The thoughts in my head are just as tumultuous as the storm unfolding out there!

Being free, and feeling free are two different things. I think of this today as I lay in bed, watching a feral storm brew outside, feeling so constricted in my own skin!

This holiday period was the most challenging time of the year, and while the rest of Victoria enjoyed restrictions free holidays, I was left more constrained and stuck than I have ever felt. Of course, my car being at the panel repairer’s made it harder, as I couldn’t even go about my usual distractions like scrambling, or going to the beach!

So, I spent my holidays understanding that I have not yet learnt to be okay being alone. I might have been single for almost a year now, but I still feel bound by my walls and inhibitions. I am also realising that whilst I feel I have a plan, and I am ready to move into this new, exciting phase of my life where I am a free to do what I want, what I have yet to learn to do is open my mind to what my life is right now. I find myself craving for what I don’t have, whilst ignoring precious moments that I do spend doing things I love so much!

I burn with the desire to do it all, all at once, and I am not doing anything consciously enough to be doing it right!

The frustration of life not moving exactly at the same pace, and in the exact direction that my thoughts do is an old friend! I am now realizing that I live in the prison of my own mind, where I build castles of wishes and hopes, and expect everyone and everything to get in line! When all I need to do, is go back to the start, learn to just be! I must realise that I have no control over what’s on the other side, all I can do is enjoy my journey!

To be free, I must let go of expectations, and just do everything I do with love and integrity.

I must learn to be patient and trust that the universe works with me, building my new life, bringing everything and everyone that belongs with me into my life at the right time!

Love or not to love!

We live in a world where movies and social media influence what we eat, how we look, and even how we should feel. The undiluted stimuli in the information age have made our outlook to simple joys of life so jaded that when someone reaches out to us, we mistrust; when we feel love for someone, we build walls, hence spending our lives being miserable about potential misery!

I walked my kid to kinder today, and along the way, as he always does, he collected heaps of feathers, leaves and rocks for me and kept handing them to me as presents! As I watched his rosy cheeks with that constant sunny smile on his face as he handed me these gifts, all I saw was the love he felt for me, and the absoluteness of his love was enough for him to know that I appreciate those gifts, and for me to feel blessed to be the receiver of this pure love that expects nothing back!

It was a reminder for me to learn to feel the love I do just because it makes me happy to feel it for someone. Love is not a barter, it is a feeling and feelings are not required to be rational, measured, or calculated! It is sometimes reciprocated, and at times it is not, but the fear of what lies on the other side shouldn’t discourage us from giving it a go.

The learning from my walk today stayed with me, as I decided to pull down another wall, emptied the moat, and decided to let the warmth of love embrace me! We don’t stop ourselves from cuddling someone’s cute puppy, or from drooling over a little baby for the fear of them rejecting our love! In that moment, we just feel pure love for them, and share ourselves with them, making ourselves richer with emotion and warmth as we share it. Why then stop ourselves from sharing the same feelings with someone we adore or love, or may fall in love with?

Why let the fear of something that may never happen keep us from not giving a chance to something that might? We get one life, and we can spend it in what-ifs, or we can risk it all and give ourselves a chance!

I am a gambler, and I will always take a chance on life, because isn’t that what we are here for?

With these thoughts in mind, as I sip my lemon ginger tea on this not so summery February night, I have decided to shed my inhibitions one at a time.

I want it all, the love, the passion, the potential heart breaks! I want to feel it all, and I want to live! I want the butterflies in my stomach, the first kiss again, the looks of passion, and the reassurance of strong arms around me when the thunder threatens a peaceful slumber!

I will chance heartbreaks, or the ignominy of being ignored, because at least I will have felt, I will have lived!

Get into Bunnings ladies!

Disclaimer – This blog post represents my inabilities to understand anything tools of trade and is not meant to be a view of women in general. I know some really cool tradeswomen who are still trying to educate me on the difference between a socket wrench and a torque wrench! All power to these women who ace power tools!

Its been almost a year since the separation, and I have been procrastinating buying tools and other handy(wo)man stuff that one needs around the house. Besides, I hate buying practical, useful things, it is so boring and taxing for my poor soul! But there are cobwebs on the walls and the windowpanes need a wash, so yesterday I went to Bunnings to buy a list of items the house desperately needs. I was in my faded shorts and a tee and did not even bother to change out of my thongs! But it is Bunnings, so dress code isn’t a priority!

It was a very overwhelming trip as I walked aisle to aisle, looking for the mundane items on my list!

Whilst in the tools section, where I probably looked like a total tool searching for a right angle corner clamp I needed to fix the ply that’s coming off the cornices in my kitchen, this man walked by and I just did my usual smile and hey! He then came back and said – “I am not following you around by the way, I have legitimate reason to be in the sections you are visiting”. That made me giggle, because until then I had not even noticed that he may or may not have been in the same aisles as me. So, I just said “That’s fine, I will let you follow me around if you help me find a right-angle corner clip”. That got me a strange look and led to a discussion on whether I even needed that item. We ended up getting me nails and a hammer to do the job instead. He then asked me if I would like to get a coffee! And because I am never not awkward, I blurted out, “Yeah, it would be great, but I have already had a coffee!” Great way to kill a potential hook up, I know! So that was that, and the lovely man said goodbye and left.

Then off I went to find myself some pliers and precision screwdrivers, which took another hour to find because there are so many options! I was about to have a panic attack when my rescuer – a very attractive man with the most beautiful green eyes grinned at me and asked what I was looking for because it looked like I was making a life and death decision standing there!

Well sir! It did feel like I was going to go into a coma from looking for a set of precision screwdrivers! We got chatting about my needs (tools, although I would have happily discussed my other needs with this attractive man), and he helped me pick the Stanley 66-052 6 pce Precision Screwdriver Set. We got talking about what we each did for a living. On dating sites, I normally tell men I work in a call centre, because I have found telling them I am a Strategist does not get me any points. My dating profiles literally say, “I get by”!

But I just told this lovely man – Tim, what I do for work, he told me he is a CEO of some construction company and we shared stories about goal setting and challenges COVID had caused for leaders in every single business in regards to future proofing and capital preservation. He asked me if I would perhaps offer him some advice on writing his strategic plan over coffee and took my number! It was not lost on me that he did not really need my help, but it is very hard to say no to a beautiful man who looks at you with such earnest brilliant green eyes pretending to need your help! So, I am looking forward to a strategy over coffee meeting with a handsome stranger I met at Bunnings!

Then on my way out as I carried a step ladder on my shoulder and a telescopic mop in the other hand to the car, another man stopped by to chit chat and asked me if I needed a hand putting my, erm mop in the car… and we chatted about what my plans for the rest of the day were and if I really wasn’t so exhausted from the overwhelming shopping day at a hardware store, I would probably have taken him up on his offer to buy me a coffee because as he put it, – I looked like I could use one! But I politely declined and got back home.

Seriously, I am getting off Tinder and getting on Bunnings! There might be something to it! May be Bunnings should start a Date at Bunnings over a sausage roll day! Okay I know that sounds terrible, maybe they can skip out the sausage roll part!

Who knew a mundane trip to a hardware store would end up being one of the best days of the week for me! I came back with an inflated ego, feeling like a beautiful, desirable woman, my faith in me restored!

I am definitely getting into Bunnings and am going to make sure I need a box of nails, or a screwdriver every week! Might even make an effort to look less like a homeless person next time, although from the look of things, it was not required!

Patrick – flowing water

We have been placed in lockdown 2.0, and there shall be no mingling for quite some time. These strange times have seen us all forced into taking the pace of life down a notch. It’s like the Gods all conspired against human race and decided to put us all in time out for our shenanigans.

In this new normal where dating someone has become a distant dream, chatting online has really picked up. Must be hard on men who struggle to communicate with words at the best of times!

I e-met this lovely man Patrick Walsh on tinder, who is a firefighter for half the year and spends the rest of his year travelling the world, building spiritual connections. Patrick is studying trauma counselling and spiritual healing, as he wants to be a healer. Definitely not the kind of man I ever thought I would want date, but it sounds like the kind of thing I need to do. I must take the risk of new and different if I want different results! The critical thinking part of my brain needs a rest while I go out to experience life, so I am saying yes to this experience whatever it may be.

We have been chatting for a few months now and he feels like a kindred spirit.

 Hearing him talk is akin to watching water flow in ebbs. Travelers gain a perspective on life that the rest of us commoners will lack forever. I feel travelling quenches the wanderer’s thirst in us all, and that is what attracts me to this man. I lam a gypsy after all, in the quest of all things life!

Patrick through his kind, playful thoughts reminds me daily that life is not all about PnLs and routines. It is also about just letting go now and then and basking in the rare moments of joy and appreciation. We have spent the last few months talking about so many random things from Donald Trump to fears that trigger human emotions; from how good ice-cream is for our soul to how bad self-doubt is for our hearts!

He is a very intriguing person, who absorbs cultural minutia and becomes a part of it with ease. He has travelled to India a lot and loves the country, perhaps a lot more than I do. He recited the Mul Mantra to me when we talked, I didn’t even know what a Mul Mantra is, until he recited it. It is this quintessential Sikh prayer we are taught as toddlers, and I can recite it and even know what it means but didn’t know what it’s called. I did not expect a Caucasian man to teach me about my own culture. He can talk to such obscure cultural nuances from Italy, Cambodia, and other cultures just the same.

He talked me into giving yoga and meditation a go, and it has been great for my mind, body and soul.  

He is also good for my ego, as he reminds me every other day how beautiful I am. The other day I put up a photo of myself soaking up some sunshine and he wrote “you look like the sunshine you are basking in”. Really hard not to like a man who says things like this!

What do I need to feel whole?

Swing on swings with my kids

Lay down on the decking and imagine shapes of clouds as they morph from a horse into a sea dragon into a bowl of spaghetti in the blue sauce ⛅️

Run in the rain 🏃🏽‍♀️

If I had to be honest I think I need to be loved and desired to feel whole again, but a bowl of ice-cream on an extraordinarily balmy spring evening, watching the stars surface up will have to do for now! 🌌

The simple things in life

I spent my entire Sunday outdoors with the boys, drawing love hearts on the pavement, bushwalking, bird watching and playing tag. It was such a simple day, but the perfect recipe of fun in the sun with the kids and turned out to be one of the happiest days I have had for a long time.

We live a 10 minute walk from our local nature reserve, but it took us about 45 minutes to get there as we had to make a lot of stops to help slugs across the pavement, bury the dead earthworms and to help dying bees die respectfully in the grass instead of getting squashed under someone’s feet. Then there were the chatty Kookaburras around every other corner today, singing their happy songs to passers-by.

A lot of wise people have written numerous books on the power of Now, however I feel the best way to learn about how important it is to be present in the Now is to spend a day with little kids. They are so busy enjoying the moment that what’s gone ceases to exist and the fear of tomorrow doesn’t even get any airtime in their life! That probably explains the radiant skin and unending curiosity for everything life in our young!

The simplest things in life often bring us the most joy, and we almost always overlook this joy, as we are too busy fretting bygones or worrying about the future. I was reminded today of how important it is to just slow down, breathe and let go! It is spring, and my green hilly suburb has brought out the best of spring blooms wherever we look!

I am bushed from the bushwalks (pun totally intended!) and running about, but my soul feels replenished, and I am ready for whatever the week may bring.

I get myself flowers every so often because I love me

Self-love has always been shunned by our society, and every thought of loving oneself comes with a nagging thought of “Am I a selfish person?”.

Yet how do we expect others to love us and desire us with boundless passion if we cannot love ourselves without feeling shame? When we love ourselves without prejudice, it also helps us see others in a softer light, and we become more accepting of others with their imperfections. I for one would love to live in a world that was more tolerant and less jaded!

So, I get myself flowers from the garden regularly, and every time I see them in a vase in the kitchen, they make me smile. Knowing I deserve to have flowers makes me feel loved! I must credit my boys for this gift of love though, they always bring me wildflowers, or feathers, sometimes rocks, when we go for walks. And that simple gift of thoughtfulness makes my day!

Happiness is not a sign of selfishness; it is a sign that you love being you. When we love ourselves unconditionally, we open ourselves to being loved for who we are and attract into our lives people we need in our lives. Nothing ground-breaking, it’s quantum physics!

These simple acts of waking up to admire the horizon, being grateful for my beautiful life and getting myself flowers has helped me find that elusive stillness in my mind. It has given me the ability to be present in my thoughts and focus on what is good in my life.

All is impermanence, but I feel that if we move with this impermanence, staying true to ourselves, we find our constant. This constant sees us through all the changes in life. I think my constant is happiness, I find happiness in every little crevice of life and build myself from there.

Flowers on my windowsill is a reminder of how colourful and beautiful this world is even on cold, grey, rainy days. They make me smile, and warm up my soul. If you are like me and like flowers, get yourself a bouquet of flowers girl, you deserve to love You!

Why wait for the next life when I can do it all Now?

As I lay in bed this morning, naked, admiring my body through the lens of my phone camera, it occurred to me that I have spent decades body shaming myself about the little that I did not have, and been completely oblivious to how gorgeous the rest of me is! Self-doubt and shame about the imperfections of my body have made me spend these years in misery, drawing criticism from others of course, because isn’t that the law of attraction? We draw to us what we think! But this morning as I lay in bed, looking at myself in the soft morning light, the first thoughts I felt were of how beautiful I am! I have a wholesome, fit, beautiful body and am lucky to have the energy to continue to invest in it.  

So, my focus this spring is to build on the beautiful me and do things I wanted to be able to do but never did, as I have the most precious commodity at my disposal – time!  

I have decided to spend my time learning to do things I always thought would be a “next life” bucket list! I am doing a 31-day course online to get to a handstand with this amazing Yoga instructor – Carling Harps and have enrolled in classes to build my core. So what, if I am a 41-year-old woman who has had two C-sections? I deserve a strong core and a flat tummy too! I definitely deserve to see what the world looks like upside down!  

I have created a reward chart for myself, it works for the boys, so maybe it will work for me too! I get a star each day for every positive activity – yoga, run, 15,000 steps, no alcohol and staying sugar free! It’s been a week and the data I have collected suggests we may have a problem with alcohol… oops! 

I will do the Handstand and core building yoga daily all spring and see if standing on my hands will give me a different perspective about the world this summer! I will run when I can and walk when I cannot. I will soak up the sunshine, have oodles of tea and enjoy the sounds of the birds tweeting in my backyard.  

I will remember to put a smile on my face whenever a frown creeps up, and remind myself of how positively ravishing I look when I have just woken up and the fears of “what ifs” and “could have beens” haven’t yet starting gnawing at the edges of my soul! 

I will spend more time on building myself up because I deserve to love me!  

Guilt to gratitude

I have always thought that I don’t deserve to be happy. It happens when you grow up with a narcissistic parent who continuously reminds you of how insignificant you are, and then spend a third  of your life with a man who continuously reminds you of how selfish you are because you took longer when you went out for a run than you said you would, or cooked something they don’t like to eat, or wanted to do something they didn’t want to do.  

It becomes an essential part of you to undervalue yourself and feel guilty each time you are happy. That’s right, I have spent more than a decade feeling guilty when I laughed too much, had too much fun, spent my own earnings on myself, because I was trained for decades to believe that I am not worth it. My parent or my ex probably did not mean it, we are all fighting our demons, and they have their own fights.

But I am glad that I had the resilience to walk away from a life that inhibited me. It has been the hardest 2 years of my life, but I found a way to accept that their demons are not mine to fight, and it is okay for me to want to live my best life, it is okay to make mistakes, it is okay to dance in the rain, even if I have two left feet and it is definitely okay to laugh and be happy. 

I now find myself waking up smiling and saying “I love my life, and I am happy! I am loved and desired by those I want in my life”. I laugh freely, listen to music and dance goofily. I run, more than I probably should, but I run because I love how it makes me feel. I smile, all the time, I feel so beautiful, and I feel thankful for feeling like this.  

 It was not a conscious decision, and I feel grateful to the universe for helping me change my guilt over being happy and content to gratitude that I can be a wholesome woman. I can be all of it, or nothing at all! I am happy because I love me!  

What men want, or so they think?

We have been in lockdown 4.2 for a while now, and there shall be no mingling for quite some time. These strange times have seen us all forced into taking the pace of life down a notch. It’s like the Gods all conspired against the human race and decided to put us in time-out for our shenanigans.  

In this new normal where dating someone has become a distant dream, chatting online has really picked up. Must be hard on men who struggle to communicate with words at the best of times! But it works well for someone like me, single after 15 years, with no idea about what men want, beyond the obvious of course!

For simple creatures that men claim to be, are they really that simple? I am no expert on the intricacies of the mind that is male but connecting with someone was so much easier back in my 20’s! Now, it feels like I am traversing through multiple labyrinths simultaneously trying to find my way in a man’s world! Are we allowed to ask men out yet, I mean it is 2020? Is it okay to let them pay for my coffee, or is that too 70’s? 

Some blokes love to talk so much, they share every painful detail about what they are getting up to through the day, whilst there are some like Edward, who will go weeks without any contact and then start a conversation with “Hey, are you watching this new cooking show on channel 7?” No Edward, I am not, I don’t really watch tv, and Hello to you too!  

What I find most amusing is that almost all of them share their deepest fears, insecurities or frustrations with such ease with a total stranger. This one guy shared with me how he doesn’t like to take selfies because to do that he would have to look at himself, and each time he does that, he is reminded of all his stuff ups. Edward who I think is gorgeous can’t stop telling me how scruffy he is compared to how I look (fact, but scruffy Edward is cute)! Another one said most men don’t smile in photos as they are trying hard to look macho! 

All you lovely men out there, stop overthinking, and just be happy! When you are happy, it will come through your photos, your interactions, your smiles, and you will attract to you just the right people, who like you for who you are! I know this might sound like gypsy talk, but it really is physics. 

Be the simple creatures you claim to be, shrug away that weight of having to be the stronger, unfazed gender in the equation, accept your flaws, because your women will adore you for those very flaws! Accept yourselves as you are, and live in the now, experience the emotions you feel! 

And, for goodness sake, communicate! Just say it! What’s the worst that could happen?