2 comments on “Just a Pebble on the Beach”

Just a Pebble on the Beach

The ocean. Vast. Powerful. Forever in flux. Breathing. Exhaling. Inhaling.

Have you ever watched the waves roll in and out and in it’s movement? Deeply? Have you watched it tumble to little pebbles along the waterline? I sat. For ages recently. And just watched the little pebbles.

Tumbling. Flipping. And as the wave hits, they move fast. Spinning. Turing. Rolling. Fast.

And then, the wave retreats and the pebbles lay on the sand. Basking in the sun.

I imagine that if they were human, this would be where they catch their breath. Stare at the sky. Feel the warmth from the sun. Until the next wave hits and they are spun and tumbled again.

0 comments on “It Started When I Was 15!”

It Started When I Was 15!

I never really intended to be the ‘sober one’.

I never ever thought that I would choose to go alcohol free, just as an experiment. As an opportunity to observe myself without it.

I started drinking when I was 15 years old.

Back then, there was this service called “Ring a Drink”. You’d call up, order what you wanted and they would turn up at your door and magically, you would be with booze. Like pizza delivery only alcohol.

Needless to say, that service didn’t last long. Not surprising if they dropped off alcohol to me and my friend at 15 years old! And in case you are curious, it was Midori. And I still shiver up and down my spine when I think of drinking that green juice.

We were at my neighbours house. She had gone to her boyfriends house and said that we could ‘hang’ there for the night. We did more than hang. I can still remember opening the door to the young ‘Midori Man’, making the cash exchange, and closing the door in utter excitement and disbelief we had the juice.

0 comments on “It Might Surprise You to Know….”

It Might Surprise You to Know….

I write for me…now.

I write here for me…now.

Sometimes folks think I am in their head and wrote stuff just for them.

Sometimes folks love what I write and they send me the most amazing emails and notes. Of which I just love and appreciate. That they would take a moment to first read what I have written and then go so far as to send me a message.

Sometimes folks feel unloved or left out because of what I write here. Sometimes folks wish that they knew the stuff I write about, before I write about it.

Sometimes folks I am sure get super annoyed with what I have written.

Sometimes folks judge me for what I write.

It is a weird thing to not be able to control how your words fall on someone. Or where they fall within in them.

 

For a very long time, I stopped writing. For me or for anyone.

In my younger years, I kept a journal. Many journals. I wrote my heart into the pages of multiple books.

No one had ever told me that writing in a journal was a good idea. No one ever said, “buy a book to write in and it will make you feel a whole lot better”. I fact, I can’t actually recall the moment I thought it was a good idea. But somewhere around 14 when I my period started I think, I started writing.

For me.

That’s the thing with journals. You write for you, about you, and with you. And in the writing, there is a visibility of what it is that is happening. More often than not, the page reveals a truth that the mind can’t let you see. It is like the heart has a direct line to the pen.

At 16, my boyfriend at the time, told me he had read my journals because he was “curious”.

At that young age I couldn’t have articulated what it really felt like. But after the same thing happened at 25, I am pretty clear now.

Those of you who have read anything about me, or know me at all, you know that my upbringing, while filled with love from my mother, was a little unsettling.

I sought solace therapeutically in  music and in writing and dysfunctionally in an eating disorder and promiscuity.

I wrote all about it all. Especially the dysfunction.

After my second round of intrusion in to my inner world at 25, I stopped writing. Full stop. Quit. Stopped.

I had carried my journals with me, all 18 of them, when I went travelling across Australia at 24. I packed up all my belongings into my little Hyundai Excel and off I went. Gold Coast to Perth. It didn’t seem like a big deal given my few trips from Gold Coast to Townsville. Perth just seemed like the next destination when I returned home from overseas.

Packed tightly in with all my clothes, books and guitar (which I still can’t play), my heart spills travelled along.

And I wrote about my journeys. About the divine folks I met. The roads I took. The amazing scenery. How it felt on my journey. Well at least I am pretty sure that is what I wrote about.

On that trip, I met a boy who later became my boy friend and later my fiancé.

He packed his stuff up too and off we went travelling together.

Along came my writings.

Melbourne we settled.

We unpacked.

Found jobs.

Somewhere to live.

We planned our wedding.

And so you would think it would seem okay for that person to read my heart filled journals. All the words I had used from a wee young age all the way through to an adult.

All the pain of dysfunction. The first loves. The ‘not so great’ decisions. And those not so great decisions it seems he didn’t have a very good time with.

He never told me he read them. Well not until…

What does your intuition feel like to you? Where do you feel that ‘hmmmm’ feeling?

I’ve always felt my intuition sits in the spaces between. Space between what is being said. In the spaces. When there are no words. Or after the words are spoken and a full body conversation begins. A sweet hum. “Hmmmm”. A sense in my body. Sometimes it feels like a push in my gut. Other times it is fluttering in my chest.

I remember the day I returned home from work after his sick day.

And the gut push hit. In the silence.

“Hmmmm” feeling.

And on we went.

A week passed.

Something was so different.

Weekends we usually went out together. That following weekend, he went out. With the guys from work.

‘Hmmm’ feeling.

I talked myself out of the feeling though. “It’s good he’s made friends here”.

He didn’t come home that night.

I didn’t sleep that night.

It’s funny. As I write this in real time with the music playing, this song plays. Where were you when this was all going on when I was 25? Oh, not born probably!

Exhale.

So, he didn’t come home. I didn’t sleep.

This weird behaviour went on for a while.

The ‘hmmmm’ continued.

Finally in a confrontation of this weird and it all fell on the floor. Like thousands of small ball bearings threatening to undo my safe ground. Freezing me in my little space. Inhaled.

The truth.

And when the truth comes, it hurts sometimes. A lot sometimes. I’ve come to live this intimately.

I think this is why we don’t actually want to trust the ‘hmmmm’ because we know it is going to hurt if it is true. A lot. And we wish it away, praying and hoping it isn’t true. Denial is a deceptively safe place to hide…initially. A hot place to hide long term.

He took exception to some of my past ‘not so great’ decisions. Decisions I made as a very young and often troubled person, and at a time when he wasn’t a part of my life. Those words seemingly didn’t seem to matter.

It didn’t end then, but it was destined to.

I ripped up those books. 20 journals. Each and every page ripped up. I sat on the bed and cried years of heart pain. Years of truths. And tears of self judgement and self loathing. I was a bad person. I had evidence of it in these books. So they had to be destroyed.

And after they were destroyed, we would be fine…right?

And that is where the writing stopped.

That thing that had carried me through all those years, not a moment of therapy except for that which I sought in the pages of a journal.

Stopped.

My power left. I felt like I gave it to him.

It took over 10 years to start writing again.

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4 years ago I started to write again because truly, I just couldn’t NOT anymore.

I felt like I needed to write for others. To help others.

So, instead of journaling I stared a blog on Facebook called Expanding the Heart Space. If you google it I don’t think you can find it…hang on…So, I am wrong. Turns out there is still a blog, not on Facebook, but an actual blog. Funny the things I forget.

Initially it was a scary as hell but I thought I was helping folks, so it was worth it.

A year or so later, I realised I was writing for me.

After I had written something, so often I couldn’t even remember what I had written. Like something had taken over me.

So I would read it again.

And more often than not, what I had written was exactly what I needed to read. In one way or another.

I was scared to admit the truth though. I was really writing for me.

Scared of judgment. Of oversharing. Of offending. Of pissing people off. Of getting it wrong.

It’s literally like having all that heart held in your hands and asking the world to stab it if they want.

In a weird twist of truth and grace, what I have come to see, is that I get far more support and “me too” moments than I do negative judgement. More often I am reminded I am not alone. I love SO much getting emails from folks who have read something about what I have written, about how it has fallen on them.

I do love it SO.

And still, ultimately I write for me.

If I inspire you to take a risk, or open up, or share, or feel brave enough to do something you didn’t think you could…oh how my heart sings!

And I write for me.

Even if you were in the room with me now, I would be writing this and not necessarily talking to you about the content. I can’t. The stuff that I write comes though me in a a way that I find difficult to articulate. All I know, is there is a level of trust I have that I have of myself now, that I didn’t before.

If my writing triggers folks, which I am sure it does, I trust that that is their business. Not mine. I wouldn’t disrespect anyone enough to not be honest.

And still, ultimately I write for me.

This is my love. My time. My space. My right. And my power.

I feel free when I write.

I feel light when I write.

I feel connected when I write.

I feel creative when I write.

I feel inspired when I write.

I learn more about myself when I write.

And if folks get offended, or triggered, or pissed, or annoyed or whatever they might get….

I write for me.

And if you are lucky enough for me to write about you, and you don’t like it….

I subscribe to the Anne Lammot position, if people don’t like what you write about them, then maybe they should have been kinder. 🙂

And in no surprise, this is the song is playing as I type this.

I write for me.

jen-14


Writing in a group interests me. So in July if you want to come and be with like hearted souls and get some juices flowing, we’d love you to come along. On the Gold Coast. If you want to be added to the list of folks who are already coming along, email me here for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

0 comments on “THIS is the real question!”

THIS is the real question!

You know the old question, what would you do with your life if money wasn’t and issue?

You know how most of us say, “Oh I would quite my job and buy a boat and sail around the world”. Actually, I don’t know anyone who has said that to me. Maybe my husband has. My husband loves boats. Ask him, he’ll tell you! Hmmm.

Yesterday my friend and I took a car trip to a beautiful spot in Northern NSW, to a place that always seems to recharge, inspire and invigorate me.

On the way home, while we were both trying to stay awake (hello sneaky vino at lunch), we played the “what would you do if money wasn’t and issue.

The temptation is to think of all the things you would do with the money. Like pay off the house, or move house, or build a house, or go on a holiday or buy a flash car or..you know, all the material stuff.

But this isn’t the question.

The real question is:

What would YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE if money wasn’t an issue? 

As we played with this question, I notices many things, but as I digested it later, I noticed that really, the things that we would do are actually really simple. Humble and yet so meaningful. Gentle even.

We broke it down into a week.

So what would the week look like?

For me, each day or at least one day would involve some creative expression.

Writing inspiring content.

Speaking about shit I am passionate about.

Dancing by myself and with others.

Each day or at least one day, would have some connection opportunity. Volunteering. Teaching. Meeting in groups to share our passions and creative expressions.

Music. I’d listen to music. I’d gift people music.

Each day would have some family time. But play time. Not serious homework stuff. Where all of are expressing our own unique gifts. Individually and collectively. We might even have Mrs Doubtfire come hang with us so that hubby and I can do some of that stuff together as well. Just us.

And everyday, I would learn something. Something inspiring. New. A new perspective. A new skill. A new way.

I’d be of service to humans who want to love their lives. And maybe to those who don’t even know that that they don’t love their lives.

I’d help folks who struggle with themselves.

I’d listen to folks. Deeply listen. And challenge the parts of themselves that aren’t open to love.

THIS is just SOME of the stuff that I would do if I didn’t have to worry about money. EVER.

Ironically, when I review the list, I see that well, for the most part, that is my life already.

So it is today, with gratitude I say, WHAT AN AWESOME life.

It is today I am grateful to the support of my husband.

It is today I feel ready to take another step up. Another step to use my life to create stuff.

Stuff that no body may care about. Just stuff that matters to me!

Trust!

Anyone ready to step up with me?

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As always, I love to hear from you. Where you are. What you are up to. What you are creating! hearing form you matters to me!

Big, big love

Jen

xxx

0 comments on “Brooks, you reminded me why I do what I do. Thank you sweet one!”

Brooks, you reminded me why I do what I do. Thank you sweet one!

2017 is like so close I am almost able to reach out and touch it.

This time of the year, things slow down for me so much with the kids being on holidays for 2 months! And fortunately our fam has managed to create a life that mostly means I can work around the family. That I can still be the primary parent. I know the parenting job….it won’t be that long and I will be made redundant from! So I savour it right now!

This year went pretty fast for me.

Did this year just seem to fly by for you??

Perhaps if the old saying, “Time flies when you are having fun” is true? Is the reason this year has just flown been because you have been having too much fun?

Yeah, I see you roll your eyes at me. I see you sigh. I see you want to stop reading now!

Sunday night I watched, “The Shawshank Redemption”. A movie that is in my top 3 of all time movies. I’ve watched it at least a dozen times. As I type this I feel like I want to watch it again.

Each time I get little heart pops. Different each time.

This time, the moment that gripped me the most was watching the journey of the beloved Brooks. A man who had been imprisoned for 50 years. 50 whole years! Can you even imagine being imprisoned for that long??

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Brooks was a man that in the jail, he felt safe. He was respected by the other inmates. He had a respectable ‘job’ in the prison as the library clerk. He had a pet crow who sat wit him as he worked. He had his routine. He had a predictable life. Not an ideal life, but he felt safe and not afraid. The walls had become his friend. The other prisoners were not just his friends, they were his family. His only family.

After 50 long years, he was released. Out from behind those walls out in to a completely different world. The world he was plunged into that was the 1950’s . What struck me and made me grin in a letter to his prison family, “Things are just moving too fast out here. I had seen a picture of an automobile but I didn’t know there were so many. People are in such a rush”. The pace of the world was relative to a man that had not witnessed the change of pace. I am sure it was like coming out of a warm bath into a freezing ice bath!

The world outside the walls was just too much for Brooks. He wanted to return to his safe place. His home. His predictable. His safe. His family. His friends. Despite all his freedom, he wanted to hide away behind the walls where it was quiet and safe.

And I really felt for him. And I really get it.

In my 20’s I made a transition for a couple of years from being a Registered Nurse to have the experience of being a Community Corrections Officer. My case load was made up of what was classified as High Risk Offenders. Folks who were on their last legs before prison and folks who had been in prison a long time and were on Parole.

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I spent a lot of time listening to folks about their lives. How they got to where they are. Listening to the challenges that faced them going forward. Their fears. And they were indeed challenges. It was my job to help support folks so that they stay out of prison. Resources. Support networks. Life skills training. Anger management training. Building connections. So that they might be thriving members of our community. Proper contributing folks.

It was a tough enough job for me. And I can’t imagine how tough it was for them!

Now days, I spend most of my days with people who are brave enough to explore the lives and or personal prisons that they have created. I spend time listening to folks tell me about how they want to change the life they have created. I spend time helping people to live on the outside of their personal prisons. Which for the most part are belief patterns that keep us stuck.

Exploration. A lot of light holding. Resources. Networks. Life skills training. Anger acceptance support. Building connections. So that they might be thriving members of our community.

And like the actual prisoners, it isn’t easy street.

Some, really brave souls step outside their prisons. They see the light and they know that they are going to have to make some changes. They know they are going to have to make some new friends. They know they are going to need support. They know they might need a new job.  And yes, all that might be challenging because they have been in prison for such a long time. They have to navigate a new way of being in the world. And sitting with all those parolees, I know it is uncomfortable as hell.

Some simply cannot bare it. And they re-offend just to go back to prison.

Some simply NEVER want to go back!

They just don’t want to go back. And because they don’t want to go back, they do what they need to do to stay outside the walls. And it’s work. It is!

God knows there are times when I find myself back in prison in my mind. It’s dark in there. I don’t hang there too long because I have tasted freedom. It is however….familiar there. Even comforting at times.

And I get it.

Brooks reminded me.

The way that we have built our lives, even if they aren’t ideal, they are predictable. Safe, even if they are uncomfortable.

Brooks knew how the days would play out. He had been doing it long enough after all. And sure, there were some uncomfortable experience from time too time with new inmates, or new prison staff, but for the most part, he knew the prison he was in. I completely understand why he wanted to go back. He felt alone. He felt like he didn’t belong. And for all I know, his home really was the prison. That is where he was meant to spend his life. That was his happy place.

It certainly wasn’t Andy Dufresne happy place…he wanted out and far out did he do the work. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you if you haven’t seen it, but Andy held the dream, held the vision and held the HOPE that he would make it on the outside and tiny bit, by tiny bit, day after day, he made progress. And he never let that go.

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Andy was dedicated to spending his time dreaming and scheming of a life outside the prison. The walls however, became his friend while he was there and used them to serve his dream. While he made friends, he was prepared to leave it and them all behind for his dream…and when you see the ripple affect of him following his dream…well, you’ll get it!

There is freedom in our dreams. I know when we feel imprisoned, trapped by the way we have built our lives there is a feeling that you can never reach them. I know that when you feel safe with the friends and family you have, you are afraid that you will lose them if you leave the prison. But actually, you may see that there are friends that want to leave their prisons of their minds too. And oh the fun you will have.

As 2017 nears, it is a great time to take a look at the life that you have built. Does it feel like freedom or does it feel like prison?

And if it feels like a prison, don’t be an arsehole to yourself. You did what humans do. Forget to check in and see if you are creating a life, or letting it create you. It’s ok and it can change. Little but, by little bit. If you really want it to.

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What are you willing to do to live a life that is right for you?

For Brooks, it was to stay in the prison.

For Andy, he wanted to be free.

Neither is right. Both are life choices.

We get to choose.

What do you choose?

If you want to make 2017 a year of creation, of freedom and of authentic expression, I’d love to hear about it!

What are your dreams? I you don’t know your dreams, lets talk..Lets bounce. Lets see if we can ignite the flame again. It’s in you, it really is.

Do you agree with what I am on about, or do you have another perspective. I’d love to hear that too.

Pop a comment in the box below.

Speak kindly to yourself

Big, big love

Jen

xx