Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…
That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
I have deadlines. Lots of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deadline – it keeps the creative juices going for me, keeps me on my toes. I get that ‘edge’ that helps me stay sharp and makes me feel alive.
But when you’re on the edge like that; for days, weeks, months… fatigue happens. Life is good right now. Everything is pretty much peachy. But today, I’m weary. My heart is crying out for attention, my soul starved for substance. I’m not yet bone achingly wrung out, but a couple of weeks in my ‘sickbed’ is on the horizon if I don’t stop very, very soon. I can recognise this state now. I used to push through it and hit the proverbial brick wall for months in order to fulfill my perceived responsibilities to others. Not anymore. It’s not worth the pain.
So… with my internal ‘To Do’ list blinking URGENT in neon before me, and my brain’s ranting, panicked voice in the background, I deliberately slow myself down enough to grab a coffee from the local café. I didn’t sit down long enough to drink it though. Oh no! My brain won’t let me slow down that much just yet. It still holds the upper hand. But I’m onto it. I’ve noticed it’s rushing me. Now it can’t hide. It’s just a matter of time. I know how to get around that little voice that pushes me ever onwards, striving to rush yelling at me to “get it all done now”, and “don’t you dare stop for a moment of solitude and silence”. Today, I’m onto it, that kind of talk is just not on! Today, I want off the edge.
I gratefully receive my take-a-way caramel latte, half -shot caramel because sugar makes me more hyper. My brain thinks coffee is God, so it’s cool with proceedings so far, thinking it’s got me by the horns. I walk towards the pulsing markets. “Oh! More rushing and activity. Goodie” my brain prattles at me. It knows it can hide its agenda and its relentless voice amidst the noise and bustle. I have to go through that teeming sea of people to get back to my car. But instead of pushing and forcing my way through the hubbub with purpose and urgent determination to get back to work as my brain would have it, I purposefully change my pace to a cruising amble and veer suddenly towards the park. I can go that way too. My brain resists “What are you doing? This way is longer. You’ll be late. This is out of the way, much less efficient use of your time and energy here, you idiot”. My rebellious nature kicks in and I ignore it, slowing even more.
In the park, excellent. Now I’ve got the upper hand. Nature will do that. Nature is always on our side and always wins eventually. I glance up at the blue sky through the canopy, the first sunlight in days dapples warmth on my face and I let a quiet smile reach my lips. “AGGGHH, she’s enjoying this” screams my brain. “Someone stop her, I’m losing control here people”. I wonder who its talking to?
Then, in total defiance of my internal pressures and self-imposed deadline to get home by 10am, I hesitate. My strolling comes to a dead stop, just for a moment. I break into a grin and winningly say to my freaking brain “SHUT UP! I’m busy here.”
And it does.
All it takes is that one moment. I only need a moment to smell the damp earth beneath my feet, drink in the sight of verdant, luminous grass, immerse myself in the music of a hundred different birds. In that moment, I find my peace, replenish my energy stores and hit the refresh button. There is silence there, once my brain knows its place. It just needs to know I’m in charge.
“Shut up.” I repeat more kindly this time, “I’m busy here. Rest now. It’s all okay. Shhh”.
Awareness fills the silence.
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.
You may know of Tony Robbins of Awaken The Giant Within fame…he’s one of the awesome motivational leaders of our time and a mentor for me. He talks about every human having two primary spiritual needs. The first is to grow or evolve spiritually. The second is to make a contribution to the world.
When I think about this one, I realise that I have always been very aware of my desire to evolve. I became conscious of it at about 20 years old – I had a spiritual drive to experience oneness, to find peace, lose fear and to live in what I call ‘The Gap’ – that audible silence that connects us to the source. I was literally dragged, kicking and screaming into awareness by the traumas of being young.
Since that metaphorical slap across the cheek that compelled me to WAKE UP, I’ve spent a lot of time avoiding my awareness. The trouble is, once we become ‘aware’ life becomes extremely painful if we try to ignore it. The slaps and kicks and wake up calls get bigger and bigger until they are heard.
People describe being unaware as ‘ignorance is bliss’… in a way this is true. If we are not aware, then we are not required by our conscience to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions and the manifestations that appear in our lives. We can run blindly into life, blaming our family, blaming politics, blaming the world at large for the strife we find ourselves in.
I discovered that I could ignore my awareness and dampen the pain that this caused by immersing myself in the ‘blissful’ numbness and ignorance of alcohol. Bliss. HA! I guess at the time, not having to feel the pain was a kind of twisted bliss.
For me, opening to the awareness budding in my mind at 20 years old provided the shocking realisation that dreams can be shattered, lives destroyed and happiness is nothing more than an illusion… it all is! I didn’t want to know! When I became aware of that, when life’s cruelty, bitterness and dishonesty cracked my mind open, the ground was rent apart below my feet, a giant fissure opened up and swallowed me whole, the universe shattered like exploding glass and sliced me to ribbons. I was never the same again. I became very bitter and self destructive for a while. As if punishing myself for the trauma I endured, and suffering for the ills of the world would eventually make it all disappear. Make everything disappear. Maybe even me. Perhaps that was my path to enlightenment… ultimate suffering and pain, the world’s sins on my shoulders. But at the time I just didn’t want to be part of it.
I still have moments of wanting to ‘go back’ to before – before my awakening – and walk down the other road, away from my awareness. Part of my ‘old self’ still thinks that it’s easier. With a lot of years behind me, I now know that it is not. It’s bloody painful!
Even though I sometimes slip back into old patterns, I try to see each awkward, uncomfortable and grating slip as another opportunity to hone my skill of awareness and clarify my intentions for my life. I have found that peace I searched for, almost 20 years later. I know the exquisite silence of ‘The Gap’ and visit it regularly. I know that happiness is an illusion, but joy is part of the soul’s expression and is as real as the Universe itself. The beauty that has grown from the seed of destruction that I experienced early in life is astounding and I wonder at it daily. Now I have a grateful heart. Pain is merely the flip side of love. The depth of our pain reveals the heights that are possible for us.
I have always been driven to help others. In the early years, I thought that meant becoming a healer or a nurse or a therapist of some kind. So I have gathered these skills over the past 20 years – I’m a trained healer, massage therapist, meditation facilitator, soon to be nurse and music therapist. I understand metaphysics, homoeopathy, herbs, crystals and more.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all wonderful things and I have loved the people, places, learning, opportunities and knowledge they’ve provided me. These skills have played a massive role in directing me to my purpose. But they are not the END, they are part of the multifacets of my life that contribute to the person I am constantly becoming. They are the stepping stones I have trodden from the depths of personal despair and destruction to stand here and now, transformed.
The difference now is that I understand that the greatest way any of us can help and contribute to humanity is to live our greatest life and to shine our divine essence into the world. Sometimes this means having to experience the darkness to understand the brilliance of our light. This is the most humble, the most precious gift we can give others… the gift of authenticity, the gift of permission to be as great as we’re intended to be, to shine our light!
We shine through all our skills, talents and attributes, but not one of them is all there is or the only way we give back, they are our toolkit of divine expression. When we grasp this, we can let go of what we do, where we’ve been, what we’ve endured, and be who we are at the depth of our core.
I was thinking about the areas of life that are illuminated for me at the moment and the skills I’m using… currently I have my light directed on writing. I sat down and started making a list of all the skills I have gathered over my lifetime in various sectors – I have recently renamed them the “Six Facets of Lifestyle Sustainability”…I’ve discovered that if we are too heavy or too light on in just one or two of these facets, life just doesn’t flow easily. We can be ‘top heavy’ or have a strong focus on one for a while, but sooner or later the imbalance makes our life unsustainable and we need to even things out.
I frequently do this exercise with my ‘Creative Strategy’ clients, but haven’t really done it thoroughly for myself before… WOW! The discoveries I made about my skills and the interests/talents/gifts that showed up were VERY ENLIGHTENING! I also discovered that I actually have a lot to offer the world – boy, did that give my dubious self worth a run for it’s money? You bet!
I’ll be posting my Six Facets of Lifestyle Sustainability and their skill set on a new tab shortly, but you can check out the facets on the picture here or on my Visualise This Enterprises website.
Why don’t you brainstorm your own list? If you’re not sure where your light is best serving you, just follow your awareness, look out for the patterns and where you are ‘top heavy’. This will show you very clearly where your divine essence wants to be.
I’ve heard and seen a lot about the Mid-life Crisis recently. You know – the guy who wakes up on the morning of his 40th birthday kisses his wife and tells her he’s leaving the family for his 18 year old male secretary, rushes out and buys a red Ferrari and moves to Mexico. Yes, it’s a cliche. But watching a program on ABC last night about womens’ experiences of midlife got me thinking. You see, I’m 39. I’m staring right down the barrel of 40 and it is so strange to me that I’m here.
Again with the cliches, but I don’t FEEL 40 (or 39 for that matter). I feel young, excited by life, positive about my future and cant wait to see what treasures the next 40 years bring. Sometimes I have insecure, fearful moments and feel like a lost 5 year old girl. With my partner I get to re-live the anticipation of a ‘first kiss’ each time we meet up. My childhood innocence and wonder at life has been reborn and tempered with wisdom of experience and increased creativity, knowledge and inner certainty. I am quite simply better at being me. Inside I am so far from 40 it’s surreal and as foreign to me as speaking Latin.
Granted, my body doesn’t share my enthusiasm for early morning starts and long nights up chatting with friends over wine. Since having kids, parts are sagging where I’d prefer they weren’t, I’m a bit heavier than I like to be (lets face it I’m overweight), and my skin is in the worst shape of my life, even when matching it against the days of teenage acne. But, if I accept all that as ‘it is what it is’ for now, and that I have steps in place to change that, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
I think I had my midlife crisis early in life. I’ve always struggled with the idea of deciding your career fate at 15 years old, going to Uni and settling into a job you hold for life. You might as well shove me in a jail cell and feed me bread and water (my body hates gluten!). So I did not go easily into this warped ideal. I fought and kicked my way around it, tried to conform – I did it badly and with much pain and trauma – and at the age of 28 I gave up. The age 28 is what astrologers call Saturn Return. This means that the position of Saturn in your birth chart returns to the same position it was in when you were born. The result is that if you’re not living the purpose you were born for, your whole world comes crashing down around your feet. This was certainly the case for me and the fall out lasted until age 35. My life was leveled like Ground Zero, but that’s another story.
As a teenager, I was always questioning the whole ‘get a career, get married, have babies and a puppy, save money, get a house and ‘fit in’ mentality. AGH! NIGHTMARE! But I think Saturn returning pulled the cork out on the bottle of a lifetime of angst with living the way I’d been told was ‘right’. Being involved in spiritual pursuits was not new for me, but instead of reading about it and slotting it in-between my afterwork drinkies and corporate climbing networking meetings, I took it by the horns and began in earnest to ask myself the hard questions…
1. How do I want to show up in the world?
what does K want to look like to the greater populous.
2. How do I want to feel about my life?
Fulfilled, happy, creative, interesting, adventurous, variety.
3. What do I want to experience in life?
Opportunity, wealth & abundance, joy, laughter, love, creativity.
4. What do I want to be my legacy when I am gone?
To show others that it is possible to live your dreams. To lead by example- an example of bravery under adversity, creativity and resourcefulness under duress, and positivity despite the odds. To encourage creative expression of our divine essence in the material world.
Note the creative expression theme? If you ask yourself these questions, you’ll probably find a theme too! That’s the clue to your purpose!
That legacy one can feel a bit morbid, but if you can get past the ‘when I’m gone’ part and really delve into the depths of what you’re life means, you can find the true purpose of what your divine essence is and how it is mean to play out in this lifetime.
I constantly refer back to these questions – they’re posted on my cupboard doors to remind me every day what I am all about. Not what I strive to reach by the age of 40, but what I am to be in every moment that I am alive. As I reach 40, I realise that I am closer to living the life of my dreams than ever before. I don’t believe in a mid-life crisis. I believe in a mid-life awakening. My awakening came early in my chronological life possibly due to the excessive trauma I experienced in my teens and early 20’s. Some people manage to bury their heads in the ‘american dream’ for much longer than age 40, but eventually I believe we either wake up, or we die. Death can be literal or metaphorical – metaphorical death means you give up on your dreams, your aspirations and your spark for life gets snuffed out. You become a hollow, bitter shell of a person, grey and mundane. I would not wish this kind of death on anyone and think a physical death would be preferable.
I continually ask myself the 4 questions above. I have goals to improve my physical health so that I can match the vitality of my physical being with the energy of my spiritual one. I am constantly finding ways to be more creative, dedicate more time and presence to loving my children. I am open to opportunities to experience the abundance, gifts and beauty of our wondrous planet. And on a minute by minute basis, I am aware of my legacy. You see it at work here! So… approaching ‘mid life’, I am excited! If there is to be a crisis, I invite it openly and lovingly with excited anticipation because it is another sensational opportunity to enhance awareness, to evolve myself and give back what I learn to humanity.
What a gift.
Still getting the hang of wordpress… not sure how to add a new page but I think I’ve succeeded in adding my published stuff… Helps to be able to concentrate, but I’ve had my two kids home sick today so that just wasn’t going to happen! If I’ve stuffed it up, please let me know! If not, check out my newly posted Published Works!
Mum sent me this on the back of my last post about why women work… when we realise we matter, that every action we take has an effect that ripples out into the cosmos, things change. Aligning our actions with our divine expression and shining our light is our purpose – how will you express your divine essence in the world?
We are multifaceted beings capable of integrating work and play seemlessly into a whole life. Women with spirit, women like me do not work only to pay the bills or strive for global domination in our niche. We work as simply another way of expressing our creativity and love for those we care about. We work to find meaning and to express aspects of our being that cannot be explored as a wife, mother, daughter, employee, etc. Our creative expression through work is a reflection of our divine essence, our own personal strand of the fabric of life.
Now has come the age for all humans, male and female, that we are compelled to express our true nature and bring our gifts into manifestation. To ignore the calling of our spirit is to live in suffering and turmoil. We must heed the call to our inner truth. Not because someone tells us we must, but because we can no longer ignore our meaning, our purpose, and our innate power.
My quest, my calling is to discover how many ways I can turn my divine expression into a creative manifestation in the material world. For now, my work is to be a writer/artist/musician/therapist/facilitator/nurse/mother. This will change, and that’s okay. Stagnation is akin to death.
The internet is a wonderful tool that is allowing the innate creativity and power of women to grow, have a voice, and to reach out and share inspiration with each other. We can evolve and change to our hearts content. We can be everywhere, and no where all at once. There is no glass ceiling on the internet and although it is a busy world, there is enough cyberspace for everyone to work in harmony, without the need for competition.
Gone is the time for operating in isolation. We must all join together and support each other in our dreams and visions for the new world. To do this, we must integrate all the facets of our being. This will fully activate our potential in this world.
We do not have to identify ourselves with being one thing or another. Not one man or woman is only one thing…’just a mum’, ‘a writer’, ‘a single dad’, ‘an accountant’, or ‘a teacher’. Those days are over. We are ALL THINGS. We embody spirit in all it’s colours and all its glory. We are all things and it does not diminish us to stand tall and claim it.
Like facets of diamond, when light shines on a changing angle, a new beauty emerges and delights the beholder. People like this, humans who have embraced and activated their divine essence do not ‘start businesses’ or ‘work’. We simply reveal another facet of our brilliance for the world to enjoy. We express yet another aspect of our divinity. Women in business, when aligned with their meaning and divine expression are changing the model of why women work.
It is time to stop apologising for being wondrous, talented, beautiful, intelligent and creative, to stop ‘acting on our best behaviour’, playing down our talents and hiding our gifts. Instead we can embrace our true nature and show up in the world empowered and unstoppable in our greatness and fully present and accepting of our whole being.
Our freedom as a global community and a peaceful humanity depends on breaking down the walls of what we ‘should be’ and allowing our innate brilliance to shine and light up the world – this will raise us all to the next level.
In fact, it is our responsibility to shine our light. In doing so, in living as a whole being, we nourish the people we love the most. We build a bridge of light upon which others may travel from the darkness towards their own empowerment and sit in the seat of their own divine source self.
We must be women who are ready to take our place in the world as the truest form of our selves. A life without limits means embracing and loving all our facets – every one of them is valid and useful and from divine source. We must say ‘this is me, in all my glory’.
My purpose here is to open a channel for connection and communication with divine source and facilitate the greatness in others. I will ask the hard questions, embrace the unknown and illuminate the path. Come with me.
Be the multifaceted diamond.