Surrender

Today I wanted to write about surrender and my current journey with it. I planned to tell you how in the dictionaries surrender is to stop fighting or resisting, and usually referred to in the sense that you’ve given up and are defeated. If you surrender, you stop fighting or resisting someone and agree that you have been beaten (Collins Dictionary).

surrender to freedomHowever, in terms of our life journey, surrender is anything but defeat. It’s like opening yourself up to the limitless possibilities of unknown freedom. It’s the first part of that definition, but instead of giving up, it’s a letting go. Letting go of control, expectations, the need to know, the need to shape something to what we desire. It’s a letting go of resistance and fighting what is, to simply allow what is. Peace.

Then I was going to use words to show you a snippet of what life’s been like the last couple of months and how I’ve danced my way into an even deeper understanding of surrender. How things have changed so much, yet could look the same.

I realised, though, to do that I need the back-story. The last year really. My relatively new journey with meditation, getting my head around more brain science, committing to embracing the unknown, and so much more. But you know what, that’s part of a book really, not just a quick blog post.

Surrender, day by day

And so, let me rather tell you about my experience with surrender over the past couple of months. It’s different moment to moment and day by day.

Some days it’s looked like getting back into bed after breakfast, fully under the covers and just lying with the emotions that I’m feeling. Sometimes tears, hot down my cheeks, other times a swirling confusion rampaging through my chest. It’s been not fighting their intensity and trying to be positive, but instead letting them fully embody me, so that they can move through me and give me the release of peace on the other side. Half an hour later. Sometimes an hour later. But always so much sooner than I expect when I surrender and stop pushing through.

It’s looked like me lying on the soft white beach sand at 9pm, under the three quarter moon, arms outstretched like a sand angel in a surrender position, feeling my heart expand beyond its reaches in gratitude for what my life is. For the beauty I have access to all around and within me.

Releasing fear, choosing trust

Some moments it’s been the act of releasing the tightness of fear gripping my heart, within minutes of getting off the toilet for the fifth time. Releasing the tumbling, fighting words along the lines of ‘when will this end?’, and instead choosing trust. Standing up, shoulders back and breathing a smile onto my face. Not to by-pass, but to save my body from the chemical stressor of fear. Choosing in the healing power I have within me and within this incredibly wise body when I give her the space to do her thing. Without that fear in the way.

Sometimes it’s been lying down and sleeping, at random times, simply because I can feel that’s what my body is begging for.

It’s also been a knowing that my body needs a break from food and fasting, not out of the past choices sometimes from fear. Instead, choosing fasting out of a deep respect for how our bodies work, and that sometimes rest is all our gut is asking for. A time where it’s not spending energy on digesting but on healing.

Saying no, and yes

Surrender has also been in that space of saying no. Saying no to commitments to others, or to things I thought I should do, or even was really looking forward to. No to things I had booked, but it was best to cancel. Instead choosing to say yes to the commitment I made to myself. The vow I took of honouring this body first and foremost. This home. To do what she needs. My home forever.

And in these spaces and places, I have let go, more than I ever have. I have trusted. More than I ever have, and I am feeling a deeper sense of peace creeping through my being, despite the challenges that my body is experiencing.

Tomorrow surrender will look different, not just once, and I will play with her and see where she takes me. What does surrender look like for you right now?

PS: I found it interesting reading my earlier pieces on fear and surrender, when at that time I was reaching the deepest level of surrender I had yet found. How now surrender feels so different. And how it will feel so different again and again.

What will your day be like?

What will your day be like?

I don’t know…
I hope it’s a good one.
It’s going to be amazing.
Probably really busy.
I’m going to have an adventure…
Interesting.

What’s your answer to a question like this? Do you feel like it simply depends on who you see, who says what, or whether or not it goes as smoothly as you’d hoped?

If you dive into the day and let its quality be determined by external factors, then you’re playing roulette. It could go either way. What if you see old Cecil who always manages to annoy with his snarky comments, and you spend hours feeling disgruntled and wishing he hadn’t ‘wrecked’ your day?

When you wake up in the morning you actually have the power to choose what your day is going to be like. You get to answer that question before the day has even happened! Because you always have a choice. If you’ve made the conscious decision as you wake up, that you’re not going to let a person or a situation change the quality of your day, things will be different if you see old Cecil.

Instead of reacting to his comments, you will choose to be aware of the fact that his words are his, and a reflection of his state of mind. You’ll realise you don’t want to waste more than five minutes of your precious energy feeling pissed about what he said, or about what you read in the news this morning.

What will your day be like?Which option feels more empowering?

Kinder on your nervous system?

I know which one I choose every day. I choose the perspective that my day is going to be interesting, or adventurous, or something along those lines. And then when things happen that could/do throw me, I realise they’re an opportunity for me to make a shift, or come back to centre and reclaim where I spend my life-force.

And no, it’s not always easy. Some mornings I swear the moment I’m dressed I start feeling a bit grumpy and when I see the mess in the kitchen I want to have a melt down. Or I don’t eat soon enough and feel hangry, and Harlan says something that annoys me. But the difference between now and a few years ago is that I am aware I don’t have to feel like that.

I’ve come to know what helps to shift me out of that space so that I can move back into the driver’s seat, instead of being driven by what’s happening.

I might take two minutes outside, simply being with nature and breathing. Or I’ll put on one of my favourite dance songs and move my body. If I’ve got the time and space I might even meditate again. A bite to eat or a drink of water could do the trick. And sometimes it’s as simple as letting myself laugh at the silly joke Harlan’s made instead of choosing to stay grumpy.

Some days it feels more challenging to come into that space of feeling like the driver.

Then the only loving option is self-compassion. To accept that you might react to things and carry around frustration or anger for longer than you’d like. But that you can be gentle with yourself through the process, and instead of judging your frustration or anger, realising that it will pass.

So, when you wake up tomorrow morning, what is your day going to be like? Decide. And then make a conscious effort to be aware every time that you let an event pull you into a dis-empowered place. Play with how you can shift yourself, so that you’re back behind the steering wheel of your day.

What tools do you use to shift your headspace?

Gratitude is like a muscle…

The more you use it, the stronger it grows.

Gratitude is like a muscle, even though sometimes you might think it is circumstantial. You see people’s lives and think “well it’s easy for them to feel grateful, they…”

  • have lots of money
  • are gorgeous
  • have kids
  • live somewhere beautiful
  • have a great job
  • have lots of friends

Gratitude is like a muscle...glass half full or half empty?

But that’s not how gratitude works. Many of those people above will have an overall grateful attitude and many of them won’t. It’s not circumstantial, it’s an inside job. Gratitude is an attitude to how we choose to view our world and our life and the moments in the day. Glass half full or glass half empty?

Gratitude is a habit…

…just like anger, worry, stress, guilt. If your default is anger, that’s a neural network that you’ve been working on for years. Your brain is set up, ready to fire and wire for that outcome at the drop of a hat. Therefore, situations that anger you are really easy to find – sometimes circumstantial, sometimes simply by bringing up a thought in your mind.

So with gratitude, just like a muscle, we’ve got to grow it! Grow that neural network. We’ve got to practice it over and over and over until our brain is ready to fire and wire down that pathway in the blink of an eye or the sparkle of a dew drop.

Like any habit, gratitude is a path a practice and a choice in every moment. Do you seek to cultivate gratitude no matter what? This doesn’t mean ignoring feelings of sadness, fear or disappointment. It’s not pretending to yourself and others that life’s always roses. We are human after all, and therefore we live a range of emotions. We need to acknowledge them, feel them and then let them move on. Can we create gratitude even for the more uncomfortable feelings? For the punch of anxiety that we feel in our stomach, sending us a message if we dare to listen?

Cultivating gratitude is about the small things.

The feel of a warm jumper on your skin when the cold Spring wind blows. The soft fur of your dog’s ears when you kiss their head. The feeling of a hot cup of tea in your hands when you’ve just been working in the garden. The smell of fresh herbs as you cut through them with your knife. That sweet moment you have to yourself, zero interruptions.

And the big things. The gratitude that you blinked your eyes in the last few seconds because you have these amazing eyes that can read and see. A warm bed to sleep in. Access to this fresh, clean water pouring out of the tap into your hands, or over your body.

Gratitude is like a muscle…

People who are generally grateful and see the world through rose-tinted glasses aren’t lucky. Just like someone with a strong, fit body isn’t lucky. Both of those took dedication, commitment and the vision for something that they chose to cultivate.

Gratitude isn’t a luxury, it’s simply a life-enhancing habit that you can begin right this moment. What can you be grateful for right now?

And now?

Notice what it feels like in your body, memorise this feeling, and then practice it. Every day. Moment to moment.

See what comes from it…

xxx

Sense of Belonging – an inside job

Belonging

Just recently I had the wonderful opportunity of holding a self-love circle space at my dear friend’s yoga day. Earlier we had talked about theme, thinking of chakras, and when she was keen to explore the root chakra and belonging I was in!

I’ve recently been on another Brené Brown binge, and so a sense of belonging felt very appropriate! For those of you who don’t know, Brené is a research professor at the University of Houston who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. One of her big inspirers has been Maya Angelou, and Brené often refers to one of Maya’s quotes that had a huge effect on her:

You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great…

One of her most painful aspects growing up was not feeling like she belonged, and so it took years of her journey and research to come to an understanding for herself of these words. She makes a distinction between the concept of fitting in versus a sense of belonging, which really struck a cord with me:

We confuse belonging with fitting in, but the truth is that belonging is just in our heart, and when we belong to ourselves and believe in ourselves above all else, we belong everywhere and nowhere.

Sometimes this can feel contradictory.

We’re hard wired to fit in, it’s in our genes. Back in tribal days we needed to be a part of our group. It wasn’t safe to wonder around a loner. And when a child is born into a family it has to fit in and be accepted, otherwise its survival is at stake.

So, no wonder we believe fitting in is belonging. Even one of the dictionaries defines it like this: Belonging is a sense of fitting in or feeling like you are an important member of a group.

This is in direct contrast with Brené’s definition in her book, Braving the Wilderness:

True belonging is not passive.
It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group.
It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer.
It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are.

I see this as self love.

If we desire to feel a true sense of belonging, we require a certain level of self worth, self love, self acceptance. We need to mostly enjoy the person we are, to be our own best friend and cheerleader, even when we least feel like it.

This distinction between fitting in and having a sense of belonging doesn’t mean that being part of a group or movement, or particular family cluster is not going to feed your soul. I see it to mean that the more we love and enjoy ourselves and shine our unique light, without shifting and changing to fit in with those around us, the more joy and realness we can receive from any group we’re part of.

Inner critic and inner wisdom.

The voice that tells us we need to fit in, at all costs, is our inner critic, born at a time when we really needed them to protect us. The voice that encourages us to be present with people without changing who we are and being vulnerable, that’s our inner wisdom. Our inner knowing, that as an adult being who you are, is the most freeing experience.

One of the really powerful tools on my self love journey has been the ones that help me to become more aware of these two voices, and quicker at distinguishing between the two. When I listen to and acknowledge my inner critic, then I create space to hear and listen to my inner wisdom.

If we make it an inside job, then a sense of belonging can always be with us…

…whether we’re alone at the beach or in a room full of strangers. When we’re completely comfortable in our own skin, willing to show up authentically and are happy with who we are, then we’re going to be so much more present to the moment, and to all those in our life. More open to receiving the love all around us.

My 2019 Vision Board

Resistence

Today I kept resisting putting the final touches on my vision board for 2019. Maybe a combination of my perfectionist creeping in and the fact that I’m a bit sore to sit? I could feel myself distracting with everything else, and eventually at around 11am I pulled out my watercolours, put some gardenias on the table, lit a candle and realised I could actually stand and paint if I really wanted to.

This vision has been brewing since my reflection ritual at the end of last year, where I mined for wisdom gained, and what I wanted to leave behind and bring with me in 2018. The rest of the vision has been percolating as I go about my days, and taking on more form as I dip into past visioning rituals from Christine Arylo and Aglaee Jacobs. One of the things I’ve been doing for the last few years is coming up with a word/s to guide me in the year ahead. I’ve been feeling into what it is that I would love to have as my guiding star in 2019. After much playing with words and visions in my head I came up with Embodied Freedom.

embody – be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling)

freedom – the state of being free (not confined, obstructed, or fixed)

Embodied Freedom

When I think of these two words I think of wings, flying, floating in the ocean with only the sky above me and the water holding me, in a place where anything is possible. I think of child-like laughter, a vibrantly healthy body and dancing freely for the sheer joy of it.

Other elements on the board are where I’m desiring to focus my energy: what is going to guide me in the decisions and choices I make. For example, making time for nurturing my relationship with Harlan is a priority, so when a decision comes up I make sure that this is in the forefront when I choose which direction to go it.

Also my heart and soul visions for 2019 – what dreams are ready for seeding, sprouting or harvesting this year? My self-love promise – to prioritise joy and fun for the sake of fun! And importantly, what I need to nourish me on all levels (emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally) to be the best version of myself (butterfly wings).

My Compass

This board, combined with a healthy does of surrender, flexibility and humour, is what will inspire me through 2019. I feel empowered to take the reigns of my life, with a beautiful compass to guide me, and the understanding that ‘life’ happens. It’s how I choose to interact with those happenings that decides how I experience them.

What’s inspiring your vision for 2019? What do you do to remind yourself of your visions ahead?

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 I 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.

 

Honour my Body: A Work in Progress

Last week I made a decision I wouldn’t have been able to make 6 months or a year ago. I chose to honour my body over everything else. This meant I cancelled a Bee Sensual workshop I had spent time creating and planning. I had even emailed people on my list about it, but suddenly I knew I had to stop and listen to my body.

My inner conversation around the topic went something like this…

Side 1: I have to put myself out there more. I have to grow my following. I have to promote Bee Sensual products and the work I do in the world. If I don’t do it now, I’m just procrastinating and being non-committal and I’ve got to pull myself together.

Side 2: But I’m just so exhausted, physically mentally and emotionally. I’m tired. Can’t I just hide from the world and sleep for months? I just really want to go slowly right now. This is the first Spring in 5 years where my body hasn’t been in pain and so I just want to go gently and enjoy. Can’t I do that instead?

Side 1: I think that’s just being lazy and copping out. What gives you the right to just swan around? Anyway, there are so many creative ideas that need pursuing!

Side 2: But I’m not swanning around, I’m doing things. They’re just other things, like healing, like resting my body, doing what needs to be done to keep businesses going, animals fed, exercised and looked after and I’m prioritising my emotional health. Remember that affects my physical health too! This is the first time I’m really doing this, give me a break!

Nature is one thing that helps me quiet the mental chatter and feel into what my body and Inner Wisdom are actually communicating to me. What helps you?

You get the idea.

I know, it might all sound a little crazy, but surely you’ve had a mental conversation that sounds a little similar? It took me a while to figure out which voice was my Inner Mean Girl and which one was my Inner Wisdom, or whether there was an in-between. The thing is, in the past I have sometimes procrastinated and been non-committal, so it made it trickier to figure it out.

Then I spoke to a friend, and as I spoke it out loud I could feel in my body just how truly tired I am. Just how exhausted I’m feeling, as if this year is finally catching up with me. It’s been a big one! Sometimes it’s easy for me to discount just how much has happened this year: three overseas trips, four surgeries, countless hours and days of emotional ups and downs, and lots of energy towards physical healing. Among other things, it has been traumatic, let’s face it. So maybe, just maybe, my body wants time to process and catch up.

When you listen to your body, she always tells you the truth!

I set a New Moon intention on the 19th of November, to honour my body as sacred and do whatever it is that she wants in terms of movement – walking, swimming, dancing, yoga, swaying or lying down and resting. A few days later this Bee Sensual realisation occurred, and saying no to actually going ahead with it was part of honouring this intention.

Honour my body.
I am sacred.
My body is sacred.

As Harlan often says to me, just because you’re excited to get back up and into the world with all your creative ideas, you won’t be out in the world too long if you burn yourself out again in the process. Great point. Such wise words, but my creative brain struggles with that one. She wants to be busy all the time.

So here I am, listening to my Inner Wisdom. Learning to pause or slow down when I need to. Listening to my wise body and hearing what she needs at this time to feel fully honoured and respected for all she does and has been through. I choose to honour my body, my closest companion and friend for life…I choose to listen to her every day to the best of my ability. That is my commitment to me.

How can you honour your body more in this moment? Today? This week?

India: I am ready

I step off the precipice and fall
for a moment I’m dropping
hurtling towards the hard ground

then I remember I have wings
I open them
they creak
stretch and the blood flows through them
my wings

it’s been a while
let them fly
let me fly
into the big unknown that beckons me
calls to my heart strings

and then there is vastness
openness above me
below me and all around me
I am free to journey

how did I forget my wings?
these beautiful light feathers
for soaring through the air
simply waiting for the words

I am ready.

And so I am. For another exciting chapter on this journey called life. In under two weeks I fly to India. A country that both scares me and intrigues me. A place where the Goddess Kali resides in many places. And I will meet her, even though I may not at first know it. I will feel her presence in the dirt and in the sunsets, in the poverty and in the wealth, in the rivers and in the temples dedicated to her.

I am going to the Fistula Research Centre in a city north of Delhi called Chandigarh. I am going to seek advice and treatment from a world expert in fistulas. There are not many of those around, and to be honest this colorectal surgeon, Dr Pankaj Garg, is the first such person I came across last year after 4 years of trawling the internet at regular intervals. I stumbled across his site about 8 months ago, and back then the idea of going to India with a sore bum and a tummy on the sensitive side scared the living daylights out of me. Australia seemed like a good first option. It did not pan out as expected though, so India came back onto the radar.

It is currently 40 degrees there in the height of summer and in July the monsoons arrive. However, this is the time Harlan can come with me and leave the bees to quietly and cosily winter in their sunny bush sights. Two dear friends are joining us too, and between the four of us there will be adventure.

Where there was fear and trepidation before, there is now excitement, anticipation and a feeling of adventure running through my veins.

You see I realised a few months ago that physical adventuring has been minimal through this healing journey of mine, and that I’m craving it. My soul needs it. It feeds me in ways that nothing else can. When I first got back from Australia I knew that when the pain settled we needed to explore, even if it was in tiny ways, we would do it.

And then one day last month, with the desire of healing my bum, the idea of India was reborn. It started out as a spark with only tiny flashes of light. But it very quickly grew into something more. The flight is 17 hours, which for someone who doesn’t even drive at the moment is very long! It’s hot! Some people experience Delhi Belly….

We all spent the first week almost reluctantly committing. Knowing we desired adventure, and me that and healing. However, as the days have passed, and more links and pictures have been shared between us, there has been a growing excitement and anticipation. What started out as a trip purely for healing my bum, has turned into so much more.

This time thinking about India, underneath the wildness of the idea, I feel a great sense of peace and calm. I am ready. The time is now.

It will be a pilgrimage. Me journeying to far off holy lands. Since I was named Kali, after the Hindu Goddess, I have always known that I will visit India at some point. I just hadn’t planned for it to be so soon. Lucky I’ve never been a big one for plans and so I can flow with the currents and go where I need to go at the time. I am ready. I am ready to adventure on all levels – physically, spiritually and emotionally.

I have opened my wings and my Inner Wisdom is guiding me.

I am ready.