Category Archives: Resilience

Jump in

Sometimes in life, you’ve just gotta jump in. You may be scared of rejection or failure, be filled with self doubt, or succumbing to the expectations of those around you, but who is in control here? 

That’s right. You.

If you feel it in your heart, in your gut, and notice that spark of truth and knowing that this is the direction you’re meant to be going, trust it. 

Trust it even if you feel uncertain and nervous at first. 

The fear, self doubt and uncertainty will soon fade once you align yourself with your truth, and notice just how swiftly and smoothly everything falls into place for you. Your nervousness will turn into excitement, and your personal truth and purpose will become clearer than ever before, because you’re living it. 

I’ve been there, and all of it is true. How do you think I am where I am now? 

Because I jumped in.

Advertisements

Thank you for everything 2016

Everywhere on social media (and in person) I keep reading how atrocious 2016 has been for people, and how they can’t wait for the year to be over. To be honest, it saddens and frustrates me.
There are a few reasons for this. 

What makes everyone think that once 31st December is over, that their life is miraculously going to change? What we should be asking is “what am I doing NOW to change my life?”

Leading in from my first point, why wait until 1st January to make changes in your life or strive for happiness/success/better health? To me, it just seems crazy. If you’re so unhappy right now, then ask yourself what you need to do to change this now, not next year. 

We are in a 9 year numerologically, so yes, 2016 has been a year of endings and basically, dealing with all of our ‘shit’ so that we don’t keep repeating it in the next 9 year cycle. The thing is, if you’ve continually put off dealing with all your past stuff and been too scared to confront those repetitive situations you keep finding yourself in year after year, then this year was a year where the universe has pushed you to deal with it all once and for all. If you’ve refused to acknowledge all of this for yourself, then clicking over to 2017 is not going to change a thing. You’ve been pushed and tested for a reason, and if you can’t yet see what it has taught you, or how much you have grown from it (which in turn, would see you being grateful for having been through it), then you likely still have more inner work to do. 

I’ve had my fair share of challenges this year myself, but I’ve also had some amazing things happen for me too. The difference is however, with the challenges I’ve been confronted with, I am fortunately in a state of mind where I can truly appreciate ALL of it. Yes, even the ‘negative’ stuff, because ultimately, they have taught me lessons and helped me to grow. 

The constant focus on how horrible a year 2016 has been for everyone seems to be a counterproductive behaviour. If you’re continually putting it out there about how hard you’ve had it, how negative things have been, etc etc, then aren’t you then attracting the very things you DON’T want into your life? It’s called the Law of Attraction, and unless you change your outlook on life and all that you’ve experienced (both negative and positive) throughout 2016, then you may just find that these things continue into the new year.

Some of the experiences you may have had in 2016 may have not even been to do with your own life journey; perhaps they happened for someone else’s soul growth or life plan. But it’s important to look at everything that has occurred throughout 2016 as either a blessing or a lesson (which in my opinion, is also a blessing).

Think about how much you’ve learnt about yourself this year. 

How much stronger you are.

How the universe has stepped in to remove all that no longer has a place on your journey.

That you’ve been forced to confront your past so you can move forward and heal.

That you’ve been pushed by Spirit to get back on track and live a life of personal truth.

How about we all start flooding social media with all the things we have been blessed with and are grateful for throughout this past year? Then maybe, just maybe, 2017 will be filled with joy, positivity and success because that’s what we’re attracting into our lives. In fact, let’s get that ripple effect going, if you want it to, it can happen RIGHT NOW; not at 12.01 on 1st January? 

Thank you for everything 2016

Thank you for the lessons; even the really tough lessons that helped me grow as a person. Thank you for the joy and blessings you allowed me to experience. I am grateful for every moment.

The Nepali people have life all figured out 

I have had some wonderful discussions with many local people here in Nepal, and each and every one I speak with, has me nodding my head, and saying, “Yes!”

The Nepali people have life all figured out. 

Even after the devastation that they have experienced less than a year ago, with the massive earthquake that has left so many people homeless, and having lost loved ones, they are nothing but happy, kindhearted, and genuinely grateful for everything they have.  

 

The streets and traffic are insane, with not a road rule seeming to be in existence, yet we have not seen one person get angry, impatient, or frustrated. Drivers remain calm, and are so patient with one another, that there doesn’t ever seem to be an issue. We spoke with one of the taxi drivers about this, and he explained that while people may be in a rush to get from here to there, so is everyone else, and there’s no point in getting angry at each other. From what we have seen on the roads, the Nepali people just want to get on with their day, but also make sure they are looking out for one another. 

The earthquakes in April and May have brought the Nepali people together in so many ways, and through so much sadness and loss, they’ve managed to pull together to help one another rebuild homes, and lend each other a helping hand in any way they can; whether it means financially supporting one another, providing food and blankets, or just being there for each other. From what I have seen and heard from the many stories told by locals, the people of Nepal were already a very kind and supportive people, but now, more than ever, the devastation they experienced as a nation, has just amplified their beautiful nature, and they seem to truly understand the meaning of humanity as a whole. 

I truly believe that every person could learn a thing or two from the beautiful people of Nepal. Many of us seem to forget and take for granted some of the small things in life that may seem minor to us, but are extremely important here. Things like acknowledging one another in the street, not judging another based on appearance, culture, beliefs or life choices. Things like having enough food every day, having clean drinking water, or access to petrol to get around. Having somewhere to sleep at night, or clothes to wear. Having someone you can talk to when you need support. Having your loved ones alive and healthy. Children having access to education, or at the very least, someone to care for them. 

Every single person I have met here; whether it be in conversation, or just a hello along the street, has been friendly, has a smile for me and a heartfelt “Namaste”, which is not only spoken, but is a genuine energy exchanged between two people. When I hand someone extra rupees because I feel as though they deserve more than what they’ve asked for selling me something, or for their wonderful service, they are genuinely grateful and it shows in their eyes. When I tell someone there’s no need to be ‘sorry’ or to treat me any differently because they somehow feel that I expect them to cater to my every need because I’m a tourist, they breathe a sigh of relief, and I can feel a knowing between us. A knowing that we understand one another as fellow human beings who are equal. 

Our tour guide Yagya, said something beautiful the first day we met him; “I am not perfect. Life is about learning. Some things I know more than you, some things you know more than me. We are here to learn from each other.” That, we are. If we could only all begin by adopting the simple, yet powerful practice of the Nepali people in sharing a genuine “Namaste” to one another, the world may be a different place. 

Namaste: “I honour the place in you where the universe resides. When I am in that place in me, and you are in that place in you, there is only one of us.”

The word, “Namaste” contains a word “Nama” which means “negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another”. Meaning, when people greet each other with “Namaste” they accept their existence.

When two people greet each other by joining their ten fingers, a vibe is produced, and when a person closes his/her eyes, and bow their head before another person, an energy is developed from heart – to – head. And finally, exerted through his/her head. This energy links one person to another, and every time it is done, an honour is developed; respect is created. 

Namaste can elevate one’s consciousness, reminding us that all beings, all existence, is sacred. It also tends to draw an individual inward for a moment; inspiring reflection on deeper realities, and softens the interface between two people.  

 If we could reach a time and place where we all genuinely practice ‘Namaste’ to our fellow human beings, we could very well be much closer to achieving peace in the world. 

The Nepali people have life all figured out. 

You CAN get out 

Depression – I’ve been there. 

Post natal depression- been there too. 

Anxiety- yep, I know all about it.

Almost my entire life, I’ve been exposed to the realities of mental illness. I’ve supported and lived with loved ones suffering a range of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Some of them have overcome their illness, some are on their way, some haven’t reached the point of acknowledgement yet, and sadly, I have lost one to suicide.

More importantly though, and the reason why I feel I can speak honestly on the matter, is that I’ve also been the one with mental illness. I’ve been the one who needed patience and support from others while I worked through those struggles myself. I’ve been in that place where I was so low and lacking motivation that I felt as though I’d never come unstuck. I’ve had the manic episodes where I was careless with my own well being, and at the same time, felt so very alone. I know what it’s like to have an anxiety attack and feel as though you you’re genuinely going to die, and no one would be there to help you. I’ve worried over things that were never really happening in reality, and cried so much it made me feel physically sick. I’ve also felt so numb that I couldn’t possibly face the world, let alone socialise. The incessant worrying, the unprecedented thoughts, the sadness, the anger, the numbness, the loneliness, the sporadic highs and lows…I know how it feels firsthand.

But I also know how it feels to overcome it.

If I was given the choice to go back and not experience anxiety and depression, you know what? I wouldn’t. I have learned so much about myself and others, that I am grateful for having lived through it. I am thankful that I am now able to truly empathise with others who experience similar challenges, and as a parent, I am better equipped to support and guide my children with their own mental health. I am grateful for having a much better understanding of life and of who I really am. Nope, I wouldn’t take it back.

Unfortunately you can become so stuck in a depressive state that it can just feel easier to stay there. It feels safe. It feels familiar. Even though part of you knows that you don’t want to be living like that, and that it can be overcome, it just all seems too hard. Loved ones may ask you to get help, or it may even take a big, sometimes painful, ‘wake up call’ (like a relationship breakdown or loss of some kind) for you to finally realise it’s time to reach out and get help.

Thankfully, I didn’t need to reach a catastrophic moment to recognise I needed help; I was just lucky I was open enough to listen to my loved ones, as well as my own heart when they brought it to my awareness. I’m glad I did too, because I was then better prepared and in a much healthier6d0cae2f35046d4c78ea1a448747786d place when it came time to face some of the toughest experiences of my life. If I hadn’t made the effort to begin the healing process when I did, I might very well still be suffering to this day, and would likely be in a much darker place than I was initially.

No matter how deep your depression has gotten; whether you’ve felt this way for a few months or several years, you
can get out. Not only have I done it myself, but I’ve seen others who were in a much darker place than myself do it too. But first, you have to want to get better, and to do that – to be in that mindset in the first place – you have to acknowledge you are depressed.

Among many helpful tools such as reading up on mindfulness techniques, cognitive behaviour therapy, medication, and the support of my psychologist and loved ones, the most important part of my healing was allowing myself to feel, and then, to express those feelings. So, if you’re in a place right now where you’ve been able to take that first courageous step of acknowledging you need help, my suggestion to you is this:

Feeling your emotions 

Allow whatever feelings arise to flow naturally. Whether it’s anger, sadness, disappointment, guilt, jealousy, or even rage, allow yourself to feel it. Don’t keep trying to push those feelings aside because the more you bottle them up, the harder they are to manage when they eventually resurface again (and they will resurface-even if it’s years down the track). It’s much safer and healthier to cry, yell, sob, or throw punches at a punching bag than it is to get to the point where these feelings may come out in other ways (such as violence, self-harm or addiction). 8ae5f3198179e992f7020a77b0e9fab5

As difficult as it is to believe that really feeling these emotions could be helpful, I promise you, it is. They’re obviously not nice feelings to be experiencing, but they are there for a reason, and that reason is to be feltYou will quickly start noticing just how different you feel afterwards; how much lighter you feel, and what a relief it is to have finally let it out.

This is a huge part of the healing process and is called releasing or letting go. Once you’ve been able to do that things will start getting easier. You will have made room in your heart and mind for more positivity to enter.

Expression

Another very helpful thing to do when processing your emotions is to express them in other ways, such as writing or speaking about them with someone you trust. Until you’ve done it, you will not believe just how therapeutic this is. Again, it may bring on tears or feelings of anger or sadness, but being able to express your innermost thoughts in this way gives you a more ‘concrete’ way to further release them through the use of words (eg. on paper, on a computer, or by speaking).

A great way to think of this process is that once you’ve released these feelings by turning them into words, you no longer own them. They are no longer intoxicating your thoughts, your heart, or your mind. This again, leaves a much bigger space for you to start the road to healing.

While suffering from depression or any other mental illness isn’t easy, it can be overcome, and ultimately, will make you that much stronger and wiser as you make your way through it. Life does get easier, the days will be brighter, and you will know again what it’s like to feel joy. This is in no uncertain terms, the absolute truth, and believe me, I know, because I am now in that place. No matter how long you’ve been there, or how deep or dark a place you are in right now, you CAN get out.

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” – Doe Zantamata

If you are feeling depressed, or know someone who is, there are many support networks out there, as well as useful information available, with just some of them listed below. If you are ever in a place where you feel like harming yourself or others, please reach out to someone you trust and contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Emergency 000 or 112 from your mobile phone. You can also contact the Crisis Support Chat online.

Beyond Blue  1300 22 4636

Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation  1800 650 890

Black Dog Institute Information on symptoms, treatment and prevention of depression and bipolar disorder.

Kids Helpline A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.  1800 55 1800

MensLine Australia A telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way. 1300 78 99 78

MindSpot Clinic An online and telephone clinic providing free assessment and treatment services for Australian adults with anxiety or depression. 1800 61 44 34

SANE Australia Helpline Information about mental illness, treatments, where to go for support and help carers. 1800 18 7263

Make me a promise, son 

My eldest son is twelve years old and he in his first year of high school this year. While his childhood has been prodominently happy and full of love, he has not been without some tough times either. 

He was a victim of bullying in his later primary school years, and has dealt with his fair share of change from moving house and schools several times. He has experienced some challenges, including adjusting to having his Dad living interstate and only seeing him a couple of times a year, and losing one of the closest men in his life; his great grandfather, when he was eight. He has also experienced the reality of the effects of mental health issues with watching his Mum suffer and overcome anxiety and depression, as well adapting to life with his stepdad who has lived with PTSD and depression for ten years. 

In spite of all of this however, his resilience never ceases to amaze me. He is a sensitive young man who never shys away from expressing his emotions, and I am often in awe of his very kind heart.

So, to all you young men who may be struggling with understanding who you are or why you’ve been faced with challenges so early in life, please know you’re not alone. 

To all you boys who aren’t afraid to show your feelings, good on you! You may get told you’re acting like a ‘girl’ or a ‘sook’, or that you shouldn’t be so emotional; don’t listen to it because that’s rubbish. Emotions are a natural and necessary part of being human. You’re much better off talking about your feelings than bottling them up; that’s how you keep your mind healthy.

Anyway, my hope is that you might take something away from this letter, just as I hope my own son does. 

Make me a promise son; a promise to always be you.

You may have had your tough times throughout life so far, but you are such a strong person already because of your experiences. 

Because you’ve been a victim of bullying, you can put yourself in others’ shoes who might be experiencing the same thing. You can truly empathise with them and support someone in need. You never judge others based on their appearance, race, abilities or sex. You embrace everyone for who they are. This is a beautiful trait to have, ang this makes me extremely proud.

Through your experience of not having your Dad around all the time, while I know it’s been hard, you’ve learnt to truly appreciate the time that you do get to spend with him. You aren’t concerned at all about what he can buy you, the places he could take you, and all the materialistic things; you simply enjoy being with your Dad and the relationship you have with him. This experience has also helped you to form closer and more meaningful relationships with the family members who are close by. I know what it’s like not to have my Dad in my life, as you know, and the fact that you cherish that very special relationship with your father warms my heart.

When Pa passed away, I know it was hard on you, and that you still miss him terribly. You are very lucky however, that you were able to spend eight wonderful years getting to know such a special man, as many children don’t ever get to meet their great grandparents. I know you appreciate having him in your life, even if it wasn’t for a very long time, but always remember just how much he loved you and how he adored his first born great grandchild. Experiencing loss and grief through losing such a close loved one for the first time in your life allowed you to broaden your awareness of what really happens after our physical body dies, and has also helped you to embrace your spirituality.

Living with two parents who have suffered from mental illness hasn’t been easy, I know. Our little family has had our fair share of challenges, to say the least, and I appreciate just how much of an effect it has had on you over the years. Even though at times, this has placed you in a position where things are unfair or upsetting for you, you still manage to have such compassion and understanding, that it overwhelms me. Your patience and resilience is astounding, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. I have no doubt that you have learned an entire lifetime of lessons from this, and that you not only support and ground me, your mother, but you’ll likely do the very same for many more people in future (whether you do so intentionally or not).

Let me tell you that we need more young men in the world that are just like you. Men who treat women with the utmost respect and aren’t afraid to show affection. Men who openly talk about their feelings and cry when they feel the need to. Real men who don’t feel the need to be violent towards others in order to let out their feelings, because they can do it so much better with words. That is a true sign of strength. 

You are an amazing young man, and I am truly honoured to be your Mum. Never feel the need to change who you are, or apologise for being yourself, because that’s what makes you so special. Always live your truth and do so with the utmost confidence. I love you and I will always be right there to support you. All I ask of you is one thing:

Make me a promise son; a promise to always be you.