Spirituality

Letting kids feel their feelings

“Don’t be nervous. Miss isn’t nervous, is she?”

This is the exact sentence I heard from a teacher to students who were about to start filming. I am not sure about the details, but they would be asked to give their thoughts on something in front of a camera.

Don’t be nervous? DON’T BE NERVOUS??

Yes, be nervous! Just don’t let it stop you from doing what you want.

Yes, be nervous! Just do it anyway.

No wonder kids are being diagnosed with ‘anxiety disorders’.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that for some people it is an actual problem that needs to be medicated. Debilitating anxiety and panic attacks are nothing to dismiss.

But for many, it is simply a lack of understanding of their emotions.

Nerves are good, it means that something is important to you. It means that you want to do well. It means that you care.

This false idea that they shouldn’t be nervous makes kids believe that their feelings are wrong, or that they are wrong for having them, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Emotions are an important part of this human experience. Without them we only get one side of the experience.

If we start ignoring our nerves, it isn’t long before we start to suppress all of our emotions, and, speaking from experience, that never ends well.

We should honour and acknowledge how kids are feeling and give them the skills to move past the less than desirable emotions and do what they need to anyway. Feelings aren’t bad, and we need to stop telling kids what they should be feeling and start working with what they are feeling.

The emotions will come out somewhere and somehow. Perhaps naming them and acknowledging them when they hit will prevent them overflowing and coming out as aggression or depression or one of the many other emotions that are destructive in excess.

Allow kids to be nervous and give them the tools to get the job done anyway.

Spiritual Awakening

Loneliness and Spiritual Awakening

There is a lot of information out there about the loneliness phase of the spiritual awakening process. If you don’t know what these two things are and how they are connected, go to YouTube and put ‘loneliness’ and ‘spiritual awakening’ in the search and take your pick! Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back! 😁

So, the loneliness phase. I went through it, and pretty much all of the people who write about spiritual awakening have as well. We survived it. So will you.

For me, the hardest part was the feeling that I didn’t fit anymore. Who am I kidding? I never let like I fit! But it’s even more evident now as I look around the world and observe people.

The more I awaken to my true self, the more people in everyday situations don’t interact with me. The more I shine my light, the more people shy away.

I kind of had an inkling about why this is, but this morning it just hit me like a tonne of bricks. Ok, maybe not that hard. More like a pillow in the face. Subtle, but you know it’s there. And the feeling lingers.

People don’t interact with you when you’re whole, because they can no longer get anything from you.

This is why some friendships die off. In essence, you no longer feed into their control drama, so they avoid you. Sometimes these friendships will end in an explosion of anger and tears, other times they’ll just die off like a fire with no kindling. Either way, you end up alone.

People can not get your energy, nor give you theirs, because you are filling up from a different source, Source itself. You are no longer on the hamster wheel of energetic exchange, and people don’t know how to cope. So, they avoid you all together.

This can be lonely, but also liberating in that you are totally free to be you.

It also leaves enough time and space in your life for those people who can handle your energy. Who vibrate at the same frequency. Who will shine and grow with you, rather than try and keep you at their level.

If you’re going trough this, just know it won’t last forever. My advice is to learn to be your own best friend. This way you are never alone.

I also hope that this revelation helps you to understand what is happening on a deeper level. You might be totally aware of what is going on with you, but understanding people’s changing reactions can help soften the blow.

We just need to keep reminding ourselves to have compassion – for them and for ourselves. We are going through a major change and need to go easy on ourselves. The people around us are often still asleep, and they need our compassion, for they know not what they do, or why.

Just don’t get back on the hamster wheel. You’ve come too far to turn back now!

Veganism

Happy Veganniversary: what I’ve learnt about the world

Today marks my first anniversary of deciding to commit to ‘this vegan thing’.

I’d done Veganuary and felt confident that I was on the right track. My reasons started out based on health, but over January 2017 had evolved into ethical and environmental ones.

My eyes were open and there was no going back.

Little did I realise that the next 12 months would be some of the most challenging of my entire life. They would also be some of the most rewarding.

To mark my 1st Veganniversary I thought I’d share my new found truths.

What I’ve learned along my Veganism Journey

  1. A lot of my general knowledge was actually unsupported assumptions. Surely they just put a cow and a bull in a paddock and let em work it out for themselves? No. A million times no. Artificial insemination makes perfect sense from a business perspective – why leave something so important to chance? But the cows will need to be milked anyway, or they’ll get mastitis, right? No. A trillion times no. No other mammal continues to produce milk after a certain time after birth, why do we think cows are any different?
  2. Free range doesn’t necessarily guarantee humane. In a dark barn with barely enough room to move isn’t the free range they show you on the packets!
  3. Protein is not as important as the meat industry wants us to believe. Most of my sources (books, nutrition courses, websites and documentaries) tell us we only need around 80mg of protein in a day. Anything more than this will be eliminated from our bodies as waste. This we can get through a variety of plant foods, such as beans, almonds and sunflower seeds, in abundance. Plus, we can plan to get exactly what we need, rather than overdosing and using vital energy eliminating the excess from our bodies. Seems like simple math to me!!
  4. No matter what facts you give people, admitting they were mislead is very difficult. And I’ll say ‘mislead’ as opposed to wrong, because wrong would indicate a conscious decision was made. This is rarely the case in society. Maybe it’s a pride thing, who knows! There have been less than a handful of people I’ve spoken to about the impacts of animal agriculture, backed up by statistics, who don’t choose to ignore or forget what they heard and continue to do what they always did. Health of the planet, be damned!
  5. No amount of ‘shorter showers’ will come close to the amount of water I’ve saved. Using the stats given in Cowspiracy, converted to the metric system, for each kilogram of meat I don’t consume, I’m saving over 5000 litres of water. That’s 500 “shorter showers” a week! A WEEK!!! Why doesn’t the Australian Waterboard give us those statistics??
  6. Being vegan doesn’t guarantee compassion. This one breaks my heart. To profess so much compassion for animals and then not show it to your fellow species is not only sad, but hypocritical as well. Under this heading comes tolerance as well, but in the form of a lack of tolerance for people doing their best and living by their rules. Vegans can be among the most judgemental people I have ever come across. I thought indoctrination was only for the religious? Apparently I was wrong.
  7. People think they are being funny when they show you pictures of dead animals. This has really mostly been from teenagers, but I’ve had adults make jokes about me eating their chicken salad for lunch. We don’t go around showing them pictures of things that offend and upset them, like dead babies or decapitated human heads, so why do they do this to us? It’s blatant disrespect and, done enough, bullying and harassment.
  8. Sometimes you are surprised by the least likeliest of people. Some family and friends have been ultra supportive of my choice, even choosing to eat with me when they have other options. I know it is highly unlikely these people will ever become vegan, but I can appreciate when they support my choice and show it with their forks! It’s even better when you can have a decent conversation with them where they listen to your reasons and engage in a positive way!
  9. There is a such thing as a fat vegan and I’m fast becoming one! I am only a little bit sad to say the clincher for my choice was discovering that French Fries were vegan! Oh, happy day!! And this was before So Good and Over the Moo released their dairy free ice cream…
  10. Sometimes it seems animal products are in literally everything! From hot chocolate powder to plastic bags, animal agriculture seems to have its claws in all our commonly used products! Luckily for us, most things can be easily replaced. Equally lucky is that most restaurants always have hot chips on the menu!

I am sure there is plenty more that could and should go on this list, but these are the stand out lessons for me!

Let me know what you’ve learned on your journey and let’s see if we can’t spread the word together!!

And for whenever yours is…

Happy Veganniversary!!

Current Issues

Australia Day: Change the Date

*Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains images of people who have died.

**Featured image from Ngurrbul Badhin.

In recent years, Australia Day has become quite controversial. I’ll admit that in the beginning I had no idea what was happening or why things were getting so heated. I just couldn’t understand all the hype, didn’t have a good grasp on what each argument was. Like most Australians the term ‘Invasion Day’ didn’t sit well with me.

Last year I posted on Facebook about being grateful for living in this amazing country. My exact quote was “whatever people say about the past, I’m just grateful to be living in this awesome country”.

How 12 months can change you.

In addition to teaching Rights and Freedoms for many years as part of the history syllabus, I had the privilege of teaching high school Aboriginal Studies last year. This experience has taught me a lot about Aboriginal culture and made more obvious the continuing hardship faced by Australian Aboriginal peoples. It has also opened my eyes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still grateful to live in this amazingly, beautiful country, I also see how history is still affecting the people who lived here before white man came.

Why we should Change the Date

Simply put: to celebrate a nation on the day it invaded another lacks empathy and compassion. It trivialises over two centuries of oppression, violence, dispossession and forced assimilation of a people. It supports genocide; cultural and literal.

There is a lot about Australia’s history people don’t want to admit to, and this last point is one of them. When we say ‘Genocide’ we think of Hitler and the Aryan race. The reality is that the term wasn’t even around before or immediately after Hitler and it was created to define his actions, not as a title for them.

The dictionary definition of Genocide: the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. What happened in Australia was genocide. How could you intentionally give native people small pox laced blankets and not call it genocide? How can you massacre a people because they were in your way and not call it genocide? How can you force a people to assimilate to your culture in an attempt to ‘breed it out’ and not call it genocide?

3-generations
The caption under the original image states “Half-caste – along with terms such as caste, quarter-caste, “mix-breed” and others, as shown in the image – were widely used by the British invaders in their attempt to devalue, brand and classify First Nations people”

 

As a result of Captain Cook’s landing, the Aboriginal people experienced trauma that, up until the 1990s, was largely ignored in the History books.

During the 20th Century, children were stolen from their families or manipulated into giving them up. These children and the families suffered (and continue to suffer) significant emotional trauma, many spending the rest of their lives being unable to relocate their families. While in the missions, many children experienced physical and sexual abuse.

These children would grow up to be labourers or housemaids for rich, white families. They would not have direct access to their income, having to ask the Protection Board for permission to access their money, and they would be given much less than their white counterparts (if anything at all). Many of the women working as housemaids were raped by their employer and then kicked out once it was discovered she was pregnant. Later, this child would be taken from her as it represented the best opportunity for assimilation – the white blood was stronger than the black.

Aboriginal people were forced from their fertile land where they had lived for tens of thousands of years and onto barren reserves, unable to access traditional food sources. When they went into ‘town’, they were often ignored or avoided, but many experienced verbal insults and physical violence just because of their skin colour. They were often not served in the shops if there was a white person present and were asked to leave many establishments.

And this is just a few examples, merely touching the surface of the situation. I haven’t spoken of the massacres or frontier wars, events that lead to cultural distrust for doctors, police and other authority figures, the impacts of foreign diseases, the effects of the introduction of alcohol and other substances.

How can we choose to celebrate Australia on a date that has such a far reaching and perpetual impact upon the world’s oldest existing culture?

What date could we use?

The fact is, there are 354 other dates of the year we could look at. Captain Cook’s landing does not signify when Australia became a country or anything even remotely connected to who we are as a nation today. With this in mind, here are some I have thought of:

  1. 1 January: This is the day Australia actually became a country in 1901. Before this, Australia was a half dozen or so colonies with little to do with each other. This day marks Australia’s federation and, perhaps other than New Zealand (those guys do all the cool things first!), is the first country in the world to do so without bloodshed.
  2. 13 February: in honour of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Sorry Speech. This may be less popular, as many Australians still believe we ‘have nothing to say sorry for’, but it marks the first step to practical reconciliation for Australia.
  3.  27 May: On this day in 1967 over 90% of Australians voted yes to including Aboriginal people in our constitution. This marks the first initial recognition of Aboriginal peoples as citizens, in essence giving them access to the same rights as the rest of Australia.
  4. 3 June: The date the high court of Australia ruled to overturn Terra Nullius and establish Native Title. This was one of the precursors to actual recognition of what had happened over the last 200 years, especially since Australian History in schools started at 1770… We now know the Aboriginal People were living here for much longer than that – longer than any other known civilization. The Mabo Case that lead to this decision was the first step in recognizing the existence and continuation of Aboriginal culture in Australia.
  5. 10 Dec: In honour of the UNDHR that Australia had a major hand in and has since been working towards fully implementing in policy. This would probably be my last choice, because while key Australian politicians were creating the charter in the 1950s, others back home were making policy in defiance of it or completely ignoring it in relation to Aboriginal people. Still, it recognises the prevailing and widespread existence of racism and discrimination on all levels.
  6. 1956 or 2000 Olympic Games opening ceremonies. Since sport is a major part of both cultures, this might be seen as a way of finding the common thread to bring us back together as a whole. These events showcased Australian culture, Indigenous and non-Indigenous (specifically the 2000 Olympic Games), to the world. The 2000 Olypmic Games and was one of the first times all sections of society worked together and were recognised as equal.
cathy freeman
Cathy Freeman lighting the cauldron at the 2000 Olympic Games. Trying to find a primary source for this image was so very hard – this one comes from an article written 15 years later, and not about her missing suit!

 

The reality is, there are dozens of more appropriate dates we could be using, some more than others. Many of the above could be argued as supporting one culture over the other, but the point is that the events listed promote positive relations between what appears to be the two sides of Australian society. The date should reflect positive aspects of our culture and serve to reconcile and ‘close the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia.

What we do need to do is find a date that is universal. In reality, it can’t be about the rights of one person or the lack of them for another. It can’t be a date that is significant for one people over another.

Perhaps we find a date when nothing of great significance happened and choose it, a ‘blank date’ and make it something great.

Veganism

Veganism: too hard as a trend, too easy for your health

I work with a lot of children. Teenagers. Easily impressionable, concerned about what others think, while at the same time wanting to stand out, to be a leader, a ‘trendsetter’, although most of them would die before using that word. They all secretly want to be that kid who started the craze or new slang term no one really knows the definition for, often they themselves.

I had a thought this morning about using this drive to persuade kids to be vegan. Just a silly romantic thought, but a bought nonetheless.

I quickly let this idea go, however. And not because I teach in a public school and shouldn’t be ‘preaching’ to the kids about anything.

I let it go because veganism as a fad or trend would be hard. Too hard. Like dieting. People adopt it for a while and then eventually revert back to their original patterns. I don’t want veganism to be a trend. Something people turn to in order to be cool. More importantly, it’s not about that on a fundamental level. It’s about something bigger.

Veganism for the right reasons is easy. It’s easy to eliminate diary from your diet when you know what happens to the cows to produce it and have an emotional reaction. It’s easy to stop eating meat when you know how bad it is for your health. It’s the easiest thing in the world. It builds commitment and perseverance to have a deeply emotional reason for doing it. It’s easier still to stay on the path when the reasons for being on it are deeply personal, when you own it.

Veganism as a fad would be hard. Veganism for health and ethics is easy.

This is why using the ‘you’d be cool! You’d start a trend!’ argument would only work so far. Sure, it’d save millions of animal’s lives while they were in the fad, but I’m afraid that, like most diets, once they went back to their old ways they’d overcompensate for missed opportunities. This would then undo all the good they did do while being vegan.

So I’ll stick to the ‘be the change’ angle and hope for the best. Hope they (and people in general) ask questions themselves that I can answer honestly, with statistics and from love. Hope that they’ll listen to the answers. Hope that one day they will all see the truth and make the choice that is best for the animals, the planet and more importantly for them, themselves.

Spiritual Awakening

6 Things 2017 Taught Me

I don’t know about you, but this last 2 years has been one hell of a roller coaster and my proverbial onion is a lot smaller than it was in 2015. This late in the year seems like a good time to take stock and acknowledge what 2017 did for me.

2016 was the kickstart of what was to be my 16 month long Dark Night of the Soul, where I learned a lot about my own patterns and behaviours. I wasn’t able to do a lot about them at the time, and some are still appearing before me, but I’m making steady progress.

2017 was the year of assimilation, where I was shown the various ways these patterns and programs manifested in my life, aaaaanndd where I largely failed at recognising them in the instance. I would eventually understand what was happening, but I didn’t always get it right in the first phase. I made many mistakes, which would come back and bite me on my metaphysical arse in a big way.

Heading into 2018, and a 4 year of consolidation, I am hoping it will be a little quieter on the personal growth front and I will have time to properly assimilate the lessons I’ve learned.

So, what exactly did I learn in 2017?

1. When people say ‘I’m spiritual’, it often means something totally different to my definition. Someone might (and have!) call themselves Spiritual, while teaching their children that it is ok to belittle and bully another person, making fun of their differences, often from a place of ignorance, lack of education and intolerance. Other people, who don’t even refer to themselves as spiritual, have some of the best morals, beliefs and ideas about the universe and why we are here. It is time I stopped looking at the labels and at the person underneath. Actions really do speak louder than words.

2. Speak up. When someone is disrespecting or mistreating me, I need to speak up and ask them to stop, because I am worthy. Making excuses like ‘it’s just who they are’ or ‘they are young and don’t know better’ or ‘they are going through a rough time’ just don’t cut it anymore. I can honour where they are in life while setting and honouring my own boundaries.

3. Back myself. This is kind of an extension of #2, but if I don’t believe in myself, who else will? If I don’t trust myself, who else will? In fact, not trusting myself causes more emotional harm than good, because I question my own feelings and intuition on a matter and it ends up backfiring as my intuition is proven correct, leaving me with soot on my face.

4. Work within my own limitations. I am an individual person, with my own set of unique personality traits and character flaws – strengths and weaknesses, if you will. I cannot push myself too far out of these and do something just because someone else does or can. I cannot force myself to be a certain way or do a certain thing because someone else does. My limitations are there for a reason, I need to work out if they are my own personality limitations or obstacles to be overcome for personal growth and act accordingly.

5. Learn to say ‘No’. Or at the very least ‘I’ll get back to you’. As a recovering people-pleaser, who has a slight fear of missing out (slight? Ok, might be an understatement…), I will often say yes to something I am not really feeling excited about. I will often allow myself to be manipulated into doing something or changing plans that I have put in place for a good reason, and then end up dealing with a hell of a lot of fallout. I will be the one who changes my plans and makes room for everyone and everything I can to please the most amount of people, but then I am left dealing with the carnage it causes in my own life and all those other people are conspicuously absent. Sure, there are times where I will need to compromise, but I need to stop before I agree to something and ask myself ‘is this best for me? Will changing this plan end up causing more hassle than I am willing to deal with?’ If the answer is no and yes respectively, then I need to learn to say ‘No’.

6. I am highly sensitive and I often walk around in public in a state of openness that is totally unnecessary and detrimental to my energetic health. I don’t need to feel the anger of the 4×4 driver 5 car lengths ahead of me, nor do I need to smile and meet the eye of everyone I see. All this white light, sage and personal bubbles are useless when I still step outside and open my awareness to every little thing that happens in the world. I need to spend more time being present in my own space and less time looking outside of myself and perhaps the empathy protection techniques will be less necessary. Who knows? What I do know is that I don’t need to be ‘on’ all the time. Being present in my own body is what is best for me right now.

It seems I have a lot of assimilation to do, but the effort is worth it in the end!

What has 2017 taught you? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

Happy New Year!! 🎊🥂🍾🎉

Spiritual Awakening

The Dark Night of the Soul Part 2: How to get through it.

The Dark Night of the Soul is an intense emotional period that forces you to deal with the baggage, patterns and behaviors that are keeping you stagnant. I have explained this more deeply in part 1, along with some signs to know it is happening to you. My hope with part 2 is to share some practical tips for dealing with it when it does come up, and as we try to better ourselves and be the best person we can be, it most certainly will. It is certainly nothing to be afraid of, but embraced and valued as the vehicle that will help change our lives. I know it certainly has changed mine.

serenity

  1. Acceptance: This means accepting and surrendering to what is and what was. This will allow you to stop fighting against your own head and heart and begin to sift through events and emotions that linger. It is time to stop pretending we are ok and everything is fine and just be in the emotion. We don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, just accept it within ourselves and work with it. The first step to moving past something is to accept it. It was probably the hardest, yet most liberating step for me as I was always the one who was ok. I never wanted to cause a fuss or ‘rock the boat’. Accepting that I was not ok, within myself, allowed me to drop the heavy weight of responsibility I had somehow managed to take on for myself and move forward. I didn’t have to be ok for anybody. I just had to be. Acceptance is the first step that opens up the others and makes them possible. It is also about accepting our lives and relationships as they are. I first had to accept that I had an absentee father, before I could move through the healing process that is the dark night and forgive (see step 3 below) him for not having the tools to be the father I needed. Accept that your family is dysfunctional or your relationship is failing or you life isn’t what you want it to be. Acceptance allows things to heal.
  2. The only way out is through: As much as I tried, I couldn’t just drop the emotion behind me and forget about it. I had been trying to do that all my life, and it got me nowhere. Nowhere I wanted to be anyway. We can’t cut it off, dissolve it with white light and love, melt it with visualizations of fire or lava. We have to sit with the emotions and give them space. Cry. Scream. Punch a pillow. Whatever. Just giving ourselves permission to feel them and the space to release them is all that is needed. Journaling also helps tremendously. It allowed me to gather my thoughts and see more clearly what was going on and the patterns and origins emerged more clearly. They key here is ONE at a time! I had to learn this the hard way. Be patient with yourself as you move through this and deal with one emotion/event/issue at a time. The onion analogy might seem like a cliché, but it is far from it.
  3. Forgiveness: of yourself and others. This doesn’t mean it’s ok what happened or that we’ll let it happen again, just that it no longer defines us or rules our lives. Accept, learn, forgive and walk away. We also have to forgive ourselves: for not knowing better at the time; for making mistakes; for hanging on far too long. A big part of this is compassion, but that also comes with time. For me, forgiving myself was the first step to forgiving others. If it is true about love – to love another you must first love yourself – then it is true for forgiveness too.
  4. Seek help: Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. A *friend is great, but we often sugar coat things out of fear of hurting them – especially if they are part of the problem. Talking to an unbiased third party can help us to uncover more about ourselves as we are free to speak our truth, 100%. See a counselor or psychologist. Try kinesiology or NLP. See a reiki practitioner or crystal therapist. Try aromatherapy or homeopathy or naturopathy. Read articles such as this, or watch YouTube clips or documentaries. Sometimes just knowing we are not alone is enough to help get us through. Personally, I avoided pharmaceutical drugs, because I feel they only mask the symptoms and don’t get to the cause, but don’t be afraid to consider it. I did, but didn’t like the side effects, but I know they are there if I need them. Just be willing to ask for and accept help and be open to all possibilities. We are all different and what works for someone else may not work for you, so try a variety of things and do what does work for you.
  5. Withdraw: It is ok to give ourselves time away from the world, time alone, to say no to things. Explain as much or as little as you like, just give yourself permission to say ‘no’. If you have demanding job or kids, it might be hard, but even a 30 minute walk outside is enough, as long as you are not inundated with meaningless noise and able to look within. It is vital that we spend as much time with ourselves as we can. This was particularly hard for me as I was always the person who put herself out for others, always saying yes to things I really wanted to say no to. I didn’t want to upset the other person by saying no, and had a miserable time doing so! Now, I realize it is vital that I learn to say no and honour where I am at that point in time. I put this one last as it is the one that we need to continue after the dark night is over. Once we emerge from the fog and darkness, we are totally different to the people we were when we entered and we need to give ourselves time to assimilate the changes and get to know ourselves again. This will help us to re-centre and recharge after we emerge back into the world and keep us connected to who we really are. Remember to be gentle with yourself here too. If you do find old patterns coming up, just remind yourself that you are no longer that person, forgive yourself and move forward. These things take time, so allow yourself to make a few mistakes along the way, just don’t go back!

The one thing we must not do during this process is ignore it, try to push it aside or even hurry it along.

Have patience with yourself.

This too shall pass.

 

*Your friendships may change and you might lose people during this process. Frankly, let them go. If they don’t support you and love you unconditionally, then they aren’t serving you anyway. Let them go, mourn their loss, but keep moving forward. Now you will have room in your life for new friends to enter, one who are more aligned with who you are now, your true kindred spirits. Release with love and welcome with love.

Spiritual Awakening

The Dark Night of the Soul Part 1: How to recognise it

The dark night of the soul is an intensely emotional period in your life that forces you to acknowledge and release your emotional baggage. You will be forced to face all of those negative emotions that have been weighing you down and preventing you evolving into your true self. It is a time to ‘heal and deal’ as I like to say, to release what is holding you back and no longer serving your greatest and highest good.

Unfortunately the name is a misnomer. Don’t expect it to occur in just one night. It can take weeks, months and even years depending on your level of resistance. Mine took the better part of 18 months to move through and I am still settling into things. I lost many friendships and relationships during this time, and afterwards. A lot of it occurred by simply facing my family situation as it is. It might look like the Brady Bunch on paper, but it is far from it. It’s hard to realize that who you thought of as family don’t necessarily feel the same towards you. My Dark Night was one of the hardest periods of my life, but gods it was worth it! Even with all the loss, and all the assimilating still to come, I feel so much better about me and my life. It’s certainly worth it.

So, how do you know you are going through it? How do you know you’re on the verge? When do you know you are done? I am hoping that the following list will help you to recognize this, because acceptance and recognition is often the first step towards healing. And it also helps to understand what is going on so you don’t end up committing yourself!

  1. Heightened Emotions: This for me was a nice little cocktail of anxiety, sadness and anger. Whatever it is for you, it will be hard for you to ignore these emotions any longer. They will be deeper and stronger than ever before and you might find yourself in situations where they break the dam you have built around them and overflow at inappropriate times. It is perfectly acceptable to park them, but it is not ok to leave them. Come back to them later, accept them and feel them. You don’t necessarily have to work out where they came from, but it often helps – it did for me. What was I sad about? Who was I angry at? What was I anxious about? Oddly, once I realized who I was angry at I also realized that I was chucking myself a nice little tantrum at spirit. I was angry at them for not giving me what I wanted, when and how I wanted it. Again, the origin or cause doesn’t matter, simply that you accept them and work through them. It is time to stop ignoring them and building that wall. Take it down one brick at a time and release the emotions behind it to the universe for healing. You do not need to carry them anymore.darknight2
  2. People from the past come back into your life: and they will often bring with them the old emotions associated with them. If it is an ex-partner, old school bully, or family member, be aware of what emotions and patterns they are triggering. This is coming up to be healed, so allow it and think back to the first sign. This happened for me a few times, but most notably when I found out my ex-boyfriend had married my best friend’s childhood friend. They had everything I wanted – the house, the marriage (with or without the paper) and the child, and I was still wandering around childless and newly single… again… talk about feeling unworthy! Still, it triggered something in me that was aching to be healed. Acknowledge what it is and do the work. It is totally worth it.
  3. Nothing feels right anymore: not your job, your car, your house, your friends, your favourite TV show, your favourite hobby. You may not know what makes you happy, where previously you did. This will come with a feeling of being lost, stagnant, or worse – both! I felt like a baseball that had been hit out of the park and was trying to find my way back. What I eventually realised was that I could find myself a new park. The old park did not suit me anymore, did not serve my highest good and was keeping me stuck. I had an opportunity now to move forward and find a park that helped me, rather than hindered me. To be honest, I am still going through this one. I am finding myself slipping into old patterns of behaviour that no longer serve me and it is leaving me tired and unhappy. But I now have compassion and forgiveness for myself and hope that it will all become clear in time. The best thing you can do for yourself is acknowledge when this happens and re-centre. In the meantime, your best bet is to acknowledge this feeling and be aware of the next sign!
  4. Hermit time!: you will probably find that you won’t want to go out. It will be way too peoply out there! Besides, if you’ve reached sign 3 you won’t know what you want to do when you get out there anymore, anyway. This is your soul telling you it is time to be on your own for a while and take some time to heal. If you don’t you will end up rundown and eventually sick, and no one wants that. A lot of people will distract themselves with extra hobbies, or dinners out, or playing video games, or taking on more responsibility at work. Many will even binge watch whatever they can on Netflix even if it is boring (I have done this myself!), whatever they can to avoid being alone. It is all escapism, which is ok while you build up your strength and courage, but don’t set up camp here as it will leave you rundown and eventually make you sick. Honour this. Stay home. Learn to be on your own. Reintroduce yourself to you.

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As I said, I am still going through a lot of these over 18 months later. I think the assimilation is often the hardest part of the change. I am still getting to know myself and understanding what is now important to me. It was the hardest period of my life to date and I needed a lot of courage and strength to go through it. What I do know for sure, if I feel this good and I’m still assimilating, how amazing will I feel once it’s all settled?

It is one of the hardest periods you will go through in your entire life, but it is also one of the most beneficial.

Hang in there. x

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When did text break ups become a thing?

When did text break ups become a thing? Did we lose all our courage, compassion and resilience when they invented mobile texting?

It’s a disgrace that a person can end a 12 year relationship over text and never actually have a conversation. This actually happened to a friend’s daughter very recently. They have 3 boys together, a home and over a decade of family life and it all comes down to a 75c text… Not even that if you’re on an unlimited plan like I am.

Is this what the world is coming to, people hiding behind a screen? People typing what they would never say to a person’s face on social media and what they really should say over text? When did the rules of common decency and compassion disappear?

I wont even say he should ‘man up’ – He should ‘adult up’. we should all ‘adult up’ and take responsibility for our actions in a compassionate way.

We should bring back Grandma’s sayings from childhood: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Not a single person I know would welcome a break up text. So, DON’T DO IT!

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This just seem like basic human decency to me.

I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, as there always are. But, if you’ve slept together, more than a text should be required. Or if you have a drawer at their house. Or if you’ve met the parents. Or if you have children. Or if you have exchanged vows or made plans to do so.

It seems obvious to me if you’ve shared more than saliva, it’s at least semi-serious and the option for a text break up is long past. Especially if you’ve mingled DNA to create an entirely new human.

Am I alone here? Am I one of the few that would never send a break up text?

Please, if you’re out there let me know and restore some of my faith in humanity.

Have you been on the receiving end of a break up text? Please, share your story so people can read it and hopefully understand what it is like to receive one. Hopefully we can illuminate this practice and it’ll burn away like a vampire in the sun and bring back compassion.

It’s time to ‘adult up’, be accountable for our decisions and face life with compassion and integrity. Let’s get our big girl and big boy pants on and do the right thing. For the sake of humanity and the future of decency.