Hi Beautiful People,
So, as I promised. Subscribers to my blog have exclusive opportunities to look inside my book. I will intermittently be releasing excerpts from my book PLUS special offers once it is released.
Stay tuned for more. You should receive and email soon with the very first Sneak Peek. !! I’M SO EXCITED!!!
If prompted for a password, Strength will unlock the gateway. Ironic? Nope. 😉
Hi Beautiful People,
It’s no secret we’re all on a quest for happiness. Consciously or unconsciously, we all desire happiness.
I had the privilege of attending an event which inspired this blog.
No matter where you are in life, or what your life experience is. Whether you believe me or not, you deserve happiness.
One of the biggest hurdles we come across in our quest for happiness, is the question “How do I find happiness?” Well, beautiful people, I have some things to share with you today to help you find the answer.
The majority of society seeks happiness in the 10% of the blueprint to happiness. What is the 10% you ask? It’s our circumstances! i.e.
- Your house
- Job or Career
- Social Life
We link our happiness to our circumstances. Most of our circumstances are built up of material ‘things’. Not all of them. Our circumstances play a role in our happiness, though only 10%. It’s a myth happiness (as a whole), comes from society constantly encouraging us to have more ‘things’, be ‘better’, earn ‘more’.
“You came into this world with nothing, (no thing) and you’ll leave this world with nothing, (no thing). ‘Things’ only hold the value you place on them.”
Circumstances never bring long-term happiness. Happiness is long-term. Circumstances bring pleasure. Pleasure brings short-term happiness.
What are your beliefs about happiness? Where do you think it comes from?
Take a moment to think about it.
Firstly, what is a belief? I have two answers.
Firstly, a belief is made up of 2 areas.
1. Assumption (About what our life is meant to be like)
2. Expectation (Expectation of where we are or are not against our assumption)
Secondly, a belief is simply a thought you think over and over again.
How can you change your beliefs? I’m SO glad you asked.
Change your thoughts.
Sound too easy? Well, it’s not! K.I.S.S – Don’t overcomplicate it.
Listen to and become aware of the beliefs and stories you tell yourself. They might be “I’m not good enough, not worthy enough, not smart enough, I can’t, I don’t have what it takes”.
Whatever the story is you are telling yourself, simply become aware.
Awareness precedes change!
When you become aware of the stories, beliefs and thoughts you have, you can change them. Awareness is powerful. It literally has the ability to change things in an instant.
There is NO shortcut to anywhere worth going!
Depression, Mental Illness, and Suicide are serious issues. There are amazing organisations who are passionately raising awareness and helping break the stigma of Mental Illness. I’ve dealt with Mental Illness for most of my life, and anyone who works towards creating a happier world inspires me. People like Happiness Co. You may or may not have heard of them. They featured on Today Tonight, you can watch the video here. Founder of Happiness Co. Julian Pace, or ‘Jules’ as many people know him by, is one of the most genuine and authentic guys I’ve ever met. He made me want to be a better person just by listening to him speak. He’s real.
As we all do, Jules has a story which is how he got to where he is today. Read more about it on the Happiness Co. website. Jules and his ambassadors are on a mission. I’m here to help spread the word. I am not part of the company and have no affiliations. I simply believe in their cause. It aligns with my own message of helping empower and inspire others to be the best version of themselves.
Jules and I @ today’s‘ event!
Here is how to find happiness:
Happiness is a choice.
You read before, change your thoughts and you can change your beliefs. Do you want to be happy, or are you waiting for happiness to come to you? “I’ll be happy when I get the job I want. I’ll be happy when I get the new car. I’ll be happy when I lose the weight and reach my goal weight. I’ll be happy when I love myself. I’ll be happy when I…..”
Whatever you’re telling yourself. You are CHOOSING to believe those things.
You can CHOOSE to be happy NOW.
I said earlier “There’s no shortcut to anywhere worth going”. It takes time, and work. It is worth it! I promise you.
When you look at your life, what do you see? Do you see what you don’t have or everything you do have?
Change your EXPECTATION for APPRECIATION.
I sat in a room today with people who had 20+ years of trauma and have had to overcome extremely difficult situations in order to become the person they wanted to be. I alone have an extensive traumatic history. We were all there for one thing. To better ourselves. You’re never too old, and there’s no better time than now.
Two BEAUTIFUL Women I’ve had to privilege of witnessing incredible transformations of.
You are only ever 1 step away from changing your life. 1 step.
People believe happiness is an unattainable destination far off in the distance. #False
Happiness is a choice!
If you feel hopeless, or feel happiness simply isn’t attainable. You may be angry or caught up in what seems to be an endless nightmare. I’m not saying you can simply snap your fingers and arrive at happiness. What I’m saying is by changing your thoughts and being willing to change, being open, you can find your way to becoming a happier person. Say a simple prayer or affirmation “I’m willing and ready for a change. I want to be happy and am willing to see things differently than I have prior to this moment. I am ready to learn through love.” It takes courage and strength.
I believe in you!
“Where your focus goes, energy flows.” Live your life by DESIGN
The more you tell your “pain” story, the more the “pain” story becomes you.
The beauty is being able to CHOOSE how you want to design your life.
(Design is 40% of happiness.)
Happiness comes from the choices you make!
Are you grateful for what you have?
Grateful people have more to be grateful for.
The only things which grow in life are the things you give time and energy to.
Where are you focusing your time and energy?
Are you focusing on personal growth and development?
Are you seeking happiness in an outside source?
Happiness comes from within.
You’ve got every single answer you could ever need if you are courageous enough to look in the right areas. You’ve got it in you. You’ve always had it. We’ve just been led to believe happiness lives in ‘things’ or outside of ourselves. The only limit is you ❤
We don’t see the world as it is. We see it as we are.
Albert Einstein said, “The most important decision to make is whether you live in a friendly or hostile universe”.
How do you perceive the world? How you see the world is how the world will show up for you. Remember, Change your thoughts, change your life.
1 heart at a time Jules says.
Happiness Co. runs the 21 Day Happiness Challenge which has already impacted hundreds of lives since the inception just a few short months ago. You can hear more about it in the Today Tonight story or by checking out their Facebook page.
If you want more happiness in your life, you can use some of the tools above. I also highly recommend checking out Happiness Co. Their message, #TogetherWeCan. Together, we CAN make the world a happier place.
Please share this message today, you never know who needs it.
Let’s unite. With Love, Compassion, and CHOOSE happiness.
Always choose Love.
We were BORN to be happy. It’s our birthright.
Choose to be happy today.
Love, Light & Peace,
P.S. If you found this useful, leave a comment below, or subscribe and never miss a blog. I value your privacy and will never share your information. PLUS you’ll receive sneak peeks of my book and special offers. For subscribers only.
Dear Mr. President,
I write to you today as I have been guided to in my heart.
A great many things are happening in the world right now and as the world faces adversity in every corner of the world, the way back to peace and resolution is through love.
As we focus on the impending threats each day of wars, terrorism, political narcissism and many other negative aspects of the world, we have forgotten one of the most important things in life; love.
Upon all the challenges we are faced with on a daily basis, we have forgotten to focus on the good things in our life. Upon the hurdles we have to overcome before we are faced with another, our attention is focused on solving the problems and side-effects of other decisions we have previously made rather than looking at the root cause of the problems which arise; fear.
Power, money, and greed are some of the largest threats to humankind and while a great many people will not dispute this, nobody seems to care enough to want to do anything to truly reverse the effects.
We need to find our way back to love. Love will heal the adversities. If a country and a world are focused on love we will be able to defeat the biggest challenge we face; fear.
Fear is what is behind each threat for in love there will never be anything to fear, love is pure. Only with love will we be able to live in peace.
People need hope through love.
Through love, we can lead our people back to grace.
There will be no need for wars where love lies.
There is no need for power where love is abundant as love is unity, love is oneness.
We people look to our leaders to guide us. Leaders are in a truly unique position to be able to remind the people to return to love. To remember love and to focus on the light rather than the darkness.
Where our attention goes, the intention grows.
Please hear the call for love coming through a great many people now.
I believe there is something special in you which could be a great seed for love throughout the whole world. There is a unique opportunity within you, there, now. What is with you, is with me. I am with you as you are me. We are love. We are one.
Please, you are called to remember your light.
I woke this morning and I could just feel something incredible inside. It’s been a while since I felt like this and it’s been a place I’ve been working my way back towards. I say ‘back towards’ because for a while I got lost.
Just over 9 months ago, I recorded a live video opening up to the world about being sexually abused as a child. It was not pre-planned, it was kind of a ‘spur-of-the-moment’ kind of thing, (though it was really an event which had come about from a sequence of events, though I won’t be talking about them today). Either way, it had to happen, it had to happen to allow me to work through it.
Prior to recording my Live Video I was in a place of such peace and self-love which I had never experienced before. I had travelled such a journey inwards and was experiencing and acknowledging myself for the beautiful and perfect being I am. Life was truly blissful, I felt my own strength and I remember walking around with such a euphoric feeling nearly every day with the inner knowing of just how in love with life and with myself I was, it was amazing. I still had my off days, though I didn’t get stuck there.
After recording my Live Video I dredged up feelings and images, memories and deep rooted emotions I hadn’t felt for a long time and it knocked me for a six. For the first 48-72 hours after my video, I was inundated with thousands of views and people’s support, I was completely shocked at the response my video got, it was such a good feeling yet I was so overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe and it actually took me a little while to fathom exactly what I had just done, Live, on Facebook, for the first time ever and I went to the deepest darkest part of my past, opened it up and put it out for the world to see. It was, however, for a good reason. It wasn’t about my story, it was about the countless stories around the world which are trapped inside of us, feeling silenced for a multitude of reasons, I wanted to stand up and be a voice. This, however, isn’t what I wanted to write about today.
What I really wanted to write about, is the journey I went on. As I said, I was thrown for a six. I was in such a good space mentally, emotionally and on my spiritual path, I had really made huge progress from where I once was, and now everything I had been feeling was gone, like a rug pulled out from under me. My Insomnia returned with extreme force, I was seeing images and faces where I didn’t want to see them, I felt my strength diminish and my vulnerability rise to the surface again similar to what I felt as a child. Along with this, I had a stack of family drama to go along with another chain of events which took me even further from the euphoric state I was in only 2 weeks beforehand. (Read more here) I started eating anything and everything, my moods were low and very rarely was I in a happy state for more than a couple of hours, at some stages, I felt I knew I had hit depression again and the thought terrified me. I teetered on the edge of looking at the Black Dog and refused to look it in the eye for if I admitted it, I felt I had no control and would slip even further. I simply could not believe what had transpired and as I sit here writing this now, I can feel an energy rising within me, reminding me I am not there anymore, I got through it, though it took a while. (There is no time limit on healing).
This euphoric state I felt prior to my video was what I had aspired to get back to (by going forwards), it’s what I sought out, I remembered it and I knew it was possible, all I had to do was apply myself in the right places, so I did. I took myself away from everything and everyone, stepped back and set the intention for reconnecting with myself and to realign myself. I reminded myself of how I got myself off of medication for Insomnia and started doing the same things I was doing before my video, and very quickly it started working. I returned to my daily meditation practice and carving out time of the day for me, to be still and go within and my intuition returned again, reminding me I had to keep writing my book, so I have been. I found my energy levels increasing again following what I love doing and knowing there is a purpose for my book. I took myself back again to trusting the same flow of life I had felt before hand and allowing things to come into my life which I needed at the time I needed them, and they came, usually in the form of books. I reapplied myself to my personal growth and development, and this morning when I woke, I felt it again, the euphoric feeling I had desired to return to. I knew I had found my way to where I wanted to be. I did an internal fist pump as I lay in bed and felt the excitement within me knowing “anything is possible”, you simply have to believe. With this generation of excitement, I also felt relief and a sense of accomplishment. This is what I so desired when I fell out of touch with myself after doing my video, when I was not aligned and centred, the times I just simply felt off, and I made it, though this time it’s different, better, more.
As I moved throughout my day, I had a feeling of an internal shift taking place, like I’m shedding my skin from the inside out. There are always different stages of growth though I feel this time I’m on the edge of something huge. This is a shift of magnitude I haven’t felt before and I can literally feel the old me stripping away, my old beliefs about myself, about life, about my reasons for living and I’m ready for a completely new chapter of my life. I’ve grown so much, and there have been many shifts within me before though none which have compelled me to write about specifically, it has almost brought me to tears today, it is difficult to describe.
My reason for writing this, other than my general love of sharing my thoughts is because I want everyone to know this is possible for you too. Each of us has a story, and all of us have lived through some kind of pain. Most of us tuck the pain away and hide it in a chest while we wear a mask, too scared to open it, face it and heal from it. I want to tell you while it may be scary, the pain can be temporary and the other side of healing and the growth you experience from finding your power is phenomenal. I want what I have for you and I feel like I’ve barely even begun.
If you’re feeling lost or find yourself in a situation which makes you unhappy, if you want more out of life or are sick and tired of the past causing pain in your present, I send to you strength and love to overcome this situation. Choose to release it rather than allow it to harbour within you anymore, pull it out, stick it in front of you and tell it “I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO CONTROL ME ANY LONGER!” Stand in your power, find your bliss, you CAN do it, feel it rise within you. You might be looking into the eyes of a ten-foot grizzly bear which has been locked inside of you for many years, stare it down anyway, you are stronger, choose to LIVE.
Everything is a choice, you can choose to allow the pains of the past to stop you from moving forwards, or you can choose to live a life free from them, it’s up to you, the only limit is you.
It can be hard and scary to open up past wounds, I understand though I have very recently come to realise, it’s harder NOT to. What’s harder; living life with resentment, anger, pain, sorrow and bitterness creating blocks, or work through the pain temporarily and no longer allow it affect you in a negative way?
Live with the effects forever, as much as you try to deny it, if you haven’t worked through it, it’s affecting you (forever is a long time) or go through a period of healing and transitioning then feeling free of the bonds which have bound you? You are WORTHY of so much more. You deserve to live an abundant life.
If I could give you one gift, it would be the ability to look forth into a world where you have found your true power, where you can stand in conviction, know your worth and know you took the steps to truly live a free life. Life is outside your comfort zone, it’s on the other side of fear. “Feel the fear and do it anyway” is one of the quotes I always find going through my mind when something shows up and I hear ego tell me it’s too hard or scary. Getting through the last 9 months is and was hard, though it would have been harder to not have gone through what I did and I’ve still got things to work through, though I am willing to heal, I am willing to trust myself enough not to allow past pains to stop me from being who I was born to be, and I wish this for you too.
With Love, Always,
A couple of months ago I was thinking about some ways to earn some extra dough. Looking online, eventually, something came up about entering a writing competition. Earning money from doing something I love, what a brilliant idea.
I looked further into it, The Rachel Funari Prize For Fiction 2O17 and “the theme of our 2017 competition is ‘Rebirth’, with a focus on women’s stories. We’re looking for creative, insightful fiction up to 2000 words that addresses the theme in any way.”
The prizes were First Place $1500, Second Place $700 and Third $400. Each of them came with goodies and publication in Lip Mag either online or hard copy.
I really loved the story behind this too, there’s more than meets the eye than a simple competition, the honour of the name it’s held in is inspiring in it’s own right.
My Competition Submission
I felt I immediately knew what piece of writing I would enter. By far my best piece of creative writing yet (personal opinion) and I was so proud of it I already deemed it a winner. I fixed up my story to make it flow bettern, checked all the grammar to make it shine a little more and once I was happy with it I paid my entry fee and hit the submit button.
I was so pleased with myself and so proud. I had a really good feeling about this. My first ever competition piece, I was sure it was a worthy winner, if not 1st then one of the others, I mean I was just so proud of it. I was never a story writer in school. Creating fictional stories was extremely difficult, my creativity definitely didn’t shine in this area.
15 or so years later as I sat in a group therapy session called “The Power Within” our activity for the day was a fictional story based loosely on our life and how we overcame our struggles. We had to completely create characters, and once we were left to start writing, I went blank, I had no idea where to begin. Seemingly out of nowhere a title came to me and once I had the title written on the page my hand went off of it’s own accord, there was nothing I could do, it was like two people and I was the observer.
Long story short
At the end, I couldn’t actually believe what was on the pages before me. I had just created a fictional story, yes it was about my life to some degree which probably made it easier nonetheless, I was ecstatic. A definite winner and it fitted the theme of the competition, perfect!
I submitted it back in April, winners were to be announced June and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind wondering where the email was to tell me I had won.
Mindlessly scrolling through Twitter I thought I could checkout their profile, I hit the follow button and scrolled down, there were the winners’ names announced, my name not there. “Oh bugger” I said aloud, I felt a tad disappointed. I then went to their website if I could see the stories which won, I really want to read them. I couldn’t find them anywhere and so I went back to Twitter and wrote on the post announcing the first place winner “congratulations to all the winners. Where could I read the winning pieces?” And then commented “congratulations” on the other post with the second and third placed winners, and I meant it with all my heart too. Good on these women for winning, true kudos I just want to read their stuff. ♡
So there I am minutes after realising I
lost didn’t win and I was so grateful.
Because I need to learn to fail at writing.
I need to be prepared to fail. I only wrote this on a post-it note and stuck it on my board today, and now I’ve been given the opportunity to practice.
I need to be prepared to fail, not just once, I need to be prepared to fail multiple times. As I find myself nearing the end of the first draft of my book, the thoughts and reality of the publishing aspect is now at the forefront of my mind. To get an agent or to self-publish is still being processed in my mind though, in reality, it’s not as clear-cut as finish the book, sell and get rich (which isn’t and wasn’t my intention for writing my book). The more I can practice at failing the better. I will succeed!
“Failure is good, as long as it doesn’t become a habit.”
Why I Think It Was Best NOT To Win!
If I had have won this competition, with my first ever submission it’s possible it may have set the expectation all my writing is of a calibre worthy of winning competitions, EVERY TIME. I mean I won with my first one, doesn’t that mean I should win every one?
“Failure is a much more faithful teacher than immediate success.”
To be honest, I don’t think it would have been this way as I’m not inclined to think or behave in this manner, yet I couldn’t be happier to know I lost this round. I still won really, I created a story I’m really proud of, one of a quality I even surprised myself with. So regardless of the fact I didn’t win the Rachel Funari fiction competition, I’m a winner and the fact I didn’t win this one only makes me want to find more competitions, push my creative boundaries and see how creative I can really get. Not only for those reasons, thinking about it, it’s possible I didn’t deserve to win too, I didn’t create a piece for this competition, I entered one I’d already written, the other competitors likely took the time this competition deserved and put on their creative hats and got to work with the theme. THEY deserved to win, and I’m so glad they did. Congratulations to the winners, I really want to read your work!
‘Pools 2007′ by Alexandra Philp
‘Mammal’ by Emily O’Grady
‘Aftermath’ by Alice Bishop
‘The Glass Half’ by Emily Clements
I plan on searching for more competitions to enter writing to, and If I find one the story fits, I might even enter it again should it be possible. It may not have won this competition, though I still feel it’s a worthy winner so I don’t plan on giving up!
“Success is walking from Failure to Failure with no loss of enthusiasm”
As for my book, well it will be published and it will take my readers on a journey. My ultimate goal is to help inspire others, I am already a winner In life simply by waking up every single day with the abundance of greatness I am blessed to have in my life, I didn’t win this round of competition, though, I will win big in life.
We can all learn lessons from failure, and from those who are most successful are the ones who’ve failed the most. Never give up!!
There is no such thing as losing, only winning or learning!
If you’re interested to read the piece I submitted, here it is! This explains better than I feel I can any other way of my intention in life.
Thanks for reading.
Truths Of Life
Time always moves at the same speed
Yet we feel it fast and slow,
Time is taken for granted,
All we really have is right now, this you must know.
Life is ever-changing and evolving
It’s a given nothing stays the same,
You cannot stop it even though we try
At times with others, we lay the blame.
Seasons come and seasons go
With them lessons we must learn,
Season always come around again
As will lessons not learned as the season turn.
The older we get and experience more
Shapes us to become who we are,
We can let the past define us
Or refuse to let the past set the bar.
Our beliefs create our world
What we think so shall we be,
Nothing more and nothing less
I can, I am, I can’t, solely lies with we.
Be mindful of the words you speak
They have more power than you know,
Speak with integrity and understanding
Never seek to bring someone down low.
Wherever practicably possible
Never sleep on a fight,
Talk through the issues at hand
Or risk a sleepless night.
Our bodies are incredibly able things
Capable of much more than given credit,
When nourished in the right ways we’re rewarded
You only get one, so treasure it.
There are higher outside forces
Always at work, guiding our way,
Religious or not, whatever your beliefs
This is happening every single day.
The smallest of things make a difference
A word, a smile, a hug, a friend,
Kindness is worth more than any coin
It’s what truly matters in the end.
The more the things you own
The less you really have in hand,
True wealth lies in what money cannot buy
A lesson we each must understand.
Living in today’s’ society of entitlement
We take too many things for granted,
Only with an attitude of Gratitude
Will your feet stay firmly planted.
Most news, media and reporting
Keep us trapped in a world of fear,
All around us is a world of true beauty
We choose what we want to see and hear.
In a world of billions of people
We can call ourselves sincerely blessed,
To count true friends upon one hand
Being content with this is a test.
People will come into our lives
For a day, week, month or season,
Some will be around forever
Accept this, there is always a reason.
Regardless of who you are
Where you’ve been or what you’ve done,
Remember life is for living
Be happy, live with laughter, have fun.
We need to lighten up a little bit more
Our best is all we can insist,
Not take things so seriously
Perfection doesn’t exist.
For happiness, respect, self-worth and love
The responsibility ultimately lies with you,
Nobody can make you feel anything
you don’t allow for yourself, no matter who.
There is always more to learn
We are a student and a teacher,
We each have a cross to bare
Nobody likes an arrogant preacher.
Within each of us is incredible power
Seeking desperately to be unlocked,
We need to find the key buried inside
To open the door which is blocked.
Don’t get so caught up in building a life
You forget to pause and reflect,
We need the time to soothe our soul
To seek magic in nature, reconnect.
For all the bad in the world
Don’t forget there is also good,
Perspective is everything
And is highly misunderstood.
Each of us is exceptionally unique
It’s important to be who you are,
We must stay true to what is within us
Be authentic, shine your light you’re a star.
The world around us is expanding
There is no better time than now,
To teach our children a better way
And set the examples to show them how.
Find a passion, something you love
Anything to fill a void.
Time isn’t wasted
If it’s time you enjoyed.
As quickly as opportunities come they go
With risks comes the reward,
Fear is the ultimate killer of dreams
Time is a luxury nobody can afford.
There are too many dreams left lying
Inside boxes in the ground,
We can unlock and let our dreams soar
The gifts we have are profound.
Never save the best for last
Never wait too long,
Moments can be gone in the blink of an eye
Tell the ones you love where you belong.
No matter what questions you have
We must have faith, look to the skies above,
We have everything we need within
And the answer, is always, LOVE.
I have written this blog after speaking with my 17-year-old niece recently. Follow some of her most private thoughts from our conversation in the attempt to spread more awareness about bullying and to show others what can happen when you stand up to bullies. I have shared information about her circumstances. Bullying is far too common, banding together we can make a difference.
To my Niece, I’m extremely proud and grateful for you allowing me to share our private conversation, thank you!!
One of the last times we spoke you told me you had some things going on. I asked if you were ok, you then explained you were having some school trouble and getting bullied.
- This was your message when I asked if you wanted to talk about it.
“It’s really hard. People are just making up rumours saying I’m pregnant and I’m a junkie and I’m selling myself like it’s really filthy stuff. Iv just decided to rise above them and do something about it. It’s just silly stuff tbh but it has a huge effect on people and they just don’t realise it xx”
I told you I could understand, having been through the same thing myself. I asked if you’d ever thought of turning this into a positive because I’ve witnessed your resilience, and I felt together we could do something about this.
You replied with:
“Iv tried to ignore it all and just smile and wave but is hard sometimes. I want to stay in school and complete year twelve but I don’t know what more I can do”
I asked you if you ever did any writing, I thought if you wrote about what was happening and how you were feeling it would be beneficial for you to be able to process your thoughts and feelings. You told me you write all the time and you have a journal. I was amazed, and so happy to hear this.
Gosh I wish I had your strength when I was your age, I mean it, I felt I suffered very much alone, with no outlet.
A further reason for asking you if you wrote, was because I immediately wanted to do something to help. I wanted to be able to use your situation and make something positive, to help both you and others who are being bullied and in an attempt to get a message to those who bully others. I thought maybe we could work on something together. I asked you the following:
“Can you do me a favour? Can you please write me a letter, or email or whatever and tell me everything you want me to know about how you feel about bullying, what they say and how you feel about the people bullying you. All the things it makes you feel inside, what you wish would happen, why you want it to stop etc, just as much as you possibly can get in there, could you please do that for me do you think? Doesn’t have to be specifically to me, it can just be in general, almost as if it were a journal entry if you like, just as much in there as you can get?”
You told me you would do it, you didn’t know exactly what I had in mind, the ideas running in my head, I was wondering what you would write to me, either way, I knew with your permission we could do something positive together.The next day, you sent me the following message:
“I wrote it like I write in my journal… I hope that’s okay x
I always ask myself the question why? Why do people do and say this nasty stuff to me. Is it my fault? Did I hurt them? Can I fix it? Why would those nasty rumours be spread?? Why would someone say that I’m pregnant? Why would anyone even think that I’m a junkie?? Why would I sell myself for drugs?? I mean who is even saying this stuff??
You’ll never believe this but sometimes I can answer my questions. Sometimes I know the answer. People are just jealous. I’m not fat or ugly and I know that. Sure I’m not a size f*ing 5 but not everyone is.
Do you realise that it hurts me? Do you realise that you make me feel worthless?? Do you realise that you make me feel like a thorn in a world full of roses?? Do you think that it’s okay to treat people with disrespect?
It hurts me when you say those things. You make me feel like I don’t belong here. You make me feel like being different isn’t okay.
How will I be accepted?? What do I have to do to prove to you that I’m worthy?? You should be lucky I’m not the type of person to feel like dying. Do you realise those consequences?? So much for being a friend right.
Lucky I’m positive! Lucky I can take your negative words and make myself smile again.
Thanks for nothing friend!!
I want you to stop!! Even though I can smile even though I can be positive I want you to stop. I don’t like the way you make me feel!! I don’t like the way you make other people have an opinion on me!! I like being unique and I just want you to leave me alone!!! Stop making me feel like I have to give up my future for you. You’re not happy with your own life and that’s fine but don’t try and ruin mine. Seek help!! I’m sure someone would love to see you smile too. You don’t have to hurt others to find your smile.”
I don’t know how this message reads to you, it blew me away. I was SO impressed and so proud. I told you as much and I would like to talk to you about this some more because I thought what you have is what the world needs more of.
This oozed opportunity to make a difference in other’s lives, to support not only you, others too and I couldn’t turn it down. Still thinking about what I wanted to do, I was thinking a video of some kind, turning your inner thoughts and desires to a video, utilising social media as much as possible, I still hadn’t shared my ideas with you yet.
The next day, I came across a song I absolutely love and really wanted to share with you, it has an incredible message and thought it may be something to lift you up when you’re feeling down, it’s “Brave” by Sara Bareilles
“Surprisingly I listen to that song every time I’m down and out every time I feel like I’m locked up in a cage watching everyone around me living. It’s a great song and definitely has a strong message behind it.”
I am incredibly proud of your resilience, your ability to see this in such a way and still hold an amazing attitude, a true testament to the amazing young woman you are.
On my own journey Advocating for Anti-Bullying, I asked if you thought you could stand up and be an advocate for bullying.
You said “There is no harm in trying.”
Great I thought to myself, we can really make something of this, and what came next, surprised me.
I asked if you thought you could record a video reading out what you had sent to me the other day, you told me about your fear of public speaking and I encouraged just maybe to record one for me, if I could possibly empower you, maybe we could put it public, though I was more than willing to record one on your behalf to spread the message. Even though you had your concerns, you told me you would think about it.
Then the following message came:
“Oh and Aunty Kayleen thanks for listening having someone to talk to has helped a lot. Went to school today and people were actually nice to me x”
Your advice has been amazing and really helpful. The last couple of days Iv been getting out and it’s just so much easier. Standing up to the peoole that made me feel like sh*t was so satisfying you helped a lot and I’m very thankful x
Yeah I did!!! Had to do something feeling caged was getting annoying and there was only one person to fix it thank you so much for the advice x
“What did they say?” I asked
“Some said they were sorry and didn’t realise that their words had such a big effect on me some just looked at me blankly and later told other people that they feel shi*ty for how they made me feel and are so happy that I didn’t do anything that they would regret and some asked me hang out with them. I was scared but I did it”
WHAT BETTER OUTCOME COULD A GIRL WANT!!!!
This is exactly WHY I wanted to show an example of this situation.
It brought tears to my eyes.
Your final words to me were:
“It feels great knowing that when you let people know how your feeling about their actions that they actually listen.”
- How long have you been bullied for?
I was in primary school when I was first bullied. Iv been bullied all through my school years. My family have moved towns a lot and that means moving schools. Funny enough I was bullied at every school. It got worse in high school.
- On Average, how many people bully you?
Hard to say but in groups of up to 20 peoples.
- Are they all in one group, or separate groups?
Separate groups but they all have a connection in a way
- How old / what year levels are they in?
Year 10/11 some older some younger it really averages about year 8 and up stops at about the age of 19
- Where did the bullying take place?
school and social media workplace out in public
- Were there others around at the time? Witnesses? What did they do?
Sometimes they have their friends around. Friends just stand there or participate in bully. No one was ever really around that didn’t agree with what was going on.
- Did you tell anyone about being bullied?
Yes I spoke to my mum headspace school counselors and some close relatives
- Why or Why Not?
I spoke to people about my bullying because some of the things the bullies were saying and doing made me feel worthless. I needed advice on how to deal with the bullies what to say how to make them leave me alone. I always felt caged and lonely I thought maybe if I spoke to an adult we could take appropriate action
- What did you do when you were being bullied?
I cried a lot I liked being by myself listening to loud music walking. I really just liked being alone. After speaking with a close relative I decided it was time to stand up the bullies I spoke to the people that were making me feel worthless and caged and told them how I was feeling. I told them making someone else feel crappy because they are not happy with themselves is not acceptable and if someone bad was to happen they would have to take full responsibility for their actions.
- How did you feel when I asked if you wanted to talk about it (after you told me you were having troubles and being bullied)?
I was scared. I didn’t like talking about my problems. I confined myself to my journal that is my safe place. My journal is the only thing that will listen and not judge me. However, there was a small part of me knew that talking to someone would help and I could learn a way to deal with the bullies. Talking to someone was different to my journal because they can give me advice whereas my journal can’t.
There are 3 reasons I wanted to do a blog about this:
- Attempting to reach other kids and those who are being bullied, to empower them to not only know they are not alone, to support them to take a stand for themselves and to see what can happen when you stand up to bullies.
- Attempting to reach bullies so they too can see and understand what it feels like for those words to be said to others, to reach them on an empathetic and compassionate level, also to see even though they are bullying someone else, the victim has the ability to have compassion for you too. In the words from above “You don’t have to hurt others to find your smile”
- To reach the general public, Mum’s, Dad’s, Aunts, Uncles, Friends, Everyone, please, I didn’t know the outcome of my simply messaging was coming off as ‘listening’ and being there for her and how much it was actually helping. So please, be there, message, call, talk to kids about what’s going on in their life, you never know how much someone needs you. Even if only through messages, kids need to know they are not alone and they have someone to talk to. I feel like I barely did anything yet it meant so much to my niece and I know not every situation is going to be the same, this one turned out better than I was ever anticipating and I’m SO proud.
I am a proud advocate for Kidzucate, an Anti-Bullying and Harm Prevention Charity which I am extremely passionate about (if you couldn’t tell).
We need to do more to support children in both standing up to bullies, for themselves and on behalf of others, to share compassion, empathy and understanding. Too many children feel alone, all it takes is a simple conversation.
Kids Helpline are an amazing organisation and is a free call within Australia. They are amazing and helped me many times I was feeling alone.
Their number is 1800 55 1800 – there’s ALWAYS someone who will listen.
I wrote another blog about bullying a while back and how a specific movie affected me more than I ever though it could. Find it here.
Live life with kindness, love and compassion.
With love, always!
I’ve held a lot of pride in my image over the past few years, it’s the first thing people see when you meet them and after years of extremely low self-esteem, I’ve managed to build myself up to a place where I’m happy with myself.
I wasn’t the pretty kid dressed in nice clothes, admired by other girls, I was severely bullied for years and it took a huge toll on my soul. Nothing though, took quite the soul destroying toll as what happened to me when I was 12 years old.
This will be a defining moment for me, and I have chosen to share this story as part of the statement I’m making to myself. The full story will also feature in my book when it’s published.
12 Years Old
‘I’m going to give you a haircut!’
‘But I don’t want a haircut!’ I exclaimed over the phone.
‘You’re going to whether you like it or not!’
My hair was long, almost to the bottom of my waist and extremely thick. I hid from my mum for hours, I could hear her searching through the house, calling my name telling me it was going to happen one way or another. I was hiding in the bathroom, I found a cupboard with enough room to hide in, enough room to crouch down and stay hidden. I though if I stayed here long enough, she would give up and I wouldn’t have to go and have my hair cut, I shouldn’t say cut, no scissors were involved in my haircut. Eventually I gave in and went out.
‘Why do you have to shave it off?’ I pleaded, hoping there was another way to resolve the issue I had. There was a reoccurring issue of nits and I was one of the lucky kids whose parents had better things to do than to treat my hair to get rid of the problem. This wasn’t the first attempt to bring my hair under control, though it was probably only the 2nd. I had a friend, my very first best friend who sat behind me for hours going through my hair trying to get rid of the bugs and eggs. You couldn’t get a normal nit comb through my hair because it was so thick, so she sat and went through strand by strand, an act of kindness I’ll never forget. It didn’t work, I still had the problem and my mum’s only solution was to shave my hair.
‘I’ll leave some of your hair at the back so it’s not all shaved off.’ She calmly stated.
‘Can’t you give me an undercut instead?’ Please, PLEASE, can you give me an undercut?’ I was begging.
‘No, end of story.’
While I sat there on the seat in the bathroom of my mums’ boyfriends’ house, she got the clippers ready and I started to cry. She got a small round mirror and put it in front of me and pointed to behind my ear.
‘I’m going to shave it to here, and leave the rest of your hair.’
Why did she even bother to tell me, I was distraught and she knew it, yet continued the torture. I cried more and I didn’t stop the whole time the little black and silver machine buzzed over my head with my eyes closed. With every piece of my hair falling away, a peace of me went with it. I cried until she turned the machine off when she asked me if I wanted to look at it in the mirror. I shook my head, I was horrified, I knew it was going to look horrible and I did not want to see it.
I sat on the chair in the bathroom with the mirror in front of me. Did I want to see what it looked like? Did I want to know what I was going to look like at age 12, 6 months before high school with effectively what you would call a mullet? No I didn’t! But the mirror was there and I just couldn’t help myself, I opened my eyes, and glanced into the mirror in front of me. My head was turned slightly and for the briefest moment I seen my haircut, short all over except for the long hair going down my back from behind my ears. I pushed the mirror away and burst into tears all over again.
I would never be the same again.
Next Obstacle – School!
School was a huge issue, kids already had enough to pick on me for decidedly, I knew this was going to be yet just another to add to the list, this by far the worst ever. I came up with a plan, (not a very good one I quickly found out) I found a beanie, tucked up my hair and went to school. Thinking I could evade questions with my attempted indifference to the odd fact of wearing a beanie when it wasn’t cold was clearly a silly thing to think, looking back though, the questions the other kids had for me that day, clearly word had already gotten around.
It was a Wednesday – Dodgeball day…
The whole school of approximately 50 kids all in a hall. The teachers started by throwing soft foam balls, if it hit your legs, you’re out and had to get the rest of the kids out. I was pretty good at this game, it was strategic. There was only a few of us left, I was running down the left side of the hall away from where the balls were. As I ran past one of the girls in my class who promptly pulled off my beanie, the whole hall stopped and gasped. ‘You fu*king BITCH’ I screamed and ran out of the hall back to the school, tears streaming out of my eyes. I promptly swore at the principal too, nobody understood how it felt, this was one of the worst days of my life. Now everybody had seen my haircut, there was no more hiding it.
I still wore the beanie, it didn’t protect me though. As soon as recess and lunch came around, I ran straight to the girls toilets to hide. Small groups stood at the door and called out to me ‘Kayleen, come out and show us your hair cut.’ I could hear them whispering, ‘We won’t laugh, we promise, we just want to see what it looks like.’ Eventually I came out, trusting, looking at a couple of girls and boys, waiting patiently for me to show them. ‘You’ll just laugh at me, I know you will.’ ‘We won’t, we promise.’ Slowly I slid off my beanie and felt my hair fall down. They all burst out laughing and then ran off. This is what my life would be like for months to come, constantly being ridiculed and ashamed of how I looked.
I looked into the mirror, a boy looked back, even worse though, my reflection reminded me of someone and I didn’t like him one little bit.
I didn’t know who I was anymore, so much of me was gone!
I was taunted by kids and adults, one adult, in particular, broke me even further after an incident on school camp, I thought adults were supposed to care. I cannot describe exactly what these constant little reminders of how horrible I looked did to my soul, but it was chipping away at the little girl inside, it ruined a part of me deep inside which I felt could never be mended.
I did get many sneering stares in High School, some sniggers and smirks, not like primary school, I still felt ashamed daily.
A Girl Again
A few months later my hair was long enough and my mum agreed to let me get it cut. Visiting the local hairdresser I asked her to cut it off. She cut some style to my hair once the back length was gone. When she cut that final strand of hair from the back, it was like cutting off the last representation which made me feel like a boy, now detached from me, where it would stay. Such a weight lifted off my shoulders. It made a world of difference to my face and my spirit, I was a girl again.
The Pain Runs Deep
Those few months were some of the worst of my whole life and while I can talk about it, it’s not something I can tolerate being joked about. I have come to love my hair colour and to this day it still holds such a part of my identity, I can’t bear to come to terms with cutting it short.
I am attached to my hair, long hair for me means never having to feel the way I did, the loss of identity I felt. My long hair is a symbol of retaliation, to protect myself and my identity. I’ve always said “I’ll never cut it short again.” It took me a long time to trust a hairdresser, still having problems, sometimes going nearly a year between haircuts.
However, it’s been on my mind lately to just ‘let it go’, to let go of the attachment and empower myself with a major change and to attempt to rock a short do. I’m ready to let go of the pain and the feelings associated with having ‘short hair’. I’ve worked so hard on myself these past few years, I’m ready to let go, I’m ready to free myself.
So, without further ado,
Welcome to the new me!!
Needless To Say, I Found My New Hairdresser!!
Huge thanks to Gemma from ‘Ninety Eight Organics’, her facebook page is here. Quick facebook search and I landed an absolute Gem (No pun intended).
Marathon effort, 3.5 hours later for the full treatment and a stack of hair and weight off my shoulders later (both physically and emotionally) I absolutely LOVE my new do.
For a bit of fun!!
Every single one of us have battled with self-esteem issues over the years (especially girls and women). It’s no secret I’m an advocate for 2 major things, kindness, and teaching our kids important lessons and values to be decent humans, goes without saying, please teach this to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids etc.
Following these key areas will give you the best shot at not only improving your self-esteem but keeping it boosted.
1. Be Kind To Yourself
- Recognise labels are not who you are.
- If you have been called or labelled something, it does not mean you ARE the label placed upon you.
- Positive Self-Talk
- Set realistic standards for yourself, not unrealistic.
- When realistic standards are met, we are more likely to achieve something or be happy with our results, thus rather than chiding, we can be happy with ourselves and internalise positive self-talk.
“The most progress I’ve made has been when I’ve been kind to myself.”
Over time we have been given many labels and they have an impact on us. How we react differs from person to person, however, you do not need to carry them with you forever. It’s a choice to accept the label, your choice not to any longer if you have carried the belief with you, you are not the label. Find a positive label for yourself or better yet, don’t even pick a label, just ‘be’. Be kind to yourself.
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
This too applies to self, not just others.
- Affirming silently
- Recognising you did the best you could
- “It would be nice to be able to……, however I did this well”
- Notice the things you do well and praise yourself for them
Self-praise isn’t about gloating, big noting yourself or bragging, it is simply recognising your small successes and achievements and being proud of them, it doesn’t even need to mean anything to anyone else but you. A win is a win, no matter how small, give yourself a fist pump when you feel those wins, it will put a smile on your face and make you feel great. When you are proud of something, own it, share it, for you (if you so choose). If you choose to share something with others, share with those who are likely to be happy for you and support you rather than others who may try to bring you down.
- Never compare yourself with others
- Each of us are unique, with our own individual qualities. Nobody is better than another, we are one.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
- When you’re discouraged
- STOP / LISTEN & REPLACE the sentence
“I’ll never be able to” with “I’ll give it go”
- Great lesson to teach kids too
- STOP / LISTEN & REPLACE the sentence
4. Be Fair To Yourself
- Consider yourself as you would others
- We are our own harshest critics. Would you talk to others the way you talk to yourself? (Kinda goes along with point 1)
“Do unto others as you would have done unto you” ~Unknown
One step further ‘do unto yourself only what you will accept others to do unto you’ – in other words, treat yourself how you want others to treat you. If you wouldn’t accept someone else treating you unfairly, why treat yourself in any other way? We can be so kind to others yet not to self.
- Focus on what you do well
- It improves your mood to focus on your achievements in times of disappointments.
I recently posted about this on my facebook fan page here Magnifying Successes – check it out for another great tip on how to keep your focus positive.
- Enjoy things you’re not good at if you enjoy it.
- It’s OK to suck!!!! Who bloody cares if you’re not good at something if you’re enjoying yourself.
LOVE this line!! So you can’t colour in for the life of you and make it look like you see in books yet, you colour outside the lines and mix and match colours in ways you’d never see as an example yet you love creating a unique piece of artwork. GOOD ON YOU – DO IT!!
You might not be able to hit a baseball or softball very well and get out everytime, however the feeling of being on the field with a bunch of other people in a team environment gives you warm and fuzzies, a smile on your face and good laughs. Have a ball (no pun intended), play it anyway! Who cares, life is for living! Go live.
5. Give To Self
- Give time to yourself regularly
- Limited energy may be depleted by giving too much to others
- Read a book, sit outside in the quiet with a cuppa, go for a walk, listen to some music, hang in a hammock. Whatever it is, give time to yourself.
- Replenish your energy by giving to yourself
- When giving to others and your resources are low, you’re actually being selfish as you’re not giving your best!
Say WHAAAAT??? When I heard this I was like, ‘Say that again’. I recently wrote about being selfish and self-ish you can read here Rise Goddess and this line drove it home. Think about it, when you’re constantly giving, you’re drained right? When you’re feeling low, the quality of what you’re giving is pretty crap, yet on the flip side, when you’re feeling fantastic the output of your energy is radiant, bouyant, fresh and it feels great to give rather than depleted. By filling your cup, you’re able to give the overflowing high quality of yourself to others, AND you don’t feel drained, winner winner chicken dinner!!
6. Being Responsible For Self
- Taking responsibility for own needs and deeds build self-esteem and confidence.
- Self Acceptance (this can be a really hard one)
- We have good and bad qualities, you are who you are, accept it.
- You can change anything, it’s your perogative, anything you’re unhappy with and would like to change, you can, if you’re happy and don’t want to change them, don’t, if something makes you unhappy, you know what to do.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Taking responsibility for yourself is not only empowering, it also sets and example for others. It also affirms to yourself to take responsiblity for self ONLY and not the issues or responsibilities which belong to others.
Like you taking responsibility for self, others need to take responsibility for
** All of the above points will undoubtedly boost your self-esteem, boosting your self-esteem will ultimately lead you to the next semi-rule, habit, effect or whatever you want to call it, they’re all interlinked. When you get to this point, oh how life changes!
7. Love Thyself – Unconditionally
“Love yourself as much as you want your soulmate to love you.” ~ Elizabeth Daniels
WARTS AND ALL
Yep, warts and all. Love yourself for who you are, everything you are, your whole being, you are perfectly imperfect the way you are. We are constantly changing and evolving so no need to be caught up in things you’re not happy about, you can change them. Love yourself for who you are NOW, when you’ve changed the things you want to change (IF) you want to change them, you’ll love yourself even more.
Brings me back to the beginning. “What matters most, is how you see yourself.”
There is no relationship as important as the one you have with yourself.
Another little tip for Mothers, if your daughter sees you loving yourself, you will be showing her to love herself too giving her a great start in life.
Thank you for reading!
I hope you found this useful. What tips or tools have you found useful for boosting your self-esteem?
Feel free to leave it in the comments and if you found any of this useful, share with other to help them too.
Kindness makes the world go round!
Subscribe with your details below and never miss a blog.
Also, jump on over to my fan page here to follow other inspirational posts and handy life hacks.