What do you do with a life well lived when so much of it feels as if it was scurried through, hidden through shame and secrecy, or simply ignored?
What do you do when that life story begs to be told, when you're not sure why, but you just know it's time; you sit down, you take a deep breath, and you take in every precious moment, giving thanks, remaining curious - where will it land, who will it help, and why does it even matter?
It matters because it's my life story and it may be yours too. The journey of one woman navigating her way through a complex well of thoughts, feelings and emotions, overcoming some pretty major hurdles and yet somehow always having a measure of what felt right or wrong, of being true to myself even when I didn't have the skills or life experience to find my way out of painful places.
It matters because it's almost certainly a reflection of many people's stories. So many stories untold, unspoken and trapped inside, yet when these stories are released without attachment to the drama of their origin, I believe they hold the potential for really deep healing on many levels.
We've all at some point been the age in my photo above; innocent, sweet, unspoiled by life's disappointments, hurts and traumas, and yet as we emerge into adolescence and then adulthood, and as we develop opinions and perspectives on life, moulded and shaped by our surroundings and our primary care givers, all too often we move from innocence towards judgement (including self judgment), criticism and blame. Much later down the road, it then becomes our life's work to 'find our way home' again, and this is the beginning of me sharing my personal path back to the truth, highlighting a fair few funny stories (and some not very funny ones) along the way.
My friend and breathwork teacher Anthony says I have an "insistence upon the truth" which is interesting to me as it's not the first time in my life I've heard this reflection of myself through another's eyes. It showed up often as a part of me that is extremely driven, often attached to 'causes' and a burning need for 'justice' 'righteousness' and 'transparency'. I'm not comfortable in falsehood and untruth, secrecy and lies; I can 'feel it' and I can't see the point!
A co-worker and boss once told me "ex addicts (I am one) have remarkable observation skills! They've usually had to engage these skills or die, and this 360 degree awareness is what has often kept them alive" and I believe this to be true, it certainly was in my case.
The shadow side to this constant alertness is that we can all too often remain in hyper vigilance, always expecting the worst, and so the guards we maintain never truly allow us to fully trust in life, love or other people. That's why these days I let myself feel it, speak it, and then let it go. Of course like many others, I don't always follow my own guidance on speaking out, and sometimes that's most definitely been a good thing! It's a good thing because without finesse and the marriage of diplomacy, self awareness and great timing in there too, we risk becoming a brash bludgeon of truth rather than a subtle instrument of it, and I know which I would rather be.
Since clearing many of my past stories, I've come to recognise that something I really love is hearing other people's stories - the stories of life; they 'why' people have for doing what they do, the 'what' is the driving force behind the vehicle of self identity, and the reason people are who they are. Now it's time to release my own stories into the world to see what this brings to my door. Knock with respect and you are welcome to come in.
My story will be told in many parts or else it will be too long to encourage readers to plough on through.
We will navigate the terrain of addiction, sex work, broken relationships, criminality, being a teenage runaway, living almost constantly with trauma and shock and more. We will witness those stories explored through activism, the dance upon life's edges, the pathways to self enquiry, and at the end of it all, I will invite shares to my YouTube "Inspirational Speaker" series so that I can share in your stories too.
I believe people's stories and achievements need to be celebrated and shared, it makes us all feel less alone, more human, and more forgiving of ourselves and others. It's my passion to use this pithy supply of words we have at our disposal to attempt to do that and I promise to remain as humble as possible throughout it all! Still here? Read on....
Those who insist they've got their 'shit together' are usually standing in it at the time." Stephen Levine - A Year To Live: How To Live This Year As If It Were Your Last.
It takes time to come to terms with one's sufferings - it's a process, a journey often akin to the mythical journeys undertaken by the Heroes and Heroines of mythology and folk tales from all over the world - everyone relates, and why is that? because on some level or other we all suffer and we all overcome.
Suffering is universal; it's the denial of it that creates tension and problems in our world. Bypassing hurt to brush the metaphorical 'dirt' under the carpet doesn't work; we have to do a proper clean-up job if we are to really feel at peace in our world and we can only do that by seeing to our own 'shit' first. It doesn't always have to be painful either although inevitably 'pain' will arise as a result of having the courage to 'go there' and to dig into those stories and heal them, and that's ok. I believe we are stronger than we allow ourselves to believe we are as long as that strength is born of staying in our hearts and our willingness to be vulnerable and to admit it.
So back to my story and why it wants to be told now. I don't know is the honest answer; all I know is that I am responding to a deep calling from within to be still and listen; to feel deeply and to share the wisdom gained along the path in new ways - ways that are born from the receptive reflections of inner stillness rather that the active principle of 'pushing' through stuff which has always been my way until now. Perhaps it's the action if my children leaving home, my time being my own, my life being quieter now, or perhaps a natural process that comes with the wisdom of being present to the mystery of ageing, whatever it is, it seems to be here with me now.
My intention is for these stories to help others heal their own stories; find the right support and mentors, teachers and guides along the way. Bookmark my page and join me as we set sail into the journeys of Life!
CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
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