Learning To Speak Your Truth (or: Oh F*ck, Did I really say That Out Loud??!)

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(“I Quit”– Episode 4)

It felt like my whole life had been spent being available to others, helping others, caring for others….and listening to others.

Now it had to become all about me.

I turned off my outside ears and turned on the inside ones.

Instead of listening to others I slowly learned to listen to me. To be honest I think “me” was initially in shock when I started doing this, after all I had always pretty much put myself last.

Me and myself had to learn a whole new way of going about things. I had to slow down a little bit, to be still and to start tuning into the me that sat behind the “busy mind’ version of myself.

I learned to sit.

Quietly.

(Sometimes for even more than a whole minute at a time!!)

And I began to listen.

I learned that behind the do-gooder, self-talk that had always run the “Me Show ” there was another Me, a more authentic Me, who had other things she wanted to say….

(Warning! Warning! Trouble Ahead…)

Yes, it appeared that finding my yes /no voice around boundaries with others was not the end of the vocal emergence.

It appeared there was more to come.

Quite a bit more in fact…

Uh oh….

Authentic Me and my mouth were about to join forces, to start working in sync…. and they made a most interesting duo. Continue reading

Learning To say No…and Yes…And No….

 

killer-duck

(‘I Quit– Episode 3)

So I had quit everyday life, gone home and put up the do not disturb sign.

I had created a space for myself. Phew….

Knock, Knock. Ring, Ring…

It began almost at once and came usually in the form of those irritating and pressure-laden “question-mark words”..why? when? what if….??? followed by helpful (doom-laden) unsolicited advice delivered with just a tiny undertone of judgement to help get me back on track…. Toot!!

I realised I had to learn how to defend my “Telene Space” and to protect myself from everything and everyone “out there” who wanted to pull me back into the collective comfort zone…. (where everyone wears sensible shoes and carries umbrellas for rainy days.)

I could not bring the outside in with me. In essence, I had to create a sanctuary for myself without the pressure, (no matter how well-meaning.)

After all, I could do pressure well enough from the inside, thank you very much.

I had to change both how I thought and the way in which I did things and I couldn’t do that with society’s “shoulds “ raining all over me like lava bombs.

 

Hmmm. Defend the space. Time to select my weapons of choice…

Rotten tomatoes? (Fun but messy.)

Unleash the killer duck? (Nah, he was too busy loving everyone’s shoes.)

Good old avoidance-and-hope-they’ll-go-away? (I can only hide in here so long and pretend I’m not home..)

I had to step up and to learn to speak up, to find my voice.

(Use your words Telene, use your words..)

Feeling a little bruised and vulnerable (with a fair smattering of “scared shitless” tossed in for good measure), I kept it simple. It became almost a survival strategy for those first few months and I made it a focus.

I practised learning two words: Yes and No.

Generally speaking, the Yes was for me and the No was for othersContinue reading

Creating A Futureless Future

prissy

(“I Quit- Episode 2)

So, I had quit, walked out on work.  Now what?

I had a small parcel of shares. They were “for a rainy day”.

I looked out the window. The seagulls soared high in the cobalt blue sky and the geraniums flashed their happy, red smiles in the perfect summer sunshine.

Whoops.

Now, this is where I had Insight No.1:

 

If I was going to do this I had to completely change the way I looked at things, and that meant not giving any space to old, freedom-crushing beliefs, particularly all those around THE FUTURE. (*Please feel most free to insert your own “All Powerful Lord Of The Universe” music piece here.)

 

THE FUTURE is that mythical, illusory, fantasy place that has the sneaky knack of holding us hostage under its powerful spell – often without us even realizing.

It is a place of the unknown, a powerful, paradoxical mix of ominous doom interspersed with dancing little rays of hope and promise. Continue reading

Are you Finite Or Infinite?

William Blake

 

 

We create our world and “who we are” through thinking.

There are two types of thinking – finite and infinite.

One is the thinking of limitation.

The other is the thinking of possibility….

 

We think our reality – we have beliefs and understandings around how the world works, how things are, how we see ourselves, how we think others see us and what our role in the world is. We have firm ideas about what is changeable and what is out of our hands.

 

Finite thinking is easy and familiar. It should be, after all, we’re trained to do it from birth.

When we think finitely we limit ourselves to what we know, what we are comfortable with and what we can logically understand.

Finite thinking fools us into believing we’re safe and secure by keeping us spoon-fed with what is trusted and true. It is structured by what is known, can be proven and is a fact.

It keeps us enclosed, encapsulated ……and imprisoned.

Finite thinking is rooted in fear. It is generated within the mind and it is driven by an ego that is desperately afraid of failure and of losing control.

It relies on the misconception that identity and beliefs are one and the same. Therefore, it feels threatened anytime its beliefs are challenged. Continue reading

Sh*t Happens

Oh well!

Oh well!

Sh*t happens.

To me, to you, to the stranger down the road.

Special things break, pipes leak, relationships finish, jobs end and quite often there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. There’s nothing it seems we can do to change things.

But we do have one choice. We can remain a victim of circumstance or we can let it go and get on with life….but that, of course, is much easier said than done…

Being able to practise acceptance and to acknowledge that sometimes things simply are what they are, can be a tough ask.

But, give this a go.

Write up these two simple words and whenever the poo hits the fan and you’re feeling hard done by say them out loud:

“Oh well..” Continue reading

20 Ways To Remind Yourself That You’re Still Alive!

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Where did all of the silliness go?

How come people don’t seem to have plain, old fun anymore?

And just when did life become so damned serious?

Maybe it’s time to play…….

When was the last time you:

 

  1. Slid down a slippery dip yelling “Wheeeeee!!”?
  2. Had a serious phone conversation into a banana?
  3. Flicked your peas across the table at someone?
  4. Lay down on soft grass and watched clouds passing overhead?
  5. Accidentally-on-purpose fell into water with all of your clothes on?
  6. Totally-on-purpose jumped into water with all of your clothes off ?!
  7. Spun around in circles until you fell over?
  8. Stood on a warm rock with bare feet?
  9. Stuck your head out of the car window and barked like a dog?
  10. Blew a raspberry on someone’s tummy?
  11. Dared yourself to do something scary?
  12. Built a sandcastle?
  13. Played hopscotch with an ice-cream in your hand?
  14. Laughed uproariously at your own joke until you cried?
  15. Rolled down a hill?
  16. Learned something new just for the hell of it?
  17. Walked in the rain without shoes?
  18. Tried to lick your own elbow?
  19. Read your favourite childhood Dr. Seuss book out loud to someone?
  20. Had a long (loud) conversation with an invisible friend?

 

Chances are it’s been a while..

So, why are you still sitting there?

Pick one and go do it!

Yes, right now…..and then let us know how you went. …please!! :)

PS. Photos most welcome!

 

 

What If That Challenge Is Just What You Need?

What if everything that happened in your life- the good and the bad- was a gift? A wrapped gift created and packaged especially for you, individually tailored to meet your needs and to give to you what you most need in this lifetime?

Maybe the gift was a learning, a new awareness.

Maybe it was the opportunity to let something go in order to allow space for something new to bloom and flourish.

Maybe it was a possibility, a chance to step through a door you didn’t even know existed.

Perhaps it was the chance to resolve an old issue, to finally heal an old wound.

Or maybe it was a reminder, a chance to see with fresh eyes and remember what’s really important in life.

It may have been an opportunity to experience something new.

Or maybe the chance for you to discover something important. A hidden resource you didn’t even know was there. Inner strength, courage or compassion perhaps? Something that had been waiting a long time to see the light of day. Continue reading

Hey Stupid! (Why Do We Resist Change?)

Procrastination

 

Hey Stupid!

Am I talking to you??

Well, maybe…..”

Are you one of those people who knows exactly what you should be doing when it comes to your own health, wellbeing and happiness….but you don’t actually do it?

One of those people who should exercise more, eat more healthily, stop worrying so much, get more sleep…

 

I ran into a young man I know recently.

“You look amazing!” I said.

“I should, I’ve lost 50 kilos,” he replied.

I raised an eyebrow in surprise. “How did you manage that?”

He gave me a rueful smile.

“I got diabetes….”

 

How often do we wait for the crisis rather than making change by choice? What is it that allows us to become essentially blind, deaf and mute when our body, our heart and our mind are shouting at us?

What allows us to block out the whispers that let us know change is due?

And why does it often require a whack over the head with a sledgehammer to finally wake us up?

 

We all know what we need to do to be healthy and happy. We read the books, go to the courses, watch the TV shows and the TED Talks from our comfy chairs. We get all motivated, have great intentions, buy all of the associated crap that will make us happier, healthier, thinner and much more beautiful….and then we…we….well, can’t be bothered really….yawn..

I know my health is at risk, that my habit is killing me, my lack of movement is crippling me, my relationship is suffocating me, my job is sucking me dry…..but…maybe tomorrw….

Why is it that we spend so much time, energy and emotion resisting, when the changes we could make are often quite simple, frequently pleasurable and definitely in our best interests in regard to our own wellbeing and happiness?

Why are we such a bunch of donkeys when it comes to making simple changes in our lives?

 

Imagine if instead of thinking about it, agonizing over it, worrying about it, punishing ourselves for it or postponing it, we instead decided to let go of our resistance and simply do it…

Now there’s a radical idea!

 

I have a friend who refused to stop smoking until the day she walked into the dentist’s office and was told that if she didn’t quit now  she would lose all of her teeth. “I’m vain,” she told me. She walked out of his office, threw her pack of fags in the bin and hasn’t touched one since.

 

I wonder what it would take for you?

 

As for me I’m off for a walk…

Or I would be if it wasn’t raining… :)

Finding Your Tribe

tribes

 

Who is your tribe?

Who makes up the group you surround yourself with, the group you “belong” to?

Does your tribe consist of the people you grew up with? The ones you went to school with?

Are they the people who live near you?

 

What ties you to your tribe? Do you have similar interests, play sport together or have kids who attend the same school?

 

Lots of factors determine who we spend our time with and who we identify with.

Quite often who we mix with are people who think like we do, who hold similar beliefs and opinions.

Sometimes what we like most about them is that they’re so much like us…..

 

Feeling that you belong is incredibly important to most of us. We have a basic need to feel liked and accepted. We long to “fit” somewhere, to find our place in the world.

 

Some people belong to the same tribe their entire lives. Others spend their lives flitting around the fringes looking desperately for a place to belong and never quite finding it. Some spend a lifetime trying to join a tribe that is never going to accept them into its fold.

And some of us find the need to change our tribe as we grow and change as human beings.

What happens when you wake up one day and realise that you don’t quite fit anymore? That you seem to be headed in a different direction maybe, or simply that your tribe is no longer a place where you can be who you really are?

 

Many of us try to hold on, afraid that if we leave our tribe we will be left alone forever…. (to wander lost and lonely as a cloud…) :)

That terror of being alone is pretty much up there with death on most people’s fear chart.

For that reason many people stay with their tribe long after it no longer feels right. When those people who surround us no longer reflect who we really are.

 

Transitioning between tribes can be a terrifying experience. Knowing that you no longer fit the old but having no idea how to find the new.

Knowing that there must be people out there like you.

People with similar beliefs and ideals.

People who think and feel like you.

People with fresh new ideas.

People willing to embrace you on a whole new level. Continue reading

Teachers Come in All Shapes And Sizes

Teachers

 

Our teachers come in many forms….

 

They wandered into the shop I was browsing in, carrying inside with them a friendly banter and bright smiles. They’d just been out for their weekly coffee together.

The aunt wore a t-shirt which declared ‘Nobody is perfect…except for me!’

The niece wore a mischievous grin and her cheeky “Hello!” lit up the shop. The store manager and I were soon drawn into the pair’s hilarious ribbing of each other. Their dry humour and snappy come-backs had us in stitches.

 

I’d seen them before on the “Special Bus.”

Our society of labels would call them “intellectually disabled.”

 

Their love for each other was apparent as their comedy routine became more and more wicked.

Every time I thought I couldn’t laugh any harder I did.

Through the tears of laughter I happened to look past them out of the window into the bright sunshine and saw there a world of scurrying suits all too focused on “work” and “doing’ and clock-watching to even notice the blue sky above.

At that moment I had a blinding insight. Continue reading