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

23. Oh the things that you find if you don’t stay behind – Dr Suess

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Some days are just shit, there is no rhyme or reason it just is. Sometimes it is a cascade of events that lead you to the space and you can identify what is going on for you. Our minds can be complex as we unravel our perception of what is. For me one of the most important things that life has to offer is connection. Connection to self and others is what keeps us creative and alive. Well for me it does anyway. There are times when it doesn’t all flow and this is when it is time to stop and listen. I have been in an unusual space for a little while now. What I mean by unusual it is somewhere where I haven’t been before and a space that is being created. If we always do what we have always done we always get what we always got.

We don’t really get taught about these days nor do we celebrate them. In fact we tend to shy away from them and pretend that they don’t exist. We somehow only feel accomplished on the days we feel content and connected. What about the other days? At the moment I am not in paid employment. Often we define ourselves by the work that we do and the job in which we are employed. It is the reason we get up in the morning, spend most of our days there and our lives often revolve around weekends and time off work. This is perfectly OK if this is how we choose to live our lives. There is no better or worse it just is.

I turned 44 this year. I have worked in the community sector for most of my working life and I have always loved it. My last stint in Community Services was one that served me in ways that I did not expect. It doesn’t mean that it was good or bad it was simply an experience. What it did to was allow me to question life on a realm that I haven’t been before and as far as I am concerned for the better. Along with that has come some days and moments where I have questioned where I am at, revisited my purpose and shed a shit load of emotions that obviously had been sitting there ready to be released.

In the midst of that I have had to revisit a health issue which was unexpected.  None the less I can either choose to go to a place that I have reverted to or I can go and be an uncomfortable mess for a while. So for now it is about digging that little deeper, reaching out that little bit more and unravelling the intricacies that life has to offer. Life presents and there are times where we need to be reminded of who we are and what we came here to do. To find the abundance and simplicity in what life has to offer is often the biggest treasure that we can acquire.  To live from a place of trust, purpose and meaning is what defines us. Blessed be and so it is.

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

HUGE LOVE

 

Sonia

xoxox

 

21. In our pain we find our greatest power. – Unknown

 

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I was listening to a podcast yesterday and came across this quote “in our pain we find our greatest power” I totally agree. It is often with pain and torment that we find and unearth a strength that we never knew existed. I know that the some of the greatest pain that I have experienced has led me to places of existence that I have magically uncovered. But first things first how do we get to from the pain to the power? Often when stuff happens we hear “everything happens for a reason” or “it is a blessing in disguise”. I don’t disagree but what I do know is that there is a process that needs to happen before we can even get there.

When life happens and inevitably it does, sometimes all someone wants to be reminded is that they have got this and that you have their back. Sometimes the most import part of the process is to just sit in it. To acknowledge and honour the time that it takes from getting to the power from the pain. For each of us it is different. We are all perfectly unique; there is no right or wrong it just depends on how long we want to live there.

Each time we visit pain it can be different. At times I retreat, spending time in my pj’s looking very glamorous and often not having had a shower. (attractive I know). Then there is the also the angry pissed off phase where I swear a lot and have no interest in finding the gifts. What is important is that we explore whatever is going on for us at the time.  We can’t go from pain to power without visiting the places that we need to. Almost like a little holiday, well that is my perception anyway.

Too often we get told “chin up” “you will be OK” or whatever happy flappy quotes someone wishes to impart. How about we just give ourselves permission to feel whatever it is that is needed at the time. Let me be clear I am not talking about a victim mentality when we wallow in our own crap. Rather the contrary. Being responsible for our vulnerability and giving ourselves permission to visit our darkness and shadow. Without the darkness there can be no light.

So how do we turn our pain into power? I don’t have the answer nor do I have a magic wand but what I do know is that being true and real about what we feel far outweighs a superficial response. Pain, discomfort, uneasiness, anxiety are often negated as being bad and feelings that we should always try to turn around. Yes we should, but what we also need to remember is that we may need to visit them for a little while, have a cup of tea, maybe a bickie and explore what they have to offer. It is often in the midst of the murkiness that pain does turn into power. Blessed be and so it is.

 

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

HUGE LOVE

Sonia

xxoxo

“Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and difficult as that” – Michael Leunig

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I often look for quotes or pockets of inspiration to write about in my blog. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason, I happen to come across something, it resonates and I write. What I do often find is that there is pretty much always something to learn and grow from. Without growth we lay dormant. Our creativity is stifled and that inner spark is somewhat dimmed.  I haven’t been able to articulate or process the findings of the last month or so. It has been from a space I haven’t quite been before.  Sometimes in life when we are presented with a situation, we can feel the trigger and we know that perhaps there is something in which we need to heal. Other times circumstances are thrust upon us and we don’t quite know what to do with it.  For me right now I am in space of growth and discovering. Discovering what is yet to be and staying in the moment as much as what I possibly can.

What I do know is that with light there is also darkness of our shadow selves. Our shadow can delve us into a space of unknown which can propel us to unease and disproportion. It doesn’t mean that it has to be good or bad it simply means that it is a time to gather what we know and continue to learn. Life is simple and we often choose to complicate it. Trust me I know I can do this really well. What I also know is that when I feel myself reeling into a space of being disconnected it is also a time to connect, align and choose.  I can either choose love and simplicity or I can throw myself into a spanner of drama and non-alignment.  It doesn’t mean that the path that we sometimes cross is not difficult or painful. Rather the contrary, sometimes it is difficult, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and allows growth in a way that we possibly may not have yet imagined.

We can either choose to complicate life or live from a place of love. We can allow the influence of energy from others to determine the way we feel or we can be peaceful warriors. I am not claiming to be in this space of love and rainbows 24/7 in fact I don’t want to be. It is often from my shadow self that I am able to explore and process parts of self that require attention and growth. So for me now it is about digging that little bit deeper to unearth and embrace the new. I can choose to unpack in the uncertainty and uncomfortableness or I embrace a path that can be captured with possibilities and new beginnings. Loving life and one another can be as simple and difficult. Which one do you choose?

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

 

HUGE LOVE

 

Sonia

xoxo