Every season has it’s change…..it’s part of the primal connection, our body and being, responds to the shift in the atmosphere around us. Our primal ancestors felt it too, and in the cooler climates they were busy collecting and preparing for the winter. Harvesting, hunting, foraging and giving thanks for all that the warmer months provided. It makes perfect sense that in Autumn we are running around tying up loose ends, and preparing for some level of hibernation over the winter months. Stocking up the freezer with casseroles and collecting wood for the fire, raking up leaves for the compost, cleaning up the veggie patch and planting a winter crop, getting as much done outside as we can, catching up with family and friends and completing unfinished tasks. Autumn brings us shorter days, and in winter most people leave home in the dark and return home in the dark.
I live in a picturesque town in the Alpine Valley, where we are lucky enough to have all four seasons on display. At the moment it’s Autumn, it’s a beautiful and reflective time, and I can’t help but feel the change in and around me. As I watch the leaves on the trees change colour and fall, feel the crisp chill and stillness in the air , I remember what this time of year represents. It’s a time for shedding what no longer serves you. It’s a time for connecting to what you need to move forward, and a time for reflecting and having gratitude for all that has passed and how it has served you. The primal laws still apply, but we adapt them for modern life. If you have so many things going on around you and you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed see if applying some good old primal perspectives to your life, helps you see the roll everything plays in the seasons of you, and your world.
I had a podcast interview the other day with Dr Brett Hill who hosts Australia’s favourite Paleo podcast called That Paleo Show on the Wellness Couch Network, we spoke at the end of the show about my personal journey and how I came to the place I’m at today. While there has been so many firsts for me lately, I really started thinking about how I got here. What makes a person seek growth and where do you begin to look when you want to develop your personal growth? There are so many programs, books, podcasts and coaches out there, but how do you know what will work for you? There are some big key factors that really helped me. Podcasts, in particular The Wellness Couch, not just because I’m on it, but this was a beginning of a whole new path for me, free information from some of the worlds greatest health and mindset experts. I guess in many ways I’m the product of The Wellness Couch. In the last 2 years I’ve been to two Wellness Breakthrough weekends, the wellness summit, Byron Bay for Marcus Pearce’s Exceptional Life Blueprint and I’m currently studying the Changing Habits Nutrition Course (Cyndi Omeara). Through all these things I’ve developed deep relationships with what we call a tribe, or like minded others. Mentors that started as mentors and have since become close friends, and with that….. opportunities to do some pretty cool things that have put me well out of my comfort zone, but in a good way. When you start to surround yourself with greatness, great things start to happen, a shift. I started listening to many different podcasts, then continued with the ones that resonated with me. Reading, I started reading more books, information about the things that interested me. My knowledge started to really grow in so many ways. I was eating well, moving well and thinking well, and boy, you can’t help but feel inspired when you look in the mirror and see someone you respect! I now have the mindset that, I owe it to myself to see what I’m made of, to see what I can do and how far I can go, to breakthrough and push boundaries. I now desire to be the best I can possibly be, I really like and respect the person I’ve become, and this is me, and if someone else doesn’t like me, that’s ok, because I LIKE ME! At The Wellness Summit last year I stood up in front of 600 people (even though I was terrified i knew I had to push through it and my whole body was telling me there was a bear standing behind me, I was in a state of fight, flight or freeze), I told everyone about The Wellness Breakthrough, and how at 37 yrs old, this is the best I have ever felt about myself. These things don’t just happen in a short time period, it takes time and hard work, but there are plenty of people who are there for you and want you to be the best you can be, if you are willing to do the work. It has taken me years of 2 steps forward 1 step back. I still struggle, I have bad days, or weeks, but I don’t unpack there anymore, it’s just a visit and a reminder that there’s still so much to learn and experience. It’s balance, everything can’t be great all the time. It’s a good thing to feel crappy every now and then. Sometimes when I feel like that i’ll ask myself “what am I getting from this?, what is this telling me?”. I’ve learnt to trust my inner voice. I was thinking about things, after my interview with Dr Brett Hill, and I’m only at the beginning of this journey of sharing myself, so I needed to sit for a while and listen. Listen to myself. This is what I came up with “If you listen in those quiet moments when you’re most honest with yourself, that clarity, that inner voice you hear, it’s the song of your soul, it’s your guide, and protector, and it’s always there, if you choose to listen”. In the hard times, this song can go quiet, because we haven’t been listening. It’s always been there throughout time, every culture and belief calls it something different, every animal has it. It’s a primal instinct. This is the primal connection. It will sing when you are doing something you love and when you’re with someone you love, it will pound with unease when it needs to alert you of danger, it will whisper when you need guidance, it will comfort you in times of need. It’s the song of your soul. This has taken a completely different turn from what I set out to write about, but I’ve gone with it and let it flow. I hope this has given you some insight into who I am, and the journey I’m on right now. I’m learning more about me as I’m writing this.
To listen to the interview
http://thewellnesscouch.com/bumi/bw2-kale-brock-chase-your-dreams Our Podcast Show is now online, Jen Richards and I are so excited to share with you our show, it’s for kids, youth and adults to listen to.
My journey of self discovery has been going for quite some time. Actually, i’ve always been searching for my place in this world. The last few years I’ve really been working hard on personal growth, and met the most amazing people on the way. In my willingness to grow and learn I have been amazed by the mentors that have come into my life. But, what do you do when you go through healing with an honest, whole new perspective. Where do you start when something so personal that you’ve pushed down for so long, now becomes your message. I recently heard on a podcast “Anyone can share a story, it’s another thing entirely to share yourself”, the topic was vulnerability. So, where do you start with being brave enough to be vulnerable? The first question I suppose is why do you want to and who is going to benefit?
I do have to say, this is MY story and the way I view the world through MY eyes. Every person I have walked this journey with, I am grateful for, every experience I’ve had, I’m grateful for. I feel I now own MY story and have accepted responsibility for the reactions I had to the events in my life, and led me to many of the unpleasant experiences I had in my youth. It has all led me here, to where I am right now. So, you may be wondering why it is that I’m choosing to let you into my skeleton closet and share my dark side? To be honest, it’s not for me, it’s for the one person who may read this and understand that they have the power to choose to live the life they always searched for, because it’s true what they say, “everything you need to live a happy life is already inside you”.
Recently we went on family trip to a place not many people stop at, and hardly anyone knows about. It’s on the side of a hill off the The Great Alpine Rd in a town small enough now, to miss if you blink called Freeburgh. The Graves, is a site where about 20 people were buried during the Gold Rush in the mid to late 1800’s, 5 were children belonging to one family who had 12. You can still see the indentations from the graves, but no headstones, just a monument to remember the ones that hardship claimed in a time where survival of the strongest and fittest was still part of everyday life. I can only imagine what it must have been like to loose 5 children, and the thought hurts enough. In those days it was a common thing to have lots of children, as it was accepted that not all would survive into adulthood. The Buckland Valley, now a ghost town full of relics, broken pottery, glass, chinese rockwalls, old broken chimeys and broken dreams, was once a thriving place full of people who had come to find their fortune and a better life, became known as The Valley of Death, due to taking the lives of so many during the Gold Rush era. My husband has a love and appreciation of this place in time, and spends a lot of hours searching for forgotten pieces that tell so may stories from a time that has been mostly forgotten. I now love to listen and learn more about what it was like to live here in those times. Until recently I didn’t show much interest in what I called his “hobby”, now it’s becoming part of our family life. It was a hard life back then and a harder family life, most places took days to walk into, it’s so cold here in winter and forget the luxuries convenient food or medical care that so many rely on as a quick fix these days. While walking around in these places with the family and listening to my husband teach the kids how to find old hut sites, who lived there and what it was like back then, I take a moment to place myself there. I imagine what it must have been like to be surrounded by so much life, yet so much death. What was it like for women, for mothers? They were no different in wanting the best for their babies and creating a life for their family. We have made life so complicated. in a time of luxury and technology, so many search for a simple more primal and nature based way of living. I know I am. My husband grew up in the Buckland Valley and has a vast knowledge of the history here. I am finding that on my primal living journey I’m starting to turn to him more and more for information. For me this started with food, but I have always found myself connected to nature and love country life. It’s now important to teach the kids about the history of their town and how it was built, and to understand and appreciate how history has so much to teach us about how to live. At times I thought it was mostly me trying to implement this way of primal living into our lives, but he has known more about the true meaning of primitive living than I ever did. I just know more about about food. Instead of trying to teach him about my ideal way of living I took the time to learn from him and it’s made me so much happier. It’s nice to know, that through my love of food and health and his love of history and the gold rush era we are creating the life we both love and learning so much from the past that have an impact on how we live our future. We have managed to connect both our passions and make them part of our life, and I really look forward to learning so much more from him as we spend more time in these ghost towns discovering as a family.
I just spent the weekend in Melbourne at The Wellness Summit listening to an amazing line up of speakers from The Wellness Couch podcast network. There was so much information on gut health, nutrition, fermenting, fitness, movement, the nervous system, hormones, mindset, lifestyle and so much more. There is a few things that have stuck with me, change one thing at a time, to avoid overwhelm. I will do intentional movement twice a week, because that is something I’ve been guilty of letting slide in the last few months. I felt proud and happy as a mum that the changes I have implemented in our lives as a family has been the absolute right thing to do. I feel that everything I heard this weekend confirmed to me that I’m doing the right thing by my family. It can be hard and I’ve felt the pressure to relax and let my kids eat so called “normal food”, but it’s not that simple. I can never go back knowing what I know, for me it’s become easier to justify our way of eating. With two kids who have a genetic metabolic disorder it is so important to teach them to nourish their body and really look after their gut health. I feel it’s my duty as a mum to teach them to invest in themselves so then they get the best out of themselves. I don’t want to be seen as a no fun mum, but how far do you let your standard slide before you compromise your beliefs? It can be hard when your school encourages party pie footy day, spending spree at the local roadhouse to learn about money, and family birthday parties full of food colouring cake and lollies. I am lucky that my kids do make the best choices with what is in front of them. It does take time and it’s come with educating them about what is real food and WHY we eat it. There will be times when they wont make the best choices, but if they connect how they feel later to what they’ve eaten, that helps next time. They do know the difference between sometimes food and all the time food, but I do try to make the sometimes food as healthy as I can too. With everything I know about health, I just want them to understand that to look after themselves is to have respect for themselves. When you respect yourself, you want to take responsibility for your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. That’s what I aim for as a mum.
I’ve written previously about how I’ve dealt with stress in the past, and the work I’ve been doing to put in place a good system to automatically kick in when needed. Well, the last 12 hours have been interesting. Today I was meant to go skiing with both my sister in laws, perfect day today too. My son Mason came down with a fever last night and had already been off school for the day, after burning his arm on Sunday. My husband had plans for today too, my brother in law offered to look after him, but as a mum I felt the responsibility to be the one to stay home with Mason, and didn’t show my disappointment about not skiing, (till this morning that is). Mason was still unwell, but Luke felt that since Mason wasn’t going to school, why should he have to, and went down to a mystery illness. So reluctantly, I rang my sister in law and told her I wouldn’t be skiing today. My husband gets up and finds me slightly (I’m being nice about it), annoyed that my plans have been turned upside down. He said he was happy to stay home with the kids, but thought I was fine with not skiing so didn’t push it…….so not what I wanted to hear 10minutes after the girls had already left. I didn’t express my needs so how was he supposed to read my mind (wrong time to put that out there). Anyway, we sent Violet off to school (at least someone was happy to go somewhere), the boys listened to an audio book of harry potter and Dean got ready to go, but his mate didn’t turn up! So he was home anyway. He still went bush for while, and I thought I might as well get some study done, but Luke had a miraculous recovery and felt on top of the world, so through the giggling, laughing and yelps of excitement during some lego building, it all got too much. I couldn’t concentrate and I was reeling from the mornings events. I sat on the couch and tried to do an assisted meditation, but by then my body had already responded to the emotional response by triggering a stressful physical life threatening flight-or-flight response. As much as I tried to mentally and emotionally calm myself and get a grip, bounce back and be resilient, I couldn’t. I released the emotion by having a cry then thinking of what I can do to physically release the tension. I sent the boys to their room, put my headphones on and cranked up “Hells Bells” did 20 kettlebell swings and a few jumping squats(I thought if my body is stressed I might as well give it a reason, then it can go into recovery and repair mode) and cleaned the laundry. The music got a lot more inspiring as the laundry got cleaner and I cleaned Violet’s room while I was at it. When I was done I sat down and did a quick 5min calm meditation and now I see the gift!
Plans got turned upside down and instead of problem solving at the time or accepting my decisions as my CHOICE, I became annoyed at everyone around me and then stressed, but the stress was just an emotional response, given the chance these responses soon turn into chaos in the body. But the good thing is I could recognize what was happening and use the different tools I had developed through mindfulness and release the emotional, mental and physical stress,(before it was too late and went into a meltdown) then look at where I went wrong and how I can improve. So today wasn’t a waste after all. Actually, it was a gift. Next time I plan to see it coming sooner and try to remain unmoved by the meaning I put on simple random changes in life. Life goes on, so go with it, it’s much more pleasant than fighting it. When we practice mindfulness and being aware of ourselves, it’s easier to put these methods into action when we need to.
What is detoxing? For most of us we hear the word “detox” and think of a body or liver cleanse, it’s the shedding or healing of something. On the way back from the Chiropractors tonight i was thinking about the changes I’m making health wise, to eat for my body type (which happens to be Adrenal) to fix some hormonal imbalances I’ve been battling for a long time, with the help of my chiropractor and Naturopath of coarse. I’ve let a few things sneak back into my diet lately (hello chocolate, coffee and dairy), and it will be great to have a cleanout. But, that’s not the only thing I’m changing. Winter is a great time for refection, I do a lot of hibernating and thinking in winter. I’m giving the body a bit of a clean up. I’m also giving my mind a clean up. I have started practicing mindfulness, and I am noticing big differences. When I feel emotions in a heightened way instead of running off with the thought, I’ve been looking inward and concentrating on the sensations that emotion triggers in the body. I just feel what my body is doing, like racing heart, heat rising, tingling in my fingertips. It’s amazing how it distracts you from the situation and possibly overreacting to some things. It is so helpful when a stressful situation arises that can cause anxiety, and beautiful when feel good hormones flood the body. Regular meditation is back on the agenda and enjoying walks with the dog while listening to my favourite podcast for inspiration. The soul also needs some attention, just thinking about the things I used to do that brought me so much joy, like hobbies, something that’s just for me. Before the kids I loved to play the guitar and banjo, it’s something I haven’t even considered for so long. When I tuned my guitar today, it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside and it was like hugging an old friend. Speaking of old friends, I shared a glass of red with a beautiful friend this week too, it’s been a while between visits, it was wonderful to catch up and connect. Social life is getting an overhaul as well. I think I have realized that autumn is a time for finishing off things and tying up loose ends, change, even letting go. It seams fitting when the leaves turn and fall and plants die off before winter. Winter is a time for reflection and hibernation, replenishing energy supplies. It’s a good time to start putting change into action before spring brings about plenty of energy, creation, inspiration and starting new projects. Summer is connecting, holidays, playing on beaches or forests in nature. The days are warm, gardens and orchards have an abundance of nutritious food. Sometimes taking the time to look outside yourself (the natural cycles of nature), or inside (connecting with your body), provides so many more answers than living in your head. It totally has for me anyway.
I wanted to fill you in a bit more about what I’ve been up to since my last blog about the wheels coming off. I’ve been soul searching and sifting through thoughts and feelings looking for the gift. “There has to be something in this”, I kept telling myself, “just keep looking, you’ll find it”. Well, I think I have. I’m going to use a bit of Baseball analogy, because I’ve always liked baseball (something you may not know about me). Sometimes in life you get thrown curveballs, if you have experience, you’ll see it and you can even choose where you’re going to put it in the field. But, if your head isn’t in the game it doesn’t matter how many times you swing, you will strike out. It’s all about keeping your head in the game and having a good eye for what’s coming at you. It’s the same in life.
I’ve had a few big events in my life that have shaped part of who I am and that I struggle still, to change. Other events I’ve been in a better place, and I’ve been able to choose how it has affected me.
If you keep a healthy mind and feed your soul, grow and learn, you’ll recognise when something is coming at you and address it before it’s no longer in your control. It’s whether you are connected to yourself and aware of your surroundings that will have a bigger impact than the event itself.
I lost that ability to see, and that connection, things soon got fuzzy. Going to the dark side isn’t always a bad thing, just don’t unpack there.
Sometimes going to the dark side can be like a syfy series. You go there, fight the demons and come back a hero. I know it sounds funny, but think about it. How many of you like those kinds of shows? There’s a reason why, we’re always fighting some kind of battle and these shows sometimes become a metaphor for our own lives. I’ll let you know something else about me you probably didn’t know, my favourite show is Supernatural, and I have this thing that I have recognised about myself. When I’m in a transitional phase in my life or a dark place, i’ll lose myself in some syfy fantasy world or change my appearance. Crazy…..I know.
The thing is, each time I go there, I come back wiser and stronger. I look for more tools and weapons to use in the next battle. There will ALWAYS, be a battle and something to fight for. Life doesn’t get easier, we just become better warriors. If we choose to be. Someone once told me “it’s not what you go through in life that determines who you become, it’s HOW you go through it, that will determine who you will be”. Sooooo true. Kids have a great way of seeing things through play therapy. They see a problem and go on a mission, find the solution and save the world. If you watch how they play, their world can unfold. How I view things at times, makes me wonder. Why do kids like particular shows, books, games? Is it a comparison or metaphor for something in their life or themselves? There is some kind of connection we make. I’m going to start to ask more questions, there’s a reason why we connect to the things we do. There’s always a new way to see things, we grow, we change and so do our views. It doesn’t make them wrong or right, or good or bad, it’s just what ever gets us through at the time. Sometimes it’s just cranking up Taylor Swift and going hard to “shake it off”…(we’ve all been there), to give you a new view on whatever pissed you off. Next week I might see it all completely different depending on what I come across between now and then. It’s interesting to look at why we like the things we do at particular times in our lives and what they represent.