9. Be the change you wish to see in the world – GHANDI

Justice

I haven’t written for a while. Too long for my liking! I do know that it is the one thing that gets me out of my head and back into my true heart space and creativity. Why I haven’t written is simply because I haven’t felt like it, haven’t felt inspired nor have I felt particularly connected. The last 12 months have been one emotional roller coaster ride after another and not the fun type either. I have wanted to blog about injustice for quite some time now but I simply haven’t. Am I still afraid to speak my truth?

Last week enough was enough and I finally heard the call of the universe to simply stop my inaction and do what I was born to do and I know that is to write. I just had the perfect confirmation as my sis called and let me know a friend of hers had been reading my blogs and that she was finding comfort in them. Not only do I love writing because it makes me feel at home, but when and if another person resonates with I am writing this is purpose.

So last week was a particularly full on week for me. The reason I am motivated to write again is that I feel so much more noise needs to be made when it comes to the community sector, family court matters and advocacy for our most vulnerable. Whilst I don’t have all the immediate answers, what I do know is that it needs to be heard. Turning our pain into purpose is what we can do. We were not born to suffer and something that I needed to remind myself of.

I have always worked in the Community Sector. It is what I have always known and loved. In the last 12 months I have held 2 positions for two different organisations both connected to the sector. I don’t want this to be about who did what rather the injustices that continues to prevail for a sector that is meant to care about humanity. Where values are usually compounded by integrity, compassion and the list goes on. What I am failing to see time and time again is far from the branded and polished marketing strategies. Can I sit here and whinge about it? Absolutely and I have. What I would prefer to do is actually be heard and create change.

This week my safety was compromised. Was it that staff did not have enough time? Did the KPI just need to be met? All I got was an apology and that in fact this individual does have blackouts and cannot recall aggressive and threatening behavior. Not the kind of excuse you want to hear when one is trying to get out of a car whilst travelling on a very busy road. This isn’t about what happened to me instead it is what happened for me and to know that there is a bigger purpose for all of us. If we always do what we have always done we will always get what we have always got. For when we are at a crossroads it is often where the magic truly happens. Blessed be and so it is.

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day

HUGE LOVE

Sonia xxxo

8. The gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown

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I spoke to my uncle a few days ago for his birthday. Uncles are such cool characters in our lives and they offer you a unique relationship. My uncle reminded me to be grateful for what we have, that time is precious and all we have is this moment. Sure it is what we know but how much of it do we truly practise each and every day? I know that there are certainly times in my life where I live in my head and I really don’t take the time or energy to really feel into the simplicity yet complex components of gratitude.

I know that it was the perfect reminder for me as I have so much to be grateful for. What I also know is that when I live from my head life becomes exhausting quickly. I have started my own business and now work as a sole trader providing support services. Having only started my business 5 months ago it is certainly something that I tend to think about a lot. Life changes all the time and we are always unearthing aspects of self. I am grateful that I have a box of tools to balance out the emotions and let me tell you there has been many. There seems to be a theme of life being hectic at the moment especially in the last few months. By hectic I don’t mean in a super fun, social fairy kind of way. Instead they have been emotional, heavy, stressful, and anxious with plenty of tears being shed.

Has it been fun? Probably not. Has it been worth it? Absolutely. I would rather be going through the emotions rather than pretending that they don’t exist. Life can throw you some really full on lessons at times. It doesn’t mean we have to accept them with positivity and a bag of fairy dust. Quite the contrary it has to be transmuted to where it needs to go before we can understand the impact of what it means for us in our lives. I am by no means suggesting that we have a pity party but let’s meet what comes up with some passion and full responsibility of what we have created.

When we remind ourselves that all we have is this very moment nothing else should matter and all the stories can disperse. Great in theory but when we are in the midst of our own drama it doesn’t seem to be that easy. Instead what I do know now is what I continue to learn. Who we were even 6 months is perhaps different to who we are today. It can be scary and exciting at the same time. What I know now more than ever is the lessons seem to appear thick and fast and what matters most is how easily we let go of what no longer is necessary. To immerse in what we need to for the time and to truly find the gifts that have presented. It doesn’t mean that it is all pretty instead what we can do is embrace the space that is. To my dear uncle thanks for the gift of your wisdom and to truly feel that time is so very precious, gratitude is everything and all we have is now. Blessed be and so it is.

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day.

HUGE LOVE

Sonia

Xoxo

7. Don’t stop dancing in the darkness – Sonia

 

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Suicide awareness week is approaching. For those that know me will also know that suicide awareness and prevention is something that I am passionate about and also something that is very close to my heart. When I use the words passionate and suicide in the same sentence it almost feels wrong. I am not passionate about suicide; I do however feel very purposeful about making a difference and creating change in this area. Our country is in a national crisis and where do we actually start and how do we actually make a difference. I don’t have the answers and I haven’t quite worked it out yet but what I do know is that connection and community are paramount.

A friend messaged me yesterday. She was angry at hurt about an incident that had occurred at her workplace. A colleague of hers was visibly upset as he had just heard the news of someone that had recently completed suicide. She felt horrible, angry and sad as she processed that yet another life has been lost to suicide. What was more startling for her is that he sat at his desk and cried, nobody seemed to be comforting him. Nobody around him at that time seemed to know what to say. Fortunately or not my friend has the inner resources to have a courageous conversation and talk about suicide. I have reflected a few times about what she has told me and at first I judged the others who simply couldn’t be present for another human being. Talking about suicide isn’t about unicorns and rainbows; instead it is real and raw and can be uncomfortable and tough.

I pray that we get to a point that we no longer have to talk about suicide because it simply doesn’t happen but until then we may need to find an alternative approach. When I feel into what suicide prevention and awareness means to be right now it is about having real and raw conversations. Too often we are told to “be strong”,” be grateful” or whatever positive affirmation it may be. Sometimes it is OK to just feel the shadows and process what needs to be. We avoid our darkness mostly because it frightens us. Our minds take over and we can spiral quickly if we don’t have the tools. What if we could simply be honest about what it means to feel dark and how much it hurts right now, opposed to scrambling up a strategy to make everything OK? What if the darkness that presents is perfect because that is the channel for growth?

I don’t proclaim to have it all worked out; in fact the last few months have been somewhat of a shit storm with the intensity of emotions that have transpired. This is life and we aren’t meant to do it on our own. We are meant to share and not from a place of shame or fear rather than from a place of courage, love and compassion for ourselves and others. It is the only way that we can truly support one another and show up exactly as we are in whatever moment that be. So in light of suicide awareness week let’s be real, raw, show up and create the change we wish to see in the world. #connect2createchange#

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day

 

HUGE LOVE

Sonia xxxo

6. You can choose to climb without the struggle

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Earlier this week I went indoor rock climbing to support a client that I work with. I haven’t been indoor rock climbing before so I was a little nervous about how I would go but also excited to do something new. What I can tell you is that I had heaps of fun. For the whole time that I was climbing I did not think of anything else but the next step. The young woman that I work with encouraged me to do one last wall and so I did. It was probably my most favourite wall to climb and she agreed and commented by saying “you can still climb without the struggle” I laughed at the irony of the comment as there was so much wisdom in what she said and exactly what I needed to hear.

Lately life has felt like a struggle. It doesn’t have to be good or bad it just is. However what I have been doing is concentrating on the struggle. I feel like life is in a bit of a limbo phase of where to next and how to from here. What I do know is that that simple phrase has stayed with me for a few days and has inspired to me a point of wanting to write today. I have been asking my higher self for guidance and I keep hearing step by step. This morning You Tube recommended a “Matt Kahn” clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i-B1hZIaek so I listened to it. He talks about choosing to be here amongst many other pockets of wisdom. What I have noticed is that there are many people around me that feel like life is a little tough right now. For the last few weeks I have been feeling the same. Is it the planets? the moon? a shift in our consciousness? I am not sure and nor does it matter, it can simply be and choosing to be where we are at.

So when I reflect on what I know and that is step by step and that without darkness we cannot have light. I know that it doesn’t have to be about the struggle but it is the climb that actually matters. So for now I can take a step back from what I have perceived to be a struggle and simply choose to be here in this moment, in this moment of the glorious emotional imperfect but perfect creative chaos. What I have perceived as feeling stuck and confusing can simply be a climb and choosing to be here. That doesn’t mean that I wave a magic wand and unicorns and rainbows appear, rather it is about taking simple action step by step and choosing to be exactly where I am at. That doesn’t mean that I want to stay stuck rather it is acknowledging whatever it is that is going on for me and processing it in a way that supports my purpose here on earth. You can choose to climb without the struggle. Blessed be and so it is. Thank you.

 

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day.

HUGE LOVE

Sonia xx

5. Truth never damages a cause that is just – MAHATMA GHANDI

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I have pondered about writing something around this issue and it is now the 2nd morning that I have awoken with anger and frustration. So instead of letting it seep out elsewhere I have decided to write about in the hope that truth and justice does prevail. I have worked in the community sector for over 15 years and for the most part loved the essence of what I do. However what I have sometimes struggled with is the lack of simple principles of humanity. I won’t get into that right now but at some point I know I will. For now the injustice that has occurred has sent me reeling as it has had direct impact on my little sister.

My sister Nadia attends Bridges Day Service who is represented from Melbourne City Mission. https://www.melbournecitymission.org.au/ On Friday as my older sister was scrolling through social media came across a post from a well-known Melbourne athlete informing her audience that Bridges Day Service was closing down in 3 months. Nadia has attended the program for over 15 years and as you can imagine needs copious amount of time to adjust to change and routine as well all do.

  • A letter was sent to the family earlier that week. My mum and Dad are ageing carers and English is their second language. My sister called the service on Tuesday the 4th of June asking what the meeting was in regards to. It was glossed over by the Manager and she was told to tell my parents “not to stress about it”
  • At this point MCM could have indicated that it was an important meeting to attend – the first indication that there is no moral compass or responsibility.
  • Mum and Dad didn’t attend the scheduled meeting on the 6/09/19 and therefore were not informed of the closure. (this was their choice)
  • MCM made a decision to call only some families on Friday 7/09/19 and one of the families was contacted was an influential athlete. One would imagine that once she was informed that the information would be spread far and wide.
  • I would have assumed that an organisation of this calibre would take necessary precaution to ensure that families were informed in a humane and respected approach.
  • Given the calculations of 90+ participants it would remain an obvious choice to inform families prior to it being spread like wild fire on social media.
  • Having worked in the sector for a significant amount of years what should have followed is a risk management process. Time should have been allocated from staff to ensure that family members were informed in a respectful and loyal fashion.
  • I had to call mum and let her know. I was giving her information that I had heard from another source. This on any level is not OK and this is an organisation that markets themselves with being “capable & respectful”
  • As a family we emailed the service to demand some kind of explanation. No explanations were given other than “sorry” about the way we had received the news.
  • Apparently management of the day service were only informed on Monday and Support Staff informed Wednesday. How is it this even remotely possible? Does Senior Management keep information from their staff? Where has the transparency occurred in this process?

 

I have reflected on the values of MCM and this is what they claim –

  • TOGETHER – There is nothing together about the way this situation has been dealt with. MCM chose only to tell some families placing importance on others based on their influential impact
  • COURAGEOUS – No courage has been demonstrated and if anything the complete opposite hiding behind the NDIA in the decision making process. The NDIA did not shut down the service this was a decision made solely by MCM based on their incapacity for the service to run under the new funding model.

 

  • CURIOUS - What was explored for this not to occur? Where are the facts and figures around this?

 

  •  OPEN – It was indicated that Management were informed on Monday and Support Staff were told on Wednesday, some parents, families and participants were informed Thursday. A decision such as this doesn’t occur overnight and funding decisions should be made as a collective considering it belongs to the individual not the organisation.

 

  •  ACCOUNTABLE – No words needed

 

There is so much around this issue where the integrity and values of an organisation that supports our most vulnerable is compromised. MCM may not have been able to sustain the program but giving a whole community only 3 short months to make life changing decisions is simply irresponsible and shows lack of compassion and humanity. Perhaps it is the best decision for my sister as we are now questioning whether MCM deserves to be of service to Nadia. For now there is processing that needs to occur and the best interest of our loved ones is priority but the sector and basic humanity of one’s actions needs to be explored and responsibility needs to occur.

4. Choosing to wade through the mud is often what bears the greatest gifts

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I woke up thinking about my cousin Cathy this morning. She took her own life over 4 years ago. I think of her a lot, but more so in my times of shutdown or when I am feeling somewhat disconnected to myself. Her life continues to offer me hope and inspiration. You see I don’t really believe that Cathy wanted to die (she may have) we can never know for sure. But I truly feel she just wanted the pain to stop.  What saddens me the most about her death is that in the depths of her darkness she didn’t reach out. Did she even know how? I have come to a place of forgiveness about this for myself but it is also what pushes me to create an impact about suicide prevention and awareness.

Loss of connection to self can be debilitating and for a long time I didn’t even know what that meant. Now I do and I know the difference but it doesn’t mean that I am never sad, grumpy, angry or flat. In fact this can be quite the contrary. In the last few weeks I have felt angry and defeated and haven’t necessarily been able to pinpoint it to a particular event or situation. Sure there are some instances and situations that may have triggered that emotion but I also know that it has presented to have a little dance with.

I am very blessed that the people in my life love me for who I am so I don’t have to pretend to be happy if I am not. They usually know as soon as I say hello that something is up. When I was chatting to a friend the other day who had been feeling in a similar way we also acknowledged the gifts that come from the disconnection. We are meant to experience all spectrums of life. It doesn’t mean we have to walk around being a grumpy ass hole but it is also important to be kind to the grumpy asshole that made an appearance. As much as I love unicorns and rainbows sometimes I just want to throw glitter in people’s faces that have pushed my buttons! As much as that would give me a giggle I know that is mostly about bringing it back to me. What part have I played to create this? What do I need to learn or let go of?  Acknowledging and being in those moments is often part of the process for growth.

For now I know that action is important. Sometimes it is the simplest of moments that make a difference. Yesterday I watched a young toddler take pure delight in opening a lollipop and sucking it straight into his mouth. What joy! It is the connections that we weave that create the most magic. It is the conscious conversations and level of responsibility in all that we do that ultimately makes a difference.  When we can appreciate our differences and have a common respect and loyalty for all humanity then ultimately freedom transpires.  Choosing to wade through the mud is often what bears the greatest gifts. Blessed be and so it is.

 

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day

HUGE LOVE

 

Sonia

xxx

3. Be the change you want to see in the world – GHANDI

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I have been working the community services for the last 15 or so years. I have generally loved the jobs that I have had and have always done them with passion and purpose. That is not to say that I am a bag of roses each and every day when I go into work.  In fact some days are led by frustration and systems that don’t necessarily work and choose to keep people stuck. This blog isn’t about politics or the system rather it has come from a place of sheer frustration that requires some change.

My positions have ranged in aged care, mental health and disability. Funnily enough just over 10 years ago I worked for the same organisation in Melbourne that I am now working on the Gold Coast.  Funny or not I feel like I may have very well come full circle. Sure some things may have changed in terms of the way services are delivered but the same issues are still persistent. This is most definitely not a political rant although I am sure I could very well go there.

I have been frustrated at annoyed at what I like to call “the system” for such a long time and for a myriad of reasons. The main one being is that at the crux of it there seems to be a loss of connection with the people that we are providing a service for. My feeling of frustration and somewhat resentment comes from the conversations, the struggles and the issues that are presented when we are working with vulnerable people. This isn’t isolated to one specific event or organisation rather my personal experience and reflection when working for a service and also in receiving one.

My younger sister lives with an intellectual disability and my primary passion for being able to work effectively within services and “the system” has arisen from her. In saying that I feel that my life work is about social justice and allowing everybody to have the choice to live their life in the way that they choose. This is not to say that places and organisations do not exist, instead what it means is some of my experiences continue to be the contrary.

So do I continue to complain or take action and make a difference? I know that doing what you have always done, always gets you what you have always got. I don’t have the answers nor do I have the solutions right now and I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. However what I do know is that I can’t keep complaining about it. We all have the ability to create change. So for now I am putting it out there, doing some research, asking questions and most importantly reaching out. Our universe needs so much love, connection and personal responsibility right now. Mother Earth is suffering, we lose someone to suicide every 4 hours, 22 fathers take their lives every week due to parental alienation and today I learnt about the loneliness epidemic that exists in our world as a major health issue. Be the change you want to see in the world. Blessed be and so it is.

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day.

 

HUGE LOVE

Sonia

xoxoxo

2. “Love thy Neighbour”

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To say the last month or so has been an emotional roller coaster is an understatement. I haven’t had the energy nor have I felt very motivated to write. I know myself well so by not writing I am only doing myself a disservice. I noticed myself blaming others or situations about the way I felt, which is only a cop out for not taking personal responsibility. We create it all, the good, bad and all the rest in between. Sure there are times when certain situations can cause disharmony and conflict but ultimately the personal responsibility lies within each and every one of us.

Funny or not there was a recent complaint about where I live in regards to a BBQ that was at the front of the home. There was no communicating to me just a few emails about the removal of it with no rhyme or reason other than they were the rules. It triggered the F&*K out of me.  At the time I couldn’t quite work out why it was making me so angry but the profanities that I verbalised were less than kind. Any kind of situation that triggers a response is a flag for me to sit up and notice. It was about freedom of choice, an injustice and speaking up with integrity.

In reflection what comes up is “love they neighbour” a simple commandment or life lesson. When we can’t be kind to our neighbour what chance do we have for the rest of the world. When we don’t have a moral compass or have a desire to be of service to humanity how we can possibly bring goodness to the world. Trust me I am no saint but you know what I own my stuff and take personal responsibility in the way I treat myself and the rest of the world. Bottom line we all have a personal responsibility to show up not only for ourselves but for the communities we live in. Our words and actions have a direct impact in the world we live in.

I could sit here and blog about nosy neighbours or about the systems in which we live. Quite frankly I am not interested in giving it any more energy. Instead what I can do is reflect and know that everything that happens for us and not to us. What I do know is that Mother Earth is in dire straits and harsh and cruel actions only create more of the same. So what I can do is focus on what changes I can bring not only to myself, but to my neighbours, my community and the world in which I live.  I can’t change what others do nor do I want to, this is not my job. Instead what I can to is accept and choose what no longer serves me.  I am responsible for the way I feel, do and act and my expectation is that those I surround myself with do the same, otherwise there is no growth and instead only more of the same. What I can admire is how the lessons do show up even when it is about a BBQ. “Love thy neighbour” and so it is.

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day

 

HUGE LOVE

Sonia

xoxox

1. Where there is great love there are miracles – Willa Cather

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I have felt the urge to write for a few days now. I am not sure why or what but I know that there is a part of me that needs to express. We all do. Our creative selves make up so much of our gift that we bring to the world, yet it sometimes seems to be the part that we neglect the most. Being in a creative energy allows grace and flow into our lives. When we are not being creative we are stuck and our energy can remain stagnant.  When I talk about being creative, I am not necessarily talking about taking out a paint brush and easel. If that what being creative means to you then so be it. Instead for me being creative is also about being connected to self. Creative is different for all of us.  I know that when I am not connected I simply exist. For most of the time this may work for some but at the core of our existence our soul knows that there is so much more.

For me writing is a big part of my creativity. Creativity can be expressed in so many ways. The way we cook, dress, interact and love is all a part of our creativity. When I am connected which allows me to be creative also allows for expansive love.  Lately I have been challenged by the “system” in which we have succumbed to especially when it comes to people who live with a disability.  This isn’t a political onslaught because trust me I could certainly go that way. Instead I am being challenged to look at it from a different perspective. At the moment my head and heart aren’t connected in this particular space. Sure there are aspects of it that are in complete alignment with humanity but unfortunately it can be a system fraught with debilitating circumstances. OK I said I wouldn’t rant.

So when I feel into the quote and the reason that I felt the urge to write I know and truly feel that there needs to be another perspective. I am not sure that it is one that can be transpired immediately. Instead what I do know is that if I continue to be a part of the problem then I can never be a part of the solution. I am pretty passionate about being a voice for those who are not able to do so for themselves. My little sister is my main motivator. She is nonverbal and although she may not express herself with words her communication and love expands beyond time and space. It was only this morning a friend text to let me know that she saw my little sister and could feel her love and freedom from afar. This is the gift and perspective that she has to offer the world with no words, simply her love. Her creativity in the freedom in the way she chooses to live her life is limitless. Where there is love there are great miracles. Blessed be and so it is.

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day.

HUGE LOVE

Sonia

xoxoxo

24. Relationships are like assignments. – Marianne Williamson

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I was reading one of my old time favourites – A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. It is one of the books that I can pick up at any given time and flick it to a page and read what I am meant to for that particular time. When I read the line it certainly grabbed my attention. The word assignments felt like a task or perhaps it was just the way I was feeling at the time. This got me feeling and thinking that if I felt like the word assignment was a task how was I viewing the relationships that I was currently in?

A few nights ago my partner and I were lying on the couch and in the distance I could hear what sounded like screaming. We live on a sometimes busy road so I didn’t take too much notice at first. Then the voice became relentless so we went across the road. We weren’t sure if we were entering an argument but as we approached it appeared there was a break up happening. The young girl was quite upset to the point of being hysterical. I offered her a hug but she declined and the screaming continued for a little while. I couldn’t help but think and feel about the situation and her distress. She has been in my thoughts not because I wanted to help or save her but because of my own past. In my 20’s when the marriage I was in ended, I didn’t know how to cope. They say the world is a reflection of you, so it did bring me back and how little is any self-worth I had at the time. I am not passing any judgement on the couple or the situation they were in rather an opportunity to reflect and learn.

The quote “relationships are like assignments” allowed me to reflect on my own relationship not with my partner but with myself, the most important relationship of all. I looked inside of myself and thought about my 26 year old didn’t know what self-worth was nor did she understand anything about self-love. It didn’t mean that I went back there to relive the experience rather to know that relationship with self it an area of our lives that we always must work on. We can’t expect others to make us happy nor can we depend on external circumstances to keep us fulfilled and happy.

This is not to say that connection isn’t necessary and paramount for us to live meaningful lives. Instead it is to say that the connections and relationships that we do have are ones that are built on integrity, authenticity and the absolute freedom to be whoever we need to be in this world of ours. To the young girl that was clearly distraught thank you for reminding me just how important loving self in all aspects is absolutely necessary. For her the journey of self-love and worth may have just begun, I don’t really know I can only stipulate. Each of us has our own paths to follow and assignments to fulfil. For me right now it is a reminder that my own relationship with self has room to grow, it always does, we are always learning. Blessed be and so it is.

With a sprinkle of fairy dust and may magic follow your day.

 

HUGE LOVE

Sonia xxo