PRINCESS SYNDROME

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Occasionally I revisit my old blog posts and cringe. This one however is spot on and provides much material for thought. I do find it challenging to raise not one but two daughters – but soak up each and every lesson and learning with gratitude.

Have a read and let me know how you cope with your daughters princess behaviour? All tips welcome.

Tailored Living Project

It amazes me how many princesses there are  and how many we as a society are actually responsible for…stay tuned for this interesting blog post later!

Hello Awesomers!!!

Well I have wanted to do this post for a while but today something happened that sent this dont-mess-with-my-kid mamma into a blind fury – ok so I contained it but I thought to myself…no way…not another child of mine getting pushed around.  You see today was the first time I witnessed another child BEING MEAN TO MY BABY!!! I know I know I know…this happens to all kids and I really do get it…but since I had not had this issue with Miss Moo 5yo before now I was blindly thinking I had skipped this dreaded bit of being a parent to a girl-child!  After all I had already been through it with my eldest and she had really been through…

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COMMIT TO LIFE

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Yesterday I attended the most heart wrenching but heart warming ‘celebration of life’ I have ever seen. Just over a week ago a dearly loved colleague and friend moved through this life very suddenly, without warning. Everyone who knew her was shell-shocked and we struggled to find meaning from this. We felt lost and grieved heavily despite knowing that her passing was quick and that she knew where she was going. We weren’t grieving for her, we were grieving for us – those left behind, and for the gaping hole she has left behind.

That hole however will not remain empty. I believe that hole is filled with the legacy she left behind. The legacy of a life well, and fully lived. That legacy was always there even in her life, but the magnitude of it could not be comprehended until you walked into the jam packed church full of hundreds of people who cam to celebrate her life. Right from the outset you could tell that although the tears would flow and we would hug each person that much tighter, this celebration would not be about sorrow or loss. The service was sprinkled with light-hearted stories of yesterday’s, but shined with stories of the effect she had on every single person she met.

Personally, I had never heard a bad or negative word leave her lips despite how easy it is for us to do so. She embraced life and all that is in it with a grace and mercy mirroring that of people like Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa…I kid you not, this woman was special. She gave every second of her days to helping others, both in her work and in her personal life and spare time. Not in a martyr-like way but in a way that many people were overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of her life’s work. I know I was.

So in keeping her legacy alive and strong I am calling myself to action. I am calling myself on my own sh$t. That’s not to say I’m dismissing or undervaluing what I already do or who I already am, it’s just that we can become complacent in first world issues and forget the sanctity of life and our connections to it. I want to live a life where the people that come to my funeral are those I have a deep connection with because if you haven’t the time for me now why come to my funeral? i have no doubt that each and every person there yesterday was connected in life with this beautiful woman. I want to leave a legacy. Not to be known for it or awarded for it. But to leave this world far better than I entered it. I want my children to look back over my life and say that they were blessed to have a mother like me. I want my friends to look back and say that they were blessed to have known me. I want to leave imprints on my community, society and our world, that will have implications for good for many years to come…even by the small things I do.

What I don’t want people to have experienced are missed calls, missed catch ups, conversations filled only with gossip, etc. so I have to actively work on this everyday…just as this woman did.

I will commit to being present with the people in my life.
I will commit to valuing the time people set aside for me.
I will commit to being real with myself and striving for a wholehearted life.
I will commit to giving of myself, showing up and being seen – daring to be vulnerable.
I will commit to sharing my resources with others in a way that empowers them.
I will commit to letting go of material need because ‘stuff’ doesn’t complete me.
I will commit to working trough my issues instead of hiding from them.

I WILL COMMIT TO LIFE

NO DODGY DO-OVERS

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I have had some responses by people I know, expressing that they too are open to some do-overs or rematches with people in their lives. This prompted me to question what a do-over really meant, and a few key themes emerged allowing me to recognise the questions that must be answered in order to understand what the words ‘do-over’ and ‘rematch’ really looked like and felt like in any given situation.

Some of the questions I came up with are:

1. How are you envisioning this to occur?

Are you setting an intentive thought pattern in your mind as to how the do-over is initiated and if so, does it sound more like something out of a Disney or Pixar movie? If it is, then it’s likely that you are not only putting yourself in an unrealistic situation but are also limiting yourself and the situation by putting it into a nice, neat little box complete with curled ribbons and bows. Last I checked, these situations are rarely pretty or perfectly done. You have to remember that you and this other person are coming from a place or significant hurt, pain and many other feelings, and aiming to move through them into a place of forgiveness, acceptance and hope. This entire process requires a great deal of courage and thus a great level of vulnerability.

2. How would this experience of reconnection feel?

We would all love to bask in the thought that reconnections and do-overs give you warm fuzzies that hug you close and sprinkle fairy dust of joy over your head. But we would also all like to believe that having a 12 pound baby with no pain relief is the experience of a lifetime leaving us with fond memories you will jump to repeat. To be serious many of us know that is ridiculously far fetched – I mean how many people have 12 pound babies these days…… No. While we might hope and dream, the reality is that reconnections are often fraught with uncertainty, anxiousness, fear, tentativeness, and relived pain. Will we be stuck in those feelings? No. However feeling them and experiencing them will work well to take the fear factor out of them and make them less intimidating.

3. How would the players interact during the initial stages of reconnection?

This is entirely dependant on those involved. One would hope it would not resemble a road runner style attack on kyote, neither resembling a Ren and Stimpy episode. But I imagine there would be a great deal of body language resembling hesitation and uncertainty. I imagine it would probably lack those BESTIE-style hugs reserved for your ‘peeps’, but then again you just never know! They say that hugs are a great healer and a global communicator of love and compassion.

It occurred to me through looking at these questions however, that maybe we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Maybe that wheel needs to be thrown to the trash heap and a new wheel, custom designed, needs to be fitted instead. Maybe we just need to look at this reconnection as a new connection instead – a new season perhaps.

Do I have all the answers? No, certainly not. However I’m enjoying this ride despite all the confronting themes coming out of it, but I will push forward and continue my journey to my infinite balance even in the face of shifting dynamics.

So, how have you experienced reconnections or do-overs in your life and what did they look and feel like? I would be really interested to hear how you faired and dealt.

I SEE YOU

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I see YOU

I notice YOU

And YOU MATTER

A few very simple words really, and although they can be flippantly and mindlessly said or dismissed, it doesn’t diminish the deep meaning or impact these few simple words can elicit. Yet it seems as though by actually seeing someone and having that experience of putting yourself out there and in turn being seen doing this, you are in fact engaging in a very vulnerable act.

Think back to a time when you may have experienced this. Think back to a time when you have been on a bus or train, or have been waiting in line for something. And if you are like many others you people watch – whether it is direct, or under the guise of reading a magazine. As you look around you observe people laughing, children jumping on and off the park bench as their mother struggles to find the phone that’s ringing in the bottom of her handbag over stuffed with ‘just-in-case’ items like a hat, sunscreen and snacks. Then just as you turn back to your magazine you see something special. You see that same flustered mother stop, drop everything, and embrace her child with the love and compassion that is unique to a mother, as they cry holding their freshly scraped knee. Just as you think to yourself what an amazing being a mother is and how special it is to witness the love between a mother and her child she catches your eye. In a second you snap your head back to your magazine and pretend you saw nothing, and a hint of shame or guilt squeezes your chest for making yourself privy to such a special moment. It is then that we see that you weren’t ‘seeing’ this at all. Rather you were observing.

To truly ‘see’ something as opposed to stealing a glance or casual observation, is to truly notice that which is before you with awareness. It is to be present in that moment with the full conviction of being there and participating in something meaningful no matter how seemingly insignificant it may appear.

As human beings we have become increasingly introvert in how we experience emotion, both our own and others. It’s as if emotion is something akin to the plague and an experience laden with shame and guilt. We may wonder why, but we needn’t look any further than the mirror. We play into this game that has engulfed society – the game of guilt, shame, ridicule and blame. We have forgotten that as a global society we are all essentially the same inside and out, and have become too uncomfortably numb to it all.

I’m going to share a little moment of vulnerability with you all here so bear with me. One of my greatest struggles is vulnerability. I don’t like putting myself out there and I don’t like showing openly my emotions when I have been hurt. I have spent the past 8 years trying to deal with the pain I felt when someone in our immediate family chose to completely reject my child purely because they were not ‘blood related’. The event has ripped massive holes in our family as my husband and I fought to protect our young children from these actions, and in the process I have been painted as the terrible, unfair, mean witch by many of our family. Most of all, this whole ordeal made both my daughter and I feel unseen, unnoticed, and like we don’t matter. It’s not a nice feeling. And it’s something I have up until a few years ago, just laid down and taken. What I have learnt however (and here is the BIG vulnerable moment for me), that maybe this person was feeling unseen, unnoticed and like they didn’t matter too. Although it may have been unintentional, maybe I didn’t communicate or portray the message that ‘I see you, I notice you and you matter’ very well for where they were at in themselves at the time. If that is the case – I am deeply apologetic and wish to say right here and now that….

I SEE YOU, I NOTICE YOU, AND YOU MATTER….ALWAYS.

Does that mean that my boundaries on what behaviours we accept in our family unit are null and void? No. But it does mean this. I see you. For the wonderful parent you are. I notice you. For the wonderful things you have done for others. And you matter. Always. That has never changed. You mattered to me the first time I met you. And you matter today too. If you were to ask tomorrow for a clean slate, a do-over, a rematch…I would give it to you. Because you will matter for all time regardless of what happens in life.

Phew! Wow that wasn’t too hard……….okay it was but I needed to set things straight once and for all. Because as Brene says…vulnerability is the cornerstone of courage. I’ve been through hell and back in my life and all that is about to be challenged…because shame can only survive where there is secrecy, silence and judgement. Now that there have been a few major things shift in our lives I will be blowing the lid off that which has kept me prisoner since I was 4 years old. And in doing so I hope to help others to leap into their own power too.

You may be thinking how I began exploring this topic and you needn’t look any further than the wonderful Brene Brown. This researcher and vulnerability expert is the leading woman in this area and has great insight (however confronting) into how we humans tick and tock. At My Infinite Balance we are starting an online book club n November 1, 2013 on Brenes book ‘Daring Greatly’. We will then have both an online and in person (Sunshine Coast Australia) ‘Bookend Dinner’ discussion to discuss and question what we experienced through this book. This is open to anyone and I encourage you to share this with your friends, family and followers so they can be part too. Maybe you can even start your own local group and start it the same time as us and we can all collaborate. I’m looking forward to connecting with you all, and looking forward to learning and growing more in the process of reading this book. You can check out her TED talks on you tube also.

THE SUNDAY WOMAN

MY AUTHENTIC NEEDS, MY CONNECTION NEEDS

Here we go everyone, another instalment of my future book. Just like the last post, read through and read to the end.

I breathe a deep sigh of relief. Not so much because I’ve been saved from some horrific fate, or because some terrible thing has been overted. I breathe a sigh of relief because its Sunday, and that commonly used term ‘day of rest’ is more that just the act of curling up with a good book, or a late breakfast with the newspaper.

I’m sitting here discreetly staring at her from across the table just breathing in her essence. I love her so completely and fully that its fulfilling just embracing her being both visually and spiritually. She is sitting there reading a feel good story in the newspaper and the corner of her mouth just lifts slightly as laughter dances in her eyes.

“I love Sunday mornings”, she muses. I smile and nod in agreement because I love Sunday mornings too. I love Sunday mornings because its the one day of the week where I get true rest from that which exhausts me the most – the woman sitting across from me. Yes she is still here with me, but for once she is at ease. Sundays signifies the day that all is at rest and she eases into Sundays with a hint of surrender and vulnerability that I don’t see during her everyday self. Sundays is like having someone completely different enter our space and I get a break from the highly strung, self critisising, self sabotaging woman that hides within her on Sundays.

So what does Sundays mean to you? How do you ground yourself or reconnect? Please don’t forget to join in the discussion below in the comments…and share on fb or twitter and see what your friends think Sunday means to them.

Catch you on the Awesome side!

Sunny 🙂

WAIT A MINUTE! I’M NOT READY?

AUTHENTICITY, CHILDREN, FAMILY, FITNESS, FRIENDSHIPS, GOALS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS, HEALTH, MY AUTHENTIC NEEDS, MY CONNECTION NEEDS, MY ESSENTIAL NEEDS, MY INDIVIDUAL NEEDS, PARENTING, THE OTHER HALF, WORK LIFE

Ok so my post today is in a different format than usual, but I was in a kind of holiday funk and I had to get myself out of it. Read through to the end paying close attention to the content and possible meanings, then read the endnote down the bottom.

I stand there feeling frustrated and annoyed because she is procrastinating – again. I’m ready of course. Ready to go, do and be. I have everything sorted, planned and in place.

“Just a minute”, she calls as though she really means a sixty second minute. Pffft.

I just don’t understand why she needs a minute. She has been working towards this day her whole life. She knew it was coming even despite the little voice in the back of her head that kept telling her she wasn’t good enough. Even despite the fact that the little voice in her head is still saying these terrible things to her, causing her breath to hitch and her heart to race. Even still she knew this day was coming.

She screams out again, a little more panic in her voice that she is trying to hide with a softened and upbeat tone. “I’m just making myself look presentable, won’t be long now”. Again, another promise to be ready that we know has much deeper meaning than just appearances. Doesn’t she know how perfect she is? Doesn’t she know that she already shines like the sun and radiates her authentic essence? I guess not since I am still here waiting.

I hear a thud and crashing noise just beyond where I am, close to where she is ‘preparing’. “I’m alright. I just stumbled on some things. I’ll just put it all back into place and I’ll be ready”. There’s been stuff falling around her for a while now, yet she still seems to think this is a new occurrence? I guess she’s finding it hard to get out of there when there is things in her way. I will be patient although I find it terribly frustrating. I know that the preparation is essential but I had thought she would be more ready for this considering how excited she was just yesterday. Oh well, Murphy has been busy huh?

As I sit there double checking that I’ve held up my end of the deal, I hear the loudest bang I’ve every heard coupled with a pained scream. No she couldn’t have. As I look in towards her the realisation dawns on me that she has rushed straight into the wall. Not just that, she has also knocked herself out cold. I try to bring her round but there is just no response, it’s as if she has nothing left in her and she is in a place far from here. Ok, don’t panic, we can still be ready. I just have to find a way to bring her back, in a way that has her fired up to go………..

So what do you think this story is about? What does it reflect for the characters, and what does it make you question within yourself?

Comment on the actual blog post in the below section so we can share our thoughts and feedback. What do you think should happen next?

Catch you on the awesome side 😉

Sunny x