When women support women…

I love this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert about strong women, from my experience it has been proven true again and again. I have and have had many strong women in my life who have all handled shit went it went wrong a thousand different ways on a thousand different days – friends, beloved grandmother, mother, aunt and acquaintances. I had a conversation with my daughter about the double standards applied to women in the spotlight – leadership positions, celebrities, politicians, etc. The double standard we observe is that women are judged harshly by who they are/ how they are portrayed – whether they are compassionate, empathetic, professional, and it doesn’t matter if they are competent and well qualified for their roles. There seems to be more importance placed on how they conduct themselves, what they wear, how old they are, what their marital status is or if they do or do not have children. These things have no bearing on how well a woman can fulfill their role. To me, it demonstrates we need to teach the next generations not to judge females – on appearances or what the ‘societal’ norms may be – which may not be the norm at all, for some people. It would be great to pass on the importance to not be judgemental – especially females of other females. From my experience, we are stronger when we stand together and support one another. We can only understand from our point of view.

Jacinda Adern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, is often criticised for her empathy and compassion – it has been observed as being weak. From my experience, those who have these qualities are the opposite – these qualities enable them to place themselves in other people’s suffering and circumstances, yet have the strength to make a positive impact. Jacinda herself is quoted saying “I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong”. She is also quoted saying “It’s essential for women to unite and support one another. Together we are stronger.” This is demonstrated when women come together to support and advocate for the vulnerable, less able or, be a voice when they have experienced the same circumstances. Some examples include breast cancer, domestic violence, sexual violence/assault, child abuse – when women come together for these causes, they are able to garner great support and awareness. I’m not saying males are unable to do the same, however, these are some examples where I feel women supporting other women, showing solidarity for the same cause are stronger together.

There are also double standards perpetuated by the media such as two people may do the same or similar things but one gets criticised while the other is praised. The problem is not just that of the media companies, it is us, it is society – if we allow it to continue, it becomes a norm and we are silently condoning that type of behaviour. If it were to be happening to our loved ones eg spouse, children, daughters, nieces, etc – we would call it out as bullying and find ways to raise awareness and look to eliminate it. I have written previously that we all judge, we are all imperfect but it is about catching ourselves when we do or before we do it, to consider the rolling effect. It all starts with us, with you – if we can prevent ourselves from doing this and teaching our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sons – it is unacceptable, we can challenge the norm. How could you start discussion about this with your children, or children you may have influence over? How can we encourage open and honest dialogue about this and other topics? How can we ensure that we embody the principles to Laugh.Love.Live? We may also discover we have internalised some behaviour, perspectives or ways of thinking based on our environment and influences that are not in alignment with this. It’s up to us to change it and rewrite the script.

This is just one of many challenging topics for discussion but it’s important to start the conversation and plant the seed. It’s important to raise the next generations with empathy, compassion, authenticity and treating all with kindness – inclusion for all. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed time over the festive season to spend time with friends, family and loved ones or at least were able to send your love. I hope this year may become a better one for us all. Stay safe, stay well – peace and blessings!

It’s been a while…

I’ve been on my learning journey now for two years, consuming a lot of my time. Although it has been challenging to juggle work, family and studies, it has also been immensely rewarding and enjoyable. One thing I do miss is being able to plan and write a post on my blog, so I am taking a bit of time out…pressing pause on studying so I can write this post. It’s been a crazy year due to the pandemic – there has been so much but also so little happening in our lives. It has been a disruptive year in many ways, yet also been a good year in other ways. What’s so good about it do you ask? Well, for me, being able to work from home helps me balance my work/study/family commitments so much easier – travel time is not consuming my productive time.

I have been fortunate to work from home on many occasions, but not to this extent. I find myself more productive and able to achieve more without time spent travelling each morning and evening to and from an office location. I don’t miss the hectic days of trying to fit so much into the day. Don’t get me wrong, there are drawbacks to spending all day, every day at home with other family members working and studying – it can overwhelm you at times. However, I find walking the dog and getting outdoors, feeling the sunshine or cool breeze helps clear your mind, get the body moving and blood pumping. I empathise with those who have struggled mentally being in lock-down. It is hard when choice is taken away from you, things you took for granted – being able to see friends, family, see a movie, a concert or go out at any time to exercise. I have struggled with anxiety and depression so can empathise with the mental challenges of lock-down. When our state was required to be in isolation for a period of 8 weeks and with travel within the state restricted, I found that tough, let alone a full lock-down experience.

What I think we need to realise is once a virus is in the community, it is not going to be quickly eradicated. The flu virus has been around for years and each year there is a new strain as it evolves to survive. This will probably be similar for the Corona virus and wearing a mask, social distancing, washing our hands to keep ourselves and vulnerable members of the community safe will become the new normal for a while yet. I feel it is easier to accept it is here, do the things we need to do to keep ourselves and loved ones safe as well as those who are more vulnerable – the better we can return to the new normal. I feel our brains need to shift perspective to accept it is here and not going away as quickly as we hope. I am aware everyone has their opinions, perspectives and thoughts on this and that is fine. I am just sharing one – whether you agree or not, is fine. It isn’t right or wrong, just different and we are all different and how this virus may affect any of us may also be different. I feel what we can do, is have empathy, compassion and understanding of these differences because as my mum says “we’re all human, if you cut me and you – we all bleed the same red blood”.

As humans, we are good at adapting, it just may take a while but we have the ability to do so. It’s something humans have been doing for centuries – adapting to circumstances and environments. As research states, humans have biological plasticity – the ability to adapt biologically to our environment. We are also capable of cultural adaptions and adaptations vary in duration, can happen at any time and can be short or long-term (lumen: cultural anthropology). I feel this adaptation may take us a little while to get used to and accept. Until then, please stay safe and well so you can continue to Laugh.Love.Live. We are stronger together, rather than divided. Well, it’s back to my studies now before a break at the end of the year. Namaste.

Reference: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/culturalanthropology/chapter/human-adaptations/#:~:text=Adaptations%20and%20adaptability,a%20population%20with%20its%20environment.

Connection

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

One thing I feel we are learning from the global pandemic, is that we are all connected. Humans, planet, earth, nature, animals, seasons – there is a connection between all. Humans are connected as people, living beings, shared biology and emotions. As humans, we are connected to the planet, the earth and nature. We rely on these for food, oxygen, water and life. We are connected to animals for food, companionship and a sense of wonder. The seasons bring us different animals and plants that grow or we can grow in the earth for food. Animals can be enjoyed – to be observed, provide research for conservation and may also be farmed for food.

Seasons also allow us to enjoy nature and participating in activities such as hiking, swimming, surfing and skiing to name a few. Seasons allow us to feel warmth, cold, rain, wind and snow. It caters to diverse preferences amongst humans regarding favourite times of the year. As humans we can be connected by language, culture, country and food. We are learning that as humans we can are the same regarding certain emotions – a different race or ethnicity does not change how illness and death affects us. We are also connected in how we choose to rally together to help others – the vulnerable, the high risk and those who choose to help others in essential and medical services. When we pause to think about the connections, there are many more things that connect us rather than separate.

When we emerge from this pandemic, may we be mindful of the best of the human spirit displayed during this time. Times like these bring out the best and worst of the human spirit – may we continue to demonstrate the best and hopefully influence the rest. We are all members of the same human family, we are stronger together and need to reach out to one other. We are facing the same crisis all over the world and are learning from each other, helping each other, and hopefully when this crisis is over – we continue to treat each other with kindness, compassion and love. Connection reminds us we are not alone and we can get through adversity so we can continue to Laugh.Love.Live once more. Keep well and safe, take care of each other and may we come out of this with a renewed energy and compassion for each other, the earth and the planet.

Memories of you

Photo by Damon On Road on Unsplash

It’s been five years since your passing,

Many things remind me of you.

When I see a sailing boat, I am reminded of you,

A butterfly flying by, reminds me of you.

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race on boxing day each year, is a reminder of you,

Manly beach, Australia, reminds me of you.

Each time I eat fresh figs, it reminds me of you,

Sydney harbour as well as Brighton, Melbourne are reminders of you.

These may be little things, but they all evoke memories of you,

You may have left the physical world but these reminders keep you alive… in my heart, my thoughts, day-to-day,

Memories of you, each and every day – especially today.

Photo of sailing boat on Sydney Harbour, taken 22 July 2018

Where is the Love?

There is a global pandemic happening around the world and unfortunately, I have been observing behaviour that doesn’t showcase the best of humanity. There are shoppers hoarding toilet paper and other basic necessities, fights breaking out amongst our fellow humans over groceries and stampedes in supermarkets trampling children. What happened to showing compassion, understanding and love to our fellow humans? There are some stories trickling through, however, it is only a trickle.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

There seems to be more stories of selfishness and greed which displays the sad state society is currently in. In regard to the supermarket situation, our family shops weekly, we only buy what we need and maybe add one or two extra of a few things we know we’re going to be using more that week. For the last three weeks, the supermarket aisles have been empty of toilet paper, tissues, cleaning products, tinned food, pasta, rice, eggs, bread, flour and condiments. We’re not desperate but we do have food intolerances and allergies to cater for. I feel for the elderly and less able bodied who are unable to shop often or in large quantities and have had to leave empty handed. There are also others less financially able or have family members with dietary requirements and/ or medical conditions to cater for. For these families, this is non-negotiable and having several supermarkets with empty shelves for weeks makes things difficult for those who are most vulnerable.

It is disturbing to see it is happening all around the world, so it is not confined to one country but occurring in several. There are also other considerations like health workers who cannot shop until their shifts are finished and are met with empty shelves. These people need to eat well and remain healthy so they can look after the rest of the population who become unwell. I am truly disappointed by stories of shoppers hoarding, people making profit by selling items at exorbitant prices because they have become scarce. It is saddening to say the least.

If everyone of us can look after ourselves and think of others in this time of crisis, we can get through this pandemic together. These drastic measures of social distancing, lock-downs and self-isolation are meant to be temporary to help manage this pandemic. Social distancing does not mean you can’t go outside for a walk, or go to buy your groceries – it means you need to keep a safe distance from others, usually indicated by the health department or country’s government. This is to help slow and manage the spread of the virus, especially to the vulnerable in our communities – the elderly, immunocompromised, those with existing medical conditions, such as; diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illness – to name a few. As well as those currently undergoing treatment for cancer or other illnesses.

By putting these measures into place and as we practice them, we slow the spread and enable health systems to cope. In many countries, the health system is struggling to cope to treat the sick as we are observing across the globe. There are not enough beds, medical staff or equipment. By implementing these temporary measures to manage and slow the spread, it gives us breathing space – which is what this virus does not provide. It is a scary time and people are afraid and anxious, however, hoarding basic necessities and being selfish is not going to make this pandemic disappear. Showing compassion, understanding and love will definitely help to soften the blow.

I feel if we do what is being asked of us, we can enjoy the things we have to forgo much sooner. It’s short-term pain for long-term pain – surely we can all do this to save lives? I feel this is not too much to ask. No life is more important than any other – we are all human, all bleed the same red blood, breathe the same air and are capable of much more love. This pandemic needs to be taken seriously and we all need to look after ourselves but also the vulnerable in our community. We all need to take care, take necessary precautions and keep well. The sooner we do this on a mass scale, the sooner we can Laugh.Love.Live. to enjoy the things we are forgoing in the short-term.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Juggling

It’s been a busy four months since April this year – I’ve been juggling study, moving house, work, family and life in general. It seems when things happen, they happen all at once! The universe has a funny way of delivering things to you when you open yourself to the possibilities. Things can feel uncomfortable at first, however, as it becomes the ‘new normal’ then you forget what it was like before things changed. I read something the other day which resonates and I have shared below:

I started studying my MBA in May this year which is something I have wanted to do for a few years yet never had the courage to pursue it. I’ve bitten the bullet and started, it doesn’t mean I’m no longer scared. Courage is not about NOT being scared – it’s about being scared but doing it anyway – being brave is another way of looking it! As per the quote in Neil Gaiman’s book Coraline:

“Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.” 
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

So, in between packing, working and looking after my family, I have been completing assessments, studying, reading, reviewing and sitting a final exam. Leading up to the final exam was more stressful than it needed to be because upon moving, our internet connection (even though we were advised was connected) was unavailable for 5 weeks which included the week I was due to sit my exam.

The situation could not be resolved even though I had been in contact with the service provider several times to advise the situation to assist in the resolution. It also affected my daughter’s studies as homework and school group work is completed online. We were given a temporary solution which meant I could sit my exam on the designated day – phew! Homework and school work could also be completed – yay!? Yes, I am aware internet connection is not essential like say, water and electricity and when speaking to a peer about my situation, he remarked “First world problems” and I agreed. However, when you do not have internet connection for 5 weeks without a remedy in sight, you realise how much you rely on it to do most things!

Given we had no internet for 5 weeks and as my studies are completed online – it also restricted the ability to log on, read and research articles for the final exam. The week I had planned to use for study became reduced to only one day prior to the exam. This exacerbated my stress and anxiety! Once I had completed the exam, I was happy I was able to complete it, it was over and would be happy if I gained a pass grade so that I would not have to redo the subject! I take my hat off to mothers and people in general who work, study and look after a family – it is no easy feat! It definitely makes you prioritise – become better at time management, finding a balance between work and play! We have all heard the saying “All work and no play is not good for the soul” by Felix Sabates.

Even though it has been and will be difficult over the next few years juggling study with work and family, this is something I have wanted to do for a while. I am grateful to have the opportunity to pursue it and make the decision to complete my studies. As I say to my daughter “When you make a decision, own it”. I’m owning this decision and enjoying the challenge of learning something new. Learning something new keeps you young and that is always welcome – especially as we age!

My mother has always said and continues to say to me “You never stop learning!”. As a result, I also believe and apply this in my life – learning happens throughout your life, there is always something new you can learn. Where and how you learn may also surprise you, but that’s what keeps life interesting. When was the last time you learned something new? How did it make you feel? To me, learning is invigorating yet challenging. It also keeps me busy and out of mischief! I appreciate this opportunity to be able to pursue something I have wanted to do for some time – I feel blessed, loved and ever grateful.

We are still unpacking but most of the important things are unpacked and in it’s proper place. There are pictures to be hung and a few things to be done but things are more settled. Our internet has finally been connected – it took switching providers but it has made things so much easier! Studies can resume, homework and schoolwork can be completed, along with being able to enjoy some entertainment – which certainly helps during school holidays! May you also find something that challenges you, making it possible to learn something new and makes you feel alive! Continue to Laugh.Love.Live – Peace and blessings!

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!

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!

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:

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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!

 

 

 

One month on…

grief

Image credit: themindsjournal.com

It’s been a month since you left your physical form on this earth,

Yet your soul is ever present.

It has been both comforting and sad,

Today, I visited your resting place,

And finally released emotions – both good and bad.

I know you are in a much better place,

You can spread your wings and race.

It finally feels as though the fog is lifting,

Sunshine, warmth and joy – uplifting.

Thank you for your love, kind words, compassion and understanding,

Our love and memories of you are never-ending.

Grief alone

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