Tag Archives: grief

The Power of Letting go…..

For those of you who follow the “astrological” weather you will know that we have had quite a significant eclipse over the weekend. For me and many of you, this eclipse and the weeks leading up it has been all about letting go.

Letting go of patterns of behaviour that don’t serve you

Letting go of out dated ideas and ways of being

Letting go of self judgement

Letting go of controlling people and situations

Letting go of needing to know how it will all turn out.

Letting go of people, places and things that are no longer right for you

Letting go of defining yourself by your past

I’m sure if you are reading this then you will relate to at least one if not all of the above.

True change comes when we are really able to let go of what no longer serves us. To do this we must not only know and understand what it is that is holding us back but also what it is costing us to continue to think and act from this place.

We also have to get really comfortable with what life feels like without our old way of being, thinking and doing. Our limiting ideas, behaviours and beliefs can feel a lot like a small childs “blankie” there is comfort in the familiarity of what we know, even if we also know it’s not right for us.

Letting go can feel initially exposing. Like you are standing naked in front of a room full of people.  There is an opening between what we have let go and the new way of being that will replace it. This can feel scary but it is also your golden opportunity to embrace what it is you really want.

For me the letting go has been about releasing all of the ways Ihold myself back from life, love and creating what I want in my business.  In the opening between the letting go and what is next I have felt my heart expand with self compassion, self-love and self-care. I no longer feel the need to judge my results against those of other people or other people’s expectations.

The letting go has gifted me a new level of clarity that I hadn’t expected. I feel clearer about they ways in which I have limited myself. I feel less tangled in the web of my life and much more like I am guiding the ship.

I can see from this vantage point that my life to this point has been very much about love. Being loved, giving love, loving myself, supporting others to feel loved and to offer themselves love and compassion for their experience.

When I work with my clients I am guiding them back to their own hearts, supporting them to uncover what it is they hold deep inside. Allowing healing and lovingly witnessing that which needs to be healed.

I have heard said more than once that grief is the price of love and in my own life I know this to be true. However what this idea doesn’t offer is that grief is also the gift that opens you up to more love. Whenever we lose that which is important to us we have the opportunity to expand. To know that our heart has the capacity to not only heal but to also grow from the experience of loss. The truth is that loss never really leaves us, it remains in our hearts as a reminder of what we have healed and how much we have expanded our capacity to love.

In letting go we can experience this too. We can experience more love, more life and a greater sense of purpose.

Ultimately what I am trying to say here is don’t hold on too tightly to that which you need to let go. Dont let loss, fear or self judgement be the defining experiences in your life. Allow yourself to expand beyond that which has hurt you whether it is a physical experience or a self-limiting belief.

I promise that on the other side of letting go is more freedom and more love than you ever believed you can experience.

Let the power of letting go work its magic in your life.

Paula xx

Are you struggling to let go of what you know is holding you back? I offer a few free 30min Intuitive insight sessions each month where we can talk about whats happening for you and unravel your experiences together. You can book your free spot here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Love teaches you

Breakfast Blog#3 This blog post was written over a Salmon Bene Breakfast at Gentle Giant in Ferry Road Christchurch.

Love and Marriage……

Last weekend the world witnessed Harry marry Meghan.

In this day and age such a formal ceremony seems out of place and almost comical. But what doesn’t change is the unerring fact that we humans are driven in one way or another to find love, to couple and to commit. Love has changed but the desire to know we have at least one other human who will stand beside us and be on our team has not.

Some of us are more successful at this than others and I wonder how well Harry and Meghan’s bond will stand up against the pressures of public life.

At 48 and ½ I am not without my love scars. I married my first love at 23 and divorced him at 27. I spent a large part of my early thirties celibate by choice, love jaded, dazed and confused. I married again the week I turned 40 to my best friend and the man I believed I would grow old with, by 43 I was a widow.

The last couple of years has seen me dive once again into the world of romance and internet dating (I’m not sure that those two go together in a sentence!) and I have learnt that older does not necessarily make you wiser when it comes to love.  Why do we keep doing it? Why not give up on love altogether? Because deep down in my soul I know I am not meant to navigate this life solo and I suspect many of you feel the same.

AND I learn more about myself in relationships than in any other single part of my life.  All my most important life lessons have come from being in a relationship. Maybe my love life lessons can save you some pain!

Relationships have taught me….

  • It’s the things that really annoy you about your partner that you will miss the most when they are gone. This is the greatest truth I can share with you. It will break your heart that no one leaves wet towels on the floor or squeezes the toothpaste in the middle when it is over. This truth is amplified tenfold if your love passes away. My advice learn to let this stuff go. It eats away at the bond you have with your love and in the big scheme of things its so not important!
  • Its possible to love with a broken heart. Often we shie away from new relationships when we have been hurt or our lover has died. We think that it will be too painful, we are afraid to risk the hurt again. By holding yourself back from love because of painful experiences you lose the opportunity to know that your heart can expand and heal and hold both painful and joyful experiences side by side. You lose the opportunity to build resilience and you may also be missing out on something really really special
  • Triggers are your roadmap to your own soul. When you fall in love, your partner will trigger you something shocking. You will feel that they don’t care enough, or that they don’t show you affection enough or that they just don’t understand you. You will likely use these ideas as an excuse to start a fight or even to end something that has the potential to be really lifechanging. When your partner triggers all your fears and neediness this is your soul calling you to take care of yourself. I didn’t really understand this until recently. I had experienced it a number of times and had begun to believe that I just needed too much from a relationship. But when I allowed myself to stand back from the situation I was able to see that it was a part of me that needed my attention. It was not my partner withholding or not giving. I needed myself, I needed something only I could give me.
  • Letting yourself receive will bring you unexpected joy. Relationships are about giving and receiving. In a perfect world we would get this in balance, sometimes giving sometimes receiving but the reality is some of us tend to overgive and/or deflect rather than receive. We can also fall prey to the habit of putting conditions on what we are prepared to receive. Our partner can give us all the hugs in the world but if we really want them to tell us how they feel or to help around the house those hugs will feel empty and probably make you angry. You have some choices here…. Articulate your needs, let your partner know what you want from them and then give them space to step forward. Allow yourself to receive what your partner wants to give. If we are always in the space of why doesn’t He/she do this or that….. we don’t get to experience the way our partner loves. Know that the conditions you are putting on your partner are actually that parts of yourself that need your own attention and allow yourself to receive what your partner is giving to you.
  • Never make a rash decision in the heat of the moment you might regret later. Its normal to have arguments or to feel frustrated with your partner from time to time. This does not mean your relationships needs to end. Take the time you need to really understand what is going on for both of you before you make any decisions you cant change.

So with the nuptials over Harry and Meghan will now have to navigate the waters of married life. My they have smooth seas and just enough storms to teach them how to love each other really well.

And if the recent wedding fever in the media has called you to question whether its time to reconsider your single status then my advice is to be brave and boldly step back into the love game. You have everything to gain and probably like me still lots to learn!

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return ~Eden Ahbez

Paula xx

Do you have questions? Would you like a little more support as you navigate your relationships? Did you know that I offer a few free 30min Intuitive insight sessions each month where we can talk about whats happening for you and unravel your experiences together. You can book your free spot here

 

Finding Your “Why”

I can safely say that I am more engaged in what I do than I have ever been in any job or business I have had in the past. I love the level of engagement I feel in what I do and that every day I get up and go to “work” with a level of excitement and enthusiasm I only imagined existed. So how did this come about? What is this nirvana of “love what I do ” that I am currently experiencing? The key reason for my current level of joy and satisfaction in what I do is that I have a strong connection to why I am doing it. I have found my “why”

Having a compelling “why” is something that I coach my clients on frequently but it isn’t always easy to nail down exactly what it is for people. We all have different values and beliefs and things that we want to do, be and have in life. One “why” does not fit all!

So how do you find your own? I’d like to tell you the story of my why and I hope it will lead you just a little. It closer to discovering your own.

31/2 years ago my husband died of cancer. Now there are a lot of experiences that go hand in hand with the kind of loss I have been through but one of the real gifts was that it lead me to my why. When I lost Ande for a period of some months I couldn’t understand why I was still here. He was my purpose and without him I felt I had no function. However as time past and I began to heal I began to realize that he was in fact still my purpose. He was a beautiful, intelligent, caring and giving human being who died at age 45 with a lot of his music still inside him but I am still a living and I have the chance to not do that. I have the chance because of him to be, do and have all that I really want in my life. The best way for me to honor him and his memory is to be true to myself and to truly be me in each and every moment.

So I began to ask myself the question – Who am I really?, What are my values?, What do I want to create? What have all my experiences to this point shown me?

I came to know that freedom and authenticity are two of my strongest values. I began to feel how much I need to set my own timetable and how constrained certain things in my life made me feel. I discovered how much I love supporting others to reclaim their truth and to connect with who they are and express that in their life and business. I saw that my working life held some patterns that revealed to me something  I was observing not only in my own life but in the lives of people I was working with.

Ande became my purpose once again but he also became much more than that. Losing him guided me back to myself and to realising what success truly means for me and that to do that for other people would take my breath away.

So now I create a life that I love and although Ande still remains my anchor point my connection to my desire to lead others to deep experiences of success is why I get up each and every day with a spring in my step and the fact that doing that allows me to live in alignment with my values of freedom, authenticity, fairness, love and truth is the icing on the cake.

How will my story help you find your”why”? please don’t think that to get there you need to experience any kind of loss in your life because you don’t. All you need to do is to get curious. Get curious about what drives you, what your values are and whether you are living your life by them. Get curious about what makes you feel good and what makes time fly for you. Try a few “why’s on for size and see if they fit. Treat the whole process as an experiment and get really good at noticing what is being revealed to you. Taking a step back and viewing your life and your choices in this way will lead you to not only know yourself better and feel a greater sense of purpose it will lead you to your why.

If you would like support to find your wyh I’d love to help, book a free clarity call with me over on my website www.paulamcfarlane.com or if you are in Christchurch join my next Love your Biz Group coaching program that begins on 11th October. Info also on the website.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2

 

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Dont Die with you Music Still in you

This time last year I had just returned from Hawaii where I had the great honor of learning from the late Wayne Dyer at the Hay House Writers workshop. Wayne’s words have been on my mind this week as I have been gearing back into creation mode after my break in Indonesia. Wayne talked about one of the his key motivators in life being a message he wrote to himself after reading Leo Tolstoy’s “The death off Ivan Illycich” which had been given to him by his Uncle Bill. ( you can hear Wayne talk about this here https://vimeo.com/19672457)

The message  ” Don’t die with your music still in you”

This statement resonates with me on so many levels. We all have so much unshared, untapped talent, wisdom and insight that we keep to ourselves and don’t express. We hold on to our gold because of feelings of not being good enough. We let our fears get in the way of what it is we truly want to do or be in our lives.

I bet even in this very moment as you are reading this you are aware of a part of yourself that you don’t give life to, or a talent or desire that you keep on the back burner. You allow your job or circumstances to take precedent over what you really love and what you are really good at.

Sometimes we just get in our own way. We are afraid of what other people will think or what it will mean for our lives or our families.

I totally understand this

I get it

I have done it myself and still do in certain areas but less and less.

For me losing some very precious souls over the years has shown me how much it costs us mentally, physically and emotionally to deny parts of ourselves, to deny what we truly desire. I have been struck by how much the world has lost when these same loved ones have passed without ever really sharing themselves fully with the world.

It breaks my heart to know that others wont remember them for who they really were, they will remember who it was they allowed the world to see.

It broke my heart until I realised I could do something about it.

I could be part of the solution not part of the problem. I could do something about it by sharing myself more fully with the world. By sharing my talents and skills and by showing up as myself, no cover up, no disguise or what is “acceptable”

I could do something about it by supporting others to share their music too.

It has felt scary. It has felt vulnerable and it still does some days but it has also lead me into a new career that I love. It has given me the job of supporting others to share themselves with the world. To share their music from a foundation of what feels right for them and what is true for them.

I have been given the gift of self-examination. I have 46 years of experience of calling myself to understand more, to feel more, to do more and to be more. Life has become my toolbox for working with others, for uncovering truth, values, deciphering the code of fears and blocks and stuckness.

I am intimately acquainted with the challenges of change and loss and grief. My painful experiences serve as a balm to soothe and hold others through their own. I feel very blessed to walk this path.

I feel blessed that I can honor those I have lost and support those who feel called to work with me through my own understanding of why this is so important. Why you and me and you and you and you and you all have something very special to bring to the world, to your family and your community but most importantly to yourself.

Your impact as an individual in this life you are living can never be underestimated.

So lets write that symphony that’s inside you, lets gather the notes that are your music and find a way to bring it forward, to let your melody out into the world.

It’s never too late to answer that call within, it’s never too late to become more of who you are in any aspect of your life. Get support, make a change and most of all don’t die with your music still in you!

Paula xx

If you would like to try coaching email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz or phone me on 0274327601 to set up a complimentary 20 min call to see if it’s for you.

Full Circle Moment….

Very seldom in life do we pause long enough to catch up with ourselves, with where we are at and what we have achieved, overcome, worked through and healed. We get so caught up in the doing we forget the importance of allowing time to just “be”. I pressed the pause button this week. Paused the craziness of my work schedule to spend a week on “Fiji time”

Fiji holds a very special place in my heart. I got married here. I have travelled here in the days after severe earthquakes at home, I have spent time here with my beloved late husband and also with dear friends. This place has wound its way around my heart with its warm air, sparkling waters and smiling people. Life is always on pause here. This visit has been extra special. I have had time to write and reflect and to meet up with parts of myself that were here in this place in a different time in my life.

I have travelled far and wide in my life since my first visit to this place, from the highest of highs to the depths of my grief. Recently my attention has been drawn to posts on my Facebook feed related to grief. They have told me “grief never ends” ” you never stop grieving ” ” you don’t get over you loss you just learn to live with it” I once felt deeply connected to these themes. They touched the core of my grieving but now they feel completely incongruent with my experience . My grief has ended. I no longer feel the deep loss I once felt.

Losing my husband and all of my dreams and plans for the future was unimaginably difficult but this trip to Fiji has shown me that where I once felt loss and grief I now feel a deep gratitude for all that Ande and the loss of Ande has brought into my life. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the time with him I did, blessed to have been a part of his life. Losing him has been both a life defining and life giving experience. It has given me back myself. It has shown me that there is so much more to be experienced and enjoyed in every moment than I ever believed possible.

So never let a Facebook feed or anyone else define the process of your grief. Your grief, your loss is yours alone. It is a painful and raw experience. It may be similiar to mine or it may be completely different. The way you grieve in no way diminishes the value of the life you have lost or the place that person held in your life. Allow yourself the full spectrum of your grief, gift that to yourself.

This time Fiji has gifted me what can only be described as a full circle moment. A moment so filled with gratitude and joy that tears come again to my eyes as I write about it. I found myself standing next to myself whole and complete and healed. No longer who I once was but happy so very very happy  and stronger and braver and freer than I have ever been. I found my joy bug!

I shed my old skin here, leaving behind the parts of myself I no longer need, that no longer serve me. When I leave tomorrow it will be with a full and grateful heart. Ready to step into the new and knowing that the next time I need to press the pause button Fiji will be here waiting for me.

Bula!

Paula

Navigating your inner terrain…..

How much do you know of your inside? The core of you…What is really at the bottom of all the beliefs you hold about yourself?….all your preconceived ideas of the world and who you are in it…the choices you have made based on your conditioned experiences?

This is your inner landscape, the terrain of your heart, the place where your soul resides….do you know what it looks like?

I have been called to explore my own inner terrain this week, to climb my interior Mt Everest. This call came in the most innocuous and unexpected way. It wasn’t outstanding or miraculous, I was simply faced with one disappointment too many. I reached my tipping point!

Initially I was devastated and devastated in a way that was far more cavernous than the size of the actual disappointment which in the big scheme of things was entirely unremarkable. This small disappointment set of an avalanche of frustration, grief, sadness and despair that I had been totally unaware was waiting inside me on a hair-trigger. Waiting for just the right moment to go off. I was in pain. I was heartbroken. I cried and cried until my face ached.

And then suddenly I was empty

I was completely empty and not in a lonely I don’t know what to do with my exhausted and disappointed self way but in a peaceful, quiet, calm, you have reached the bottom of yourself way.

I have sat in this beautiful calm emptiness now for several days. I have been empty and laughing. I have been empty and joyful, empty and loving, empty and determined, empty and experiencing deep clarity and wonder. I am exploring the geography of my emptiness.

You see I am a passionate, driven, achieving, striving person. This is my modus operandi. This is what I have believed will get me what I want. I pour myself into people and projects and tasks and goals and relationships. This is who I have been all of my adult life. What happened a few days ago when I reached my tipping point was that I poured myself into one project too many and when it didn’t come off their was nothing of me left. I had run out of striving and achieving. I had run out of passion for all of the things that I used to think were important, of value and what I most desired.

If you have read this far I suspect you are wondering where this is going….to be honest I am not really sure but what I do know is that finding my empty has been liberating, possibly as liberating as reaching the summit of that mountain you have wanted to climb your whole life. I am no longer constrained by all the ideals and ideas I once thought important, defining and pivotal. I am free of the values my conditioning and experiences where holding me to.

My inside, my inner terrain feels spacious, new and yet to be discovered. I feel I can let go of expectations for myself and from others. This is where I leave behind all that I was and discover who it is I am and what I want to bring forward. Nothing is holding me back or weighing me down yet I feel no demands to rush forward.

I am enjoying this inner sanctuary, my personal mountain top. When I think about what might be ahead I feel no fear or apprehension. I feel a smile open on my face. Striving has been replaced with allowing. Action has been replaced with exploration. Fear becomes a deep trust in the internal restructuring that is occurring. I am not who I once was and I am not who I will ultimately become. It just is how it is….and its lovely.

Time to explore the hills and valleys, the mountains and rivers and oceans of myself. I am my own adventurer, pouring myself into myself.

Have you explored your inner landscape? Feel free to share in the comments below

The last sunset…or is it?

This blog post was written 10 days ago on my last night in Hawaii…it has taken me this time to feel ready to share what turned out to be a very personal reflection Enjoy!

Tonight is my last night in Hawaii. I feel I want to summarise my thoughts and feelings in my journal to share with you and what better place to do it than on the beach watching the sunset. However Mother Nature and Human Nature have conspired against me. The sunset obscured by cloud and the beach obscured by crowds!  Waikiki is an interesting beach experience and certainly no place for solitude! My retreat, the pool bar at my hotel – open air, in the warm breeze watching the madness on the street below.

Curiously I feel a little bubble of Joy and not seeing the sunset, as if the universe has taken the opportunity to remind me of the many sunsets that stretch ahead of me in my life…why finalise that experience tonight.

My thoughts turn to home and what I take forward with me. I know that I am returning a little changed, not in my essential self but in how I am prepared to show up on my return. I feel I can no longer put off what it is I want to create and in the same way, that I can no longer hide the truth of who I am.

I am aware of what I am afraid of and the things conveniently put on hold in my life when I stepped on the plane just over a week ago. There has been a lot of talk about burning desires on this holiday and I have repeatedly asked myself the question of what burns within me. This has also been a solo expedition and although I have made some wonderful new friends it has become clear to me that although I am an expert at my own company I really prefer to share my experiences. (no doubt an essential desire of any blogger!)

Before I left home I started seeing someone. A big step for me and the timing of this break if I am honest, served me. I was cautious and afraid. I am the kind of person who has embraced love in the past, diving in boots and all. This level of commitment has come at a cost, I have lost pieces of myself and my beloved husband.

My experience of losing Ande has made me afraid to risk love again. When you love someone who is terminally ill it is easy to lose yourself completely to their cause. Ande’s care and survival became my purpose. I doubt there is any other way to manage it but the all-consuming nature of it and the depth of the loss afterwards is not something I wish to repeat.

I can see now why Hawaii called me….I came here to really feel those parts of me. The parts that go missing in giving myself to another. The truth is that I am changed now. I know myself, I am clear on what is mine and what is not. I know I am enough exactly as I am. I no longer need to shape-shift myself to other people’s needs. Being utterly myself is where it is at!  Most importantly I can admit to myself that I am ready to step forward into something new. I am prepared to take a risk, to risk my heart.

I don’t know what the future holds but I do know that I am in! I am ready to live deep and live full, no matter how scary or vulnerable it feels.

Sometimes its good to put your life on pause….