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…

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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.

 

IMG_7960

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….

 

 

Trip of a Life Time:

On Monday 29th May, arriving at Perth International Airport at 3am for the start of a five week work/holiday. My first big trip like this ever. Excited I was most definitely.

Part One: Perth to Dubai connecting to New York.

Duration from Perth to Dubai was approximately 10 hours. In flight movies times 2, breakfast and lunch served, four hours sleep with approximately 1.5 hours of turbulence which I did sleep through most of it. Arriving in Dubai for a two hours stop over, which most of that time was spent walking to departure gate from arrivals and yes it was hot in the terminal. Now I had been checked over, bag and body when leaving Perth IA, well it happened again at Dubai, which looking at it, everyone got checked over. Was a bit scary when your passport is taken by one of their ‘federal officers’ and you aren’t 100% sure of what happens next. So once checked over and allowed through to boarding area, I could relax just a little before we headed onto part two of our trip, New York. I was super excited to be going to New York for many reasons.

 

 

I was able to finally meet face to face with a Facebook friend for the first time in two years, with so much to talk about and learn about each other and to see in New York in one day. I managed 10 hours sleep on the plane to NY which was wonderful and we arrived around 9:45pm New York time, so by the time we arrived at the hotel I had been in transit for approximately 29 hours, yes it was a very long day and a bit. Time to put my head down and be fresh and ready to hit the ground running in the morning. With 24 hours to see as much as possible, I headed out for a look around near the hotel, Knickerbocker Hotel which was next to Times Square. I came back to the hotel and waited in the foyer for Lori.

Lori and I connected over our love or marathon swimming over the past couple of years, and as a newbie to the sport it was wonderful to be encouraged by someone who is a master at long distances. We headed off for lunch of burgers, cheesy chips and a coke, and good conversation about everything New York and everything Australia and swimming and more. After lunch our first port of call was Barnes and Noble bookstore, which took my breath away. As a reader and writer to see three floors of books, journals, music and so much more was like a child walking into a candy store and not knowing which way to turn first, well I started at the beginning. A new book in hand “The Weight of Ink” by Rachel Kadish jumped at me and called my name. Historical fiction it was to be. I could spend an entire day and a lot of money at Barnes and Noble, but as time was short and money well, needed to stay within budget, I wondered a little more and found a beautiful journal for my daughter for when I returned home. Time to pay and head to the next destination.

Ground Zero Memorial, a sombre and moving part of New York that I feel will forever hold so much emotion for thousands of people not just in New York, but for around the world. I didn’t get a chance to go down into the museum, but it was enough to be outside in the drizzle of rain walking around the waterfall that held the names of those whom lost their precious lives on 9/11/2001. I remember the day myself on the other side of the world in Australia where my patio was to be installed and my children were four and six years old. Lori explained the events of that day to me as she was in amongst the people on the streets when it all happened. I could feel her unease as she spoke and in her eye, so with only a short time there, we headed back to my hotel as I was to be attending a function that evening and time was definitely getting away from us. The time we had was just not near enough to sit and talk about everything, so I made a pact that I would visit again, in the near future (maybe a trip in 2018 is on the cards). With a hug goodbye and see you soon, I headed up to my room to get ready for a work function at a local bar for drinks, nibbles and conversation as this was the start to the work side of the holiday (conference). Drinks and nibbles a little conversation and it was time to head out for a feed. We found Red Lobster just near our hotel for dinner, headed up stairs to be seated and order. With a couple of tense moments in conversation and making sure others were going to eat their dinner, we could hear laughter coming from next to and behind us. Three gentlemen were tucking into their desert as we were starting on our wine and mains. We invited them to join us and the night was more relaxed and new friends were made, three young guys from Trinidad. They loved the Aussie accent and wanted to know as much a possible about Australia. With full bellies and the night coming a close time to head back to the hotel, slumber and ready for a bus trip to meet the Queen Mary 2 at the Docks to sail away to London for seven days.

Wednesday morning, waiting down in the foyer for the bus to pick us all up and head to the docks (port). On pulling into the drop off point of the port there she was, and huge stunning lady of magnificence and luxury. My first ever cruise and to be lucky to have the opportunity of sail on this majestic cruise ship was going to be an amazing adventure. Heading into the big shed to check in, boarding pass given and guided to the seating area, ready to be called in to board, the ladies calling the numbers were funny and exciting and kept the atmosphere a happy one, while we waited, which was a brief wait. Our number was called and it was time to party on board and get ready for a wonderful adventure out on the open water. Directed which deck and in which direction to go, I found my room and was introduced to my floor supervisor. I dropped my hand luggage into my room, unpacked my suitcase and made myself at home. I then headed out on to the outer decks and had a look around the ship to see where I could spend my days, pending the weather. The staff were super friendly and exceptionally helpful.

I took myself on a tour of the ship from deck 6 (my room) to deck 7 where the buffet was (yummmmm)  and the Kings Court where you can sit and relax with a drink and nibbles, while looking out over the ocean. An beautiful area to relax and meet new people from all walks of life and countries. I headed out onto the outdoor deck and walked towards to the rear of the ship, finding a pool (heated), plenty of sitting room and a beautiful view of New York, before we were to disembark. There was a delay in leaving New York as we had the FBI on board doing an investigation of a previous passenger (London to New York). After approximately three hours we were informed by Captain Wells that we were to be leaving New York and on our way across the Atlantic Ocean for our destination of Southampton, London, England. So I look forward to seven nights of relaxation, good food, excellent service and much, much more.

A head, part 2 of my trip of a life time…More of Queen Mary 2 Cruise and arriving in Southampton, England.

 

 

The week that was last…

The week that was last, was full of drawing, thinking, planning, and working. I have still been spending time with my third character building a story around her, and with her. We have spent time drawing simple drawings as you would in an art class, and building on ideas and practicing a new creative discipline. Felicia has found that drawing has given her a new chapter in her life, as her children are now young adults and at college/university, her late husband is no longer with her to run the business, and her decision is about to be made.

As I pack, ready for a trip of a life time, to New York to catch the Queen Mary II transatlantic voyage to London, I pack with me, my manuscript to date, a note book to write more of the story, my drawing gear, Natasha Lester’s book “A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. This trip is a little more special as my three characters are all from the three main places I am visiting. New York (USA), England (not sure if that will change), and my home country of Australia. I will be visiting Scotland and Ireland (the possible change to). Though I started to write my novel about six months prior to notice of this trip, it still surprises me of the locations I will be visiting and the locations that are in my novel.

hibiscus

I have come to enjoy the process of drawing. As it has been a very long time since I had done anything creative, its a time now where I can love whole heartedly finding pictures of flowers, dream catchers and more to copy and add my own touch to each design as well. I love how I feel when I am being creative and seeing things differently in every day. The simplicity of a rose, is not just about the colour, or the scent, its about the structure of the rose its self and the depth of how the tones of the colour blend.

moon catcher

Like Felicia is making new decisions for herself I have had to do the same. As I allowed one door to reopen recently, I have had to take a step back and realise its actually time to close that door forever, and to take on something else that is more gentle on my body and mind. I am going to reopen the door to marathon swimming in time, after a disappointment that hit me a little harder than I expected it had, I was ready to give it up, when really I need to go back to it, not leave it and learn from the disappointment. As my characters have all had to do the same, in one way of another, I am doing it as well.

So with just a week till I leave home for 33 days of exciting new experiences I look back on this past week, and feel grateful that I have now gotten to a point in my mind for the rest of the story, future ideas for drawing and my own art and creative learning.

Mr owl

How our characters show us the way…

Over the past few weeks I have not written my manuscript, so with still 78+ thousand words and a target of 110,000 words till I finish the shitty first draft, I have spent the these past weeks drawing, scrolling through Pinterest looking at lots of different things, from interior design and decorating, to storage ideas, to writing tips, recipes, and lots of drawing ideas. I have even spent time drawing myself and learning to relax and enjoy the moments of putting my pencil to paper and letting the creativeness flow.

My third character in my novel has been showing me her future path, and helping me with ideas for the words to the rest of her chapters, and her life in the novel. I have also been able to sit back and see just how much each character has shown me bits of myself in so many ways. This particular novel has stuck with me for the last 18 months since is started writing it, as much as I take time off from tapping my fingers across the keyboard of my laptop, I am forever researching. I am seeing things I wouldn’t have seen or started again if I hadn’t been writing my novel.

I am super excited, in 15 sleeps I will be boarding a plane for New York, before embarking on a cruise on the Queen Mary II ship for a transatlantic journey, then spending time in London, Scotland and Ireland before returning to Perth, Australia. Its interesting as my three characters are from three different parts of the world, Blythe is from England, Georgina from Australia and Felicia from USA. I will be trying to take in so much of the places I visit and learn so much to bring richness to my characters, and to myself in learning so much in a short time.

My manuscript is packed and ready to take on the plane with me, I have my notebook ready to go, pens, pencils and more to be going long haul with me, to write, learn and take in all that surrounds me. So with just a little time to go I am super excited.

 

creativity has thought

Building a Character

Over the past couple of weeks I have not added any words to my manuscript, and have hit the skids on writing. I hit 78635 words on 26th April, and nothing since, though I have found myself drawing again after many years of not doing any drawing, painting or anything else like that. Its been lovely to come home from work and relax with my journal, my pencils; both sketch and colour, finding something to copy from Pinterest and letting my mind wonder in a different way.

drawing 1

I have come back to see that I have a structured way of drawing, not very flowy or anything like that, so I would say I am not a natural drawer, but I can draw. My love of gardening has extended to my drawing with lilies, roses, fuchsias and a little whimsy from one of my most favourite folk-art designers/artist; Annie Lang.  Drawing has become a staple in my day, where I can just sit and sketch something that catches my eye and see what I can do and see how I am progressing.

drawing 3

Now here is the thing, I have my third character in my manuscript, whom is an interior decorator and architect, after her beloved husband has passed she is unable to find her way back to architecture, and designing. She finds herself one day with the house completely quiet, herself in her studio at home and starts designing this wonderful home. Her mind runs, her thoughts, her guilt, her worry, her grief. Though she was able to feel at home again drawing. Unsure of whether to continue the business her and husband ran before his death, or to find something else that she can do and enjoy just as much on her own now.  She stumbles across an art class that is being run in town and she decides to attend to see if she likes it, under the pressure from her twin daughters, to try something….which then leads into more of the story.

drawing 4

So what does this have to do with my drawing and writing and building a character? Well, for myself to start drawing again after a long time, I have found for myself something that I am enjoying and can see that art helps to heal, relax, smile, and enjoy more of what you see, as you see things slightly different.  Whether colours are brighter, or if shapes are more defined in your mind, art, drawing for my character will help her to see a new part of her, that she hasn’t seen for such a long time and leads her on a new journey of her own.

I love how my manuscript is unfolding before me, as I have had the beginning and the end, in my mind as I started, and my characters are filling in the middle. My characters are strong women whom have had loss recently in their lives and how they deal with it in their own ways, to then come together, become friends and share a journey as friends and as single women.  I am a married woman with adult children and can see a little bit of myself in each character. I am in awe of how these women take tragedy, and rebuild their lives, and find their inner strength to continue on.

drawing 2

Creative

The world of a creative is always full, ideas, thoughts, words, colour, descriptions, pictures, photo’s, stories, people, paper, pens, computers, colours, and the list goes on. Our minds are always on the go, never time to stop thinking, designing, working on ideas, and more. How do we as creatives slow our minds down? We do what we love, whether that be writing our stories, designing homes and buildings, decorating, drawing, painting, gardening, teaching, making….when we are amidst the very creative drive that is within us we are the happiest, where we can loss ourselves within our own worlds.

canvas

Even going for a walk in the morning, isn’t about just getting fresh air and moving our legs, its a time when ideas come to mind and we are able to quietly contemplate these ideas sent to us from the universe, or where ever you believe those ideas come from. Is there a block of time in the 24 hours of a day that we don’t stop thinking, some would say when we sleep, but how many of us are dreaming, our bodies might be resting, but our minds keep moving. I know for me I dream very vividly and some mornings feel like I haven’t slept.

Some creatives thrive with loud music playing around them, some need the stillness of silence to create. The daily cycle of a creative is so vastly artistic and prolific. The next time you get to watch someone create something watch them, when they work and you will see a place they can go to that is mind blowing, when you see their finished piece.

creativity has thought

Second Chances in Life

There are times in our lives where we wouldn’t get a second chance to do things, or redo things from our past. Is that because we don’t allow ourselves that option, or is that because we see it as our past and we shouldn’t be looking back? When I have come to crossroads in my life, like now, I have learnt that there are times when you do need to look back, see just how far you have come, and to even be able to just see that little bit into the future.

Ten years ago my life was only six hours from passing me by. I was lucky as I made it to the hospital in time. Even to this day I remember every part of that day down to each detail, and my week stay in hospital, and understanding just how close I came to leaving earth and my family. I returned home, I would say in ways a different person, but in other ways the same. I stopped taking a lot of things for granted and made the decision to be more active and enjoy my life and find some purpose in it.

I took up martial arts with my kids and husband, until about two to three years later I ended up doing knee damage and had to give it up. Then I followed with Triathlon, which I fell so deeply in love with. I loved the idea of three different sports all wrapped into one. The variation in training and so much more. My goal was to complete the Busselton Half Ironman, which I did in May 2014. Come August 2014 I couldn’t run any more and by October 2015 was told it wouldn’t be going to happen, the running that is. March 2016 was told never to run ever again. Though cycling was a good possibility and definitely swimming.

never let go

Driving back from Busselton Jetty Swim February 2017, I told a friend of just how much I missed triathlon. There was frustration within me as I wouldn’t be able to run the run leg ever again. Every weekend I would look at my road bike and wonder if I should sell her, as I wasn’t going to go back to triathlon again, but there was something inside me that couldn’t let her go, I couldn’t sell her. This past Friday, I had my physiotherapy appointment, and my physio is an awesome guy and knows his stuff, and especially when it comes to sport, and triathlon itself. I asked would it be possible to walk/power walk a half marathon? I was told yes, though some changes would need to be made. I would need to slowly build my walking distances, if there was any sign of foot issues to see him and to stop. He also gave me two little foam pads to attach to my feet where my sesamoid bones are below my big toes (issue areas). Look at some good shoes as the ones I had on were very much well worn (approximately 2900km over a year of wearing.)

I have the go ahead to start training with conditions to be careful and pay attention to how the body goes. So here is where my second chance comes into play. Three years ago, I did my last Triathlon, finished with some bad injuries. This week I have started with some basic fitness building until I got the green light, I now can commence my triathlon training again. I have the big plan of completing Busselton Half Ironman in December 2019, with multiple smaller events from swimming, walking and triathlon before hand.

if you don't go after

The interesting part to what lies ahead of me, is also my attitude to my training. When I trained for Busselton 2014 I was in the start of recovering from anorexia, that I had for more than 30 years. Now that I am recovered I have put conditions on myself for the journey that is ahead of me. If I drop below 56kg, I will not compete. If I do not pay attention to my nutrition I will not compete. If I start to get into a cycle of obsessing I will not compete. This is the new journey to a love with a healthy attitude and out look.

This time round, I have more to balance in my life. I have a full time job, a novel in progress that I don’t want to stop, a great family life and social life. By paying attention to the other aspects of my life and putting my training into what time I have available, is a better balance than putting everything else around my training.

So, second chances can be very positive things in our lives as long as we can see that they are for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Finding the balance in our lives to allow for second chances is also key. The biggest is enjoying the journey that you take, not the end result, as there could be a chance that, what the big, end result isn’t what you think it will be, when the journey is more than you think it is.

no regrets