The Fear Surrounding a Surgeon Appointment

I was due for my surgeon appointment for the first time in 18 months this last week. I wanted to discuss some alternative options that I’ve been exploring for healing my fistula, and of course I was nervous. Surgeons like performing surgery, and so asking them about anything that a) isn’t orthodox and b) isn’t about surgery, makes me feel nervous.

The last time I saw Dr B I was in a weak place, both physically and emotionally. My appointment was not what I had hoped and I left feeling like I had not been heard. I was disappointed in myself for not speaking my truth and in him, for not magically saying what I needed him to say.

This time I wanted my experience to be different. So, I booked an extra appointment with Debra, my counsellor, and just under a week before I was scheduled to see him we had a session – particularly on this topic.

It was fantastic and the best thing I could have gifted myself.

Tapping – EFT

We tapped around my fears. We tapped around past disappointments. We tapped in the positive of what I wanted from the session. We also tapped around clarity and disappointment. And speaking my truth.

When I had first voiced my fears of the appointment to Harlan, he gave me a beautiful answer:

Dr B is an expert in his field, you are in expert in your body. So, just like you can’t tell him how to perform surgery, he can’t tell you how you feel and exactly what your body wants.

Hmmm. I liked it, so we tapped on this as well.  A lot of tapping 😉

I got clear, made some notes and decided I would tell him about the natural treatments I’ve been pursuing and not feel scared about sharing my research on the kshara sutra and Ayurveda with him. This is something new for me. I automatically tend to believe that Western specialists will poo-poo these things and don’t even give them the opportunity to prove me wrong.

My Surgeon Appointment

Wednesday morning rocked around, my bum was feeling better than it’s felt in a long time with taking my Ayurvedic herbs, and Harlan and I were off to the Greenlane Hostpital in Auckland. I thought I would feel nervous, but I didn’t really. There was a little niggle of jumpiness in my tum, and so…you guessed… I tapped some more 😉 We sat in the waiting room and I focused on the smiling people, the positive people, not all the sadness that you can often focus on in hospitals. When Dr B came out to get us, I didn’t feel scared.

We began the appointment with some light-hearted banter and then delved into the details. I didn’t feel like I was inferior to him. I didn’t feel like I needed to please him. I just discussed, openly, what I had been thinking. The appointment went well. He gave me his time, he called me an optimist and he laughed about compromising with me on dates because I wanted to give our final decision more time.

I left feeling proud of myself for my clarity and deeply grateful for all the amazing support I have around me while making these big decisions.

I also realised just how much changing our own attitude before these ‘scary’ appointments changes the attitudes we get in return.

All these expectations

Expectations and the pressure…

This morning I heard about a young woman, 36, who took her life last week. She’s well known in her field, and by society’s accounts was doing very well for herself.

However, underneath the surface there was obviously a different story running for her that didn’t feel acceptable in our society. Thinking about it makes me want to shout out to all the others left behind:

“It doesn’t have to be like that! You don’t have to be perfect! You don’t have to be famous! You can be average. You can work a ‘lowly’ job and not earn enough to own your own home, and that’s OK. You can have skeletons in the closet and still be lovable.”


“You can be famous and you can be a millionaire. You can have the most prestigious job and the flashest house in town.”

What’s the difference?

The difference between whether you’re a tramp and content, or a millionaire and content, is your expectations. What expectations do you have of yourself? Are they always higher than you can reach? Do you always expect more from yourself than you can ever give? When you do something well do you stop and congratulate yourself on a job well done before you move to the next project, or do you immediately start looking at what next and what you’re not doing well enough? Are you enough in your eyes? Are you worthy in your eyes?

expectations-find-good-in-the-dayI believe you have to be at peace with yourself. Not all the time, of course. We’re human and that brings with it ups and downs. But in general are you peaceful with your way in the world?

If you have expectations that are always out of alignment with your reality you are draining away your life force and your will to be vibrantly here in this world. Now. In this moment that we are gifted.

Please, lower your expectations of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. You are a being of this world and you deserve love and you deserve kindness. Start now by giving yourself some love in whatever way you can, in whatever way makes you feel acknowledged by you. Expect love from yourself first and foremost, and make that a priority in your life.

For some inspiration to make the most of this moment, enjoy this 5 minute clip A Good Day – by a Benedict Monk.

I had a dream: losing and finding dreams

“I’ve had this dream for so many years,” my mum was saying to me in anguish, “and now at 72 I’ve lost it. And it’s too late. It’s gone. It’s dead. I know it’s not a death, but it’s the death of a dream.”

I had been listening to her and offering different ways of looking at the situation, and different ways of self talk that could help her intense and utter remorse. But for some reason when she mentioned her age in relation to the dream I felt my chest tighten and that uncontrollable sob fill my upper body.

“It doesn’t matter at what age you lose a dream,” I sobbed. “I’m only 32 and I lost my dream 3 years ago. The dream to be young and carefree and beautiful in this world while you still can. Adventuring and spontaneity.”

Then I realised what I was saying. “I know it’s buying into society’s ideas that youth and beauty is fleeting, and to make the most of it, so I know I need to work on all that, but still I lost that dream.”

I stopped and thought about that for a while. “But my point is, it doesn’t matter at what age you lose a dream. A dream is a dream.”

I have worked a lot on remorse around the changes in health that happened in September 2012, so it was interesting to see there was still sadness there. Not surprising really. I very quickly went into observer mode which for me was nice, I didn’t feel like the wallowy tears and sadness around the situation. Especially considering we were talking about my mum.

Before I left I went into my old room and took out my photo albums from the top cupboard to bring home. I flicked through a few briefly, the ones from high school, noticing what I looked like, yet how I believed I looked back then.

The interesting thing is, as I started my drive home I felt a little sensitive. I could feel a slight rawness, yet openness of tears not too far away in my throat. Something had changed. I realised, while looking at the evening light playing with the fresh, vibrant green leaves of spring, and thinking of how lovely I looked as a teenager, that maybe through this health journey I had found a dream I didn’t know I could find.

How long would it have taken me to love myself the way I do now if I hadn’t ‘lost’ the dream of health and youthfulness 3 years ago? This ‘loss’ catapulted me into a place where I worked hard, especially on maintaining sanity. Hours a day of training for something I didn’t know. Every day working my way a little closer to a place within myself where I felt more comfortable…in my own skin…with who I was as a person…with my way in the world. More comfortable with the difference between my journey and my place in other people’s journeys.

And as this realisation gently landed on me on the drive home I felt a wave of intense gripping fizz in my chest, of gratitude. A deep gratitude that makes you breathe deeply and just stop with all the thoughts, just for a moment and realise where you are in this world. Yes I have a sore bum, and yes it does still restrict certain things, and clearly there are still a few tears around that ‘lost’ dream. But oh my, I see myself and the world around me in such a different light now. I can actually feel love for myself and I can see my beauty. Not in a conceited way. In an overflowing loving way that you feel for those close to you.

So yes, a dream was lost, but another one was found that I didn’t even know I was looking for and I can never compare what things may have been like if I hadn’t ‘lost’ that dream.



Balancing business and a body breakdown…Bee Sensual

balancing-business-healthI wrote a tamed down version of this for my actual business blog but then decided to post it here first as is, because after all, it’s been a HUGE part of my healing journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way and continue to.

As you can read from Our Story on my Bee Sensual website, out of the desire for no nasties on my skin, I’ve been creating natural skin care for years (a lot of that time for myself). However, when Harlan and I moved back from Australia mid-July 2011, I decided that as well as starting out a huge new business as beekeepers – pollinating, rearing queens, honey – why not throw in a little extra challenge of starting up a natural skin care business. That’s how I’ve been known to roll at times…self pressure to the max!

In those early months is when my logo was born. I found a wonderful designer to work with who brought it into computer form for me and from there the steps began to be taken:



Product development and testing…


Creating and refining final products…


Big mistakes… (but I’ve learned a lot from them)

Beautiful scents…




I placed so much pressure on myself, and having been born a perfectionist, everything had to be’ just so’ otherwise I’d pull the whip out and start abusing myself. You can guess what came next…a body breakdown. My body was like, ‘what the…, are you serious, we can’t deal with this constant level of stress…’ And like many people, I took only a little time out (because physically I had no choice), and then I was back in there the moment I saw any signs of improvement…not only determined to get Bee Sensual launched by a certain date, but fighting with my body on its healing journey at the same time.

Anyway, that is a whole story unto itself, but the basic point is that since Bee Sensual has been running I have been on a rollercoaster with my health because I didn’t listen to my body back in 2012. I literally didn’t listen to my gut crying out for a break and some emotional kindness and one thing led to another and I developed a fistula (I’ve done a lot of EFT around releasing the self-blame around that one). I wouldn’t be here writing this blog if I hadn’t stressed myself into a pickle back then 😉

This health journey has been gruelling at times, yet throughout the process I have been learning. More and more. Slowly sometimes, and with my body needing to remind me a number of times before I get the point. And those who know me will tell you that I’m always keen for more learning and research, so I suppose in that regard it’s been a good thing 😉 Bee Sensual has been like a fire burning inside me. Sometimes when I’ve been in my darkest hours I’ve just wanted to throw it all in and douse it with gallons of water so that I don’t have to deal with the pressure of business, other times it has been like a guiding light. Pulling me out of a hole because I had things I had to do and focus on besides myself. And, anyway, the flames looked so pretty and enticing!


Most importantly, though, through this journey my dream for Bee Sensual has changed and blossomed. It grew out of a dream for natural skin care, using no nasties and the wonderful healing products of bees; ‘sensual’ for the self connection opportunity it would create. Then I began exploring the word ‘sensual’ more and tied in with that ‘mindfulness’ and how necessary it is to simply live in this one moment as often as we can. And I saw Bee Sensual products as a way to remind us to become mindful in that moment we gently apply them…taking in the smells and textures and sensation on the skin.

And from that came the most important of all…gentle self-love.

Realising how much I’ve berated myself in my life and beaten myself up, in younger years seeking perfection and a body that only airbrushed models have, seeking a type of persona that I thought I ‘should’ have. I knew it was vital to change this.

There is a saying:

You cannot truly take care of that which you do not love.

So, if I look at my skin and feel frustrated and disappointed by the wrinkles around my eyes, or I curse the scars from the teenage days of picking pimples, or I want to hide away the too many freckles or mingled discolouration, am I really loving myself? Am I treating myself the way I would a friend?

The answer is a big NO!

So how can I expect to truly take care of myself? How can I expect my body, which is only doing its best (always) with what it’s presented with, to feel energetic, vibrant and healthy? We need to send our bodies love. Let me say that again…it is essential that we send our bodies and ourselves love. By creating stress in our systems around what we see in the mirror, or how we should be acting, we only further deplete our energy and resilience. We’ve got to love what we see first and the rest will flow. We can’t wait for the day we find a magical miracle cream that takes away wrinkles, or an injection that paralyses our skin into non-expression. This may bring a few moments of happiness, but then we will simply find the next thing to hate or berate.

We need to love. Simple. Yet not so simple at all! Self-love seems to be one of those really tricky, confusing concepts that gets thrown at us at some point in our lives. How do I do that? you may ask. Well, I definitely don’t have all the answers (or any for that matter), but I know that through necessity, practice, constant reminders and perseverance, I love myself a lot more than I did when Bee Sensual first began.


One of my dreams now, is that through our beautiful Bee Sensual products, made with love, those using them will find moments to be still and present and send their precious self some much needed love. Remember this…even if it’s only twice a day when you moisturise, that’s all it takes…it is the simple act of planting the self-love seed that, over time and with regular nourishment, will grow into a beautiful self-love plant that blossoms in ways that you never thought possible!

Love and healing,







A change in perspective…


“You are not suffering because of the things you are experiencing. You are suffering because you think that what is happening is not supposed to be happening.”- Teal Swan

How true! A change in perspective can be so powerful, and this weekend I had a wonderful introduction to Teal Swan via her interview with Jessica Ortner on the Hay House World Summit 2015 – I want to love myself but I don’t know how. She’s brilliant and it was perfect timing for me! I can see that her wise words are helping me change perspective already. I love her! Her story is so inspiring and I love the way she talks about love, acceptance, forgiveness and everything else. I promptly followed her on youtube and listened to some of her short videos. I may also have pinned a few of her quotes in Pinterest 😉

I’ve been tapping (EFT) for quite a few years now, often on my own and often with my mum (a trained psychologist who loves EFT). A few weeks ago when my body gave a little shake I decided to change perspective. I lay on the couch crying to Harlan and he told me that I could do all the health things in the world, but that if I didn’t work on the way I am with myself, then all of those would simply be bandaids. I took it on board and we talked more. I realised I seriously needed to put some good old fashioned energy into pampering my mind.

Over these years I’ve become much better at pampering my body, and even though I’ve been working on the mind aspect, I think that’s a never ending journey for most of us. So I booked in 3 tapping sessions with my EFT tutor in America, Deborah (1 weekly). I’m not good with commitment, so that was a biggie in itself. I have done two already, and a lot of my own bits of tapping in between and how it is helping. I can feel a shift in my perspective and that feels beautiful! I can’t describe how beautiful it is actually after 32 years. May I always be willing to shift my perspective.

Last Tuesday we worked on my fear of failure which tied in with me beating myself up.

What led to this was while discussing my perfectionist tendencies with my mum, she told me that in the first few weeks of school I came home one day and asked her what druip meant. She said that it meant to fail, and I asked her what that meant. I had never been exposed to that concept up until then and she saw the look of shock on my face. From then on it was hard to draw me away from my school work. Once carefree and a barefooted nature baby, I was determined never to fail at school. My parents would coax me away from the books, but it was a hard job and never lasted long.

You see when I went to school at the age of 9 (after 4 years of home-schooling), I was very new to systems and rigidity, coming from a remote farm in South Africa where we did maybe 2 hours of school work a day, and the rest of the time I was outside doing real-life learning. I was also the only English speaking kid and one of the only ones who mixed freely with the ‘coloured’ children on the farm (another story for another time). Anyway, early in that year I have a very clear image of one of the boys coming back into class trying to look brave, even though he was limping and had tears streaming down his face. He had failed a maths test and been sent to the headmaster to be caned.

Reflecting during tapping I realised that this could be a key to why I have spent most of my life beating myself up. Is it because I am so scared of failing and being beaten up by someone else that my subconscious decided it was safer to do the beating in-house so that there was never a chance of failure? Who knows, but I’m now exploring these notions with the desire to change perspective and clear beliefs that no longer serve me.

Of course there is no such thing as failure, only lessons learned.

So when I am judging that what I’m doing in business isn’t good enough, is less than, could be better, is bad, and as a result turning into a manic perfectionist stress ball, roll in a little change in perspective. To be fair, I’m most likely doing the best I can at the time with what I’ve got! But what would be really useful would be minimal energy spent on judgement of good or bad, something I’m sure many of us work towards. And rather simply an acknowledgment of the situation. How nice would it be to use that energy to flow as healing through my body or love and kindness directed inward to encourage me flourish?

What changes in perspective have helped you on your journey?