“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” Brené Brown
Hello and welcome to the good news…it’s now time to reveal the person that’s been there all along, that for some of us, shame and fear of vulnerability became The Way. I hope you have your celebratory cuppa to share with me as you read…
Firstly, I’m never going to say I’m a done deal, but with time, I can see that a different way of thinking beckons. I’m using the second person terminology but this is for me as much as it is for you…🌹
now it’s time to be unashamedly you! Quirks and wobbly bits galore as only you can do. You’ll see some glimpses of a different, but not new, you, so please choose to love and accept them. It will feel strange to begin with when you start to live the life you have wanted to live, no longer feeling like hiding yourself. I became a paradox, in a way… on one hand the urge to appear as if everything was flowing smoothly and not admitting to having any ‘issues’ of my own, whilst on the other hand, I’d happily tell you about my short comings, almost as if to apologise for them. I think being a young mum, I began a path to appearing like I was the perfect one and ‘no…my children can do no wrong’… ‘Begin today to be real and authentic, and don’t apologise for being who you are.’ Di
Radiate joy and excitement when you feel it, almost with childlike enthusiasm. It’s infectious, as are all emotions. Being ‘over-excited’ was always directed towards me as a criticism… no longer am I attempting to contain this part of me. I have things now that ignite me like never before and I’m not going to hide what makes me feel this way any more…you have my blessing to also become excited and show your passion for what matters…it’s a GOOD thing!
Find a swing and go for your life on it, conjuring up happy memories when you’d sit for hours, only stopping when someone else wanted their turn….give yourself permission to be silly and have fun, once again loving sparkles, rainbows, glitter and bubbles, if they are your thing.
“You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.” Brené Brown
A Manifesto part 1.
It may take some time and patience to begin to see yourself in a new light…you may feel like an imposter or that it’s not really you speaking, wearing, doing or saying things that perhaps may at first feel ‘out of character’…I encourage you to push through. Keep following your dreams and owing the things you love. Hey, you may even discover new things that take your fancy…all because you chose to start on the journey of self acceptance.Before long…you’ll notice the change in yourself, perhaps others will too. Some may think ‘you have changed’ but in reality, you are only revealing the essence of you, the part of you that’s been waiting to show up all along.
Putting yourself out there, being seen, can seem very unfamiliar, but if you have a message, a new purpose, the power to change someone’s life for the better…welcome yourself to a new way. There may be times too, when you ask ‘who am I to be doing this?” Well, all I can say is, ‘who are you not to? Who are you not to live your truth?’…
Times I would normally berate myself now transform into laugh out loud moments…basically you will free yourself from the compulsion to appear perfect. I have a sticky note on my mirror in the bathroom that states… ‘Release the need to be perfect…’ It carried me through last year and is still there. After a lifetime of being hard on yourself, be gentle as you navigate your new existence.
And what freedom that is! When we shine our true nature, it affords others the chance to do the same, so we are doing the world a favour by being unabashedly authentic…After all, you spend more time with yourself than anyone else…
Sometimes, people or events in your life will appear that have you question yourself again, and you’ll wonder how far you’ve really come: See them as perfectly timed serendipitous moments designed to keep you focused on where you are heading. Like taking the worn down path across the dewy grass, it will take time to forge a new route, one that seems very unfamiliar, but with daily practise through affirmations, the manifestos below, and listening to inspiring speakers, the new path becomes easier to see.
I offer you these Manifestos and if they resonate for you, please feel free to use anything as your ‘sticky note’ on your bathroom mirror…
A Manifesto part 2.
I’m including two links for TEDx talks by one of my favourite thought leaders, Qualitative researcher, Brené Brown, who has created a beautiful self-acceptance movement through the power of Vulnerability and relinquishing Shame. These mean such a lot to me and I’m offering these to you now…with my highest intentions…
‘Before you can love yourself, you have to BE with yourself.’ by Matt Kahn.
Prophetic words indeed….
So after I read Dr. Sarno’s book, it resonated strongly with me due to no pathological reason for my back pain… So deep diving into what was really going on in my mind was something I wanted to explore. It came quite naturally when I remembered I possessed the healing power of Reiki in my hands.
Giving myself the time to slow down, I could allow emotions to rise that I hadn’t addressed before…what I believe my body was craving was ﬁrstly to grieve and then accept.
During the time of an afternoon I’d spend on the ﬂoor because my back wouldn’t allow me to be upright any longer, the Reiki promoted permission to lie still, with beautiful angelic music playing in my darkened room.
May I share a beautiful piece of piano music that I hope you find angelic… ‘Maybe’ By Yiruma
Whilst lying there, the tears ﬂowed freely, realising the fact my children had grown up and left home leaving me with this huge hole to ﬁll. I’d also cared for and lost, ageing parents during my children’s adult years as well.
In my mind, they were the best years and now they were over…So you see I’d been quite busy before last year and had thought I’d moved on quite well…
So that this post isn’t another very long one, sufﬁce to report to you that within a week, both of my health issues had begun to subside noticeably. Perhaps my dear friend was right and the two were connected to my feelings of loss and grief in that part of my body. To this day, there has been no recurrence of either issue. I was able to join a yoga class and still attend weekly.
This is my story and I’m just happy to share what worked for me.
So, what were the beautiful blessings from my back pain, and indeed, the events leading up to that experience?
Here are my reflections…
🌟 It taught me to slow down long enough to listen to my heart. You don’t need to perform Reiki on yourself, but to lie or sit in the presence of music that may bring you to tears…to really feel it’s resonance through to your very soul… Incredibly nurturing and healing itself.
🌟 I learnt life is too short to continue with something just because you started it. There are always beneﬁts to beginning something that perhaps you won’t see through. We’ve all heard the expression to ﬁnish something we start. Why not see it as having an attempt at something to see if it’s for you? When we really think of it, it’s perhaps the fear of failure too. Grab it head on and give it a go, I say. Fear of beginning something that you may not complete could prevent you from a short period of something beautiful that contributes to your growth and new ideas. It’s like the glass half full… ‘well, it didn’t work out but I sure as anything met some new friends, learnt some new skills’, to name only a couple. That is certainly the case for me after leaving my university course.
🌟 Resistance of issues and suppressing emotions does us no favours. Keeping busy and not affording ourself the space to really process a life changing time is not actually moving on at all, but more like closing the surface on a gaping hole hoping it will hold. Exploring emotions is nothing shameful and releasing them can promote a clear view and renewed vigour for life.
🌟 It taught me to give meaning to every event that occurs in my life, especially those that on the surface appear unlovable.
🌟 I discovered Self- appreciation by acceptance and nurturing myself. We all have those stories that were told to us about how we should be, how we could be better, stronger, smarter, less this and less that. In time we walk around with everybody’s baggage in our heart and on our mind. True freedom is living the life you want and to come to accept all those perceived ‘weaknesses’ as strengths. I wrote about here it in Autumn leaves and forgiveness
🌟 Spending quality and necessary time alone, preferably in nature, afforded me breathing room to catch up with myself. I liken it to growing pains whereby I had to be stretched in order to become more aware of the person I was…and being cracked open to make room for new growth…
🌟 I discovered I’d been on this spiritual quest in the hope of eradicating those undesirable traits… but in reality, the journey I’d taken only helped me realise the key to contentment… ….Is loving what is, and loving who we are already. That in no way means I’m not striving to be more loving, kind, compassionate and caring… these are noble traits that involve a spiritual growth and evolution, all part of our expanding inherent nature. Just as in Mother Nature herself. We already possess all of these things and becoming more aware of opportunities to share and cultivate them are my goal.
🌟 l learnt that Photography and words have now become my new life, thanks to the powerful kindness from my friends, family, Photography Facebook, and Instagram friends. I now feel something very profound when I post an image and write some words to accompany it.
🌟 Oh, and also…
I learnt I must stay curious…
… Because we’ll never know what’s on the other end of our curiosity.
…. all because of that hot Summer’s day with my new iPhone…
Thank you so much for riding alongside me on my journey. I hope you found some goodness out of my sharing this and remember… you are worthy, you are enough, you are love…
I’d would like to feature some more images captured during last year that were part of my healing journey. I hope you enjoy a little explosion of nature🌹
Let’s take our journey into part two. I’d love it if you would brew a cuppa, so we can share one together as you read, as it’s a long one. But there is a part three to come nevertheless…
….So, I was curious about my new iPhone.
That warm summer’s morning, I thought perhaps I’d find some information on the web about how to properly utilise the camera app. I googled and the iPhone Photography School site appeared, with a few short free videos on how to take a great iPhone photo… I was totally absorbed from the first few moments of that first video and had an overwhelming feeling that this was going to be my new next thing to discover. It was so captivating, learning about the top ten rules of good photography. I chose to take notes before setting out to put them into practise. I’d always been interested in painting more as an artistic pursuit but discovering good photographic technique overtook the painting side. Ah, I’m sure all those canvases and paints will be put to use eventually!
I signed up to purchase the video classes!
It was one of the best things I’ve done, and at that time, I had no concept of how it would take hold of me or how much it was going to become my best friend. As I began to fall more in love with photography, I joined the Facebook private page to connect with the other students and critique each other’s photos. This gave real meaning to sharing our photos and gave us an outlet to encourage the various genres of photography. So that had been going really well for a couple of months in between planning the wedding of my daughter in the March.
In the meantime, since leaving the University year, I’d visited my acupuncturist for a niggling issue that actually became an exploration into the connection between our mind and our body. Sohial would spend a good amount of time teaching me about emotions, how they relate to different parts of the body and how physical issues are connected with the stresses of daily life. As someone who would dwell on things, and at that time, I was in the midst of my ‘what next’ phase. He knew about my passion for sharing tips and methods of healing that had helped me along my journey. I was lacking confidence to do anything about it.
My Acupuncturist could see what ignited me by listening to me and he stated some lines that I will never forget… ‘It’s time to just stop the constant learning and start sharing…’ and suggested that ‘I’m being selfish by keeping this knowledge to myself…’
They hit me right in the heart and as part of my treatment over a few weeks, he had worked on my self-confidence through the balancing of those relevant energy systems. He asked me what was stopping me from going home and creating a new Facebook account? ‘Just start….Post something’. Well, I knew the time had come to take his advice. This quote came to me, one I’d hear so many times on podcasts…
And so a new Facebook site was created with a first post. I’d treated it like a blog and was very proud to be able to add my own images to it. I used it as my means of sharing what I’d learnt so far and as a means of expressing things that were truly important to me. Things many people didn’t know about me and frequently, I would feel those niggling doubts, ‘What will my family and friends think of me speaking up?’ I was and still am, the ‘quiet one’ and finding that voice to negate those old beliefs was a challenge…I had to remind myself every day to push through them. I was feeling very content sharing things in that way and I felt like I’d really found a place I was meant to be…to share positive stories, inspirational thoughts and vulnerability, along with giving my captures of nature a real home.
And I loved it… but it was mainly people who had known me for a long time that were making the comments and I understand this may sound strange, but to be fully able to explore this me that was waiting to show, it became difficult with so many people who knew me watching on. I craved to be a new arrival, with the newness not being seen as ‘out of character’. Perhaps this wasn’t being thought, but in my head, this is how it felt.
That’s why the Photography Facebook group became so important. Very important.
The wedding day came and was a beautiful day. I hadn’t realised how much emotion was invested on the actual day and the months leading up to it. I still had my purpose, and it gave me a wonderful excuse to be in regular contact with my daughter. At the end of the evening, my hubby and I retired to our room and I began to cry… And I really didn’t stop for much of that week. There were so many feelings that the wedding had stirred and I was a little slow to truly learn about them…
So, this is where my dear back decided to step in to become my new teacher.
It decided, late in April, that it was time to spasm. I was convinced something dreadful had taken place…I was utterly immobilised. I said goodbye to putting on my socks for the next two months. Everything was a chore to manage and it was impossible to sit for too long.
Sorry gentlemen, but at the same time, and since the wedding in March, my cycle had continued and was oblivious to the fact it was supposed to actually stop at some point!! I was living in fear of what may have been wrong but trusted that it was a natural thing for you know, the Big M, Menopause.
For my back pain, I consulted physios, did some exercises at home that were prescribed, attempted Pilates class, was told that just as many people with bulging discs don’t have pain as the ones that do, so pain is not necessarily an indicator of a major injury. It was not an automatic thing to take x-rays. As I waited and was anxious about my cycle, I basically withdrew from life when I could, happily escorting myself out during the daytime to discover beautiful gardens and capture landscape images. This fed my passion and began a new discovery of self… I was spending so much time alone, I could really hear myself think. ‘How am I going to get over this back issue?’ ‘What is going on for me?’ and generally pondering my life and my purpose. One thing I knew was the futility of fighting the situation… it is was it is, so I was quite at peace with the surrendering side of it. ‘What about my cycle?’ That terrified me totally, as I was going to be the one with the easy transition and I was utterly disappointed that it appeared to be eluding me.
A beautiful 92 year old friend encouraged me to have it checked out, under the proviso that I didn’t have to act upon any treatment that didn’t resonate with my alternative view on healing. She suggested that perhaps the two issues were linked…
And so I did. Thankfully nothing abnormal was showing. So if I can share with you one main take-away for you here, it’s that this can be normal during this time of our life from a physical perspective. There was no medical procedure to be done, but I saw a wonderful newly graduated doctor who could see my fear and provided much reassurance that nothing was necessarily wrong and we agreed upon the ‘let’s just watch and see’ approach, a more common theme, she commented.
One fine day, I ventured into the city seeking more photo opportunities, which also provided me with constant motion. I’d planned to visit a bookshop called The Theosophical Society Bookshop in Melbourne. It was full of so many Spiritual, Alternative Health Healing, Mysticism, Eastern Philosophy books, to name a few. While browsing, I came across the section about Back pain.
It was an urgency now to jump right in and see what Dr Sarno had to say. I’m going to include three links below of some interviews with him, discussing his reasoning and philosophy about certain types of pain.
Dr Sarno includes this to include many other types of pain from Fibromyalgia, headaches, neck and shoulder pain. Thanks to his findings, there is much more of a shift to the power of the mind, and accepting the brain’s way of protecting us from emotional pain is to create it in our bodies. It’s potentially a paradigm that may become more accepted for many mainstream treatment protocols.
It is something I have truly delved into and now experienced as you will see in part three. From my time learning about Biology, reading profusely about the mind/body connection, I cannot withhold this information from you any longer. Today, I’ve revisited these videos and it’s time, in the hope it may relieve some of you who are suffering in pain. It’s real pain, not ‘imagined’ and has a real physiological pathway. So no one is suggesting we asked for it. Life is comprised of feelings, thoughts and emotions and often, things are buried and the brain gives us the pain as a means of protection.
So in using my blog in the way that I’d always desired, here are the links and if by some chance they don’t open for you, there are countless videos on YouTube if you just search for Dr E. Sarno.
I wish you all the best if you are suffering from an unexplained, consistent pain, because I now know how utterly debilitating it can be when you can’t seem to find anything that works to relieve it. My deepest wish is that this way of thinking may be part or all of the answer you are looking for.
Until next time, thank you for reading. I really wanted to make sure we had detailed the history and lead-up to my story to help you understand what was going on for me at the time. So for the gory details, you may scream ‘too much information…’ but you will see the connection and why I couldn’t omit that as part of my journey.
****This is my story and not to be seen as medical advice but rather a sharing of my strategies and resources. ****