Journey

Early this year I embarked on a journey practising Kundalini Yoga. I clearly remember my first class, feeling a bit awkward, trying to embrace postures and ways of breathing that I had never experienced before. After this class I felt energised and keen to try another, so I continued to do weekly classes. I then found out that I could begin a private practice at home each morning and choose an area of my life that I would like to work on and develop. I decided to begin with commitment to self. With Kundalini, it is all about commitment, sticking to your practise each day and showing up for yourself without fail. If you miss a day, you must begin again. The set of postures is called a Kriya, and the amount of time you choose to practise it is called a Sadhana. I chose to begin with a 40 day Sadhana.

My teacher advised me to take note of how I was feeling each day and to pay extra attention around day 20 as that is when things can really start shifting. For me, the most challenging part of this first 40 day Sadhana was the commitment each day. I realised that turning up for myself every day without fail was something that I had always struggled being consistent with. Knowing that I would have to start again was the incentive I needed to keep showing up and continue to exercise this ‘commitment to self’ muscle.

Next came the lessons and challenges. Kundalini practise is a powerful force. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced before and really does help to make some powerful shifts in your life.  Old negative patterns, realisations, and various scenarios in my environment began showing up to test, challenge and teach me. There were tears, there were tough conversations with people, there was detoxification physically and emotionally. My body began shifting and releasing what was no longer needed. By my 40th day, I felt like I had worked through a lot then I ended up with a really bad cold. More releasing perhaps.

I then chose to embark on a 90 day Sadhana on Self Belief. I found this particular Kriya empowering. I was put in situations that tested my belief in self, I faced challenges in my work and environment that forced me to look at stories I had believed about myself since childhood that weren’t for me to carry. Musculoskeletal ailments began to arise around my neck and shoulder area, physically challenging me, but also forcing me to look deeper at the emotion behind these pains.

My 90th day came and I found myself on the Sunshine Coast at my parents’ house. I remember sitting on a big rock in their garden looking out at the sunset. I felt overwhelmed with emotion that I had really committed to a practise for that length of time and worked through so much from being so consistent. Even though my body aches were still causing me grief, I felt spiritually stronger. I had grown a lot.

The next Kriya I chose to do has ended up being my last. This was focused on the Sacral chakra.  This particular chakra is our seat of self, where we can store anger, frustration, resentment, and emotions around finances. First the anger, frustration and rage reared their head.  Then days and days of tears, and recurring dreams of feeling frustrated, August was one of the toughest months of this year for me emotionally. My gut started playing up again, my shoulder and neck were causing me grief. I persisted. 

By late September early October, I was a mess internally. I was away at the time, holding myself together on the outside but really physically struggling inside and keeping it to myself. I was determined to make the most of my holiday!

Just over half way through my time away, I decided to stop practising and just let go. At first there were feelings of guilt, then sadness because I felt like I couldn’t keep committing to it.  Was I just done with that particular Kriya?  Should I begin it again when I get home?  I had reached around day 67 when I stopped.  I felt torn, I felt exhausted, I felt far from myself. I had lost my joy, my spark.

When I returned home, it was still playing on my mind. Do I begin a brand new one and start fresh?  Physically, I was in pain so I knew I really needed to rest. I decided to have a break, nurture and take care of myself.  In this down time, I came to some realisations.

While I had experienced an incredible journey of shifting and detoxifying through my practise, it began to not serve me well. I had become incredibly regimented and strict with myself, I had essentially put myself in a cage.  I realised that I had stopped doing activities and things that brought me joy and nurtured my feminine and heart space. I was becoming hard through this practise rather than soft. I much prefer feeling soft, feminine, and sensual. I had feelings of guilt around my practise, and had become so absorbed in what I was working through, to the point where I found myself constantly talking about Kundalini and all the things that were shifting.  It had started to take over my life in a negative way. It was incredibly isolating and lonely.

Some might say, well couldn’t you have done both - the things that brought you joy and Kundalini?  For me, the practise was so energetically intense, I was unable to do that and cope with it and everything it was bringing up as well as keep doing all the other things I really loved including running my business. I discovered that I had also stopped hearing from Spirit as often.  I had become disconnected from Source, because I had become so regimented and far from my heart space.

Throughout the month of November, I was faced with challenge after challenge, mostly in my business.  There was a point where I thought about giving it all up and going back to work full time for someone else. Let’s just pause right there so you know how big that was for me to admit, but also to sit with the magnitude of how challenged I really felt. I also had feelings of embarrassment, shame, and feeling like I was a failure. TRUTH.

One evening in the kitchen I was brought to my knees, literally screaming at the Universe asking why do you keep punching me?  It is relentless! What is this? What am I meant to do? Then a whisper… ‘we are pushing you’.  I was grasping at the air…trying to find something or someone to save me.  Then another whisper… ‘the only person that can save you is yourself’. I let the tears flow until there were no more.  Then I picked myself up, rolled up my sleeves and began to build my new website.  That was just the beginning. I began to write again and connect with my heart space and spirit again.  I started to really understand that I have the power to save myself.  All I need to do is ask for help and be open to receiving help, spiritually through my writing, and verbally to those closest to me. I had to put my pride aside and begin to talk about my situation with friends and family. Help in all shapes and sizes began pouring in unexpectedly. VERY unexpectedly!

So how does all of this relate back to why I chose to discontinue my Kundalini practise?  Well, my biggest realisation was that I had disconnected from my heart space and had become obsessive with something that wasn’t essentially serving my spirit well. I was insanely focused about working on myself so much that in the process had become disconnected from what mattered most and what really filled me up and made me feel free and joyful. There were certain exercises like dancing, and meditation that I found nurturing, and will continue to keep in my ‘what fills Catherine up’ box.  However it was the overall daily routine and my feelings around it that I needed to let go of to connect with myself again.

I have a choice, I can choose to fill my life with activities and things that fill me up and bring me joy, or I can choose to go against what my heart wishes to do.  It has taken me a good couple of months to come back into balance, and regain my strength and connection with myself.  My inner child is loving this new way too.  She hated such a strict routine.  I feel soft, feminine, and sensual again.  My spark is back.  My morning and evening rituals of connecting with Spirit and heart space through my personalised Catherine Saliba special meditation is back and I love it. I’m happy, centred, and at peace.  Even my reiki and capacity to be of service has improved.

I am so incredibly grateful for my time with Kundalini yoga. It has taken me on a journey of learning how to commit to myself, believe in myself, shift through big layers of suppressed emotion, and most importantly after ceasing my practise, trusting that I can actually connect deeply on my own.  Since stopping my practise, I have shown myself that I can do this work on me and face challenges in my own way, in a soft and flexible way. I have shown myself this past month that I can trust myself to hold my hand and get me through the darkest of times and come out the other side having learnt valuable lessons in a way that doesn’t squash or cage me in.

I am in no way saying that you shouldn’t attempt Kundalini.  I feel that it is important to dive into new experiences if you feel called to do so. I’m grateful for all of the lessons and layers I have worked on and shifted through this past year.  Is it sustainable for me to do this long term? No. For the time I did it though it was fantastic. Just as I would only do a juice cleanse for a week max, for me personally, I could only do this kind of practise for around 8 months. The real magic though was what it led me to discovering about myself and the inner strength I found when I stopped the practise.

I feel like I have personally reached a point in my life where I have done an insane amount of inner work for the past three years. I’ve been going to energetic healing and counselling appointments, coaching sessions, seeing osteopaths, acupuncturists, as well as doing committed Kundalini shifting for months. It can be easy to become a little addicted to appointments and feeling like you won’t be able to cope without them. But I can safely assure you that you can get to a point where you don’t need as many, and you get to a point where you can just go in every now and then for a little tune up or balance.

The work most certainly does not end.  Each day is a new learning experience, but I’m learning now to flow rather than push.  I’ll take the lessons as they come rather than peeling back the layers too forcefully. That way, I’m able to cope with life and growth in a much more balanced way.

Appointments are great, they are an investment, but help you to shift through things in an environment where you are being supported by a practitioner.  As a practitioner myself, my aim is to get my clients to a point in their journey where they do not need to keep coming back to me regularly.  I want my clients to get to a point of having shifted through so much that they feel like they only need to come in for a tune up once in a while. I like to see the work that I do as helping you to repair your wings so that you can fly again. That way I know I have done my job supporting you and helping you grow and become stronger.

So what does my daily practise and ritual involve now? A meeting with the divine through meditation, writing, immersing myself in nature, and gently showing up for myself each day.  If there is a morning where I am sick or need a sleep in, I flow with that. I like to feel flexible and free, and prefer to intuitively decide by dwelling in heart space and choosing in the moment based on how I wish to feel.  Since coming back to my garden of heart space, I am trusting the process more, feel a lot more peaceful, happy, and content with where I am at and how my life is unfolding. I’ve found my joy again.

Cx

The Work

Some of you may think that because I do this for a living and help people connect back in with their truest nature that I have it all figured out. The truth is, I do not. I wish I could say I have it all figured out but unfortunately I cannot.

Since coming back from holiday I have been energetically pushed to do The Work.  Even though each day of my life I feel like I do The Work in little ways, sometimes a bigger shift and up levelling needs to happen.

For me, it has been physical ailments that have come up. It has been challenging and incredibly uncomfortable.  Often when health issues come up we immediately only focus on the physical aspect and how to get rid of it as quickly as possible. However, when it persists I believe that it is trying to tell us something that is going on at a much deeper level emotionally.

The gifts that this discomfort has brought recently have been quite phenomenal.  It has forced me to look at what I have been carrying emotionally and not speaking out. I have had feelings of fear, not wanting to put myself in a vulnerable situation, feeling incredibly alone, worried, and anxious, and not wanting to hurt anyone else even though I have been hurting. My sleep was most disturbed, stomach churning, and I have felt very unsettled.

One thing I knew I had to do first through the help and guidance of a friend was surrender. I was clinging to the need to fix everything and get myself better, not trusting in the flow and the divine order of my life.

In this journey of surrendering came the tough, hard conversations. I had to let go of the muck that I had been carrying, all those feelings that had built up that I hadn’t spoken out. I was then presented with very clear cue points for two conversations I needed to have, it was a particular series of events/conversations that happened relating to my ailment that finally tipped me over the edge to have the hard conversation and speak my truth.

After saying all that I needed to say, I felt exhausted, as I realised how much tension and stress holding on was causing, but I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. However something even more special happened, the friendships that were involved were brought even closer together. A growth and expansion occurred.

Before surrendering, everything felt like a struggle, I had even begun emotionally distancing myself from the friends that I needed to have the tough conversations with, because I was avoiding feeling uncomfortable and so caught up in not wanting to hurt them. I ended up feeling more alone. I felt helpless. The minute I gave up the struggle, surrendered and spoke my truth, my situation began to improve.

By speaking my truth, not only was I helping myself grow, I was also helping my friends grow and learn more about themselves and also learn more about what my needs are as their friend.  Furthermore, by doing this in my friendships, I’m also practising for when I’m in a future relationship, as this is something I was most terrible at doing in my previous relationship – bringing shit up when it comes up rather than sitting on it for five years like I used to do, then a teabag in the sink sends me off the deep end and it’s too late. Yep. No more of that thanks!

In the healing and guidance work that I do in Spiritual Nutrition, it is of utmost importance to me that I let you know that I am doing The Work too. How can I stand in a position of guiding you to do The Work if I’m not doing it myself? That is something that does not sit well with me.

So, you now know that I know very well how it feels. It’s hard. It’s really uncomfortable.  It’s not pleasant.  It’s incredibly messy, and when I am doing The Work it is hard to keep up with everything like Instagram posting, catching up with people, running a business and everything else in-between. However when I’m going through these periods of shifting higher, I do not put pressure on myself to have to still be on top of my game with everything. There is a softening, a beautiful slowing down that occurs. I go deep within.

You must trust and know that the gifts that are on the other side of that difficult ‘doing the work’ door that we need to open, makes up for all the struggle.  Gone are the days where I just sit and wonder why things aren’t happening the way I want them to.  When things aren’t working out the way I had planned, I now see it as an invitation, an opportunity to dive deeper…and deeper…and deeper.

When challenges arise, be it physical ailments, people doing not so nice things, unexpected situations that seem to tip your world upside down.  The one question I ask is:

What is this/are they showing me?

Such a simple question, but a golden one that opens the magic door to discovering why we are being triggered, why we are speaking so passionately about someone in a not so nice way, why we are judging, why this ailment won’t go away, why I got into that accident.  Instead of feeling like a victim and that life is against us, let’s be open to expanding and growing from the situation, and trusting that there is a lesson to learn, that the situation/person is actually here to teach us something very important about ourselves.

These past few weeks have been uncomfortable, but the growth that has occurred from walking through the pain and discomfort has been phenomenal and I would not have it any other way. By walking through my pain and discomfort and doing The Work, I can in turn help you do The Work and assist you on your magnificent journey.

 Cx

Love

When it comes to the divine lush green garden of the heart chakra, love is ultimately the key. While it is very necessary to love others and be open to receiving love, the most important first step to take is a commitment to developing a deep love of self.

We hear about self-love everywhere these days, but what does it actually mean? How can we love ourselves more? How do we know if we are loving ourselves enough? When do we know if we are full and are ready to give others the overflow?  It can seem overwhelming, a little hazy, and we can easily end up in a state where we are berating ourselves for not doing enough to fill our cup.

First, listen.  What is your heart whispering to you? What emotional messages are you receiving each day? Is there a pattern? Is there one that keeps popping up on repeat? It takes courage to listen to them because they are truth and truth can be very scary.  It takes courage to really listen. When we begin to listen, we begin to choose ourselves. We put ourselves first.

What past hurts are being triggered subconsciously by friends/lovers/family/situations in your environment?  Can you find the root of these hurts?  Listen. Be your own private investigator with a mission to do what is best for you and your wellbeing. Can you find forgiveness? Can you forgive yourself? Forgiveness is essential for healing and it is also an act of deeply caring for yourself.

Our heart space whispers ‘listen to me, make time for me’.

What nourishes you?  What brings you joy?  What are five activities that you can implement in your week to give yourself this love.  This is about YOU.

My five:  writing, painting, reading, kundalini yoga, dancing.

I could think of plenty more.  If you are struggling to come up with a list, that is ok however sweet beam of light I feel it is time to make time for you.  If we cannot make time and show up for ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to fully show up for us? We must make it our mission to fill our life with activities and pleasures that nourish us, make us smile, give us soul shivers.

I know when my cup is full as I am no longer craving anything outside of myself to satisfy or fill me.  Any pleasures or activities with others are simply delicious icing on the cake because I have already given it to myself first.  When we do this filling up ourselves we don’t expect others to do it for us, we don’t demand it from an outside source. I sometimes get to a point where I am craving something outside of me to fill me up, and that is when I know I need to find time for myself to nurture, nourish, refill, reboot.

No more seeking approval, or attention, or love, or company, or happiness from anyone else as we’ve got it covered.  That’s not to say we just become loners!  Noooo.  This actually makes all of our friendships and intimate relationships that much stronger and more satisfying.  They are no longer being built from a place of lack and starvation, but alternatively given a platform to thrive in the overflow that comes from a place of juiciness,  abundance, strength, and harmony. We have already developed a beautiful healthy internal root system of our own and are sharing the overflow with other gorgeous souls that we choose to connect with.

Take time for you. Nourish yourself. Fill yourself. Each time you do this, you are becoming brighter and brighter, like a stunning crystal lantern.  Your heart chakra spinning harmonious green light with sparks of pink.  Your vibration rising and rising each time you pay attention to your hearts whispers, becoming the best version of yourself. Attracting all that is meant to be for you when the time is right. Be that beam of light in your life first and foremost for YOU. By doing this, you will light the way for others to do the same.

'You must do the thing you think you cannot do' - Eleanor Roosevelt

Affirmation:  'I embrace my courageous heart'

Cx

Approval

I had two days in a row recently where I felt an insane amount of anxiety, however I couldn’t quite pin point exactly where it was coming from. I felt a huge knot in my stomach, constant butterflies, and I was having difficulty taking full deep breaths.

In the week prior, I had been cruising along just fine up until a kinesiology appointment which centred around personal power and belief in myself. So, I knew that this was something big that had been stirred up from the depths and was well and truly ready to come out.

Of course, I was driving when it all reached its peak on Tuesday.  I had anxious worrisome thoughts popping up everywhere and I knew tears were on their way, but in order for the floodgates to open I needed to find the root of all this. Where was this unsettling feeling coming from?!

I told myself that I was not going to stop until I found it.  I felt like the detective walking into the black slimy hole in the tree in Stranger Things.  I had to find the root so I could pluck it out as I knew this was a weed not a healthy root.  This felt like an old noxious weed with a very strong and dark root system that had been around for many years.

While driving, I realised that all of the current worrisome thoughts I was experiencing were connected by one common theme.  I then continued to dig further realising that this was not a new theme, it was old, I had definitely been here before worrying about the same thing at various points in my life (too many to count) in many different situations.

It wasn’t until I got home and I was standing in the bathroom when the penny dropped. 

‘Approval’, I whispered.

I dropped to my knees and began to sob.  I realised that all of the worrisome thoughts about different people and situations that I had been going over and over in my head all led back to this deep need for approval.  I also realised that I had been seeking approval from outside of myself for as long as I can remember. I continued to sob until there were no more tears.

I let it go.

It was like my whole being needed to bust it out as it no longer matched my current vibration. I then began to visualise spraying the roots of this weed with golden light and continued to repeat ‘I approve of myself’ over and over until the roots dissolved. 

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation letting go of something big like this, the most important thing is that you have located it and shed light on it.  If it is something like this that has been growing since childhood, then it may sprout a few new roots here and there but you will know and you will be quick to pluck them out.  It is the golden light of awareness that will not let it overtake your sacred garden again.

The only person’s approval that you need is your own. I repeat…

THE ONLY PERSON’S APPROVAL THAT YOU NEED IS YOUR OWN.

Once that is deeply realised, it actually doesn’t matter what anyone else does, or says, or thinks, or might say about you, because you are not seeking theirs or anyone else’s approval.  You become unshakable.

My entire life I have tried to fit myself into some sort of box, and if I didn’t fit then I would feel left out, or feel like there was something wrong with me, or even worse, try to change myself to try and fit. I was on this mission to fit in and had this belief that as soon as I made myself fit somewhere then I’d be happy. So many masks, so many different costumes. So afraid to be myself, show myself, and speak my truth.

What I have recently come to realise is that this also leads back to approval. I was handing over my truth and authenticity with the hope to fit into someone else’s approval box.  I don’t need to find a box to fit in that is outside of myself because I’ve got my own freaking incredible mansion/sacred space/universe.

By fully accepting that you don’t fit into a particular box is not only an act of letting go, but also accepting that you fit into something so much greater than a little box outside of yourself. It is so much more multidimensional, so much more expansive, and full, and limitless. You fit into a box that has no walls, no corners, no limits. In that space you have the freedom to be your whole and complete divinely extraordinary, resilient, light-filled self.  

The only requirement is that you be YOU, approving of yourself wholly and completely.

"Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfilment, for validation, security, or love - you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer." - Eckhart Tolle

Cx

 

 

Roots

I spent the first thirteen years of my life travelling.  I’m originally from Melbourne, but born in Adelaide as my dad was posted for work there at the time.  We then moved back to Melbourne until I was five.  My dad was given the opportunity through his work to move overseas which back in the 1980's was significant and life changing. If my five-year-old self had been consulted before making this decision I would have made the biggest fuss, stomped my foot down with a clear ‘NO we are NOT going’ attitude.  However, now looking back on this gift that we were given, I am so eternally grateful as those thirteen years really shaped me into the person I am today.

I remember crying a lot each time we had to move, which was normally every three years.  I cried thinking about moving back to Melbourne as I missed my Nonna and Nonno, my Aunt Marina and my Nunna and of course her German Shepherd Tyson.

The toughest part with each move was having to build a whole new set of roots.  Navigating a new language and culture (we lived throughout South East Asia), trying to fit into a new school, make new friends, all while going through so many awkward stages that growing up brings. Such as, Mum cutting all my hair off which made me look like a boy because it was easier for HER to manage in the morning (age 6). Losing my front baby tooth (age 7) and it not growing back until I was eleven. Oh, and pre-pubescence. Yep. Awkward. Challenging.

At thirteen I moved back to Australia to attend boarding school while my parents remained overseas until after I graduated high school. I remember feeling at the time that home and my roots were wherever Mum and Dad were, so I felt I couldn’t quite embrace being back in Melbourne.  Even after pining to be back here for so many years, I felt like overseas was now my home!

Today I realised that I have lived in Melbourne for the past twenty-two years.  I have done a bit of travel here and there, and Mum and Dad now live up on the Sunshine Coast. I have only just recently in this past year fully embraced living here and I am LOVING living here.

Only a few short years ago I was STILL trying to figure out a way to live overseas.  What I realised (and this is purely my experience as everyone has different reasons for moving) was that I was only trying to subconciously escape myself and all the things I had to work on within me.  I was wanting to move for all the wrong reasons.  I thought I’d be happier if I was elsewhere.  But really, I would have just carried everything in a big fat energetic suitcase all the way back to Asia with me.

Since doing the inner work and continuing to do the work, all of the things that I was unhappy about in my external environment that I wanted to escape from have altered and positively changed.

Have you ever planted a tree in the garden and for so long wondered why nothing was happening?  For so long it seems like it remains the same height, same width, it’s like it is at a standstill.  Then one day all of a sudden it starts to shoot and get taller and really take off. I feel like I’ve been that tree. A tree that was planted here in Melbourne twenty-two years ago.  All of the experiences, lessons, people I’ve met, relationships I’ve had, and ways in which I have cared for myself have acted as the elements, the minerals, the insects, and microbiome in the soil, the nourishment that a tree needs to build its foundation and roots.

In order to build an incredibly strong root system and foundation, be it in the location where you choose to reside, your relationships, your work/business, you must go within, know yourself, be comfortable with who you are, be grounded in yourself and what you stand for in this world. Yes, there will be challenges, there will be disagreements, there will be highs and there will be many lows, but each one of these challenges is an essential mineral needed to make your roots stronger, to remind you of what you believe in, to help you grow and flourish.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the giant sequoia trees in Yosemite. They are the third longest-lived tree species with the oldest known specimen to have been 3,266 years old.  They would have a pretty spectacular story to tell!  I’m sure they’ve been through a number of catastrophic storms, and seen too many sunny blue sky days to count.  They didn’t start off that strong and tall.  It took time to build that foundation to grow from. They each have their own individual unique story, root system, and place in this world.

Know your story. Own your story. Your story is your roots, your foundation. It may be a 15-year-old story, it may be a 27-year-old story, it may even be an 80-year-old story.  Write it down. You don’t have to put it on a blog or in a book.  Just write it down for you. Get to know you and be proud of you, all that you have achieved and been challenged with. Be proud of all the mistakes you’ve made, and all of the incredible wins you’ve had thus far.

Know deep within that all of the struggles, lessons, and experiences are helping to make your root system stronger, wiser, and unshakable.

"The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness - even our wholeheartedness - actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls." -Brené Brown

Cx

 

 

 

 

Sacred Keys

When it comes to committing to oneself and self-love, I’ve learnt that boundaries play a very important role. Throughout my growth and expansion these past couple of years it has become more and more clear to me who really stands wholeheartedly in my tribe. There’s really nothing like a good old growth spurt to subconsciously end up being a mirror for some people that you thought were close friends.

In the past I would have chosen to not be my truest self and would try to stay friends with everyone. I never wanted to rock the boat or speak up about how I really felt. I always felt it was the safer option to fly under the radar, be nice, be quiet. It felt easier. But in actual fact it was so much harder.


So, in the process of dramatic life change and growth, I started to realize who fully had my back and those that didn’t really show their full support. I knew from a space of awareness that the universe was in fact clearing away that which no longer resonated with my best and highest good. I didn’t really need to do much, just stand up for myself, keep being honest and truthful, and allow and accept the letting go that was taking place.


Of course, there has still been sadness that a handful of friendships have fallen away, but I know now in my heart that that is what happens. It’s actually such a natural process in life. As you grow, you can outgrow certain relationships. But what is let go of then makes space for other new and exciting relationships to develop. Relationships that are vibrating and resonating with where you have risen to.

In the past I wanted to be friends with EVERYONE. If there was anyone that I felt didn’t like me, it would send me into a spin as I couldn’t understand why and I had a very hard time letting it go. I would start to worry that there was something wrong with me, that I wasn’t enough. I was essentially placing my self-worth and happiness in the hands of another, waiting for others approval like a hungry bird waiting for crumbs.  I felt powerless.

Now that I’ve got to know myself a lot more -  in fact, I feel like I’ve become my own best friend. I am now incredibly discerning when it comes to allowing new people into my sacred space (life). Yes, that’s right - I CHOOSE whether or not I will ALLOW someone to get close to me. It’s MY choice not theirs. 
There is incredible power and freedom that comes when you realize you have the choice.

We don’t cut physical keys and let just anyone and everyone into our homes do we? So why do we constantly hand out energetic keys letting everyone and anyone into our sacred space (life)?

Your energetic space and time is precious. Don’t hand it out as though it’s this never-ending supply that means nothing to you. Not everyone gets to have a key. Some may have the garden gate key but not the house one. Some may just have keys to collect the mail while you are on holiday. Some may just be allowed to hang out at the fence for a chat at a specific time. Very few should ever get the golden keys to the front door. And if they do get them and misuse that honour, then you will be forced to change the locks and change the meeting location to outside the front gate or choose to not meet with them at all.

This analogy may sound a little harsh to some, however I feel it highlights the importance of boundaries in your life and the fact that YOU get to CHOOSE. You get to choose who you let in and who you do not. It’s not up to anyone else but you.

What are your boundaries? What do you ask before you decide how far to let someone in? 

I am such an open, fun-loving trusting woman, but I’ve also realized that I can possess all of those qualities and yet still protect myself and have these loving boundaries in place. I ask questions such as:

Does this person have my best interests at heart? 

Do I feel supported by them? Do they show up? 

Do they understand me? 

Do they get me? 

Do I feel loved and safe in their presence? 

Does it feel like whenever I am around them they have totally got my back? 

These are the types of questions I ask myself now. How do I feel around this person? Do I feel joy? Do I experience light and love? Do I feel accepted?

Intuition is key here. How does your gut feeling respond? What are the whispers and messages you are receiving during interaction? TRUST those whispers.
By having a clear vision of what your boundary checklist looks like, you will be able to discern honestly, carefully and pretty quickly as to who you to choose let in and who you do not.

Trust your gut feeling, it speaks truth. Any time you start to question or second guess yourself, know that the situation/person is not in full alignment with you and your soul. Back away and keep moving forward on your path.

FORGIVE - any challenging situations with past friends.

ACCEPT - the natural flow of life, the falling away, the transformation of your environment that is beautifully reflecting your expanded inner self.

LET GO- of that which no longer serves you or supports your best & highest good.

TRUST - in the process and what the universe has in store.

"The speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had.  And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking." Audre Lorde

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Inner Child

Much to my parents dismay I was quite the tomboy in my pre-teen years.  Asking for things like rollerblades and a basketball for my birthday and in complete denial that it was time to start wearing a bra.  While my friends wanted to go shoe and dress shopping, I was most happy shooting hoops and rollerblading with the boys in my apartment building.

There was a point in my early teen years when I changed schools and none of my new friends were doing any of those activities I loved so dearly so I shut that part of me away.  I had forgotten about that rollerblading girl until recently and realised it was time to start nurturing that part of myself again.  

So, keeping with the theme to committing to myself this year, I purchased my first skateboard, with all of the protective gear (don’t worry dad!) and booked in for a lesson every Friday night.

After a week of skating my hallway, my first lesson introduced me to the ramp where I learnt how to skate up and down, and turn. I was on a high afterward. Similar to that skydiving feeling (if you’ve ever jumped out of a plane) – but that is a whole other story.

My second lesson totally caught me by surprise. I rocked up thinking we would just do the same as the week before. Oh no, my instructor had more outrageous plans.  As I was teetering on the edge at the top of the skate ramp about to execute my first drop off, my heart racing, thinking ‘oh Catherine, do you really want to do this?’ ‘What if you hurt yourself? What if you stack badly?’ 

I realised these fears are not dissimilar to those that come up in everyday life.  Such as before I’m about to take a risk, be vulnerable, put myself out there and on the line.  My instructor noticed my fear and apprehension and simply said: ‘it’s all about committing wholly and fully to the drop and trusting you will be ok.’

So, I let go and did it…

I stacked.

My skateboard went flying.  

I was fine. I picked myself up and nailed the next 10 while throwing in some turns too.  The feeling was exhilarating. I felt free, I felt like my twelve-year-old self again. Skating up and down that ramp in the moment was meditative.

You may be asking yourself, why is she telling me all of this?  Is she suggesting that I go out and purchase a skateboard?

No, but you can if you want to.

What I do hope to inspire is for you to look inward, really go deep.  Are there parts of you that have been shut out sometime ago because you felt that they didn’t quite fit in?  If so what are they?  How can you introduce them back into your life?  What gifts can they bring to you? What can they show you?  

When I started these lessons, I never imagined they would be teaching me how to be more committed, present, mentally stronger, trust in myself and not be afraid to take risks.  I never imagined I would find the experience meditative.  The sheer excitement I feel on a Friday afternoon knowing that I have my lesson to look forward to fills me up.

Letting go and pushing forward through chaos. You fall down, you get back up, you try again, and again, and again.  You’re not doing it for anyone else but yourself. It is this personal joy and sense of achievement, commitment, and honouring parts of yourself that come alive doing the things that bring you joy.  Pushing through the fear - be it a first dance lesson, a yoga class, a rock climbing adventure, or doing a fun run.  

Whatever it is that is pulling on your inner child heart strings, listen to that voice.  By listening, you nurture, you choose you, you fill yourself up. 

"Possibilities are a mysterious beauty. They tease us to explore while our inner child cheers because an adventure is waiting" - Jeanne Mcelvaney

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Schedule

I was always one to cringe at the word ‘schedule’.  Yes, even as a business owner.  It felt constricting and rigid and completely devoid of flow and fun. However, there have been a few situations with friends these past few months that have forced me to really look within and explore time management and the ‘busy’ epidemic.

One of the situations which was the biggest slap in the face for me was when my best friend (bestest best best friend – just so you are really clear on how close a friend this is!), was in her final week packing up her entire life to move to New York.  I had received text messages, phone calls from her trying to arrange a time to see me, however I was so caught up in how busy I thought I was to commit to time with her.  I did have a lot going on that week, but looking back, I could have put some of those things aside so that I had quality time to spend with my dearest friend.  It got to the point where she called me and expressed how sad and disappointed she was that we hadn’t had a moment together, and that she had been the only one really trying to arrange a catch up.  I felt awful.  Awful that my beautiful friend felt this way because of my actions.. or should I say lack of action.

Thankfully, I was able to spend the last evening with her, help her pack her suitcase and clear the last of the things from her apartment, even sharing a take-out meal, laughing, crying, and grateful to be together in those final moments.  I have to say, that brought me more joy than any of the other ‘busy’ things I was doing earlier that week.  I had a chance to apologise and also thank her for honestly telling me how she felt because it taught me a huge lesson.

This catapulted me into taking a long hard look at my schedule or lack thereof and how I was not so effectively using my time. 

I am beginning to realise how vague the word busy really is.  What does it actually mean?  I’ve often caught myself saying it and cringed because deep down I know that if I were to honestly take note and clock the hours I have wasted checking social media or cleaning the house, or even just feeling overwhelmed, I would be pretty disappointed with my findings.  So many hours I could have used (had they been properly scheduled) toward activities that brought me so much more joy and even contributed toward what I am most passionate about. 

So, instead of berating myself and feel guilty (which I probably would have done in the past), I began to research, and think, and observe my behaviour to move forward and positively change these old self sabotaging habits.

I never imagined I would say this but there is actually freedom in a stricter schedule.  It allows you to make time for catch ups with friends and loved ones, and do the things that bring you joy because you are so much more consistently committed to yourself and the tasks or activities that are a priority.  Giving yourself a time limit on certain areas such as emails or cleaning the house (I like to clean the house ok?! Haha), means that you don’t get carried away and end up spending four hours on those tasks by accident and then feel overwhelmed with your growing to do list, then proceeding to either cancel catch ups with friends, or just not being entirely present when you are with them.

I am no pro at this and am still very much a work in progress, however I am a firm believer that the first most vital step is awareness.

One piece of advice that has additionally been of great help is changing the language used.  Before I blurt out the B word, I now test myself and choose the word ‘priority’ instead.

For example:

‘I cannot help you out with that work problem today because I’m busy’

vs

‘Helping you out with that work problem isn’t a priority for me’.

Changes everything, doesn’t it?

Or a big one for me at the moment is travelling to spend time with my grandfather.  The amount of times I have said:

‘I’m so busy I just haven’t been able to see Nonno’

vs

‘Spending time with my grandfather is not a priority right now’. 

Gosh that just makes me want to burst into tears. How could that not be a priority?!

Changing the language for me personally helps me clearly see where I would like to spend my time and what actually brings me joy.  Pre-planning catch ups ahead of time can also ensure that you get your other important tasks done before that catch up, and whatever you don’t quite complete, gets factored in the next day. Of course at times there will be deadlines that force you to work until all hours, however this whole scheduling concept is more of a long term discipline so that when you do have the odd crazy patch you still have it under control.

This isn’t a change that happens overnight and I feel like I’ve only just started implementing it and changing my ways.  However, even in these early stages of this change I am noticing how much lighter and energetically free I feel.  I have less overwhelm, as I feel in control and have more clarity and purpose. Not only have I begun to value my time but also equally value the time of others.

The more dedicated and committed I am to my schedule the more committed I am to myself and the things in life that really mean the most to me.  And funnily enough since making these changes, even if my schedule is jam packed I don’t find myself complaining about or using the busy excuse.  There is no need for it anymore as I am clear with what is a priority.

If this is a topic that resonates with you, perhaps begin to gently observe where it is you use the B word.  Try using ‘is not a priority for me’ at the end of your sentence and see how that feels.  Does it conjure sadness, disappointment, guilt?  Does it bring to light what in fact does bring you joy and perhaps things that you are filling your day or weekend with at present that don’t give you that same spark?

At the end of the day we, beautiful, messy human beings are all wonderful works in progress; experiencing, learning, and constantly growing.  Don’t get stuck on thinking about past moments you feel you could have handled differently.  It’s those very moments that helped instigate change and growth in the first place. 

 "Do not complain, make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution." - Maya Angelou

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