Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Tuesday, 2 July 2019
Fifteen years ago I became a mum. I left the workforce and became a full time stay at home parent. Still wanting to keep my mind active I studied to become a swimming teacher but ended up paying more out in childcare fees than my actual wage. When my second baby arrived I decided to put my work life on hold until he was a little more independent. That was 11 years ago. When my youngest was heading off to four year old kindergarten I thought great, now I can get back into work and start contributing to the household finances, then I was diagnosed with cancer. That was 7 years ago.
Over the last seven years I have worked a casual job which ended rather abruptly after I had a dumping episode. Unfortunately a side effect of living without a stomach and a boss who was not willing to compromise. I’ve also done contract work but the pay and the hour and 20 minute round trip wasn’t even covering my petrol. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of pluses. I get to stay at home, attend children’s events at school, dont have to compromise my boss if any of the kids are home sick, volunteer my time to the school community, eat when I want, rest when I want, go out when I want and work on my art portfolio. Its like being on one big holiday only there is no sightseeing or spending money and you have to motivate yourself to get out of bed every single day.
Sacrificing all the things that come with working full time and being able to up skill in the creative sense has been the most selfish and fulfilling part of being at home. Launching a website and Page on Facebook, doing commissioned art pieces for people all over the world. Pushing myself on a daily basis to be better, to be more visible, to extend my experiences into meditation classes, art classes, craft workshops. Advertising, daily posts, sticking flyers up around local shops. Expand, expand, expand, doing what I love in the hope that I can not only help others but give my family the financial freedom we so desire. Here I am nearly eight years down the track and I feel like a bit of a failure. I am so tired. So tired of trying to balance my health, my family, my support page and my business. So tired of feeling guilty for not being able to financially contribute to the family income, so tired of feeling I am not where I thought I would be. Watching others around me so motivated, meditating daily for blasts of inspiring feel good posts, feeling into the rhythm of the universe and working with the cycles of the moon, bla bla bla, plastering positivity all over their social media, watching friends who have their shit together and feeling I could be doing more, I should be doing more, I need to be seeing and being more. But I can’t because I am SO TIRED of trying and failing. Seriously, there are only so many times you can pick yourself up before you have to stop and reevaluate your entire life and the current direction you are facing. And now a quiet pause.......
"Hey Spirit, here is your opportunity to send that big bolt of
lightening I have been waiting for."
I can understand why so many amazing Artists simply give up trying to make a living from their Art. I really wanted to be the exception. After all I am a walking miracle and by all accounts I shouldn’t be alive right now. Should'nt that mean something? Didn't God let me live so that I could see out a much greater purpose? I thought I'd been grasping life by the big kahunas to create the successful abundant life I deserve, but I haven't succeeded and being granted a second chance at life doesn't make me special, it just makes me extremely lucky. My life holds no more value than anyone else’s. My experiences certainly make me look at life with a different perspective and I always look for every possibility. If I didn’t I could possibly be the most miserable person on the planet. Here's a depiction of me looking miserable with a pair of useless big kahunas.
Is there a part of me that has had a sense of entitlement that because I survived that makes me somehow special? Reality check ...... I think there might have been. My shadow just got a big slap in face and knows this is a complete fabrication to cover up any insecurities and fear around lack and acceptance. Getting through cancer doesn’t make me special, it makes me a liability. Lets face it letting a few organs go is going to compromise a lot of things and those that say it was a small price to pay to survive, well lets just say that comment is not helpful. They have absolutely no comprehension what price I have had to pay and continue to pay for everyday of my life. I simply do not have the capacity to work full time anymore. I don’t even know how I will cope part time. If I disclose the reasons for the gap in my of employment then I can almost guarantee that no matter how experienced I am or how much of a kind competent person I maybe, my resume will be cast aside quicker than yesterday’s newspaper. Let’s just look at the term cast aside for a moment. Abandoned, unwanted, undervalued, overlooked, ignored, forgotten, unused, depreciated, declined, passed over. Ever fiber in my being fights these words every single day, consciously and unconsciously. PTSD is very real in my world and it comes out in various ways, some of them extremely healing and creative and some not so constructive.
What does success look like anyway?
A large social media following? - These people probably have no time for anything else or they have lots of people working for them so stop comparing.
A healthy bank account? - Who doesn't want an endless supply of cash but think about all of the things that are sacrificed in order to have this, including being with the most important people in your life.
A balanced body? - This is hard work in every sense of the word.
A great job? - Whats that? Unless you are extremely fortunate to love what you do or work for yourself in which case there are also big sacrifices.
Holidays? - That was nice for all of three seconds, now go chain yourself back to your desk in a job you hate with people you don't really like but have to tolerate so you can save up for your next holiday.
Healthy relationships? - Saying no, creating boundaries, letting toxic people go no matter how much it hurts - did I also mention hard work.
Lots of friends? - The more friends you have the more drama you are likely to be pulled into - keep your circle small.
Just the fact that you have somewhere soft and warm to sleep with food in your cupboards? - Some may call that gratitude others might call that living in survival energy. Either way it’s all a matter of perspective.
I am also under no illusion that what people post is what they want you to see. Most people do not want other people to see that they are not coping, that their marriage is falling apart, that they cant afford to feed themselves, there are bills on the fridge they cant pay, that their health is failing, that their job is taking a mental and physical toll on their well-being and that life can sometimes be really tough. A beautiful made up face and cute baby photos do not equate to a good sleep and a well adjusted baby! All the misconceptions and in-authenticity out there in social media land causes a ripple of self doubt and anxiety that we all should be more that what we are or what we are capable of achieving. One big Snap chat filter so the world never has to see the real us. Even the most positive posts can be full of falseness and fishing for more likes or comments. Ive seen it happen in groups where people strategically reply over several days to comments on posts to bring their post back up to the top of the page for more exposure. It happens and these people are sprinkling spirituality out of their calculating fingertips. Sometimes I cant work out if I admire their enterprising genius or despise their disingenuous. Like it or not social media is such an integrated part of our daily lives that it plays a part in what I consider part of my success and some days like today I am just as messed up as the next person.
As I approach my eight year cancer free I am also contemplating what the future holds for me. But for today I do nothing but write as my head hurts from projecting, my heart aches from my past failures, my body is completely and utterly exhausted and my soul is so so tired. I know this shall pass and when the waves of emotion retreat I will have found another spark of inspiration from God knows where and a renewed sense of hope for better more abundant days to come. If there is one thing I love about me its the fact that I can recognize when I need to stop, retreat and give myself the time to reinvent myself. Kind of like Madonna but without her bank account!
When life gives you lemons, you say F🤫@k lemonade. Then google every single recipe you can using lemons!
Sunday, 5 May 2019
What if we could see our true selves? An unfiltered reflection of this reality. An honest glimpse of our archetypal natures and an opportunity to look past our own ego and see into the maps of our soul. What if we had another physical version of ourselves to show us the way. Someone to hold our hand through hard times, delight in our achievements and encourage us when we need some motivation. A twin compass that can give us guidance and assist us in seeking what it is we have agreed to fulfill in this chapter of our souls’ learning.
On my personal journey using many healing modalities, courses, teachers and self-help books, I have heard time and time again that we already hold the answers to our own questions. That we already possess all the tools to be able to do our own inner work, but what does that mean exactly? Have you ever heard the saying “Take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror?” If we really want to grow, then we have to be prepared to embrace all aspects of ourselves and learn from them which means accepting and working with our Shadow.
Our Shadow aspect is one of our greatest learning tools and working with it, rather than against it brings an enormous amount of growth and insight. When life throws uncertainty or unpleasant situations our way it also gives us opportunities for personal growth and development. I am not suggesting you must suffer from adversity to learn, but the Universe certainly has a way of getting our attention if we continue to ignore the lessons.
The truth is confronting and can often show us that we need to implement change. As creatures of habit, often even the thought of consciously moving ourselves into discomfort is enough to stop us from doing so. Because of this we get stuck in a type of patterning loop. This loop of illusion can integrate itself so much into your psyche that it starts to form into your belief patterns. This is working against your Shadow which can lead to destructive and self-sabotaging behavior, stagnation and dis-ease. It can be deceptively subtle, so much so that sometimes nothing short of a major life trauma can shift your perception of reality.
When we ignore or fail to listen to the answers from our Shadow aspect then we are denying access to the part of ourselves that want us to grow. Our inner work starts and stops with how much we are prepared to hear, transform and integrate into our lives. Our Shadow is not something to be suppressed, hidden or to be treated like the enemy. It can be our biggest ally. Our best decisions are made when we have clarity of thought. For this we need to come from a space of love and non-judgement of ourselves. All of ourselves – not just the good bits!
Stand and take an honest look in the mirror. Are you ready to access those tools you already possess? Do you want to dive deep into your inner world to discover the answers that await you? The vessel that stands reflecting back at you, he/she is the one you are looking for.
Michelle Potter Visionary Artist
Monday, 4 February 2019
Most of us make life so complicated, like a pressure cooker of expectations all thrown together in a massive soup of exhaustion and stress. Then all of a sudden, your body screams STOP and you have no choice because the Universe does it for you.
If you have ever been through a cancer journey, then you would understand the weight of getting through another year. I rarely announce it anymore, because those that don’t understand may look at the celebration as an opportunity of glorifying my own self-importance. Lots of people get through cancer right? Just get over it already. Quoting Kerwin Rae ‘ Your problems don’t make you special because everyone’s got them.’ *BTW actually a really good . The problem is, this is not like a cold or flu. You don’t just get over cancer and get on with life like it never happened.
The fall out from my surgery has been huge, more than anyone around me can appreciate let alone understand. Not only did I discover that I carry a genetic predisposition for gastrointestinal cancers, I have gone ahead and had preventative surgery to eliminate some of them. Do you know how many organs the human body can live without? I certainly do because I’m missing quite a few of them.
I never thought that becoming a Light-worker would be quite so literal. I joke about being a pure chancel of light and that the only thing they cannot surgically remove is my sense of humor. I even like to tell people if I was abducted by aliens they would transport me back thinking they’d accidentally picked up one of their own!
So lets fast forward to 2018. This was the first year in 7 years (colonoscopy/endoscopy excluded) that I did not have to go under any major anesthetics. I managed to keep all my organs and only lost a few nasty polyps, good riddance to those. Then in November I started to develop tinnitus. A constant ringing in my ears that would drive anyone crazy. One night I went to bed and the ON switch in my brain got stuck.
If there is one thing that my cancer and gastrectomy taught me it was to be my own advocate. To be aware that there are many options out there to try and to never give up if one thing doesn’t work. Even when the experts in the field tell you ‘There is nothing further we can do, go home and learn to live with it.’ I consider myself a walking miracle so if I can find my way through to a solution then I will do everything I can to find it. I have become a seeker.
Not all questions can be answered with Western medical solutions and other times we have to wait for technology to catch up. In the meantime, it is important to find new ways of being. If this new condition has taught me anything it is that I really need to look after myself more. Its like a forced holiday but with self-care. I now sleep with BOSS Sleep buds. An expensive but necessary part of keeping my sanity. I have been meditating, soaking my feet in epson salts, fine tuning my supplements and giving myself time to ground my feet in the Earth and sit in nature.
Being your own best advocate also means being pro-active. Go to the doctor, have all the required tests. Anxiety and PTSD in cancer patients can take an enormous toll on your mental health and well-being. To many sleepless nights and I know I am unable to function as a human being. Seek help where you need it but do not look to others for the answers. Sometimes its about listening to your own inner voice and following your intuition.
Remembering each experience, good or bad is just an experience. If you can learn what works for you then you can share your findings with others. Sometimes just having one person who understands you can make all the difference in the world.
I do not understand why this is happening to me now, but I can tell you it is making me step out of my comfort zone and forcing me to seek out new and different things. It is hard work, annoying, frustrating and uncomfortable because I like routine, organization and knowing what tomorrow is going to bring. I’m not going to lie, when this first started it completely sucked the sparkle out of me and I just managed to grab hold before I went into an uncontrolled tail spin of depression.
I have to remind myself that every time I am forced to jump in feet first I learn something incredibly new about myself. As Gabby Bernstein suggests there are many moments where obstacles are opportunities to see things differently and I choose to see this as a detour in the right direction.
The Universe has my back!