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 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.
I have a fear that gnaws away at me sometimes. It’s the fear that once everything opens up again, nothing will really have changed. Or more specifically, people will choose to go back to the way things were and not make any fundamental changes at all.
I understand that many of us are saying, “I just want my life back. I just want my freedom back.” Lord knows, as a single extrovert who lives alone, I’d love the chance to date, have sex, go out with friends and physically touch another human being. I get it.
But I also understand this moment in time, with all its attending death, trauma and upheaval, is a chance for individuals to choose something different when the world opens again. It is not a call to simply return to the way things were – it is the opposite. It is a call to choose differently when you have the chance.
But will you choose differently?
I help people connect to their Soul’s Purpose and live a life that embodies their calling. I love what I do and when I see the transformation that is possible, I am honoured to do this work.
But even now, when the Universe has sent us a very clear message that life is short and you need to choose wisely, I can see people are still choosing to stay stuck and will no doubt, make the same choices when lockdown is over.
Many are chafing under the current restrictions yet refusing to use this time to reassess what is really important to them. I see others still hesitating to back themselves and continuing to turn their backs on a life that would provide them with more personal joy and satisfaction. I watch others continue to stay in relationships that are unhealthy and stifling.
This period had been incredibly difficult but if you don’t choose differently when it’s over, then you’re missing the opportunity of a lifetime. You will pass over the chance to step into something greater and far more fulfilling than you’ve had before. Now is not the time to chicken out and continue accepting that you can’t have what you really want. Now is the time to do the work on yourself, face your shadows, call on your personal courage and step forward.
The uncomfortable understandings that are bubbling up within you aren’t supposed to be shoved back into a box when all this is over. Instead they are here to show you where you are out of alignment with your purpose. They are showing you there is another way if only you will choose it.
Now is the time to leave behind those patterns and situations that no longer fit you and choose to reset your life – leave that relationship, do that course, apply for the job you really want, start your business on the side, invest in yourself, change your career, write that book and create the art you love.
Make a clear and definite decision right now to not go back to the old normal. Instead consciously choose to move into alignment with who you truly are and what will make you happy. Make the tough choices, back yourself and if you need support to traverse the road ahead, find someone like me to walk beside you and help you find your way.
Because the very worst thing you could do, is go back to a normal that was never what you wanted anyway.
If you’ve found this post then you’re someone who wants to create change in the world. You want to live differently to the way your parents and other people you know have lived. You have a vision or maybe just an inkling of doing things differently.
Have you ever shared your desire, your dream, your vision with someone you thought would have your back? Maybe you opened up just a little and trusted them.
You wanted their support and understanding but instead, all you heard was something like:
“Oh look that sounds a bit like a dream to me and not very realistic”
“I really think you need to be a bit more practical”
“I think that’s something you can do on the side. But for now you should finish your degree and get a really good job”
“We never had these opportunities when we were young and we wanted to make sure that you have them. So don’t waste them. Get a good job and get paid well. Forget all that other stuff because it’s not very realistic. Just go out and achieve, achieve, achieve.” (This may come from your parents if they didn’t have a lot of opportunities.)
When you get this type of negative or “realistic” feedback about what you want to create, it can be really hard to keep your focus and maintain your faith in your ability to make your dreams real.
But there are things you can do to make sure their stories and negative feedback doesn’t take you off track and stop you from living your purpose.
Understand their response is about THEIR STORY NOT YOURS.
We all tell ourselves stories about what is possible and what is not. These are based on our experiences, beliefs and interactions with others.
But if you share your desire or dream with someone and their story negatively influences their response, you potentially enter a danger zone. If you are not feeling really grounded and centred in yourself, you will take their story on as your truth. This is dangerous for you because it’s not the truth. It is just a story they believe and they are projecting it onto you.
It’s possible their dreams were squashed when they were young and they lost hope that they could do anything different. This led them to conform and do what their parents, community and friends wanted them to do. So your idea to do something that bucks the system will confront their beliefs and the story they’ve been telling themselves about what their life can, could or should be.
I’m not trying to invalidate their perspectives because those experiences will be real for them. But that’s their story, NOT YOURS. You’re here to create your own story.
Yes, you need to be able to support yourself financially, look after and be responsible for yourself. But that doesn’t mean you have to live the same kind of life that other people think you should live.
ALL OR NOTHING THINKING can stop you before you start
Sometimes we also have all or nothing thinking and this stops us from moving forward. You will be worrying that if you make the wrong decision now, you might screw everything up. This leaves you feeling indecisive and sometimes you avoid making any decisions at all.
But whatever you’re doing when you’re aged 20, 22, 25, 27, etcetera, YOU WON’T BE DOING THOSE THINGS IN ANOTHER 10 YEARS. Nothing stays the same for that long so you’re better off taking a chance in this moment, doing what feels right for you and moving forward. Otherwise you will be waiting for the perfect time and a guaranteed outcome (neither of these exist!!).
One particular decision is rarely going to make or break your entire life. Waiting for other people to “get it”, and understand and support your decisions is also wasting time.
If other people don’t agree with your life choices, that is not your problem.
Yes, we all want people to like us. But you cannot put yourself into a box to help other people feel more comfortable with their life choices. That’s not your job.
What other people think of you is none of your business. You need to focus on what you think of you!
Focus on what you feel is the next right step for you and trust yourself. When you do that, you are moving forward with your life purpose and life path. You will meet other people along the way who will get what you are trying to do. They will understand what you’re trying to create and will support you. But there will be others who will test your faith in yourself.
You need to make the best decision for you right now and understand that not everyone is going to agree with you, and that’s okay. Sure, sit back and question yourself a little but then ask yourself “Okay, what feels like the right thing for me?” then follow that and know it’s all going to work out. It probably won’t look like you think it will – life never works out the way we think it should. But it’s going to work out beautifully and in the best possible way for you.
If you’re ready to follow your dreams and create the life your Soul is calling out for, check out the Dream Creators Collective – an intensive six-week transformational process for intuitives, empaths and energetically-sensitive people who are ready to create change and serve humanity.
If you are sick of feeling like you’re not enough…if you’re tired of the BS…if you’re done with that annoying voice in your head that keeps making excuses and says you can’t or you shouldn’t, then the Dream Creators Collectiveis for you.
It’s for people who are ready to get serious, develop epic self-trust and harness their intuition so they can get out there and create change in the world.
The Dream Creators Collectiveis about learning practical skills to help you manage overwhelm and move you forward, managing and using your intuitive gifts, exploring your passions, living your purpose and connecting with yourself and others.
The six-week transformational process starts in early December 2019. Limited spaces.
Are you doing a university degree that you don’t really like or staying in a job that you don’t really care about? Maybe you want to travel but you’re too afraid to go alone.
Well, this week I heard from a former work colleague who was a lot like you are now. But guess what?! He’s just decided to blow his comfort zone out of the water.
Like a lot of 20-somethings, he has a huge amount of potential but he was stuck in his comfort zone and kept waiting for someone else to join him so he could begin his adventures. Until now.
A few days ago, he sent me a PM which said:
“…You implored me to stop trying to wait for other people and just get out there regardless if they come with you or not. Well, I decided to up and go on a holiday by myself to Bali, because no one else could get time off and I wanted to go…”
Receiving this kind of message makes my day, month and year because he has chosen to bust through his comfort zone and do what he really wants without waiting for someone else. And his life and perspectives will expand exponentially because he has chosen to move past his comfort zone into the unknown.