“What is love, mummy?” A children’s story…❤️

 Hello to you,

This post is a contribution for Nikki’s inspiring blog, Flying Through Water and her creative weekly prompt. This week it was about Love.

I could have written about this in a million ways, but this is the piece I was called to create. It became my magical carpet on which to lay out my thoughts on this beautiful word, LOVE.

I do hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed producing it…🌹

 

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Love is kindness and compassion for all

 

 

       “There was once a sensitive little girl who always wondered about what love really meant.
Sure, she was part of a family and they existed under the one roof, but always with dinner on the table and some clean clothes to wear…

        She assumed she was loved, although no-one had ever really made a fuss about her or told her they loved her.
So she just went about her life, doing what she was told, hoping to be a good girl, wanting to make people feel happy. Happy meant more to her than love. And helping people. She knew what both of those things looked like.

        She would attend weddings of her older sisters and aunts and uncles, and at the back of her mind she was searching, watching, quietly observing for any hint of what love should look like.
It had a colour, didn’t it? She tried hard to find it. Was it more about a whirling in their hearts that she couldn’t see with her own eyes?

       Did the couple being married have a new sense of something being different? Was there a puff of pink sparkly mist that should accompany them like their own little cloud of joy? And so, love meant pink for her…

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And what about that phrase she heard about for so long…’being in love…’

She wondered what that felt like. Would she know when it was her time to be in it? In what exactly?

And so her time was spent pondering these questions.

She said she ‘loved’ chocolate… and climbing trees. Was that the same thing?

        She learnt at school that Jesus had taught us to ‘love one another as I have loved you.’
It was hard to make sense of it. ‘Don’t we just LOVE our family? And aren’t they just supposed to LOVE us?

How can you love other people that aren’t your family? What would that look like?

         One day, when she hadn’t quite finished school, she met a boy. He was at the school next door. They accidentally met on the train on the way home. He seemed to really like her even though she had no idea who or what she was about. But she knew he was something pretty special.

        As time went on she would assume she loved him too  because she discovered she couldn’t imagine life without him, and she really liked who she was when she was with him.

Did that mean ‘love’, she pondered?

       She felt very ‘loved’ by him because he thought she was beautiful whatever her mood, through her tears, through her times of fear, doubt, her self imposed thoughts of ugliness, her happy times, the times she was so frustrated that she would upset him… and always he would say he loved her. He never attempted to change her or ask why she couldn’t be stronger or less emotional.

He didn’t judge her either…

     This very quiet little girl became a nurse, simply because she wanted to make people feel better, to feel they mattered, to show compassion for them in their suffering. That idea had kept her going all those years when she felt like she didn’t fit in anywhere, when the world seemed too big for someone who just wanted to hold a person’s hand in their time of suffering.

So gradually, things began to make sense…

     Perhaps she was doing what Jesus was teaching when she was simply sitting with someone when they were sad or broken.

    Perhaps it was being loving to others when we can imagine what they are going through.

     She remembered the time she was still little and owned a pet bird that had died one day. It was possible to remember what sadness felt like when one of her school friends said they had lost a pet… or even their Nana or Pa..

    She never laughed when somebody tripped over or did something silly because she could feel how embarrassing that would be to have someone see you do that.

Was all of this ‘showing love?’

      Was it found in just being kind, imagining what it’s like to be someone else and feeling what they could be feeling, not laughing at others, being helpful?
She began to discover that it was…

She could feel a little flutter in her heart when she felt she was being ‘loving’ towards someone.

Was that what it felt like?

     Did she have to feel it every day with the boy she met on the train for the rest of her life? Does that feeling stay forever? Or does it change and grow to mean something different?

     She had three little babies with that boy who became her husband. They have all grown up now.
She learnt about love from watching them and accepting them when they were difficult, when they had a tantrum, and yet every day, she couldn’t wait to pick them up out of their cot and see them, as if for the first time…
They all had their own little personalities and one was not better than the other. She thought they were all beautiful. They didn’t have to be perfect for her. They were just being themselves.

Surely that was love?

      Gradually as the years passed, she realised that she could be even better if she learnt to love herself. That didn’t mean going around and telling everybody how good she was.
It was about accepting herself for all the things that make her the person she is.

Some days she was upset, some days she was happy, some days she forgot things, some days she said something accidentally to make someone sad. These were all the parts that made her whole and she was beginning to be alright with that.

     This little girl who grew up learnt that there is love to be found in a kind word to someone she didn’t even know. It could be a person in a shop, or someone she met on the way to somewhere else.
It’s giving someone a flower from the garden, hugging someone, writing to say ‘thank you’ when someone had shown love to her by bringing a flower or sending a tiny metal Angel in the post, wiping someone’s tears with the corner of a tissue, sitting next to someone who is sad, doing some fun things together and laughing, saying nothing at all, just listening…

…saying ‘I love you…’

      She came to discover it’s really a special word that means very simple but beautiful things and can be different for everyone…and we need to be shown love in our own special ways too. Ways that speak our language…

     Some of us like to be told we are loved, some of us like to be shown we are loved through gifts or spending time together, some of us just need a big bear hug to feel loved.

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 When we wish that someone can be as happy as us,

or we wish to say or do something that can make them feel better,

when we just want the best for them…without expecting anything in return…

when we don’t make someone feel bad about being who they are…

    That’s love, actually…”

 

….I also realise love can present itself as a little heart enclosing our written words, it can come draped around encouragement, as an extra ingredient baked into a cake, it can be buying a magazine from a homeless person, it can be many things, but what we do know is…

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******Song embedded for you… sung by Dionne Warwick, ‘What the World Needs Now’ 

 

I’d love to make mention of a book I bought quite a few years ago upon which some of this philosophy here is based…
‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. It appeared at a time I was questioning what it all was supposed to be about. I thought you may enjoy seeing this too.

Thank you for reading…I wish you much love in your life and some from me too…
Di 💕

Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP)?

Hello for another week,
This post is a big one for me…

You see, I’ve been sitting on this knowledge for a few years and waited for the right time and platform to share something that changed my life.

I discovered I was a HSP, short for a Highly Sensitive person.
I learnt there was such a trait after I heard it on a podcast and I literally bawled…I know there are reservations about labels, and having worked in Supported Education in a secondary school, I certainly know about the often overuse of labels.
But in my experience, sometimes it was a helpful diagnosis for the student, and other times it was requested to remain hidden and not discussed.
So it was with this in mind that I have held back.
After finding a wonderful post about this very topic by a a Psychologist, school professor blogger by the name of Dr Andrea Dinardo…. I knew what my next reblog had to be…

So it is with much pleasure that I’m helping to spread this information shared here by lovely Dr Dinardo from her inspiring blog about Positive Psychology (not to be confused with Positive thinking).
Our hope is for everyone who didn’t quite understand why they couldn’t just ‘fit in with the crowd’ for many reasons, who had been told to just ‘grow a thicker skin’, was made fun of for crying easily, over thinking everything… the list goes on, comes to accept there is nothing wrong with us. Dr Dinardo covers this topic beautifully below.

There are resource links in Dr Dinardo’s post, including that of Elaine Aron, who pioneered the research.

You will discover your sensitivity is a beautiful thing and something to be proud of, no longer wishing to hide it under the carpet for fear of ridicule. It’s in a way, like coming home to ourselves and feeling a new sense of belonging and purpose…

This just may be… your first step to that self-acceptance you have strived for throughout your life…
I’m with you in this HSP journey, and may just explain some of my musings in previous blog posts.
Wishing you well,
and I’d really welcome comments and thoughts if feel you have something to share about your experiences.

Much love,
Di 💜

Thriving Under Pressure

Cherish your sensitivity. It is your superpower.

Do you experience more stress than the average person? Are you overly sensitive to external stimuli. Chances are, there is nothing wrong with you or your coping strategies.

Instead, your brain may be more sensitive to stress than the average person. You may in fact, be what Dr. Elaine Aron has coined “A Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP).

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Neurological differences found in HSP’s.

Brain scans show that HSP’s have “heightened activity in empathy-related brain regions” including the anterior insula (insular cortex), highlighted in the brain scan below.

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The intensified response of highly sensitive people (HSP) to stress is not a choice – it’s biological. HSP brains are wired differently than the average person. This fact has been clearly supported by scientific research.

Self Test: Are You Highly Sensitive?

  1. Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens…

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Meaningful connections…

 

Brigid…

 

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Brigid’s lovely book

 

“There’s not yet a word for old friends who’ve just met.” Jim Henson

 

Hello and welcome,

This post is has been brewing since I began my blogging journey not that long ago…

It was within a very short time I realised the wonderful world I was entering…an amazingly welcoming platform, but one in which spreading the goodness through sharing each other’s blogs, and creating a giving community, reigns supreme.

Thank you to you all who have shown me the beautiful etiquette of this new world.
So in this true spirit, I’d like to share two new blogging friends, with very different reasons for our connection…

Firstly, many of you may know of Brigid from watchingthedaisies

I came across Brigid’s book, ‘Watching the Daisies’, pictured above, from following her lovely blog, where I discovered Brigid suffered from Fibromyalgia. She articulated her quest for holistic methods to manage her condition, and had written about it in her memoir.

Having a have a keen appreciation for alternative therapy, the idea of her book appealed to me greatly.
What I didn’t expect, was to grow so close to Brigid and her utterly fascinating life-story. I read a little every evening, tucked cosily into bed with the lamp on, ready to become part of Brigid’s amazing world…

When it was time to settle down, I felt a flutter of disappointment in the ‘sandman’, who  was calling me to yet another other adventure… sleep.

Brigid’s book is so much more than a quest for a cure…

It taught me a huge lesson… it’s not necessary to have prior knowledge of someone before becoming totally absorbed in their life.

Learning from others who discover and maintain their appreciation and zest for life, living large, despite experiencing the greatest of challenges, is truly uplifting and inspiring. (This is a theme I’m exploring in coming posts..)
I’d thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves spirituality, alternative healing modalities, travel, nature, overcoming difficulties, learning how to be your best self and the love of family. Basically life in general.

Thank you for a wonderful look inside your life, Brigid. 

(Brigid’s blog has an easy to find ‘Book’ link included in her menu).

 

Miriam…

 

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Beautiful Miriam

 

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too. I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis.

 

Here is where my second blogging-sphere encounter enters the scene…

I’d love you to meet Miriam, with whom I’m certain many of you will be very familiar.

She has a gorgeous, award nominated blog called Out an’ About – Loving Life On and Off the Tracks

She is another Melbourne blogger, where for a while, we tiptoed around planning a catch up face to face…

With each post’s comments, we edged ever closer to… ‘yes, I’d really like to meet. Let’s make a time…’

Finally we did…

on Friday, for a catch up over a coffee.

The thoughts were going through my head…’I hope she knows what I look like, and will I recognise her?’
Funny enough, I wasn’t at all nervous, but more honoured and excited to meet this published author and very highly praised blogger. Intuition reassured me we would have plenty to share and discover about each other.
My heart was put at ease as Miriam breezed through the door… we instantly found  each other, hugged and began to talk…

…and we talked some more.
Coffee became lunch…

What was the second most valuable realisation from our time together?

Written Words can foster real bonds between people. 

Written Words really can convey the spirit of someone, the essence of their heart.

Written words possess a great power.

And the most valuable realisation?

           I met the most beautiful soul, who is just as warm, genuine and giving as she radiates through her written words. It was such a pleasure to meet you, Miriam.

So if you have someone you connect with on social media, I’d say just go for it, reach out, if it’s at all possible to meet in person one day…
Social media certainly has a place and can be the gateway for meaningful connections.
Life’s too short and precious to put these things off: It may be the blooming of another wonderful friendship…and that’s where the magic happens.

 There is room for everyone: Those friends who have been part of our        lives forever, those we just met, and those we will meet in future…

 

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Image by Di

Much love, and thank you for reading…

Di 💕

 

*Sharing the light…*

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Image by Di

“What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?” George Eliot

Hello and welcome,

After beginning my blog, it evolved rather quickly into a journey of how I arrived here and also became an examination on the subject of self-acceptance.

I sought to find new purpose, and it’s not exactly where I assumed it would be…

For years, I thought the only way to make a meaningful contribution to others would be in a one on one setting through holistic health. No matter how many courses I pursued, I wasn’t rushing out to begin a business in energy healing, incorporating the hands on type of approach…
Why not?…

I had no clue…

There was always something niggling at me. I knew I wanted to add value and have a purpose in some tangible way.

But how?

How could I add value through this new creative outlet of photography and words? These were not what I had traditionally thought I’d pursue in a million years, but now I understand…
I chose to stop fighting against what I expected from myself and became open to a new paradigm…

Anything that lights us up…
That little spark of excitement…
The thing that has us day dreaming about possibilities…
and imagining…just imagining…
If it makes us feel happy, if it brings out the best in us…
it’s adding value to the world…
The world thrives on people feeling connected to their light…
And like this candle’s light, radiate a warm glow to those around us…
In the hope they may also ignite their own beautiful light.

 

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Image by Di

 

It’s sometimes mentioned that self- acceptance and self-love imply narcissistic or selfish tendencies. I don’t believe that to be the case. If anything, once we begin to accept ourselves as we are, sharing our light isn’t about being showy, but more about being quietly confident to live a life of Love….

It has potential for us to seek out the goodness in others.

It may foster more outward- focused living, where we are in a position to reach out more readily, see without judgement, open our heart, become more compassionate, purely because we are more aligned with our values, living a life that’s true to ourselves…

One where we are not afraid to share our vulnerabilities.

Through blogging and photography, I’ve found a home for these two new passions that are my means of reaching out to this world…
I’m not at all saying this blog is faultless by any means, as I’m very much a novice, but what I can honestly say is that I’m absolutely loving creating meaning from constructing letters that become words, to sentences and finally a post, with the intention they may resonate positively for someone. Even one person…

So my wish is to hopefully bring you comfort, encouragement or value by this means.

For this post, one that I’m intentionally keeping short ( by my standards!), I’d love to share with you an interview I discovered recently.
Ideas we have instinctively known for thousands of years are just beginning to be validated by Scientific method, which I personally find very interesting.

This interview shares much about what I’ll call the ‘Art of self-acceptance’ and reasons why it’s important and healthy to begin fostering a happy working relationship with ourselves…it also includes a discussion on Mindfulness and stress. It is on YouTube but doesn’t require watching, as its audio only. I hope you enjoy it. The quote below is a snippet if the interview is not something that resonates for you… 

‘Self-acceptance genuinely impacts the brain and genuinely decreases your anxiety so that you can use your vulnerability for good…’ Dr Srini Pillay, Psychiatrist and Brain Researcher.

How self talk changes your brain by Srini Pillay

Thank you for reading, and I wish us all the very best on this journey as we walk each other, hand in hand, to the finish line…
The line where we say to ourselves.. ‘I accept myself.’

Much love,
Di ❤️

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Time for us all to bloom…

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Image by Di

“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…🌹

Ok…

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.

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Created by Di

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.

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Created by Di

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…

Above all, enjoy being you…be your biggest fan.

Thank you for reading,
Much love,
Di xx ❤️

Repost of a repost…

Hello again,

Just an extra post this week because, well, we all have dreams…

Last night my kind friend Miriam, posted about Hayley’s dream of becoming published, with her very own inspirational book of comforting words. She requested that fellow bloggers could help by voting for Hayley’s book to be chosen by Hay House publishing. Instead of starting again, Miriam had said it perfectly, so you will find Miriam’s blog post link and from there you will see a link to Hayley’s video for voting.

Below image and words…courtesy of Hayley’s blog and Miriam’s link. Both are beautiful inspiring blogs…💜





Originally posted on Dear Dad: Welcome to my twenty-seventh instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul. For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A…

via Soulful Sunday #27: Can You Help? — Out an’ About

Releasing the little person within.

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better”. Albert Einstein

Hello and welcome…let’s share another cuppa together this week 🦋

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Well, Autumn lends itself to much contemplation for me…

I had the opportunity of sitting in a beautiful country village nestled in the mountains, watching the golden or red leaves gently float towards the ground. As they released themselves from the tree, some would not make it all the way, but would become wedged on a branch… it was if it were not quite ready to complete its journey yet, but still hung on to the tree, as if for comfort, as if for fear of fully surrendering to its transformation.

I also wondered…
Does the tree decide it’s time to release something that doesn’t serve it any longer?
What is it about that particular instant when the leaf begins to retreat?

Or…
Do the leaves decide it’s their time to fall away from the tree…
Relinquishing to something that’s been its support and nourishment for so long?

After my last three huge posts, things were presented as if I had made great progress in accepting myself and moving forward, finally content in the knowledge that I am comfortable in my own skin…

That’s all very well to believe, until something seemingly benign pushed that big red button on my back…
It’s usually a passing comment said by someone who doesn’t know our sensitivity to that particular topic… how could they really, if we have tried to hide it or disown it…
And in the freedom of being myself, I am learning that I must also afford others the same benefit to say what they need to, remembering we are all at different stages of this journey of evolution.

Until that moment, I’d thought…’I’ve got this now! You go girl! You’ve learnt much and worked hard on yourself…’

It was a welcome gift in retrospect.

These are my beautiful new awakenings from moments like this….

🌹 You see, it enabled me to discover those things that still push my ‘big red button’, that were next in line to be healed.
🌹It taught me that there is still a little more work to be done in my acceptance of those things I was ashamed of… that there is some more love to be generated towards myself.
🌹I understood that everything and everyone is here to help me evolve, no matter how much discomfort is stirred within.
🌹That it’s ok to be stirred by something. Evolution isn’t a static thing but like a mountain where each step takes you to the top, building on each other to get you closer to where you’re headed.
🌹It taught me there are some well worn beliefs that also must become like the leaves from the tree…they have served their purpose, but for growth to occur, they need to be discarded.

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So what did I do to comfort myself when I was triggered?

✨Firstly, I sat with my feelings of sadness and disappointment. It was what it was, and denying it would only keep my truth even further from me.
✨I searched deeply to work out why it hurt so much.
✨I spent some more time alone in nature, where I feel she accepts me as I am.
✨I discovered I treated myself gently during times like this… I’d walk slower, drive slower ( oh dear! Those people behind me, I’m sorry!) It was like I was cradling myself towards healing.
✨I decided that progress had occurred, in that I wasn’t beating myself up for becoming upset over the triggers, congratulating myself on this shining breakthrough.
✨I decided I was proud of my traits and next time, I’ll be more able to make light of a situation and perhaps again laugh at them too.
✨A serendipitous conversation with a friend eventuated very recently. It provided the  opportunity to search for photo of myself when I was a little girl.

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The mere sight of this innocent little thing with her life ahead of her.. tears effortlessly rolled down my cheeks while I was looking at the image of myself… I imagined wrapping my arms around her saying ‘I love you, gorgeous girl. You are precious.’ I told her she was beautiful, had a kind heart, just wanted to be understood and I reassured her that I understood her and had done so all her life…’but those pesky outside opinions and hand-me-down beliefs somehow had you all confused and unsure of who you were or had to be’.

Last week, I remembered this little girl…
…and just nurtured her back to love, by love. ‘It’s safe now to show your hyper sensitivity, it’s safe now to say you’re a dreamer, it’s safe now to show that child-like sparkly excitement over things that you are passionate about…’

I found this a very powerful part of my journey to acceptance…and now, the more layers I peel back, the more I’m realising I haven’t changed that much at all. What was required of me was to find those things that mattered to that little girl and let them shine, let them be used as a force for good for others. And to be proud of who she has become.

“I am worthy of love and acceptance as I am.”

It’s said that the path to self-forgiveness and acceptance is releasing shame and guilt. I realised this piece is really about these, so it’s with my pleasure that I offer this as part of Debbie’s ForgivingFridays

May you also feel you can love that little person in you…
Tell yourself the words you wished you could have heard back then, especially if you are finding parts of yourself difficult to accept or if certain things repeatedly push your buttons.

I wish you well in your journey, and please remember, we are all in this together. As always, you are very welcome to contribute anything here that has perhaps been on your mind.

Thank you for reading,
much love from Di ❤️

Curiosity and the Blessings of Back pain… Part Three

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Image by Di. Captured during some alone time last year.

‘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…

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‘Who am I when no one is looking?’       *Words by Matt Kahn.       *Image by Di

🌟 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🌹

Wishing you peace and happiness,

Di 💜

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Adding some magic to the nature wonderland where I spent much of my time.
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After my back was almost healed, we travelled to Tasmania, which consolidated my love of landscape and reflection photography. This is Cradle Mountain lodge.
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Having some fun with Macro photography to highlight the beauty of flowers. Not to mention loving raindrops and fully appreciating them for the first time…

Curiosity and the blessings of Back pain… part two.

 

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Image created by Di

Hello and welcome!

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…

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Image created by Di

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.

I consulted an amazing book ‘The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr Christiane Northrup. Dr Northrup delves into the emotional aspect of this time in a woman’s life and is also a wonderful resource for holistic as well as the more conventional interventions.

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.

There it was…

The most inconspicuous paperback book caught my attention.
It’s called ‘Healing Back Pain. The Mind-Body Connection’ by Dr E. Sarno

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. ****

Until part three, much love from Di

https://youtu.be/wqtPNy18VvA
https://youtu.be/Zla1COFuqKc
https://youtu.be/FAqJjCtrZPI. 

❤️❤️

Curiosity, and the blessings from back pain… Part One

IMG_1198.JPG‘Whichever path you take, you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.’ Di

Hello there,

I’ve been on a personal development journey for many years now, reading, listening, learning and using myself as a crash test dummy if you like, by experiencing many modalities for emotional and physical healing.
…Last year, from the most unlikely experience, it became more of a concentrated spiritual path to self-acceptance. A happy journey in retrospect but firstly I have to set the scene for you.

I define my spiritual journey as an awareness of myself, lessons I’ve learnt, tools for personal evolution, where I fit into the world, what I believe is my wider purpose.
It’s not about becoming elitist or superior. Absolutely not. It’s more about how I can become a better version of myself. Does that mean finding perfection and eliminating my ‘flaws’ and imperfections?
Please come, as we uncover some universal truths.

For most of my adult life, I’d been on a health and nutrition path and dreamt of attending a university here in Melbourne dedicated to all matters of Health. In between times, I’d taken myself off to study alternative health certificates. But still I ached for a Nutrition or Naturopathic Degree. Perhaps this Degree was my means of validation and showing myself the acceptance to quell my feelings of inadequacy.

Part of this ache was to write for one of my favourite health publications, Nature and health magazine. My intention was to become published and share important health information. Blogging, and writing was always at the back of my mind. I’d scribble down blog post ideas in the quiet spaces. It became a gentle dream for ‘one day….’

So, at the end of 2014, with the support of my husband, I decided it was now the time to leave my job and pursue this dream of becoming a Naturopath or Nutritionist. Perhaps I’d made peace with the fact the fair thing to do for us all was leaving my job if I was seriously going to follow my dreams. Time had arrived to be true to myself and stop wondering ‘what if…’ and that other big one…’if only…’

I enrolled.

Excitedly, I began study in 2015. I adored the science and learnt about research papers, how to put together a paper myself, including references. It was the most intense year I’ve ever experienced but unfortunately it took every minute of my being to stay up to speed with the work.
It was meant to be fun, which it was in its own way, but at the expense of everything else I loved…and I had five more years of living like this…
So at the end of the exam period, I made the difficult decision to walk away…which in effect, also entailed walking away from my dream…

Over the ensuing weeks, I became crazed at finding my new path.
…I now had no job,
…No study.

And not long after, a funny thing happened…I suddenly stopped being so fanatical about health and watching everything I ate, as I realised that emotional health and contentment is a huge part of being well and healthy. I just didn’t feel as intense any longer about scrutinising every mouthful I ate.

I hadn’t yet received my opportunity to connected the dots…

My satisfaction level towards myself was really now confined to having only passed Year 1 of university. I based my self-worth on achieving that piece of paper because that’s what society expects from us…to have some formal qualification and to participate actively in the workforce.
The anxiety to fill the void grew….

People were suggesting I just take some time out after bringing up the children and simply enjoy being an empty nester. It’s not that easy when hedonistic pursuits are not your main driver.
I strained and forced to find a new purpose, often pushing myself at things hoping to find a path there. I met dead ends.

This is when a little seed began to grow about thoughts, affirmations and positive psychology.
I know! I’d heard about these things forever and attempted to use them before to become more confident and overcome my flaws and become well…’normal’, whatever that was for me at the time. Most likely becoming the life of the party, standing up giving talks and presentations as effortlessly as how everyone else appeared, not being so easily wounded about simple things. In effect, getting that thick skin that people had been suggesting I acquire for much of my life…
I had no idea how I could grow that thick skin to be more acceptable in the world.

It was then that I came across this quote…I wrote it on a sticky note and attached it to my bathroom mirror.

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And so I worked on allowing myself to become comfortable with the unknown…
that meant to some extent, I was to hand my future over to the universe who, I trust, has plans for a person with my traits and dreams.

I have to admit I found it challenging at the checkout, if someone would ask me what I had on for the rest of the day…that became another source of embarrassment and angst…

And so I cooked, devised new recipes, even offering my local greengrocer some recipes…tried to keep busy any way I could. I began to take photos of the dishes with my iPhone after a friend showed me a beautiful cake website… the images of the cakes were inspiring…
My daughter was being married the March of 2016, so I was able to become more fully engaged in the details for that special day, doing what I could to help out with last minute planning.

Christmas time, 2015 arrived, and my husband presented me with the new iPhone…

One hot, quiet afternoon in January last year, I became curious…

‘How does this iPhone camera work?

Thank you so much for reading part 1 and coming along for the ride. I hope you will come by again for a visit and a cuppa for part 2 next time.

With Love,

Di