Your presence, not your presents…

This last weekend was amazing. Image 

I really enjoyed being in the of what was, just immersed in the present, not concerned with the past nor the future and it was truly humbling. Wherever possible I like to keep my weekends unplanned. I don’t like to adhere to rigid schedule and expectation and fortunately my family life enables me to do this. It means that I can focus on what is going on for me (and us) right at that time, and with the love and support of an amazing partner and my soulmate, I am able invite through lots of spontaneity that honours where I am right at that point which usually always is perfect for those around me too. Being spontaneous has its drawbacks at times, but its an element of life that I’m really not interested in living without. I’m not a slave to detail, or to routine (I don’t think I could bear it) and while at times that means things can feel somewhat chaotic, things always turn out perfectly.

This weekend was no different. After a nice sleep in (the joys of having teens – they love to sleep in too!), I suggested we all head down to Byron Bay for the day. It took a while to get it together after a late breakfast and we both felt the only way we’d fit in everything we wanted to do was just to operate with no plan and no schedule. We both had Watego Beach on our mind and decided to take the kids along so that they could also revel in the beauty of Byron’s most beautiful beach.

We arrived late in the day, plus one hour (d’oh daylight saving in NSW!). We had a gorgeous swim in the waters, and were graced with the most amazing onshore warm breeze as we watch the sun dip into the Western sky. I was torn between wanting to capture the feeling of what was going on every five minutes, and just wanting to soak it up and experience it. 

And then I noticed it. 

Everyone around us, on the beach, on a busy Saturday evening were all immersed in their hand-held devices (me included). Having BBQ’s, wine on the sand, playing, walking, eating, talking… everyone had a handheld device and were deeply immersed in somehow trying to capture what was going on around them which was ironic, really because by being so immersed, they were actually missing what was going on around them. It really was a truly spectacular sunset and it didn’t last long, before that one – too – was gone forever. I didn’t miss the irony there either. I also noticed how there appeared to be deep dysfunction between the groups that had all the handheld devices out, and the ones that had opted not to bring technology into the foray. It was a really interesting reflection. It wasn’t so much a judgement about those who chose to capture what was going on, and connect, but I became profoundly aware of it. So, I committed to a limit of 15 minutes snapping the pics I wanted to take as a memento of a beautiful afternoon, but also to ensure the balance by making a concerted effort to put the technology away and keep it away. We are so very lucky we have the ability to create and connect so effortlessly, wherever we go, but at the same time, we miss what is going on around us. And I decided that the kids deserved my presence entirely, given this was the first time we’d gone out as a family in some time.

As it turned out, the decision was the right one. My teens really enjoyed soaking up the energy of the Byron Shire, a magnificent rustic pizza created by a local pizzeria and our laughter and conversation. As we headed back to the car, my 12.5 year old son put his arm around my waist, leaned in, and said ‘Mum, I’m so happy’. After the last 2 years we’ve had together, this was the greatest gift of all. The Universe really does deliver, when we take the time to honour and notice what is around us – offering our presence and not our presents. It was a really beautiful day.


January 2013

“The closest to being in control we will ever be is in that moment that we realize we’re not.” ~ Brian Kessler

After the rains have gone...

After the rains have gone…

January 2013 has proven to be life changing for many thousands of people affected by the ravage of nature: storm, fire, flood – a period in history where many thousands of people down the Eastern Seaboard here in Australia have had their lives changed forever.

We’ve just had a weather cell pass through our country that has literally wiped out the livelihoods of thousands of people, flooded and ruined countless hectares of farming land that is a major source of our local food. Thousands of cattle gone forever, and six people have perished. The system that went through was massive, on a scale not seen before, with 5000kms of roads severely damaged, communications towers destroyed and houses ripped from their stumps – gone for good. There were some amazing tales of how people helped others through the ordeal.

It took me straight back to my experiences in the 2011 floods when I was in Jindalee, Brisbane – where rising water came in so fast you were literally required to run through the house to pack the belongings that were ‘important’ and thinking on behalf of my eldest child who wasn’t with me at that time. Being separated from your child in a natural disaster is not a pleasant experience. Packing all our belongings, I remember, as I was doing it, realising I didn’t have a disaster management plan in place, I didn’t even know what I was going to need, how long we’d be away for, and whether we’d be able to come back or if we did, exactly what we’d come back to. But I was lucky. While we were stranded for 5 days in alternative accommodation, and our suburb was inundated with the stench of filthy mood from floor to ceiling, our house positioned on a small rise, was spared. I did feel the heartache of realising that I couldn’t take everything and that the last load up the hill to the other home meant I had to leave behind the 100 years of photographic memorabilia because there simply wasn’t time to get back to it. I recall loading up my son, and the cat, and the dogs knowing my life was in utter disarray and there was no time to sit and think about that.

But there was another layer of complexity for me because not 10 days prior, my ex had assaulted me in front of both children, and as he still had not yet found a place to live, I was living this nightmare with him in it. We didn’t have the magic of working as a team, of supporting one another – far from it, the children and I were walking on eggshells not knowing if he was going to explode again. It was a harrowing and extremely stressful time. So I know what many of those people were going through on Sunday night when the 2013 version of Chaos Supreme unleashed its fury up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Ironically this time I was not separated from my eldest, but my youngest child. He had called me a couple of times from his father’s place and each time I could hear the fear and anxiety rise within him. He was asking me if this was going to be like the last time, and I spent time reassuring him that we’d not see what we saw in 2011, that we were both safe and dry and high up away from the flood zones where each of us was living. However, not long after this, I was to learn that my ex husband chose that night of all nights to unleash his own anger at our only son in a brutal show of superiority against a 12 year old boy, in the very same way he’d done to me just two years prior, then banish him out of the home. I remember feeling like I was going through it all over again. My son is now safe with me. Sadly I can’t undo that damage, but I can and will protect him from further unnecessary pain. Child abuse is an absolutely insidious, heartbreaking thing and there are no winners.

The three weeks prior to this had been beautiful. I spent nearly all of January enjoying abundant bliss with my beautiful partner as we just flowed in the experience of love and the deliciousness of uninterrupted time together. So how did we spend that whole month together? Well as much as it would have been lovely to jet off to some exotic destination, in practical terms this was neither prudent nor possible. Instead, I chose to focus on what I love the most: immersing myself deeply in creativity, and the process was like nothing I can describe. Living totally from the heart, and being in service – a dream I have had and struggled with bringing together for some time until recently. Underpinned by the wonderful nurturing supportive and deep love from Ura, I feel extremely blessed. With the unfailing support of his love, I birthed a new project and revelled in the joy of creating something from nothing – my business began and I was able to witness my own Divinity at work: watching as I have assisted some amazing people through their soul readings with awe. The universe working through me, for the service of mankind. Truly a humbling and delightful experience, and I am honoured to be able to do this for people, as I provide reassuring support, guidance and love to empower them when they are feeling blocked, at a cross roads in their lives, or looking for support through their journey in life. It has been incredibly uplifting, and I have relished the opportunity to work with the Divine in this way.

If my first month of the year is anything to go by, 2013 is going to be yet another year full of surprises and profound contrasts. Yesterday was my birthday – the half way mark as it were (I have no desire to live beyond 90!) – and it gave me an opportunity to reflect not only over my life and how far I have come, but also to consider what has gone on in the last month, six months, twelve months and two years. I am truly appreciative of where I find myself right at this moment and I know that right at this point in time I’m exactly where I am supposed to be, and I’m on my path. No its not perfect, and yes, the tests continue, but its all as it should be and I can trust that. I don’t need to know where it is heading, or what to control. All I need to do is let go and allow things to unfold the way they were intended.

Goodbye 2012

Well here we are at the end of yet another spectacular year… good or bad, I know it was massive for everyone. 2012 came in a hurry after the whirlwind rollercoaster 2011 proved to be.

At a personal level, when I look back and contemplate the year its as if there were 10 years rolled into one. With both extraordinary gifts and deep and profound lessons, harsh realities, dizzy heights of ecstasy and equally dark periods of the same intensity and proportions I have come out of 2012 a completely different person than when I started.

A few of the highlights include lessons in life and love; beautiful deep and short romantic liaisons that brought with them some harsh and yet profound personal lessons; continued dramatic changes on the home front as a sequel to the kinds of changes that went on in 2011 including changes to the kids’ schools; being made redundant after 5 years in my dream job; a severe bout of hepatitis that had me hospitalised and learning to love living as a single woman and mother to two children.

But the highlights were like nothing I could have ever imagined for myself; finding myself in my art once more; continuing to develop some wonderfully deep, meaningful relationships with some extraordinary people; working on some dear projects – including my blog, and my Facebook page; taking a two week life changing trip to Egypt, falling in love with the country and developing a deep understanding of who I was in a past life and finally, meeting the love of my life: my lover, my partner, my twin flame, my soul mate which allows me to enjoy the gifts that such a deep love brings on a daily basis. A deep and rare love which allows us to enjoy all of life has to offer – together.

2012 was no easier than 2011, however 2011 felt like the precursor, or the ‘prep school’ for what was to come in 2012. Had I not had those experiences in 2011 (some would say equally dramatic what with a sudden marriage breakdown, displacement due to the floods, selling the house, giving away most of our belongings and our beloved pets, moving to the other side of town, and a terrible run of health issues in my family), I would likely not have been as prepared for what came in 2012.

What did I learn? Loads. In terms of resilience, I’m like silicon. My ability to deal with change is unquestioned. Living a life in flow and love has become as basic as the need to breathe. Can I cope with more change? I can’t imagine what if anything could possibly change – but I know what it takes to deal with what comes with all the grace and appreciation I can muster, knowing that no matter what, however life prevails it is all for my highest good.

So now I cast my thoughts to 2013 and what it brings forward. The difference between this and other years is that I have walked my path – proudly – alone. This year, I approach the year with the added bonus of the support and love from my partner. This year, we approach the problems, the pitfalls and the prizes of what is in store together. In terms of what I am after for my children – naturally their ongoing happiness and ensuring that their basic needs are met where they are given the opportunities to flourish and grow are paramount. In terms of what I intend for my partner and me the obvious thing that comes to mind is to simply enjoy what I have already witnessed that is growing and deepening day by day, the ability to continue to grow in the deep love we have shared; to enjoy our work and continuing to prosper as a couple so that we can enjoy the spoils that come with focus and determination, such as travel, time alone together and apart, and making real inroads to our personal goals. For some time now I have been given the message that this year is about development of self, time to integrate my life experience through study which is calling to me deeply. It’s a year for personal development which will ask of me to invest my time and resources in the areas of interest within the helping professions and my spiritual path.

I’m being asked to write, so I will. Both my own book and a book of my grandmother’s life. And then there’s the beautiful lush reward that comes with my creative passions: photography, water colour and mixed media, which will help underpin and nourish me for what 2013 holds in store. Reluctant to set ‘goals’ per se (as I find that this can sometimes work against what I am trying to achieve – I can never really know what the universe has in store, lets face it), I do like to set an intention by visualising what I wish for myself and I will sit down with my family and discuss this with them also so that we can hold an awareness of what is important for the year; then I will simply let it go and trust that universe will do as it always does and weave its special magic. And at the end of that year, I am sure – as I am now – I will be writing about the deep learning and the gifts 2013 brought me to cherish forever. I truly am a very blessed individual and I am deeply grateful to be living the life I have. I wouldn’t swap it for quids.