As the sun streams through my window, I feel so thankful that circumstances prevented me from spending precious time recuperating from a shoulder operation. It is going to take some time to repair, but the treatment I am receiving from my very special acupuncturist Robin Tim So, allows me to still operate and I wouldn’t have missed the last few weeks for anything!
Life continues to get more interesting! Wayne Dyer has just written another book called “I can see clearly now “. This title resonates with me as I can see clearly the journey I have been on, where I now must go and the lessons I have needed to learn to be able to fulfill my purpose. Even though I playfully ask the universe if I can have a bit of a break from learning lessons, I am grateful and can see that it has taken some hard knocks to really help me see more clearly about this next part of my life.
Now that I have let go of my anxiety, the doors are opening wide and opportunities I have never dreamed of are coming my way. As well as exciting corporate work within a team that works hard but knows how to laugh, the speaking engagements are so rewarding and I know that these are an important part of my journey. It is so humbling when you see hearts being touched and hope lighting up in troubled eyes. Sizzling at Seventy – Victim to Victorious has been an important catalyst and once more I am grateful for the opportunities arising which will allow me to do the work I am so passionate about.
Early in the year I completed my vision board for the 2013, something I do every January. My life looked so bleak at that time, I had no idea how any of my vision could come to fruition but I know if you don’t put it out there nothing will happen.
One of my dearest wishes was that Hay House might recognise my book and last week I was delighted to receive a call from Leon, CEO of Hay House, Sydney. He was quite effusive about the book and very encouraging. He told me that they were going to use it in a trial publicity campaign. I had already spoken to a national USA radio program and had a confirmation that the book would be showcased at the international book fair in Toronto.
This seemed like a miracle as all of the months I was ill I had done very little promotion, however, a publicity campaign arranged by Balboa last year, and postponed until this year, has proven to be very successful. Now it is up to me to follow through.
I decided to look back into my journal for last year and found it quite enlightening. I had begun the year with such optimism. Having found a lovely little journal in a bookshop, in the western town where I was scheduled as a keynote speaker that evening, I immediately sat down to begin a bright new year.
My handwriting was neat and contents exuded enthusiasm from every line. My book, Sizzling at Seventy, was almost finished, I was undertaking a number of projects and speaking engagements. I was on fire!
What a difference a day can make. One morning early in May everything changed. That was the day that Mick discovered a huge lump in his groin and the next eight months became a nightmare as I watched my lovely husband turn into someone I no longer knew. Our loving relationship shattered as brain tumours were found and, combined with steroids, his personality completely changed – at least towards me.
This strange time of self imposed exile has given me much time to ponder. I have never given myself time to sit still and although I don’t find it easy, I feel it is the best thing for me to do as an antidote for the racing around I tend to do. I feel myself healing but am surprised that this whole process of healing is just going to take the time it needs to take.
I am grateful for the work I am doing that is at times mundane but keeps me disciplined and I have felt my creative juices a little more forthcoming. I am enjoying reading “What We Ache For” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Her thought provoking exercises have encouraged me to persevere with some work I am doing for Oxford.
Who could fail to be touched by these opening words? ” We ache to touch intimately what is real, to find the marriage of meaning and matter in our lives and in the world.”
I am experiencing being in a very strange space – perfectly normal according to my erudite therapist, so I am endeavouring to look for what value I can retrieve from the space that I am in. On his advice I have removed myself from my home for a short period and my son has me comfortably set up in the ‘piano room’ , my only room companion being a magnificent grand piano which is played beautifully each evening by one of the students sharing this interesting house of academics in Canberra.
I even have my own office so that I can work each day on some overdue projects. My head feels clearer and I feel that as I sit here typing, I am observing myself which has become such an important part of my way of being and the work that I am so passionate about. Whilst allowing myself to experience my moments of grief, I feel so fortunate to have a purpose for moving forward.
Judy Garland is referenced as saying: “Always be the best version of yourself rather than a second rate version of somebody else.”
I have spoken a great deal in my book about my years of being a second rate version of somebody else. In this blog I want to highlight a woman who I have known for many years and a special man, my late husband, who even under some very difficult circumstances, have never been second rate versions of anyone else.
Firstly I want to give high praise to Lynette Palmen AM, founder and director of Women’s Network Australia, which she began in 1990 with a select group of women – friends and associates – catching up to share business contacts, information and ideas for success.
In a chapter of my book I mention my colleague Annabelle who worked so closely with me on some innovative programs we did in North Queensland over twenty years ago. We lost touch for a number of years but have recently caught up with each other. Strangely we became widows in the same year. She lost her husband Kim in June and then I lost my lovely Mick at the end of October.
She gave me the most wonderful book on grieving that I have ever seen. It is called “Tear Soup – a recipe for healing after loss”, written by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen. It compares our grieving process to the ingredients of a pot of soup and explains how we all grieve so differently and how some keep making their tear soup for too many years. I identified with the following passage so much:
“Grandy’s arms ached and she felt stone cold and empty. There were no words that could describe the pain she was feeling. What’s more, when she looked out of the window it surprised her to see how the rest of the world was going on as usual while her world had stopped.”
Now with the beginning of a new year, I feel a need to reveal why I have been so inactive about promoting my book.
I knew at the beginning of 2012 that it would be a year of great change – never dreaming of what was ahead. I had been quite arrogant in my book that I now felt that I could cope with anything that life threw at me- I had found significant strategies that really worked for me which I am so grateful for and will continue to promote. But the universe decided to challenge me in a way that made everything else in life that I had experienced totally insignificant.
The following article was published in the Spring edition of the national magazine “Working Women”
It’s about being YOUR BEST SELF
People whether they be clients or personal friends can tell when we are being fake with them. Do yourself a favour and find out how to get rid of any emotions that may be holding you back.
Have you ever felt swamped in a quagmire of worthlessness, alienation and fear of others finding out who you really are? If so, you have probably been experiencing a dose of the often unspoken emotion of shame.
It can sneak up behind you and stifle your ability to become your best self. Shame is about having secrets, not wanting others to know what lies behind the smooth façade you are presenting to the world. You may fool others for a time but when you stifle your authenticity you eventually hinder the true success that is available to you.
Whilst digging around in my memories for the material for my book, “Sizzling at Seventy-victim to victorious”, I struggled with several conflicting emotions. I have my standard six pack of moods which I deliver up with great zeal at any opportunity- Resentment, Resignation and Anxiety – counterbalanced with Acceptance, Ambition and Wonder.
I have a thousand anecdotes for each. Just as well my speaking time is restricted! But there was still something missing and like a bolt of lightning, it hit me. Where does the emotion of shame fit in? I realised that shame had been an overarching emotion for me most of my life and had severely restricted my growth. I have already decided that exploring this emotion will be the content of my next book.