Monday, 4 February 2019

Obstacles are Detours in the Right Direction




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 article  . 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! 

Michelle Potter

The Best Version of Me






What do you do when the best version of yourself is never enough for someone else?  

This belief pattern started when I was eight years old. My mum met and married a man after a whirlwind romance.  My father’s replacement would literally put his hand out and hold me at arm’s length when I went to give him a hug.  This rejection caused my little heart to cry with despair.  After losing my father to cancer a couple of years prior all I was looking for was his unconditional love and affection.  I couldn’t change want I wanted, I was just a kid.   

I fell in love at twenty and married a man whose attention was anywhere other than the relationship he had committed to.  Reinforcing the belief that the best version of me was not worth loving and was never going to be good enough for anyone. 

My second husband and I met at work. As like attracts like, we were thrown together by the Universe with our pending divorces and emotional distress.   After a few false starts we decided to try and make a go of it.   Here’s the irony, I thought he was the one that came with baggage!  I had cut ties from my ex and saw myself as a childless, free spirit ready to explore the world of the Thirty somethings.  Whereas he came with two young children, parents steeped in tradition and an ex-wife, who for the sake of the children was still very much in the picture.  

With the addition of two impressionable girls into my life I did not want to repeat the experiences I had as a child.  So, I always went over and above to make them feel comfortable, welcome and loved.  You could say at that time I had a Wonder Woman complex.  If I wasn’t organized, then I couldn’t control the outcome.  If I couldn’t control the outcome, well that thought was terrifying.   I was conscious of needing to feel accepted and I was literally stuck in a pattern of old belief systems that were self-destructive. I was on a collision course heading for disaster.  

Eleven years into our relationship I was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  At the time circumstances would have it that neither of my step daughters wanted a relationship with me.  I felt totally and utterly defeated.  A crescendo of years’ worth of self-sacrifice and desperation to be loved.  The ultra-best version of me was never going to be good enough, ever.   So where did this leave me?  What lesson was I not learning here? Why did each karmic challenge seem more heart wrenching and harder to pull through? This one contributing to and almost costing me my life.  

The original wound of my eight-year-old self was still playing out and cancer was my opportunity to fully awaken and see things very clearly.  It was never about the people that rejected me, they were just the mirror of what I didn’t want to see in myself.  Being brave enough to confront my old beliefs allowed me to understand that I have purpose and no longer needed to look outside of myself for love, acceptance or validation.  

I love my authentic self and thank my teachers in life for helping me find her. 

Michelle Potter
Visionary Artist

Monday, 5 November 2018

Just for Today



Every time someone unsubscribes from my mailing list my heart dies just a little. When Mail Chimp sends me my stats and someone has hit that unsubscribe button (and I see you, name and all) my inner child silently says goodbye, grabs a box of tissues and has a quiet cry in the corner. 

You see, I’m lucky if I send about four newsletters a year so it’s not like one of those annoying promos that you sign up to and then your inbox gets a constant stream of unwanted notifications. And yes I have my days where seeking a more permanent source of income would be far easier on my bank account than trying to make myself stand out in a sea of other artists. Social media seems to be a big black hole of never ending self promotion and finding the next ‘best way’ to be seen. I find it all absolutely exhausting and days like today I just want to throw my hands up in the air and open up the SEEK app. 

I'll be the first to tell you I undercharge, much to my own detriment. 'Why?' To get business, hell I even do stuff for free to get my name out there. The last mural that spanned across four full days.......yep zip, zero, zilch.  Who works for free these days, practically nobody.   It frustrates me when I see people pay a lot more for what I would consider very mediocre work. Meanwhile the bills keep piling up on the fridge and my husband is working his fingers to the very bone so we can keep our heads above the water. I feel an enormous amount of guilt not being able to contribute anything substantial to the family income. So I concentrate on  expanding my knowledge, stretching my skills and I work on improving my craft every single day.  Every single day.



Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love what I do and the expectations I put on myself are enormous. There is always a hope that perhaps that next painting, that next Facebook post, that next Instagram picture is going to be my big break. It’s completely exhausting and some days (like today) soul destroying. Yes sure, I have some small wins but it feels a bit like body surfing. You think you’re about to catch the perfect wave but the water recedes just before the wave has its chance to break. It’s like the Universe gives you a glimpse of all the possibilities but never enough traction to make the difference. 

So just for today I’ll give myself a bit of self care and tomorrow I’ll put my big girl panties on and start again.


......... and if you want to hear from me feel free to join my mailing list