boy riding a bike smiling

The missing piece

Self is an incredibly complicated concept and can be interpreted in many different ways. For me, it’s the parts that make up me.

And I only recently realised what these are.

Our bodies are crucial and a no brainer for something that’s important to care for when we talk about self care. Eating nourishing real foods that fuel us, exercise and sleep are well documented and true facts in caring for ourselves.

Our minds are also superstars that have hundred of thousands of books and articles dedicated to how to care for them properly. Living in the present, positive thinking and meditation are a handful of ways to do this.

Soul, spirit or whatever you prefer to call it, it’s there and is fuelled by things that connect us to a higher way of being.

Accessing this part of ourselves isn’t just religion or spirituality. It can also be connecting with our creativity through artistic ventures, community through good deeds and volunteering, or the soul to soul connection we get from deep, meaningful conversations. There are also a myriad of ways to connect with and care for our souls.

Focusing on creating a balanced life earlier this year I was diligently focusing on each of these areas, with a lot of time spent reflecting, listening and learning.

I cared for my body, mind and soul daily, but something was missing. My passion and fire was burning out.

At first I thought I wasn’t doing enough, but then I saw that there was definitely something missing and began to reflect.

This is when the fourth house of self came into my attention. Heart.

Heart is passion, love, joy, laughter, happiness and total and utter bliss. When you are radiating that beautiful glow of someone who is completely content with where they are at and in love with their life.

This could be a part of soul, as each of these things are definitely also good for our souls but it really helped me to segment it out as an areas to specifically focus on.

Somehow in my focus I’d forgotten to live. To enjoy life. I’ve posted about this before and yep I slipped into it again without realising.

Topping up our hearts is so important. It’s our experience of life and should be filled with joy and laughter, passion and fun.

It doesn’t only mean a relationship, though that can also fuel our hearts. It’s making sure that love for life and passion and joy flows out of us. After all, how pleasant is it to be around people who are genuinely happy?

I don’t mean selfish or overcompensating, but a genuine, deep happiness.

That’s what I was missing.

So I remind you, if you’re reflecting on how to get yourself on track or are on your journey, remember your heart. Give yourself permission to be joyful, silly, playful and fun in whatever form that looks like for you.

Without it, we’re not whole or living our life to its fullest potential.

Give yourself permission and let’s have some fun.

Much love,

C

Finding your Central Park

There are no hard and fast rules anymore. Life is becoming more flexible around us in all areas, and we need to adapt constantly.

From someone who plays very well following instructions and rules, this is quite frankly doing my head in some days.

How do we manage this new way of living? We require both strength and flexibility.

This is something I realised some time ago, but with a busy life I’ve dragged my feet on. Recently however I’ve seen the connection to all areas of my life so am adding in little bits of both.

It’s not about being extreme with either of these things, it’s about balancing a few of them and understanding the link.

Strength and flexibility lend themselves to feeling strong, balanced and sure, which then allows ourselves the flexibility to enjoy ourselves as well.

This translates to both our minds and bodies.

If we are too strong, we can lose that softness that makes our experience of life so enjoyable. We become rigid in our thinking, and moving. This means that we may miss opportunities as we can’t turn to see them there waiting for us to enjoy.

If we are too flexible however, and don’t have any strength or stability we can find ourselves being swayed every which way. Mentally this can be exhausting and unproductive with us never really moving forward. Physically, it can mean injuries.

Some people work in phases, focusing on one then the other at certain times of their life or the year.

For others it’s seasonal. For some people they seem to innately recognise this need for balance and set up their lives with each of these things in a harmonious dance.

When I meet these innately balanced people, as you know, I really enjoy watching them. Their ways are perplexing but as a student of life I love to learn.

Recently I was chased around by a wasp, and it wasn’t the first time one had found its way into my room. There was no nest, and they’re not common in our area.

I looked up the spiritual meaning of this sign. I’m a firm believer that sometimes creepy crawlies are just that, but other times I can feel that they are there with a bigger message.

The wasp is all about defending their home and self with all that they have. There are tones of vengeance yes, but at their core, they are fiercely protective of what’s most important to them. This is a trait I certainly struggle with.

My Italian heritage and Taurus cusp nature means that I’m fiercely loyal to those I love.

Hurt someone I love and you’ll see a very different side of me. In this regard I’m in line with a wasp, but what’s most important in my own life as I’ve posted about so many times can fall by the wayside.

So how many of us would fiercely defend what’s most important in our own lives for ourselves?

I’ve never quite understood how one particular person I know manages the balance that he does.

Running a successful business, working out 6 days a week, being social, always appearing relaxed and with two small children and a family it’s amazing.

He recently talked about the concept of his Central Park from a book he was reading. It’s the thing that keeps us sane, just like Central Park in New York.

It balances out the craziness that surrounds this calm space, and without it, the whole city would fall into disarray. So even though it’s on expensive real estate that could be populated, New York locals know the true value of this space and protect it.

This particular person defends his Central Park in his life, because without it he’d go crazy. He respects its value and makes space for it.

If you take a moment, there’s certainly things in your life that you know when they fall away make your experience, or maybe even you, a lot less pleasant.

Do you compromise these things or fiercely defend them knowing the impact if they fall away?

It’s not about ego, it’s not about being inflexible or stubborn. Protecting what makes your life work is about respecting the overarching importance of these things, creating the space for them and protecting them.

It’s about preventing chaos.

That’s the message that I thought I’d deliver to you all. Find, make space for and protect your Central Park, whatever that is for you. You are worth it.

Then you’ve got a protected space to manage everything that goes on around it.

Much love,

C

Part 2: The fear cycle of illness

I had done everything I could think of – eating clean, keeping my stress levels low, getting out into nature and resting but my chronic fatigue wasn’t created overnight and it wouldn’t be fixed overnight.

As weeks passed a slight fear began building that I didn’t notice until it more aggressively took hold.

In some situations kid gloves were absolutely required when dealing with my fears. We should be kind to ourselves in our mind, especially when we don’t feel strong physically or emotionally.

In others, however, I was becoming over precious.

I was starting to fear that if I pushed even the slightest bit too hard I’d become trapped again.

I began to believe that this cycle of illness, recovery then relapsing again would never end.

This was not a powerful thought cycle and one that I am thankful life gave me a very hard shove to realise had no place in my life or my mind.

It was nasty and confronting to delve into but I needed to. I was looking at a base level fear that sits very deep within each of us. Survival.

Ironically, not being fearful was the exact conversation I’d had weeks before with my friend.

We chatted about the reality of good days and bad days, physical requirements and the need to listen to our bodies.

These things are important for anyone wanting to lead a full life and still be healthy, but are a bit more top of mind for anyone with a health blip, condition or recurring illness.

In addition to this we need to be mindful not to turn ourselves into a victim of illness in our minds or our actions.

We must not become fearful. Otherwise we’re at the mercy of our illness and it wins.

In her case we were talking about her being scared to do a dance class which she had recently discovered and loved.

She was fearful of the effect the fun and physical exertion would have on her adrenals and energy stores.

She was worried having fun would hurt her! Scoff as some may, it’s a very common thought.

As we sat there we discussed how far she had come.

In the past it had been necessary to avoid stimulants of any kind but at the stage she was at a little stimulation was something she’d probably be able to handle. It might even help.

Our conversation wasn’t about encouraging her to run a marathon, or push her body to the extreme. It was about not denying herself an activity she loved because of fear.

As long as she listened to and respected her body’s needs at each moment she didn’t need to miss out. Luckily for her, this is something she’d been focusing on and is now quite good at.

I encouraged her to plan to go to the class each week, and to see how she felt right before. If she wasn’t up to it, then she had the choice not to go.

She could powerfully make a choice.

Alternatively she might surprise herself and do the whole class, planning to head to bed early that night if she needed to.

She also may go some weeks and find that after part of the class she needs to sit out and rest for a little bit. That’s okay too.

There are so many ways that we can all still experience life and joy without being fearful.

Through listening to and respecting our bodies, there is no need to let fear rule us. There is no need to deny ourselves all of the amazing fun and pleasures of being alive.

We may still need to be somewhat responsible and kind to ourselves, but don’t stop living.

This is how we can break the fear cycle of illness.

Much love,

C

Part 1: The fear cycle of illness

The day before my largest chronic fatigue relapse in a long time I had brunch with a friend who has spent the last year recovering from a severe chronic fatigue crash of her own.

As we sat there discussing where she was at with her recovery I coached her a little bit, drawing from my own past experiences.

Never did I dream the next day I’d be right back there myself.

Right back experiencing all of the helplessness, confusion and as much as I tried not to, fear that gets triggered by this and so many other health issues.

Speaking about how I’d overcome all of these feelings had seemed so far away as we munched on our meals.

As life had it I was reunited with the experience all too quickly.

We’ve discussed before that if we’re able to experience emotions, accept them and release them, that they can pass relatively quickly. That was step one.

This was also a welcome sign that although I appeared to be back in a similar situation to one that had nearly beaten me all those years ago, it would be different this time. I was different.

Ditching the guilt, self pity and anger that would have consumed me when I was younger, I was able to get on with healing.

I knew that the next step was rest, and I did this.

I cancelled all of my social plans and made arrangements with work as best as I could to cater to my need for serious amounts of sleep and a stress free environment.

It also prompted me to get my eating back on track one hundred percent.

This was something I’d been doing a tango with for the last year. I also made meditation and surrounding myself with nature a priority.

By doing each of these things I knew that I was doing everything I could physically to support myself. From there it was just about being patient and trusting all would be well soon.

Some days I was swayed to believe otherwise, but each time I came back to what I knew – that it was going to be okay.

Keeping my fear in check was a journey of its own.

It was the key, and where the fear cycle of illness really shone its light into some dark subconscious…almost prehistoric patterns within.

Stay tuned for part two.

Much love,

C

Being human

Do we all have certain buttons that when pressed send us instantly crazy?

It can’t just be me.

I see it all the time in different forms, whether it is someone getting angry after being given constructive criticism or comfort eating after a fight.

We each have certain buttons, triggers and responses that rear their ugly heads before we can blink.

In my case one of mine is people treating me like I’m worthless.

Like my opinions are worthless, my time is worthless and my friendship/love is worthless along with many others.

This particularly sensitive button of mine can be triggered in many different ways. Sometimes it is a malicious, conscious push by a narcissist or negative influence, but most of the time it is people innocently triggering something that they have no idea is so highly charged.

When we look at these innocent people and the anger is starting to bubble away it’s easy to give in to our ego and emotions and choose to be right.

“Of course they are *insert whatever insult our huffing ego is calling them here*!”

It feels good to be right and to justify our beliefs. We actually spend most of our lives trying to do exactly that for every belief…but that’s a topic for another post.

If we step back for a second and look at the situation without emotion, let’s ask ourselves “does this really merit the response I am having?”.

Sometimes the answer will be yes, and this might be an opportunity to communicate our needs or establish boundaries.

In many cases however the answer will be no, and that’s where conscious thinking really takes commitment and guts.

This is the moment we either give in to our ego and be right, or become a master of our own life, choose conscious thinking and begin to eat some humble pie.

You see, the big secret our ego doesn’t want us to realise is that the trigger is not the person who did whatever the action might be, or even the action itself that we are reacting to.

If you are fighting me at this point it’s more than likely your ego trying to keep its power over you. You’ve listened to it for so long it’s not going to want a blogger to take away its hold on you.

You have been a faithful follower, carrying out its needs and wishes.

By indulging our auto-responses we are being servants to our past and our ego. But I believe we are better than that and that we deserve a life where we choose.

If we are going to choose to indulge our emotions, let’s at least consciously do it.  Are you ready?

Be honest – if this situation happened to another person, would they respond in the same way and to the extent you are reacting?

If we really take the emotion out, our honest answer will likely be no. This means that we are not reacting to the person or the situation at all!

In these moments we are actually reacting to something or someone from our past, not necessarily them.

So that person we were about to turn all Carrie on, well let’s put down the pail, take a breath and realise that they actually don’t merit our response…or at least not to that scale.

Becoming powerful and the master of our emotions, and in turn life, sometimes means admitting that we were in that moment fuelled by ego and were wrong to react in that way.

Ouch goes our ego!

All that said, our reactions happen without us realising. They are automatic unconscious habits, so be kind while learning to tame them.

It might take years before we can quickly pick up that our ego is about to strike and consciously choose to react in a more powerful way.

Mastery doesn’t happen overnight but the rewards will be worth it. Don’t give up. Celebrate every win no matter how small.

I know you can learn to master your ego – do you?

Much love,

C.

I is for integrity

Integrity: the art of doing what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it. If you cannot, you communicate as soon as you become aware that you may not be able to follow through with your promise either at all or in the original timeframe.

I recently had my integrity questioned, or so I interpreted something to mean.

I know I act with integrity even when no one is watching, so everyone else must know that right? Wrong. And oh boy was I caught off guard when I realised this was not the case.

Of course my unconscious reactions and emotions kicked in which were to feel shock and anger, along with my fight or flight reaction telling me to remove myself and run far from the situation. ‘They didn’t deserve me anyway,’ said my emotions.

I’ll take a second to say that yes I do have automatic, negative responses sometimes. Mindfulness is not about never having negative reactions, or suppressing these emotions if they come up, but it is about acknowledging that they are present and choosing to act in spite of them steering you in a certain direction.

As I began to type an angry email reply, I looked down at my shaking hands and realised at that moment I was not in control of my emotions, nor was I being who I choose to be.

So I left the keyboard and did a few rounds of intense exercise to burn off the adrenalin that was pumping through my system. I’d been unwell so it wasn’t much, but it did the trick.

As my heart rate returned to normal after my workout so did my ability to choose conscious thinking and I could finally step back and assess the situation without any attachment.

The situation was a tricky one, and the first thing I realised was that I wasn’t actually feeling any of those original emotions. I was actually disappointed that my integrity had not been registered by someone who spends a great deal of time with me.

This was a helpful thing to realise, and I could have easily fallen into a trap here and left it at that, but I was still not being accountable. I was only looking at what others had added to the issue, and not how my actions had contributed to the outcome.

You see the main thing I’ve learned about integrity is that there is always something we can be accountable for in any situation. Even if it is small, we are rarely blameless. Please note that this obviously excludes certain situations like rape and similar horrific violations, and is also not about punishing yourself mercilessly or being a scapegoat.

So I dug deeper.

I finally realised that what I could be accountable for was not communicating more clearly what my actions had been, which would have left no room for anyone to question them. So this situation was partly caused by me and I wasn’t blameless – ouch went my ego.

In that moment my righteousness, anger and disappointment all melted away and were replaced by understanding from the other person’s point of view.

The situation we had all been involved in was a highly stressful one which meant that emotions for everyone were being stretched to their limits, and many extenuating circumstances had built tempers to almost breaking point.

I had been a bit righteous and naïve to not assess the situation better and ensure there was not an issue, understanding that stress leads to snap judgements and irrational thoughts.

With this in mind I then did what would have been unimaginable half an hour earlier – I made a plan to be accountable, apologise for my part in the situation, and take action to ensure this did not happen again.

This situation was in no way caused solely by me, but we can’t force others to be accountable if they aren’t there yet. By choosing to take the high road in a highly stressful and emotion fuelled situation I was able to bring peace to myself, as well as the main people involved, and that was a great win.

Now instead of a tidal wave, this has been a learning curve for all of us. I can sleep well knowing that I was the master of my emotions and my life recently.

Will you choose integrity?

Much love,

C

Our darkest days

Many of my earlier posts were centred around my past, something I rarely talk about. Even those closest to me know very little.

The intention of these posts wasn’t to showcase the pain or struggle I’ve been through, but were a message of faith and hope for those who were also experiencing their darkest days.

A book I’ve been reading lately that has deeply resonated with me on this topic is Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss.

For any of you who choose to read this, or are already familiar with the book, you’ll notice there are a few posts that were inspired by her thoughts.

These thoughts hit home deeply for me, and I would like to share her message with you all – an audience who may never pick up her book.

The final chapter gave me a great level of peace about my past. She speaks of the seventh chakra experience of our darkest days.

These are days where we feel completely alone, forgotten about by life, society and Christ if you are so inclined to believe in Him. For me, I do, though my words here are secular and from a purely spiritual perspective normally.

I truly agree with her words that while religion can form the basis of someone’s faith, it does not give us the entire picture.

She speaks about combining the ordination of religions with the spiritual teachings of Buddhism to give us all a holistic understanding of what is going on in our lives, and who we can be as a force in the world.

For me, I believe wholeheartedly in God, but do not resonate with the teachings and practices of Catholicism. I pray every day, and feel like now I have a much more clear connection with Christ than I ever received through attending a church service.

For me, I connect with Him through meditation and prayer, though I respect that for others they may still need the physical aspects that traditional religion offers. To each their own.

The importance is to understand that no one religion can provide anything. No one man can provide anything. It’s a holistic journey, and a great level of understanding, faith and aloneness is required to truly understand this.

Carolyn Myss speaks of the experience of our darkest days, when we go through a spiritual crisis. We feel alone, isolated, scared and confused. We reach the deepest of depressions as a test.

For those who endure this journey and hold onto their faith even during their darkest days, they are rewarded with a connection to their purpose like few others receive.

This is not to say that these people are superior in any way, but they have been through the darkest experiences and proven their faith and commitment. From here they find spiritual teachers to guide them through, and eventually come out the other side of this experience changed forever.

They no longer recognise their experience of life in the same way.

She refers to these people as modern mystics.

For those of you enduring your darkest days, hold onto your faith and know that you are being guided and held, though you cannot feel it just yet. You are never alone, and always protected. Trust this, hold onto it and all will be well.

Much love,

C.

Being present

Many a great teacher has written about being present. We spend most of our life on autopilot, unable to alter the state of our lives until we click into conscious mode and begin manifesting our chosen reality.

As I grow more consciously aware, I am noticing that something inside of me is fighting to keep me ungrounded, and therefore unable to be present in my life. No matter how many times I ground myself or focus on being present, there’s a strong automatic reaction to pull me out of this powerful state.

I’ve spent many years creating a life that I love, and I am finally living it. It’s been a long time coming so I want to experience every juicy and exciting minute of it, but somehow I’m still pulled away.

There was such a large part of my life where this ungrounded state served me well. Some days I spent wishing myself away as my reality was so unbearably painful. It was my dark night experience, and it lasted what seemed like a lifetime.

My only escape was somehow to pull myself away from it, and without realising it, unground myself. This provided me with some level of detachment so I could breathe again.

My saving grace was a knowing that one day I’d create something amazing. One day I’d create a life that was so good that all of this would be worth it. So I focused on that, always looking forward.

In one way this was a positive trait as I’d rarely dwell on my past, but what I only recently realised is that I also never looked at the now. I was never present. In fact, I’d bet that for around 10 years there was only a handful of times that I was truly present.

Now understanding the importance of being grounded and present in order to manifest powerfully, I am seeing that this pattern which formed to protect me long ago is no longer relevant in my life.

The only way I know to clear this is to go back and uncreate the pattern, and let my inner self know that it is now safe to be present.

Pain no longer rules my life, and even in the worst of circumstances I can handle them with a level of grace and speed that means I’m never stuck in that mindset for long.

It is now safe to be present.

But how do I convince my inner self? An affirmation that popped into my head a few months ago has helped a lot. ‘It is safe to be present in my body, it is safe to be present in this lifetime’.

Each time I feel myself becoming ungrounded this seems to pop me back down again, even if only for a few moments.

There are so many other tools that you can call on if you find yourself in a similar situation. There’s kinesiology, reiki, NLP or energy clearing, all of which work to unblock hidden patterns from your past. There are crystals, meditations, affirmations, workshops and seminars. There are also counsellors who use intuition to help guide your session to where it needs to go more quickly than in traditional therapy.

This is just a few.

With so many options to choose from, each at varying ends of the spectrum from traditional to alternate, there really is no need to stay stuck in a past reality of any kind.

Whatever pattern you are struggling to let go of, it doesn’t need to rule you anymore. You do need to be brave and choose that now is the time to face your past in order to let it go. It’s up to you. Are you ready to let go?

Much love,

C

Behind the curtain

A situation this week has left me wondering – what is behind the curtain of life?

If we each experience life as a reflection of our beliefs, and each live in our own type of reality or parallel reality if you will, is there one reality that is the same? And would situations still repeat if a person’s belief system did not allow them?

These musings were brought on when someone close to me shared a glimpse at a side of a person which I had never experienced or witnessed.

This is a person who I have much respect for, but the actions that were shared with me left me wondering. I wondered if I knew the real person at all, or perhaps if it were a case that my belief system simply would not allow this type of a situation into my life.

So I wondered, if I had been in that situation, would it have been the same? Or if I find myself in that position with this person in the future, will history repeat itself, or will this person continue to act in the same way that they usually do towards me.

Was the situation like that because of both of their reactions to each other? And would it have changed if my reaction were different?

All of these questions left me wondering a much larger question – what is behind the curtain of life? There are so many theories of quantum physics, many of which allude to the fact that there are many realities existing at the exact same time.

I’ve not done enough research to agree or disagree with any of these questions but they do make me think – how would so many realities exist?

Are they each on different energetic plain within the one universe, each existing simultaneously but being invisible to each other? Or are there millions of possible realities and how they come about depend entirely on the decisions of the people involved and factors in that exact moment, cancelling out the other realities and leaving only the one that exists in that moment.

Does anyone get a true glimpse behind the curtain, apart from perhaps a genuine psychic, or do even they see only one of the many possible realities within a tapestry of realms.

In some ways I guess these musings are along the lines of ‘if a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound’. It does make you wonder – if our beliefs shape our lives, and our lives are truly just a reflection of our beliefs, do we exist in a predetermined individual reality that is consistent with our beliefs? Is the rest hidden behind a curtain for us never to see?

It’s yet another post with no answers but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Much love,

C

Part 2: Do you have a cold or a severe case of empathy? Mastering Empathy

So you have an inkling that you might have some of the empathetic traits I spoke about in Do you have a cold or a severe case of empathy? and you are back for more. Welcome!

It seems to me that the trick of mastering this gift of empathy, though I’m sure some days that gift isn’t the word that you use to describe it, is in knowledge.

To paraphrase a very wise natural practitioner I spoke to: if you become aware that your body is like a metal detector for emotions and energies, reflecting what is going on around you, then you also now know that what you are ‘feeling’ is simply a reflection.

When a metal detector senses metal it does not turn into metal, it just beeps away to let someone know what it has found. So in the same way, we don’t ever stop being us when we reflect an emotion or energy.

We do not stop believing what we believe or stop feeling how we originally felt, be that happy or healthy, before we picked up this particular energy or emotion…or physical ailment. We do in a way personify these however which is where it gets tricky.

The only way for us to learn to know the difference is to focus inward and ask ourselves if what we are feeling is ours. Yes you might feel silly the first few times but it works, and it will help you regain your own power.

For some, just registering that what you are feeling isn’t yours might give you the freedom to detach or let it go and bounce back to however you were feeling before. For others, or more tricky energies such as physical ailments, you might need to consider some tactics to clear negative energy. I will be posting about that very soon!

If I can leave you with one thing to empower you let it be this – ask yourself ‘is this mine?’ and if the answer is no, leave it behind!

‘I return this emotion/ailment to whoever it belongs to. Leave my body and do not return.’ I like to follow this up with some type of blessing, or healing energy if the word blessing makes you uncomfortable.

As your understanding of who you are and how you are grows; as you get more practiced at telling the difference between what is yours and what is not; as you get faster and faster at remembering to ask yourself if you are actually feeling this certain emotion or ailment or if you are simply reflecting it, you will become the master of your empathy and once again the master of your mind, body and life.

If you are still feeling sick though, you probably should go see a doctor whether it is an empathetic ailment or not.

Much love,

C.