Last week I took a deep breath and I remembered a story about a bear. It gave me the idea for a series of blogs I shall call:
10 steps to feeling chipper when possible impending doom is breathing down your neck– or Chronicles of an ‘Over-Sharer’? I will let you decide
Step One: Give Up Your Day Job…or Not.
When one decides to Give up Their Day Job; they must be absolutely certain that none of their ego and identity pleaser is attached to the afore-mentioned day job, they cannot have any personal identity attached to the said career and must relinquish it immediately in order to survive; regardless of bills or financial concern…said no one ever.
What sort of deluded self respecting over achiever does this? We all dream and fantasize sometimes about not working…but me? I am a worker bee with a mission to succeed baby. I am a power source of success, eponymous with entrepreneurial flare and know how. This team of pizazz has taken sales of three zeros and turned em into 6’s. The old adage Hard work = Success. You can’t take the elevator to success you have to take the stairs… Ok I am talking smack. But I am a hard worker and this hard work has apparently paid off handsomely in every aspect of my life.
Doing what you love makes hard work even easier. So you fall in love with your work, your art and a relationship of attachment is formed. Its pretty simple. I made mine so accessible my studio is on our property, my children have had full access to me throughout this 11 year career, I’ve completely molded it around our family, so its not caused any hassles nor complaints. It has been the perfect love; giving and giving so much.
Now, I am just going to Give it up.
All of it.
The financial income, the personal fulfilment, the being in charge, leaving Return-on-relationship -investments hanging off a cliff with one finger, business conferences of mind blowing excitement left in a dusty corner, a design portfolio stack most would dream of hanging by its ankles on the clothesline fading in the sun…and I am going to Give it All Up.
More disposable income from excellent business practices
Give it up
Holiday to Noosa…give it up…
Cool business networking groups…
Give it up…
Means of $ philanthropy to others less fortunate…Give it Up (the worst one)
Then when you give it up, be prepared for others to say
“You can’t give it up! You’ve taken so long to build this, this is you !”
Total and utter attachment to the endth degree.
So what deluded numbskull would give this up indefinitely? Me. And it hurt.
Why did it hurt? Because I was as ATTACHED to this love of my life as a Kardashian to a selfie stick.
Attachment is a funny word isn’t it? But what does it mean?
According to the Oxford Dic- it’s a Noun- always a good start and it means; an extra part or extension that is or may be attached to something to perform a particular function. A bond, closeness, devotion, loyalty.
Yup. I know that word well.
I was loyal to my business, dedicated to it, devoted to it, bonded to it and it became an extension of me. Not necessarily a bad thing, but when one surmises that if they don’t do some serious healing they are going to be non existent on this earthly plane it calls for priority making and heavy decisions. My need for rest and concentration on wellness has to take the first priority due to the whole impending doom gig, so unless I wanted to dive headfirst into depression caused by this loving attachment I had to learn how to rest properly and effectively and dis-attach myself from work.
The only time in my adult life that I have rested fully was in rehabilitation after a Craniotomy in 2012. For those that don’t know that part of my story, I was left blind after an epic 9 hour surgery with 106 skull drill holes to heal, a brain chopped through the middle with hundreds of stitches, concrete pieces, titanium, acrylic and pins holding it together like a Mary Shelley- Frankenstein daydream and a need to learn to walk again.
This took quite a few months of hospitalization. You kind of have to rest with that going on, its not much of an option. But yours truly on imposed rest just squeezed all that energy through another door. Like Brain fluid; I still leak a bit of that at times. Women talk about bladder control, mine’s cerebral control. I tried crossing my eyes but it didn’t turn out so good… (my bad)
Within a few weeks of “rehab rest” I was brainstorming on steroids, literally. I came up with new business ideas, a new candle range, new designs, 4 patents, talked my husband into buying a new business, planned holidays. I was like a fart in a bottle.
Then the restless part crept in, and I started coming up with ideas of fun. This was tricky due the being blind part.
An example of this side tracked energy is one particular escapade; one morning in rehab I was craving a coffee and I really wanted to eat a Yoyo biscuit. I have a thing for these little morsels of delight. I was getting really annoyed with my lack of independence, needing to be showered, walked everywhere, I was reliant on others for every little thing. I had just got to the stage whereby walking had progressed to a graceful zombie shuffle with the assistance of my trusted steed- the walking frame.
So I got dressed in plain clothes (I still wonder to this day if they were in the right way) grabbed my trusty wonder of wheels and skiddadled – or zombie shuffled quickly- around the corner of my ward to the hospital coffee shop. I honed in my auditory skills following the sound of coffee machines and sweet scent of cake. I ordered my goodies, waited for them to be made, anxiously waiting for someone to notice the escape artistry, then carefully placed them on the seat of my walking frame and crept back to my room with a grin that would dazzle New York. I was like creepin Jesus. I couldn’t stop laughing to myself and thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. Bragging rights resulted in being told off by worried staff and family.
Quick side story- With one exception I have this gorgeous cousin who has been my partner in crime since birth. We once played hide and seek with my Nanna without telling her. Police got involved. It was fun at the time. She was the ultimate disruptor at age 11 and I was her Robin. She is my eternal ratbag- in- arms, my sœur effrontée, so imagine my delight when the coffee shop manager popped his head into my hospital room and asked if I was Kirsten; because he had a Gift from “Cuz”; a $50 coffee voucher with a message to Keep up the Escape Work and Don’t let the Team down; the joy this gave was MISCHIEF FUN x 10. I never get sick of telling this story. Note; Don’t ever underestimate the healing power of humor when recovering from brain trauma.
My whole adult life -just about every micro energy unit goes into my family and my business with a little bit of time spent on study and getting better so no one worries about me, and then subconsciously filling in the gaps with endevours.
So given that since energy is inversely proportional to wavelength from the equation:
E= hv=( hc / l ) X TimeforSelf =Jack + Shit.
More than a decade learning mindfulness, meditation, yoga, theology, philosophy and yet here I was consumed by everything other than healing my Self. These practices were foundational and without even realizing it they had been a trickling investment for stability and resilience. A tool chest for overcoming obstacles if you like but on a bigger scale again. With an impending possible doomsday brain explosion though; there’s no time like the present to change things up a bit.
The action of un-attaching gently from the running of the day to day of my business, handing the reigns over to my manager (otherwise known as brother) including unravelling layers I didn’t actually realize were hiding. It has been harder than I ever imagined it to be. There was a word mentioned- Control. What else was I attached to? It appears the attachment to Earning One’s Happiness layer popped up, otherwise known as Entitlement Issue #482.
See the thing is, I thought I had earned my stripes already. The whole learning to walk again, re-firing the neurons again thing, using your feet again thing, walking laps for months, painful exercises, a year of retraining and 3 years of hard work to finally reach a place of contented happiness was a stripes earning feat. I ran a marathon to raise money for Vision Australia as a milestone event for my kids to witness my return to the living and to give thanks for all that joy. I earned my right to be joyful, to be excited by life, to be happy. You see what I did? I worked hard. I worked really hard and I gained good things from working that hard. I learned so much along that road, don’t we all? How could I not have? But this hard work deep seated belief sat close to my heart in a non-obvious way. I was the biggest advocate in the world for working smarter not harder and yet at my core was this Hard Work ethic.
Hard work pays off. In life and business. And this not-this-AGAIN situation, well its just…well this isn’t karma. This is cruel. Are you ready for it readers, here is comes… WHY ME? This is NOT FAIR. Why did it happen? I don’t deserve this…
Well just cos. It just did. Now watchya gonna do about it?
This punched in the sternum feeling, breath strangling moment was either going to break me into a million little pieces or create another opportunity for wisdom and expression or.. in the words of CS Lewis-
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched, cracked or go bad.”
It was time to get hatched and do so promptly. Humpty Dumpty style. The Kings horses and Neuro-team cannot put me back together again, so its DIY time.
I was going to have to work hard again. Or was I?
The moment I escaped, became completely still within a natural environment, breathed in deeply and mindfully it became crystal clear that I had forgotten my Self.
1.a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.”our alienation from our true selves”
What if I were to tell you that it isn’t hard work that gets us to Self. How did I forget? A busy mind forgets. This is the truth. Every single thing you ever need to know that you need resides within you and your Upstairs-deep inside Self, your instinctive Barometer, your Reminder-of-what-you-need Manual. I am not talking about what you Want. But as a human being, what you need is answered clearly from within your own Answer Box deep within that is connected.
Because being instinctive isn’t hard work, you just have to create the space to activate it. It isn’t brain science is it?
We are a species with mass social amnesia. I think we forget the species bit at times, the human race has a habit of placing itself above and beyond natural order; with an idealogy of success stomping on an all too tolerant earth. Many are the all powerful beings at the top of the food chain, holding dominion over the planet. But we are a species with instincts, love, skillful intelligence and wisdom at our core. The faculty of natural connection is getting lost in translation.
Being still enough, quiet enough within and mindful helps to restore this connection. The healthy non toxic environment you have grown your mind and soul in just amplifies the connection to everything living and energised. Do the opposite and watch the chaos unfold. We really can overcome just about anything with peace if we are tapped in.
The disconnection happens in an often hypnotic and powerful modern world and remembering our species is difficult. Chaos, madness, noise, have-to’s, numbers, language, technology, bills, bank accounts, rent, mortgages, pay-rises, healthcare, employment… being manipulated and consumed with the pretend glories of the world and the powerlessness of being an everyday ordinary person? What does that even mean?
It goes on and on and on and then on some more. The great and amazing procrastination to connection is the logistics of the modern world. This world we live in now has so many wonderful advantages but we can become enslaved to it, with its weight pushing down heavily on our shoulders. This can be so affective that we don’t even always notice it; the connection fades so quietly that we forget we had it in the first place.
It is so effective that it often silently hermetically seals us into a systems of economy and “SHOULDWORLD” an hypnotic trance, the stuff that makes you wake up one day and ask is this all there is? Why do I still feel empty? Existential angst at its finest.
There is a story of a Bear I want to share with you. He was no ordinary Bear, you see he was a dancing Bear. His tribe of Bears were the most marvelous dancers and would bask in the joy of their forest dancing, bringing happiness to the world around them and each other. The Bear realized his own cleverness born from the necessity of tool making and ingenuity of skills. As his skills and tool making grew he thought more about cleverness and newness than he did about dancing. His intelligence knew no bounds and with it his children and grandchildren built a Church of Cleverness to worship in. Eventually hundreds of years later; his great-grandchildren lived in a world of haste, of excellence and tools, problem making and solving and cleverness in plenitude. But it was a very sad story, because they had forgotten how to be Bears. They had forgotten their Dance; one thing that made them so special, unique and joyful.
I have come to believe and know to be true that it is crucial, it is NECESSARY to make space in your life to just be or to dance. You must remember your connection.
One step at a time, one day at a time, it isn’t new and it will never get old.
You have instincts within, so get to them.
Start to trust your Self. Your inner. The best bit? It costs nothing at all and its completely contagious. We have full access at all times to a live connection that knows how to lick our own wounds, to know what to do and how to go about doing it. We have built-in resources. How often do you get advice from people or hear experts telling you things and you think “Oh, I somehow already knew that, that makes sense?” Because chances are you do already know it. You just didn’t know to trust your own instincts, thoughts and information. How often do you get a hunch to go to a doctor or action something but you ignore it, or even follow it to realize how important that call was? Again, good old instincts and intuition. The more we be still and listen to it, the louder and clearer it gets. It is not something you need to pay for, or take. It is there for you to access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your birthright. Your humanness. It’s the good stuff.
As we re-create the connection to ourselves and begin to live in a more natural state, the pent-up difficult emotions and attachments we hang onto start to organically release and vanish. Even ones we didn’t even know existed; buried deep down escape their prison. The chords pull free and we begin to feel lighter, happier. The things we need to do for ourselves become obvious.
It might start at 10 minutes a day. It might involve taking a tent and going camping surrounded with nothing but nature. It might be turning off all electrical devices in the house of an evening and practice sitting still. My favorite is to go to the beach, close my eyes and listen to the ocean, letting thoughts roll in and roll out with the waves, not focusing on any more than the sounds. Being still or meditating can be as simple as being in a natural environment and un-focusing your thoughts like you un-focus your eyes.
Start with a little bit each day and watch what happens. Its your own unique journey and very powerful. You might even want to journal it and watch your story unfold. You don’t have to give up your day job, just…
In between stories of dancing bears and writing, mothering, distant business mentoring, relationship building and other stuff I do; I now have a sense of mindful contemplation like nothing I have experienced before. It has created a mental and physical space that allows me to be more observant, proactive than before. My sleep has improved, my calm and sense of clarity, focus and peace is more than I have ever felt in my whole life. Given the current situation; that’s a pretty extraordinary result from a little bit of nature with a little bit of me.
Call me an idealist; but our interpreting minds are better seasoned in a natural environment. It’s time to shift the gears into neutral for moments of reflection and stillness so that the muted story within can spring forth.
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”
I have not written here in a while. The reason for this is transparency.
As a friend reminded me the other day; this blog is about truth. I could not write the way I write and be truthful, light-hearted or anything really. I needed to come to a place where I was comfortable to tell you my truth. I stepped away from the meadow for a bit to think. I had writer’s constipation and a dreadful case of no-funny-itis. Now I am here.
So a month ago I went back to the hospital to find out how Fred was doing and the aneurysm. Turned out that Fred wasn’t doing so good and the aneurysm was still filling with blood, not a good sign. So all of my scans and goodies were sent off overseas to many other leading world experts to find out what could be done. It was now an even more special case. We waited 2 weeks. More brain surgery was the most likely outcome, the thought of which made my blood run cold. Disappointed but with very hopeful hearts we waited. We returned to be told that the conclusive opinion was that there is nothing more we can do, (with a whole lotta other stuff I wont bore you with) We are sorry. I said; what do I need to do? Response; you need to grow some cells.
I will not tell you what transpired over those hours. Some stuff just stays between a woman and her man, and a woman and her God.
We came home.
I walked around the house silent and devoid of any feeling. I was numb and shut down like a vault.
Not long after this something annoyed me and I spat sparks like Mount Vesuvius. It was at that moment I knew there was molten lava building up and it wasn’t going to be pretty. I was within 2 moments of giving up- my chest felt like a dust bowl. No feeling means Uh Oh. Because underneath the Uh Oh was a big Oh Shit. I knew I had to go somewhere To Be. I couldn’t be like this around my children and my husband, I was hurting and I didn’t want them to see it. I was sooooo tired. Tired of it all.
Putting on your big girl pants constantly is so tiring, the elastic was stretched, the cotton was torn and I had RSI from the upward pull, my wriggle was gone and the pants were saggy. My cup of concrete had run dry, 4 years will do that to you.
My children are so perceptive and Lothario needed to process gently without worrying about me. Well at least this is what I thought at the time. The other part I knew intrinsically after these years of mindful action was that there was no way that all of this anger was going to help me. It was bad for my stress response; it was not an ideal environment to heal. And I needed to grow new cells better than David Austen does roses; so the soil had to be right.
So I did what any middle class mother from the suburbs does when she gets given disruptive news; I went to an Ashram. It seems my at home retreat idea I mentioned in my last blog wasn’t going to cut it. I needed the real deal.
I know right? It’s so eat pray freaking love. I am a complete cliché. The Ashram had been mentioned to me by my Kinesiology and meditation teacher a few months before. I couldn’t believe that a full working Ashram was less than 2 hours from my house. It had personal retreats and Mouna (periods of silence). Who needed India? I had Wombat State Forrest!
So I threw my little family into disarray and Mamma Bear took off for a while.
This was harder for me than I have words for and there was snotty crying all the way but instinctively I knew it had to be done. My heart screamed STAY and yet I needed a place of quiet reflection.
I am a bit of a chatterbox, I like to have a yarn at times. (No really?) My father says I can talk under water with a mouth full of marbles. So when I told my family I was going to an Ashram for personal retreat where there were long periods of silence (NO TALKING AT ALL) there were a few grins. Self combustion was discussed and the very real possibility of a quick return home.
The periods of long silence and lack of human interpersonal contact via communication or eye contact was completely unsettling at first.
I had never experienced it before- it was so new to me. Being by myself and in silence is one thing, I do enjoy being on my own at times; but to be around others and be in silence is another. No mobile phones, No television, No outside interaction. So you are left with the wind, the sounds of the trees and birds and most importantly you are left with YOU.
I did get really desperate one afternoon and had a mind conversation with an old Kangaroo who was shading himself under a bush, he looked at me at one stage with one eyebrow raised as if to say “Bitch Please. You are talking to a Large Marsupial telepathically. Its time to call the dudes in the whites with a van, get an injection of happy time and chill, someone has been putting somthin freaky in the pear juice. “
My room consisted of a bed, a table and a lamp. No decorative features. Any ornate factors belonged to nature or the beautiful temples there. There was an awful lot of space. Just me and Papa G. Whoa.
There was one particular night when I realised that I was excellent at filling space. I filled space like a pro with children, relationships, business meetings, study, Netflix, hobbies, workouts and reading books, meditation, cooking, helping others. You name it, I filled the gaps. A busy happy mind is conducive to making things happen you see, being a go- getter and getting things DONE is the best way to be. Positivity breeds Positivity, so lets fill my world with endless positivity add a few naps and a bit of me time is all you need… yeah right…
Now I had infinite space with nothing to fill it with but me.
So what did me have to say? Me asked a shit load of weird things that went a little something like this;
If disease is caused by negative thoughts then isn’t death the ultimate failure for a positive thinker?
What trauma do I have I am still hanging on to?
How do I tell my kids this news? You don’t have anything to tell them. Nothings really happened.
I’m so sick of having to report back to people about everything.
I’m so exhausted from spreading bad news like a virus
I put hope in other people’s hands. People I thought knew to fix me. It didn’t work. Yes it did. You are still here.
They are the experts and they cant do any more to help.
Why do I still think I am not good enough?
Good enough for what?
You’re hurting everyone you know.
This is painful, I am causing pain.
This is not right.
This is not fair.
Why am I so scared?
I’m really broken now.
Why was I talking to a kangaroo?
I really need chocolate now.
Actually chocolate and a big arse glass of wine.
You’ve done it again, you have told everyone you are fine and you are NOT FINE
How on earth is he going with the children?
I hope they haven’t burnt the house down
They can’t survive without me
My genetics suck
Being old is so overrated…hmmm I should have brought chocolate
You know you need to smile, you need to forget about you and concentrate on those around you who need you
Pull up your big girl pants and get on with it, you can’t get angry
You mustn’t get angry or be sad
The medical profession has all the answers
Thought you were so clever being healthy, meditating, praying, being so good, it didn’t get you very far did it? Clever girls come last don’t they?
Trav didn’t sign up for this
I’ve ruined my kids lives
My toenails need painting
Man what is that hair growing outta my knee?
I wonder if I bought the tweezers
I’ve lost the plot and I am a terrible human
None of these were true. They were all expressions and echoes of pain learned and attached to me like stitches in a blanket that I had wrapped around myself over 39 years without even realising it. We do funny things to survive, people tell us funny things and then they get reinforced by outside events along the way. We learn the stitches but they are not a part of the beginning fabric. I spent time gently unpicking the stitches and taking a look, then putting it back together again without the bits I didn’t need anymore.
The acknowledgement and release of all these facets made way for new discoveries and ideas. Unearthing both frantically frightening and joyful elements like a miner with a trowel was more beneficial, complex and free-ing than anything I’ve experienced to this date. It’s a big call right?
I bushwalked, I cried, I wrote, I drew, I prayed, I chanted, I learned a whole different breed of Yoga, I read books, I had in-depth chats about life and death with a Swami, I drank and ate with monks, I laughed. I meditated within an inch of my life; learning Meditation that made me feel like there really are Jedi. I had a frog jump on my hand and apparently I am now no longer allergic to coconut; I acknowledge that this is completely random and a story for another time.
I did all of this in an environment that was pure and special. I felt it the moment I walked around the property.
The food would put Jamie Oliver to shame; Permaculture based on hundreds of years of knowledge and it was like walking into the garden of Eden, if you love growing fruit and veg, this was pretty spesh. This feeds the entire Ashram; we ate Vegetarian Organic, beautifully prepared dishes that had been specifically chosen for the body’s absolute purity. I was a bit impressed can you tell?
This place was filled with classes and possibilities for you to choose in this space of quiet and gentle contemplation, nothing is forced. Interesting people with elegant and gentle space is what I felt. These amazing people have opened up their Ashram for the modern world human to enter and experience being human again. Some people just go there to paint write and sleep.
And as I felt myself come gently back together, I started smiling.
A sense of peace started to enter the space, my sense of connection to all that was around me heightened. The volcano embers had been expelled and replaced with deep breaths.
There is a very strong theory that past trauma can sit within the layers of different consciousness and create either disease or a body environment that is out of balance which can create illness. I knew this, and have spent many years letting go, practising forgiveness and turning over what I thought was nearly every rock. There’s been tapping, CBT, NLP, ABC, 123, you name it, I’ve tried it. They are all great stepping stones to wellness and mindfulness, but they are not the answer to everything. I had missed a key point, my body knew exactly what it needed all along. It knew. I knew. I had to be in a moment of complete option-run out, come to Jesus-holy shit moment to be left with nothing. When you have nothing to go to You go within and then that’s when God happens. This is when we are truly listening to what it is we need to have a present, calm and balanced life. None of us knows when our time here has come for us to have the next Grand Adventure, part of being human is the feeling of being a human, the broken that is human. You are a human Be-Ing. Some of us are so busy fixing and filling our lives, we forget about the being part.
It isn’t mystical, philosophical or religious. You appreciate living in a world of 5 elements with a mind that reacts and is able to perceive and appreciate on whatever level.
My body is made of these elements and minerals. This is what feeds them. I can be sustained. The most natural thing in the world is for an organism to build cells. It does it every day.
I’m pretty sure I can grow these cells if I haven’t already. If my body mind and spirit are primed for good healthy cell growth, then my body will do the rest with a bit of Gods Grace. If it is to be then it will be. I think it might be just that simple. As a monk said to be last week; You are already doing it.
I just got used to these digs and there is housekeeping to be done. I got myself weddings to attend, grand babies to hold and countries to soiree in as well as a book under my belt to get published. Plus I want to see what Lothario looks like as an old bugger, I reckon he is going to rock a paunchy belly and grey hairs. Plus I learned some amazing new Yoga positions, I can balance on one leg properly and I have a sneaking suspicion I can do Jedi Mind Control now. Just sayin.
When I came home we decided that we have had enough of fear hanging over our heads and monthly check ups- MRIs and Angiograms, Brain Surgeries. We are going to get on with our lives now. I am going to get on with my life. Because this is my life. Right now.
If you decide to hang about you are going to hear some ponderings about life, hopefully they will be interesting (I’ve written enough fodder when I was away to write 60 blogs…so there’s plenty to go around if you are up for it).
In the meantime – Kiss someone you love, forgive someone you need to and hopefully we will walk in the meadow again soon. Xxx Kirsten
PS- Rocklyn Ashram details are HERE for those who are interested – xx
Well hello 2016 you sexy son of a bitch. How are you? Are you surviving?
I would like to begin my saying I wish mine had started off with a positive bang. But there is a fine line between Philosophy and Reality, the paradoxical duo that have us stumbling around in First World problems with a gin and tonic in one hand and Dr. Seuss in the other.
Disclaimer: I make no apology for the depth of the following conversation- there IS NO small talk ( as a friend of mine would say). If you would like to walk in the meadow together and chat about the weather please put on your TV or Google it, cos it ain’t going to happen.
I would love to say that 2016 started off joyfully, however that would be giving it the congrats it barely deserves, I shall be complimentary enough to grant it the respect it needs so far- it has bought abundant lessons and invaluable reflections. Life gives you lemons? Our lemon tree is throwing them like a bitch, its a dodge-ball game without the lemonade! No, that’s not true, watch me make that lemonade, it shall be the finest lemonade in the all land, tart with a hint of zesty sweetness, the elixir of life…
I have heard it mentioned in some circles that the current position of the world is in a “quickening.”
There are a lot of things going on in our atmosphere, our humanity and cosmos creating quite a commotion. Whether you subscribe to this or not, I have seen some shit go down already that is breathtaking, like an operetta of “Uh Oh”. Astrology charts should be shouting in capital letters “Hang onto your seats ladies and gentlemen and kiss your bums goodbye” Okay maybe I am being melodramatic.
But if you look around you there is a lot of stuff going on all over the world, both positive and horrendous. Everyone is on their own journey and popping their heads over into other people’s journeys. Some of those head popper-overers are sticky beaks, some are saviors and some are just narcissistic voyeurs, either way it’s a busy place to be.
I have images of our Guardian Angels walking home from work, exhausted, wings drooping and shaking their heads in bewilderment, then steeling themselves up for a new day at the office like Rocky prepping for the Clubber Lang fight.
I have had moments of wanting to pack up my favorite people, fellow Concave Polygons and run for the hills where we can make moonshine, whistle Bowie tunes (this is an artform, try and whistle Golden Years from start to finish. RIP major Tom x) and discuss the Politics of Jedi balance. This is true.
But I didn’t. I stayed in the Burbs and did the washing, paid the bills, mopped the floors etc etc. Time to be mumsy, a wifey, a friend, an aunty, a daughter, a sibling, an entrepreneur, a writer, a candlestick maker…
November and December bought Light a Spark campaign, to raise money for the Alfred Hospital and with that gorgeous journey with my lovely new friend Regina, my family and I found ourselves promoting, wrapping, packing and delivering Candles all over Australia to raise funds for the Neuro ward at the Alfred Hospital Melbourne, and we didn’t stop!
Busy tidbits and family commitments had me up to my ears in candle wax and ‘what- not’s’ which left little time for much, top that with brilliant business success for the year, a Dad who was still alive and recovering after a very scary near miss, new friendships and exciting times and then….then came the Christmas tsunami.
Christmas is usually a time of honoured blessings, fun fervour and rejoicing our Christian faith in our household.
This Christmas was different. Not a nice different either… the faith was there but whoa…there were personal upheavals going on around us so fast it was crazy and from every angle. Relationship breakdowns with friendships, new business deals souring, hurt, confusion, anger, arguments…our world became a sudden and unexpected battleground with us sitting here dazed and confused. I won’t go into personal detail but its been a bit awful.
Then there has been the quiet realization creeping in too that the “next check” was coming, and this always brings with it restlessness.
The momentum starts to build of what will or won’t be, and if you have ever tried to take a dog back to the vets for a check after having a procedure you will know that wee pup is going to drag its backside. Backside dragging I am good at, as well as using the mantra “IM FINE.” Lesson #657: Health Crisis do not make you immune from humans behaving badly, including yourself. Lesson #658: Getting sick can scare other humans and make them want to not like you anymore, if you die they will hurt so step away as quickly as possible. My Question for the teacher: But sir, what happens if you have no intention of dying and you plan on living until you are at least 98? At least! Response: can you hear crickets chirping?
To cut it all short I basically swung into the New Year exhausted, and I will acknowledge right here I was warned.
Loved ones around me warned me, my body warned me. It wasn’t from work or physical exertion, it was from trying to please everyone and everything, every need and most of all trying to bow to the my own needs and demands of Time.
Time has been my friend, my blessings, my curse, my companion, my alarm, my reminder, and then I realized after Christmas it had morphed into becoming my Keeper. A Master of my mind; always just there in my thoughts…time, time, time. I appreciated it as a reminder for gratitude but it grew into a heavy yoke, threatening to cut off my circulation. Even in gratitude and hobbling to take full advantage of every moment and savor every piece is a little whisper of ‘what if’ and ‘maybe’ and even ‘soon’. Weird huh?
That in amongst the haste of being positive you are allowing the negative, acknowledging you might not make it, but then you might…I am finding there really is paradox in everything, light and shade.
Being grateful for time also includes knowing the downside of the lack of it. You can’t have popcorn without the heat you know? But I am shoving popcorn down my throat and its starting to make me choke. And if any of you have ever seen me eat popcorn you will laugh; imagine a Dyson vacuum cleaner and you might get an idea.
The ticking was getting too loud on that damn clock. I needed practice at patience. So often I want to bite life off in chunks but it isn’t meant to be bitten, for me its meant to be nibbled. At the moment it feels like gnawing. Held back. Because this is the fight I find my mind in: I need loads more time.
I want to see what blue eyes looks like old and wrinkly, and there is so much fun to be had with these humans I created with my body.
They are the coolest humans, truly they are. Gifts of love, abundant, cheeky, complaining, whining, burping, fighting, hugging and whatever else they feel like doing, they are the most kind, humorous and intelligent, musically attuned humans I know. I hope they stay that way. I pray this place doesn’t wreak too much havoc and they remember their inner; that when the world screams MORE they will listen when their hearts whisper “less”. I want them to be strong enough, brave enough to make their difference in the world and I can’t help do that or lead them there when I am shoveling popcorn in my mouth and fighting an aneurysm poppage. Makes me about as useful as a bloody ashtray on a motorcycle, seriously.
This tribe of mine; we have countries and places to travel to, educationing (I made that word up) to be had, differences to be made. Endless Spanakopita conversations to be had in coffee shops with blue folk, (I’ll explain later) mountains to climb together, ashrams to see, people to help… You see how my mind works? I get myself all knotted up worse than Bert from Sesame Street with his paperclip collection.
Ahem…Its time for a rebalance.
I need to listen to the Less to make a difference so in my bowing gratitude I am now endeavoring not to think about time.
To relax a little, not think too much about the sands in the hour glass and go with the flow, see where it takes me. How? I am not 100% sure on that yet. So off I went to my trusted mentor and Kinesiologist and had an energy rebalance, I then spent days reflecting, writing and in prayer and meditation. This rebalancing -replaced angst and deep hurt with understanding, compassion and calm, a sense of peace. I felt like a kitten that was fed so much all I could do was roll into a ball in front of a warm fire and sleep. There is no other feeling like that of peace is there? I received a swift yet kind lecture about self care and the old Oxygen mask chat. Have you heard that one? If you are in an airplane and its going down, you should place the oxygen mask on yourself first then on your little ones, because otherwise you lose consciousness and are no good for anyone lol. This is a hard one when you are bred into a society that tells you self love is selfish. Again, learning people…learning!
Slow down; the message has been loud and clear. My body is so very tired, my immune system is pretty wrecked and it all needs some attention as well as my nervous system.
There is not much I can control at the moment but I have been given multiple options for growing and healing, why wouldn’t I take them? It doesn’t serve me well to be disempowered and helpless, restless and anxious. What does serve is the sense of peace I get when I listen. There is an entire universe within if we listen closely. Like Horton hears a Who, the question is whom is on your speck and are you listening closely?
My speck has helped me make a decision to create my own retreat over the next 4 weeks, allocating practice to some of what I did when I was in rehab a couple of years ago; dedicating the whole day to the healing process. The next month is going to be about healing, loving and mending. It already has these things however more concentration is going to be spent on daily scheduled meditation, yoga, reflection, mindfulness, aromatherapy, playtime with my little family, gentle exercise as well as some powerful brain training exercises getting both sides firing and the most important; prayer time. I am pretty sure that this is a recipe for healing lines and complete recovery.
I want my body mind and spirit to be fully pumped, in 4 weeks time, no matter what they tell me, no matter what happens, in any capacity I will be prepared, ready and my body and my mind will be such a watertight vessel that it can manoeuvre the waves, whether they be smooth and glasslike or stormy and full of icebergs. I am going to ignore time as much as possible, and I am going to get one with the Concave Polygon. So this is my plan, I am going to ride into 2016 like a Jedi, my arms and legs might be flying around as awkward as a drunken giraffe on roller-skates but it will be done! I shall also re-watch the Goonies and Harry Potter with my tribe and nibble slowly on popcorn with a gin and tonic in one hand and Dr. Seuss in the other!
In the words of the Great Seuss:
“And when you’re alone there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”
“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
I may have mentioned to you before that I had this thing for the Magic Faraway Tree as a kid that verged on madness. I climbed a tree in our street, nailed some pieces of wood to make a ladder and seat in it and charged every kid within a 2 km radius 20c to climb the Magic Faraway tree. Yes the entrepreneurial spirit was just kicking off. What I wasn’t counting on was the fact that a lot of those kids didn’t have the same imagination as I did.
My imagination was as close to natural hallucinogenic mushroom mind as you could get. So I got a lot of confused looks and anger, had to give money back and ended up losing my street cred. First lesson in always Keeping the Customer Happy and possibly keeping the magic to oneself. We moved to a nicer house and a bigger street where most of the people were old people. They indulged my imagination and it was sweet.
My Then -stepfather decided to build us a tree house. It was not a plank of wood or nailed into a tree it was a huge spectacular castle nestled in the crisp, caterpillar squiggles of a Eucalypt. Magnificent and all beautiful, the frame of an old water tank had been chopped, wrapped and welded around a huge gum tree in the center of the yard. A ladder, a proper lacquered, polished ladder rested against the truck and you climbed up into it. The Tree house itself was a collection of old fruit bins put together to create a fort. It was high. So high, that when I looked out I could see all of Kyabram.
The top of the trees had birds and more air, the wind in the leaves and the sky seemed so much closer. Grownups couldn’t fit through the hole. This was important. This was good.
I would sit there for hours and it was the most magical place on the planet and even the entire universe. I snuck out and slept out there one night, carrying my old red blanket and my dog Deefa. We snuck back inside before the grown ups could find out. I’ve been scared of the dark my whole life, but that night I wasn’t scared. I was excited and felt like an adventurer. After that I couldn’t see why I couldn’t live out there. I argued the point with my mother. She must have been amused at the time. I remember she made me a picnic to take up there and a little stool.
Looking out over our town I would think about what it would be like as a grown up, the amazing travels I would have, all the chocolate I would eat, unfettered, the books I would write. What a marvelous life I would have, I wouldn’t have any grown ups around except my Mum and Nanna, and if I had babies that would be nice too. I liked playing house in my bedroom in between magic carpets and coming up with Toad inducing magical potions in the fernery.
That tree house was mine for 2 whole weeks. Then the day came that we went to go get milk and never went home. I knew when she gripped my hand it was forever. Don’t ask me how I knew that, but I did. It was a resolute feeling in my tum. I gripped my little sister’s hand, and my little brother held my mothers hand. With the simplicity of my child’s mind I remember walking up the street looking back at the house thinking, “I’m really going to miss that Tree-house.”
I was also really disappointed in myself. You see 2 weeks previous I had come up with the concoction of a lifetime. I mixed, blended and infused a variety of ingredients inspired by Chapter 19 – The Land of Enchantments (The Folk of the Faraway Tree for those that are Blyton-ignorant). In Chapter 19 a nasty green goblin had Beth trapped in a magic circle and she couldn’t get out. A spell was needed. So I used some tadpole slime, a couple of gum-nuts, some moss I found under a pot-plant log out the side and a small hair from my dog. (I had heard hair of the dog was good???) I smashed up an apple for good measure and mixed it all up. It took a long time, my arm ached and I remember feeling so intensely amazed at myself with coming up with such a plan. It was an ointment. A perfect ointment, just like the Magic Wishing Chair ointment. Two wonderful sources of information right there- it was un-foilable. So of course I painted it in the most obvious place you would put an ointment on a goblin- His Thongs. The bottom of the Then-stepfather’s thongs had magical ointment on them. He would mow the lawns in them like he always did and by the morning he would be nice. He would lose that angry goblin face that hit out and the nice man would return, everyone would be happy and life would be good again.
The very next day he started building the tree house! JOY! I couldn’t believe my good fortune, mixed with a little bit of excited fear that I had managed such a thing. I wonder what Nanna would say? Would Jesus approve of that kind of thing? Magical ointments? Oh-My-Goodness Gracious as that Tree house took form I cannot tell you the bubbling crazy run around the backyard with your t-shirt pulled over your head joy it gave me.
So the ointment must have worn off, either that or the prayer I said the day Things- Went –Topsy- Turvy worked. We left and I was glad to leave the Goblin but sad to leave my Tree house. Luckily my mother was brave enough to weave a magic carpet, I don’t even know how she did that. But she did and it really was quite beautiful, all its patterns and weavings twisting together for a new future in a different land. It ended up being the Land of Crossthwaite Street, the land of Fringe dwellers otherwise known as Housing Commission filled with interesting people, but it was Interesting and you must never ever knock Interesting! The stories we tell about it now would make Aladdin’s cave look lame. It was a place of treasure I can tell you, I found a special treasure in that Land; it was called Jacqui- a special friend that I still have to this day.
I grew up and knew that there is magic and hope and I can tell you that I grew up and I had my gorgeous babies, I wrote a book and my Nanna lives around the corner, as well as my fetish for Tree house Architecture I have an uncanny addiction to chocolate. The ointment isn’t really very effective, I tried to perfect it and worked out my Alchemy blossomed in saying prayers and making Candles.
I hope that the Goblin found his own ointment and his heart mended the anger, maybe he just needed to change his thongs. Now I look back and realize that as a child I was taking much too responsibility for the grown ups. Surely one must keep one’s ointments and magic to themselves and the Grown Ups need to make their own. I learned a lot from that time, and there have been moments this year where I wish with all my heart I could use an ointment to fix this old scarecrow brain of mine, take away my family’s fear, climb a treehouse and look at the world with the innocent and simple perspective of a child. Not sure which would make sure sense. One thing I am most certain of, everyone needs a bit of imagination, a whole lot of magic, prayer and love. Even if you are a grown up. Till next time, I am off now to find some wood and nails…
For Lisa- Thank you for reminding me of adventures, I still feel sorry for the sheep though. Our inner child’s shall have such fun! x
It is what started the week off, the gentle Who Who-ing of the owls. Normally I like owls but these owls always turn up just before big ordinary things happen. It might actually also be they turn up to next right on Spring which also seems to be around the time big ordinary things can happen. Either way for the last 5 years when the owls turn up, we all look at each other nervously in our house. I would never harm an animal but when I heard it I kind of wanted to reach for a slingshot. They are cute owls. Really. Someone told me owls are a sign of wisdom and guardianship. Excuse me for being cynical but for me its Bird talk for “Its about to go down.”
I am not sure when it occurred to me that it was all too much.
I was going to the gym and something told me to STOP.
Go inside, make a warm drink and step slowly.
It was so strong I had to listen.
So I did, that afternoon I snuggled down into my bed and slept. I fought with myself for a bit, tucking away the guilt and the to do list. I am a tricky task master to myself sometimes, time is a commodity to be used wisely and not wasted. But you see I had forgotten in the haste to look after my interior life for a few weeks. The interior was starting to warp and bend a bit and I could hear the creaking, it was only just there but I could hear the creaking nonetheless.
I was restless, dizzy and my heart rate was up. I’d started getting odd pains in my head. And it was all on the fringe of feeling too much. My symptoms had increased quite a bit and even though I hadn’t verbalized it, I knew it. I felt it and it made me a bit sad and pensive. Given that exercise is the gift of the Gods to our happy receptors in our brain I thought a walk on the beach followed by a coffee in town was the order of the day. Off I trotted. (Have you seen me trot? My little Brother Robbie says it’s the only time you can really tell that I have unfortunately had brain surgery- not sure what he means but anyway- just giving you a visual- )
Do you ever wish you could feel the color blue?
Craving color began for me back when I was blind. (That’s such an odd sentence to write). I became a color junky. Now that I can see again I am honestly addicted to color, especially Beach colors and rainforest colors. I see it and its like I am on crack. If I could smoke color I would. I am not kidding
On a day only every so often when its been raining or the tide has left abruptly you will see puddles of water on the sand. On a particularly sunny and still day those puddles look like windows reflecting the sky. Ever since I was small I convinced myself that they were “sky-puddles” and if I willed it hard enough I could jump in there to another parallel dimension. Pop out the other side on a beach in some weird, wonderful cosmic place. What can I say? I grew up on a diet of the Magic Faraway Tree and Stephen King- it was bound to happen. I recently confessed to my brother on one of our walks together on this beach that I wondered if heaven was an actual other real physical dimension and those Sky Puddles were a portal there. I told you…crack.
So on this day of melancholy I see myself take a deep breath and jump soaring up like a jet into the sky, rushing through the blue.
It feels like silk and air at the same time it smells like warm cookies and freshly squeezed orange juice and I can actually taste the wind in my mouth like orange tic tacs. I wonder if this is what dogs can do and if this is why they lick the air madly when they face the wind. I have developed wind taste-buds- popping with effervescence and splendor.
I plunge down like a soaring eagle and keep going straight into the ground- going straight through that sky puddle and out the other side. Popping up to stand on a beach in another far away place. I am standing there looking at my other me, other- dimension me. I wonder what she looks like and if she can trot appropriately or laugh gently. Does she have both eyelids? Is she actually a lion inside like me? Is she fierce? If we were friends would I like her? Did she have a Mel too? Does she have a Robbie?
This is the stuff and the places my mind goes to as I walk down the beach.
I know I am telling you too much. I wonder how long it takes between hitting that post button and running for the back door it takes before the nice people in the white van turn up to take me to Sunnyside- special- place with free arm straps and matching ankle braces.
4 weeks to go until I find out. I don’t talk about that.
Well that’s not true, I’ve tried to but I’ve worked out it causes pain for those we love. So we hope for the best without saying much. In my mind I know my lion side always plans for the worst and hopes for the best- celebrating the best with absolute gusto.
My theory is that if the weather experts say there’s a flood coming, I am going to plan for a flood. I am going to be ready so no matter what happens I have a boat, with oars, cold coronas and a stereo playing Bob Marley as we ride the wave. Always prepared. So many people are the “no point worrying until it gets here, it might not even happen”- style of people. Maybe that’s ok. But not being prepared equals shock and panic. I don’t want to be person screaming running around looking for the raft after we’ve hit the Iceberg and I DON’T want to be the guys playing music on the deck as the ship goes down. I am going to be the chic that had a feeling not to get on the damn Ship in the first place and stayed to sunbake on the beach instead. Make sense? Does to me.
I have planned 2 x girls weekends in Sept and November. Hard life huh? But then I worry. I don’t like being away from my children anymore. At all. Ever. Nope I like being with them all the time. Its kind of weird I guess. And I worry for my friends. What if I go on this girls weekend and it pops midair? Hours away from an airport.
Like a brain explosion and pain of the worst kind.
What if I’m with my friends and I just die on them? I was told it would happen quickly if it happened, which is kind of good in a not good sort of way. But that’s really not fair on them and terribly inconvenient, not a great way to treat your mates is it? I’d rather shout them that Corona on a beach somewhere.
Did I just say die? You mustn’t ever say the D WORD. It makes people very uncomfortable. Like a fart in an elevator. Not nice. Everyone looks around awkwardly and pretends it didn’t happen, red faced and smelly. You jump through hoops as quickly as possible because the last thing you want in the entire world is to hurt people. And the current situation is hurting people you love an awful lot. So the best thing is to take a big breath, put on your big girl knickers and get on with it….
But What if they tell me in a few weeks it still hasn’t healed and I am a cooked chook?
Should I go on a Holiday? Should I keep making candles and cooking casseroles? Because I am not too physically ill, I am capable of seemingly normal activity. Cooking chickens is easy peasy.
And if nothing happens I may look back on this blog and realise I am a neurotic powerhouse ready for action and in need of heavy medication.
It is all very serious thinking. I finish my walk, mentally exhausted from Flying into Sky Puddles and meeting other me’s and smoking colour crack. Its time for a coffee in town. Caffeine, need that like a hole in the head. Did I just say that out loud?
I go in, wander a bit, order a coffee, and decide to take it to my car and listen to music while I drink it.
I look in the revision mirror for a moment, a glance at the sexy chic in the mirror and I gasp in horror and revulsion, spilling the boiling coffee onto my stylish tracksuit pants.
A piece of dandruff the size of a large cornflake sits in the middle of my fringe.
Like a freaking Christmas decoration flapping in the Geelong wind, was a sail of skin. Good god. I had walked in, shopped, talked and left. I do vaguely recall a couple of people looking at me strangely and I thought it was because they were digging my new shade of aubergine tinged hair colour. Nope. It was the cornflake windsailing through my tresses.
Then I started laughing. Laughing so hard it hurt and then I was just seriously impressed with the size of the flake.
It was like when you get a super big potato chip and you are in awe imaging the size of the potato it came from. Obviously I had a big head, a dry scalp and a need to change shampoo and probably my pants from laughing too hard.
I am still laughing when I pick my kids up from school. They laugh about my epic flake too. I get home, make their snacks and we chat about their day. I kiss them 20 times too many and remember to be normal again. All is well. Everything is ok.
But this is the sometimes- mind of the possibly-dying and mostly living person.
There is worry, every need to process through the worry into faith. It’s all in the Alchemy. If its beach walks, sky puddles, funny movies, chocolate cheesecake or tyre swings with besties. Find the ones that hears you, check in with your heart, make sure it feels nice. Talk to the ones that see you and it might not be the ones you expect.
Shine your light brightly. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If anyone tells you to shoosh, ridicules you or tells you to stop and what you are doing is filled with love, good intent or gentle humor the problem is Theirs not yours.
The reason all these gurus say to surround yourself with the right people is true. Why?
Life can be hard on its own without the imposition of other humans. Your job is shine your light, your signature gift as bright as you can sustain it and maintain it. If you cant find a human that gets you, get a dog. I have a Schnauzer called Charlie and he’s the wisest nontalking soul getting around on 4 furry legs. He gives kisses and he doesn’t answer back which is kind of good if you are a Taurean. We like to have the last word.
The instrument of human ego has its whole own thing going on that has nothing to do with you whatsoever. People don’t always get it, and sometimes they do and it causes them too much pain or conflict, so they often just go on with their human habits and non- compliance of life loving. Please listen to your interior- its not always noisy so you will need to listen carefully.
Go within and find your still and gentle space where you can fill yourself with love and gentle harmony. And above all else, watch for sky puddles, be wary of nice looking owls and my final word of advice today- you should ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS check your hair first, because Cornflake dandruff in your hair is distressing to everyone and there’s no excuse for that shit.
Panic, small child panic. The only way it fades is to give my heart over to grace, surrender all and sleep. This is my prescription for a hurting heart. Fear is my enemy and yet it reminds me again of my purpose, my plight. It makes me realize that this is the condition of being human; we lapse back into the business of life and we forget, is it a fault or a necessary facet of survival?
But I cannot sleep. I am sitting on a hard plastic chair in a sterile room.
I do not like to feel vulnerable. I do not have the coping skills for it. Vulnerable on some level equals harm. Why is this? Vulnerable makes me want to tuck in my wings and go home. I do not want her to be in this room, she has to come home with us today healthy. I want to cling to her fast and sure. The words Vulnerable and Her trigger something within that makes tears form, moistening my eyes. My heart feels swollen and inflamed, just short of anger.
My internal force wants to tuck her up and take this moment away quickly and without pain – does us no good its a pointless exercise of the mother. We are sitting in a waiting room.
He told us it has grown. The growth in her Brain has grown. He is going to see what is to be done. It’s not an area they would be interested in operating on, its too deep. Too deep. What does that even mean? I’ve been told I can be too deep. Too deep is a bad thing? Yes, isn’t great. What is it then? I had too deep and I was blind and had to learn how to walk again. I had too deep and I am here still waiting for Fred to work and keep me alive each day. I’ve seen what 160 staples in my head look like.
Something comes to mind after I look at my husband’s face. His face is ashen and has turned a sickly white transparent sheen very quickly. His lips have thinned and he looks at her, looks at me, looks at the ground.
I look at my beautiful daughter; Her faith is built on a rock, and her hearts desire will come to pass, under grace and in a miraculous way is what I think as I look at her beautiful big 17 year old eyes, too wise for one so young. Nothing can defeat God, therefore nothing can defeat her. God’s plans for her are built on a rock. What was hers in the beginning, is hers now and ever will be hers. We cannot lose anything which is born from love. She is not lost to me.
I am reminded by a passage I read recently by Florence Scovel Shinn that said
“ To believe in something enough that it cannot help but manifest is to know the power of faith. Just to imagine is not enough. You must back your imaginings with every ounce of courage, love and conviction your heart can muster. This is when you will truly find peace.” I then remember a little plaque I have someone gave me when I was in rehab recovering from brain surgery that said “Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you”- Mark 11:22
Am I doing this now? Am I believing? Am I doing the right thing by her? How can I soothe her and him? These two parts of our whole are hurting in front of me. So I do what I am reminded of, I squeeze their hands and believe that no matter what he comes in and says- it iS GOING TO BE OK. We cannot be defeated. We are not alone, we are not vulnerable. All will be well. I back up my imaginings of what will come to pass- that no matter what he says we can handle it.
She sits in front of me, fighting back tears, and looks at us apologetically. I squeeze her hand and remind her its ok to cry and she responds in a way typical of our weird genetics (my sister and I both suffer from this) a nervous onset of giggles and a wiping of the tears, then a smile, sad but a smile. We sit there for 12 minutes knowing it has grown but as we all look at each other something is changing- we are remembering our resilience, remembering how toughened we have all become and mighty through this journey we have all been on together.
He enters the room and says that’s it all ok, he’s checked with the surgeons -the growth is within an acceptable range, unless there are any new symptoms they don’t need to see her again for twelve months. The growth could just be from two different people reading the scans or a different perspective. It’s a good outcome, don’t worry. Here are a list of her symptoms. One of them is- if she doesn’t wake up. A small amount of vomit hits the back of my throat. Like the tears, my body reabsorbs this unwanted fluid.
I fire questions at him like a Captain firing a semi automatic and he answers every one of them, some with surety, some nervously. He is a nice young man.
We try process on the way home, all of us with gusto; talking, teary, yelling, angry. Discussing accuracy, second opinions, what does this mean, that mean. How does she feel? Are we good? Yes we are good.
By the time we get home we are all exhausted. We are all relieved. She is ok. She’s going to be ok. She came home.
She does her homework.
I cook dinner, He takes out the rubbish and feeds the dogs. He hugs us all lots that night. He gives awesome hugs.
We return phone calls. How is she? She’s fine, all good for another 12 months. It cannot be explained ; this day that we have had. This confusing paradox of a day, of roses and leeches. How do we have the words when we have not yet fully processed it ourselves?
When I go to bed I close my eyes and give thanks for my family’s faith, it continually gets us through these times in tact. I am revealing so much here in this pondering it scares me, I am being vulnerable because there might be one of you out there that can understand, can feel it too and know that its going to be ok. For some reason this is why I write.
This is a message in a bottle.
This sense of faith my little tribe has is like a well of spring water in a desert. We draw from it what we need, it gives us reflection, tools and peace. I lay there and picture in my mind a big bubble made up of every color of the rainbow and inside are epic particle of feelings of peace, grace and calm and I send it out to the world asking for it go to every parent and child who is unwell.
We are on the road less travelled, but we are on it together.