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I’m building a table..well, not really, but you’ll get it…maybe???

In some of the creative workshops I do, I talk a bit about tables.

Tables?

Yes, tables.

Right now I am sitting at a table. A table made, well, I am not entirely sure where, but it is a nice table and it serves and awesome purpose. Whoever made it, had a vision for it, and found the materials and created it! Created it their way.

We can eat at it. We can draw and colour in at it and I can move my lap top to it and sit here and type away. It suits our house. It suits us. I like it.

In the other room, my office/library (library just sounds nice doesn’t it?), we have another table.

That table, I am pretty sure was made in China and stamped with an IKEA label and that too, serves a purpose. It was designed by someone and then materials were obtained and then, like the other one, created. I like the style of it, I like the height of it, I enjoy sitting at it.

Are you fascinated yet? Sitting on the edge of the seat you are sitting on? hehe

Stay with me, I do have a point here other than being a table rep (which I am not).

Creatives and entrepreneurs often get disheartened because they feel like it has “all been done”. ALL HEAD TALK and it is BULLSHIT.

Sometime we think that we are not going to be the next Wright borthers, or the Google dudes, or Steve Jobs or Martin Luther King or Oprah, or Madonna.

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And here is the thing people….THOSE PEEPS HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAKEN!

But if they were just tables, we would say, “sweet, I love that table, I am going to make me one and sell that too” (if you wanna make tables of course). You get my point right?

IT HASN’T ALL BEEN DONE, BECAUSE IT HASN”T BEEN DONE YOUR WAY!

Boom!

THIS is for ME!

As I prepare for our Soul Oxygen Retreat my mind has been having a field day.

Mind: “what the hell experience have you got for this?”

Mind: “What the hell qualifications do you have for this?”

Mind: “who the hell would want to come to this?”

I love my mind. It loves to keep me safe. I get it now (slowly).

Mind says; the whole experience thing…and heart says “Just showing up is enough. Your intention is to support women to live their best lives….that is enough. You life and the experiences and perspectives…that is enough. You are enough”. Love my heart!

Mind; who the hell wants to come bizzo….Heart says: “well, it is pretty much fully booked sweetheart. Nearly fully booked? Your first retreat? Come on? That says that people trust you, support you, receive that!!! Did I say I love my heart?

Yesterday I posted this:

Praise yourself and tell yourself how absolutely wonderful you are. Don’t make yourself wrong. When you do something new, don’t beat yourself up because you’re not a pro at it the first time. Practice. Learn what does work and what doesn’t work. Next time you do something new or different, something you are just learning, be there for yourself. Don’t tell yourself what was wrong; tell yourself what was right with it. Praise yourself. Build yourself up, so that the next time you do it, you really feel good about it. Each time you will be better and better and better. Soon you will have a new skill of some sort (Louise Hay).

I am a retreat beginner. I know what I want to create, I know why and damn it, I am doing it AND I am going to be kind to myself through the process. 

I am trying something new for me!

I intend to learn!

I am going to look for what worked!

I am going to learn from the experience and try it again!

Soon, I will have a new skill and each time I will be better and better!!!

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I am building my OWN VERSION of the TABLE!

It isn’t the same as anyone else’s. Doesn’t mean that retreats haven’t been created before….just not my way!!!

23 sleeps! Eeeeeek!!!!

Can’t wait!

Big, big love!

Jen

xxx

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Today, I went on strike!

Today, I went on strike. No chores. No meal prep. No responding to “mum, can I have…..” or “mum they don’t want to play with me”, or anything really ‘mum’ related.

After a full week of kid wrangling my kids, friends kids, their friends kids, a “well timed” period and a verrrrrry slow recovery from the flu and trying to work; mumma was tired and in need of a break.

So, today, I went on strike. Today, I chose to rest! *gasp from the crowd*

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Once upon a time, and actually not that long ago, I would have gone all martyr up and just pushed through the tiredness. I would have just attended to the usual stuff and bloody gotten on with it. I would have armoured up, said ‘suck it up buttercup’ and kept on keeping on. I wouldn’t have done it all sunshine and roses, t would have done it all huffy and puffy and passive aggressive. Today however, I hit the proverbial wall and took it as a call to stop….and for a change, I didn’t require an illness to force me to rest!

I’m really clear on what constant ‘doing’ does for me. It depletes me. If I am constantly bounding from one activity to another, I get really worn out. It is where I am in my life right now. After years of pushing through, I have depleted many of my stores. That even extends to thinking about one activity to the next. I find the thinking is just as tiring as the doing sometimes. For a busy mind like mine, thinking is really tiring.

Don’t get me wrong, all the things in my life I love doing (minus the washing. Not the hanging and taking in bit, but the effing folding and putting away….), but all the ‘doing’ it takes energy to do that. It just does.

I’ve written about school holidays before. I love them AND I don’t love them. I love the change in routine. I love the lack of time pressure. I love hanging out with the kids (mostly) and I love the freedom. I love the sleep ins. I love the cuddles in the morning. I love that at 2pm I am not preparing to get in the car to get them from school. I love the movie watching and the game playing and the monopoly being set up (mostly) for constant revisits.

I don’t love the constant noise that 3 children generate. I don’t love the way I seem to let go of all my self care practices (walking, meditating, writing). I don’t love the constant requests from the kids. I don’t love hearing myself say no quite so much. I don’t love the constant un-ending mess that creativity and play brings. I don’t love the arguing.

Going on strike today was not actually about the kids. It wasn’t a punishment or an ‘eff you’ kinda stance, instead it was a very human need to just rest. MY need to rest. Something I have come to observe our culture hasn’t got a lot of time for!

While I took some time out today, I noticed how my mind still wanted to have me feel guilty about it. The constant stream of judgement and nit picking. It had me going for a while. For a good while if I am honest. It took a good long while to be able to feel deserving of rest. God, how I have trained my mind.

So, even with the noise of my mind, the judgement, and all the criticism, I made room for the noise AND…..

…..I meditated. Ahhh. Spacious (yet very noisy mind). I put on a mud mask. I had a beautiful, long, hot shower. I read about mindfulness and parenting and watched a youtube clip by Jon-Kabat Zinn on mindfulness and meditation. I wrote some more content for our Soul Oxygen Retreat (happening in less than a month). I sipped on beautiful tea out of a treasured cup. I listened to the rain (and continue to do so)…and I am writing this.

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ALL of these activities are ways I show love toward myself. Kindness toward myself as a friend. And as I type, still feeling tired somewhat, I feel calm. I feel centred. I feel nurtured.

Tomorrow, I commit to waking earlier to meditate. Not because I ‘should’ but because I notice how grounding it is to start my day. To notice how I feel. To seek guidance and clarity. To just be.

It is a tiny act of self love, but so incredibly friendly and kind. Befriending myself is a daily practice, made up of small actions, and a practice that is both challenging AND rewarding.

I hope your day was filled with some self care and nurturing YOU.

YOU deserve it.

Big love

Jen

PS. Huge shout out to Rosa for my gorgeous cup and tea! Such a treasure!!

xx

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That moment I made a U-Turn back to me!

If I asked you, “during the day, what do you spend most of your time focussed on?”, what would you say?

The last 5 years I have spent much of my waking energy, weeding my internal garden and planting beautiful seeds in their place. Intending to create a beautiful garden. Beautiful life.

I often ask people who are fellow inward journeyers, “what was the moment when everything changed for you? When you made the U-turn back to you?”

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I get so many interesting answers, but usually, people say 1 of 3 things. One – “I just got so fed up with my life the way it was”. Two – “I started to feel like I didn’t belong anywhere and went looking. Then, stuff found me to help me shift”. Three – “my life turned to absolute shit (crisis hit)”.

For me, I have always been a curious character. I have always been interested in why we do what we do, and on a number of occasions I collected applications to university to study Psychology.  I have been interested in not following the crowd. I have wanted to create a life I love.

10 years ago, everything I had wanted I had. The man I had asked for. No, literally asked for. I wrote a list. I had a job I ‘liked’ but knew wasn’t my ‘forever’ job. I was pregnant with our first bub. We were building 2 houses. My hubby had a job he liked. All pretty good. If you asked me, “what do you spend most of the day focussed on”, I would have most likely said, “creating a life we love”.

Fast forward 5 years from that bliss time, we had 3 children,with a husband who worked long hours and often having to travel. In fact, if you just fast forwarded 3 and a half years we had 3 children. 3 kids in 3 and a half years. If you had have asked me then, “what do you spend most of your time focussed on?” I would have said, “just getting through the day”.

How did I go from living a life of travel, adventure, career fun, and self improvement to, “just getting through the day?”

Gradually. I just gave and gave and gave to the kids, my hubby, my mum, giving. Thats what I did.

After 5 years, a couple more psychiatric admissions for my mum, full time caring for our three kids, and absolute exhaustion, an opportunity came along for me to have a few days away. A few days to go on an inward journey. A few days recommended by a friend of mine who had been off on this journey as well.

Just out of pure intrigue and the need for something out of the usual routine, I jumped on board and off I went.

Thursday to Sunday I went on a DEEP dive inward.

I went exploring my internal landscape and frankly, I was woken up to how many weeds had been left unattended. Over those days, I got my hands well and truly dirty ripping weeds left right and centre. Like nothing I had even imagined was possible.

It changed me!

For good.

There have been bush fires that have created devastation in my garden. Unexpected events that have left me bare and raw. But have paved the way for new growth.

The gardening continues. Something I have come to love.

I love exploring my inner garden. I visit the darkest places and wait for the sun to come in.

All of it is beautiful. All of it is part of me. All of it worth attending to.

Now, if I ask myself, “what do I spend most of my day focussed on?” I can say, “focussed on being the woman I want to be in the world”. Focussed on cultivating the characteristics that are important to me. Characteristics that align with being the kind of mother, the kind of friend, the kind of teacher, the kind of wife, the kind of daughter…..that I WANT TO BE.

I fail some days. BIG TIME. But one of the characteristics I nurture in my garden is that of self compassion. Can I be kind EVEN when I am not living aligned with who I want to be in the world.

It is a process. I have come to love the process. Losing judgement and instead opening up to curiosity. Losing the need to control, and opening to being in flow with the nature of things. Making choices that bring me closer to the kind of person I want to be. Adventuring. Experimenting.

*sigh*

I’ve come along way.

And ALL of it, so worth it!

So, “What do you spend most of your day focussed on”?

Big, big love

Jen

xx

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The universe had it’s fingerprints all over my calling!

I am at ‘that’ age now, where I have a pretty good depth of time in this lifetime for me to reflect on.

Today, as I contemplate content and flow for our Soul Reader gathering on Thursday night, I came across an interview with Mastin Kipp and Wayne Dyer….

As I listened to Wayne, there were a lot of stories I had heard him tell in other clips I had watched in the past.

But something was different this time. This time, I really heard what I am here for! What I chose for this time around. What I came to learn and to teach.

Since I was very young, I have always had a kinda ‘feeling’ about things.

At 9 I had a ‘knowing’ that my dad wasn’t actually my dad. I distinctly remember laying on the bottom bunk of my neighbours bunk bed one sleep over as we discussed our families.

She had a step mum. Her step mum she believed, was in fact the wicked witch from the east.

As I lay there listening, the words, “well at least you know your step mum isn’t your mum…I don’t think my dad is my dad” fell from my mouth.

She dropped her down to look at me and in upside down horror she said, “That is just crazy…how do you know?”

The truth was, I didn’t know. Not for sure. It was just a feeling I had. I had no proof. His name was on my birth certificate, his parents were my grandparents, he said he was my dad, my mum said he was my dad. All the evidence showed that he was my dad. My friend may actually have been right. It was crazy…right?

At 11, my sister was born. After she was born, my mum didn’t come home.

She had been transferred to a larger hospital. When I asked why, the response from my dad was, “she’s sick!”.

“What kind of sick though dad? What is wrong?”

“Just sick kid. I’ll tell you about it more when you are older?”.

That was that. No more talking about it. Mum was not home. She was sick?

Right there, I knew they weren’t telling the whole truth again.

13 and my parents separate.

13 and mum tells me, that the dad I thought was my dad, wasn’t.

When she told me, I was kinda relieved. Relieved because I ‘knew’. I wasn’t crazy.

Not too long after that, mum got ‘sick’ again. I saw what this sick was. Mum has bipolar. Her sick was brutal….although when she was in the ‘up’ phase, you’d think it was the best kinda sick in the world.

I helped out with my brother and sister. Pretty badly it seems. Both of my siblings don’t speak to me now days.

I tried to help mum in her ‘sickness’ or her dis-ease. Messy. Unsure. Unhelpful. Helpful. Painful. Learning. Laughter. Numbing. Confusion. Love.

I became a Registered Nurse to ‘help’ others with their dis-eases. Messy. Unsure. Unhelpful. Helpful. Painful. Learning. Laughter. Numbing. Confusion. Love.

I became a Community Corrections Officer to ‘help’ others with their dis-ease. MESSY. Unsure. Unhelpful. Painful. Learning. Laughter. Numbing. Confusion. Love.

I became a mum to ‘help’ myself with my dis-ease. MESSY. UNSURE. Unhelpful. Painful. LEARNING. LAUGHTER. NUMBING. Confusion. LOVE.

I became a Life Guide to help others with their dis-ease. MESSY. UNSURE. Unhelpful. PAINFUL. LEARNING. LAUGHTER. Numbing. Confusion. LOVE.

As I listened to Wayne talk about his life, about his clarity as to why he came here, what he was to learn in this life time, I really heard why I came here! Clearer than I had before.

THE UNIVERSE (or god) HAD IT’S FINGERPRINTS ALL OVER MY LIFE DESTINY!

I came here to SEEK TRUTH and TRUST my intuition to HELP others with their ‘dis-ease’.

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That is all.

That is why I am here.

I have SO many experiences where I have heard my intuition, my inner ding (as Louise Hay calls it), my higher self, my BIG self….and yet I haven’t trusted it!

Here I sit, KNOWING it is all unfolding beautifully AND I KNOW with the same clarity I knew my dad wasn’t my dad, ALL IS WELL AND will continue to be so!