Is there something that stands in the way of your writing? I have a stubborn, curious inner child who pops up into my head unbidden on occasion.
Just when I least expect it, she appears. ‘Why are you writing that?’ She enquires. I don’t always write what I want, sometimes I am writing for other people, but this is not what she is asking. She wants to know why I am exposing my wounds.
She wants to know why I have this desire to uncover the layers and face my uncertainties and fears.
She knows that when I do, she will have to come out of hiding. I ask quietly ‘why are you still hiding?’ She backs away; she is not shy; she shares my wounds, and she is not ready. She stays in the shadows watching me.
She is me. I know that. I know that life caused her pain, not sweet pain, but an unfathomable ache that kept her in a trap of wanting to please, eager for others to like her. She wants approval. She longs for the person she is talking to turn their eyes to her and notice. Not to just see her long red hair or freckles but her soul, her inner beauty, her gifts.
She remembers winning a competition at school, but the winning wasn’t fun. She stood on the stage to receive her prize – a packet of colouring pens. She didn’t see or hear the audience clapping, she felt a fraud, because why did she deserve these congratulations? Didn’t the teacher tell her dad that she would never be good enough to go to University? Implying that she was average and not quite bright enough to go to that elite place. That damning statement stayed with her.
She was smart. She understood the complexities of maths, the nuances of language and the depth of art. She was quick to learn and quick to disrupt. She was bored with school and the uninteresting lessons. When she was called to a presentation from an art college, she wondered why did she get an invitation? Why her? She wasn’t good enough, was she?
Not good enough forced the child to never push her work forward, because it was never perfect enough for others eyes. When it wasn’t perfect, it was never finished. It languished for fear of ridicule. And so the child turned away from her talents and played another game. Pushing herself into corners far away from prying eyes, she became invisible. She thinks that she is standing in my way, but she isn’t. She helps me to understand me.
‘I am writing this for you’ I reply.
This is a long ago memory and long ago feelings. I have written my way through a lot of hard stuff and grown as a person. But none the less there is often a child standing in the way of my writing.
Our memories and experiences stand in the way of our writing. It’s learning how to see the experience through new eyes.
I have learned to push through, that this resistance is a message that this ‘stuff’ needs to be dealt with and dealt with now. These days I embrace exploring these inner depths and stories because I know that I will love the outcome. Well, I will once I have screamed, cried and done whatever else needs to escape.
When it comes to writing for the world that same child can stand in the way of your writing.
So called Writer’s block is not about writing it is always what lays beneath. When you allow yourself to explore that then it does become easier to write and share openly.
You see I have learned that not everyone loves what you write, and that’s ok. I know that it’s hard to let go of perfectionism, but I also know that if I don’t get it out there, then I won’t get feedback and without that, I won’t grow – and neither will you. I make myself focus on one thing, and no matter how boring I find some of this stuff, it helps me get things done. I tell her I have found ways to overcome those irritations that have stood in my way.
I invite my inner child to sit and write with me. She tentatively takes up her pen and smiles. I love that cheeky smile; she has a wicked streak that isn’t revealed often. She is scared that someone will want to destroy her. Not because she deserves it, just because they can. They have stuff going on which causes them to attack without thinking. I remind her, that is their stuff, and their opinion has nothing to do with us. Send them away with love.
‘What do you say we have some fun?’ I ask.
My thought process is that if I can support and hold her close to me when she writes, she will know that her writing is safe.
‘How about we write for us?‘ I continue.
I’ve grown a bit of a tough skin and learned the art of feeling the fear (excitement) and doing it anyway. I know that I can find beauty in whatever she writes. My heart can wrap her in a web of love. Together we can write whatever we want.
She writes. Her words are big and never between the lines. Her eyes are far away as she retrieves messages from her soul. She has started, and we both know there is no going back. I kiss the top of her head, I’m not sure if she notices because her pen is flying.
It’s time for some honest reflection.
I don’t know what stands in the way of your writing. If you have a mischievous inner child or some other inner belief that needs dealing with before you feel confident to write. I have found that over many years of journaling which I call Writing to Heal that my confidence has grown and my layers peeled away. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it has always been rewarding.
My invitation is that if the thought of writing from your soul is a little scary then start with something like my 101 days journaling adventure (see below). Over 101 days you will be sent quotes, some food for thought, an affirmation and an invitation to explore. It’s a start, isn’t it?
2018 started well, I was full of life and looking forward to what this year would bring. I was expecting such a powerful life lesson experience…
Jumping out of the shower and singing to the dogs was how I was starting my days. I was content, and things felt in the flow. We were 19 days into the New Year, and things were certainly going my way. I had new clients and my plans for the coming year were being sorted.
I reached the bedroom and leaned over to move a bag of clothes and heard three loud cracks. Feeling a searing pain rip through my chest, I stared at the ceiling and asked. ‘what the fuck do you want with me now?’
What followed was hot tears, hadn’t I been through enough? I screamed at the same empty ceiling. Why would I expect anyone to be there? It was just a white ceiling devoid of emotion or reason.
To cut a very long story short my spine had fractured and for some freaky reasons. I spent most of the year in agony and extremely exhausted. However, bit by bit I discovered the root cause and put myself back together.
As the year came to an end I reflected that although this had been a tough year, I’d learned a lot and I was still smiling. This in comparison to some people I have spoken to who hated 2018 and enter the new year not feeling great, is a big win.
In 2017 my dog pulled me over in what was a silly accident. It could have been avoided, but for some strange reason, I had wound her lead around my wrist. I was at the door opening it after a long walk, she spotted a cat and charged after it. In all of the years of her living with me, she had never done this. I equally have never flown without a plane.
I sustained a rib injury, followed by another which meant that 2017 was also fairly painful. I worked at healing that. I now know that the shingles attacks that arrived because of the trauma to the ribs are what raised prolactin, which lowered dopamine, serotonin and estrogen. No estrogen means bad news for your bones.
They call osteoporosis the silent dis-ease and it certainly crept up on me. I was stopped.
What I hadn’t banked on was the pain and changes to my body. Never in my life have I endured so much pain and for so long. Slowly I straightened my body as best I can and sorted out all kinds of other stuff.
When you are a work-a-holic as I have been and don’t heed the messages, it can come as quite a surprise to be completely halted in your tracks.
After the first four days of being in a stupor, I decided to breathe through the pain and write. I found a brand new journal and I wrote endlessly. My journal became my bible. It was full of research, observations, how I felt and how I thought I would heal.
Asking for help comes in many forms. From lying on the concrete almost passing out and calling for help (2017), to asking someone to clean, do your shopping, bring in the wood to asking your divine inner wisdom and asking your Universe or God to show you what you need to see. Stop struggling and ask was a biggie. People love to help. I love to help. So opening my mouth and asking was a great thing to do for me.
I love having treatments, massages, energy healing, reflexology, Bowen, acupuncture and the list goes on. I feel like a junkie because I get a high from being pampered. The results from treatments aren’t always lovely immediately, however, the net effect is usually good.
Over this year with the pain, I worked with one specialist osteopath. He was incredibly gentle and has helped me to straighten my spine and ease my pain. As a nutritionist, I have also been able to discuss my nutritional needs with him.
In addition, I worked with a naturopathic nutritionist. I am trained as one too, but I really needed her wise counsel. Another friend bombed across the mountain on her quad bike to deliver reflexology which was divine.
My doctor was incredible. He listened to my theories, noted my desires, was the voice of reason, ordered tests, read books I took in, but most importantly he believed I could heal myself. Unlike the specialist doctor I saw.
I have worried about all kinds of things. Then I learned to breathe. When you allow panic to invade your body, it changes everything. When you learn to breathe into it and let go, things get much easier. When I feel that awful rise up through my body, I have two strategies; one is to walk, and two is to write. Walking clears the mind and you can travel through many stories until you get to the oh what the hell story. Then when you write, you can declutter the last remnants and make space for inner peace. What I notice now is that when I feel that familiar creep of panic my ribs hurt. It is a big reminder to breathe.
You do not have to go to the extremes that I have done and studied to become a nutritional healer – again. Over the last 27 years, I have studied many nutrition courses from very scientific ones in the early days to more natural ones as the years have progressed.
Diet affects all aspects of your life. If you are not properly hydrated you are unable to think straight, nor will your body function properly. Water is such an important part of being human and we neglect it like it’s poison. Eating your diet and not one manufactured for the masses is vital. Certain foods are poison for certain people. My diet is gluten, nightshade, and a few other things free. The aim for me is to create a diet that gives me loads of energy, the fuel to repair itself, strengthens the bones, ensures that I am pain-free, hydrated, can eliminate waste efficiently and nourishes my mind, body, soul and spirit. my diet and the way that I eat is brilliant – for me.
If things aren’t working in your life and your body is crying out for some attention, please change your diet, it will change your life.
Writing has played a huge part in my life and personal growth. From journaling to writing books. When I log in with my inner muse as I have over many years, the downloads I get are incredible. My life has changed in many ways because of writing.
Journaling is something I recommend for all clients. Many feel that they cannot do it, but when they do directed journaling, in conjunction with listening to the muse the results are amazing. Your pen is connected to your unconscious mind, and it will tell you what you need to know.
When I write books, I get disheartened, just as you do, but when I read back what I have written after reflection, I am delighted. Clients books teach me so much and as they write they learn too.
The power of the pen is in the beautiful connection is has to your soul, your inner muse. Get connected to your inner muse she (or he) is indeed very wise.
Many of you reading this already know that you have all of the resources inside of you that you will ever need. The problem is that we often switch off the inner wisdom listening. The noise of the outside world confuses and overwhelms us, and so the voice is rarely heard. Then when it speaks we do not trust it.
Over this year, like no other time, I have tapped in and wow what a lot I know. You do too. I have learned that the voices in my head are there to guide me. The feelings in my gut are my intuition telling me that something is either right or not so right. Now I listen to them. In fact, I listen to all of the signals I receive.
This is isn’t about being rude, it is ‘just get rid of the toxic people‘ who take up your space. You are a beautiful soul, and you deserve to be with people who nourish you and not destroy you. This is a great article from Kathy Parker called I no longer need you.
Invest in something that enriches your life. You might feel fearful that money is going out and at the moment nothing is coming in. That is fear talking. You have to invest in yourself if you expect others to invest in you. Of course, it doesn’t need to be cash it could be some other resource.
I used to hate supplements, now I supplement wisely. I’ve read over 30 books across a vast range of subjects for this healing journey. My time has been invested in learning how to heal. When I have needed treatments, I’ve gone for them. I have left no stone unturned in healing myself.
Then as I started to feel better and my energy came back, I invested in things for my business and I feel like a normal life of sorts has resumed.
Not long after I started to journal I decided that I would write a book about healing osteoporosis. It would be my story and what I did and offer suggestions to others about how to cope, find their root cause and design a unique healing plan. This kept me focused and while I didn’t know all of the answers because I was living it as I wrote, it was an incredible experience.
As bizarre as it seems. I am grateful for a shit year. I learned more about me, I cleared some debris and while all is not 100% I discovered I am a resourceful, resilient, woman of courage.
There are many more life lessons that have come to me over this last year, and I may be inspired to write some more, but for now, that’s it.
What did 2018 teach you?
When you read this and wonder how you can move forward, my best advice would be to journal alongside whatever else is going on or you do. Please join me on 101 days of being me journaling adventure.
Stop for a moment and ask where is my now? Writing to heal starts with a reflection of where you are now, not where you have been, although we will get to that.
The birds are singing, Ferdy dog is by my side, the girls are outside, my computer whirrs, my head feels fuzzy and my spine aches.
This isn’t where I am, or at least it is physically, it’s not where I am emotionally or spiritually. This is the dot that I exist in the vast Universe without connection to anything.
Close your eyes. Where are you now?
You can probably still hear sounds. What if you were to extend your listening further? I am 40 minutes from the motorway, I can’t hear it, yet I can – in my imagination.
It’s dark isn’t when you close your eyes? Dark and strangely peaceful, as if nothing else exists.
Do you find your mind wandering or perhaps you are travelling around your body, enquiring about your aches and pains? Perhaps what calls you for your day ahead? Or maybe the things that have been causing you consternation are zigzagging through the inner peace that you desire?
When we start a writing to heal journey, this is to my mind one of the simplest and most powerful questions – where is my now?
My now is days of pain both emotional and physical as I work to heal my body. I cry often, but not for long as a curious doggy nuzzles me and demands a biscuit or a walk and then my mood changes and their needs surpass mine. My body is healing, it is getting stronger, I can feel it and I just know.
In January 2018 my spine fractured. When I think of my now, I realise my life fractured. The foundation of me shattered. That isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, it’s not like I am jelly on the floor and have to slither to my nearest dark chocolate bar. More of a questioning about every part of who I am and how I got here.
I’m a researcher, a questioner and often an annoying git because I want to know how things work. If this happens, then what happens next and why would that happen if you did this?
Currently, I am writing a book You, me and osteoporosis and as I start to write what I think is a simple chapter, I invariably end up with more enquiries than answers. Luckily, through my writing to heal experiences I have learned to ask, write and then reflect.
I know that once I ‘put it out there’ the answers will come. Everything will fall into place and make sense.
And if it doesn’t, well does it really matter in the scheme of things? The answer to that is – it depends…
Everyone’s perception of time is different. Use this exercise to put your journaling and writing into a timeframe and into context, so that when you reflect you are able to consider more clearly how events that surround your life are affecting you and how things fit together.
Your now will have been triggered by an event, this may be an event that happened a year, a month, a week, a day, or even just an hour ago.
I find it best to get comfortable, relax and to let my mind wander (connect to your muse) as I ask each question. It may be that you need to run through the list of questions, then go and do something else and come back to write and reflect.
Write quickly, briefly, and write unconsciously. Leave this for a few days and come back to reflect. What do you learn in this writing to heal journey?
Exploring who you are with words is my gift. No matter where you are or what is going on, having a sounding board can support you and your wellbeing. Writing is healing, it brings clarity and purpose. You may start journaling, end up writing a book and changing the world – how cool is that? Please connect with me, chatting costs nothing and it could bring a smile to your face.
I first came across neurotransmitters when I was studying nutrition. Learning about chemicals which send signals to your brain was fascinating. While I was focussing mainly on how what I ate and drank would affect how I felt, I started to wonder how these mighty messengers could also be influenced by writing and more explicitly writing in connection to self-love.
Further study showed that neurotransmitters are affected by behaviour. Which means that they would be affected by writing activities. Words have the power to change lives and have as I’ve said so many times been my saviour.
My journey to self-love involved many things, but one consistent component has been writing (and reflection). I believe writing and reflection play a powerful part in exposing what is holding you back from loving yourself and aiding in the creation of the right environment for it to thrive. It is through writing that I have been able to create many daily actions on my journey to self-love.
Writing lets us to connect to our light so that we can see the world through a different lens.
When you crack open your heart to loving yourself unconditionally, life will change. Plus a healthy dose of self-love will boost those feel good hormones, and that has to be good – right?
That’s an interesting question. Some say that it is
Romantic love aside and there is plenty of research about this which we can draw on for considering what love is. However, this is not it. Love cannot be traded, exchanged, given away, demanded, it is a part of our essence and values. It is something that exists yet remains undefinable. Which is delightful.
Whatever it is and however you describe it, love exists. We are love; love lives in all of us, and we exist because of love. For me, love drives our stories, the ones about you, them and us. Stories are the foundation of humanity. Therefore love is the foundation of our humanity.
Self is all that is you. It is what makes you, you and distinguishes you from others. It includes what you believe about yourself. Self-image is how you see yourself, and how you think others see you which will affect your confidence, self-esteem (how you feel about yourself), self-love and outlook on life.
How you know, see and feel about yourself is called perception. You will see yourself one way and not always as others see you. When you have a distorted sense of self, it does affect how you feel about who you are and what your purpose is. The more distorted your identity becomes, the more you find it hard to find meaning in the world.
Getting to know the real you is a lifelong project, and it does not have to be hard – once you take responsibility for you. We make it hard because we are hard on ourselves. I have spent a lifetime making it hard for me to love me, and then I woke up and made a decision no more. The more I practised and in my case wrote the more natural it became to let go of the old me.
Are you willing to question this sense of yourself so that you can move from fear into love?
We are spirit living a human existence, and our spirit carries our love vibration. Our human desire is to be connected to that vibration and to live from it. The trouble is the human system being very complex triggers off all kind of things in response to our environment and chemically stunts our capacity to love. The bottom line is that when the hormones for self-love are not triggered in the brain, we live in the shadow of fear.
Fear stops us fully experiencing and being able to create a nourishing and loving environment.
The good news is that at some point someone or something will wake you up and when you become aware, then you can make a conscious decision to pull the right ingredients into your life.
The key is to not leave self-love to chance and to do things that will trigger those feel good hormones and to keep doing them. This is not, so we live in some kind of weird self-love vacuum, more that we bring rituals (practice) into our lives that create a fantastic foundation for being. Love can free us, or it can bind us, that is your choice. When you put self-love, self-worth and self-value into your heart and soul, then you can live a life that has meaning.
Before we travel into the heady world of self-love, what drew me in neurotransmitters after the nutrition stuff was reading about the scientific research around love and what happens when we fall in and out of love. There is a great article here. All of this information started off scrambling my brain.
Everything about us is connected, so if one system is out of sync, then the rest will follow. For example, if I abuse my body with crap food, it affects how I feel and how I feel about myself, when I don’t feel good about me I may then think sod it and do something else which stresses me. And so on.
What I discovered was when I asked the question ‘do I love myself enough to?’ and then took good action to look after my human, my spirit came alive, and my soul felt loved. It got easier and easier to work through my shit.
Dopamine called the motivation and reward molecule. This is according to research critical for love to thrive and survive between couples. It also makes sense for self-love to thrive as well. We all like to feel rewarded so that we stay motivated to continue.
Oxytocin called the bonding molecule. This is what bonds babies to mothers and lovers to each other. Oxytocin has been shown to have two sides to it. The positive everything in the world is rosy side and the side that is exhibited when things go wrong in love which leads to jealousy, envy and suspicion, i.e. a lack of trust.
Serotonin, the molecule of happiness. Serotonin is responsible for helping us to feel confident and enabling a stable mood. It is also part of the pathway to a good nights sleep. Lack of sleep will wear anyone down.
Endorphins, molecules of security and peace. These are known as natures painkillers. When you do not love yourself, you often will engage in activities which create dis-ease in the body and could trigger a pain response. By undertaking more loving activities, eating better, exercising, meditation and introducing other self-care opportunities, you will reduce the dis-ease and the related pain.
Which don’t include writing – I know how bizarre…
I could wax lyrical about breakfasts, but if I don’t start the day with something delicious and fulfilling then all day I feel dissatisfied and out of sorts with me and the world. Here’s the thing I get when I eat breakfast.
I’m getting good nutrition; I’m eating mindfully, loving every mouthful, feeling at peace and know that my mind, body and soul will reward me by functioning well.
A typical breakfast for me is homemade almond milk, buckwheat porridge, seeds (chia and sunflower), nuts, fruit and some superfoods (maca and ashwagandha are just two). I tell you it is orgasmic.
Walking is another life saver. Long before I had the three dogateers, I walked for miles every day after work. It allowed me to clear my head, get connected to Mother Earth and to see things in a new light. It also helped me through physical pain. When I thought I couldn’t move, I made myself take the dogs out for a walk no matter what. Slowly I recovered and even now when I am in pain, I go for a walk, and it seems to help me. I also see it as a reward for sitting and working. It is meditative and restorative.
Start to notice how you speak to yourself. These words are etched on your body. While you may tattoo yourself with a positive affirmation, you would not dream of writing your words of hatred on you for all to see. Your body can hear your words. Notice what they are and start to change them.
What I find helps me is to keep post-it notes in the kitchen and bathroom and write little love notes to me. I feel fab when I discover them (not sure how I could have forgotten I wrote them) and they help reinforce a positive self-image and love. When I find the notes, I say out loud what is on them.
I also start the day by looking in the mirror and saying something loving to me. And whenever I catch myself about to criticise me, I turn it around.
The heart space is often clogged with the mess of our lives. It is therefore natural to close this off to more pain. Think of it like putting a bird in a cage, closing the door and throwing away the key.
All is not lost.
Do not look for the key, let the key find you. This means to acknowledge that you have caged your heart and you are saying that you dare to allow it to open. It can be scary to let go and often you do not know that you are holding your heart in a tight grip.
When you are first woken up to loving you, your natural reaction is to protect your heart. However, this is the perfect time to work on opening it to you.
Place a hand on your heart, take your focus there and imagine that you are getting ready to send love out. Switch directions and shower yourself instead. Feels good, right?
Many find that sending out love is easy, but that through the many hurts receiving love is a little harder. This is ok. Being conscious that your heart is a channel will support you to being able to focus that love into the core of your being.
Keep focusing on bringing love in and holding the door of the cage open and slowly letting the prison fall away. Can you feel the expansion in your chest or the space between your breasts? It’s as if someone is holding your breastbone apart.
When I do this, I feel at peace with me and the world. I see things from my divine inner light and a place of love. Even if I initially want to do something opposite. Boy oh boy – so much work to do (smiles).
The best time to start is now. Ask do I love myself enough to? And get one with it. Your neurotransmitters will adore you for it.
What are your self-love tips?
Self-love some of the backstory…
Once upon a time, I felt such shame, guilt and self-hatred for my things that happened in my life and the hand I perceived I was dealt. I have found myself caught up in my stories. Isolation was my default stance. When I can’t bear things any longer I hide. The truth is I’ve hidden from my ‘truth’ and in doing so not allowed myself to love me. What I have come to realise that my crappy life is a fabulous gift. Writing is my saviour. Through writing, I have learned that I have a right to love.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates, in Plato, Dialogues, Apology. Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC)
Not just writing if I am honest – pure bloody-mindedness as well.
When I was expelled from school, I called my dad at work, expecting the usual telling off. The sting of his words, ‘are you mental or what?’ wrenched my heart. I held back the tears and swallowed hard; he simply put the phone down on me. No one talked or looked at me that week, while I, slightly unconcerned, relished my newfound freedom. A few days later I found myself on a farm with the Moonies. More on this in another blog.
Then I entered the world of work.
Every day I dragged myself out of bed to go work, I wanted more from my life, but I was caught in a limbo land where I couldn’t move. I was trapped, caught in the spider’s web and watching horrified as life passed me by. Don’t get me wrong I have had some wonderful jobs, but I was never fulfilled. I wore the suits and did the stuff and on the inside, I was dying.
I thought that relationships would save me…
What I failed to realise was that it gets easier to deal with things, not that life would get easier. Blinkered and unaware of the tougher times to come I lived in a weird smog. My desire to learn, heal and grow and my knowledge of how to look at things didn’t desert me, but somehow I stranded myself on a loveless Island with a strange bedfellow.
One day in what I thought was the sanctity of a boring marriage, the one where I thought was safe, I was delivered a hellish wake-up call.
I relocated my life but not my self-hatred until I made myself look in the mirror.
I have been made to face up to life, who I am and why I am here, it has been freaking hard, but, it has taught me several things.
It sounds rather narcissistic to say that you love yourself. If you are a preening prancing horse then maybe it’s not so cool. However, the conscious evolved kind of love where you honour and respect who you are is a wonderful place to be. Through this, you start to see that you have value.
I’ve always been a bit crazy or as I was once described a wild child, though I think I may let that label go. Instead, you can I can relish the silliness of being just who we want to be. For me, that includes singing to my doggies – they do like it, I’m sure. Dancing with them and generally feeling good about just being rather than trying to please others. When you love you, you can be real.
This is my essence as well as my values. I’m essentially a free spirit (my essence) who dislikes rules and adores freedom (a value). Intuitive and demanding fair play and justice. When you love yourself, it is easier to stand by your values and life your life as essentially you. That is, like above, not being afraid of being seen as you and walking your path, your way.
This has to be one of the hardest things to do. Accept and do not judge yourself or others. However, it is one of the most satisfying and for me funniest ones to do. When I catch myself about to judge me, I eat my words, sing it away, make myself laugh and then quickly reframe. Of course, there is always room for expansion and transformation and that will come.
Where once you may have had weak boundaries now you hold your head high and let the behaviour of manipulators and bullies pass you by. It becomes easier to say no, without making excuses. And when people try to emotionally blackmail you, you’ll find that it’s stuffed in the trash can as their stuff.
We’ll look at more reasons another day. For now, understand that cultivating self-love is one of the keys to inner peace and contentment.
What about you? What has loving you given you? If you don’t have it, what is the one thing you can do today to start this process and practice?
When the Me Too campaign started, I turned off from the outpouring. I needed time to process. I wanted to know why on a deeply spiritual (and Universal) level this was started and the purpose it served.
Then I discovered that it was initially started by Tarana Burke over ten years ago.
Alyssa Milano then resurrected it on Twitter without knowing that Tarana was the originator.
This is incredible and blows my mind with the power that this brings to women, and actually, all beings. As we stand together – all of us we can evolve. This is eve-olution – a slow burn until it’s ready to ignite, has been triggered.
My mind raced as I read stories and comments and I felt anger.
Not for anyone sharing a story, my anger. Anger that I was unable to stop two unhealthy men, one when I was ten and the other when I was a teenager. One a babysitter who was given authority and trust to look after ‘my parent’s children’ while they could go out to play.
The other a rather vile man who, I later, discovered, used his wife in the most degrading way. Although on reflection she was complicit in his grooming. With conflict at home and a deep sense of being unclean, but not knowing why, I was easy to exploit.
As a young child, I did not know that the things that the babysitter did were wrong, I can clearly remember it all as a game. That was a defence mechanism and a story that I tell myself. Because I did not know that it was wrong, I couldn’t and didn’t tell. The irony is that the babysitter in question shares my name.
Recently I looked at Google Maps and stared at the house as if that would offer up some clues. But it looked just like a house. And thankfully there was nothing left.
The second incident, I have argued (my story) could have been averted.
But could it?
Now older, I’ve reasoned, I ‘should’ have known. Here’s the rub. As a rational adult, I know how insidious abuse is. I only have to look back at recent history to see how my last husband’s behaviour drove me, unwittingly, into a dark hole. I only have to talk to other men and women who live, have lived with narcissists to know how they work. I can remember telling my friends how kind he was. Really!
What happens when you are blind to what is going on is that you convince yourself that everything is ok. That it is safer to be anywhere other than at home.
Not fully understanding the science of the brain, it seems that chemically there is a process that protects the person from accessing the trauma memory. This explains why I can only access the memories when I visualise the houses in which the incidents happened. I have almost perfect recall of the room layouts. I’ve been told that this is normal.
What I also know is that neurotransmitters involved in the love process play a part. We become addicted to the feelings that an abuser arouses in us. How crazy is that? Once a bond is formed it is difficult to break and because you believe that this person is a good person you will introduce others to them as if they are normal.
Later when the spell is broken, you can start to rationalise that it’s all your fault and it’s your fault that others got involved as well. This, of course, is not the truth but it becomes your truth, and when you own that, more damage occurs.
People who have been abused hide the memories and feelings because our prime directive is safety first.
Hiding memories with processes and techniques, in my opinion, don’t work. At least not for me. I want to know. I want them out.
I forgot everything for years, blocked it out of my mind until one day I was watching TV and the memories came flooding back. Boy did they come back. What followed was years of processing and dealing with anger and guilt. Not just for me, but for others. Trying to understand how this man’s wife could have been complicit and then knowing that she too was trapped and helpless. She was easy for me to forgive, not at first, but later. Then I as I thought about how she befriended me and when I introduced her to my friends, did the same I unforgave her. Despite her pain in this relationship, she played her part, as did I. I feel conflicted and in pain for us both.
I couldn’t forgive me for being stupid. How could I have thought this was safe and how could I have let them meet my friends? How could I? I have asked this so many times, but I cannot remember how we all met. I know it is not my fault, yet I felt shame.
I remember lots of people in their kitchen, and I’m wondering why they were there. Having baked beans in front of the TV, was that to get me out of the way? Being given nice clothes that weren’t theirs to give which were difficult to explain away, was this a bonding technique or to assuage their guilt?
Mostly all I can see is the house layout and two very explicit incidents, and I try as I can, I cannot recall anything else. Just like with the babysitter I can see the houses, two episodes and nothing else. But my insides are raw.
Later I heard some of what he did to his wife until she was able to escape. That got to me. Suddenly there was a whole other world of rubbish potentially going on in their house.
Thankfully, my involvement was short lived. Overhearing my dad, I realised that he was suspicious of where I spent my time. This woke me up and that was the end. Over, I never saw them again.
Despite locking things away, I never forgot.
When I watched the program about the three girls in Harrogate, I cried buckets. I was lucky that this scale of horror didn’t happen to me.
But somehow in my head, once again, everything he did was my fault.
But here is the rub.
I wanted to share this with someone I loved, however, my head was a jumble, was it my fault, was it my fault that they met my friends, how did I make all of this happen? I needed someone to help me piece it together, to help me to understand, to be understanding and not treat me like shit under their feet. Their reaction was not ok.
This led me to lock it away again. I shrank. Hid. A person of no value and little worth.
The net result was I imploded. Not visibly, but my inner world collapsed, and I made choices that I unconsciously thought I deserved.
Later I tried again. It was brushed off as ‘well it’s over and in the past, get over it.’
What I get is that it’s hard for others to process. That they don’t care and why should they?
My experience has been that in their heads it is our fault. Women are to blame. We made these things happen.
No, we didn’t.
There are many factors at play here, not least the biological processes that occur during abuse, the way that memory works and how trauma is processed. Sexual abuse and assault are complicated. Humans are complicated.
The knock on effects are many. Each person who has had something done to them will deal with it differently, and that is ok. There is in my experience not a right way, only our way. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about me.
What is scary is that abuse changes us biologically. The pain in my ribs gets worse when I am angry, and I thank her (I’ve named my ribs Mabel) for letting me know that I need to deal with things.
Healing takes a lifetime.
While I may have processed all of this through many different methods, there will always I feel be fragments stuck in a corner somewhere – as there are today.
Several things have helped me
Eating clean and ridding my body of processed rubbish has had a profound effect on my ability to grow as a human. When I am clean, I can function well. Without the chemicals of mass destruction running amok in my body I am strong and can make conscious decisions.
Writing is a powerful way to connect to the unconscious mind, higher self, highest true self and source. I call all of these my muse. Writing takes many forms. Journaling, scribbling and writing stories and books. On each of the full and new moons, I write and burn my thoughts. What comes up as the focus is used, I set a releasing intent, write and do not read, burn the writing in Rosemary and hold a crystal while I let the flames lick my wounds. As part of this process I forgive, let go and let love.
Learning to love me has been most profound. What a change this has made in my life and my identity. Self-love is the foundation from which I can be. In this, I have learned that I do not have to fix or mend others and how to ask for help. That if anyone treats me like I am stupid that’s their stuff. And aggression is now much more assertive. Best of all I am now prepared to add my voice and be visible.
Soul contracts. This is part of writing and loving me. A process where I see the contract, write it and then tear it up. Once burnt it helps me to heal.
I am wondering how the MeToo outpourings on Social Media in whatever form affect you? How you process and if like me, it is an iterative evolving cycle of things?
Before I close, I want to tell you that despite the spikes in my emotions, there is much love, inner peace and contentment in my life. As I am sure, there is in your life. This is I think a shift of consciousness again.
I also think that this current campaign has opened a vortex of Universal healing and I hope that we can all heal, expand and transform. Mother Earth can take the energy around our stuff; she can use it and create goodness from it. Let her help you.
Resources (aka stuff I have read)
Summer is over and I am relieved. I love the sun but not the searing heat that keeps me trapped inside. I am preparing for winter which always suddenly descends. Every year winter catches me out, one day it’s warm the next freezing – just like that. But before I think about winter I want to relish this new season which has begun. Autumn is a season where we can be thankful for all that we have. Let go of the old and turn inwards for reflection.
We are also moving from earth season to metal (in Chinese Five Elements), which is rather apt, as I write this I have been thinking about grief and resentment. Not in a sad way, more about dealing with the frayed edges of some old stuff.
I’m also thinking about the expansion that I have undertaken over the last year and the contentment I feel. That may seem conflicted to feel contentment and resentment, yet I do. In my journey to self-love, I have come to embrace everything that comes up that needs to be shown love. It’s all about balance and finding that pivoting point.
In the morning there is a welcome chill in the air, it’s darker for longer and I feel change is less urgent. Walking the doggies is much more fun and we can get out more often, which is great for being grounded and having reflection time.
The colours are richer, the earth musty and there is a sense of the world slowing down.
Autumn equinox (also known as the Mabon or autumn harvest) was on 22nd September 9:04am (GMT). At equinox the day is in balance, there is equal light and dark. It’s a time when I stop standing in the shadows and seek out the warmth of the sun. It’s a time when I feel ready to embrace more down to earth activities.
I’ve written a lot and now I am editing. This is my writing harvest. Where I felt as if I hadn’t produced anything, now I can see it all coming to fruition. Now I can breathe.
So the summer has ended, seeds are falling, the ground is cloaked in fallen debris, ready to be reborn in the spring. Despite not getting much done in the searing heat, now it’s all about harvesting what I have sown, letting go of what doesn’t serve me, gathering up what I need to see me through winter, finding balance and courage.
The logs are here and stacked. The chimney swept. I have curtains ready to be lined to keep the heat in. For once, I am prepared and that also feels balanced.
As we move into the Metal season there will be more changes.
The colour for metal is white; this can be clothes, food or things in our environment. Who needs an excuse to buy some beautiful white flowers or light a candle? All that comes to mind is pureed parsnips (they are white), dinner with my friend Dawn, too much Prosecco and a bit of a headbang to Nirvana – that was certainly a moment of letting go madness.
In Chinese Medicine lungs and large intestines are the organs we now focus on. By nourishing the lung and learning to breathe properly you can balance and soothe the mind and eliminate wandering unhelpful thoughts. The lungs draw in breathe and exhale waste carbon dioxide, with every breath I can let things go. Metal makes me think of metal shields, warrior women and protection. And I think of breathing in new ideas and inspiration and letting them percolate.
The colon is all about eliminating waste. Eating well and being nourished with more root vegetables excites me, no more salad, I love meals made in one pot and feeling the embraced with a tickle of new flavours. I’m sure my body responds better to these kinds of foods. Now I struggle with cold water and have to make myself drink a glass every time I make a cuppa.
By releasing and letting go, I can ensure that my mind doesn’t become clogged and cloudy.
The emotions are sadness and courage. Connecting to the sadness or grief and acknowledging that this is a part of me, will give me the courage to discover more of my worth and reap my value.
Be aware of what needs to be let go as you enter autumn and set in place, a space for you, remember to stay grounded, listen to the earth and your divine inner wisdom.
Every year World Mental Health Day is observed on the 10th October. One day to highlight a massive problem. There is often no visible signs that someone is suffering until their body complains, they do something because they can’t cope and then it is too late.
Anxiety and depression can affect anyone.
When I was in the corporate world mental health was not discussed, but as a manager, I was acutely aware when people around me were not coping. Many a private conversation, a cuppa and a walk in the fresh air has helped someone have the space to be heard and to be empowered to take some other action towards better health. I am proud to be a listener without judgement.
This is not always the case when you work alone, or you are living with others whose needs always come first.
A few years ago, I found myself in front of the doctor complaining that despite the many miles I trudged every day with my dog, I couldn’t breathe. He asked me some questions, and suddenly there was a space to be heard.
We talked about who I was living with, what the relationship was like, work and general health. I explained that for the last two years I’d struggled with sleep and had tried everything I could think of. He laughed at the comprehensive list I handed over. He glanced over it and said quietly ‘you have anxiety and it is no wonder.’
Walking away with a prescription for Prozac felt like the end of the world. Having been a party animal I was used to abusing my body for fun, this felt very different.
Now I was a failure.
Two days into my new drug habit, I was ringing the doctor. ‘I feel weird this is happening.’ I was panicking that this ‘stuff’ was destroying me. She calmly explained that I probably have a virus.
I felt a fool.
Before long I was sleeping, and a calm descended. Deep inside I was ashamed of giving in, and although I didn’t want anyone to know, I found myself sharing with two friends. Never before had I sought external validation, but now it was vital. I wanted them to tell me that it was ok.
They did, and it was, I was ok.
At the start of taking them, I had an exit strategy. Changing my diet and writing as ever helped. Pouring my heart into my writing and writing creative short stories was fun.
I was a bit silly with my diet and cut practically everything that could possibly be an allergen to anyone, ever. Losing vast quantities of weight did nothing for my skin, and my skinny legs looked more match like every day. I didn’t love me so I couldn’t and didn’t look in the mirror. I tried but to no avail.
I was ugly.
Christmas came, and we were going to Spain to work on my house. Shortly into the holiday I took my daily pill and vomited. Staring into the bowl, repulsed by the small and what I had become, I decided no more pills; there had to be a better way.
Back home and I thought I could cope.
By February his almost 90-year-old mother who needed help with everything and had dementia came to live. Two months passed and living with a bully and this woman who appeared to hate me was taking its toll. ‘I’m going to take Prozac again, I told him, I can’t cope.’ He couldn’t care less. As long as he could do what he wanted he was ok.
His bullying never stopped, passive aggression should have been his middle name. I explained several times that he was a bully and that it needed to end. All he did was to turn the tables and call me a bully; he was a lost cause when it came to empathy. He was the sort of person that if you said something one day, he would go on about it for days. He was like a dog with a bone.
He told me he enjoyed finding someone’s weak spot and turning the knife. I decided to try and ignore him and his silly behaviour. Every day he said something about sucking his cock or some other inane sexist comment. He was driving me nuts. I found that I was losing my temper because of his endless berating. When I did sit him down to tell him that I was unhappy and felt unloved, he managed possibly a day and then was back to his weird self.
It was another year and another Christmas, and we decided to take his mum to Spain. More importantly, it was decided that I would take her on an economy class plane (old women, wheelchair, dementia and poor toilet habits) and he would drive with the dog and his son. I coped because she couldn’t have done it without me and I wanted this sad old lady who hated me to have some happiness.
The apartment we’d booked fell through, and so we stayed with my mum while he caught up with us and then we all went to my house in the hills.
A house that was not ready for us.
Lying awake one evening staring at the ceiling I knew it was time for me to die. While everyone slept, I Googled ways of killing yourself. They all looked painful. What the fuck can I do I screamed silently into the slumbering beams?
I wasn’t meant to die, but I was dead inside.
Not long after and following his mother’s death, I decided to wean myself off Prozac (again) and try to get back to some normality. I had a business to get back up and running, for what it was worth and products to create and launch. Nothing worked, my time was (again) not my own, I was utterly disrespected and unable to get my work done. I couldn’t work out how I was not able to work and why he thought it was acceptable to interrupt me constantly. Everything seemed so far away and unattainable.
One bright point was that a visit to the doctors revealed that I’d had an overactive thyroid and through dietary changes, I had resolved it.
I felt vindicated, that’s why among other things I wasn’t sleeping.
If hindsight were a currency, I would be rich. Slowly but surely over just a few years my sense of self had been eroded and despite the freedom, I thought I had, I had become incarcerated and controlled, and I let it happen. I can now see that the stress from previous unresolved issues, looking after his mother, the Prozac and my endless romantic dreams of being in love (as it turns out with the notion of love) had kept me diluted. Without Prozac to blunt my senses I was starting to realise that this might not be the ideal place to be, and that scared me. Apparently not enough to listen to my inner voice. I remained loyal, loving, kind and blind.
The Universe has other ideas about my blindness, and when I discovered he was and had always been living a highly promiscuous double life, I was catapulted into a new life and a way of being.
Through all of this, I wrote, and I wrote and did it a bit more, I still do.
I won’t lie, writing hasn’t always been easy. I have cried and cried as I have journaled. Equally, I have screamed with hysterical laughter as I have re-read my creative life stories and plotted the demise of others who I felt had hurt me.
Throughout all of my journalling, reflecting and other kinds of writing, I never expected to be pushed into a pit of hell, I thought I was ok to tackle big subjects – me. Writing has taken me into some dangerous places where I have I rested letting the poison spread. I have continued to push my pen more and more learning to connect to my heart. And then it got easier, the pain in my chest eased, and the path ahead began to shine.
Writing is a journey with your soul, writing can and does help you to heal. Everyone who writes does at some level move on. You may be writing about an adventure, crisis, a life changing event or a single fleeting moment in time, but in the setting out of your personal story, you are connecting to you at a deep level.
Writing is an escape and a safe passage into a new life and the next part of the journey.
Start today, get a journal, put it beside your bed, write when it suits you. Let it flow. Write anything, one word, just start.
So while World Mental Health Day is focusing on what is happening in the workplace, which can be like being thrown into a vipers nest. Please look around you, one of your friends could be where I was. You might be there now. How I wish I’d known how to ask for help and have had the courage to leave sooner.
Are you a conscious woman who is choosing to wake up or were you forced awake and becoming aware? It matters not which it is, what is important is that you now make waking up, being aware and alive.
As more and more women are being woken up, they are realising that there is more to life than what was and that they have a story to share. It is rarely an easy story to tell. Many times they wonder if they should, who would listen, what might happen if they do. It can be a confusing time.
I know, I’ve been there. Had the crappy life. Been hurt, wounded, shredded, mistreated and dismissed as if I were nothing. However, what I know is that these are a part of the human contract. Acts in a play or chapters in the book of my life. They are kernels of magic, and they hold the keys to the story I have come to tell. The story that helps me to heal, grow, transform, expand and fly high. Not only that my story is here to let you know that you can do it too.
Our stories help us to heal, they help others to expand and they help the world. Together we can do so much more for our world.
When a conscious woman wakes up, she chooses to ignite the fire in her heart and soul, to tackle (perceived) flaws, wounds, and pain. In choosing to expand your consciousness, you choose growth and over stagnation. You choose to thrive. You choose love, life, and laughter. You choose. And you want to inspire others to be.
Many people, like me, have lived torturous lives. Slipping in and out of pockets of insanity interspersed with love, peace, and harmony. Others have lived the high-speed race, shooting in and out of a variety of adventures. Others have travelled at a nice steady speed. It all feels well paced, doing all the right things and yet feeling as if there is something missing. Asking ‘is this it?’
Experiences shape us. End of. What we do with these experiences from this moment on is a different matter. As you stand there you are the shape of your soul, spirit, body and mind thus far. But inside every cell, and in every part of your being are the magical ingredients to pull that shape by the short and curlies and breathe your essence which is hiding in the corners back into you.
If I had my time again would I have wanted my horrible lessons or experiences? Er, let me think a minute… No! However, I am the person I am today because of what I have been through and the actions I chose to take.
Have I been an angel? No. Have I been aware and conscious of what I have done in those moments of madness? No. I didn’t ask to be used and abused and emotional tortured – did I?
I believe that everything is a choice. Even when the child’s mind is not fully formed, and she makes innocent choices that means that ugly people can abuse her – it a choice. I know I was that child – sexually abused and groomed. I was that adult who abused herself and made poor relationship choices. The net result was more choices and a whole heap of trouble. And it’s been fucking hard. Hard, hard, hard.
It’s not all been hard or bad. Not everything in my relationships was wrong. Like you, it’s been a bit up and down.
In becoming a conscious woman, I have learned to accept the choices and decisions as part of my journey back to the beautiful soul I have always been. Vulnerability is normal. What will get you through the hard, not so hard, weird and wonderful times is a glorious reconnection to you, your faith, trust, surrender, acceptance, and self-love. I know you can do this.
You will receive your gifts. There are always diamonds in the rough. Life is beautiful. You have a story; you have learning, power, knowledge, skills, experience, humility, grace, and love. You can help yourself to see that this story is your story. But more than that, your words have the power to transform others so that together we can do something in our small way for humanity.
What does it mean to wake up, or be woken up or shaken alive? It will mean something different to all of us, of course, it will. For, me it is about waking up to what my story was trying to tell me so that I can move on and inspire others. It’s taken all this time, to make me understand, and there are others out there that feel the same way. They too are hearing the call that it’s time to wake up and change things.
It may seem that we don’t listen until it’s too late. You know you get stopped by some drama, happening, weird illness or physical pain. Man does that stop you. After all of my emotional turmoil, I had a series of accidents and ended up in so much physical pain. I was left sitting on my sofa looking at where I thought heaven was and saying ‘you’re having a larf ain’t you?’.
No laugh, no joke. Stopped. Woken up.
‘Ha take that bitch – you will listen and you will wake up, and you will do your work. Now off you go like a good girl and find your tribe, you’ll know who they are.’
When eventually you listen, there will be no turning back. It does I promise get easier. I am so blessed to have found beautiful souls – other conscious women – to create something with.
As we learn to tap into our divine inner wisdom, the messages flow thick and fast, you learn to trust them, and it gets easier to be.
As connect inwards you will discover hindsight, insight, and foresight. What a heady combination of ‘sight’ all granted to provide you with answers to guide you through this adventure called life. It is with these sights that you will be able to unlock your personal stories so that you can make sense of things and make meaning.
You have to look backwards, not to dwell in or on your crappy lives, but to gain wisdom or hindsight that provides flashes of insight to where we now find ourselves and what we might do next.
The key is to stop, listen and learn ( a bit like the Green Cross Code), from the past, present and future because they are all, in reality, now. The choices we make today affect all of our tomorrows. The choices of yesterday do the same. Everything collides beautifully into the book of your lives because you have lived many times.
There is an abundant flow of endless words which come to guide us. These words are carried deep inside our souls. Imagine parchments rolled up and stuffed into the corners of our soul cave. Pull up a chair baby, light a candle, grab a cuppa, pick up the secret key that is about to unlock the clasp of your you journal and discover what was, is and will be stories of your waking up.
My questions to you are:-
Every part of your being wants you to wake up and to be heard. Life can be a cruel teacher or a wise counsellor. It’s your choice to become curious, conscious and learn to fly or stay asleep and locked in your cage. Which is it to be?
Conscious Women have great strength and personal power. You are perceptive, have a deep well of in-tuition, divine inner wisdom and understands the power of love. You know that you have to forgive and love yourself first. In love and forgiveness, you will find your light. You are excited by change, adventure and feels called to heal and grow. You know when the time to heal and put your stories behind you and when to use them for good.
You can taste the excitement of change, adventure. You hear the call to heal and grow on the whispering wind. You get that the time to heal and put the old stories behind you is now. This is an opportunity for expansion and transformation. You may also through this process and discover your voice and be invited to share your inspirational message so that you can shine that light for other women (and men).
Your stories can either own you, or you can own them.
One thing is certain in this process that brought you to this point; you will have found your voice and an inspirational message to share so that you can shine a light for others.
Ok, so you are feeling shaky. Who’s going to want to hear your story? Who cares? Hasn’t it already been told?
No, a thousand times no. Let me tell you I’m terrified of sharing the story of my last few years. I am being pulled by some kind of invisible thread, and I am compelled like the moth to fly into the light. Come on, join me, we can do this together.
Does anyone want to hear your story? I believe yes.
You are perfect; you were born perfectly unique; there is only one YOU blueprint. There is no one like you. You may think that you are like others, possibly sharing similar beliefs and values. We are all as different as our fingerprints, yet consciously connected to everyone and everything in the Universe.
And you are a work in progress, who from a rock solid foundation of core values will change the world, her world and then send ripples out to the rest of the world.
Don’t live by rules or conventions. Empower yourself and show others an authentic, loving, peaceful and harmonious way of living. People will be drawn to you as they seek to find their way in the world and to discover their light. When they find you, they will find a woman who is content and at peace with herself because she has written and shared her story.
As a conscious woman, you are an alchemist, EVE-olutionist. You have spirit, eternal consciousness and you listen to your inner voice – your divine inner wisdom. Conscious women go through shit so that they know how to build a rock-solid foundation within herself first and with this becomes a teacher and inspiration to others. Writing a book is inspirational.
Conscious = awake, aware and alive. What will you choose? What are you choosing? Are you leaving your stories behind? Are you ready to EVE-olve? What would happen if you didn’t change your story? How ready are you to write a book that will change your life and that of others?
Conscious women are waking up everywhere, coming out of hibernation, writing books, sharing their message and starting EVE-olutions. This is our time.
My book Rude Awakenings – A journey to self-love is the book that I am scared to share. I feel vulnerable. As a strong conscious woman, it is hard to break down the walls I use to protect myself and allow you to see inside my soul. But I am doing it and you can too. I teach others how to write and share, isn’t it time I did they same eh?
There is always a reason that things happen if we just trust that we are always moving in the right direction and now is as it is meant to be.
It is only by becoming a witness to what is going on that we can learn more about ourselves. We cannot control others and it’s far easier to accept they do what they do with the best resources that they have. Others are not responsible for our happiness and often not even aware of makes them happy. It is in our reflections and in trusting our divine inner wisdom that we find the answers that are right for us. And then we can do the right thing for us.
Whatever you are doing this week, I trust that you will enjoy it. Happy reflections.