So some of you may know I have been battling with Chronic Fatigue and Depression since my last project at the beginning of this year. I have had little to no energy for 6.5months. I have been house ridden and sometimes able to take little jaunts in the forest or on the beach. I have been seeing a counselor once a week, volunteering at The Salvation Army and putting on a monthly community documentary evening to continue to give back whilst I’ve been down and out.
Some of the struggle with Chronic Fatigue is there are no real tests that can be done for it via western medicine. All of my blood tests came back within the normal range. So I had to take my health into my own hands. I have focused on good nutrition, exercise and meditation (in spats) - but most of all being kind and gentle with myself. It’s been so tough fending off other’s expectations of me, for company, for work, for money, for time. It’s not like having cancer, where it’s so obvious that you are unwell. You basically have to resign to the fact that a lot of people won’t understand and a lot of them will get mad or hurt by your actions in the process. Never before have I had to practice such connection and honouring of myself regardless of the fallout. Little did I know that like all things in life this experience would end up being the biggest gift I had received to date.
It was like I was learning a whole new set of really special skills - allowing myself the time to accept where I was at, melting back into the present moment, letting go of heavy expectations on my time and energy in the process (huge for me). Accepting that what I could manage energetically now was not what I could normally achieve. Stopping myself from focusing on the future and past. Surrendering to the fact I couldn’t lead an active social life, I couldn’t dance for hours, talk for hours or host lovely dinner parties for friends without feeling like I’d been put through an energetic cheese grater afterwards. Literally everything in my body ached, including my brain.
I have always been someone who was desperate to help the world. So eager to be on to the next big project, to share my gifts and be the voice of the vulnerable. Undearneath all of this was a crippling insecurity. I was looking for validation externally to myself. I didn’t feel worthy of love of anyone or even myself. I thought I was ugly, I thought I was fat, I thought I was stupid and too manic. I also thought I was weak to feel sadness. I constantly made myself aimlessly busy so I never had to sit in the silence within my own demons. To feel what was really going on in my body, heart and mind. I didn’t even think I was talented at anything. This experience has forced me to face myself. To sit in my being in the hush of the trees in the wind and the blooming full moon and ask myself what I wish to be. Ask myself who I already am. Ask myself what I am to learn from this experience. Ask myself what it means to be loved and to love. Tell myself that I love myself. Tell myself that even if I never achieve another great thing in this life time. That living my life as I am is actually enough. That it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be sad and it’s great to laugh out loud, maniacally on the bus when you are reading a funny book. I felt like I’d stopped myself from experiencing and expressing my own feelings as I felt that anything too out there was unacceptable. (Thanks social conditioning telling us it’s not ok to be human)
I have learned that it’s not always what you are doing, but how you do it. A person that loves working in a store, or as a cleaner, is just as special as someone who works as a doctor or a teacher. It’s in the presence of the being, not in the role of work. I’m incredibly lucky to live in a country where I can follow my hearts calling, but for the one’s who feel like they can’t, there is respite in the simplicity of life. For that is where happiness lies. For all of us. Not just the ones following their dreams. Cooking a nice meal, reading a lovely book, hanging out with a friend or walking around the neighbourhood cost next to nothing. We don’t need money to be happy.
I’ve learned that I am incredibly sensitive and I need to take care of myself so much more than I had ever realised. I’ve learned that there is a fuzzy saw tooth line between self indulgence and self love and either or - I am always doing my best in the moment. That as Jim Carey so aptly put it “sometimes it’s ok to eat your feelings” I thought I never loved myself before. Now I realise that I always have. That I am love incarnate. That my decisions were always coming from a space of love, even if I didn’t realise it. I’m free and I always have been. The idea of being trapped or in transition were self imposed paradigms that I placed around myself. I’ve realised I’ve been taking life too seriously and that I had stopped enjoying it for what it is. A huge blessing, with beautiful connections, experiences and at its essence a wonderful dance of the knowing within the unknown, of fate and the unseen. Of creating dreams and embracing everything there is to offer with love, sweat, tears and forgiveness.
I’ve learned about healthy boundaries, I’ve learned to say no. I’ve learned to ask for what I want even if it’s uncomfortable and I’ve learned that although I’m spirit and free from all attachment to this realm, I’m also human and I was born here on this planet to experience that whole juicy, dirty, vulnerable and wonderful ride. I feel like I needed this experience of time out to know that I really am ok. Without all the money, without all the friends big upping me, without all of the ego attachement of “living the life”. Without the material accouterments and sex on tap. I haven’t slept with anyone in over a year and it’s been so good for me to take the time out. To appreciate how sacred, sexy, beautiful, intelligent and special I am. To not need validation from others to feel that. To no longer be a dwindling ribbed size eight and to feel sexy and feminine in my curves and juiciness. Peach bottomed and joyous.
I’ve learned about real friendship and family, I’ve also learned that other’s have their own things going on and we can’t always be there for each other. I’ve learned that this is ok. We are all human, we are all imperfect and beautiful. I know now that I’m not meant for the 9-5 work. I’m a creative and I want to embrace this. I want to step into my power as the woman I am with the gifts that I have been given to serve myself and the greater good. I’ve learned that’s it’s ok to serve myself first. In fact I feel it to be necessary. I’ve learned that the path I’m following is my own and that although it can be nice to discuss these things with other’s, at the end of the day only I will ever know what is right for me. Only my own heart, mind, body and soul sing the song of my time and space. I wish to live without unnecessary pressure, without unnecessary expectation, without unnecessary heaviness and a sense of the world owing me something.
I want to enjoy my life and engage with my life in a way that’s harmonious to my very core. I asked the universe and my heart the other day when I started to feel like I needed to get to work again (now that I was starting to feel my health return) if I needed to go back and get a normal job to start paying off my debt or if I needed to hang in there and work on my own projects. I received this lighting bolt right through my centre. “You are almost there, don’t go backwards, embrace the unknown, hang in there, trust that everything is working out. Because it is. You’ve come so far now to throw everything in and go back to how you were. Follow what makes you happy, follow the call.” The guidance or more so the feeling came thick and fast.
I’ve been working on a couple of books and other projects and also enjoying my time whilst I’ve been unwell, but I had come to the awareness that I’d been too far on the spiritual/etherial side of the camp. That I wanted to keep my earthly responsibilities ticking over properly whilst I enjoyed my soul’s freedom. The quote “Be in this world but not of it” had always resonated with me and I knew it was time to start bringing the grounded aspect of my incarnation back to my reality. Without losing my spirit/spark.
I said well ok, I want to start paying my debts off whilst I am enjoying life and birthing beautiful projects for the world and universe from my god given gifts. I know I don’t need a lot - this experience has taught me that. Food, warmth and shelter are the only things we really need and a vege garden comes in handy. So I said, I want to make money this week. I want a job where I can work a few hours a week and continue to focus on my dreams, on living my life in freedom, bliss and happiness.
That afternoon I received a call from a beautiful little cafe down the road who were looking for staff that I had dropped in to visit a few days earlier. They called me and asked me to come in to trial on Thursday. I explained to them about my Chronic Fatigue and that I would only be able to start out working 4 hours a day, that if I was feeling sick I would tell them and have to go home and that I only wanted to work up to 15 hours a week. That my health was the most important thing here. She said “I’m glad that you can own that”. It was so lovely to express my truth to a prospective employer and have them hold space for me. I don’t ever want to work in a place where I feel like I can’t honour who I truly am ever again. She said she was happy to work together with me on it and I’m going in to trial this week.
At the beginning of last year I scored a job in copywriting, I thought it was my dream (it was at the time) but it quickly dissolved and I realised I had different work to do. Now almost 2 years later and I can tell you my dreams are forever flowing and I want freedom in the moment to embrace them as they come and as I want to express and experience them. I’ll be taking a big pay cut initially from my old salary but the depth of living within this realm, the depth of acceptance and presence, is something I haven’t experienced since childhood. The financial tides will flow again and this time I will keep myself in the process.
I am so grateful to be on this path, to be stepping up in to my financial integrity as well as the call of my heart and soul. I know there will be times in my life when I’m up and when I’m down and I know now that the down time is not something I have to be so afraid of. In fact it’s an aspect I really enjoy. I used to resist this part of myself so much. So afraid of depression, sadness and the space and time to do nothing but listen, breathe and learn of myself and my calling. Yes I’ve been sick and depressed this year, but funnily enough it’s been one of the happiest years of my life. That’s right, completely alone, nothing to show for, but sunshine, rain and the beautiful birds that sing outside my window. I’m stepping into a really exciting time in my life right now. I just want to thank everyone for their support, even the one’s who haven’t totally “got me” I know you still love me underneath it all and have allowed me to travel deep within even when it’s affected you. I love you and appreciate you so much. Let’s all be ourselves. Let’s all be vulnerable, beautiful and raw humans. Let’s all enjoy this life we have been blessed with.