Your Story Matters
Stories are bridges where we can meet, a light for those walking behind us on the path, and our legacy to the world. Your story matters.
Dr Lynika Cruz
“A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.“ ~Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)
The single most important key to success, sustenance and growth in ANY area of your life is this:
If you aren’t sustaining your self and your own needs, if you’re not feeding the hungry parts of your own being and treating yourself with respect, dignity and support then I’m here to tell you, loud and clear.. what you have going on there is a case of neglect.
Let’s get this straight right off the bat:
Self compassion is not selfish, it’s imperative.
Self compassion is not self indulgence..
And while we’re at it, let’s also be super clear that healthy doses of self indulgence are not the evil spawn of a self-obsessed Chucky doll.
When it comes to being our number one support act, it has nothing to do with being superficial or self-centred.
In fact, the opposite is true..
A good, solid, healthy sense of self, ensures we are genuinely able and available to help others, without feeling stretched and stressed to the max.
Think about this, if throughout each day you regularly told the people who look up to you, the ones that turn to you for support and validation.. things like this:
You’re no good at anything ..what an idiot you are.. what were you thinking..nobody will want to listen to you, buy your product/art/book.. gees you’re so stupid.. I’m sure everyones talking/laughing about you… you’ll never make it like he/she has.. gosh you’re so old/fat/skinny/ ugly/stupid/dumb/hopeless/sensitive/weird/useless.. you shouldn’t bother trying in the first place.. etc etc
Can you see the slumped shoulders, the self doubt, the hurt, the anxiousness, nerves and timidity that would hang around their shoulders like a cement weight?
And yes, that’s exactly what’s happening to that amazing, magnificent, hopeful person who’s listening to everything you’re saying to them..
Everything, you say to yourself, you hear, everything you throw at yourself, you bear the brunt off, every put down and doubt you shove your way, you put on and wear like uniform for a school called fail.
Now wait a minute.. don’t take this as another reason to beat yourself up. No.
Take stock, wake up and replace the bindis with roses, better yet plant only things that will grow you without any thorns..
When you realise a mistake and you learn from it and move on it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a lesson and lessons are good. They help us improve and grow stronger and move onward.
So forget anything you’ve been (wrongly) advised or had drummed into you about self-support being selfish.
That advice was untrue scramble.. unfortunately told to you by folk who were too scared to care for themselves and sadly believed they had to teach you the same thing.
Time to be a hero baby! YOURS.
You won’t believe or recognise yourself and your world when you start to champion yourself.
This means being there and telling yourself the right things, encouraging yourself the way you do others that you care about.
If you did something majorly silly or unfortunate, be kind and learn from it.
Don’t treat yourself any different to your best friend, your child, your partner or a much loved sibling.
Champion, encourage, sympathise, support and be fair. Most of all give yourself good advice and don’t be a bully.
At the end of the day.. tell yourself ‘Hey good on you sunshine, you sure gave it a good shot out there’
Life is challenging enough, make sure you’re on your own side in the playground.
Turn the key.. you’re waiting..it’s the most fabulous, powerful door you’ll EVER open.
and turn this…
“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen
“Live authentically. Why would you continue to compromise something that’s beautiful to create something that is fake.”
Yes… and remember to teach and guide others to find the longing, authenticity and passion within, how to reach down into the dark bones and draw themselves up.
Like water deep in the well, the rope sometimes unravels a long way down.
But if we trust and reel in, hand over hand what is in the depths of that.. if we lift that weighted bucket to the surface, to the light, then we can truly be quenched.
And we can carry that to others, let them sip from what we truly bring.
And in doing so they learn, how to kneel at their well, how to draw, how to fill and spill their goodness across this planet.
You, YOU matter ♥
Life is happening right this second, this moment.
This very moment right here, right now, is where you are actually ALIVE and living.
We spend so much time thinking and planning ahead that we sometimes don’t realise we have accidentally abandoned our current life and moved there.
Moved to a place that doesn’t have solid, earthy goodness filling you up and sweet, present, ecstatic joy slapping you in the face with a big happy kiss.
Planning ahead is important but be careful not to live there.
We lose precious moments on words and half sentences like these:
*As soon as..
Meanwhile those lost moments accumulate and turn into days, then weeks, months, years until one day you realise
These moments are my LIFE.
Go outside for a moment, really, get up, look out the window if you’re in a blizzard or heatwave, but LOOK out there, look at life, it’s happening right now around you and TO you.
The loose leaf, the sudden dot of a small bird lifting against the sky, the rustle or stillness of this very moment and your own heart beating in your chest, right now. THIS is living.
And it’s happening NOW.
Be happy in it. Satisfied even.. take one small moment if you will and just LOVE it.
Turn it over for a brief second and say out loud, in this moment, this very moment I’m alive and I am noticing it and feeling it.
Now breathe and breathe and breathe.
Life is brief, live it W I D E and DEEP you gorgeous, magnificent, amazing miracle!
“Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the words – the words live on for as long as there are readers to see them, audiences to hear them. It is immortality by proxy. It is not really a bad deal, all things considered.”
~ J. Michael Straczynski
“Is life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves?”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
In November 2008 I did a free write on ‘why I write.’Each time there was any hint of a pause in my pen I would begin again with ‘I write because…’ and as a result the piece below was formed.
What drives you to do the things you love?
Sitting down and writing about it this way is a good, sturdy path for taking you into the voice beneath your own passion.
You may be surprised how much it has to say.
Why I Write…
I write because it was the earliest tool I had, and it went unnoticed, I could do it at school or home and it looked like I was doing my studies. I could write poems, feelings and questions on trees in the deep scrub and walk away.
I write because I knew early I had something I needed to leave behind and not store within me. I write because it’s the one place I can say exactly what I mean in the right way with the right words.
I write because nobody said I couldn’t and a pen was safe. I write because no one knew who I was and everyone looked at me through a weird distorted window and I learned they couldn’t hear me when I told them ‘that’s not who I am’ so I wrote.
I write because it’s who I am, I am notebooks with sentences and pens with ink.
I write because I can make a page become a song or a home for someone inside me that never had a place safe to go and call their own.
I write because I am a writer, I am a poet and poetry is my tribe and writing is my tent and my fire and my bed. I write because it is the link between me and the people who I am most likely to connect with though we may never meet.
I write because strokes and shapes on a page can free prisoners, give people back their lives, open eyes, restore faith, make a home for the forgotten, a voice for the mute or silenced, a cradle for the broken hearted, a door to open on a place closed for too long, an invitation which says ‘you are welcome here, you belong.’
I write because everything else has conditions and risks, writing won’t tell me I’m ‘too much’ or ‘not good enough’ it won’t tell me to stop crying or missing the dead, it won’t wake up one day and leave me standing on the side of the road with nothing.
I write because I can visit my Father safely through the page even though he’s no longer on earth, I can talk to my mother before she had the strokes which made her forget who everyone was, I can warn my sister, please, don’t go to the station alone at night, I can stand at the cottage at Mooloolaba and not let Dave go, I can hold my children as babies, I can go anywhere I need, back down streets, climb old trees, find my younger self on that street and tell her the truth .
I write because it is the most authentic me I can be, I write because it is my real world, I write because it is the land I understand.
I write because I am lucky, I can get paper, pencils, pens, notebooks, I can write anywhere at any time, I can write what I want, I have the right and freedom to and others don’t always have these things and I write for the reminder of my freedom for the reminder of how huge a freedom it is.
I write because I can picture the dark cell, the damp floor and the barred windows too small for warm light. I write because I can hear that voice in the trapped heart.
I write because it matters, because it is something I can leave behind yet carry with me.
I write because I have something to say, I write because there will always be more stories than time to record them.
I write because it makes a difference, I write because I have so much to tell you and more keeps adding to it all the time.
I write because I’m not afraid to tell the truth, I write because my life is worthwhile because my life is worth it.
I write because if helps one person say ‘yes, yes that’s how I feel’ or ‘that happened to me too, I thought I was alone’
If it can move people in some way, if it makes them cry or laugh or feel, if it makes them pick up a pen or paintbrush or guitar, if it makes one person feel less lonely, less unheard, it’s worth it.
I write because writing shows me who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve been most secretly hiding, wanting, avoiding, desiring, it surprises me.
I write to be a vessel, I write for all these reasons and more and for reasons I don’t know and might never know.
I write because I come alive when it’s me and the pen and the page and the light and the moment.
Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.
Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.
Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don’t have a baby,
call you a bum.
The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else’s mannerisms
is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you’re certified a dentist.
The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.