reckoning that was way overdue. It was time for me to wake up to more of who I really was and to let go of the limited version of me I had so assiduously created from a very young age. I was the good girl. Good at school, good at sport, good at friendship, good at home and good as a girlfriend. Not that good as a wife.

And these counselling sessions were only the beginning. It would take me another decade of life and beyond, to truly grasp how much more there was to me and how I could use what I’d learned to begin helping others.

The emotional pain I felt as I dealt with the aftermath of my divorce was the very balm I needed. I needed to vent, to face up to my flawed beliefs, to admit my failings and to take responsibility for my actions. It was from doing all of this that I gained some wisdom, became more humble, created some healthy coping skills like meditation and yoga and grew in my compassion for myself and everyone else.

What I’m saying is that sometimes we do need to get down into the quagmire of our crap because it’s by shining a light on what’s there, that we’re able to truly acknowledge our immensity as humans. We are so much more than the roles we’ve chosen to play and we can not wake up to this by only looking on the bright side or by emphasising the traits that seem socially acceptable.

When I sit with my beautiful brave clients and we hit a tender spot, the tears may flow and I’m often sitting there in silent tears with them, but they never last for long and the person always feels lighter for the release. What occurs is more than a release though. What’s also received is: clarity on how they’d been feeling beneath the surface, the realisation that this had been holding them back and that they can now move forward, free of that burden. It’s powerful and yes, sometimes it’s painful.

Candle on table

We’ve grown afraid of emotional pain and the expression of it. The pervasive yet unrealistic expectation, is that if you’re not happy, you’re not emotionally healthy. This is a dangerous lie and one that needs to be corrected. I believe our aim as far as our emotional well-being goes, might be to court peace or neutrality or even at a pinch, contentment. Certainly not the elated, grinning, celebratory form of happiness we’ve been presented with in films and television. It’s all part of the human experience to move through many emotional states in a day and if we’re conscious of the desire to cultivate a particular feeling, then we certainly have something to aim for, but to seek to be happy all of the time is a very big ask.

My vote is for peace within. But first we need to look inside and acknowledge everything else that’s there.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your perspective.

For session bookings just give me a call on 0418 698 305 or go here to read more.

Clap Along If You Feel…

Posted in Live Your Passions

Few things make me happier on a summer’s day than being at one my local pristine, near-deserted beaches with my family.

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I love the sight of the crystal clear, aquamarine water, the feel of diving under the surface and being refreshed and invigorated by my favourite natural remedy, and hearing the sound of my children chatting happily together as they spot a fish darting away or wait for the next wave to ride in to the shore. I also enjoy seeing my husband emerge from the water smiling and relaxed, ready for a short walk up the beach with me while the kids play in the shallows.

This is summer holidays for us: mornings at the beach, swimming lessons in the ocean, the skate park, water slides, bakery morning teas, locally made ice-creams, fish and chips under peppermint trees by the bay and watching the local kangaroos make their daily pilgrimage to sip water from our bush-placed bird bath.

Now I don’t mean to boast, really I don’t, and of course you know there’s also the normal arguments, flat days, illnesses and mundanity that we all experience.  I’m simply describing what I’ve chosen for my life at this time and while many of you might be thinking; “yes, that sounds like a life I would like“, just as many will be saying; “how boring and unpleasant, I wouldn’t like to do any of that”.

My point is that at least five years ago I began refining my concept of what makes me happy and when we moved to this beautiful, nature-filled part of the world, my dream came true.  I live in a place I love – it feels like my spiritual home – and truly, all I did to get here was first, believe it was possible and second, allow life to guide me little by little to make it a reality.

We’ve now lived in our beach-side locale for three years and it’s become home for all four of us.

When I talk about wants and desires with my coaching clients there seems to be two main barriers that prevent them from talking openly and confidently about what makes them happy:

One – Not feeling they deserve to even ponder (let alone have) more joy, freedom, love, pleasure or prosperity in their lives.

Two – Not knowing in a clear sense what a happier life might look and feel like for them, perhaps as a result of subscribing for too long to what other people thought was good for them or allowing others to have what they liked in exchange for those people’s approval and support.

I need only cast my mind back seven years to recall how this feels.

When my children were aged five and three, I too had great trouble sorting through the complex network of thoughts and feelings that made up what I thought I needed in my life to make me happy.  I knew I wanted change and a new direction but it was a slow process to unpick the various personas I’d tried on for size since reaching adulthood to get down to the truth of who I really was and what brought me fulfillment and joy.

To be honest, it’s a process still unfolding, as it should be. After all, this life we have is not a journey with an ultimate destination, it’s an ever-evolving adventure where the more open we are to change and new opportunities, the more we get to truly be alive.

So how to start?

Ask yourself this question and write the answer down in as much detail as you can…

When I last found myself feeling free, relaxed, inspired and fulfilled, what was I doing?

Examine the elements that brought these feelings to you and seek them out again as soon as you can.  Keep doing this and you’ll attract more and more opportunities to be in that happy zone, like attracts like and happy breeds happy.

If you’d like some help and intuitive guidance from me with all this, take a look here and contact me for a free thirty minute phone coaching session before you book in.

Much love, Tricia

 

 

When A Dream Comes True, You Are Still You

Posted in Live From Intuition, Live Your Passions, and Self-Care and Self-Healing

I’m not much of a rebel.  In fact, I’m a pretty committed rule-follower and goody two-shoes.

Growing up in a world where I interpreted that approval came from what I did, not simply who I was, I fitted right in.  I did well at school, played sport, ran races, learned the flute, danced my heart out and made friends easily.

I rarely rocked the boat, broke a rule or even so much as dreamed of rebelling.  I played it safe and was a ‘good girl’ ’cause that’s what I thought brought me the love and security I craved.

And yeah, I was happy enough.  I certainly think I looked happy from the outside.  Busy can look happy because we are distracted from those inner whisperings that question whether we are truly serving our soul’s purpose.  Although I guess that’s what being young is all about:  Trying this, trying that, being active, working different jobs, studying, dropping out, changing track, starting and ending romances, getting married, getting divorced….Oh, well maybe that last bit’s not for everyone.

That’s just what I did.

Married at 23
Married at 23

Finding myself a newly separated woman shortly after our first anniversary was a bit of a shock.  My slightly more rebellious younger brother’s response was a classic: “Yay! Tricia’s finally done something naughty.” That made me laugh – a little anyway.

Yep, I’d walked out of a 15 month-old marriage and was not going back.  Goodbye good Tricia. Well, not really, I was still living the illusion that I could make my life work by keeping my head down and playing life safe.  Any minor transgressions along the way were simply not me, couldn’t possibly be me.

So although I felt guilty as anything over the marriage breakdown and very sad too, I didn’t really know how to take responsibility for my actions and move forward without hating myself.  My moral compass was fluttering in all directions and it took me a year or two to regain some semblance of inner stability.

What really bugged my super-focused, efficiency-oriented mind was the time I had now wasted.  I was in my mid-twenties, doing a job not remotely connected to the seemingly useless Bachelor of Arts I had completed, I was divorced, had no assets, no savings, a new boyfriend in the same situation as me and was spending yet more time and potentially wasting more money (only thanks to Mum and Dad), on another university degree to what end?

In my grandly delusional dreams I was going  to be happily married, financially secure and at home with my first child by 25.  What on earth happened?

Anyway, it all actually worked out okay. That penniless boyfriend and I moved in together that same year, I finished my psychology degree and post grad. diploma and started a new career, we got married and finally in my early thirties I got the ‘happily married with financial security and two children’ dream.  And that’s when I began to finally work out how to be happy.

Motherhood, at last.
Motherhood, at last.

When we get everything we thought we needed to be happy and realise we still aren’t, that’s when real personal growth happens.  I’m in a similar situation again right now.  I have the life I dreamed of when my children were babies and guess what, I still need to learn that it’s not enough when I don’t love myself fully and value each present moment for what it offers.

So to finish this long story, I just want to say at a slightly wiser 43, dream your dreams, make them happen AND remember to spend time learning to love yourself just as you are right now and love just where you are right now.  It makes the ride much smoother. That’s all.  <3