Finding my inner artist

 

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Over the past few weeks/months I haven’t had much success with my writing, either with my novel or memoir. Though a few words here and there have managed to make their way to the page. Instead I have spent more time practicing my drawing. I am not an artist, but love the feel of pencil to paper and even though I copy other peoples ideas and originals, its a matter of practicing my techniques and trying not to be such a perfectionist when drawing.

I scan Pinterest regularly and pin to my boards pictures that trigger my inner artist. I have come to like the idea of Zentangle a way of doodling, with simple drawings and with colour and shading, some amazing designs are found on the page. I haven’t dived in until today. While spending time with a beautiful 14 year old young lady, mentoring her in writing and helping her find her dreams, I was able to chill and get a little drawing done. I have to admit it was nice to just let the perfectionist in me be put on the side lines and just let the natural flow of pencil to paper happen.

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I have had lessons in drawing many years ago, but never really took it any further than just enjoying it as a hobby. For me know art/drawing has become a need to help me relax when I have really bad days and days that are full of stress from work and family issues. When drawing I love the feeling of time standing still, but going to darn fast at the same time. I used to be like this when I would spend many days and many hours doing folk art (painting), I was good at that, but I haven’t picked up a paint brush for over seven years, but have found comfort in my pencils, pens and paper.

Starting my degree in Psych and Counselling next February I look forward to seeing just how art and drawing can help people in many different ways with mental illness. I have myself used journaling for recovery from my eating disorder and still do so six years later and I guess drawing has become another part of the process when I get stressed or feel that I need to be still.

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I hope you like some of the photos here today.

Until next time…

 

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Words, Emotions…Forgiveness.

Over the past few days I have wrestled with an internal volcano that was feeling like it needed to erupt, though not outwards. It was a feeling of implosion. I couldn’t really put my finger on the why to this feeling, more just it was happening.

My dreams are vivid and exciting and full of many clues I guess, as I try to unravel these clues I remind myself not to look at my memories of these dreams but the symbolism of the parts that stand out the most. I can still see the garden of my dream from Sunday morning. The depth of the structured water feature, the deepness of the green leaves of all the plants, the pathways that meandered through the garden. I had no idea to why I was there, though it has made such an impact on my memory, that I constantly see this garden in my mind.

I sat yesterday morning and opened my notebook and took my pen to the paper and just let the words spill from my heart. In writing session I was able to put the words, “I forgive your actions.” I put these in as I write of the memories of having controlling parents and how our relationships had to come to an end while we are all still very much alive. As much as I haven’t said it to them face to face, I felt the weight of 30+ years roll out on the page before me of hurt feelings, emotional stress and more. For me to finally come to a point where I can say ‘forgive your actions’ has taken a very long time to let out.

Even though I have managed to release the emotions, I will not be able to let my parents back into my life as I know that our time is done. I have learnt from them what I can. They are on their own paths in this world, and for me to walk away is possibly their lesson, what ever it may be.

Today I have still felt a little unsettled though as the day goes forward and I am able to sit and write or draw (creativity) I can be honest with myself and know I have done all I can, and I shall sit with the feelings I have, and not push them under the rug to fester and drag me to a point where I will never return to.

Until we meet again….

Writers Conference 2017

Waking to the sight of low lying cloud over the hills where I live as the sun started to rise for another wonderful Saturday. Headed to get hubbies coffee, and fuel for my car, before heading south of Perth to Baldivis for a long awaited Writers Conference held by Rockingham Writers Centre. As this year is the second year it has been run. Last year was wonderful, though this year was awesome.

When I registered for the conference a few months ago, I  chose a workshop for each session we were to have. Session one was ‘Overcoming Obstacles to Writing’. A wonderful session of working through you reasons why we might not make the time to write our novels/books. How we find reasons that we have no control over and how we can manage the influences that we have some control over. Coming to find I have a fair bit of time at the moment available to write, though I spend way too much time on Pinterest looking at thing of a creative nature, to fill in my time, when really I should be writing my novel and memoir.

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Morning tea was ready, with tea, coffee, pastries, fruit and more. Time for a quick chat and then for me back up stairs to the room for ‘How to Write Compelling Heroines’. My goodness, I went into this workshop thinking something completely different from when I walked out. I was taking many, many notes on the five S’s of a Compelling Heroine, and was also seeing in my own novel that I am currently 80,000 words into. I could see visually where the five S’s fitted in and how to give my character(s) agency as well. My biggest ‘aha’ moment was when I was able to discuss my novel with a fellow writer in the workshop and she loved the story that I described, but I found where I was hitting the wall so to speak of why I am not writing now as I should have been. I can now kick back into gear with my writing this coming weekend (Monday/Tuesday) with some quality time available.

It was now lunch time and my mind was whirling away quite nicely with plenty of information to come home with and reassess and restart where I had left off. During out lunch we were entertained with a Keynote speaker from Penguin Random House, Sydney, which was interesting to hear what is going on in the world of publishing. Next was the panel of authors whom submitted for ‘Writing the Dream’. A wonderful book by published authors discussing their Writing the Dream story of how they made their way into the world as a published author and more.

Afternoon tea was served and then time for the last workshop. For me it was back upstairs for ‘Juicy Lives’ a memoir workshop. This I had been itching to get to, as I have a burning in my belly to write my own memoir. With lots of sharing in our small group it was wonderful to listen to others and to share as well. I learnt a lot, and with time in the coming days to do a mind dump of what I have taken in is more than necessary to be able to move forward on my memoir and also to continue the first draft to my fictional novel. I love this writers conference so much and I can see in time it will build to be something so much more than it is in its second year.

So with not being able to come straight home to start my mind dump, I had to return to work for a few hours and again tomorrow will be working, even though I may get a moment of two to make some notes as they come to mind. Come Monday I will be able to spend a part of my day with pen, paper and dumping as much information and notes as possible and the same on Tuesday.

(Monday…Continue Post)

Mind dump done, though still thoughts running through my mind to what I have learnt from the conference and how I plan to get back into the swing of fingers to the keys and keep the story going. Plus with 2 books now ordered from Book Depository for a memoir; Hunger, A Memoir of my (body), by Roxane Gay and another book from another of my favourite authors; Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind, Living the Writers Life. So much still to learn with writing my memoir and still trying to get my fictional novel to a point of finishing the crappy first draft.

Tomorrow will be a day of writing as today I spent it in the garden as the weather was super deliciously spring time sunshine.

Till next time we meet…have a great week.

When I Grow Up…

Recently I have been trying to work out what was my purpose in life, and after reading a number of books on finding and working it all out, I have come to the realisation that going forward its time to do something I should have done when I was a lot younger, but the best part, even though it could be seen as the hardest part was going through 30 plus years of an eating disorder to come out of the dark tunnel and into the world of recovery as an adult, mother, and wife.

Last week I reapplied for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Counselling at Edith Cowen University, Western Australia. I was initially unsuccessful as I didn’t have my English grades where they needed to be as I hadn’t been at school since 1987. I was offered an online test to prove that my English would be up to standard that they required for the course of my preference. On doing the test, which took two hours last Tuesday, I was sent through on Monday of this week an offer for a place for my chosen degree. Let’s just say I did squeal a little with excitement.

Now what lies ahead of me is 3-6 years of study, three years for my bachelor of Arts in Psych and Counselling, then fingers crossed for honours. I would be hoping to progress to the point of being a fully fledged Psychologist. I am very lucky that my dietitian has offered me the opportunity to take on her own clients for their psych needs, as we both believe that the need to find the clients’ catalyst to why they started restricting needs to be found and understood by the client, and that food and restricting is a symptom.

I can now say that at the age of 46 years old, I know what I want to be when I grow up….

No matter how old we are, if we feel the pull to do something new, to help others, or to change something in this world, then go for it and make it happen.

Until next time, have a wonderful day, night and weekend when it arrives.

Current Reading…

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Currently I have multiple reads going on, though in and around the same subject areas, psychology and spiritual growth. Caroline Myss and Clarissa Pinkola Este both amazing and insightful authors. I have many a time listened to Caroline Myss on TEDx talks online, and have only just recently found Clarissa Pinkola Este and her book ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’. Clarissa is a teller of many stories and how women can find their ‘wild woman’ within themselves. From the back cover…”Clarissa Pinkola Estes reveals how within every woman there lives a Wild Woman, filled with passionate creativity and ageless knowing, but repressed for centuries by a value system that trivialises emotional truth, intuitive wisdom and instinctual self-confidence, Dr Este’s enriching bestseller shows how, through the interpretation of story and her psychological commentary, we can reclaim and rejoice in our true feminine power–how we can awaken within the depths of our souls one who is both magic and medicine.”

It is my goal to, make some changes to the way patients/clients with eating disorders are treated here in Perth, Western Australia, hence the decision to do a degree in Psychology and Counselling and to add my own experiences and thoughts to the way I think would benefit others as it has myself. I understand that we are all very individual and that is also the base of my ideas for treatment. There are areas I believe that are being left out with treatment here, that there is not enough future contact and availability for contact as an individual is making their way in the scary world of recovery whether it be short or long term.

I love how Caroline Myss discusses Archetypes, “who are you?” Caroline dives into the world of Archetypes, such as ‘The Carer’, ‘The Intellectual’, ‘The Rebel’, and so on. There are archetypes that we all fit into and in her book “Archetypes, Who Are You?” helps us learn from the beginning our Archetypes, which will help each one of us in the choices we make down the path, of our journey in life with the knowledge we learn from reading Caroline Myss’s book.

I feel that I can use Caroline’s books to help others, to help find parts of themselves that will help them in their recovery. Also showing that if we are perceived to be different is a great thing and not to be ashamed of it. Yes there are going to be people who will put our ideas down and make us feel inferior, but we also have the choice to step beyond that feeling and know within our hearts and soul that we are doing what we were put here for.

I feel at the core of myself that this is what I am to be learning before I take on my degree and where I can see the space for spiritual help and development in the recovery and treatment of eating disorders. Again it is always down to choice, we have that power to make the changes and decisions each and every day to make our lives better and more fulfilling.

 

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Latest Additions to my Caroline Myss library

Until next we meet, have a wonderful day…

 

 

Bits and Pieces…

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As I am trying to write my life story, I am finding it is coming out in bits and pieces, unlike when I can sit and write fiction, life story is so very different. The times of remembering pivotal points in my life and knowing just how emotional they are and bringing a lot of emotion to the surface is at times hard to deal with, though needed for the story.

I sat on Monday night and managed to purge 1200 words on one particular pivotal point that was resonating so strongly at that time. I have approximately 30years to put into a life story (memoir). I know there are parts that will be harder than others to write, like the decision to remove myself from a relationship that should be strong with family, when there are reasons that you have to walk away, whether that be for a short time or indefinitely, as in my case. The scenes of when you know how to ‘work’ immediate family members to keep the secret and lie to them about what you have or haven’t done. Like for my case I could get away with saying, ‘yes I had eaten a meal’ when really I hadn’t and no-one was going to check on me and know if I did or didn’t. The time of perfecting the lies has been long.

So maybe people will wonder why I would write this story about 30 years of dealing with an eating disorder, and how I came to understand why I had it. I regularly see people dealing with mental health issues (disordered eating),  and a part of me, deep in my heart wishes people, especially teenagers and even younger that there is quality help available to deal with emotional issues, other than letting an eating disorder destroy your life and the lives of family and friends around you. I have become so passionate about breaking the silence on eating disorders that I have decided that its time to plunge into a degree in Psychology to be able to help others.

 

I spent some time this past week discussing my thoughts and feelings with my dietitian, whom diagnosed me almost six years ago, when I was just looking at ways toLife-1 gain weight for taking on endurance sports. As I sat with my dietitian, and telling her exactly what I thought of the support that was available to people of all ages with eating disorders was not what is should be and asking her opinion of certain treatment facilities here in Perth. I have come to the very clear conclusion that there needs to be more support out there. I feel deep with in myself that I could make a small dent into the area of recovery support and even preventative aspects for young people. So with this in mind and my own story to write, I am thankful for the 30 years that I went through, to be able to say I am in recovery, and have found my true self, and such understanding of just some of the ‘why’ factors of eating disorders and wish with all my heart to help others recover, and to not take the plunge into restricted or over eating to deal with emotional situations that they have in their lives, and that with professional help there are ways of healing.

Until next we meet, have a great day…

Self Worth…

Over the last week or so, I have had the words ‘Self Worth’ constantly doing laps around my mind, for many reasons ranging from my recovery journey of my eating disorder, to my everyday life thoughts, of am I worth it.

I have a dream to help others with their recovery journeys from their eating disorders, so with this dream in mind I have decided its time to actually do something about it. I will start two degrees at two separate universities online as I work full time. Its the only way I can manage working and study. So the first degree is a Bachelor of Arts(Psychology) and the second a Bachelor of Arts (English and Creative Writing). Its time to put what I am good at into action. Its time to put my own experiences into words, and onto pages and know that even if I help one person then my work is done. I believe that by helping one we help many and so the cycle goes. Though I believe that there is more than one way to help those who are either still wrapped in the arms of the dreaded eating disorder, those who are on the edge of wanting help and those who are starting their journey to healthy living, and by healthy living I don’t mean eating a balanced diet, there is so much to eating disorders that a lot of people just don’t understand, unless you have actually been through it.

As someone who has been what I call and high functioning anorexic from the age of ten years old, and started looking for professional help at the age of 41. I remember the day of walking into the GP’s office to ask about weight gain, and for him to look at me and say, ‘you look fine.’ to some months later, to be sitting in the dietitians office being asked the question, “do you think you have an eating disorder?” to my instant answer was “NO.” The following week as I sat again in the same office of my now dietitian to be re-asked the same question, “Do you think you have an eating disorder?” to this time answering with a “Yes.” Since that day five years ago, I have cried, screamed, laughed and cried some more, but most importantly I have managed to find my self worth pretty, much on my own. Yes I had support during visits to my GP (who understands), Psychologist, dietitian, support team of family and friends. Though it hasn’t been until very recently while reading some books, that I have come to really see the time of true recovery.

To me true recovery starts at that moment when you come to see that your own self worth is of upmost importance to living a healthy life, again I am not talking about a balanced diet and healthy exercise. I am talking about the connection between mind, body and spirit, and even further to truly be in recovery. I also at this point don’t believe I will ever be cured of my eating disorder, I just know how to keep it out of my life, though I know that it lurks close enough that without my inner strength and feeling worthwhile of being happy and healthy that is could make its way back into my life.

I hope with learning psychology and furthering my writing that by bringing the two together that some where and some how I will be able to help others and continue the strong path that I follow every day of fighting with all that I have to stay happy and healthy.

Until next time we meet….have a great day…

Book Review: Light is the New Black

IMG_7966Light is the New Black, by Rebecca Campbell, to me is a life changing book. It is amazing, exceptionally well written, easy to read, and it talks straight to you.

Yesterday as I sat in my favourite coffee shop on my break from work I opened ‘Light is the New Black’ and with only 45 pages left to read, was feeling a little sad that I was coming to the end of a wonderful life changing read. Though I knew from now on that this book would be a resource book for me for so many different reasons now and in to the future. The timing on reading Rebecca’s book couldn’t have come at a better time and a big thank you to my friend Cass of Ambrosium in Kalamunda for recommending it to me, and the biggest thank you to Rebecca Campbell for writing this amazing life changing book.

Four weeks ago I returned for a trip of a life time, to feeling unstable, unhappy, when I should have been still excited, but I wasn’t. I was emotionally, and spiritually unstable. I couldn’t anchor myself back into my writing as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t stay focused really on anything, which was not like me at all. I was super fidgety on everything and just wanted to return to badly to Northern Ireland as I felt so happy and content there.

As I explained this to my friend Cass, she handed me the book that would make the biggest difference in such a very short period of time. I didn’t know at the time when Cass showed me the book, and I said I would pick it up in a couple of days from her, that was the Friday, come Monday I was in her shop paying for the book and heading to a local coffee shop to read, as my original appointment was cancelled. I sat and very quickly got engrossed into the words that were before me, and suddenly I felt this massive weight lift from my body. I had been walking around feeling the weight of everything on me, feeling so heavy and unhappy, to suddenly I was feeling light and smiling.

LET NOTHING DIM

THE LIGHT THAT

SHINES WITHIN.

Maya Angelou

This is the opening quote to the book, followed by Rebecca’s welcome to reading her book. Next comes another quote, this time from the Dalai Lama:

THE WORLD WILL

BE SAVED BY THE

WESTERN WOMAN.

Rebecca goes into her introduction and then follows with a beautiful poem called Rise Sister Rise, that triggered something deep within to say, its time, its truly time to now look inside of myself and truly listen to my soul talk and show me the way. I have forever searched externally for where I was to be going, even though on a level I kind of knew I should have been looking deeper within myself. The biggest part that I need to let go of the outcome and focus on the ‘why’, if we plan to the perceived outcome, we won’t be there and we will be disappointed, where by leaving it to the Universe to guide us each step of the way, we will come to an ongoing outcome that will blow our minds.

During the six days of reading Light is the New Black, I have come to see the light within me crack through the gaps of being that is starting to open life that of a tightly folded rose bud, as each petal slowly opens to then another and another, to where the rose itself is completely open for the bees to collect pollen and for the world to smell the perfume of the rose, and so it continues as the petals fall to the ground the rose bush will continue to bloom new roses buds. This is how I feel about my own life at the moment.

I have gone through so many situations in my life, like I said always searching externally for love, validation and more. Now I can search within my heart and listen to my soul speak to me and share with me the true direction of my purpose in my life. I know that writing is definitely within my centre, teaching is there somewhere, and I am sure in time I will be shown where that will start and lead me. So for now I take each day, making time to write, to read and to listen.

Rise Sister Rise….

When you find yourself in a thousand pieces,

with no idea which bit goes where.

RISE SISTER RISE.

When you have loved and lost. And then lost again.

RISE SISTER RISE.

When your wings have been clipped, spirit dampened and all you hear is a whisper.

RISE SISTER RISE.

When you finally beg for mercy to your calling

but have no idea where to start.

RISE SISTER RISE.

Rise for you, And Rise for me.

For when you rise first you make the path brighter for She.

REBECCA CAMPBELL.

Book Content:

Part one: Losing Everything Finding Me.

Part two: Turning Your Light On.

Part three: Work Your Light.

Part four: Living in the Light

Part five: Be the Light

The last quote Rebecca uses:

I’M NOT AFFRAID

I WAS BORN

TO DO THIS.

JOAN OF ARC.

Page 289: One Thing

I love the following paragraph from Rebecca which keeps the motion of moving forward all the more…

Non-negotiable daily spiritual practice is the only way that I have found to do this. Show up to the callings of your soul and the Universe will open its arms to support you.

As I step into each day with an open heart, and new daily practices I too am showing up to my callings of my soul and look forward to the Universe’s support all the way and beyond.

Until next we meet, have a wonderful day….

Finding our way back to writing on rainy days.

saturday at king and spoon

Saturday afternoons back to split shifts and with rainy days, good time to sit and write and get a little reading done.

Over the last few weeks I seemed to have left the writer in me back in Northern Ireland holidaying and relaxing. While I was back into the thick of reality and not wanting to be here, but was preferring to be back in NI, taking in the scenery, and being able to float away to dream lands of fictional characters and stories that could be written.

Though yesterday amongst my frustration that it has taken three weeks since returning home from holiday to get back into the rhythm of writing, my fictional novel or my life story, which I am still working out how to go about starting. I summonsed my writer-self back home instantly, and soon I was able to put pen to paper and make  forward movement in the story line of Blythe, Georgina and Felicia.

Sunday afternoon I sit in my writers den, cup of tea to my left and my German Shepherd sleeping next to me, I can put fingers to the keys and find the slow walk back to writing regularly, with the sound of rain outside, the crackling of the potbelly stove warming the house and feeling somewhat relaxed and mind ready to write.

 

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local creek, while out for our walk

So as the new week starts and as much as I will be busy with life, I will make sure I find the time to sit and write, it might not be everyday, but I will write .

 

Until next we meet, have a great week…

 

Writing My Life Story

On Friday I was able to head into Perth city centre for business and pleasure, pleasure being able to go into my favourite two bookstores, Boffins Bookshop and Dymocks, with a novel in mind and always a how to book, needed for inspiration and help with my own writing. I initially had a Freelance writing book in mind, then I my eyes came across Patti Miller’s new book, “Writing True Stories”. I have for the past few years wanted to pen my story of my eating disorder, recovery and more. Now I have help in doing this.

I haven’t been able to get my head back into my fictional novel for some time and I am sure in the very near future I will be able to find the link to climb the last part of the story of Blythe, Georgina and Felicia and bringing them all together in Italy and to build new friendships. Though for now I will continue to read Patti Miller’s book, take notes and make notes. I am thinking the best way to start is from now and work my way backwards, wbooks from fridayhich really seems kind of logical, well I think.

 

It seems time is right for me to write through my memories, thoughts and lessons from the last 36 years from the start of anorexia to today, recovery and knowing that there is so much more to my life, that I don’t even know where it will take me. It will be confronting and there will be further healing that I feel is needed, to understand just how far I have come and how far I have still to go.

Do I have a working title? I think I do; “Goodbye, Farewell and Good Riddance” Years of dying to live. So with my weekend ahead of me, and some well needed reading and writing time, I am excited to learn, understand and heal.

Till we meet again….