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Loving Surrender: A go-to for 2017

My words for 2017 were Loving Surrender

In January this year I completed Christine Arylo’s four-step ‘Visioning your Year’ process. In the first step, Expand, one of the questions is: What do I most need to receive this year? At the time I decided I wanted to use my angel oracle cards to guide me. I got quiet and drew Release and Surrender – time to emotionally let go, release and surrender + trust. Little did I know quite how much I would need this.

Heart Art that was tacked to the wall next to my bed for 2017 as a daily reminder.

The three phrases underneath are from another of Christine’s offerings, her Reflection Ritual at the end of each year. The question for these was: Choose three words that describe how you want to feel as you step into 2017. These also guided my year.

Vibrant Health
Vessel of Love and Compassion
Inspired Action

Reflecting

Now, as I sit here, about to step into 2018, I’m reflecting on just how appropriate Loving Surrender was for 2017. I feel like a dived into surrender and trust from week one, flying over to Australia to see a surgeon about hopefully fixing my fistula. It didn’t work out. Then take two (and three) in April, and I returned home worse off than when I had left.

All of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual struggles around these experiences required me to let go…let go…let go…and trust. It wasn’t easy. So far from it. As you know, from previous posts, there were times I didn’t know how I would make it through to the end of the day. But I believe under it all was this deep sense of trust. Trust in myself and my own wisdom, and also trust in the Divine, the Universe, something bigger than me. The magnificent presence I feel when diving into the ocean or lying under a tree looking up at the clouds.

I had amazingly incredible support and kindness around me, but being a stubborn independent woman this meant another area to practice loving surrender. Surrendering to the love, kindness and care of others, and trying my best to accept it wholeheartedly. Without feeling like I was an inconvenience or a burden. Trying my best not to always push it away and say that I was ‘fine’.

Then there was the decision to go to India. That was very much surrender…let go…trust. I did, and again I had an amazing team with me in person and from afar (here I just have to single out Harlan for his unbelievably incredible support, strength and courage). Was it easy? No. Did I want to turn back some days and give up? Hell yes! Yet again though, there was that deep underlying trust and the knowing that it was the year for loving surrender.

I had no idea when I chose loving surrender

At the beginning of the year I had no idea that I would be here, in our caravan, sitting comfortably on my bum typing this post. All I knew was that vibrant health was something I wanted to feel in 2017 and so I used inspired action and a whole lot of loving surrender to pursue it. I was tired of the daily challenge and struggle of a fistula and I was going to do whatever it took to explore various options.

So here I am. With a story about how deciding what you need for the year ahead is powerful. Having a word or words to guide you is important. I didn’t set a goal like, I will heal my bum this year. Instead I pursued a feeling…that of vibrant health…which meant I experienced this in chunks through the year, even before my bum was healed. And daily I reminded myself to surrender. I would lie down with my arms out and say I surrender, I release…I surrender, I release…I surrender, I release, feeling that letting go and trust sink in.

I am currently in the process of feeling into what my guiding words for 2018 are.

If you choose to do any of the above processes, I know you’ll love them. Please share your insights or word for the year with me! I’d love to celebrate it with you.

So much love xxx

Self-Love is a Path, a Practice and a Choice

Self-love is so many things

When I first came across it, self love had seemed a bit abstract to me. I saw it as something related to my body and about speaking kindly and gently to it, instead of always criticising, downplaying it and being mean. I didn’t realise that self-love is so much more!

Just over a year ago I began a journey training with the Path of Self Love based in California. I didn’t know that was what I was going to do, but when I read the invitation my Inner Wisdom stepped in. She was so clear that my inner mean girls had no choice but to step aside with all their fears and reasons why I shouldn’t. And so, I found myself in a group of 33 brave, beautiful women. Some did one module, and others of us walked the year together with our amazing teacher and mentors. Now here we are, completed and certified to use these simple, yet powerful tools that have been used with women around the world for over a decade.

Certificates for the three modules completed during the year: ‘Transforming self-sabotage + self-bullying into self-love’, ‘Self-love foundations’, and ‘Self-love and relationships’

It turns out self love doesn’t have to be abstract. There are tools you can use to cultivate a deeper self-love, a deeper self worth, that radiates out into every tiny corner of your life. To experience it is joyful. I want to sing it from the rooftops, and tell the world what a difference simple, daily, self loving practices can make.

Self-love is about how you choose to speak to yourself in every waking moment.

It is about growing self awareness and then being honest with yourself. It’s about cultivating self-compassion and forgiveness: saying “Kali, I forgive you, you were doing the best you could in that moment.” It’s about choosing to listen to your Inner Wisdom and releasing the stories you’ve picked up along the way that no longer serve you. Those stories that are sometimes deep inside you that you may not see, yet they’re gospel. And so many of your decisions are based off them. To grow your self awareness you have to check in with your heart, your body and feel what emotions and physical sensations are there. It’s a reconnecting with all of yourself.

Self love is also about self acceptance.

Not just of your body, but also of your personality and way of being, even the bits you don’t necessarily like. It’s also about accepting things you might have done, that still hold shame or guilt or remorse, and then forgiving yourself. Forgive. It’s about loving yourself as you are right now in this very moment – perfectly imperfect – knowing that right now you’re the best version of yourself. You’re doing the best you can, and every day you get to choose to do things differently. Every moment in fact.

Self-love is waking up every morning and choosing you.

Choosing to back yourself and ask yourself what you need in that day, and then giving it to yourself. What do you need emotionally, physically, spiritually and relationally? These don’t have to be big things. Something like a few words of encouragement or five minutes of quiet space might be what you need. This is self care. It’s about becoming your own best friend. It’s about diving deep to find your true heart and soul desires, and then gifting yourself and those around you, by following them. By not selling out to the ‘shoulds’ and societal norms.

Self-love is choosing self pleasure – the things that bring you deep joy and laughter – because when you do those things you fill your cup to bursting and radiate love to more people than you know.

It is in every decision you make to stay in tune with yourself – in mind, body and spirit.

Self-love is a feeling, that as it grows your life becomes richer, gentler and more nourishing. And every day you are privileged to wake up with your best friend, even though physically you may be sleeping alone. It’s the comfort that you’re not alone. It’s a knowing that there are different places to source love, not just from yourself and a handful of others. You can source love from something greater than you, Mother Earth, people you can trust and who see you for what you are, the ocean, animals, children, nature and so much more.

Self-love is releasing self judgement, with a healthy dose of self honesty. It’s about first and foremost learning to trust. Not the voices of the world around you or your inner critics, but the deep voice inside you that’s always been there and always will be. The one you haven’t always thought to listen to but that always has your back no matter what. It’s about trusting that voice, that knowing deep inside and then cultivating the courage to follow it even if others are telling you different stories. This is self-empowerment, taking the reins of your life.

Self love is also about respecting yourself enough to only have loving, respectful relationships in your life, including the one with yourself. It’s about knowing your true worth, so that when others send you love and shine your worth back to you, you’re able to fully receive it. It’s about creating clear, loving boundaries that you honour no matter what.

Love directed at self is not selfish.

Far from it. More love, wherever it’s directed = more love in this world. And that is always a good thing!

It’s not something for people on the fringe. Self-love is not for a select few. It’s for every woman, man and child. It’s not something you choose to do and then perfect, there is no destination. You don’t suddenly wake up one day and 100% love yourself forever.

Self-love is not always easy. But knowing your true worth, what makes you uniquely you, is the greatest gift you can give yourself, your relationships, your community and the world. It’s a path, a daily practice, and it’s a choice you make every morning and in every moment of the day.

You, brave, courageous soul, are over-flowing with love. As Rumi says:

If today you can start by saying a kind, loving phrase to yourself, you are practicing self love. It doesn’t matter where you start, it only matters that you start. See where it takes you…

So much love xxx

PS: If you want to talk to me more about some simple, yet powerful tools that you can use in your own life to cultivate a deeper sense of self love and worth, please get in touch anytime.

Thank you India, and Everything Else

Thank you India

India you light me up from the inside
My soul radiates just thinking about you
To touch your dust with my own two hands
changed me
Being on your land left me
with an explosion of colour inside
vibrant, full and yet so complex.

All these years of journeying
that lead me to this one moment
in my life, intrinsically entwined with you
a red thread connecting me to your land
who would have known it would be this way?
Maybe you in your ancient wisdom.

To stand on the soil of a country so steeped in spirituality
Deeply, anciently, I can feel it in your breathing
This juxtaposition of so much love
ingrained in the earth and in the temples
People with nothing smiling, kind, so open
and then the fighting, in the name of religious ideas
merciless killing and the blood mixing with your red earth

I am forever changed because of you
Because of your people
and everything that you are
I will always feel the pull of that red thread
calling me back, gently yet fiercely
And one day I will heed it and
stand on your soil again.

Thank you for what you are
and for what you are not
and everything in between.
I am blessed to have followed
my journey to you and found
what I was looking for
and more.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you India.

And thank you for my courageous spirit to pursue my vision of a vibrantly healthy body. Thank you to all those who walk with me – both near and far – sharing their strengthening love and support. Some days the gratitude pulses so strongly through my veins it’s like adrenaline – firing through every cell – leaving me in awe of where I am. Of how blessed I am.

This body of mine. So patient and so strong – now so free from pain and able again.

Until pain prevents you from something so ‘small’ as sitting normally, you don’t realise what a luxury it is. Thank you that I can now sit at the dining room table. Sit at my desk, sit and drive a car, sit on a my surfboard out the back. Thank you for the renewed energy in my body to be able to move and explore again. I will never take that for granted.

Thank you for the growth and perspective shifts over these years, and for the vision to do things differently now. That I can live in a way that doesn’t come at a huge cost to my mind and body. Thank you for the moments and thank you for the love! Thank you, and thank you again!

For so long I thought I had to do it alone.

I thought I had to fix my fistula without anyone’s help. But it’s not true. I walked the journey I needed to walk. Somehow I made it, even though there were days when I thought I would give up forever and call it a day. I didn’t think I could go on. I didn’t think that I could do one more day of that robbing pain that consumed me like fire. And yet a part of me never gave up.

There was a part of me quietly cheering the down-hearted part on – sending soothing words – encouraging phrases that I often could not hear. But another part of me heard. And even though it all felt too much to keep going, I did. That stubborn, determined streak in me refused to have its light snuffed out. And so here I am. Days and days and days in a row without being hindered by a knifing, all-encompassing pain in my bum, and body exhausted from constantly fighting infection. Combatting the emotional drain of the struggle.

It’s so draining. Sometimes its easy to forget how draining pain is. How it spends so much of your body’s energy normally used for day to day functioning. And sometimes I forget how much energy it takes to remain emotionally stable, when for the 200th week in a row I would wake up to cope with fluctuating pain all day…again.

But now a different way. A more gentle compassionate way, with respect and honour for the journey and myself. Thank you for healing. Thank you India. Thank you for perspective, insights and tapping into wisdom.

And thank you for all the earth angels who walk alongside us.

 

Stay Strong: Self Love Theme for 2017

Stay Strong

Did you know that you don’t have to stay strong in the macho, suck it up way? Strong doesn’t mean you have to self-sacrifice and suck it up. You don’t need to pretend that everything is OK and just keep going and going like a machine. Did you know that you can actually be strong in a more gentle way in your core. By staying true to yourself and trusting yourself. It’s actually OK to receive what you need, to support yourself with all that you do in the world.

What does Stay Strong look like?

Staying strong is the theme for self love in 2017, created by Christine Arylo in all the beautiful work she does in the world, sharing tangible ways in which we can strengthen our self love. So what exactly does stay strong mean?

S – Speak your truth and stay connected

T – Trust yourself

R – Rest and Replenish

O – Own your power and play your part

N – Nourish your heart and soul’s desires

G – Give and Receive

How to use this to strengthen in self love

You can take these six aspects of staying strong and apply them to your own life. What areas are you already strong in? What areas are you learning to be stronger in? You’ll never have them all perfect. This is a path and a process that you get to choose every moment. 

For every one of us, throughout the year, we are going to have things that come up. Things that wobble that strength in our core; some in small ways and some in big ways. It’s called life. But if we can look at this and see where we’re already strong and keep building on that. And then look at where we are learning to be strong and nourish those parts, we develop a deeper strength in our core. 

I’ve created this video to dive into each aspect a little more.

A practice

We all need a daily practice to stay strong in our core. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes or an hour. A daily practice can be as little as 3 minutes when you wake up in the morning. It can be looking at the poster you have created, reminding you which aspects need to be fed this month. Or it can be looking at each of the S.T.R.O.N.G aspects and checking in with yourself which one you want to focus on for that day. Remember they all work together, so when you focus on one, the others will be there to support it.

When we commit to nourishing these aspects, we strengthen in self love so that we are better able to deal with things that come our way, in gentle, more loving ways.

Your turn

Close your eyes, take a deep breath (breath is so important in checking in with ourselves) and put your hand on your heart or belly. Which of these aspects is strongest for you at the moment? Which one most needs your attention right now? What is one small act that you can write down right now, which will help you to strengthen that today? Maybe it’s I lie down for 5 minutes when I get home. Or it could be I go to the beach to reconnect. Don’t just jot it down and never look at it again. Put these somewhere where you will see them every day. Check in every day and see what needs your attention now.

My experience

For me, right now, the area that I’m strongest in is Trusting Myself. I feel my health journey has really strengthened this for me. Digging deep and listening to my Inner Wisdom on a daily basis. The area for me that needs the most nourishing is Rest & Replenish. This is often the one that I struggle to honour when I’m feeling more energetic or like I’ve got a bunch of things to get done.

So for me, I have jotted down a few ways in which I can feed this:

I take time to stop and read a book.

Lie down for 5 minutes when my body needs a rest.

Go to the beach for a top up.

What are yours?

This post is inspired by Christine Arylo, and her feminine super power salon on February the 13th, which is 75 minutes of diving deep into this topic. 

 

International Day of Self Love 2017

Self Love 2017

Hi lovely ones!

Today is the 10th International Day of Self Love (founded by Christine Arylo), and I recorded a quick video about this year’s theme – Staying Strong. Not in the macho way, but strong in the sense of staying true to yourself and feeling that strength in your core.

Self love is a topic very close to my heart, because it has been one of the beacon’s of light on my healing journey. And the more I dive into strengthening self love the easier my journey is becoming and I’m reaching a place of real gentleness with myself which is a treat! In the next few days I will be sharing an example of how strengthening my trust in my Inner Wisdom recently served me in an important decision.

All around the world this month people are holding virtual and in-person get togethers – in over 41 countries. I held one last night with an intimate group, but excitingly Christine Arylo is holding one online – simply go to the link Stay Strong and you too can join in!

What self love promise would you like to make to yourself for 2017?