Them Melancholy Feels

Feeling rather melancholy today. Couldn’t decide between the posts I had prepared so thought I’d write a new one pertaining to my current mood. Please watch this short video from the link below as it will set the mood.

Now I can’t stop laughing because this is actually hilarious. Now just to clarify, no part of me wants to die. I love life. I love love too. I just also sometimes love having a good sook when I feel things are not going quite as I had planned. And by that I mean, I got drunk and left a voicemail on a phone, saying something my sober self wouldn’t have shared as she would understand it wouldn’t be beneficial in the long run.

I’m not going to give details but it involves someone I like very much and way too much of my arch nemesis, tequila.

So, I’m sure you can get the drift…

I am, and always have been a heart on my sleeve kind of gal. Never one to not say what I feel – when it comes to the lovey dovey stuff that is. I am like a little care bear just sprinkling that love glow dust on everyone I care about, more often than not, more than many can handle. The pros, everyone knows how much I care; the cons, I can be a little over the top for some. You know, for the people who don’t enjoy cuddles, touching and all that jazz. I am not knocking that, each to their own, it’s just I’m a very affectionate and touchy feely person. So sometimes I have to be reminded to settle down. As well as hugs, I can also be perhaps a little reckless with my heart.

This is true for both platonic and romantic relationships. It never takes me long to throw the big “L” word out there. I love that about me, but I do know in many circumstances it can freak the other person out. More often than not, they get used to me but sometimes you find that that word crosses a boundary that the recipient wasn’t willing to cross. And by cross, I mean I leap over and set their big old walls on fire, while they frantically run around trying to put it out and build the wall higher. So I bet you can guess what the voicemail consisted of. To be fair, the recipient was very gracious in accepting the outpouring of love and polite in their response. But as you can imagine, it is awkward as anything.

Now funnily enough, I am proud of myself. After my last relationship broke down, I was so certain that I was ruined, I would never believe anyone or trust anyone again. But with time, space and a lot of reflection, I realised that the previous relationship never had any of those qualities in it anyway. So I was adamant not to carry that experience through and project that stuff onto the next unsuspecting guy. So being so forward and open with my feelings was partly liberating and it felt like I was taking the power away from the past hurt that I had endured.  That was all initially anyway. But as time went on and the alcohol wore off, I was left with a feeling of dread. Why do I always leave myself out in the open? With no protection or armour to help me when I get left out there on my own again? Why do I not seem to learn from my past mistakes when it comes to love? Why do I never seem to find others who throw themselves out there like I do, not just in the moment but because they mean it too? Why are relationships so confusing and why do I keep doing this to myself?

Even reading this back I can see how confused I am. I don’t know how to change this about myself or even if I want to. Part of me thinks I’m brave. Putting yourself out there is hard and no one likes rejection. Plus, I feel like it’s being true to myself and my feelings. But the other part of me thinks it would be a lot wiser to play it like the other side does and keep it cool and casual. I really don’t know if that is something I am actually capable of though. I seem to be an all or nothing kind of person.

I know I will be fine. I know I will eventually work it all out and have a happy and fulfilling life in every way. I know that because that is what I want and that is what I deserve. But today I feel a bit down. A bit lost and a bit sad. Today I’m going to snuggle those cherubs of mine tight and grab takeaway and throw on a movie. Today I’m going to give myself a break and rest.

Tomorrow is a new day and because I love myself, the rest will sort itself out eventually. I hope your Monday treated you well:)

Much love, Michelle xxx

When I Grow Up I Wanna Be…

I love asking kids what they want to be when grow up. They come out with the best answers. No holds barred. Nothing off limits. They have a dream and they believe they can achieve it. And as adults what do we do? We encourage them. Tell them they can be whatever they want to be. We often lovingly guide them in ways that we have been raised to see as “right” or “normal”, but regardless we encourage.

I myself as a child was very fond of the idea of being a teacher. I had a make believe class of which I can still rattle off the names; and I would make up worksheets that my mother would photocopy at the school for me when she was on the P&C to ensure all my “students” got them. Quite a reserved dream career I guess in the grand scheme of things, but my mother always went above and beyond to encourage my goals. So why as an adult, did I stop encouraging myself to follow my dreams? Well if you could answer that for me, I would be forever grateful.

The lady holding me in the picture above is my grandmother. Or Nan as we called her. She was a huge part of my life and despite being almost 8 years on, I still think about her every day. She was a wedding dress maker. I mean what a skill. What a talent and honour to design and create the dress a woman will wear down the aisle on one of the biggest days of her life. I idolised Nan for this and I loved how passionate she would get when she spoke about her craft. She knew she was good and she was stoically confident in her ability to deliver.

For some people the choice seems to come easy. I would hear them say they fell into their job and it turned out they were good at it. Or they always knew what they wanted to do and they followed their gut. I would never take away from that. I think hat off to you. I understand this type of career success takes time, diligence and a strong self belief. Whatever you choose to do, that is the truth. You earned your spot, wherever you are right now. I guess for me, I just never felt like I knew where that place was or what role that should be. I know I have done things; some well, some not so well; but regardless I never felt I knew it was the right career path for me.

I would go back and forth between thinking that I didn’t even want a career persay and I would be happy to be a stay at home mum. Not at all taking away from that role. It’s the hardest job in the world! But I know for me I have always felt like there was something else out there for me that I haven’t yet discovered. Something missing from my life. Something that would help me to see myself as useful. As successful. As whole. But the more emphasis I put on trying to figure out what it was, the further away the possibility of working it out seemed to get.

One of my all time most feared scenarios in life is when you come into a new group or you’re meeting new people and inevitably one of the first things they ask is “So what do you do?” I always freak out. I jump into defense mode. Self preservation. My answer will depend on the audience at hand and I imagine it is quite clear I am uncomfortable with the topic. I usually spin it back on them and show deep interest in whatever it is they do to deflect my discomfort. I am an old hat at sayings like, “I don’t care what people do. If you’re nice I want to talk to you” and “what you do shouldn’t define who you are.” Both very true statements in my book, but both are also used to combat my feelings of not succeeding in this area of life.

I honestly believe it all comes back to that key thing that career success needs. Self belief. I believe to find my right path, I need to get back to that mindset where I simply wanted to be something, so I decided that’s what I would be. Just like when I was a kid. I mean I do this in other areas of my life daily. Why not this one? I believe I want to be fit and healthy. What do I do? I eat well and I workout. I believe I want to be a good kind person. So what do I do? I try to be kind and caring and compliment people on a daily basis. I believe I want to be a good mother to my children. So what do I do? I reflect on my parenting choices, collaborate with their father and always give them love and cuddles. So if I can do these things, why do I get blockages when it comes to career success?

Well it’s simple really isn’t it. Fear. That big old word that we all have in us to some degree, in some, or many areas of our lives. For me, it’s fear of failing. Fear of confirming to myself that I might not actually be capable of accomplishing what I want to do in this life time. And all the time and energy I have put into listening to this fear and allowing it to control me, has ironically taken from the energy I could have been channelling into success.

That is why this blog was such a big step for me. I wanted to do it, so I did. I floated the idea to a few key people in my life last year and the feedback was lukewarm. I went quiet on the idea for a few months after that, but it was always in my mind. Until one day I thought you know what, what harm can come from it? From putting myself out there? From having a go? From practicing until I make it perfect? All those things we say to children. Why shouldn’t I put those philosophies into play as an adult. And I tell you what, I’m so glad I did. Where it will take me I do not know, but what I have gained so far is priceless. I’m gaining self belief.

I wanted to do something and I did it. And I feel it’s been well recieved. Well recieved as it is real, honest and authentic. I will attract to my life those like minded people that will appreciate the gifts I have to offer. And to all of you who have supported me and given me your kind words of encouragement, I am truely grateful.

So yes. My self belief is building. Just the other day I was driving along and an idea came into my mind. A vision for my future. And this time instead of squashing it down, I got excited. I am allowing myself to believe. As soon as I got home I wrote it down. I now know I am capable and I have the right people around me to work out the steps I will need to take to make my dream happen. I know the road won’t be easy. I know I am not cured of my fear completely. But I also know that my want and belief I can succeed is growing and the fear is lessening every day.

I want my kids to know they can do whatever they put their mind to. And what better way, than to lead by example. The fear will always be there but I want to rise above it. For them. For my family and friends. But for the first time I can honestly say, it’s mainly for myself. And that is so exciting.

Believe in you. I do.

Much love, Michelle xxx

 

 

 

The Seed of Selfish

Doesn’t the term selfish get thrown around a lot these days. I’ve definitely heard it being said on many occassion by those fortunate enough to have been born in the generations preceding myself, of which selfishness was not even yet a concept. Then along came us me, me, me Gen Y’s with our narcissistic traits and boom the world turned to shit over night.

Ok, so you may have sensed a little tongue in cheek there. It was intended. Well it’s hard to take these types of comments seriously from the people who raised the people who raised us. It went pear shaped a while before we got here to be fair. In saying that, this has in no way stopped me from beginning to make these exact same remarks about the generations following me. It’s almost like a right of passage in life. As you get older, you by default become wiser and therefore have the ability and mindset to depart your wisdom on those with less perceived knowledge and life experience than yourself. And if you are anything like me, all the while probably contradicting yourself often along the way.

Eat healthy; Lets get takeaway. Save your money; Oh I love that top – I must have it. Your heart should be the most beautiful thing about you; Urgh, I’m having a fat day/bad hair day/ I have no clothes day. Simple examples, but you get the point.

Just the other day as I sat for the third time to attempt to eat my meal while it was relatively hot, my son piped up that he needed a water. ‘Your water bottle is right next to you’, I said. He looked at me like I was daft. ‘Mum, I like to drink out of a cup with dinner’. The body language and tone he used only increased my frustration. ‘Well you know where the cups are!’ I said. He made a sound as he got up as if I had just asked him to scrub the toilet and off he went to get a cup. I pick up my fork for the first bite and … Muuuuuummmmm.

Side note: Why do that have to drag your name out like that? I mean it will only take longer for me to respond while I’m waiting for the droning of your voice to end!

What? I say through clenched teeth – and not because they are chewing food- ‘Mum, I can’t turn the tap on.’

What happened next, I’m not entirely proud of but everyone who knows me knows I love my food and it is possible the word HANGRY was created for me. Even now I typed it in and my autocorrect turned it into capitals not me! So yeah. I got madder than I’m proud of. Than I should of considering the poor child was after help and even worse, help to access a basic human need for survival.

‘You children are so SELFISH!’ I yelled. Then cue a rant about how I had run around after them all day, brought them footy cards, done their washing, had cooked them their favourite dinner and they couldn’t just let me sit down for two minutes to eat some of it! And so it went on. Until I caught myself. Somewhere between stating that Mummy is a human too and as soon as you’re finished you’re off to bed…. I looked down at their little faces looking at me and I had a flashback.

A couple of days earlier, I had accidentally knocked a lady in the shop. I immediately apologised profusely as I had rudely not been watching where I was going as I had my mobile phone out. Yes, I know. I’m one of those. But with all our busy lives I bet not many of you could say you haven’t walked and text at the same time at least once in public. Doesn’t make it ok, but as I was telling the kids, Mummy is only human. So back to the lady; she was rightly upset. I had negatively impacted her day through not being respectful of those around me. A classic Gen Y mistake.

So despite apologising with extremely deep regret and acknowledging that I had indeed done the wrong thing, I found myself standing there listening to this woman declare how the world is doomed due to people such as myself and anyone else born within the years of approximately  1981-2000. How we no longer care about anyone else and how without our existence the world would be far better off. I had to bite down firmly not to mention that would mean the human race would become extinct but I somehow managed. Now I like to think of myself as a very respectful person. My motto is to try to never leave a situation with the people I encountered feeling any less positive for my presence, but sometimes you have zero control over that. This was one of those times. She had discarded me to the no hope generation pile and my actions had just given her more ammunition toward her argument against us.

Maybe she was right, I thought. I mean I see all these adults and children younger than myself obsessed with self image, and sitting at tables of friends without looking up once from their phones, and always having the latest and greatest of everything and not necessarily understanding the impact it has on everything and everyone around them. But that is exactly it isn’t it. They aren’t supposed to be the ones that know. The wise ones. That is the position as the older generation. To impart our knowledge and wisdom. So why not do it in a way they may listen to and respect. Rather than a rant and a whole bunch of negativity. Inspire them to want change and seek a better life, future, world. How I’m not entirely sure but firstly the mindset needs to change. Easier said than done.

So I snap back to the kitchen, where I’m on my HANGRY emotional breakdown and I’ve caught myself doing to my children what that lady did to me only days before. Did I feel bad I upset her? Yes. Would I not walk and text again? Well that remains to be seen but she didn’t leave me with a positive notion to change. I left feeling defensive. So how do I turn this around for my kids?

Firstly, I apologised for my over the top reaction. Then I asked them how they feel when they get tired and hungry. They both said grumpy and sad and weak. So I said ‘Yes,  well Mummy feels the same way and that is why she needs to sit down and enjoy her food too. We all need to work together to get ourselves ready for dinner so we can all sit down and enjoy it together.’ They were enthusiastic and both nodded in agreement and said ‘ok mum!’ It was a little win moment straight after the impending doom I had felt just before that the night was going to spiral out of control. So we all sat down calmly at the table to eat. Little Miss then looked over to me and said ‘Mum.’ ‘Yes honey,’ I said warmly. ‘Can I please have a cup of water?’

Sigh…. Change always takes time. But we could all benefit from keeping at it!

Much love, Michelle

 

 

 

“I Just Like Dad Better”

Those five words left me feeling like I was punched in the heart. Like this little human being I had spent 28hours in labour with -yes that old chestnut- wiped his ass for 3 years, fed, bathed, ferried around, nurtured, sang too, played with and all that other stuff we hold over them when they act like brats; had just leapt across the car and slammed a knife right through my heart to my soul.

But then I looked over at him. He looked sad about that fact too. Like the feeling confused his little mind and he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I softened as I saw he didn’t say it to get a rise. No he wasn’t trying to upset me… Hang on…He bloody meant it! OUCH!

As if she could sense my pain, my little girls voice piped up from the back seat and said, “It’s ok mum. I like you better”. I turned around to see her staring at me intently, with the biggest beaming smile and I couldn’t contain myself. I burst into laughter. They quickly followed and the car erupted into fits of giggles. It went on and on and on until our cheeks hurt. My daughter is gold like that. She often lightens the mood.

So how did we get to this point? The point where my child had decided he had a favourite parent. Well to be fair, I don’t know. He is his own person who experiences things from his own individual perspective, but I did feel certain life experiences may have contributed to the statement. Namely, mine and his Dads’ separation. Although, I am sure most people have one parent they find easier to relate to than the other, regardless of their parents marital status, I sensed for my son it was deeper than that.

Throughout the separation, I have come across many people with very strong opinions on divorce and single parenting families. Either which way they go, it is definitely a topic that people are passionate about. Usually due to their own experiences in life, which can often be the catalyst to strengthening a biased opinion on any matter. Other peoples thoughts on the topic are valid and important but it always shocked me how open some people were to pushing their opinion on me about a life decision that I had chosen for MY life. They did not understand why we had come to the conclusion to part ways and they were going to do their darnedest to let you know that they did not approve. These were and are people I love and respect but in the end of the day all that mattered to me in this instance was, and is, myself and my children. So looking across at my son in the car on this day and hearing those words come out of his mouth, well, it was heartbreaking. It was a definite, have I done the wrong thing by my child moment. A, this will be a story he will discuss with his therapist in 15 years moment. An, I have failed as a mum moment.

I often say my son and I are different. We are chalk and cheese. He is a mini version of his dad and our daughter is a mini version of me. And in many ways anyone who knows us all, would agree. However, my beautiful son has one of my traits for sure. Deep, strong, hard to put into clear words, feelings. We both feel things and hold them close to us. This can be both good and bad. If we love you, you are blessed and we will do anything even completely out of the realm of reason to please you, but if you hurt our big hearts, we can find it very hard to let go of that pain. Only because we just seem to feel things so strongly. It’s both beautiful and at times exhausting. And admittedly, it can be scary to parent someone of this nature, when you understand it so well yourself. Do I always handle it well? Most definitely not. But I am human and I try my best with the skills that I have, and as a parent thats all you can really do.

Our son was 5 years old when we separated. He was just old enough where by psychologists advice, we sat him down at the table and actually had the conversation that Daddy was moving out to live in a different house. He instantly cried and the whole experience was crushing. For everyone. The space I was in at the time though was a downward spiral. I know my son could feel that. So it stands to reason he would warm to his father even more at such a tumultuous time. This is the kind of blame I put on myself in the months and years that have followed. The idea that I have negatively shaped the children’s views on love and relationships. On loyalty and commitment. On compromise and resilience.

I have laid awake at night wondering if they will hate me when they are older for breaking up their family? Will they resent me for not being able to now give them all the things they want and desire? Will they want to spend more time with their dad than me? Will they still come to me when they need love, support, care and guidance or have I displayed to them on a deep level that relationships come and go and I am not dependable? God, there could not be a job on earth in which you doubt your own capabilities like you do in parenting. The consequences of stuffing it up seem too stressful to bare at times.

So, me being the rather dramatic over-thinker that I am, had all these things racing through my brain as I heard those five words escape my sons lips. Thank god for my daughter breaking the tension. Nothing calms stress like a bout of laughter. So when the laughter died down and I looked over at my son, now also staring at me with a beaming smile, I said, “It’s ok to feel that way. I just want you to be happy.” And do you know what he said in reply…

“I love you too Mum, it’s just that Dad is better at Lego and chess than you are.”

Cue another fit of giggles and the realisation that over-thinking can be detrimental to my health and cause me to miss a beautiful moment. A moment in which I learnt another wonderful thing about my sons character. He is already learning how to master channeling those deep feelings we share into life experiences that work for him and I could learn a thing or two from him. There is a lot of beauty and peace in simplicity. And in the beaming smiles of my two glorious children.

Much love, Michelle xxx

Symbolic Boundaries

Buzz word of the month in my world… BOUNDARIES. Acknowledging them, creating them, building them, sustaining them; BOUNDARIES. No, not the kind on the footy or cricket field or a row of shrubs or fence around a property. Acknowledging, creating, building and sustaining those type of boundaries seems like a breeze in comparison to the type of boundaries I am talking about. Shock horror; I am on about the emotional ones. The kind of boundaries we need to erect around ourselves in order to retain some form of self preservation, dignity and sanity.
Relationships are hard. They are also the most amazing and rewarding things in this life, but nevertheless, hard. I don’t just mean in a romantic sense – although my single relationship status on Facebook possibly signifies how I haven’t nailed that arena yet – but I am talking about all types of relationships. Lovers, family, friends, work colleagues, fellow uni students, the taxi driver after a night out, the person who makes your daily coffee; anyone you have an interaction with throughout the day, you have had some form of a relationship with them. Every person we interact with we affect on one level or another. Positive, negative or indifferent we are constantly impacting those around us and beyond. I didn’t make this up. It is something that has been long known by many, but only really recently being proven with modern science. Quantum Physics. Check it out. It’s so interesting!
But boundaries… Such an obvious concept; but if you are anything like me, both setting them and maintaining them is never an easy task. I mean they are obviously different in every dynamic and are ever changing as we grow and change ourselves, but it seems some people are just better at the whole concept and some of us need a fair amount of extra insight. Or it may be that in some areas of your life you are very comfortable with the boundaries you have in place but in others you are not. I mean you could be top of the tree boss at work and feel respected and appreciated by your staff but when you get home you’re in an unhealthy relationship in which you feel neither of those things. Or vice versa. Or many many many different combinations. The point is it is important regardless of their role in your life. Levels of importance would obviously vary with how much weight and energy you give the dynamic, but regardless, all are important.
I often feel for beauticians and hairdressers. I am totally guilty of this myself by the way; the OVERSHARE. You know the deal ladies; when you’re laying there waiting for them to zap you with a laser, rip the wax strip off your Brazilian, brush the knots out of your hair, or freeze you with a spray tan gun; you know pain or discomfort is coming. So what do you do to take your mind off of this inevitable agony we call a beauty regime? We overshare. We tell them about the time you pashed your cousin, or you wet yourself when you were really drunk, or you’re sorry you couldn’t shave before you saw them you ran out of time because you were constipated… These are not my stories – PROMISE-  but if you haven’t told something along these lines to a beautician or hairdresser at one point in your life I highly commend you!
The point is, this is a classic example of crossing boundaries. I am pretty certain if you have read a girly magazine ever, you would have come across articles in which people in these types of jobs share stories about the random stuff they hear and see. These articles then often go on to describe how some of the professionals find it funny, others annoying and others are indifferent. It’s all very subjective. So when my friends, therapists and just people in general start to constantly bring up the concept of personal boundaries to me over the course of a while, it got me thinking. Well, overthinking to be fair. I know! How unlike me!
Despite all relationships being important, most of us would agree, it is generally the people closest to us that can have the largest affect. In many cases that person is your partner. I know for me, I have had and do have many amazing people in my life but there is something about that closeness you share with you partner that nothing compares to. There is also nothing like when they get under your skin. In my experience, it seems to go both ways. I think it is only because I really genuinely care and you are sharing your whole self with that person. And putting two people into a situation in which they need to come together, yet be their own person, yet live how they want, yet respect the others persons values, morals, needs, wants and desires…. well it’s never going to go smoothly all the time is it!
So my question has always been… How do I give myself to someone, without loosing myself and compromising what I want and need? Basically without loosing sight of my boundaries about who, what, where, when, how I am comfortable with things. How do I be the open, passionate, caring partner I want to be, with all these personal boundaries up. Boundaries to me equals walls; and as I think I am displaying, I am trying to break down the walls not build them higher. Why is everyone encouraging me to do that? Why are important, intelligent, wise people in my life telling me to do that? I don’t get it. Well, I didn’t get it. Until a conversation at the retreat last weekend turned everything on its head in my mind. I could see for the first time, not just why it is important to have boundaries but also how to establish and maintain them in a respectful way. And it turns out I am perfectly poised to do just that. We all are if we want to. No surprises here what the answer is.The answer is…
Work on yourself. I know, how frustratingly annoying to hear that when you are so hard done by, and your ex treated you like dirt, and your friend is mad at you and won’t take your calls and your dad doesn’t love that you got tattoos – possibly my stories this time – but as in every thing in life, it comes down to the ONLY thing you can control. Your reactions to everything. Good, bad and indifferent.
Basically, we were showed symbolically what we tend to do within relationships. Every single one of us does this. The therapist stood there with a bunch of items. A notebook, a water bottle, a pen, another notebook, a piece of loose paper etc etc. She then went on to pass these things to her “partner”; otherwise known as another client listening to the conversation. As she passed each item to the client she gave it an emotion, need, expectation or desire that we would put upon our relationship partner. Examples; I need you to cook breakfast for me every day; If you go away for work, I am going to need you to call three times a day so I don’t feel insecure; I don’t like you to go out after work; You need to discuss every financial transaction with me before it is made….
You get it. The list goes on and on. For all of us. We all have things, both big and small that we expect from our partners. This is fine if both parties are aware of what these expectations are and are in no way shape or form resentful about the fact. What I mean by this is, possibly at the start you may want to cook breakfast every day for that new special someone because you want to impress them and have them appreciate you, but over time it starts to grate on you that you never have breakfast made for you. The feelings grow and you end up feeling angry, bitter, resentful and no longer wanting to give your best self to this relationship. Sound familiar? Small example really, but it is often how it goes. We help set the dynamic and then whinge about it later on.

So how do you work to get the balance in the dynamic that you crave? You work on yourself. You work through why it is that certain situations make you feel angry, sad, insecure, jealous etc. Like really sit there and think about it. Yes, the other persons actions could have been a huge contributing factor to the situation, but essentially if someone treats you badly, in one level you allowed it. You allowed them to disrespect you and your personal boundaries. This could be a very confronting thing to hear. I know for me, it made me get mad the first time I heard it. Like how dare you say I deserved some of the treatment I had received over the years. But that is not what it means. No one deserves to be treated with anything other than love and respect. But if that is not happening in your life, you need to look at why you are allowing that dynamic to continue. What do you get out of it? Would you treat others in that way? If no, why let them treat you in that way?

We could all use a bit more self love I think. A bit of reflective time in our incredibly, ridiculously busy lives we create for ourselves these days. Some quality alone time, to check in and see how we are doing. Are we happy and if not what can we do to change that. Treat ourselves how we want others to treat us. It’s an oldie but a goodie. You can’t truly love someone else until you love yourself. And I can honestly say, I am really starting to think I am super loveable!

Much love, Michelle xx

Back and Forth to the In-Between

Restoration, Peace, Balance, Clarity, Stillness…. Do these concepts sound good to you? Do they seem realistic? Obtainable? Sustainable? These were the questions I was asking myself leading into this weekend. You see, I was blessed to spend my Mothers Day weekend at a Charkra Balancing retreat and OMG what an experience it was.

So how did I get there? Well, throughout my experiences I, as most of us, have had many trials and tribulations. But for whatever reason through out my, somewhat dramatic, highs and lows I had until recently, thought I was in no need of extra assistance. I didn’t need a therapist. That is for people who aren’t in touch with themselves and their feelings isn’t it? And I am a thoughtful, deep, intelligent, spiritual, reflective soul who will eventually figure it all out on my own. Right?……RIGHT!? Oh how wrong I was……

No ladies and gentlemen I am not a no therapist person. I am not even a one therapist person. I, in fact, have acquired and cherish the services of TWO sensational therapists. One specialising in Psychotherapy and Reiki and the other in Addiction Studies and Back Engineering. I began working with them both part way through last year and the insights and growth I have had and made in that time is both immeasurable and profound. It was most definitely the right path at the right time, for me.

So when my Psychotherapist and Reiki Master said to me that she was running a Charkra Balancing weekend I was intrigued. If she said I would benefit from it, then I was going to have a red hot go at attending. Thankfully Baby Daddy was on board with assisting and off I went to the Nalini Retreat, Yuki, in sunny northern New South Wales. Very adorably, upon hearing about my trip, my son went to his money box, retrieved $100.00 and told me it was for my trip on Mothers Day…. Cue melting hearts….AWWWWWW……My daughter saw this go down and my emotional reaction to it and quickly ran away to her bedroom. A couple of seconds later she appeared. “Mummy this is for your trip”. She handed me $2.50 from her money box.

I know right. I preceded to bawl, laugh hysterically and snort all at once for these adorable human beings I had a hand in creating. And if your reaction was lol how cheap is little miss, then you should see how highly she regards a gold coin! She’d easily hand you a $50 note over one of those any day of the week as the notes are not as pretty. So, needless to say, I was floored by their gestures and highly amused all at once. So this became my Mothers Day gift. What better way to spend it than working on myself I say!

So, you may ask, what the hell is a Charkra Balancing weekend? Well don’t worry I am still not entirely sure myself.. But I did get the basics and I have added an insightful link from another health retreat in the region, Gaia, below to give you ideas on how to restore your own chakras in the space of your own home.

http://www.gaia.com/article/yoga-asanas-clear-your-seven-chakras

This next part is my take on what it was….

Charkras are areas within the body that give, store and receive energetic waves from all that makes up the universe. The earth, the stars, the flora, the fauna, our fellow humans all give and receive energetic waves every second, of every minute, of every day. You may not always be aware of these energies as some are more subtle than others but all have an affect on our state of being. The type and size of this affect is where it differs from individual to individual. But the awesome part is, by becoming aware of these waves and how they affect you, you can both decrease negative impacts and increase positive outcomes by learning how to channel these energies.

Got it? Easy right! So now you and I are sorted and life will be great and we will never struggle again and chocolate will have zero calories and pizza is a vegetable….

Damn it! It is sooooo NOT easy! In fact parts of the weekend were downright exhausting! We worked through the 7 chakras and determined in which we each had blockages. How they determine this I do not know, but they can seem to see and feel the blocked energy by your reactions to certain exercises, what parts of the body you are struggling in and body language and emotions you display. It’s insanely amazing to be honest. All you really have to do, is go in with an open mind and allow the process to happen around you as best you can.

Exercises included, restorative yoga poses specific to opening each charkra, Qi Gong – a moving meditation, talking to and taking care of your ‘inner child’, staring into the eyes of someone you have never before met and sharing you fears, accomplishments and things you are grateful with them and walking around in a circle making interpretative dance like movements and noises as if you are a bird, ballerina or tribal elder. Sound like your idea of a good time? Bet most of you are going Ahhhh NO THANKS! Lol…

To be real, there were many times I felt like an absolute nut job. But when I thought about it, I feel a bit like that in every day life any way, so why not let loose out here in the bush and give this experience my all. So that’s what I did. And let me tell you I am so glad I did. It was so freeing and uplifting and eye opening, I wish the government had a program in which they subsidised things like this for every Australian to do at least once a year. Big dreams I know. But a girl can dream…..And have something to work towards…

So I had such an amazing experience with so many things I was going to write about but then something even more prevalent happened that I thought it would be of more importance to share today. The other goodies will come later I am sure. So the time came where I had to leave this amazing place and head home. This was the prevalent thing….Home time. So life went on as normal, as it does and threw a couple of things my way to see what I had learnt. I think it does that don’t you? Not in a spiteful way. Just to check where you’re at, give you a little tester/kick up the butt, make sure you’re awake and show you that you can handle everything it throws at you. So in the 4 hours after leaving the retreat, my flight got delayed, I missed out on seeing my children on Mothers Day, I caved and ate Hungry Jacks at the airport after eating only the most amazing organic food, and worst of all, I got upset about these things happening.

So it did cross my mind….WT* did I just learn? Did I take any of it in at all? It felt so good and relatable and freeing while I was in it, then as soon as I leave I am a big mess all over again! Then while sitting on my late flight back with a tummy ache from my burger and chicken fries and my sooky face in full force, my therapist came into my head. She was telling us about this exact moment. This moment when you’re feeling sorry for yourself, things aren’t going the way you want them to, you didn’t treat your body, your mind, yourself or someone else in a loving caring way; whatever it is that you’re beating yourself up for, STOP!!!!

For this is actually a powerful moment! A moment in time where you, and only you, have the complete power and control to say, you know what this is a waste of my time and energy and I no longer want to feed that negative thought. I will replace it with a positive one. I know this is easier said than done but as I would say to my children “Practice makes perfect!” It may take years but that would be fair enough too considering how long the brain has been hearing the negative bullshit we tell ourselves. However long it takes me to make this way of thinking my default instead of the self bashing stuff I do, I am committed.

No matter how many times I go back and forth between the good and bad thoughts I will keep going. It is that space between the thoughts that is the powerful place. The place where we decide are we changing or are we sticking with the same old thing we’ve always done? I vote change. I will always try for growth and change as I seek the stillness and peace that comes from this in between and the power of the decision to keep moving forward.

Much love, Michelle xxx

Today My Heart Is…

Never would I ever have thought, that at 31 years of age I would be sitting here today in Melbourne, in my living room, writing this post, procrastinating to avoid assignments, moving house, chores and any adulting in general. Ok, well I would probably still be procrastinating but I didn’t pick the other stuff! I think about this often. How different my life turned out to how I envisaged it. Not in a bad way. Just different. But mostly I never thought, regardless of age, finances, status, geographical location or any other perceived life markers; that I would be a single mum of two children.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am one of the lucky ones. Their father and I get along. We are committed to co-parenting the kids in the best way we can and we share them fifty fifty. It was not always so seamless though, as I moved on quite quickly after our breakup which hurt him a great deal. Understandably. And if I could have perceived the outcome of that interesting life experience I most definitely would not have done it. Anyway, I digress… that is for another day… No regrets, just lessons learned…..

Last night was a ripper of a night. One of those unexpected nights where you are unsure of what to expect, so it can make you a little nervy. I had a dinner with some of the mums from school. Now don’t get me wrong, the ones I have had anything to do with up until this point have all been nothing but lovely. Regardless, I was nervous. But what came out of it for me in the end, was how much it was my stuff that lead me to feel this way walking in.

You see I was just 24 when I had my son. Considered today as quite young. I was the youngest in my mothers group and I struggled with resentment of a life I felt I missed out on. I didn’t fulfill any travel, career, relationship expectations I had of myself and my life and then BAM, I’m a mum. To add to that, we only found out when I was already 14 weeks gone. It was a shock. In saying that, clearly I wouldn’t change it and I am proud of how we handled it and the life we have built for our children.

Still, walking into a room with a bunch of mums who to me all have succeeded in so many areas in which I have struggled was intimidating. The mums at my sons school are an impressive bunch. Intelligent, well dressed, successful career women, who have traveled extensively, many in happy marriages and they are confident and wise. I often feel out of place at school drop off and pick up and early on was asked a number of times if I was actually the kids nanny. That cracked me up and I took it as a compliment on one level, but it still made me feel like I was an outsider.

As the night went on and the drinks began to loosen us up and the conversation flowed I was struck by something. It is something I feel I do a lot. I say things I “know” are right and are how I wish I felt but I don’t necessarily believe or feel it to be true. My head knows but my heart hasn’t quite caught up. I was sitting there saying how we all do what we feel is right. We all want the best for our children. We all make mistakes and we are all taking it day by day as no previous life experience can really prepare you for raising a child. They were the words coming out of my mouth.

BUT WAIT! Michelle, that is not really how you feel…..

If that was how I felt, I wouldn’t have gone into the evening feeling less than and not up to scratch. Nervous about what I was going to have to talk about with these women I was holding above me with their successful careers, lives and relationships. I was embarrassed to be myself. I was embarrassed to say I was downsizing to a unit, I am working at a cafe and that I am an eternal student because I change my mind and my priorities like I change my underwear. I was most definitely not practicing what I am preaching.

Funny thing is, they couldn’t have cared less. I caught myself not being open so I changed it around and the women were all very encouraging and supportive. The espresso martinis and vodka lime sodas probably helped erase my filter too to be fair; but it was a conscious decision on my part to not close my heart and be someone I am not to please others around me. And as a result, I had the best time. I laughed so hard, shared stories, learned a lot, got to know some beautiful new people and left feeling positive and proud. I honestly had one of the best nights.

Today, I woke at my girlfriends for a morning giggle and chat about the nights events. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Today, my head was a little bruised – note to self, you really can not pole dance, STOP TRYING – my stomach a little bit precious and my feet a little sore. As for my heart…..

Today my heart is FULL…. Full to the absolute brim and for that I am forever grateful.

Much love, Michelle xx

PS: If only the 1500 words I need for my assignment would flow this easily;) xx