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 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.

ec72d89f843f228142c6e324f2e58c54.jpg

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 “Here I Sit With My Candle in the Darkness”

Here I Sit With My Candle in the Darkness

The gift of being a bit older, being in my forties is that I have lived long enough to experienced some amazingly light and brilliant experiences and also, so mucky and dark adventures as well.

Today marks the 6 weeks point that I had spinal surgery. When I write that I wonder if by calling it that it sounds a lot worse than maybe it was. In a couple of hours I’ll return to see the surgeon who carefully released the pressure that was on my sciatic nerve. Milestone.

Not long before I had the surgery, like days before, after months and months of being in excruciating pain we had a few folks around for one of the kidletts birthdays.

A group gathered as they usually do at the tall table outside, sharing stories and chattering away.

That day, I had to double my dose of pain killers, just to get through that day.

I wonder if they would have known how much pain I was in. I carried on as best I could.

As I stood in pain at the end of the table, I quietly admitted how scared I was to have surgery. Spinal surgery. An operation that I had decided on the day of seeing the surgeon (and my MRI results). An operation that would be happening in the next few days.

And call it sooky la la or weakness…I call it afraid.

Do you ever get afraid (I hope so, it’s human)? If you do what are you afraid of?

Being so successful that you wont have anyone of your old tribe to support you. That you’ll be isolated?

Talking in front of a large group of people?

Being lost out at sea?

Sharks? [me too… Although, ask me sometime about my grade 8 talk of ‘How I would overcome a shark if I was confronted by one’].

Blood?

Heights?

Spiders?

The truth?

Everyone has something that rattles their cage a little. Some, a lot.

For me, having spinal surgery was it.

And I didn’t even know it was, until I was faced with it.

I had to pull out all the big guns. All the things that I knew could support me through this. Mediations, Breath work. Writing. Support from my key tribe folk. 

And I was doing pretty good.

As I stood at the end of that table, sharing my fear quietly to one of the other party-goers, someone overheard me from the other end of the table and without skipping a beat, barrels down the table;

“Oh suck it up. At least you’re not……” and gave me a good example of why I shouldn’t be feeling the way I was feeling. Making another situation (that was legitimately scary) a ‘real’ reason to feel afraid.

You know how yesterday I wrote about that shame feeling thing I got after watching that dude talk for 12 minutes…well, that is exactly what happened to me in that moment.

What they said triggered off a thought process in me that made me believe I wasn’t worthy to feel the way I was feeling. And that I was bad for feeling that way.

Comparative shaming it’s called. I learnt that term from my old mate Dr Brene Brown (also mentioned in yesterday’s blog ) .

This is when we compare something we have or haven’t done with something someone else and devaluing our own experience. And example might be that you are in a room full of people and you don’t want to share about your recent marriage problems because you know that someone else in the room is battling cancer. And the person who is battling cancer doesn’t want to share their experience because they know that someone else in the room just lost a child. And the person who just lost a child doesn’t want to share their story because they know someone is the room was born blind.

And on and on it goes. Round and around. All afraid to own our story because we believe it isn’t worthy or ‘bad enough’.

As someone who spent half of her life trying to “Suck it up”, “don’t let anyone see you are vulnerable” what I know about doing this stupid, culturally ‘appropriate’ thing is it contributes to the disconnection to the one thing that humans crave most.

The one thing that humans seek as a part of not only their DNA, but as a universal design feature….

Love and belonging.

Sucking it up is a response when folks can’t deal with someone’s vulnerability, because they can’t deal with their own.

Compassion is in direct opposition to ‘suck it up’.

Compassion.

Pema Chodron says it in a way that resonates with me deeply and governs all the work I do on this planet.

“Compassion is knowing your darkness well enough that you can sit in the darkness with others”.

Just contemplate that for a second.

Knowing your darkness.

What are darkness bits? What are those aspects of yourself that you don’t want anyone else to see. Those stories. Those fears. Those truths? The parts of you that remain locked away in some cupboard, boarded up so that no one can see them.

Sit in the darkness with others.

What are you like with other people’s pain and discomfort.

Are you able to sit with them, be with them. Hold the space with them. Without wanting to ‘lighten’ things up, or ‘love and light’ it away?

I’m still learning to be with my own pain and the pain of others. I absolutely get it wrong. I totally want to bounce out of suffering, mine and yours, at times.

That day, at the table, I had little compassion for myself. I bought in to the shame speak. I wanted to leap out of the shame pain and not feel what I felt. On reflection, it would have been the best time to step away and do the old Jill Bolte Taylor “one-minute-and-thirty-seconds deal” (also in yesterday’s blog).

It took me more than 90 seconds to remove that splinter and to feel the shame and the pain of what was said to me. I am still removing fragments of a multi-generational culture that a lot of us still marinate in. The “suck it up” isn’t working folks. Well, it sure as shit isn’t for me.

And before you worry about this being a blame game on the dude who gave me the ‘suck it up’ direction…if you read yesterday’s blog, or have read anything of mine or know me at all, you know this isn’t about blaming anyone. This is about using everything that triggers us as an opportunist to grow and expand and to let go of all the stuff that isn’t kind.

I’m just over 6 weeks wiser now.

I made it through the surgery. I allowed myself to feel the discomfort of my fear. I told those who were supporting me, I was afraid. And those people supported me, accepted me and were able to be with my darkness….without so much as a straw in sight 😉

Today, or tomorrow, or whenever you feel it (because you will) if you are really afraid or experiencing a mucky patch…or if you are hurting or feel isolated, let this be the opportunity for you to know that you are not alone in this life thing. If you are being told to ‘suck it up’ and ‘get over it’, let me be here to remind you that that is old bullshit conditioning that came from folks who were too afraid to feel the truth….say, “thanks but no thanks”.

Here I sit in the dark. Waiting with my candle. Providing space for us to get to know our darkness a little more.

With all my love.

Jen

396fd5019a2c821f531e8bae1558590c