MIA


Photo by Irina on Unsplash

I’ve been busy with life so have been MIA on WordPress for a while. I am juggling a few commitments – work, study, family and building my business as well as writing a book, amongst other things! I am prioritising my time accordingly and am slowly putting things into place. When I’ve settled into my new routine, I will be able to allocate some time to WordPress and blogging – something I miss at the moment.

Thanks so much for the support with likes and follows, as always I do read and follow back albeit it currently may take me longer to do so. I am always grateful that my writing resonates with those who read my posts. I will be back, however more randomly because I enjoy reading your adventures, creative writing and expressions. I hope to be less MIA in due time. Until then, remember to Laugh.Love.Live! Peace and blessings!

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Change


Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

As humans, it is proven that we do not like change. Humans are creatures of habit – think about the many things you do because you have always done it that way and never thought to change eg. the route you drive to work, the day/ time you exercise, what you have for breakfast, etc. Change can be positive and bring about beneficial transformations or be adverse. Either way, in hindsight, change often provide valuable lessons to be learnt from – even if it is a small takeaway, there is something learnt.

However, we often don’t think about the changes that have consistently been occurring in our lives. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” In my experience, this remains true. Think about what has changed in your life – schools, jobs, moving houses, travelling, getting a new car, meeting a special someone and sharing your life with them, having a family, etc. The list goes on, however, most of these changes are usually ones we have chosen, so there is lesser tendency to have negative feelings towards them or resist the change(s). However, when change is thrust upon us, as humans, our first instinct is to resist it. Catalysts of change can often be life altering experiences eg. death of loved ones, near-death experiences, falling in/ out of love, having a family, introduction of something new, etc. In a work situation, the catalyst is usually driven by a change in processes, systems, legislation or all three. Change could also be driven by various catalysts, not limited to just these.

In my career, working on many change related projects – I’ve learnt the change management cycle is akin to the grief cycle. When change is introduced into our lives, according to the Kubler-Ross Change curve, we progress through this cycle, beginning with Shock, Denial, Frustration, Depression – then we Experiment, make a Decision and Integrate the change(s) into our life.

Image Credit: https://www.cleverism.com/understanding-kubler-ross-change-curve/

Below, is the Kubler- Ross Model for grief to provide a comparison. The stages for grief are Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining & Acceptance. As you can see, the stages are very similar to change.

Image Credit: LinkedIn Learning

In each of these cycles, we progress through each stage. The time taken to go through each stage is different for each person but each person will progress through these stages whether or not they like/ want to. This may explain why humans tend not to embrace change readily. There are people who tend to embrace change more readily than others and will go through the stages quicker – this may depend on their life experiences, outlook, attitude and stage of their lives. However, neither is right or wrong – just different. It’s useful to be aware of this when dealing with people in life or within a work environment because often in the work environment, the change(s) are not chosen by the individual. The change may be strategic ie. bigger picture eg. legislation, processes, systems which may change how a job is done, who an individual may work with, who they report to, etc. Change management is a complex beast when managing it within organisations as well as life in general.

Throughout my life and career, I’ve been involved in managing change through project work and, as a result have a tendency to progress through the stages more readily. Attitude, communication & behaviour styles all contribute to how change is accepted (or rejected). What I have found, is when change has not been implemented correctly ie. not obtaining buy-in, little/ no communication – prior, during and post implementation of change and not asking for help when required, the aftermath is often worse then the change that is being implemented. The biggest lesson is that change is a tricky beast and as always, prevention is better than cure.

It is helpful to be aware of where people may be in the change cycle so communication and behaviours can be managed. I have found communication is key – too little can cause mistrust as people feel information is being withheld or don’t know what is happening or about to happen – or both. On the flip-side, when there is too much ie. information overload, the information, although useful can be ignored. Until you communicate, you never know where/ what stage people are at with change. This helps you to help them deal and cope with the change more effectively. When assumptions are made, this may result in applying remedies which may be incorrect or incomplete.

What has been your experience of change? Have you been able to overcome the challenges, accept and implement change or have you resisted the change or still resisting change? Take a moment to reflect how you have managed change in your life, where you are at with the change(s) and what you feel is the best way forward. If you or someone you know would like assistance to manage change – I would be happy to assist. My aim is creating your light bulb moments, enabling you to Laugh.Love.Live!

This is my biggest project to date, my website is a work in progress – it looks great, but if you read my blog titled Under Construction, it mentions a Manager who commented “Aren’t all websites a work in progress?”.

Thanks for all your support thus far and look forward to your continued support! Peace and blessings!

Energy, vibrations matter…

Image credit: Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I would like to write about something we can’t see with the naked eye but we know exists. I read Stephen Hawking’s book – Brief Answers to the Big Questions and it resonated with me on many different levels. One of the things that resonated is the topic of my post today – energy. Do you agree that we are all masses of energy? Everything we see are also masses of energy.

Nikola Tesla is quoted as saying:

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”


The universe is not what we actually see in the physical world. The quote is actually just half of part of the original quote . Nikola Tesla also said that ‘if we want to know the secrets of the universe, we should focus on the non physical aspects than physical aspects, that will speed up the inventions.’ So that’s it the trio – energy, frequency and vibrations are all nonphysical aspects. We can’t see them with eyes. (www.quora.com)

When we talk about feeling someone’s energy, it is something we cannot physically see but we FEEL it. Have you ever walked into a room and felt the energy of the room ie. of the people in the room or if empty, felt the vibe of what had happened there? This is what I feel Tesla refers to as energy, frequency and vibrations – the non physical aspects. Even though we can’t see them with our eyes, we know it is there.

In Stephen Hawking’s book – Brief answers to the Big Questions, he also mentions energy. In one part of his book, he states:

“So what are the three ingredients we need to cook up a universe? The first is matter – stuff that has mass. Matter is all around us, in the ground beneath your feet and out in space. Dust, rock, ice, liquids. Vast clouds of gas, massive spirals of stars, each containing billions of suns, stretching away for incredible distances.

The second thing you need is energy. Even if you’ve never thought about it, we all know what energy is. Something we encounter everyday. Look up at the Sun and you can feel it on your face: energy produced by a star ninety-three million miles away. Energy permeates the universe, driving the processes that keep it a dynamic, endlessly changing place.

So we have matter and energy. the third thing we need to build a universe is space. You can call the universe many things – awesome, beautiful, violent – but one thing you can’t call it is cramped. Wherever we look we see space, more space and even more space. Stretching in all directions. ” 
― Stephen Hawking, Brief Answers to the Big Questions

When I read that energy permeates the universe, it just made sense. Passion and emotions are energy, we can’t see them but can certainly feel them. Just because we can’t see this energy with our eyes, does not mean passion or emotions are not valid. There are many things we can’t see with our eyes but they are real, valid or exist ie. a radio frequency, wind, air, oxygen, atoms, ultraviolet light and gravity to mention a few. Science has explained that these all exist.

Science can explain many things but not all. It’s fascinating when you read the findings, but I find equally fascinating when there seems no logical explanation except for a ‘gut feeling’. What has been your experience with this? Research has shown that the gut is like a second brain, I have shared an article below explaining this concept. Please feel free to also do some research of your own. https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/the-fallible-mind/201701/the-pit-in-your-stomach-is-actually-your-second-brain

So maybe, its not just a ‘gut feeling’ but the nerve endings in our gut responding as our second brain. The article suggests that our gut bacteria communicates with neurotransmitters throughout our enteric nervous system to send messages which influence the way we feel. So, it seems there is scientific evidence to explain our ‘gut feeling’.

Overall, energy, vibrations & matter are all valid even if we may not be able to see them with the human eye. Science has provided research to prove they all exist.

When you can feel the energy in a room or the energy of other people – embrace and harness it. Be aware of what you can feel and listen to your intuition. How often have you had a gut feeling about something but didn’t heed it? How did it work out for you? In my experience, when I have experienced that gut feeling/ intuition but not listened to it – it has always been correct. The experience played out just as I ‘felt’ it would. Sometimes there were lessons I had to learn so the experience may not have been pleasant but the awareness left me stronger, wiser and more in tune with my intuition.

How do you feel you could be more in tune with your gut instinct or intuition? I find Meditation, mindfulness, awareness and being present may help. You may also find being close to nature, going for a walk to clear the mind or more energetic physical activity are better suited for this. I feel it’s best to find what works for you – each to their own, tune into your own frequency, energy/ vibration to Laugh. Love. Live! Peace and blessings – Namaste!

Image credit: Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

New Year, New energy!

New Year’s Eve – Melbourne

Happy New Year!!!! It’s almost the end of January already and I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but, as they say, it’s better late then never! I feel as though there is a shift in energy this year – it may be due to the full moons, blood moons and lunar eclipses that have happened which influences the energies surrounding us. Can you feel the shift? If you are unable to feel the shift in energy, I’m sure you will soon feel it in different areas of your life. It may manifest slowly for you, but it will.

Thanks for everyone’s support last year and look forward to reading, sharing and exploring more with fellow bloggers this year. It’s an exciting year with new projects in the wings – what projects do you have that you are starting or progressing? What steps are you taking to reach your goal(s) this year? I feel small steps are great steps, as long as you move forward. Remaining stagnant stalls you from becoming who you are – how can you stay true, be authentic and just be you?

It may be to remove toxic people and negative influences from your life that may be holding you back. It could be changing careers, starting study or travelling to a new city or country. Whatever it is, keep moving forward towards your goal – if those small steps move you closer, then it may be beneficial to continue on that path. If they don’t, then you may need to consider changing direction. It’s your journey, you control how, when and what you take on during your journey. Let go of what you can’t control, these are a waste of your energy.

Diversions may occur, which can be fine if they ultimately contribute or lead you to your goal(s). Whatever your goals are this year, ensure you surround yourself with people who have the right energy to support, encourage and guide you – help keep you on track. Remember, your tribe becomes your vibe – I found it’s important to have the right energy and people surrounding you. It’s also important to become aware of what no longer serves you and let them go – be it people, jobs, family members or material possessions. If they no longer bring you joy, it might be time to let them go – we don’t need that type of energy in our life. What we accept in our life sets the tone for how we allow ourselves to be treated or what standard we allow in our life. What is your self worth?

It’s a journey I’ve started to take myself and assisting others to do the same, as a Life Coach. It’s exciting but scary at the same time, which makes it feel as though it is the right direction for me. What steps can you take towards transforming your life? Steps that move you forward and enable you to Laugh. Love.Live. I wish you peace and blessings for 2019 and look forward to more positive energies this year – Namaste!

Best wishes…

Image Credit: Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Thank you for all your support this year, it has been a tough one. The upside is I’ve made it through to the other side! Wishing you and your families much love, happiness and laughter during this time of year. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas – I hope you enjoy time with family, friends and loved ones or strangers who become friends. May the New Year bring an abundance of love, happiness, success and good health! Peace and blessings and look forward to another year to put into practice – Laugh. Love. live! Namaste!

Image credit: Photo by Rafael Leao on Unsplash

Fight Song

Image credit: Financially Blonde

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe

And all those things I didn’t say…

This song came up for me a few years ago when my dear Uncle passed away and it helped my to feel through it all and be back on top of things. It has recently popped up again on my radar as I am healing from the loss of my Grandma. I feel the last 3 months have been a tough, challenging and growth filled journey. It felt as though I was down… but not out. This song articulates how I am feeling now that I am on the tail end of my journey with depression, grief and anxiety.

I used to think that it was inappropriate to write or post about something as personal as losing a loved one but after my journey, I have found that writing is cathartic. Hence, why I blog and have been writing since a very young age to help me process feelings and emotions. I find it helps me to express in words what I sometimes cannot express out loud. In this instance, writing about my experience helped me with my grief which proved a catalyst for my healing. As I have mentioned previously, grief is different for everyone. There is no right or wrong, just different and I have learnt you cannot superimpose your own experience onto someone else. What you feel or experience is very different to another – even family members. 

I share my experiences via my blog in the hope that it can touch someone else, maybe give someone a sense that they are not alone and can resonate with my journey. It is by no means an indicator of how anyone else’s experience or journey may entail but I would like you to know that you are not alone. Please reach out when you need help. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness but rather, a sign of strength. Remember, life will never give you what you cannot handle and if you ever need any assistance to handle what life throws at you – please remember there are always people who love you, help you and wish you well. They will assist you to regain your strength to fight and Laugh. Love. Live. another day! Peace and blessings – Namaste! 


This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

https://youtu.be/xo1VInw-SKc

Here is a list of some support services for depression and anxiety in Australia and please refer to your GP and/ or support services available in your country:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

https://www.lifeline.org.au/

https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

https://au.reachout.com/articles/support-services-for-depression

Through the fog…

pinterest.co.uk

Image credit: pinterest.co.uk

My journey with depression started 2 weeks before my grandma passed away. Or maybe earlier, I’m not too sure but I’m most aware of the last 6 weeks. When it was happening, I didn’t know what it was. I felt like I was not 100%, nor was I unwell. I just felt off but I didn’t know what it was. I may have been picking up on how my grandma may have been feeling before she passed away as I have felt her spirit since her passing in more ways than one.

On the morning of my grandma’s death, I had woken to go to the bathroom – this happens frequently during the night but what made it odd was that I had to do a bowel movement. This is not usually the case and it was very difficult but nothing much happened. I went back to bed and my mobile rang and it was on low volume so it took me a while to figure out it was my mobile. The call went to my voicemail. I think the call was at about 1.30am. Before I even checked my voicemail, I knew it was about my grandma’s passing. I can’t explain how, but I knew. I listened to the message, it was from the hospital saying she had passed away at 12.10am. I woke my husband and told him and asked whether I should call my mum, I wasn’t thinking, I was numb. He advised I should let her sleep and call her at a decent hour later in the morning. I did not go back to sleep that night.

My phone rang at 4.00am and I knew it was my mum calling to inform me about grandma, I was numb. My mum was distraught and I went into protective mode – of myself and my mum. I went into autopilot and starting doing what the eldest daughter needs to do at that time. It was hard seeing my mum’s grief, I was holding myself together the best way I could. I had to help my mum go to the cemetery, organise and purchase a plot, go with her to the funeral home and organise the funeral, flowers, hymns, readings, pall bearers, readings, pictures and slideshow along with the viewing and wake which ended up at our house. There was much to keep me busy, I went into auto-pilot and reminded my mum to eat, drink, rest and sleep. In the process, I was neglecting to do these things myself. I lost my appetite, was sleeping around only 4 hours each night and just kept going with everything that had to be done.

To make matters more hectic, I had my sister from Perth coming to stay from the night before the viewing until the Funeral, 3 days later. Every day since the phone call, I had every sibling, mum and other family members over at our place for 2 weeks. It was overwhelming to say the least. My younger siblings tend to drain my energy so I was conserving what little energy I had to get through this difficult time and trying to shut out the ‘noise’ from my sisters. I was trying to hold in my grief and not express it but when I read my remembrance at the funeral service, I broke down and you could hardly understand what I was saying about my grandma. I had to recover and do a reading later on which I was able to read more coherently.

I had no energy to tell anyone of my grandma’s passing except three good friends – one who I’ve known for 40 years, another for over 20 years and another whom she and I have a different spiritual connection. We can’t explain it but it is there. I did write a post about it to express some of my grief and emotion as I find writing helps me process thoughts and feelings. It helped to an extent. I felt at peace when we laid my grandma to rest because I knew she was in a better place and no longer suffering. I felt she could finally spread her wings and fly. When everyone left our place after the wake, I finally had some peace. Saturday was devoted to cleaning up and taking my daughter to ballet. I felt somewhat better.

Sunday, I took my mum to watch the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” to bring some laughter back into our lives, even though there were some tender moments that also brought some tears. It was just my little family around me on Monday which was nice and brought some peace. The next day, I was going back to work. I thought getting back into routine would help – it turned out I was very wrong about that. As I am also a Life Coach, I provide Management Coaching at work. I love the coaching experience but it does take a lot of my energy. Something I didn’t have much of at the time.

I remember surviving through each day with very little sleep, I was making myself eat even though I had no appetite. I couldn’t afford to get sick. After being at work for 1.5 weeks, I received a work email and was also receiving coaching myself – yes coaches need to be coached too! Both the work email and coaching made me realise I was breaking down and not coping – it was costing me my inner peace which is too high a price to pay. I realised I needed to ask for time off work to grieve. I had been holding it in for far too long.

The weekend before my week’s leave, I had a Holy Communion to attend which was giving me anxiety. I experienced the worst anxiety I had ever felt. I was up early in the morning going to the toilet several times, not able to eat breakfast and not wanting to socialise as I knew there would be other people I knew at the service. I was using all my energy to get dressed and out the door. As I walked into the church, a friend saw me who I had not seen for some time, looked at me she asked “Are you OK?”, I manged to reply “I’m ok, Just Ok.” She let me have my space as I went to find my other ‘friend’. When I found her, she did not ask how I was, did not check if I was OK. She laughed and smiled and chatted. Every sound was too loud, laughter was an assault to my senses and smiling was painful.

I used all my energy to get through the mass and held back tears. During the mass a friend sat next to me who always gives out positive energy. I think that helped me half way through the mass. It was so difficult during mass as there was an elderly man in a wheel chair with his loving daughter which reminded me of my mum with her mother when she was still alive. When I turned behind me to shake hands to say ‘Peace be with you’ there was a lovely elderly lady wearing a hat which reminded me of my grandma. It was tough. When the mass was over, I could only manage to see the girl who was having Holy Communion to say “God is in your heart”. I was almost at breaking point, I was trembling with the effort of keeping my composure for that long. Her daughter has anxiety and I could see how strained she was on that day as well. We bid our goodbyes and went home. It was tough but I survived!

spbh.orgImage credit: spbh.org

The next day I went to my family doctor because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I knew something was out of balance but I didn’t know what. I didn’t know what was happening to me, I felt like I was in a fog and couldn’t get out. I burst into tears when I explained what I was feeling, what I was doing or not doing and he diagnosed me with depression. It was both a relief to know what was wrong and also filled me with dread to tell the news to my family. My doctor prescribed me antidepressants so I could sleep because the chronic lack of sleep was contributing to my depression.

I had a good night’s sleep for the first time in 3 weeks. I had the week to recover and time to grieve. I scheduled a few activities I wanted to do on my own and also visited my Grandma’s grave on the one month anniversary of her death. I had anxiety that morning too but I was determined to go. I bought hot pink and white roses and drove to the cemetery. I grabbed a flower holder that is provided by the cemetery, put some water in it and placed the flowers in the holder. I walked to my grandma’s grave and placed the flowers at the top of her grave. I took off my shoes, sat on the grass and grieved, wept, spoke to her in Vietnamese and at times sat in silence. I felt such a release and my heart was finally lighter. I finally felt like the fog was lifting. I thanked my grandma, said goodbye and left.

I finally felt like I was on the road to recovery. I hope my story helps others who may be experiencing anxiety and depression or helps others pick up warning signs from friends, family or loved ones who may be experiencing anxiety and depression. This week, I finally took my own advice to take some ‘me’ time to look after myself so I can then look after others. I also put into action something I posted on my Instagram Coaching page:

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I let go of energy, habits, behaviour and people that didn’t serve me. I was taking back my power – something I coach others to do and it was good to finally take my own advice!

Someone once showed me this quote by Buddha:

buddha1-2x

The Buddhist way of life resonates with me and I found this saying to be fulfilled during this week. I am going to borrow another saying by Buddha when he was teaching about the Not Self “This is not mine. This I am not. This is not myself.” but insert the word ‘depression’ into it – “Depression is not mine, Depression I am not. Depression is not myself.” This has been a tough week but a journey I had to have. I feel I am stronger because of this and enables me to be a better coach to enable others to Laugh.Love.Live! Peace and blessings – Namaste!