Monday, June 28, 2010

How do you get around?


How do you get around?

Mostly, I ride just about everywhere. We live close to the Melbourne CBD and riding is the quickest way to get there. We're also close to St Kilda and that's an easy ride too. I love riding and of course it's a pretty healthy and environmentally friendly way to travel.

The only thing I need to master is the wearing of regular clothing whilst cycling. I find having to change from exercise wear a bit of a pain. And besides, I've seen lots of people manage in dresses, jeans, high heeled boots and looking fabulously chic. That's my goal. To be able to ride anywhere, wearing whatever I wish.

I try to wear regular clothing where possible, but so far I have ripped two pairs of jeans in the process. Apparently, jeans need stretch to cope with the leg up, leg down motion?!

Until recently, I occasionally drove.

Until last week at least, when I sold my car.

Even though I don't really need a car for the lifestyle I lead, and in fact only drove 4000km in the past TWO YEARS, it still feels like a loss.

A car feels like independence, to me at least.

I've had a car since I was 17 and have always driven, aside from those four years in the UK. When I got back the last time it had been two years since I'd driven and I felt like I needed to re-learn how! It wasn't automatic to me anymore and became something I needed to consciously think about how to do.

However it didn't feel like a negative not to have a car when I lived overseas, in fact I remember it felt quite free. No rego, insurance, unexpectedly expensive services (last time, nearly $1000!

It's just a matter of changing my thinking.

Even though we put it on carsale.com a month or so ago, I was still quite resistant to selling it and put the price a bit too high. No enquiries - phew. Oh, except for a scammer. That doesn't count :)

And then, one night, I met a friend for a drink in a neighbouring suburb. I had two wines but decided I'd walk home rather than drive.

Nearly two weeks later, I was walking around the area. I saw a car. It looked a lot like my car. I did a double take. There was a missing hub cap. The number plate was ... the same. It WAS my car. And it was in a half an hour PERMIT zone and had somehow not gotten a ticket.

I had left it there for two weeks and had not even once needed it or thought of it or wondered where it was. I know.

Clearly, I did not need it

So we lowered the price and got enquiries straight away and soon it was sold to lovely new owners who really want it and will probably drive it a lot more than me. Plus I now have a nice little sum of cash to use for some wedding expenses, which is definitely more than worth a little sacrifice.

The car is the barometer of your direction

That's what Annette Noontil says in her book, "The Body is the Barometer of your soul" (it's a bit like Louise Hay's book, which I prefer). Some of them are obvious, like constantly driving around on empty.

Which makes me wonder what sailing along "just fine" and then realising there are actually structurally significant problems that need to be fixed means?! That can't be good! Some extra repairs at the end when we did the roadworthy test did help to soften my recent romantic delusions about how fabulous it was to have my "problem free" and rarely-driven car.

She says that not being able to find where you parked your car your signfies a lack of direction. So, Annette, what does it mean if you FIND your car, and you aren't even LOOKING for it, hey??

Oh.

Come to think of it, I think that's exactly what has happened for Nadine and I recently, with our unexpectedly popular and already sold-out unstuck workshops. Not to mention the deliciously excited talks we're now having about other options and opportunities.

Ok, Annette, you win that one.

So tell me, how do you get around? Is a car necessary to your lifestyle? If your car has ailments, what might they mean? And if you don't have a car, can you please reassure me it will be fine?! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Change doesn't have to be hard


Doing things the hard way
Isn't it interesting how often we choose to do things the hard way. Especially when it comes to change. And even more so when it comes to changing ourselves. Do you? We don't mean to, it just happens like that. Often doing it the hard way means doing it alone and/or being really hard on yourself in the process.

That was definitely true for me, in those (ahem) 14 years of on/off depression, which I wrote about briefly here and sort of over here. Clearly I need to revisit that whole story. I was sure I'd told it. I mustn't have been ready yet.

For me, doing things the hard way meant blaming and criticising myself for how I felt, feeling annoyed at how I felt and angry at myself for not being more in control. For making mistakes. For - the horror! - not being perfect.

And wherever possible, denying, blocking and suppressing my feelings and emotions. Often with busyness, which was generally quite effective. Until I stopped, of course.

Big mistake!

I often felt worst when I thought I should be feeling better, such as during the holidays. And as a teacher, there were plenty of holidays. I had no idea what to do about this. So I just tried to be busier. Even after the depression left, this was a hard habit to break.

Another thing I did, without even realising, was cut off from my heart. I guess my heart was giving me messages of pain that I had no idea what to do with. It was like I couldn't trust myself to feel. I knew where that would finish up, with me feeling stuck and miserable.

I had to use my will and my mind to keep myself from the ever present threat of depression which I felt could sneak up on me at any time if I wasn't vigilant. And then take me days or weeks or months to get out of.

Feeling my heart was a luxury I could not afford.

I could think happiness, joy and love. But it got to the point where I really couldn't feel them.

What I could feel in my heart area was heavy, blocked, stagnant, tight, uncomfortable. Empty.

Good times.

When I first started seeing a Kinesiologist it was mostly because all the external factors of my life were pretty much as I thought I wanted them, but I still felt lost. I was still searching. I couldn't feel. I had no idea what I really wanted. I was barely managing to keep myself afloat.

There was nowhere left to go but within.

This was where it started for me and Kinesiology sessions. Lots and lots of stuff related to the heart. Loving and accepting myself (huh?), feeling connected to myself and others and just lots and lots of emotions stuck in the heart - fear, anxiety, melancholy, anger, sadness. All the things I did not want to feel.

Kinesiology brings what is hidden to our conscious awaress where it can be healed and the energetic side clears the energy around what is stuck or blocked.

I remember how strange it was to start feeling my heart. It felt lighter, there was warmth. I started to actually feel my emotions again. Good emotions - not just unpleasantness.

That was the beginning.

This is the thing with Kinesiology. It's about looking at your stuff properly - and yes, it does cut straight to the point. But it's also about being really gentle and kind with yourself during the process and not getting stuck in the hard.

Allowing flow back into your life.

I remember at the end of her first session, one client who'd had many sessions of more traditional therapies admitted she felt better but said:

"I don't get it. That wasn't hard enough. Weren't we supposed to really go into everything from my past ... re-live it ... feel all the emotion again? Really describe every detail? Shouldn't it feel more painful? It just feels like that was too easy."

Here's the thing. The hard way hadn't worked. And we joked about that. I still see this client now, a year later and she's definitely past that. There is always going to be stuff and there might be strong emotions of fear or sadness or anger.

But that doesn't mean it has to be hard.

I've noticed that for most people, it seems to come back to self acceptance. Really accepting yourself, even with whatever is going on for you. Even with the emotions you wish you didn't have. This is what works, what creates real change.

If you're used to being hard on yourself it doesn't seem possible. But there we are. Nearly always, part of the change that people need to make is to start to be more gentle with themselves.

I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I often attract girls with anxiety and depression - even if they don't know my background. I can tell as soon as they walk in the door. They look drawn, anxious, flat. They are smart, lovely girls and women with everything going for them. But they still feel miserable.

And I love that I have a strong suspicion that it's about to change.

I suppose this on my mind today for two reasons. One of these girls wrote this lovely review on google maps:

'Initially, I went to see if Kerry could help me with a deep, dark depression that I had been stuck in for 10 years. Even though countless other therapies had not helped at all, Kerry has made it disappear completely!

I am so amazed at the benefits of kinesiology that I've even decided to study it myself!‎'

And I saw a new client last week who like me, couldn't feel her heart at all. She joked that even in high school, people had remarked she had a 'cold, black heart'. And this week?

'I feel so much better on the inside. I think its starting to show because yesterday at work, four separate people told me that I looked "vibrant", "shiny" or "glowing". And today 2 more people said there was something different about me. It's just so wonderful to feel better and more positive about the future.

Meeting you is definitely one of the best things to happen to me.'


Imagine.

Image: Bendo silhouette by cvanstane

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A lesson in looking after yourself .. and detachment



I was talking to my sister the other night about the whole money vs looking after yourself thing. How often we seek help right at the moment we need it, rather than having a planned approach to looking after ourselves (like booking sessions in advance). On feeling like there needs to be a "problem to fix" for us to justify spending money on our wellbeing.
And she has a pretty interesting perspective on this stuff so I suggested she share it with you. Here it is.

So my sister, Kerry asked me to do a “guest blog” after a conversation we had. I said, "no, I’m not the writer in the family." Reconsidered.. and here I am!

I was commenting that I used to always book in appointments to make me feel good or because I felt drained and in need of an instant “quick fix” pick-me-up at the last minute.
In fact, who am I kidding? I still do it now.

Whether it’s a haircut, massage, acupuncture, kinesiology session, facial, naturopathy or getting my eyebrows waxed, I often find myself on the phone asking if there’s any appointments free that week.

I must admit, I did break out of this mould just over a year ago when I was feeling pretty shattered with work and depressed after a long period of time trying unsuccessfully to fall pregnant. I committed to seeing an acupuncturist monthly.
Same day, same time, every month.

In the beginning… I wanted to “FIX THINGS” and get pregnant, plain and simple.

I asked lots of questions “what are you doing now?” “what are you checking for there?” “has that improved do you think?”

After a while I decided to forget “TRYING TO FIX THINGS”and just go with it. And ultimately I felt better when I left. It was worth it just for that fact. It was something I enjoyed each month and it fit in with my weekly schedule.

What do you know… when I stopped thinking I could “FIX EVERYTHING” and enjoyed the experience without expectation, things started to shift. I put my faith in the fact that I knew I would feel better when I left. I started to feel more in the flow of life. Happier. Less tired.

Also?
I fell pregnant.

I’m not saying that the acupuncturist was the answer to everything. But what I do know is that when I scheduled in “me time” regularly. I felt better on a day to day basis, less likely to “hit a wall” so to speak. I still go monthly.

I feel less weary and look forward to my monthly sessions – almost like a top up in the wellbeing account!! The monthly commitment is an investment in me "feeling good".

It’s just the experience I had so I thought I’d share. xxx
Isn't that freaking awesome??

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How much do you value yourself?

Do you love yourself enough to invest in yourself?

Oooh this can be a difficult one, for lots of us. Whilst it makes sense to spend money on ourselves in a way that has real value, many people find it challenging.

At the moment someone close to me is struggling with some stuff - major stress about money. Bearing in mind that, as is often the case, there is the "actual" issue, and then there's all the stuff they're telling themselves about the issue. Which is making it feel ten times worse. And also bearing in mind that when people close to me have issues it does push my "I need to fix and help this" buttons which yep - is something I'm working on.

It feels so real

The thing with money is that when it's a problem it feels so real and present and impossible to argue with. It's there in black and white. We can feel like there are no options.

I was talking to Amanda, my original Kinesiologist, and now friend, about the situation and how I could deal with it without getting too involved (or overwhelmed myself).

So Amanda asked me, "Are they having some Kinesiology sessions then? To move it along?"

This person has had Kinesiology (though not with me) in the past.

Oh no, I said, I think they'd definitely say they don't have money for that at the moment.

"Ha!" said Amanda:

The ones who need it the most always say that.

They save that ninety or hundred dollars and stay stuck in their fears, in feeling like they've got no choice but to feel terrible, it starts to affect their health, their happiness and their relationships.

If they'd just spend the money on a session or two, they'd get some clarity, see new choices, options and opportunities and change the situation, or at least how it's affecting them."

Pretty nuts huh?

Who would do that?

*Sheepishly raises hand*

That is definitely something I've done in the past. Thankfully it's something I've personally moved past. Phew. But then, I need to be relatively sorted and clear to do my work, so spending money on my own wellbeing is pretty much essential.

I'd argue it's kind of essential for all of us.

Money is definitely a tricky and complicated area. And many of us were raised to believe it is wasteful to spend money on ourselves and our happiness and wellbeing - unless we really need it. Like, we're sick. Or have run out of other options.

But it feels true!

Let's look at this. It is quite rare that we actually do not have the money to do something, especially something that's in the $100 range. Maybe we can't do it every week - but it's money we can come up with, even if things are tight, over a period of say, a month.

When we say we don't have enough money to look after ourselves, it is usually more likely that we either don't see the value that can be gained from getting ourselves back in balance, we don't know how (hint: Kinesiology is one good way), we don't value ourselves enough to invest in our own wellbeing, or we just want to spend the money elsewhere.

Undecided?

I'm sure most of us have had the experience of being stressed with "no money" and then either accidentally or intentionally having a big night out to "forget about everything" and "have some fun". The next day, we're tired, probably hungover ... we've spent wayyy more than we intended ... and now we feel worse. If we can find the money to do that, we can find the money to look after ourselves.

Otherwise it might be the couple of lattes we have each day, the impulse buys at lunch, whatever. If we're working, we generally have money. And aside from the essentials of shelter and bills, we are constantly making choices about how we spend that money.

Investing in yourself works

Often regular Kinesiology clients report feeling more flow and ease in daily life. In addition to those things they might focus on in their session, they'll often say they're:

- attracting in the right people to help them
- getting the support they need
- seeing more options for ther lives
- easily finding solutions
- generally liking themselves more and feeling happier
- taking action

What price can you put on that?

And sometimes, clients start to attract more money too. This is especially true if you bring it in as something to focus on. Wanting more money in your life is no bad thing - most of us are more effective when we're not in survival mode. Funny, that!

What kinds of things? One regular client won a major cash/travel prize at work as recognition for her efforts last year, another attracted the right people to sell her house at a higher price and for greater ease than she'd expected, several have moved to higher paying jobs that they enjoy far more.

I often find that the times when I'm truly nourishing and investing in myself, the phone seems to ring more often with new bookings. Everything flows. Interesting, huh.

When your internal world is balanced, the outside world reflects that.

Do you invest in yourself? If so, how?
If not, I wonder what good might flow in if you did?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Being curious about what blocks us

So I'm exploring what it is like to do yoga and writing every day.

These are two things that I love to do. And I want to do them. And I know they're good for me - nourishing and helpful and kind. Not only that, I've now kind of committed myself ... mostly in my head ... to doing these things every day for the next 21 days.

And I'm wondering why the yoga, in particular, has always felt difficult. And why, even though I've been wanting to do a daily yoga practice for years, I've never managed it.

Being curious

Sometimes it can help to take an exploratory approach when looking at the things that are blocking you. So often we go straight into frustration or annoyance at ourselves about our behaviours ... WHY won't I do this or that thing.

So anyway, play along if you want. Is there something you want to do (something you know is good for you - like eating well or exercising regularly) that you somehow don't get to?

Let's begin

Speculate. Wonder. What might the reason be? Let's just play with it. Write down whatever ideas come to you.

While I'm telling myself that doing yoga every day would be helpful and nourishing and fun, what is my body actually hearing?

- routine (=boring!)
- oh my god, another thing I have to do
-
tick off the list - that's over with!
- you're going to make me get up early and be tired all day
- there is something here about not deserving pleasure that I don't pay for (that is weird! And quite unhelpful!)
- there is something else about not being good enough which I also don't understand. I don't feel this in a yoga class - it doesn't cross my mind. Why is this coming up about doing it by myself (oh right, my main critic)
- oh my goodness, my body is worried I'd be creating something for me to be critical of myself about - no WONDER it doesn't want me to do it

I am kind of surprised about the self criticism thing - I thought I'd let a lot of that go ... not with everything apparently ...

What about for you? Are you surprised at any of the responses you get?

Whatever we feel exists for a reason.

Is there somewhere you'd feel ok to start?

What about if you were to try this thing? Is there a starting point that you do actually feel comfortable with? Something that you'd find easy and fun and completely unthreatening?

For me and my yoga it was savasana (lying on the floor for 20 minutes). There is nothing about savasana that has anything to do with achievement and I don't even know how you could judge if you'd done a good job. By stillness maybe?!

The first day of my yoga I just did savasana. The next day, I felt like rocking on my back a bit too. I can't help but notice that each day I'm doing my practice a bit earlier in the day, doing a few more postures (that I feel like doing - there's no plan!) and actually enjoying it more and more.

And it is actually starting to feel like I always thought it should - something that is fun and nurturing and gentle. Something that I want to do ... and actually do.

Knowledge transmuted into wisdom

This is something that has also been coming up for some of my clients lately. So often we know what is best for us. Yet there is a big difference between knowing things and actually doing them, something that Marg just wrote about. But don't be too hard on yourself ... there is probably a really good reason!

But don't forget to ask yourself what it might be.

The knowledge might just be enough to change the way you feel about it so that you can go ahead and actually do it.

Image from Flickr: Yoga Girl by tiffanywashko

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Writing and yoga - 21.5.800


Writing and yoga are two things I definitely love ... but don't always make enough time for. So maybe that's why I was attracted to Bindu's 21.5.800 challenge - 21 days of practising yoga five days a week and writing at least 800 words a day.

It started on Tuesday 8th ... but you could join in if you like ... here's Bindu's guidelines:

THE WRITING: The writing can be ANYTHING. Memoir, blogs, business plans, essays, fiction, free-writing, letters,……..ANYTHING. The point is to get writing again daily and to have the boundaries and challenge of a daily word count to reach.

THE YOGA: There are several options for you to do the yoga portion of 21.5.800 5 times in 7 days. Here are the options:

1. Go to a yoga class in your ‘hood.
2. Do a yoga dvd at home.
3. Take a 20-40 minute savasana* (lying on the floor)

I'm feeling a little bad because it's already getting late and I haven't done either the writing OR the yoga yet ... however I'll now head over to the lounge room floor for some nice relaxing savasana and if I don't make the 800 words that will be ok for today.

However I'm looking forward to developing a routine and seeing what insights come up over the 21 days...

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Tower - Chaos? Well, definitely change.

Getting comfortable with the tower

If there is one card practically noone likes to show up in a tarot reading, it's the tower. No doubt about it, the tower means change. Often dramatic and unexpected and yep, a little out of our control.

Except ... take a look at the foundations of the tower in the image.

They're not exactly strong.

The tower is breaking apart and causing chaos because whatever it is that is falling apart was never strong enough to begin with. It can be something you've put your trust in, something you assumed to be stable such as a job or relationship, it could be that you're overly reliant on what others think of you, or that you've been choosing to ignore the dark and billowing clouds that have indicated a need for change for a while ...

What is real?

Sometimes the tower can feel like it comes out of the blue - and we get to find out, that confidence, that trust, that self belief ... is it real? Or do we need to work on that a little more?

When the tower shows up, it can mean that the things in your life that are not built on strong ground are going to be shaken up. The truth is going to come out. When the fuss and chaos has died down you will know where you're really at.

Don't be afraid, but do look at what's going on

I've learnt the tarot before but I'm doing another course at the moment ... and this week the tower has been coming up for me. And yes things did feel a little shaky within for a day or two. Rather than being fearful when the tower (or challenge in general) shows up, just think: interesting. What does that mean for me?

The tower can also signify a break through.

If you're willing to look at and deal with what's going on (and it's kind of hard not to look at the tower!) you can end up feeling like you might after a storm has passed, kind of cleansed and clear, with a greater sense of focus. And yes, a Kinesiology session will definitely help clear through some of that debris!

Getting clear

The truth will not necessarily be bad ... it might be that you just need to go within and really get clear about what you want and need and make sure you are giving that to yourself. There might be some attitudes, beliefs or behaviours from the past that you really need to let go of ... and you're being pushed to do this.

Avoidance ... just makes things worse

It's like in a Kinesiology session ... being honest with ourselves and learning from challenges and being prepared to address any negatives (so often this is related to how we speak to ourselves) can really result in amazing break throughs.

Staying on the surface and trying to ignore the things we don't want to feel or think about ... well, it only works for a while.

Whatever - the tarot is part of the cycle of life, there sometimes needs to be a breaking down of sorts to make way for the new. The card that follows the tower is the Star ... making a wish, setting goals, reaching for the stars. Sometimes we need to let go of some stuff first.

Oooh, free tarot readings

Here are two lovely sites for free tarot readings: Free Lotus Tarot and the Gaian Oracle.

So do tell, what's in the cards for you?

(And despite what I just said - I do kind of hope it's not the tower!!)