Spirituality

Honour your Shadow

Soul Doctor podcast strikes again!

I was listening to episode 1 of season 2 today and yet again, the messages where synchronistic for what I have already been thinking.

For years I have been reading positive affirmations online and hearing people say how they work for them.

Over the last few years I have had a different feeling about them.

I had come to agree with some other authors of various works that focussing on positivity too much redirects your attention away from the negative, in effect preventing us from truly dealing with it. We have triggers, programs and patterns for a reason, and they come up to be healed. Also, it prevents us truly knowing ourselves and loving ourselves unconditionally.

If we always redirect from the unpleasant emotions, we aren’t really releasing them. They are merely suppressed until they come out another way, through illness and dis-ease.

We have to honour our anger, sadness, grief, shame and all the other unpleasant emotions. We have to feel them to release them and truly move forward. We have to go through it, we can’t ignore it or cut it away and simply move on.

There is a lot to learn in our pain, especially about our own actions that lead to it. If we never face our crap, we can never heal it properly and will be destined to repeat the same patterns over and over again.

We cannot ignore our shadow, for it is our greatest teacher.

Current Issues

Do women need to be ‘whores’ to enjoy sex?

I started reading a book called ‘Finding God Through Sex’, by David Deida, ‘one of the world’s most insightful and provocative teachers of our time’, so the blurb at the back says. I have had issues in the area of sexual fulfilment myself, being influenced by the Christian society I live in (but am not necessarily a part of) and having what I would describe as guilt associated with sexual pleasure, whether with myself or a partner in whom I trust and love.

I had hoped that this book would help me to discover the divine in this area of my life and help me to embrace my sexuality more. I had hoped to gain more insight as to how I could honour my own divinity through sex. I had also thought it might help me to overcome some of my own negative emotions regarding sexual enjoyment.

I won’t say it has done nothing for me: I now understand that it is possible to become aware of the divine through sexual expression and enjoyment. In fact, it seems it is one of the best ways to commune with the divine and infinite love. I will be more aware of certain things I do in my future love making and see how it brings me closer to the divine and my own, and my partner’s, inherent divinity.

What I wasn’t prepared for were the several references to ‘whore’ he made throughout the book.

You can be a whore, making him beg for more. (Page 120*)

The offending passage...

This is just one example of the many references in the book.

My immediate thought was – why do you have to be a whore to know what you’re doing in bed? I haven’t had that many sexual partners in my life, but I would not consider myself bad in bed and I haven’t had any complaints. In fact, having an honest, exploratory, trusting, open and communicative relationship with one partner did more for my experience than the few randoms ever did.

Why can’t a mother, maiden or Goddess leave her partner feeling this way? And why is this term used in reference to a sexually experienced woman? Why can’t she just be a woman?

Also, why do you have to be a whore to make him beg for more? Why couldn’t you do this with the only person you ever slept with, if you know them deeply and understand what turns them on? I would much rather be ‘inexperienced’ and have my partner chomping at the bit, than have slept with a thousand guys to the same end. The point here is, the number of partners you’ve had doesn’t even matter…

Now I think about it, why has he not mentioned this term in relation to the men? Why is it that only women are referred to as whores? Most of the men I know have had many more partners than I have, why don’t they get called whores? Why is their ‘experience’ not making them more accountable for our pleasure?

Another ‘offending comment’ was the following:

You can be a demoness, tearing him apart.*

Again, another derogatory term in reference to a sexually promiscuous woman. Why do I have to be possessed by a demon to enjoy sex with my partner? Can’t I be a Goddess (Aphrodite?), or a mother, or a nerd, or (Gods forbid!) myself!! Why can’t it be the power of God/Goddess that moves me to such extreme excitement that I want to tear my lover limb from limb? Why can’t it be the power of the divine and my own love that gets me to such an extreme and pleasurable emotion? Why can’t it be my love of life and all it has to offer? Or simply the fact that our emotion centre is close to our aggression centre in the brain and the two often overlap… (first year Psych, coming in handy!!)

The answer is simple – the patriarchy.

Please, don’t get this confused with ‘men’, for men have been just as hurt and emasculated by the expectations of the patriarchy, as I have mentioned before . The patriarchy is essentially a certain group of men (usually white men) telling everyone else what to do, wear, be etc out of a misguided need for power. This has lead to many issues throughout the last 5000 years, including the oppression and subjugation of women, children and most racial groups. And, it has lead to the pervading rape culture and recent development of ‘incels’ who believe they are entitled to sex (Google it, it’s a thing…).

It is also the reason why women are labelled ‘whores’ if they are sexually active, experienced and enjoy sex. Why we have to be ‘demons’ in order to feel the strong sexual energy that most men feel on a daily basis is beyond me. I guess it goes back to the ‘Adam and Eve’ thing and the resultant repression of female sexuality. Why do women have to live up to certain archetypes in the first place?

Do we need to reclaim the term ‘whore’ like some racial groups have reclaimed their derogatory terms? I don’t think so, because I dislike this appropriation in all its forms. The intent of the use might be different, but it’s hard to erase 2000+ years of energy, no matter how well meaning you are. The negativity is built into the words, permeates them. This is not the answer.

For me, the answer is to stop using them all together. Not out of fun with our friends. Not in reference to women we don’t know. Not to women who dress a certain way. Not for anyone. Ever.

We also need to reclaim our sexuality. Make people (yes people, women are included in this as many of us seem to be as confused as the rest of the world) aware that women are sexual beings and that it is ok to explore your sexuality. It is ok to try new things and express this side of ourselves. We can be the goddess in the bedroom and it’s ok!

Also, we need to educate people on the true purpose of sex. Many people are having sex for the wrong reasons – myself included for a very long time. Sex is often seen as a way to be accepted and approved of by, not only the people they are sleeping with, but society as a whole. Men and women are using sex to achieve a state of belonging and love that in reality can only be found from within oneself. Again, I speak from experience.

I see this happening with teenagers at schools I teach in, girls who brag about sleeping with X amount of boys at a party and think this is cool. Teenage girls walking around asking the boys how big their dicks are. They get short term approval from the guys, but it never lasts and people need to be aware of this.

Maybe this last will be addressed in a separate post, as this has turned out to be a much deeper issue than I had first thought. The issues of derogatory terms, warping of sexual attitudes and the rule of the patriarchy are becoming more and more important to me. I have been affected and hurt by the all of these things in my life and I have a desire to educate people so they don’t have to be hurt by them either.

We have so much to unlearn about sex and sexuality, but we can do it. One comment at a time.

 

Spiritual Awakening

When the Healing meets the Broken

This is going to be a very personal post.

I have had another interesting start to the year.

I know it’s May, but I have needed this time to process what has been happening and what my own actions were in creating this situation.

It’s not about blame, simply learning from mistakes and understanding when old programs resurface.

I met a new friend late last year, a fellow vegan, and we just clicked. We were both HSIE teachers too, which was a common interest and passion for us – although I am a History teacher and she is Geography, we complimented each other as the two subjects naturally do.

I was in a great place, relying solely on me for my happiness. This was a place I had worked towards for almost 2 years.

I didn’t need anyone in my life, I simply wanted them around sometimes.

During one afternoon, I happened to mention that it takes me a lot to get close to people, because of being hurt before. Her response to this was ‘I had noticed you were hot and cold’.

Now, I had simply shared this part of myself in an attempt to be honest and open about who I am. I am naturally cautious now, but that doesn’t mean I am not willing to let anyone in. I am just more discerning with who gets to be close to me on a very personal level.

I had not thought I was ‘hot and cold’ either. I was happy in my own life, I was not ‘attached’ to her and our friendship as I had been with previous friendships: I had finally learned that only I could make myself happy, no one else can. I had learned the difference between ‘attachment’ and ‘friendship’.

Still, I took her words to heart and in the blink of an eye I had judged my approach to this friendship as ‘wrong’. I had undone in an instant what I had worked so hard for so long to create.

As the old saying goes, hindsight is a beautiful thing. I can see it clearly now, even though I did not make an actual decision to change my approach at the time. I reacted out of a subconscious need to be accepted and approved of by another. My old acceptance pattern was hibernating when I thought it was dead.

I started to view my whole life as ‘wrong’. I started to question other decisions I had made, including my choice not to be fully active in the vegan world. I even tried to teach like her! (This last one worked well luckily, considering I have a completely different clientele in my classrooms, and is a strategy I will add to my tool belt) I started to see my own approach to teaching as wrong and tried to be more ‘like her’ in a number of ways.

It wasn’t until I refused to accept responsibility for something that she saw as a wrong I had committed that I saw what was actually happening.

She had approached the friendship from a place of attachment. She needed something from me that I wasn’t willing to give until I accepted her judgement of me and became attached myself.

I was whole and at peace with who I am. I was able to spend time alone and be happy. I was acknowledging that I am broken and working towards fixing it.

She was none of those things. In a subconscious attempt to feel better about herself, she tried to bring me down to her level, rather than working up towards mine. And for a while she succeeded.

It was a valuable lesson in honouring myself and who (and where) I am. A lesson in doing things my way and living life on my terms. A lesson in the need to get what I need from myself first. A lesson in the impacts of judgement and accepting that of others when they do not know my full story. It was also a valuable lesson in over-sharing and listening when my intuition says ‘she doesn’t need to know that’. (In actual fact, I think my intuition screamed at that one! But I trusted her…)

For these lessons and the growth I have since experienced, I am grateful and able now to step into the next phase of my life, one that is completely dependent on my ability to live life on my terms, regardless of what other people think.

Spirituality

Book Review: The Naked Witch

I have recently been exploring Witchcraft again in earnest. It is probably the only path that resonates with my soul, that feels right.

Along the way I was reminded of Fiona Horne’s books. I checked the local libraries and found a few stocked her books, including a new autobiography called The Naked Witch. I didn’t really want to learn about her life, more about the practice of witchcraft in an effort to understand the practicalities of it – more on this later.

Still, I found myself compelled to go to the library that afternoon and borrow it. I can’t say I had any thought processes in this. It was just something I had to do. It’s weird when your intuition is so loud you can’t hear your own ego-monkey-mind!

And I am glad I did! Her story resonated with me on such a deep level, I found myself unable to put it down. For the first time in my life I read an entire book in a day! Luckily I had nowhere to be…

Her story so resonated with my own story of abuse on many levels it was uncanny. The resultant patterns and programs were almost identical too! I can’t say how reassuring it was for me to hear someone else went through something similar to me and came out thriving.

There wasn’t much on the actual practice of witchcraft, she has other books for that, but one main truth was made clear to me – at its fundamental level, Witchcraft is about a reverence for and connection to nature. Simple.

I am not going to go too much into the specifics of this book, as I feel it should be read with an open-mind. Also, spoilers! I hate ruining surprises for people…

If you are looking for an easy, yet informative read, then this is a great book. It is the perfect book for highlighting what our egos are capable of making us do, but also that an honest look at ourselves can help us to get out of its grip. It is an excellent book for anyone dealing with childhood trauma, especially for those who (like me) believe that ‘it could have been worse’. And yes, it could have been worse for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean our own pain and resultant negative patterns are any less important. We don’t have to down-play our own pain because someone ‘had it worse’.

This is the story of an average Australian woman just trying to find herself and her place in the world, after being told she doesn’t deserve one. The story of a woman desperately seeking the approval she never got growing up, and the realisations that lead her out of that destructive pattern. It is a story of growth and triumph that will empower you to do the same. It has done for me.

Spiritual Awakening

Getting back to Me

What a bloody roller coaster of a month! Yes, it has probably been that long since I blogged…

Over the last month I have had a lot going on – I’ve lost friendships, realised I was changing who I was (yet again!) to fit someone else’s ideals, realised that anxiety may be more of a problem for me than I realise and stood up for myself and said ‘no’ to a situation and felt amazing for it.

Maybe each of these could be a blog within itself.

I guess, the point of this blog is to reconnect with my creativity in writing, to reconnect with me. As I have said, I spent a lot of this year moulding who I was to be accepted by other people, people who turned out not the be worth my time.

I was whole, complete and at peace, and I made myself lose this just to fit someone’s unspoken expectations. I stopped doing friendship my way – out of love/want rather than attachment/need – and did it their way, complete with the attachment and conditions I had grown out of. It seems there were more lessons in this for me to learn.

And I now realise I had learned what complete independence means: the full reliance on yourself for everything you need. You stop looking to others to fulfil your needs. You stop asking others to accept and approve of you. You don’t need them in your life, you want them in it, because they add value to your life in some way.

This independence must have been too much for these people to bear, as I was labelled ‘hot and cold’ in my approach to this friendship. I allowed this statement to affect my perception of myself and to think that I was doing friendships ‘wrong’.

I now realise that this person was attached to me, as if I would heal her in some way. And, 6 months before this I would have. I would have given all of myself to help her, to try to heal her, and ended up exhausted. She was unfortunately a few months too late.

I did get embroiled in this attachment, I won’t lie. But, I am happy in the fact that it was only for 2 months, not 12, or longer. I must be assimilating some things!!

Anyway, this is an attempt to get back to me, to get back to wholeness and peace. To reconnect with who I am, with that state of independence. To honour my creativity and to relearn to love myself.

I hope it works. 😁

Spirituality

How I will stop moaning and start doing

I’ve just been watching a clip by Lee Harris, his April energy update, and in it he says that we need to stop moaning about the wrongs in this world and start finding solutions.

Ok, it wasn’t quite that blunt, but I have the right to paraphrase! This is what I took from it anyway.

So, what am I angry about this month? What am I moaning about this month?

That people don’t want to take responsibility for their pain, but rather blame others.

This one is a hard one because there isn’t much I can actually do. You can lead a horse to water, as the old saying goes. But, I can refuse to accept responsibility and remove myself from the situation. If I stop allowing myself to be someone’s scapegoat, then perhaps this will lead them on an inner journey of self discovery and healing when they no longer have anyone around to blame. Or, they’ll find someone else. Either way, what happens after isn’t my responsibility either.

My other option could be to start a healing business. I am a Reiki Master after all, and I have done a lot of work on myself so I have a lot of strategies that can help. But again, the horse analogy comes into play. On the other hand, if I build it, they will come, right?

That I am not living my purpose

This is a tricky one, because I’m not entirely sure what my purpose is. I know what I am passionate about – helping people move past their patterns and programs and becoming the best version of themselves – I am just not clear on the best way to do this. Is it through tarot and Numerology? Is it through energy healings? Is it through Mediumship? All of these things have helped me, as well as kinesiology, meditation, yoga and journaling, but I’m not qualified to offer advice on most of these.

So, I guess my only plan at the moment should be creating a plan. What can I do to help people? How can I best serve humanity? What are my strengths and how can I use them for my purpose? This one will take some further contemplation.

That people still haven’t realised how bad animal agriculture is for our health, the animals and the planet.

This is where activism comes in. I will write a post about this later, but I’m not sure my role is standing up holding banners outside of circuses or rodeos. I’m just too sensitive to energies for that kind of activity. My strengths are organisation and practical assistance, so perhaps my role is to help people organise protests, get permissions and check legal requirements, create banners for them and to organise people once they are there? Maybe it is simply to volunteer at festivals and fairs like the Alive festival? Maybe it is having conversations with people, planting the seed and leading them to documentaries and information about what is really going on? This way they will come to their own conclusions and make the decision themselves. It’s a kind of quiet activism, non-confrontational, yet just as powerful.

That people still think being a feminist is a bad thing

Luckily for me, a lot of this information has come in conversations with students at school. One student said that how feminists are getting their point across is abrasive and turning ordinary men against them. My response was that until you had experienced what women have experienced, you don’t really have a say in how they should respond. Not sure if he understood what I was trying to say, but I hope he at least came away with a better understanding of what the feminist movement is all about. Even yesterday, students were talking about feminism. It seems it is on the rise, but not in a good way. Perhaps my ‘planting the seed’ idea could work here too? Give them a different opinion and some resources and let them on their merry way. I can’t force people to see things from a different perspective, but I can give them another one and hope they open their minds.

So, it seems there is quite a bit I could be moaning about this month. There is probably a lot more too, I just haven’t sat with it long enough.

I do know this, nothing changes if you continue to do the same thing. In order to change your life you must first change your actions. So, here’s to change! Looks like there’s quite a bit coming for me.

What are you moaning about this month? What are some ways you could solve this problem?

Spirituality

What Happens in the Spirit World: Part 1

I have heard a lot of theories and rules about what happens when a person dies and what they can and can’t do.

As a budding medium and avid searcher of the spirit world, I have experienced and witnessed some things that have shown me that a lot of these rules are simply not true.

We humans have a tendency to apply human logic and reasoning onto everything, and it just doesn’t work for something that isn’t physical. This reasoning is quite normal and expected, considering our only experience (that we can remember) is of the physical. We would do good to remember that our earthly limitations can’t and don’t apply to the non-physical.

So, with this in mind, here are some of the rules I’ve heard and the experiences I’ve had that have shown me that aren’t always true:

  1. Spirits can’t come through to a medium or to me for (insert appropriate time period here). I have heard time frames of as little as 3 days up to 3 months! The truth is, there is no time in the spiritual world. As a side not, apparently quantum physicists have shown there is no such thing a linear time in the physical either, but that’s a different story. I have witnessed someone’s loved one come through to a platform medium even before they had passed. This person was elderly, had Alzheimer’s and was in and out of consciousness a lot. The validation was given, the person accepted what was being said and healing was achieved. So, the next time you go to say it will be 3 weeks before Uncle Frank can come visit, remember this – time only exists in the physical. As for ‘coming through to me’, they can and do send messages of love and survival to us from the moment they pass, we are just too grief stricken and often too busy to see it clearly. This, or we are wanting to see them standing before us and hear a booming voice. Maybe even throw some angel wings in there for good measure. The truth is, for me there is no booming voice, only subtle nudges. There is no physical representation of them, just images or animals I see in the physical. My Grandfather sent me a red rose just the other day. There it was, sitting calmly on my front lawn. I knew it was from him as I had asked for a sign and had established roses as his shortly after he passed as he loved his garden! So, the next time you wave that fly away from your head for the fifth time when it hasn’t bothered anyone else, the sixth time you see a butterfly on a winter’s day, or the 17th time someone says your loved one’s name in a day, don’t ignore it. Thank them, accept their love and know they are talking to you, regardless of how long it has been since they passed.
  2. Rules about what to do with the body. I have heard recently that you can not cremate a body until after 3 days to give the spirit time to leave the body. While waiting before you cremate the body might be important, I think it has more to do with a mourning period than the spirit. As far as I’m aware, the spirit leaves the body the moment it dies. Any ties left to the body will be individual to the spirit, especially if they were particularly proud of their body in the physical. I have heard time and time again, stories of people who have died suddenly or from some trauma, as in a car accident, leaving their body instantly, or even before the moment of impact. Any ties to the physical body were immediately broken. If you, or your loved ones, want to leave the body in tact for a certain period, just know it’s about your grieving process and honour that.
  3. I just need to see a medium or psychic to say what I never got the chance to say. Firstly, you need a medium, not a psychic. The two are totally different and the subject of a possible future post. Secondly, they can hear us, even those thoughts that we never verbalise. I have seen so many times loved ones come through with messages that relate directly to an unspoken conversation had by the person in the living. They hear us, we just can’t hear their reply. This leaves me to conclude that it is our own ego that needs to hear their reply, that needs to receive their forgiveness, that needs to hear them accept ours. Spirit knows all. Once a person dies, they understand things on a much broader scale, they can see things that we never could. They know the whole story, even if it is bad for them. Also, they are pure love now. Just speak to them, know they love and forgive us for our wrongs and let them and the situation go.
  4. They can’t come back once they’ve crossed into the light. I can blame shows like Ghost Whisperer for this one. True, spirits can and do become earth bound, but it’s not like they are punished after they cross into the light and can not come back. They are simply at a higher plane of existence. They are free to move between the planes at their leisure. Can they move to higher planes? I don’t know, but I have no evidence to say it isn’t possible, especially since I am aware of trying to put physical limitations on the non-physical world! Just know, that once your loved ones cross into the light, they will be free to come and go as they please!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I am sure I will hear more ‘rules’ as my own journey progresses. I have named this part 1 with this knowledge in mind.

Also remember, this is what is true for me based on personal experiences. Take what you will and leave the rest. Who knows, when I die I could be totally surprised! What I do know, is that our earthly restraints and constriction do not apply to the non-physical, therefore any logic that comes from the mind and not the heart is flawed and impeded by observations of the physical. The spirit world, and the universe as a whole, is only limited by our imaginations. So, let yourself imagine the possibilities, for it is in these quiet moments that spirit can get through with your truth.

If you have heard of any rules about spirit, please comment below! I’m always up for learning new things!

Spiritual Awakening

How I Learned to Love Myself

For many of us, love is easy to give. We love our parents, our friends, our children, our cat, our neighbour etc, etc.

We give our love away freely, and often to people who don’t deserve it. We give it to people who use and abuse it, betraying our trust. A lot of the time we continue to give it to these people even after they have broken our hearts.

We often find it hard to love the one person who matters most in our world. Ourselves.

We ignore our own desires, our needs, our wants. We betray ourselves by doing the things we say we won’t do anymore, be it food or lending something to an unappreciative sibling. We don’t do the things we know we should, like say no or exercise.

We don’t honour and love ourselves, because society teaches us it is wrong to love ourselves. If we get a shred of self-esteem we are told not to be ‘up yourself’ or ‘full of yourself’.

We don’t know ourselves, because society tells us that being alone is wrong, that there is something wrong with people who would rather be on their own. That you have to be popular and spend heaps of time with people to be happy.

I personally struggled with self love. Every time I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw, wishing I was different. Wishing I had this face, or this body, or this hair. I didn’t even like who I was as a person.

Then my awakening journey lead me along the path of self-discovery and I realised a lot of things about myself. I didn’t love myself, because I didn’t know myself. I had spent the last 2 decades trying to fit in with everyone else and to be like everyone else that I no longer knew me.

I also discovered the truth in the saying ‘to love another, you must first love yourself.’ I realised I had never truly, deeply loved my boyfriends, my friends, even my own family. This may in part be because I’m an empath, and we feel emotions way more intensely (an idea I can verify through personal experience), often leading us to shut our emotions down, but I don’t think it’s the whole reason. I didn’t know how to love, because I didn’t love myself.

So, as I followed this path of self-discovery I found a few ways that helped me to build a relationship with myself and learn to love myself:

  • Learned my love language and practised it on myself: mine is quality time and affection. So, I started spending ‘quality time’ with myself. This included writing, reading, watching TV, exercise. I mustered the courage to take myself out on a movie date and a lunch date, which eventually lead me to taking myself on a holiday! This quality time allowed me to get to know myself as I would another person and I gradually began to love the person I was. So, find your love language and start practising it on yourself.
Me, on my solo holiday to Byron Bay.
  • Practised Self-love: this is about learning to love the physical you, as well as the emotional. Many of us will say ‘I love my personality’ or ‘I love my intelligence’, but few of us can say ‘I love my body’. I have found this is because we don’t know our bodies. We haven’t explored them the way a lover would. We have to learn to make love to ourselves. This the main idea I took from an amazing book, Unleashing the Sex Goddess in Every Woman, by Olivia St. Clair. Along with advice about how to unlock your special potential in the bedroom, she says that one of the best ways to understand what you like, is to find out for yourself with yourself. I discovered that the more I made love to myself, the more love I felt for myself. So, the next time the urge takes you, don’t see it as a means to an end. Rather, explore yourself, your body, be present with you and make love to you.
  • Exercise: this is how I learned what my body was capable of and to appreciate what it could do. I never thought it would take me the 20k round trip from my house to the beach, let alone on a 3 day hike up the Andes!! But it did both of these things, and more. Now, I practice yoga and ride my bicycle often, not only because it makes me happy, but when I get up that hill, I can appreciate myself and love my body more. I also practice yoga with intention: my personal mantra is ‘strong body, strong mind, strong heart’. I am definitely learning how strong my body is, and how strong my heart is. So, find what you love doing and do it! Have the intention of it building the relationship with your body and your self and it will.

Doing yoga on the Andes. Well, maybe just a few poses for the camera! I had just hiked for a day and a half and there wasn’t much left.
  • Energetic hygiene: as I said before, I am an empath and part of the reason I didn’t know myself was because I had so many other people’s emotions and ideas floating around inside of myself. So, if I was going to sponge other people’s emotions, they better be good ones, right? I made a decision to surround myself with people who uplifted me rather than pulled me down. This was often hard, because I truly did enjoy the company of these people. The day finally came when I had to call it. As usual, I had hung on for way too long, but I had to learn the lesson to be ruthless with my own well-being in this way. I now love myself enough to be ruthless with what I put inside of my body, both physically and energetically.
  • Practise integrity, especially with yourself: you have to be honest with yourself first, and then with others. This second one is hard, because I never want to hurt people’s feelings, but I’ve decided that my feelings are more important and, as long as I’ve delivered what I need to with tact, how they react is their issue. I need to be who I want to be in all areas. When you practice integrity, you start to be the person you want to be and this fosters personal love. I am not sure how it works, but it did for me. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. Remove that mask and practice what you preach.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others: this one sounds pretty obvious, but I found this one quite difficult to do. We are constantly bombarded with advertising that shows us who we could be if we had something we don’t already have. The truth is, we already have what we need, the rest is aesthetics. I had to stop comparing my life and myself to others, because it was making me depressed. Why didn’t I have the husband and the kids and the fancy house and car and holiday home? Why was I single in my 30s, still renting, with a car that is almost as old as my youngest sibling? The truth is, this is my life. I have made decisions based on what matters most to me. Other people have done the exact same, it just so happens that our core values are different, nothing more. I accept responsibility for where I am now, and not in a bad way because I am very blessed with a lot of freedom and independence. I learned to appreciate what my life is, and learned to love myself in the process.
Love this little flier! ❤ 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways you can love yourself more. It is merely what I did, and still do on a daily basis. As usual, take on what feels right for you and leave the rest. If one of these strategies helps you to find self-love, then I am happy.

Just remember, it is an ongoing process. We will be faced with challenges along the way (as I have very recently), but we need to remember to come back to ourselves and spend time alone to reconnect with us for it to have any lasting effect. We need to remember to keep practising those things that made us fall in love with ourselves in the first place. Like any relationship, it doesn’t just develop on its own, you have to put something into it. That being said, the relationship you have with yourself will be the one that never ends. 💖😇🕉

Spiritual Awakening

Putting Knowledge into Practice

Sometimes I feel like I take 3 steps forward, only to take 5 steps back again.

I’ve been feeling great of late, healing and dealing my trauma and moving forward to the person I always dreamed I could be.

Last week I had an amazing moment where I owned my empathy. A colleague came over to sort out lessons for my class, all frustrated and snippy, and before long I was feeling it. I asked him to give me a second and I silently collected myself and sent his emotion back to him, sent him love and moved on. I felt totally accomplished!

It seemed my hard work was paying off.

Then today, I’m back to getting annoyed at stupid drivers, taking other people’s moods personally and letting students get to me. By last period, I was in an empty classroom soaking up the silence, because it was that or break down in tears. I thought the silent classroom the better alternative.

By the time my last period had started, I felt semi normal and by the time I got home I was happy again, content with my surroundings and myself.

So, I probably shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I had an emotional moment, I found a way to disconnect, even if it meant leaving the situation entirely, release the emotion and ground. I didn’t take it out on the kids in my last class, my colleagues, or myself for any extended period.

Looking at it in hindsight, I realise I handled it pretty well. When I started writing this, I was annoyed with myself for letting it happen in the first place. Now, I’m seeing it differently and am proud that I used the tools I have to centre myself and release the negativity.

Now, I realise that I got this, and I must say, I’m a little pleased with myself. The old me would have carried it for days, overeating, distracting myself with meaningless TV or video games, scrolling endlessly through social media, basically found any other way to self-harm short of picking up a razor blade. Maybe even revelling in the victimhood a little. The new me realises it isn’t personal, finds solutions to getting myself back on track and moving forward.

So, maybe I’m not doomed after all…

Veganism

Why I’m Choosing Activism

I never wanted to be that person who held up the posters at Rodeos. Or that person who went to slaughterhouses to film the appalling conditions of the animals.

I always wanted to be the quiet vegan, the one that shared their knowledge with those close to them in the hopes of helping them to make the change.

I would share what I had learned and hope they joined me, comfortable with the fact that I had helped a little.

They would then share their knowledge and it would spread, quietly and efficiently across the globe. Word of mouth works right? Also, I can just lead by example, right??

This view has now changed after an enlightening conversation with an activist friend.

She was talking to another friend of hers about activism and trying to understand why her friend wasn’t an activist. Her friend answered basically the same as I would: I don’t want to be one of those pushy vegans. She too was quite happy just doing her own thing, confident in the knowledge that she was part for change.

Then my friend said something that would change my mind. Quite simply and lovingly, and for that I love her.

Her argument went something like this: if it wasn’t for all of those women getting out of their lounge rooms and fighting for what they believed in, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we have today.

The truth of this statement struck me, like a mallet to the chest.

In the past, I have connected with this energy, the collective of strong women who came before me, and it’s real and still exists inside of us today. I have had moments of intense gratitude for the women who came before, who fought for their rights so I could enjoy mine.

I just know my friend is right – if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have what I have. If they had all sat on their bums in the safety of their own happy marriages, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

And the dichotomy is real. I have one grandmother who was treated with respect and love, allowed to do what she wanted when she wanted, who had control of the money and the house, who was effectively the boss of her home. I also have another grandmother who was raped and beaten on a regular basis by a drunken husband and had to watch as her kids were beaten as well. This grandmother is now completely deaf in one ear because of the abuse she suffered. I know all too well the extremes of the patriarchy.

If it wasn’t for the women who had the courage to stand up, I probably would not be here today, as at least one grandparent could have been beaten to death. If she didn’t have the courage to fight for her own right to be safe and those of her children, to stand up for her beliefs, my life would be totally different.

So I made a choice. If not for the animals themselves, then for all of the activists that came before me, for women’s rights, against racism, to end Apartheid, against slavery. If these people didn’t stand up for what they believed in and had the courage and strength to make this world what they believed it should be, our world would be much different and I have nothing but respect and gratitude for them.

I believe we do not need animal products to be healthy.

I believe that to subjugate and exploit any being, to do things to them without consent and against their clearly visible will is wrong.

I believe that we need to stop animal abuse, because for me, all life is sacred.

So I’m going to start on my activist path. I’m not one to jump right in the deep end, I’m going to test the waters of some groups and see which one is the best fit. I’m going to give my time the best way I know how to promoting Veganism and helping to end animal abuse. This might mean simply volunteering at vegan events or it might mean holding banners outside of rodeos, who knows?

I am going to devote more time to being active in what I believe in.

For the animals and in the memory of all of those people who came before me and helped shape the world we live in.

I am also thinking I will include women’s rights to this list, but I’ll see what the universe sends my way. 😁