How to recover from a setback and reconnect to your heart

Photo by Jesse Schoff

Photo by Jesse Schoff


Here in Australia, the Federal election on the weekend delivered for many of us a very surprising result, as our coalition government was voted back into power.

Along with many earth lovers, I reeled in shock and disbelief. My heart is still weeping.

Many of us believed that this was a climate election and that Australia would vote for what needs to be done to help prevent a climate change catastrophe.

Instead, Australia voted mostly for no change (except for a few key figureheads who did not regain their parliamentary seats.)

Our Federal government tells us that we are on track to meet the Paris agreement on carbon reduction requirements, but the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which is a United Nations body, is telling us that this is no longer enough.

I won’t get into the politics here because this post isn’t really about politics.

This post is about how to recover from a setback and it is about me talking directly to your inner flame, your soul, your calling, the gifts and seeds and dreams and qualities within you that need nurturing and encouragement to come out of hiding because the world needs them.

Mother earth needs you. We need you. Please do not give up hope. Please keep nurturing your dreams and gifts no matter how small and insignificant or bigger than you they may seem.

To help, I have two things for you today:

1.    A poem for the world weary

2.    A meditation to connect with you heart and help you recover from a setback

And as a a little bonus, I’ve even recorded them for you to listen to on soundcloud. Here is the poem and here is the meditation.

Miracles are everywhere: a poem for the world-weary

 

 What do you do when you're world-weary? 

How do you restore your hallowed heart?

I feel my feet on the earth as I look up at the sky.

I breathe deep into my belly and touch the ticklish gift of life,

then exhale anything icky that may have got stuck.

If I can walk, I will walk.

And if I can't, then I will look out into this great world 

beyond my confined view and ask for a miracle.

They are everywhere.

Today, as I walked,

swept along by the icy breeze,

that overpowered the subtle sun,

the grass glowed with luminous aliveness;

boundless blades quivered with glee

and so did I

as the miracle I asked for

silently found and blessed me,

reminding me of my own luminosity,

my own aliveness,

and my own boundlessness

that nobody and nothing

can ever take from me.

Listen to the poem on soundcloud here.

A meditation for setback recovery

 Whenever we experience a shock of some kind or setback, the first step is always to breathe.

 Breathe in and out. Feel your breath fill your belly and your chest. Then let it go.

Again, breathe in. Feel your breath fill your belly, your belly expands and then your breath fills your chest. Then let it go.

And again, breathe in fully, expanding your stomach and filing your chest. Then let it go.

Feel your feet on the ground and the earth solidly supporting you here and now.  Breathe in and out and feel the support that is here.

And as you begin to feel more steady and grounded in this moment, look around you.

Notice what you see without judgment. Maybe you are in your bedroom with your bed made nicely or maybe there’s a mountain of clothes. Maybe you are on the train on your way to work with a train full of commuters all quiet and looking at their smart phones. Maybe you are sitting in a park in the sunshine.

Wherever you are, just notice.

Then close your eyes and take your awareness inside yourself to your heart.

Feel into your heart space. Sense your heart your heart beating to it’s own beat. Feel it’s vastness.

Ask your heart what it needs you to know right now?

Ask your heart if there is anything you need to do right now? What, if anything, is your next step?

Just wait and listen for your heart’s response without expectation.

It may be enough that you are here in this moment feeling connected to your heart. Maybe there are emotions that need to be felt and expressed. If you are in a place that feels safe and comfortable, may you can feel into them. Notice sensations, temperature, colour. Give them names if that helps. Sadness. Grief. Despair. Hopelessness. Fear. Confusion.

Maybe your heart has words of wisdom for you. Sacred reminders from within about what you most need to know right now. Listen. If you can, write them down.

Stay here as long as you need, feeling, talking to and listening to your own heart.

When you feel complete, thank your heart. Know that your heart is always available to you. You just have to breathe and bring your awareness back in.

Listen to the meditation on soundcloud here.

I hope this poem and meditation serves you.
With love and courage,

Kym xx

Before you dismiss that crazy idea you have, read this…

Photo by Austin Chan

Photo by Austin Chan

Some 15 years ago when I was committed to my career and worked as an executive manager in a listed financial services company, I suddenly started feeling the urge to paint (as in art not house walls or fences.)

It was easy to dismiss at first as a “crazy” idea. I wasn’t great at art in high school. I got a C-grade in the last ever art class I took in year 8. That made it go away for a while.

But it came back, like a little kid tugging at my pant legs trying to get my attention.

Go away, I told it annoyed that it was there again.

I’m not an artist. I’m not good at art

And that made it go quiet for a while.

But it came back again and again and kept nagging at me no matter how many times I tried to dismiss it until it became pretty insistent.

So I became curious about this urge to paint and inquired within myself. Why was this urge here? What did it want of me? What did it want me to know?

I discovered that I didn’t want to learn the techniques of painting but that I wanted to explore with paint and have fun with it. Although I didn’t really understand why I had the urge to paint I stayed open to the idea.

Eventually I found an intuitive painting workshop just down the road from me. My inner painting urge (aka my inner child) was pretty excited about the idea of this workshop, jumping up and down with glee. Although I felt a bit scared and nervous, I signed up and went.

It was subtly life changing.

The intuitive painting course reintroduced meditation back into my life as each session started with a gentle breath meditation that I loved. It was calming, loving and kind.
I rediscovered my creativity. I had actually always been a crafty child.
I remembered how to have fun again.
I learned to risk making mistakes and that any mistake I made in a painting just helped the painting to evolve in a different way.
Most importantly, I reconnected with my intuition that had gone AWOL for a while as I had overridden and ignored it so many times with my fearful and rationalising mind.

Just like we can override and dismiss our inner callings, we can also override, ignore, dismiss or rationalise the unexpected opportunities that life presents us.

Here is a short excerpt from my book, The Path We Make: a journey of the heart on the Via Francigena—in fact it is the opening paragraph of the book.

 

“Oh no! I’m not interested in walking that far. Ever!”

That was my response several years ago when my employer asked me to join a team that would walk 50 kilometres to raise money for the Leprosy Mission. I can’t help but laugh kindly at that younger version of myself who scoffed at the idea and was adamant that she would never walk that far. I don’t believe everything in our lives is predetermined, but there are some things that life wants us to experience. If at first we turn our backs on those things or head in a different direction, life has a miraculous way of finding an alternative way in or choosing another way to speak to us so that we hear and understand. It calls us forward again and again to come down the path it wants us to follow, until finally we say yes and take those steps.

Sometimes our callings will come in the form of inner urgings, curiosities, recurring thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they will come as opportunities, invitations, signs and coincidences from the world around us.

Often we will push them away, ignore or dismiss them and/or rationalise why we shouldn’t pay attention to them because they are foreign to the life that we know and are currently living and we aren’t yet ready to accept them into our field of possibilities.

Sometimes they scare us and we might not even recognise we are scared.

Often they will keep coming back—especially the ones that really want our care and focus.

When something flirts with you or you become aware of some recurring theme, sign, thought, urge or other pattern in your life— pay attention and get curious. At first they may seem irrational, crazy, foreign, silly, out-there, nonsensical or irrelevant, but you also don’t know what rich gifts they have for you or where they may lead you.

I’d love to hear your stories about what has called to you that you have dismissed until you finally had to listen and say yes.

Leave a comment below or send me a private message. And if ever you want some support to explore what is calling you, I’m here. Just reach out.

Autumn blessings

Image by Timothy Eberly

Image by Timothy Eberly

 

Blessed Autumn,
you break open my heart
with your brazen beauty.

You ripple across this land
in shades of red, orange, 
amber, yellow and tan
until you fade
into the darkness 
of winter’s waiting arms.

You offer your bounty,
and I drink it all in
until I am satiated in bliss.

I could die right now
and feel content with my life.

Absorbed in the fullness
of this moment 
I know nothing I’ve strived for
truly matters, 
but everything I’ve surrendered to
has been richer in meaning
then anything earned.

Swallow me whole
and if you must spit me out
transform me into the golden light
of the end of days.

Witnessed by many or none
it does not matter,
my purpose will still be complete.

Wholly knowing silence

Dear ones

I was just making some final edits to my intended blog post about packing lightly and living reverently when I accidentally deleted the whole edited post. I tried desperately to recover it without success. It is unretrievable.

I don’t think it’s a mistake that I deleted the intended blog post. Life works quite mysteriously at times.

I don’t have enough time to re-write the post tonight, so I sit quietly and wonder what to do..

Then I remember that what I have really wanted to offer you is a holding space of deep, healing silence, although I haven’t known how to offer that in a blog that requires words until now. Through mishap and silence, this is what spontaneously emerges….

 

My invitation to you is to take a few deep breaths and feel how life is supporting you right now. Maybe you are supported by a chair or seat of some kind, or the ground beneath your feet.

Notice how your breath moves in and out of your chest. Brining new life. Releasing what is old.

Maybe you can hear sounds, birds, traffic, voices.

I invite you to listen more deeply.

Beneath the noise is a container of silence all around you. It is protective and nourishing. Calming and soothing. Just listen and feel.

Take a few moments out of this often busy, rushing, noisy modern world we live in to feel rested and renewed and totally supported.

From this place of deep silence, maybe there is something that wants to be known to you, something that will serve your life and journey now. Or maybe it’s just the silence you need to know more wholly. Most of us do.

Whether you receive words or silence, it is all a blessing. You are held and supported right here and now. Breathe and rest here.

.All is well.

 

With love, courage and the peace of silence,

Kym xx

The constant inbetween

Dear ones

This week I recommenced a regular walking practice. I call it a practice because I don’t just walk for exercise, I walk to see the world around me slowly on foot, and to invite inspiration for writing as well as for inner knowing and guidance on my life path.

A few nights ago, I left the house a little later than usual, it was very late dusk but not quite nighttime. As I walked I reflected on this particular time of day where it’s not dark, but not light. It’s an inbetween time. And I remembered this poem that I wrote while I was walking the Via Francigena pilgrimage route…

 

You see the road

stretch long before you.

Just as you begin to fall

into despair’s embrace,

you are caught by grace,

set back on your feet,

to do the one thing

you know you can do;

take one step

then one step more.

You are here

where you have

chosen to stand.

The goal is never arriving,

which of course you will

then leave again.

Accept there will always

be a long road,

a coming,

a going.

That stillness you crave

only a temporary possibility.

Let go of the clinging

and the desire

to be other than where you are.

Learn to love this life

in the constant inbetween.

I wrote this poem on Day 15 of my Via Francigena pilgrimage while I was walking from Laon to Corbeny in France. While it was only a 27 kilometre walking day, I felt like I would never make it to Corbeny and that I would be walking forever. To distract myself, I decided that I would write as I walked. I asked for inspiration, opened up a writing app on my Ipad called Textilus and this poem streamed out. With it came a deep peace and acceptance of where I was on my journey and trust that I would arrive when I arrived as I had done for the 14 days I had been walking.

For me, this simple realisation (and re-realisation) of living in the inbetween still brings me much peace and acceptance in my life now. I am inbetween leaving a career and starting a new one but I am filled with peace and faith that I am being guided and supported by life no matter how slowly things seem to unfold.

I hope that this realisation serves you in your life too.

And if you are contemplating a journey such as Via Francigena, I hope you will trust the whispers of your heart urging you to go. The calling is sacred. The insights that are waiting to be revealed to you may continue to serve you for the rest of your life too.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

You will rise back up and bloom: faith learned from life and the garden

 

This is what happens,
after life cuts you down to the ground.

You may be stunned and startled,
hollowed and halted,
broken and disheveled,
cut off from everything you knew
and were growing towards.

But slowly over time,
nature will have her way.

Your roots will draw sustenance
from tears and sobbing,
the pain of desolation, 
and the barrenness that breathes you
when your dream has been snatched away.

One day, maybe tomorrow, 
maybe next week, 
maybe next month
or even years from now,
you will rise back up, 
and you will bloom
more beautiful than ever before. 
Radiant with all your scars
and all your new growth. 

Despite everything, 
you endured. 

You risked, you loved, you lost
and in the end you won,
twisted, stretched, scrunched and moulded
into intricate living wisdom
that cannot be learned from reading books,
only from embracing 
and bowing to life herself,
no matter how willing or unwillingly
you fell to your knees and plunged
into the mud and the darkness.


 

PS Please share, with love.

Embracing fear, taking a risk

Fear rushes towards me. All of my cells scream “no!”

Don’t worry. I’m not in any real danger. I’m just sitting at my writing desk with my iPhone in my hand and my thumb hovering over the share button of a Facebook post.

I’m on the verge of putting my first holistic counseling service offer into the world and it feels like I’m about to step off the edge of a cliff and go splat in a way that not even the ever flexible Gumby could recover from.

IMAGE SOURCE: https://shannoncrane.files.wordpress.com

IMAGE SOURCE: https://shannoncrane.files.wordpress.com

I don’t have to do this, I know. Nobody’s making me do it. I could delete the draft post, put the phone down and just walk away, or I could use the classic deferral tactic and tell myself I’ll do it next week or another day and that day will come and I can just defer it again.

But you see, this is what my heart wants:
To take risks even if I might fail.
To offer what I have to give even if there is no one out there to receive what I have to offer.
To support other sensitive souls through their doubts and fear so that they can step towards their dreams and callings and give their gifts that the world so desperately needs.

My heart has wanted this for a long time, but it’s my mind that has surveyed the future and identified all the potential risks, harm and downfall. (Risk management assessment is a particularly strong skill of mine that has helped me succeed in the business world.)

My mind protests loudly. It digs its heels firmly into the ground. “You’re not going any further. You’re safe here where you are,” it asserts.

For a moment, I contemplate not taking that step and I feel like this…

 
IMAGE SOURCE: coachingforinspiration.com

IMAGE SOURCE: coachingforinspiration.com

 

Yes, this is what playing it safe can look like on the inside. Try the posture on yourself. It doesn’t feel very good.

Our protective parts will do anything to keep us safe.

They make up a lot of stories, often of the type that don’t have a happy ending.  They tend to overlook the potential for success, freedom, and joy.

They can speak very powerfully with authority but they actually don’t know what the future holds. Nobody does. The only way to find out is to go there.

Whenever we take a risk, fear can arise. It’s a normal response especially when we think of risk in terms of danger or uncertainty instead of opportunity or even thrill. Fear can be heightened for those who are highly sensitive like me.

I don’t believe there is a standard approach to facing and crossing these edges in our lives. We must determine our individual response each time we face an edge that is unique to our life and who we are.

Sometimes the response that feels right is to feel the fear and leap.
Sometimes, we must stand at the edge for a while dreaming into what lies on the other side.
Sometimes we must walk up to the edge then walk away many times before we are ready to take that step.

This time I stood at the edge with fear rushing towards me. I slowly leaned towards the edge of my known and unknown worlds, millimetre by millimetre. As I did, I came into closer contact with the fear.

I held my ground and just felt the sensations that were in and around my body as they grew and grew until I realised it wasn’t actually fear I was feeling.

It was my very life force rushing through me.

All of my cells pulsed with aliveness, not fear. It’s an aliveness I feel now in my body as I write about that experience and further embody it. It’s an incredibly strong power and vibrant light.

Fuelled by my aliveness not fear, I pressed share on that post and published it on Facebook. And guess what?

My world didn’t end. 

I didn’t splat onto the ground. I didn’t get the outcome I hoped for but nothing bad happened at all. Instead something very unexpected happened. I came into direct contact with my own life force and power.

Marianne Williamson wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The way to liberate yourself from fear is not to turn away from it, not to bypass it, not to step over or around it but to allow it to be there and consciously build your own relationship with it.

Slow down here. Don’t rush. This is hallowed ground.

Be curious about about your fear and the sensations in your body. Is it really fear you are feeling? Ask it questions and check how true the response is. Dialogue with it.

Investigate your beliefs about taking a risk or achieving success.

Feel your way through it into your own power. It’s right there waiting for you.

Is there something you’re afraid of that’s holding you back? I’d love the opportunity to support you through it.  Consider working with me 1:1.

With love and courage,

kym2 copy.png