STATE OF COMMITMENT

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Ferocious Honesty. Wholehearted Truth. Plucky Candour. This is where my values belong and have for some time, sometimes getting suffocated by my own need to be a pillar of kindness, selflessness, and ever pleasing for the benefit of others. It does me no good you know, this habit of being everything for everyone, nor does it do anyone else any good. Despite being in a profession that is built on the premise of kindness, selflessness, and the best outcomes for others, that premise is nothing but an old whisper of the past – one in which nurses lived in, walked the halls til their feet bled, and were married to their vocation of selfless caring. Certain things had their place in that time, not so in this age where nurses are both men and women, mothers and fathers, and clinical specialists in their own fields with mountainous responsibilities to match. I guess that old whisper has always had a place in my mind – until now.

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For years I have been committed to everything and everyone but myself, myself has always been an afterthought and deep down I knew I would not be able to sustain it forever. At some point I was going to have to be self-caring, selfish, and put my needs first. I knew this because I say these same words to friends and colleagues who are in the same position, only not being courageous to take in on myself and stand firm in my own needs. That time is over, or will be soon as I take step by step in moulding my own life, my own career. This year I have embarked on so many things that threaten to take me out if I don’t heed my own words: research, a 2 year honours diploma, my certificate 4 in fitness, a new business centred around our long-term plan to move and work abroad, and for this my health has suffered with the lacking sleep and lacking time for my own physical fitness.

This year I have taken some steps to move away from things happening to me and into a place where things happen for me. Big difference. This move requires simple but somehow difficult steps. I’m still doing it no matter how hard the steps are. I was bold enough to ask my boss for one set day off each week so I could be mother to my two girls and be there one weekday day per week to do all those mummy chores – and I love those mummy things I really do, they will no longer be there for me to do much longer as my girls grow. I was worried that this was too big a request and that I would be denied, how wrong I was. I was granted this request with the complete understanding that I needed. I added to this my desire to work no more than 64 hours a fortnight unless I expressed the desire to on the odd occasion, or if it was dire to my workplace that I work up. That too has been put in place. I have a wonderful boss and whilst I trust and know that she looks out for her staffs’ best interests, I have a history of not feeling worthy enough – something I am really working on. It isn’t just my work life I have been working on – my physical health I have been too.

When I moved to the Sunshine Coast I had cancer, thyroid issues, chronic and severe allergy, serious and debilitating anxiety, complications from the cyst in my brain, and that was just the start of it. I was recommended by my GP a supplement I had shipped in from New Zealand that really made a big difference and I was able to stop all my prescribed medications, I gave up smoking, and lost a stack of weight. I was doing so well…until a fall at work and a slip on rocks at the beach left me with 2 fractures in my lower spine, nerve damage, and pain that is present even today. That really halted my training schedule and the weight began piling back on. Add to that a few trips to Europe and no desire to abstain from the local delicacies, a ton of self loathing about this, and I am far from where I was before. I am over the self loathing now, knowing that life happens to all of us and knowing that each day I have been doing my best just to stay afloat and keep moving forward. That said, I have also put in place changes to keep moving forward and climb the steep hill back to the fitness and wellbeing level I was at before – looming early menopause or not.

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When beginning back with my fitness journey (ughhhh – hate that word now but cant think of another), I had to be realistic in the fact that I am typical Obliger personality – no matter how much I practise not being that. So in order to get into the habit of self commitment, I have to work with it instead of against it. So I have done the following:

· Enlisted hubby to prepare healthy vegetarian meals using our fabbo cookbook

· Encouraged the kids to start thinking of all the vegetarian foods they can eat for good health and energy – and pack/choose themselves

· Earlier to bed for a good sleep – still working on this

· Monday morning walks at 530am followed by an ocean swim (ok paddle), with a friend who is also an obliger personality – and sticking to this routine no matter how I feel (I can always walk a little slower and not as far if I feel shite), and I have successfully kept this routine even if my friend doesn’t come

· Catching myself in moments of stress and taking a few deep breaths

· Actively trying to let go of the hurts others have inflicted on both me and my loved ones – still working on this

· Beginning a fitness challenge lasting 12 weeks with my beautiful inlaws from across the ditch in NZ…to make it a bit fun

I know I have a way to go before I am back where I was and in a forward motion again, but I am feeling confident in my state of commitment to myself.

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RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
― Herman Melville

“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

We engage with ourselves and the people that surround us every day? Yes it is intended to be a question. Do do we really engage with those around us in a true authentic sense, or do we disengage from others when we should be connecting on a deeper level?

This is something I’ve been trying to work on lately to strengthen the bonds with my family and friends, with those people that add value to my life, especially because this then adds value to their lives in return.

I believe that to engage on this level with others is through heart connections, connections that mean something and without which our lives would be a little less sparkly.

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I could point out what it isn’t however I have so much more to share that adds value on this topic.

You knowing a fan of Brene Brown and she has a series of printouts that are just gold. Here is one that suggests some simple guidelines ‘rules’ of quality engagement. Are you brave enough to give it a shot? Do you have some of your own?

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WHERE I’M AT

It’s been a while since I’ve been regularly present on my own blog lately hasn’t it? I do love being here I promise. It’s the one place where I feel free to say what is weighing on my soul, and scream from the rooftops all the cool stuff that excites me. It’s important for each if us as human beings to have our own forum for being heard and speaking our truth – whether it be a log, a diary or any other form. I think blogging has exploded in popularity for many people to have a voice but I wonder, are there any other cool ways to do this?

I’ve been in a process of storming, forming and norming so to speak, and although its necessary for personal growth, I don’t much like it. If I believed in past lives I would have to wonder if I was a hooligan at some point destined to learn a load full in this one. Since I don’t I guess I have put it down to me not listening to my intuition, my body or the signs everywhere on what to do and what not to do, thus my body is screaming at me in other ways.

A few years ago now I was diagnosed with a cyst on my brain but when they looked at it they couldn’t figure out some mysterious thing encapsulating it. Now for about 13 years I have had vertigo issues, but right before this thing was found I got got a real good whack in the head and since then the vertigo and headaches became ridiculous. I have had a really good run since changing my lifestyle but it appears that my body has figured out that I’ve been cutting some corners, burning the midnight oil (like now), and forgetting the fact that living that way got me into this mess last time. I’ve been putting off the self shaking I’ve needed to give myself for a while but now with the return of these symptoms, the development of a painful lump in my leg and feeling emotionally swamped – well I need to face facts. It’s time to live again.

So I’m jumping back into me again. I have been looking after my soul again by committing to Pilates each Saturday with a group of amazing women, starting writing again, connecting with people who add value to my life, and educating myself on cleaning up my system even further, and really cutting out the stuff that no longer serves me. A very respected friend of mine said to me the other day that she longed for excitement in her life again and intended on going out and getting it. I have to say that I’m with her.

So I have decided to scratch the idea of going through the whole neurologist and brain scan pathway that I know will may lead to another year or two of stress, worry or what ifs to get the same answer of ‘no we won’t operate because its too deep’, nor will I be spending time waiting for what ifs or what nexts for the lump in my leg that may or may not be anything – I’ve been on the cancer trail before and I’d rather concentrate on fixing the deeper cause.

Instead I am going to focus on living – really living, because that’s what I want, not living because I’m fearful of the alternative. I know it might appear a morbid thing but I deal with death quite regularly in my job as a nurse and the one thing that is strikingly obvious is that living is the key…not dwelling, not regretting, not fearful (working on it), not angry or unforgiving, not too proud to change your mind, not stuck. In saying that I need to acknowledge that I’m not perfect nor always right, but I do try to act on what I believe to be true at the time for the best interests of my family and my life. Doesn’t always come across that way though.

I’m taking this opportunity to put all the painful stuff away (working on it), and this includes making it okay for others to do the same. Part of this is saying – I’m sorry. I’m sorry if anything I have ever done has come across in a way that has made you feel hurt, or less, or unimportant…period. There will be one or two particular people that this really is significant to and if they think it applies to them then yes I’m talking to you. Nothing I have done has ever been intentionally aimed at hurting you so please know that. In turn I am also releasing all the things that have cut deep for me too (working on it), and allowing myself the space to heal. I look back on all the young women I nursed in their final days and I want to have the peace that they had now not just in my final days. I don’t want anything unfinished for me or anyone else – and I have a sense of urgency that now was the time and I’d best not leave it any longer.

Ultimately though I want my zest and my joy back and I fully intend on pursuing it.

Deep down do you feel that you have no unfinished business, you’ve overcome your regrets or at least made peace with them, and that you would feel your life complete at any stage because you lived it big?

THE SKIN I’M IN

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‘Black is slimming’ they say. ‘Black hides your lumpy bits’ they say. ‘Black hides a multitude of sins’ they say. ‘They’ conveniently leave out the counterpoints on the colour black, and for quite some time I have grappled on the mat between both points of view. I can surely say that I’m gunning for the view against these terms of flattery at this time in my life.

It is a recent revelation to me that whilst the flattery that has surrounded voluptuous girls wearing black appears to be innocent all round, in fact it points to the opposite. The descriptions of what black is said to do for you points to the idea that there is something that requires hiding behind the shadows of a colour choice, hinting that it is something to be shameful about. Now for me it is indicative to the extra layers I’m in the process of working through (aka fat), but it can mean something equally questionable for people of any size.

Let me ask this of you, and of myself. Since when did we become so unlikable that we needed to cover ourselves up? Since when did it become okay to expect our daughters to love themselves, yet be hippocrites by hating ourselves? Since when did it become okay to put ourselves in the ‘not good enough’ box, leading others to think the same? Seriously, we are far more evolved and aware than that – or are we? Now this isn’t about health per se – because I eat well, work hard, and exercise – and self worth should not be dependant on how we look. Well I have challenged myself in this area, and called myself on my own shit!

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I have reached a point in my life that I feel the need to challenge myself and switch on the BS radar far more frequently – I’m not getting any younger and frankly I don’t want to reach my forties (not for a few more years yet phew!), with the same self loathing that has plagued my first 34 years. I’m already working on my health and I’ve come quite some way with shrinking into a new shape, blasting away much chronic disease and quitting smoking, but this self image crap needed sorting. So I’ve stepped into the light and am embracing everything BUT plain black – I’m dressing like the colourful vibrant 30-something woman that I am, and in the process teaching my girls that self love is important in the process.

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Apart from uniform style work clothes, I have not bought anything in a solid black or dark colour in quite some time now. And to top it off I am embracing wearing clothes that DO NOT resemble an over sized circus tent, but frame the skin I’m in with curves and all. My husband loves it! My kids think I’m dressing less like a grandma (horror – they used THAT word!). And my friends have commented that its nice to see some colour. In fact I think it brightens me up!

So I set a challenge to you out there whatever your shape – be bold and wear something that challenges your perceptions about ‘the skin I’m in’ – and reblog your thoughts and experiences.

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DID YOU PACK THE THONGS?

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Leaving the beach for the bush.

So today’s the day. Today is the day we head off the the great beyond (aka: away from the Sunshine Coast – yeah I know it doesn’t sound right to me either). Today we start our journey towards bugs, creepy crawlers, snakes, frogs, toads, spiders, leeches and whatever else Mother Nature has created to keep us on our toes or hanging from the roof. Today we voluntarily leave our warm cosy beds free from all of the above for air mattresses, dirt, trees (and tics heaven forbid), and yes the communal bathroom.

I should insert here though that we had planned and prepared for a camping site that required us to have a solar shower and we had spent a lot of time preparing Little Miss Moo for this. However when I checked videos online this morning I noticed there was a military practice range next door!!!, so ummm yeah no thanks we won’t be staying there. Good job I found somewhere else quite nice. I said to the guy that no a powered site was not necessary as long as we could have a fire, and flushing toilets we would be just fine – winning…booked!

Did you notice I said voluntary??? Yep. We have signed up for this and are all looking forward to bush walks and hikes, picnics overlooking the ranges, visits to cosy little coffee shops a short drive away, roasted marshmallows at night, board games with the kids and lots of peace and quiet. But the thing I am looking forward to most of all is connecting. Connecting with my friends and family during our trip, connecting with my husband, connecting with my kids….and connecting with myself.

Yes I’m feeling a little disconnected from myself. With so much going on, so much to achieve and strive for, so much attention to others, and so little attention to my own inner struggles and journey. It’s not that I want to connect with my struggle in the whiny spooky la la way many people do. I want to connect with my inner struggle so I can explore it, make peace with it, become friends with it and grow from it. That type of connection can be very difficult to have when you are endlessly connected to everyone else’s struggles and all the blue noise that engulfs each day. So I need this time. I need it to stay authentic, I need it to stay sane (in my own crazy way). I need it to work through some very tough issues that have been simmering very quietly – but remain present.

I’m not sure how I will do this but I expect that it will involve a fair bit of meditation, writing, reading and maybe a few slow runs. I might even throw in a few videos, so hook into my facebook page My Infinite Balance and stay up to date.

So here is a question for you all…how do you reconnect to yourself and the special people in your lives, when life becomes overwhelmingly hectic? Share this blogpost with your take on it and see what your followers come up with too.

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!

TAM 🙂

BEING SAVVY

Oh dear!!! I bought a dress - with a frill!

Oh dear!!! I bought a dress – with a frill!

Lucky for my friend Sarah – she drove me to pick up a dress. It was chosen by the gaggle of girls I had in tow – my two girls and her three girls (not forgetting wee Mr J in the pram they also pushed around for me). Which was awesome because I certainly would not have picked a dress like this, so it was kinda like having miniature personal shoppers carrying my stuff for me and giving me fashionista advice – and good for my fellow mummy Sarah because she got to have an entire hair cut in peace for the first time in a while. Now I didnt have to wear the workout gear that seems to only grace my drawers these days.

Why is this lucky? Because on Friday I attended Rachael Berminghams Saavy Luncheon with her and my sister-in-law. I knew it was a stretch considering I had two fractures in my lower spine from Sundays frollicks http://wp.me/p2E4WV-h3 – but I wasnt about to give up on something that I had already booked, paid for, and knew I needed to be at. It appears that the two women I went with had forces working against them too as one had been unwell and the other had a last minute vomitting child. So if I had to stand for a while then that is what I would do, I managed it for a staff meeting the day before so I could do it again. Frankly, being stuck in the house layed up doing nothing was doing my head in, and I could recognise the need to avert a potentially catastrophic crazy episode ha ha.

Rachael Bermingham – a mother, author, publisher, mentor, public speaker, and all round phenominal woman. She is the author of the 4 Ingredients book, the Savvy book, and many others. Read about her here:

http://rachaelbermingham.com/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/RachaelBermingham.LIVE?fref=ts

I own and have read her Savvy book and it has been instrumental in giving me the boost not only to push into my goals further, but to question them, think about them, throw them around a bit and question them some more. Not just that, but to start planning and implementing for these goals.

I went to this luncheon however to get a bit of a jumpstart back to what I had become sidetracked from. The goals I know are big, but ones that I am passionate about. What I recieved was more than I had expected. I had a wonderful day with like minded women drinking yummy wine, and eating totally delish food at The 4th Floor Restaurant in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast http://www.4thfloor.com.au/ .  I networked, made new friends, but mostly I came out of this luncheon feeling much more fired up about actually nailing my goals and felt it gave me a decent kick in the pants I needed. I was able to finally give up the ghost on feeling guilty about decluttering my life in terms of friendships, relationships, and time wasting activities. It made me feel more at ease about chasing after my goals regarding further education and building my own business, not to mention tackling the few books I have outlines for that I want to write – but have not commited to.

My friend and my sister in law x

My friend and my sister in law x

I was blessed to attend this luncheon with two other amazing women I care about and I know that they both got a great deal out of this time with Rachael too. And meeting Rachael was like meeting a firecracker of a woman with the tenacity that we sometimes smother with our everyday hangups.

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My amazing sister in law is one of my mentors even though she probably doesnt really understand why. But she is smart, switched on, emotionally intelligent and savvy in her own right and I know that her and I tend to think on the same page. I am sure that all three of us will have many more catchups that are equally as motivating in the near future.

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What an exciting time this year is going to be for me and my family. What a confronting year this will be for my clutter. I am sure not all of my decluttering will enthuse everyone, but it is neccessary to be surrounded by what you want to become, not what you dont want to become. Like attracts like and all that jazz.

Thankyou Rachael for your contribution to my “YEAR OF AWESOME”.

Random quote pulled out of a box by me at the function:

“To start a business you need an idea that not only excites you, but also excites at least 80% of the market – then you’ll have the foundation for not just a business but an empire” – Rachael Bermingham.

Oh how true. And how fitting for where my head was at. And how exciting!

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO ACHEIVE YOUR GOALS AND WHY? WHAT THINGS CLUTTER YOUR LIFE AND PREVENT YOU FROM DREAMING BIG-SUCCEEDING BIG?

Everybody Be AWEOSME!!!

TAM 🙂

THOU WAS BADA$$

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Fireworks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I know. Not a great end to 2012 being so late to review the year that was. Especially since we are well into the first week of 2013. But I have a soopa-oopa-doopa good reason – or is that an excuse? Nope reason it is. I HAVE BEEN LIVING. And unfortunately that includes the inconveniences in life too – I have slipped into what I would consider uuugghhhh…but what my loved ones call “Gods/the universe” way of making me slow down. I fell and hurt my shoulder before Christmas and that coupled with family, fun, life…I have been somewhat consumed by other things that have needed my attention. But I did miss you all so I hope you have all arrived safely at the other side of the new year revelling.

I know a lot of people believe that you should leave the past in the past. Good in some respects. However, I believe that in order to look forward, plan forward and move forward, you need to know where you have come from so that you don’t repeat the bad stuff, but learn from it in order to embrace the good stuff. I also believe that it is important to acknowledge your journey already travelled because it has not only shaped your current self, but is also part of your story and is a testament to what you are capable of. So here it is…my reflection on the year that was – 2012!

So a lot happened in 2012 which included some really crappy stuff – including family dramas, injuries, relationship strain, job challenges, blah blah blah.

But a lot of really cool stuff happened too!!!

  • All clear from cervical cancer – woo hoo!!! No more nasty visits to the specialist. In fact my doctor printed out my all clear results and told me that I can finally frame them ha ha ha.
  • Resolution of thyroid issues – another woo hoo!!! This makes mood, energy, weight loss etc a lot easier believe me.
  • Started my non-smoking life (well it really started in December 2011 but hey lets not get fussy). Wow…how the hell did I get anything done with so much time spent smoking my life away?
  • I got serious about getting healthy & fit
    • Did my first official-ish run – Mooloolaba 5km Twilight Run…and came in a spectacular LAST lol. And that was with a broken rib and torn adductor – totes hardcore ha ha ha.
    • Ran my first 10km event in the very first ever Sunshine Coast Marathon. I didn’t beat my speedy husband like I had hoped, but I sure did finish – and I ran (slowly but did run) 9.5km of it. And I didn’t come last!

      10km run - check!

      10km run – check!

    • Completed my first triathlon. A mini one but the long course of a mini one. The fact that it was a PINK tri to raise funds just made it that much sweeter. I didn’t come last in this either lol.

      MY AWESOMENESS TEAMIES - HELL YEAH!!!

      MY AWESOMENESS TEAMIES – HELL YEAH!!!

    • Climbed numerous mountains. Mt Tinbeerwah, Wildhorse Mountain, Mt Coolum, Mt Ngungun – and attempted part of Mt Tibrogargan.
    Mt Ngungun with some awesomeness chickas!

    Mt Ngungun with some awesomeness chickas!

    • Became stronger, more courageous and more self respecting. I made my STAND against bullies, toxic people, disrespecting family members, and made my STAND against my old beliefs about myself. I began to love who I am and started to recognise that yes I am worthy of respect and have the power to shape my own world.
    • I became Mrs Awesomeness – dubbed this by Miss Fabulissa I began to shape my world with this in mind. All decisions were made with AWESOMENESS in mind.
    • I became clear in thought and found a passion again – and that includes my exciting endeavours for the coming year (but more on that in my next post).
    • I began blogging!!! And it is here I say thankyou to all my followers, sharers, fellow bloggers and likers. Thankyou for your input so far and I hope this continues in 2013 because I am now addicted ha ha!

 

So kind of exciting. A big year it was. Yes there were a lot of tears. A lot of laughs. Plenty of smiles. And a touch of sadness. But it wouldn’t be life without all that in it. Our experiences are kind of like the coloured crayons on a blank piece of paper. And the people I have met are the pictures that have helped shape my year. There are people I have met throughout the year that I no longer really interact with for various reasons, and there are those that I have become closer to – to all of you I am glad I met you and I thankyou for what you brought to my life. Everyone comes into our life for a reason – whether we figure it out or not. You are all a blessing and I pray that you have an extraordinary 2013!

So in reflecting I can only assume that 2013 is not only going to be my year of AWESOME, but it is going to be an exceptional year with so many exciting challenges ahead. I know I am capable of whatever is asked of me and more than courageous enough for anything that comes my way – in fact I KNOW that I will sparkle this year. Keep in touch for my goal post soon.

Oh Yeah!!! (photo credit: google images)

Oh Yeah!!! (photo credit: google images)

WHAT CAME OF YOUR 2012? SHARE & FEEL FREE TO POST A LINK TO YOUR 2012 ROUND UP HERE 🙂

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!

TAM 🙂