Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still floating along...

Yes, I have been silent for a while but I'm still here. Floating along, taking one day at a time. Until recently, I felt like I have been dragged under rapids and could not get my head above water. My whole world seemed to be a big mess of confusion and my head was, for the most part, full of anxiety, panic, overwhelm and sadness. Nothing per se has changed with my life situation. I'm still applying for jobs and not knowing where I want to go or what I want to do. But I can feel a slight shift in that I feel, for some periods of time at least, I am managing to come up for air. So you might say, I'm still in the rapids but I've got my life vest on and I can at least keep my head above water to breathe. I still have at least 20 moments every day of gut wrenching panic where my brain kicks in (or probably more my ego) and cries "Where are you? How did you get here? What are you doing? Is this it?" I have no real answers to these questions except to say "I am where I am". I know that sounds very zen like and it may appear that I have complete acceptance of where I am. Let me just say that this is not the case. I have to work every day at reminding myself of this. Of not putting more pressure on myself to figure it all out or to 'fix' this. My head would like to flick a switch right now and have everything move into place. My head feels like it can't go one more day with all these question marks, insecurities, instability, discomfort and emotional ups and downs. But my heart knows this is not the answer. The answer lies in what I discover about myself through this time. And I dare say that all this emptiness has occurred so that there is nothing to hide behind. No juggling of crazy work hours or demands of being a Mum. No spending 2 hours of my day in aggravating traffic getting to and from work etc etc.

What I have discovered so far is that despite my best intentions, my self worth and who I am, have been totally tied up in my work. Without my work and how that defines me, I have no idea who I am. Obviously our self worth is going to be defined to a certain degree by our jobs as this is what we do with the majority of our time. But there is a danger that comes when we can only define ourselves through our work or roles as a mother or partner. When we fail to put aside time to remain in touch with who we are as a person, without the other elements and distractions, we lose ourselves. Being connected to that part of you is what sustains you through all times, good and bad. Your understanding of who you are, and your love for yourself, is the one thing that I feel helps you the most in moving through life. Its the anchor point that helps you maintain stability or balance regardless of what is going on in the world around you.

I know what it is like to find your balance or anchor point. My experience with post natal depression forced me to find it. It wasn't easy to find and took me a while to get there, but eventually I did. And it truly was amazing. To have that sense of peace and of being complete and whole as a person, no matter what was happening around me, was priceless. And it was the gift that post natal depression gave me. So why am I sitting here two and half years later trying to 'find it' again, you ask? Basically, I stopped making that aspect of life a priority. I didn't mean to, and probably didn't even realise I had. But life keeps moving and situations change (God knows just about every part of my life has changed in the past 2 years). Stress, emotional upheaval, tiredness, sadness, work etc are often the things that affect our ability to stay in touch with ourselves and to be able to give ourselves what we need. But the problem is, its through these times that we need that personal anchor and stability the most. We have to make time for ourselves no matter how busy, tired, stressed or happy we are (often when things are going really well in other areas of life it can make you feel like your self love or understanding will just maintain itself, without any sustained input. Not so my friends. We need to fuel that part of ourselves just like we need daily food and water to sustain our physical needs). Also, the things that fill us up will change too but if we don't stay in touch with ourselves we may not realise until its too late. We need to be aware of how to take care of ourselves emotionally and spiritually as this is what enables us to endure the downs (without them being monumental) and enjoy the ups.

So the one thing that is clear to me right now, is that I let my tank run completely and utterly dry. And once you do that it can be very, very difficult to turn things around. I could sit here and beat myself up about letting my life get to this point again. But that will ultimately get me nowhere and waste the precious energy I do have. So instead, I will continue to put one foot in front of the other and seek help to help restore or re-fill my tank and do my best to make sure I never let it get that empty again.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Switching thoughts....

Today I had a moment of deep dark fear where my mind went to a not so great place. Its doing that a lot lately but today was the first time in ages that those thoughts were about my son. I was overwhelmed by fear about not being a good mum, not being enough for him, not being able to give him certain things, making decisions that might negatively affect him etc etc. From a logical perspective I know that all of these concerns are not founded in any reality, but sometimes I find it difficult to get myself out of that head space. And all afternoon I have been thinking 'What would I tell a friend if they came to me and said they had been thinking those things?'. What I would tell them is that loving your children is the most important thing. That they will remember the time they spent with you doing simple things. Like painting at home or chasing you in the park or stories at bedtime. We can't predict what will happen in the future and all you can ask of yourself is to do the best that you can do in each moment and each day. As parents, we will never be perfect. We will get it wrong, make mistakes, have our kids be angry with us - and the list goes on. But if we spend all of our time worrying about the 'what if's', we miss the 'what is'.

And 'what is' for me today was an adorable little being who is the love of my life. Who ran up to me when I picked him up at daycare. Who let me kiss him about a thousand times. Who sat next to me watching Two and a Half Men, Glee ads (his fave) and The Biggest Loser. Who checks my heart with his pretend doctors kit. And who always makes me wonder how I could ever have been so lucky to have a part in making such a wonderful little person.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Words of Beauty.....

"Like the earth that carries us, the ground of our being moves so slowly we take it for granted. But if you should feel stalled, numb or exhausted from the trials of your life, simply slow your thoughts to the pace of cracks widening, slow your heart to the pace of the earth soaking up rain and wait for the freshness of the beginning to greet you."

"Regardless of how we may try to skip over or sidestep what we need to face, we humbly discover that no other threshold is possible until we use our courage to open the door before us. Perhaps the oldest working truth of self-discovery is that the only way out is through. That we are returned repeatedly to the same circumstance is not always a sign of avoidance, but can mean our work around a certain issue is not done".

Words by Mark Nepo from "The Book of Awakening" (via Danielle laPorte).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Some spiritual guidance.....

A number of my friends, and I, have Oracle cards (anyone interested at all in Spirituality or Spirit Guides etc will know what I'm on about. For anyone who doesn't, oracle cards allow you to give readings that can initiate healing, give you messages about your life purpose, help you release fears and emotional blocks etc). There are lots of different kinds but this morning I was at my sisters house and decided to do a reading with her cards, which are Goddess cards. My question was around my next move in life and where to go to from here. These were the cards that I pulled:

Artemis - Guardian: "You and your loved ones are safe and spiritually protected". You have a sacred mission to spread love and light yet this isn't a position that comes from tension or worry. Instead, the gentle essence of a joyful heart and light hearted laughter sets your power into motion. So, ease your mind of all cares and concerns, and concentrate instead upon your holy mission. Possible meanings from this card could be your future is safe and secure; All your needs are being met and always will be; the worst is behind you.

Ostara: It is the perfect time for you to start new projects, access new ideas, and give birth to new conditions. You can paint a sunnier outlook within yourself, which will give rise to all sorts of new opportunities, since like attracts like. Feel more energised and powerful as you spruce up your inner and outer worlds. Then capitalise on your increased vigor by starting a new project that really makes your heart sing with excitement. Possible meanings of this card could be your desire will manifest in the spring time, which is any time the light increases in your mind and entire system; your new idea or venture will be successful; its an opportune time to make life changes.

Maeve: Know that this lull won't last forever. Seek support for dealing with emotional crises. A doorway of opportunity has opened up and you need to walk through it now.

I know deep down in my heart that what these cards are telling me is true. The situation I now find myself in and which I have orchestrated is here for a reason and is a huge opportunity for me to walk down a path towards truly discovering my life's purpose. What I'm struggling with is fear. I have a completely blank canvas on which to create anything I want with my life and my ego is throwing up fears ie money concerns, self doubt etc to prevent me from moving forward. I am reverting back to ways of being which I know do not serve me and which are making me miserable (and have done so for most of my life) but when faced with this enormous fear my mind is choosing this anyway because it is familiar which in the moment of fear feels better than the unknown - in that moment anyway). My challenge is to find the strength, skills and support to feel the fear but to keep moving through the door of opportunity anyway. Even though I don't know where I'm going, what I will do or where I will end up. The barrier that is in front of me is not a lack of money or even not having a job. Its myself and, more specifically, my thoughts. Once I can shift these, the rest will fall into place.

Oh Life....

Today has been a day of hugely fluctuating emotions. From complete calm and motivation for engaging in activities that I love and working towards figuring out my life's purpose (no matter how scary or difficult) to a crying mess and bundle of fear who can't see a way out of where I am. (Stace, one day you will look back on this and praise the lord that you no longer have to suffer my tearful phone calls. Unfortunately I'm not quite sure exactly when that day is going to come). I have been following a few leads on jobs in a field that I had not considered and wasn't necessarily looking to be in, but out of fear of not having an income, I have been seeing where they led. Today the lead I had pretty much came to a halt (although they see the potential in me and really liked my enthusiasm and energy and have passed my cv on to the head of recruitment at this company). Hence afternoon melt down.....

I am definitely in a head space where I want to believe that the universe is taking me in the direction where I am meant to go. And that doors are remaining closed because they are not the ones I am meant to go through. However, my fear of not having an income is causing me to focus on the negative and to be stuck. Being fearful and overwhelmed is preventing me from having clarity, confidence in myself and the belief that I have the answers and ability to do anything I want. Believe me, I am working hard to flip my mind frame and do what I need to do to move forward positively, but its one step forward, ten steps back right now. Just when I think I've turned a corner my thoughts suddenly flip and I'm back where I started. Feeling anxious, fearful and alone.

The one thing I truly do know now is that I can't get through this period on my own. I have this thing where I think I have to come up with all the answers and not ask people for help or support. But right now, the one thing that I can recognise is that I absolutely need support. So tomorrow I will be going to see a friend of my sisters who works in oriental psychology/medicine and next week I am going to see my fave gal, Krista Jane. Until I can regain my self confidence and some momentum I need to enlist the support of people who can help. I'm looking forward to breathing a huge sigh of relief after speaking to both of these women.