Everyone you meet

It’s been awhile since I wrote a post. Working shift work in a new job , which I am enjoying. I’m also working hard on myself. Swimming everyday, ahhh what joy that routine is. Swimming is my time. It’s scared. I have learnt to its a time I don’t share with anyone. No one. Just me playing in the waves like a dolphin.

I am reading books that are good for my growth. Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill. Ultimate you by Sharon Pearson. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. I find myself slowly opening up to the lessons.

I look back on the last year and can now acknowledge just how fucking amazing I am. Every time I fell down this year I have gotten back up. Determined to turn my pain into power. Resilient beyond words. Acknowledging my beautiful heart, my kindness, my love for humanity, my love of dogs, cats, the native animals of the country i was born in and love.

I have noticed that if I open myself up to learning I learn something every single day. Most of the time it’s from somebody I have had a conversation with. Whether it’s how passionate they are about their job, or their knowledge about a certain subject, or the love they have for a family member or how they have dealt with something with grace and confidence. I’m also learning to have boundaries. I know I have written about these things before, and I’m writing about it all again. Because it’s important. Boundaries aren’t just about telling others how to treat you . Boundaries are also about showing up for YOURSELF. I am finding every time I do this something happens inside me. A confidence.

Putting my hands over my heart and breathing deep and saying I love you, acknowledging my beautiful qualities.

Being grateful for all those that have checked in on me. The beautiful souls that have turned up in my life whether it was for a short time or reappeared in my life , all of them are support and love . In their own way , they are saying keep going warrior. There are also people that have come into my life to push me to instil boundaries. To make me say . No more. I deserve better. I’m done. I’m thankful for them to. We don’t grow when it’s rainbow and butterflies. We grow when shit gets hard, real fuckin hard.

So my challenge for you is to acknowledge the warrior in yourself. Put your hands on your heart and breath. Breath in peace and love. Breath out the tension. Start noticing people showing up in your life. Ask yourself what’s the lesson here? Because there is one. You may have to let go for resentment or anger. If you need to go to therapy, do it. You may need to start showing up for yourself. Because I hate break it to you, it’s no one else’s job to save you. That’s your job. If happiness and contentment are your aim start showing up for yourself. Be accountable, for the mistakes and the strength and victories.

It’s hard. But so fuckin worth it.

Be kind

And remember I love you and myself.

Music

Music . I love songs with stories. I have been thinking of how we all resonate with different types of music. When I was growing up we would often put on Neil Diamond or ABBA, Australian legend Slim Dusty. I find myself having a lot of different music on my playlist. From heavy metal , jazz ,country . Keith Urban, Travis Collins, The McClymonts, but then my brother shared a song with me , by a band called Type O negative – Christian woman, which I loved, so that got added to the playlist. Creeds weathered spoke to my soul on a level that no other song did at the time. David Bowie and Freddie Mercury’s song “under pressure “ has been on my playlist. Midnight oil. Asking Alexandria- alone in a room. Rage against the machine- killing in the name. Limp Bizkit my generation. Pink – hustle so many, so so many.

What ever I’m going through music has been a constant companion for me since I was a teenager. It doesn’t matter if you love classical, jazz ,pop, rock, alternate, heavy metal, death metal, country, all of it speaks to your heart and soul. There is a song out there for every human affliction. I find that amazing. I love walking down the street completely absorbed in a song, I do get stares and sometimes a smile. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes you gotta dance like no one is watching.( most people aren’t watching they are looking at their phones)

I’m grateful for music. I love music. I have cried, sobbed, danced, dreamed, fallen asleep, driven thousands of kilometres, I have danced and swayed my children, I have loved to music. There is something so magical about music.

So the next time you listen to your favourite band enjoy it in its wholeness, enjoy and embrace that moment of complete connectedness with that song.

Be kind

And remember I love you

What swimming everyday has taught me.

I was told 7 months ago that I need to be in the water. I need to swim. Ok no worries I thought I love being in the water. So I started as you all know I did a blog post on it. But then I stopped because it was winter and too cold. So after winter was done and dusted I started.

I started at the local salt water pool. It was boring for me, I do admire the people that can do laps. All of them , from my observation are slim and fit. For me I needed more of a challenge. So I went to the rock pool next to the pool. Ahhh I loved it. One day I thought, “ya know I might go to the beach” . Now, I was born in Wollongong and the beach was only 10 minutes drive from where I grew up. I hated the sand getting in places sand doesn’t belong and the salt water getting in my eyes and the waves coming at a rate I couldn’t deal with.

But this time, we’ll , this time is so different. I love the sand so soft on my feet the moment I step on to it. Walk to the spot where I put my backpack. Ya know right between the red and yellow flags. My maternal grandfather was a lifesaver and avid body surfer, from what I have been told. So I invited him to come with me, even though he passed away a long time before I was born. I ask him to keep me safe in the water because the surf can be a dangerous place. I think he enjoys it. I have fallen in love with the surf. As I approach the surf I greet it saying “hello aren’t you beautiful!”

At the beginning I would meditate on things I wanted to deal with. Ground myself by lying on the sand. Lay there with the rhythm of the waves . Grounding and surrendering myself , the hurt and the pain. Something happened that I wasn’t on any level expecting. People would greet me say hello. I started to come out of my shell of self protection. Now I’m the one saying hello. Greeting women in the change rooms. Having a chat with them and wishing them a great day. In the change room I have thanked women for talking to me.” Thank you for the chat , being a survivor of domestic violence it has helped me see the sun shine , I have felt so safe.”

I have had people call me brave for going in the surf, days like today where people have said it was rough, I didn’t think so. But it was for them. Days like today where there was lots of seaweed. I play and frolick like a dolphin in the waves. Soaking it all up.

I look back on the last 6 weeks and see that , every single day I have turned up for myself. In my own way I have said no matter what is going on swimming everyday is a priority. In doing so I have been able to make decisions with confidence. Knowing that I can. That I can . That I can. Being kind along the journey is so vitality important to me. I read a meme social media.

It goes something like this. Even though life is cruel sometimes don’t let it make you hard and mean. I take this to heart. Because in a world where capitalism, power, control and red tape rule , it’s easy to become hard and bitter. I have had to work on bitterness myself. But the more beauty I see in others , the more beauty comes to me.

One other morning routine I’m doing which I believe to be a result of shown up for myself every day, by swimming is listen to affirmations I have been doing this solidly for 2 weeks now and the result are amazing. Beautiful people are turning up in my life. I see things in people that I haven’t before.

I can honestly say that what has happened to me in the last year is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Things that had me scared before no longer scare me. Fear is a liar. And a big one. I’m not talking about that fear that makes you stop when your life is in danger. I’m talking about that fear that literally stops you from living life. I have lived liked that for a lot of my life and I refuse to do it anymore.

So stand up and be proud of of yourself. You carry a lot on your shoulders and that’s ok. I think you are amazing and a legend for making it thus far. Speak kindly to other and wish them well on their day it ,changes your life and the lives of others on person at a time.

Be kind my darlings

And remember I love you

I’m so proud of myself !

I had a conversation yesterday with someone who made me look at myself , in such a way that I realised just how strong and resilient I am. I looked at where I was this time last year and where I am now. Wow! What a different person I am.

This time last year I was sending messages to my children telling how much loved them, with such an ache in my heart, thinking I would never see them again. I was writing letters to my father , like it was my last confession. Please ask my siblings to forgive all the things I have said to them in anger. Tell them I love them dearly.

It has been a year of such beauty! It has been a year of such growth! It has been a year of breakthroughs. It has been a year of learning about boundaries not just to put in place for others but for myself. It has been a year of learning that I am beautiful and kind. Learning about wrapping myself up in love , looking at my strengths and being proud of them. It’s been a year of forgiving myself.

This week I have learned what I have achieved in my own growth , is something that I need to be proud of. My commitment to myself. To love and cherished the space and time I put into me.

My swimming in the ocean every single day. I have fallen in love with this special time. Diving under the waves. Watching how the wave builds up. I honestly marvel at this. Such rhythm. So beautiful. I get washed of all the bullshit in my head. Sometimes it’s like doing a full on work out at the gym. The waves are strong and I have to always be aware of the next one coming. Other times I could lay there floating, soaking in the peace. Some people I have spoken to ,are amazed I do this. I suppose their thinking is it’s dangerous. One person called me dangerous dan. Which I found funny in a way.

I’m learning to let go of a lot of stuff that in the past I would have gotten caught up in. I’m learning to be thankful for interactions with others that deeply affect me in a positive way. They may never know the affect they have had, nevertheless I am so thankful. I’m proud of every single fucking time I got up off the ground , laying on my stomach with my face in the mud. Finding that small speck of strength and resilience, that says” Not today, you mothefucker. Not today” I’m thankful for the people who have shown me , that I am a leader. I’m thankful so thankful for my determination to learn from what I have been through, to come out the other side healthy and strong. To have healthy boundaries, to think about things but not stew about them. To enjoy others , just as they are. To enjoy myself just as I am. I so proud of the fact that I can look at a person begging on the street and feel complete empathy for them. I give them my change. They need hope and kindness. I am a one person who will give that to them. I’m proud of going out on a Friday night on my own. Most people can’t do that. Of finding the queer space and hearing my heart and soul say “ This is home. I have found home.” All of us so unique and so individual. Celebrating each other. Supporting each other. I’m thankful for the drag queens, non-binary, lesbians and gay, for the bisexuals and queer, intersex people that turn up, that introduce themselves. For the music and acts, that make my heart sing. For the intelligent conversations and laughs that I have had.

So the next time you say to yourself, look at the work I have to do. Remember, always remember to look at how far you have come. Pat yourself on the back for the times you got up and said “Not today, mothefucker, not today.” For the times when you rested, because this is important too. For the self care and self love and the self compassion.

Be kind to yourself and others

And remember I love you

Dating…… myself…

That’s right I took myself out for dinner tonight. It’s been such an incredible crazy year. To go from a state of absolute shock and trauma to getting up determined to learn from it all.

I got up from my afternoon nap. God I love my naps! I thought I might go to the movies. The movie theatre was closed to the public, so I decided I would get myself another bra, cause the girls are hangin a little low and need some extra support , lol. Bought myself an inxs tee shirt as well. Then I went to a casual dining place. The waitress sat me so I was watching the tv. They had clips of dogs and bmx doing tricks etc. I starting laughing at some of them. I found myself really enjoying my own company. This is really different for me. I wasn’t putting pressure on myself, in any way shape or form . There was no thought of I wish I was with someone, or I wish I had a friend to go out with. I just enjoyed my own company. By the end of my meal, I was actually laughing my head off at the golfing fail clips.

You know that time when you watch something, and you just start laughing, and pretty soon people around are looking at what you laughing at and then they are laughing. Yeah well , that happened. God It felt so good!

I have come so far in this year. What used to capture my attention no longer does. My creative side is flying , I’m looking after myself in such a way that I have saved myself. Before I used to look for that someone save me , to love me. You know what? I don’t need that special someone to save me , cause I saved myself. Fuck it feels good.

Journaling, swimming everyday, meditating in the morning, creating in the mornings, this week I also start a 21 day positive affirmations by Louise Hay. They are already making a difference.

I’m thankful that I have had a chance to catch my breath. Most people don’t get that chance.

I’m thankful for friendships that have stood the test of time. I’m thankful of all of it.

The sun does shine again. And while the journey to getting my life back together isn’t over , I feel like the richest person live, I feel so grateful, support, and loved.

Be kind

And remember I love you

Why I am I doing this?

Stories are important. I love stories. I love a stories that takes me on a journey. I love stories that are inspiring, of people that have overcome such adversity , have risen above the heartbreak, oppression to shine so brightly that the world can see what is possible.

My story is one of those stories. I write this blog to shine a light on domestic violence in the lgbtqi community. I tell my story so others can see that it is possible to heal and love yourself and shine brighter than ever before ,even though you have been to hell and back. I tell my story so you can deal with the internal shame of being gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer or intersex, in a world that says you must be straight, or indentify with the body you were born with. All you need is a good man or woman etc etc.

I tell my story so you to can live a life of peace , self love , self compassion, and all good things.

On Saturday I meet someone who works for a well known organisation, they asked me who I worked for and I boldly said I started my own. The Barefoot Warrior. I felt rather vulnerable when I said this as only about 6-10 people read this blog. But I gotta start somewhere right?

My aim is to eventually have refuges for homeless lgbtqi people and low income housing, to give talks all over the world about my story and what is possible when you give yourself the love and attention that you have so lovingly given to others, even if they didn’t really deserve it. My aim is to have workshops on healthy relationships and what they look like.

It’s a huge vision. And to be honest I don’t know how it will come about. When I was living at the backpackers, the weight of responsibility, of this vision was very heavily. I have surrendered to it now. I don’t where or how. I don’t know when . All I know is ,that this is what I am meant to be doing. In my gut I know.

So remember to do something nice for yourself today. May you love yourself so completely you shine.

Be kind

And remember I love you

Reclaiming myself

A letter to my ex

I went to reclaim the night last. I nearly went home, but I didn’t. I knew I needed to take back my own power. As we starting walking all the people started shouting, this triggered me. I couldn’t talk and I looked at the ground, as the memories all came back.

The tears ran down my face. At the end of the walk and someone was on the stage talking I didn’t hear thing, the pain and grief of all I had been through was coming out. Racking sobs. They had counsellors from Relationships Australia there, I was surprised one of them noticed me. She sat next to me, grief was all she said at this point. Letting it out. Tears rolling down my face. The physical sign of the emotional.

The belittling and shouting for 10 hours a day for months on end. I never thought it would end. The times you gaslit me. The times you woke me up at 3.00am. Your paranoia . Keep the keys to my car on your body so I couldn’t leave. Your fat, greedy , lazy and useless you would say.

Well, motherfucker, I have some news for you. I out shine you on every level. I’m not lazy, or greedy and I’m far from useless.

There’s a part of me that hope you rot in hell. But really I just think you are a sad excuse for a human.

Here’s the thing. You had no right to do those things. And no one will ever so that to me again. Family friend or lover. EVER.

I’m going to be kind to me

I love me

I choose me

Something to ponder

I just read an article by long time lgbtqi advocate, Jac Tomlins, about burnout and compassion fatigue. She talked about her own mental health and how she recognised compassion burnout.

What struck me about this article (apart from the fact the writer took my breath away…just saying) was how I relate to this.

Not on compassion fatigue but burnout.

I look back on my life and all I have ever done (it seems) is get back up after a hard period in my life. The first been when I was 2 with meningitis, encephalitis and measles I was in hospital for 4 months and blind when I came out of hospital for another 4 months. I was relentlessly bullied in year 3 & 4 by three boys , yes I still remember the motherfuckers names. I look back and realise that deep down I knew I liked girls at 15. I remember falling for the music teacher in year 9. Being Catholic I just buried it. Deep very very deep. I got married to a man and had 4 kids in six years then moved states twice in 4. I had learnt to eat my feelings so being fat was always a huge burden.

So after coming out at 41 I did what I always did. Got up and moved on. Relationship after relationship. Until 18/12/18. When , well , a huge turning point in my life happened.

What has happened to me in the last year, is nothing short of a blessing. I have had the choice to heal and learn my lesson. Now I could have quite easily chosen to go into another relationship.

I sat in the morning sun listening to the birds as they woke up and finally admitted to myself that this healing shit…. is fucking hard.

It is …. I’m in deep emotional pain most days in the last 2 weeks I have learnt a method of self compassion which I find absolutely amazing.But I’m also fucking burnout and tired. I’m thankful for the opportunity to come home and heal. To have the chance to put in place boundaries. I have had an opportunity to put self care deep deliberate self care in place for example: most days I spend 3-4 sewing or doing fabric art with my headphones on listening to my favourite songs (which change almost on a weekly basis) I have started to journal how I feel everyday, I swim at the beach 4-5 times a week. Dealing with burnout and trauma is not an easy road but my deep resilience is getting stronger every day.

I’m not going to fucking tolerate bullshit from motherfuckers anymore. I’m going to love myself take myself out for dinner, be a fabric artist or whatever artist I fucking choose to be. I’m going keep this blog up to show my tribe that self love and compassion is vital in life.

So my dear ones

Be kind to other and yourself

And remember I love you (and myself)

It’s going to ok.

Something quite profound has happened to me. Yesterday I had to work a bit more on the shame and hurt I felt that I had written on , in my last post. I googled shame and came upon a blog called the little Buddha. I read a post about how the writer had processed their shame. I did what they had said they had done.

I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you

So I wrote all the things I was sorry about. Things I had done to myself or took upon myself, that weren’t mine to take on. I forgave myself for things I had been hanging on to. I thanked myself for the things I was proud of. And lastly I told myself …. I LOVE YOU.

I felt so relieved. At peace.

Today I did a jewellery making course. Over the progression of the day as the ring I was making was coming to life. I decided to make this a sign of commitment to myself.

From this day forward I promise to love myself . I promise to do some kind of self care everyday. I promise to listen and hear myself.

This is profound for me. This is life changing .

Sitting quietly and wrapping myself up in love. No thoughts. Just love.

Nothing has changed, as in I still live with Dad, I still don’t have a job. But here’s the thing. Its going to be ok. Everything is coming together. I’m ok. I’m ok. I’m ok.

Be kind

And remember I LOVE YOU (& ME)

The struggle The shame

I sit here this morning ,with a warm wind blowing. In my counseling session yesterday, we talked of all that’s going on in my life at the moment, events that shoot stress levels through the roof. I have 5 major things going on.

At this point , my head thinks it will never end, my heart knows it will. I have come through it ,in the past and I will again. I want to come through all of this with a healthy mind set.

This session addressed the issue of my upbringing from a perspective of being Catholic and my parents. I’m not criticising my parents here, they did the best they could with what they had. My father and I had a conversation about me being a lesbian. He was talking about about a story of a woman who waited till she was 50 to find the “right” man. Suggesting that I should do the same. I said “Dad your forgetting I’m gay” to which he responded “well, it hasn’t exactly worked out for you, has it?” I responded by saying “you are assuming it’s a choice.”

The counsellor, enlightened me, that dad was contemptuous in his attitude. She showed me that most of the people I have been with, have in their own way, dismissed what I have to say, and feel or indeed who I am and refused to or can’t hear me. Attached to this is an internal, deep, soul crushing shame. Let me tell you something, it was so painful to acknowledge that pain. The hurt. The rejection. I wrote in a journal , of how my head instantly wants to make these expectations happen. To make him happy by being straight. But I can’t.

By the end of yesterday, I sat with those feelings, I acknowledged them. And something quite miraculous happened. They went away.

A little voice popped up. This is who I am. In the depths of my soul I’m at peace with that. There is not compromise here.

I have written about shame before, religion from my perspective destroys people, deeply ingrained beliefs that you aren’t good enough you are sinful, you should do things this way or that way. I mean no disrespect to those of you that follow a religion. This is what I have learned in my journey.

I have a deep set of values ,they are good values. We are on this journey of life to love and be kind. Especially to ourselves. Which I am learning to do. I am so critical of myself. It’s time to wrap myself up with love and be kind to myself. It’s like surgery. Micro surgery at that. But I am determined to love me for the person I am.

Be kind

And remember I love you

K