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These last 2 weeks have been some of my toughest yet…

If you’ve been reading my ramblings lately, you would know that this year has been a quest is wooing up. Of slowing down. Exploring what that REALLY means to ME.

How we behave now, is just a repeat of how we behaved yesterday, and the day before. Patterns. Humans run patterns. They run patterns unless and until they can recognise them and assess if they are still working for us.

Given I am human, that means I too run patterns. Some healthy. Some not so healthy.

I’ve been reflecting.

At 13 my folks separated. We moved from a small country town to the ‘big smoke’. Busy-ish

Mum had some difficulties with mental health issues and that meant I had to help out a lot with my younger siblings. Busy-isher.

Things escalated as the years went on and at 15 we found ourselves in foster care. Busy.

Since leaving home at 16 life got proper busy!

Attending school full time and working part time (“Hi, welcome to Red Rooster can I take your order please?”) while living out of home so attending to all my own washing, food purchasing, food prep, money management, transport, friendships, periods, boy friends, teachers, assignments, complex family interactions, gym…lots of stuff for a teenager to deal with. Busy.

At 17..welcome Glandular Fever. It floored me. Proper floored me. I had to stop. I couldnt do anything but. I had to go to bare minimum. Take some time off school. Take some time off work. Some time to just rest. And slowly I healed. Slowed down. When my behaviour didn’t support slowing down, my body did.

After school, I went to university, still worked part time (at 3 different jobs). Busy.

Graduated uni at 20 and moved by myself to Townsville. Busy. Not a big deal because I was used to looking after myself. Working full time in paediatrics. Shift work and a very busy social life. Sometimes I would go to work without any sleep the night before (no children came to harm in my crazy behaviour). Busy. Work. Gym. Out till all hours. Repeat. Busy.

21 years old worked 3 months night duty to save money to go overseas. I worked from 1030pm till 7.30 am the following morning and slept for 4 hours a day for 3 months. Exhausting. Pushed on.

Took off over seas to work in upstate New York. Travelled by car with a bunch of other crazy foreigners around the US of A. Once we went over and back I went to the UK to hang with mates. Off the plane into a pub with the crew. Sleep? Nah. Keep pushing.

Came back to Australia and went straight back into working full time in a full-on area of nursing. Exhausted. Pushed on.

Fell into a heap with a reoccurrence of Glandular Fever. Very rare. 6 weeks off work. Basically crawling from my shower to the bed and back. Slowed down. When my behaviour didn’t support slowing down, my body did.

Got my energy back and saved up to travel across Australia by car. Busy.

Drove from Brisbane to Perth by myself.

Arrived in Perth. Picked up my nursing registration and off I went. Found a place to live. Worked. Saved. Socialised. Busy.

And on it goes.

I end up meeting a guy who I could see a future with. We shack up. We get serious. We decide we might get hitched. I fall pregnant. I lose the bubba. Keep moving. Try again. Fall pregnant.

Decide to move to Gold Coast from Brisbane while keeping my job in Brisbane. Carry on with the wedding plans. Decide to build duplexes. Busy.

Plan wedding and move house in 6 month period. Get married at 26 weeks pregnant. Busy.

Have baby. BUSY!!! 3 months later move to new place. Busy.

6 months later, fall pregnant again. Exhausted. Push on.

It all goes a bit blur after that because I had the second then fell pregnant with the 3rd and well…3 kids under 3 and a half…CRAZY BUSY. CRAZY BUSY. CRAZY I SAY!

I could go through the next 10 years but we’ll be here all night. And maybe that is worth another blog.

Fast forward to here.

I am exhausted. I’ve been trying not to push. I had to ask the universe, with some help with this whole slowing down thing. Clearly it isn’t a natural gig for me.

So I asked. “I REALLY need some support with this slowing down gig….can you show me the way?”

Seriously, in only a week, the universe offered me some support.

I LOVE how the universe supports our growth!

Not necessarily what I wanted, but clearly what I needed.

The last 2 weeks have been SO tough for me.

Physically I have hit a massive, massive wall. So massive I was sleeping 12-15 hours at a time and was suffering the MOST debilitating headaches that went non-stop for days.

Obviously this is totally unlike me.

I got a blood test.

Welcome to my blood stream, Ross River Fever. 

Welcome to my experience , Viral Meningitis. 

 

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Whaaat?

Needless to say, the last 2 weeks have been tough.

Actaully the last many months have been tough trying to manage this tiredness.

I have cancelled a bunch of stuff that I love. That has been tough.

I have had to rest. Not something I know how to do well. That has been tough.

I haven’t been able to read because my eyes hurt so much. AND I LOVE to read. That has been tough.

I haven’t been able to make the kids lunches…ok, so not so tough 😉

I haven’t been able to fold washing. Not tough at all 😉

I haven’t been able to see clients. TOUGH.

I haven’t been able to do anything but rest….lay down. Sleep. Get acupuncture. Sit…although not for long because I get tired.

I can’t talk much because I get short of breath…you know how tough that is for me right?

I can’t walk far because my body hurts. Even as I type my wrists know they are affected.

BUT here is the upshot. And the upshot is big.

In this tiny piece of time I have heard A LOT of messages I have been too BUSY to really pay attention to. They have been coming thick and fast. AND it nearly makes me weep as I type.

…and those messages I will write about soon. After I have had some more rest.

I’m not writing all this to get sympathy and “poor you’s”. I am writing this to remind myself that life is always trying to give us the opportunity to wake up to our fullness. I haven’t REALLY been paying attention.

To share my journey of humanness so that we can all be reminded that shit happens to us humans. It just does.

To remind myself that the universe is kind and is always helping to guide us toward love. And to love ourselves when we are struggling is certainly a life path that requires deep commitment.

To let you know that this who ‘busy’ thing…well, it’s keeping you from you.

This is to say, Universe, I hear you AND I thank you.

What are your absolute REST practices? Love to hear.

PS. THANK YOU HUSBAND. MY GOD. YOU ARE SO AWESOME.

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PPS. Welcoming all the super love and healing energy you have spare. xxx

And rest……

 

 

 

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I wonder which way I would have gone?

I met a woman the other day.

We were just chatting away and I’m not entirely sure how we got there but she told me something she had never told anyone before. And it took my breath away.

After the birth of her 3rd child, who like me had 3 kids in 3 years, she found herself in a place where she didn’t really know herself. When she looked in the mirror, she couldn’t see herself.

Seemingly, her husband at the time couldn’t see her either and did the only thing he knew how to do. He took his wife, dropped her off at the doctors and said, “Go get them to fix whatever is broken here”.

Dazed and confused she went to see the doctor.

At the time, she lived in a small town, where services were scant and a lot of the ‘help’ in town was old and outdated. But familiar.

On this day however, a new doctor had started at the practice. A new doctor who saw the value in deep help rather than surface band aid help.

As this woman confusingly sat in front of this doctor and said, “My husband said I need to fix this. I need you to fix me”.

The doctor sighed and proceeded to write a bunch of stuff.

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Silence filled the room for all but the sound of the pen hitting the table top with force and fervour.

Eventually, the doctor finished writing, turned to look her in the eyes and said, “my love…there is nothing to fix here”. [long pause]

“You have just had enormous changes in your body. Enormous changes in your life and you are in fact doing the very best that you can”. [longer pause]

“It IS however possible that you ARE in fact broken though……broken open”.

The woman, who had been blocked, confused, dazed, closed and shut down, burst into tears. Something shifted in that moment. In that moment, she realised she was ok. That nothing was wrong…even if she really didn’t understand what broken open meant.

She handed her 2 pieces of paper.

You can: take this script.Valium. Half of one in the morning and another half at night.

OR

You can: take this list and go to the library. Borrow these books and when the kids are asleep, read. Tell your husband to watch the kids and leave and go and read. Ask for friends to support with the kids and go and read. It is going to be challenging, but you are worth it, your children are worth it. Every week, come back and tell me what you have read. And it is up to you. The choice is yours..

If you take the pills, I totally supper that too. It is your life and you get to choose and you can change your mind at any time. You are supported in this. I don’t know what is best for you, only you know that.

The woman sat, staring at the papers. In her heart, she wanted the books, in her mind she really considered the pills.

In that moment, she chose to follow her heart. She knew it was going to be hard. She knew it would be a journey of challenge. But somewhere in there, she knew she was worth it and knew she could make it through.

In that sliding door moment she chose to grit it out. She chose to take the support. To ask for support. To support herself.

The woman acknowledges it was tough but on that day when I spoke to her, she was so grateful to that light house doctor who showed her a way safe to shore. It was rocky, it wasn’t smooth, but it was a journey that taught her so much.

Today, 30 years on and this woman, has written her very own book! Inhale. Exhale.

Today, I want to thank that doctor.

Today I want to thank the teachers who have had the courage to write those books.

Today I see the inherent value of books.

Today I am grateful for the impact that books have had on me.

Today I am grateful to the man who stood in front of a large group of us and said, “books are boring I will never write a book. It is like having a party on your own”.

Today I am grateful for the space we have created for Soul Reader Book Club.

Today I am grateful to the women who show up to be apart of the inward journey with me.

Today I made the commitment to FINALLY break through my own limiting beliefs and write this book in me.

Today, is a changing day in my life.

Go gently today as you consider the direction you want to take. Go gently and know you are supported. Go gently and know that you are worthy. Just, go gently. Don’t try to overhaul it all at once. Just follow where you feel called.

You are so loved.

Big love

Jen

x

 

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A truth you may not know about me!

Here is something you may or may not know about me.

It’s a bit of an out there kinda fact.

Despite my behaviour that sometimes belies this truth, it is in fact the truth.

What truth?

Well. The truth is, I don’t actually know everything!

Gasp.

What?

What is this I speak?

In fact, all I know and actually I would suggest all of us know is;

All we know is what we perceive!

Perception. This interesting thing that happens in the mind.

Depending on all the experiences we have had before us, to impact on the way we view the world through different lenses, we will have very altered views of the world.

If you grew up in Iraq it is highly likely you see the world very different to how I see it here in Australia.

There is thing interesting thing I have notices as I plod (yes I am trying to slow down) along.

Vegetarians make fun of meat eaters and make snide comments like, “that poor little lamb”.

Meat eaters make fun of vegetarians saying inappropriate things like, “vegetarians always look so unhealthy, and “you clearly haven’t tasted good meat then luv (urgh…totally inappropriate)”.

The spiritual person may consider the high earner as un-spiritual and materialistic.

The capitalist may mock the spiritual person calling them ‘woo-woo’ and ‘hippie’.

The mind is a fascinating part of us. Always looking to categorise and label.

The teetotaller says alcohol is evil and if you drink it you are possessed.

The wine connoisseur distrusts the alcohol abstainer who don’t value the integrity of the grapes.

And the quasi religious affiliate kills people in the name of their god.

Words that we have come to learn, we have attached a bunch of ideas and perceptions to. We like to ‘know’ stuff so we feel safe. The ‘we get it’, that we won’t be taken advantage of.

And here is the intriguing part of this perception thing.

When we categorise another as being a perceived way of being, then we put them over there and not a part of us. When we think we “know” all about a particle way, or experience we shut ourselves off from connection. We remove the opportunity to learn something, not about a vegetarian, but about a person.

When I choose a certain way to live in the world and make others wrong for not living that way…well why would I know what is best for everyone! God, 7 billion of us or something currently on the planet and the god knows how many to come after….man, I do not want that gig!

I would however love to see something else.

I would love to see us all acknowledging our differences AND our similarities.

I would love us to see us all being accountable for how we behave and not blaming anyone else for what we choose to do or not to do.

I would love to see us learning through this experience. Learning what it feels like to be human and to see the truth in all of us. That NONE of us know what we are doing…really. We are all only doing the very best we can at any given moment depending on our own level of consciousness or awake-ness.

If we look at basic nature. If we look at the cells of our body. I wonder if the cells of the liver would say, “Urgh, those kidney cells…check them out filtering all that fluid in the blood. Look at us over here sorting out hormones, toxins and god knows why else”.

No, what we see when we look at the systems in our body, each cell has a purpose. It knows what it is meant to be doing to SUPPORT THE ENTIRE BODY.

I doubt if the heart cells behave like they are better than the bowel cells. I seriously doubt that the tissue of the lips consider it inferior to the tissue of the nose.

I reckon our old mate Darwin who brought us the ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘competition’ has shifted our perception about how nature works.

Who is to say that species aren’t actually competing, but are actually in fact collaborating in an unspoken universal language. One that says, there is enough for all of us, and I might have to give up some stuff for you and our other mate over there may have to give up some stuff for us.

Nature has this way of sorting itself out and yet us ‘wise folk’ seem to ‘know’ better.

Someone recently said to me, “I can’t work you out”. “Oh, ok” I said. “What is you are trying to work out?”

“Well, I see all the loving work you are doing, all the stuff you post on Facebook (don’t even get me started on that), all this spiritual stuff you speak of and yet I see you drinking cocktails and wine”.

“Hmmm, ok. And what is it you can’t work out?”

“Well if you claim to be spiritual, why do you drink?”

I laughed and said, “chill my friend, who ever said that being spiritual meant you can’t have a legal drink?”

It was awesome. We got to explore each others view of spiritual. AND as spiritual applies from my perspective…it is a personal experience.

I get it though. Our buddy here had a ‘perception’ that because I am labeled a particular way I ‘should’ then behave in a way that matches the way ‘they’ believe it to be.

Human, I plead….

Be okay with whatever part of collective you play and flourish there. When you flourish you won’t care what old mate is doing over there. You’l be more like, “hey ya’ll what is that you are up to?”

Lets maybe start noticing our perceptive minds and maybe we can stop shaking our perceptive heads and making others wrong and instead offer up some curious exploration of their perspective? Maybe?

Lets get the heck out of the making wrong garden and just admire the diverse creations that are!!

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Well, I’m going to try anyway and I might even have a Mojito as well….it’s Friday after all.

Go forth beauties and shine on!

Your spiritual explorer friend

Jen

xx