My theory of life

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My theory of life

I have a theory about life. My theory is that it runs in cycles between periods where you have to turn inward and work on yourself and your life and learn and improve, followed by periods of time where that stronger, wiser person that you have become can expand outward with renewed energy to give to the world, helping other people to learn their lessons and become that stronger, wiser person that they need to be.

I thought about a butterfly and cocoon analogy but it’s not really like that because the cycle inevitably repeats, and neither cycle is completed in isolation, there is interaction with other people, either to give help and guidance or receive help and guidance, and that is exactly the way life is meant to be. That is life in all its wonderful, challenging, fulfilling perfection.

Sound healing

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Sound healing

While I like the new area I moved my family to and I do feel it is a better place to raise my boys than where we were living before, being new in a pseudo-regional mountain area as opposed to the city is not an ideal situation when you find yourself suddenly single. I needed to build a network in my new area and sooner rather than later. I’m quite comfortable in my own company, but I prefer it when it’s a choice and not when it comes with a lead-weight feeling of isolation, so I hit Google and attempted to find myself some places to be when the boys are with their dad.

It took me a few weeks to find an event that both interested me and suited my free time schedule – a new moon meditation and healing using crystal singing bowls. I’d been looking for something in the yoga/meditation direction given my recent life changes and current need for a bit of self-focus and this sounded perfect. It had the added bonus of falling on a Friday night, and for some reason going home to an empty house on a Friday night is the worst part of being single for me and I really do work hard at trying to avoid it. If I don’t have any place to be I’ll head down to the gym, put headphones on, crank up some energising music and jump on the treadmill until blissful exhaustion overtakes that almost physical pang of emptiness and loneliness.

I didn’t really know what to expect at the sound healing session but I have to say it exceeded all expectations. The beautiful sound swirled around the large studio and I felt completely immersed in it. I left feeling uplifted, energised and peaceful at the same time. During what I tend to think of as the ‘death throws’ of my relationship I had started drinking a lot more than usual, not enough to be a problem, just one or two every day, but they were a necessary one or two every day and I wasn’t comfortable with my growing dependency. Since the session however I have found I naturally have started to lean away from the alcohol and junk food  and my natural leanings towards good, nourishing choices is returning.

I was prepared to start becoming mentally strict with myself, imposing self-discipline to overcome these negative habits and indulgences in order to restore my physical and spiritual energy based self, but it was like I had bypassed that mental process. I felt like the sound healing had worked on my energy body directly and the physical effect flowed naturally in response, all I need to do was go with it and nurture it. Mental discipline is hard, this was definitely much easier!

I spent some time wondering how I could bring more of this sort of sound healing into my life on a more regular basis. I had previously asked Mr Z to put a Tibetan singing bowl on my Christmas list but now that wasn’t going to happen I decided to do it for myself and I went out this weekend in search of my own bowl. I really enjoyed the process of search for one, listening to many different shapes and sizes and choosing the right one for me. It now sits on my bedside table and when I feel that creeping sense of unease as to my potentially empty and lonely future, I pick it up and I focus on running the wooden mallet smoothly around the rim to allow it’s beautiful sound to envelop and sooth my soul. It’s such a beautiful mindful activity.

Just quietly, I have this feeling that something really good is waiting for me just around the corner. I keep catching glimpses of something in the corner of my mind, like memories of a dream fading away that you just can’t quite catch hold of, and there is a little, growing sense of anticipation. I feel like something is quietly knocking at the door and all I need to do is work on me, keep my thoughts and energy positive, push away those nagging fears that keep trying to take over my mind and clear space in my life to let it in.

There’s a new chapter being written, and that’s exciting.

We broke up

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We broke up

Looking back now I can see I stayed far too long in this relationship. I wonder if I hadn’t been supporting Mr Z through his master’s degree and felt if we parted ways that it would affect his study that I might have done it sooner. The truth is that my needs weren’t being met and I had been unhappy for a long time, but there always seemed to be a reason not to give up. If I was a bit more tolerant, if I was a bit more patient, if I managed my own emotions better, if I was more understanding, if I appreciated what I did get out of the relationship a bit more then it would all get better.

The thing was Mr Z was soon to finish his study for the year, and he would have time for me at long last. As it got closer though I realised I was dreading that. Yes, I had been feeling isolated, yes I had been feeling very lonely and really needed to make some plans with someone and have things to do together, but the divide between Mr Z and I was so wide now that I felt lonelier in his company than I did when actually on my own. It wasn’t working.

I had given too much, there was nothing left to give, if the relationship was going to heal it was because he would recognise that and do something to fix it, he would give back. I knew though that he wasn’t capable of it. He wasn’t capable of noticing, he wasn’t capable of putting himself in my shoes and seeing things from my point of view and working out my needs. I had been telling him what my needs were quite directly but it had become the endless drone of demands and nagging to him, I could see it. He wasn’t listening, he didn’t want to.

He was soon to finish uni, he would be free to get a job, and anywhere he wanted to, he wouldn’t need my support anymore. His relationship with his own children had deteriorated to almost non-existent – something that I was never comfortable with – and the only ties he now had were to me, and my family. He started making comments about my lead weights, my albatrosses: my children. I am a mother I told him, I love my children and meeting the challenges of parenting is fulfilling. I wanted to settle down, buy a property, grow a garden, get a dog. I want that life, he had told me he wanted that life, but clearly he wanted freedom.

As the end of his last semester approached his need for me diminished and his evasiveness over the future grew. He had never consistently pulled his own weight and it was getting worse now, arguments about him contributing to the rent and expenses escalated (along with his complaints about my children). He’d always claimed he would give back, later, when he had a full time job. It was increasing clear that he wouldn’t. My resentment grew, simmering inside me and too frequently boiling over into nasty arguments. I didn’t like myself anymore.

There had always been part of me that had seen this coming, but I had continually given him the benefit of the doubt. Classes ended, I had intended to let him stay until his exams were over at least, but I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t last that long. Feeling like the worst person in the world I asked him to leave; he went to his mother’s place, a four hour drive away. He returned only on the days of his exams, then he was gone for good.

I waited for the heartbreak, that almost physical pain. I waited for the feeling of emptiness and disconnection to wash over me. I waited for all those feelings to hit me like a tonne of bricks, but they didn’t. I felt some fear for the future, some fear at having no backup if something happened with the kids, and an old familiar ache at the prospect of facing a future alone, but I didn’t feel heartbreak. He hadn’t given me enough for me to miss anything when he was gone, he had only taken and drained, and now all I felt was relief.

I am free.

Blogger recognition award nominations

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Blogger recognition award nominations

I’d like to say a big thank you to Alyssa at Simple Alyssums for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award, it really did make my day, but I also want to apologise that it has taken me so long to respond. My blog is very new and it took me a few days to try and work out who I would nominate because I have enjoyed so many blogs. Unfortunately during that time my life turned upside-down as it became clear my relationship needed to end and I choose to stay away from blogging for a while, I was just not in a space in which I could write. I’m getting back there now though, and looking forward to enjoying it again. On a brighter note please do go check out Alyssa’s blog at https://simplealyssums.wordpress.com, she is a beautiful person with a great outlook on life!

The rules

Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog

Write a post and give a brief story of how your blog started

Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers

Select 5 other blogs you want to give the award to

Let the nominees know you have nominated them and provide a link to the nomination details.

My blogging story

This year has been quite a trying and eventful year for me and originally looked for a journal app in order to start journaling to help me manage my life, but decided to create a blog instead as I felt the potential that other people might read it would help to keep me more accountable to my thoughts and resolutions. I felt blogging would encourage me to think more carefully before I write so that my ‘journal’ didn’t turn into nothing more than a series of vents with little insight attached – and no action. I blog for me, not to entertain other people or to increase stats etc, but also to connect to other people, and I’ve found this WordPress space a great way of doing that.

What I learned recently is that in the inevitable ebb and flow of life there comes a time when it can get overwhelming and at that time I feel it’s best to put the blinkers on, live day by day without thinking too hard about what’s happening and just keep the wheels turning until the rough period is over. Emotions come and go through these testing periods and it’s best not to feed too much energy to them, but rather let them wash over without holding on. In that situation I prefer to keep busy and fill my life with things that distract and prevent over thinking, pretty much the opposite to why I blog, which is why I didn’t recently. If I had a blog that was hobby based I probably would have been on here every day, instead I did mindful type activities that capture my entire attention (like practice the piano) and threw myself into work, into a new gym routine, and unfortunately for my bank account, into some home improvements to create a nicer space to enjoy! My advice for any new bloggers would be to respect your own needs first and foremost, there are times for expanding outwards into the world and there are times for turning inward and withdrawing, so know and honour where you are at. Bottom line, blog based on what is right for you, not to please other people.
My nominations

I love talking to people and getting a view of their perspective on life, even if it conflicts with my own ideas as I think its healthy to have my ideas challenged. In keeping with this I do enjoy reading a wide variety of blogs, as you’ll see below. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

http://thelovebungalow.com/

http://deborahparise.com/

http://thelifewithowen.wordpress.com

http://oprahismyreligion.wordpress.com

http://thechastecyclist.com

Off duty!

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Off duty!

Today marks the the first day of my two week holiday, holiday from motherhood that is. I’m officially off duty! My kids have gone on their annual dad and son trip to the country with a number of other dads and sons. I have mixed feelings about these trips because while they allow me a bit of rest and time alone with MrZ, I do miss the kids and I worry about them too. 

The property they go to is quite remote, it’s a two hour drive to the nearest hospital and the nearest town isn’t much closer. They take off road bikes but luckily they no longer take quad bikes. Quad bikes are quite dangerous and my ex shattered his knee coming off one a few trips ago. Each year someone always seems to end up going to hospital for some reason or another. The adults do a bit of hunting of wild pigs and roos while they’re there too, and while I know they are a pest to the farmers and there is valid support for culling, I just can’t bring myself to be a supporter of it. Nor can I stand the thought of my kids holding guns.

I worry less now that the boys are older although in past years the stress would overwhelm me and typically I would have a shingles outbreak. I know they really enjoy these trips, that it’s an opportunity to lean independence and life skills, and they’re old enough to look after themselves a bit more now which is a good thing because I gather that the adults get drunk every night. I also have support now (in the form of MrZ who has come a long way and actually knew to hug me rather than reason with me when I burst into tears this morning), so these days I don’t get shingles, I tend to just get a few digestive issues. 

Given all this it is really important for me to plan lots of distractions for while they are away, because it is far too easy for me to curl into a little ball and spend most of the time hibernating in bed. Today I woke to rain and a breakfast in bed treat, leading to a lazy morning and late start which unfortunately meant that I missed my opportunity this weekend to join the local gym. I learned when I arrived at the door that the office closed at midday today and opens again on Monday (what a shame). I did go and do a bit of shopping though and managed to pick up a few pretty summer bargains. Change room trauma solidified my resolve to join the gym though and also was the final push I needed to commit to a few days of juicing, which saw me stop by the local market on the way home and buy enough fruit and greens to start my own store.

Before I go though I’ll leave you with a photo of my two budding Crusty Demons, just because I need more trauma:) Enjoy your weekend.

  

My message to the broken

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My message to the broken

I read so many blogs where people are lost and struggling, having found themselves dazed and bewildered at rock bottom, the same place I found myself many years ago. My blog is very new so I haven’t gone into much of my past yet, but trust me I have been there, and as someone who has been there this is what I would like to say:

It sucks. Where you are right now definitely sucks, but finding yourself at rock bottom can be a gift because there is no better place to learn life’s lessons and develop life skills than where you are right now. Take time to look at how you got there (it is NOT a punishment), take time to work out what life is trying to teach you because when you come out the other side what you learn right now will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Life will always throw obstacles at you, there will always be challenges, but what you learn when you build yourself back up is that there is nothing that will stop you, you will get through this and you will laugh and love again. You may need to close your heart for a while to heal, but don’t forget to open it back up again when you are stronger because that is where a lot of life’s gifts are, and you will be strong enough to deal with all the challenges love brings because you’ve been there, rock bottom, and you came out the other side and you will again.

Take time to develop, love and nurture yourself, because self belief is a wonderful thing, it opens the world and it’s infinite possibilities to you. You can’t give effectively to other people if you are not giving enough to yourself first. Inner strength is like a muscle, you exercise it to grow stronger, so set yourself challenges, you’ll gain confidence every time you overcome them. Start small – set yourself up to succeed not to fail!

When you fall get back up, dust yourself off and keep going. Expect set-backs, it’s normal, everyone has them, just don’t let yourself be derailed by them, view them as another opportunity to build that inner strength, and that’s something to be grateful for.

Risk making a mistake, it’s another opportunity to learn. When you learn you develop wisdom, who wouldn’t want that? Nurture yourself and be kind to yourself. No-one is perfect, why should you be?

Know the difference between love and dependence and be careful who you admire. Choose good role models and remember that inner strength and inner beauty far outweigh external beauty, there’s just no comparison. 

Finally, when you have healed, and are that amazing, wise, strong person as a result, don’t forget what it felt like and extend kindness to others that find themselves there, they need it.

When misfortune is a really gift in disguise

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When misfortune is a really gift in disguise

I was ready a little early this morning and thought I could make the early train, so I ran down the stairs and asked MrZ, “Run me to the station?”. “Sure, hop in”, he said, unlocking the car and then meandering back up the stairs to check I’d turned the grill off after making Master13 breakfast. Oh no, oh no, I thought, I asked him to drive me so I could get there quicker! Sure enough as we were pulling in to the station so was the train, “Run!” he said, “No!” I replied, picking up my textbook ladened bag and looking at all the stairs. Suddenly I had 20 minutes to fill.

My day is so often hectic, from the time I get up in the morning until the time I go to sleep, that it took me a moment to adjust to the idea that I now had 20 minutes to do nothing. I wandered down the street to get a coffee and came back to the station to sit in the spring sunshine. I have been reassessing my life lately and one of my conclusions as a result is that I need to practice more mindfulness and to find more time in the day to sit and just be, even if it is at my desk or on the train, or five minutes on the lounge while the kids are otherwise entertained. For years I wanted to get back into a meditation routine but never seemed to find the time more than once or twice after a renewed resolution, but that’s just the way life is when you are a working mother, it’s busy and time is scarce, particularly time for yourself, and focusing on the lack of it just makes everything worse. 

Finally I realised that I had been setting myself up to fail with my perfectionist “all or nothing” attitude. If something hasn’t been working for so long it’s time to take another look at it. Instead of aiming for several 20 minute sessions of uninterrupted meditation time a week, I now take time wherever I can to close my eyes and clear my mind, or if I think I might look odd with my eyes closed I focus on a nearby object (like my phone). I used to find my intuition was heightened when I did yoga on a regular basis the same way as if I was meditating regularly, (yoga being a form of waking, moving mediation), so this “imperfect” form of meditating is surely better than nothing. It’s an opportunity to still my mind and just be, bringing more peace to my life, quiet to my mind and creating opportunities for the universe to whisper its soft messages into my ear and actually be heard.

So this morning, instead of being frustrated that I just missed my train, I was reassured that the universe is hearing me and responded by giving me an opportunity to do exactly what I have been setting my intentions to do, and I sat and enjoyed my 20 minutes of sunshine with gratitude. It’s supposed to turn cold again tomorrow, wasn’t the timing perfect?