It all started in the early hours of New Year’s Day when a very tall and very wide bloke (you could say he was built like a brick shi!house) decided he give out free hugs in the nightclub. He said he’d had to bulk up so he could “keep up with the boys back home”. Then he proceeded, in his rather inebriated state, to lean all his bulk into me while he hugged me. My spine curved into a C-shape backwards and I felt a tugging sensation in my lower back. My stilettoes were more than three inches high and didn’t give me a solid base. Later, as I stood in the inevitable line waiting for a cab, my back felt a little sore.
Over the next few weeks, I had a bit of physiotherapy and then continued on with my life as normal. I was in a full-on, senior role in a high-pressure work environment and had a frenetic social life that matched a single woman in her 30s who loved to meet people, dance and have a good time.
Then, somewhere between ANZAC Day and Easter, I bent over in the shower and felt a sudden, sharp and very painful feeling in my lower back. I could barely stand back up again and can remember feeling fearful and panicky. Aside from my much-loved cat, Super Puss, I lived alone. I called in sick and somehow managed to lever myself into the car to drive to see my physiotherapist, Anne. I remember the look on her face when she came into the waiting area to greet me – she knew something was very, very wrong. I was in so much pain.
It turned out I had a desiccated disc in my lower back. As someone with hyper-flexible hips who danced Latin but didn’t have much core strength, my back didn’t have enough support. I was also highly stressed. That guy and his hug had triggered a weakness and begun a trajectory that led me to Anne’s office.
Ironically, I’d never really understood when people said they had back pain. I mean, I was compassionate to a point but a small part of me always thought maybe it wasn’t really that bad. Ha! Turns out I was definitely wrong – thanks Universe for that lesson.
I had to give up all the things I wanted and valued – my yoga, my dancing, socialising, my stilettoes (going to work in sandshoes everyday felt humiliating by my standards). I went to work, came home, went to physio, came home and that was about it. Most movement was painful most of the time. Getting out of bed was a challenge that required strategic thought and concentrated coordination. Anne was incredibly supportive during this time – every step of the way, she encouraged me, propped me up and was firm when needed. She was a godsend.
However, I wasn’t always gracious and accepting of my situation. It’s incredibly hard when your body decides to do something you don’t want it to do. There were times when I felt so resentful and frustrated. I can remember being halfway through a rehabilitation Pilates class for people with back issues and thinking, “I don’t belong here with these back problem losers!”. I felt so full of anger that I started to cry. I got up (slowly) and left. My exit was a concern to Anne and later, when I told her what was going on in my head at the time, she didn’t say a lot but she didn’t recoil from me either. It wasn’t my finest moment but I guess she’d seen people caught in the lows of the healing process before. It sucked.
But while I was in all this pain, stuck mostly at home, feeling, resentful, lonely and wondering if I would ever get back to where I wanted to be, something interesting happened.
For years I’d been talking about writing a book. I’d written ideas and anecdotes on random, scrappy pieces of paper, post-it notes and in notebooks. They were shoved them into a box in my office and left there. Then were also notes in journals and on my computer. I was going to write a book…someday. People told me I should definitely write a book. But it never quite happened.
Suddenly being forced to stop, be still and stuck at home with nothing else to do, I found myself wanting to pull all those notes together. At the very least, I could compile everything into a single Word document.
Over the following weeks and months, Super Puss and I spent a lot of quality time together as I sifted through all those random thoughts and typed them into the computer. But hey, it’s not as if I had somewhere else to go. Being stuck meant I had nothing else to do – so I moved on something long overdue.
Eventually it was all in one document and eventually too, my body started to heal and I was on the road to recovery. Dancing still wasn’t really on the cards but my sexy stilettoes were back on my feet.
A year or so after that awful day in the shower, I was fortunate enough to obtain a lucrative voluntary redundancy. I could be self-funded for a year and in my mind were two things – I could finally tutor at the university part-time and write my book. I did teach at the university and completed the first draft of my first book, The Men I’ve Almost Dated, just after my birthday in October that year.
Why am I sharing this story now? Honestly, I’ve been feeling very resentful and irritated. I am here in Brisvegas when I had planned to relocate to Italy by now. By 30th June I would have obtained my 12-month student visa to study Italian and would be moving into my apartment in Florence. But due to Covid-19, I am not doing these things and instead, I feel stuck. Freaking incredibly and frustratingly stuck.
I’m in the process of accepting that I won’t be moving there for at least 12 months. Of course, I am grateful to be in this country, safe and with all the bounty we have here. And I know a lot of people are in far more desperate situations than I am. I recognise that I am lucky, so very lucky. But I am fighting an internal rebellion with my Soul – she longs to be in Italy and is always called back there. Unfortunately, 2020 has a plan and an energy of its own that, let’s face it, is turning everything we all planned and hoped for, on its head.
I was musing on my frustration and feelings of stuckness this morning and then recalled that time when I hurt my back. That injury led me to take my writing and my book seriously. If that bloke hadn’t pushed all his weight onto me, I may never have written my book at all. One thing leads to another and another but it doesn’t always lead to what you plan for or necessarily want at the time.
I know I’m not the only one who feels stuck right now. We’ve all got things that we want and can’t have at the moment. Sometimes I feel like a bird locked up in a cage – all I want to do is fly.
But when I recall how my first book came together, I’m reminded that the Universe will often force us to pause when we don’t choose to do it for ourselves. In these times, the Universe is saying, “Wait. Now is the time to focus on all the things you’ve delayed because you were too ‘busy’ before. Wait. There are more things that need to shift first before that other thing can occur. Wait. Be patient. Focus. Just wait.”
I’ve got books to finish and a business to keep building. I will get to Italy, just not when I planned to. This breaks my heart. But I realise there is always a reason for the unplanned and unwanted delays we experience.
We just have to be patient and wait for the Universe to reveal the answers when she’s ready.
You can get your copy of The Men I’ve Almost Dated at all good online bookstores or via Lucretia’s Book Store.
I was thinking today about how quickly life slips through our fingers. One moment we’re in school then suddenly we’re out in the world, studying, getting our first job and doing all the ‘adult things’ we were longing for.
But, often there comes a moment when we realise the adult life we were told to work for, isn’t quite what we want. And that throws everything up in the air because we don’t know what to do next.
There is a great line in the song, Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads, where the singer asks “How did I get here?” The song tells of looking at your life and knowing it looks great on the surface but it has no meaning.
Without meaning in our life, why live it?
For me, meaning comes from doing what I know I’m here to do. Part of that involves constantly unthreading the blocks and beliefs that hold me back so I can step more fully into my purpose.
Even if you don’t know what your purpose is yet, look for the things that feel meaningful for you, then do more of that. It doesn’t have to look sexy to someone else. It doesn’t need to make world headlines or meet the approval of a single other person. It only needs to have meaning for you.
If you’re doubting your direction, go back and pick up those things that have meaning for you. In doing so, you will reconnect to what your Soul is longing for. And that is far more valuable than any prescribed ‘adult’ path.
Friends have been reaching out for guidance over the last couple of days as they face challenges with their business. The Universe is making it increasingly difficult for them to do things the way they have in the past.
They are being asked to open a new door and walk through it. But their minds do not want to go! As a result, they are experiencing a lot of stress, anxiety, anger and confusion. This is a very normal response.
I often think that human beings are genetically geared to learn our lessons the hard way. Certainly, the biggest lessons I’ve learned haven’t arrived with ease and grace – they have arrived with disruption and discomfort.
We are still in the midst of the ‘letting go’ of 2020. Covid-19 is challenging us to sit still more, question more and want more for ourselves.
Collectively, there is an energy encouraging us to reach for what we want rather than what we think we can get. But in order to grab hold of those new things, we must let go of much of the old.
And if you want some help to see the way forward, please reach out. A Channelled Directions Sessions will help you cut through the confusion and see the opportunities you are too close to see. I would be honoured to help shine a light on the road ahead so you can move forward with more ease and joy.
I’ve been thinking about integrity – the line we each have within us that we don’t want to cross. It’s a line that marks who we are; our honourability in a world that often feels increasingly dishonourable.
There will be times for all of us when we will be tempted to breach our line of integrity. Some of us will do so – we will cross the line, feel the discord within ourselves and quickly reverse our path. Others will cross the line and keep going because they feel it is too difficult to turn back.
It is your ability to understand where your integrity line is, and adhere to it, that is a sign of your courage and fortitude. Sticking to this line is difficult in a world where you’re told you must conform, you must keep the peace and you must keep other people happy.
When you cross your integrity line to appease others, you are compromising yourself and often the well-being of others. We only have to scan the global horizon right now to see how a lack of integrity by some, is compromising the health of many and leading to the death of others. Terrible things happen while good people do nothing.
Integrity doesn’t mean taking the easy or most expedient path. It doesn’t mean acting from a place of fear or anger. It means having character, being honest about your own actions and motivations, and then acting in accordance with what you know in your gut is right.
Integrity. I can’t help but think we need more of it. What do you think?
I know lots of inspirational people – writers, creators, thinkers and those who have an entrepreneurial spirit that burns brightly. The problem is, many of them hide that part of themselves from everyone else but me. Actually, let me clarify that point. Many of them would also like to hide that side from me too but this is impossible because one of my gifts is the ability to see straight into their heart and what their soul desires.
But why do they want to hide this in the first place?
Many of them are waiting for permission because showing yourself and going for what you really want is a risk. But if you have permission then you will have support; you won’t be alone. Without permission, you go against the expectations of family, friends and others who think they know best or believe you should be making different choices. You may be worried about their anger, judgement or disapproval. So you wait for permission and put your own desires on the backburner if they can’t be molded into a shape that others will find acceptable.
This is not going to bring you fulfillment or joy. However, it will lead to a life where you settle, conform and survive.
I understand the drive for acceptance and the need to fit in. I get it, I really do. My teens and 20s were focused on an epic, internal battle involving a desire for conformity versus a desire to be free.
Freedom eventually won and the price was, in some quarters, a loss of acceptance, angrily expressed opinions, and judgement. As I found my feet, I also directed some of these against myself – no one could be harder on me, than me.
The fight to break free of these unseen shackles is very real. The expectations of ourselves and others can be insidious and lurk unidentified until an issue brings them to light. There is always another layer to be removed as we grow and expand.
However, I chose to stop waiting for permission years ago. I realised I could wait for the permission and approval of someone else for the rest of my life and never, ever get it. This would mean my life would be half-lived and honestly, what is the point of that? My 90-year-old self would not thank me for that choice at all!
So, here are some words of advice from someone who waited for a long time before choosing the path I know is right for me.
Stop waiting and do what you feel called to do.
Because waiting for permission is like trying to ride a scooter with an arm and leg tied together. You’ll always feel off-balance, it will be difficult to change direction without falling off, and the feeling of wind in your hair as you zoom joyfully through life will be unattainable.
If you are ready to stop hiding and share your story with the world, check out my new course – Storytellers Anonymous – it might be just what you need to help you shine.
“You’ll never have peace if you don’t make peace with where you are right now.”
One of my guides said this during my meditation this morning and I must confess, I found his wisdom both annoying and of course, irritatingly true.
I’d been mentally stamping my feet because my planned relocation to Italy feels like nothing more than a pipe dream (it was planned for late June 2020). Let’s face it, with Covid-19 we have no idea when we will be able to travel safely overseas again, so I feel like I’m in a holding pattern.
I have plenty to do, books to write, friends to talk to, people to help and so on. And I’m grateful to be here in Australia where our government is taking a cautious and protective approach for the health of our citizens. But still, my frustration cup sometimes boils over because I am not where I want to be – hence my guide’s wise words this morning.
It’s healthy to acknowledge and feel my very real feelings in the moment. Heck, sometimes I will let them take over for a lot longer than that! But, sooner or later, I need to let those feelings go so I can achieve some peace and focus in the now.
It doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my dream. I’m still thinking about it and making plans. But I also know that I’m in this place right now for a reason (even if I don’t like it or know what the Universe’s reason is). Time will also go a lot faster if I focus on the present instead of wishing my life away into the future (or lamenting the past).
Basically, I have to make the best of it otherwise I will drive myself crazy and I can give myself the gift of peace – I just have to choose it.