Tag Archives: self-love

6 Years….

I have thought long and hard today about whether to share this letter from my journal I wrote this morning. Its a very personal outpouring of my feelings on the 6th Anniversary of my husband Ande’s passing. I am sharing this in the hope that its exactly what someone else needs to read…..Take a moment today to forget how annoying your partner is and just appreciate them for who they are and who they are not….do that for me xx

Dear Ande,

When I saw how beautiful it was this morning as I walked on to the beach with my coffee I cried. I cried becuase we never took enough time to share this kind of normal every day beauty together.

My life is not empty without you. My life was emptier without me. I have consciously worked on it these last 6 years, on building my relationship with myself, because ultimately even though you are missing in my life and I miss you, you werent my missing peice. I was.

Even if you were still here, this inner journey would have had to take place, for me to survive, for us to survive.

So much of who I am is a work in progress. Parts of me always will be.

I imagine I will always have this desire to stretch and to grow past the edges of myself and in lots of ways this is your legacy. Who I am is your legacy.

6 years ago I decided that. To make my life a tribute to you. To all they days you didnt get and to all the times you didnt share yourself, let yourself be seen, or recieve the love and respect others had for you.

You were special, your life was special, my life with you was special. I hope that you know that now. I hope that you know just how much you were loved.

I dont always get it right this legacy building. I have days when I choose to stay stuck rather than take the next step or to feel my feelings, or to stretch into my growth.

I dont always do the things I know I need to do. I am learning to show myself compassion in those times, to know that there is for me a tomorrow to try again.

I am learning to let my grief rise and fall like the tide as it needs too, my grief for you and for myself. They hold hands as they walk along the beach together.

I will never not miss you in my life. I am grateful for the way you still show up, in a dream, in a feeling or in something someone said.

I now know that missing you doesnt mean I cant have love and joy and happiness. Sometimes those things come because of missing you. The human heart, my heart, has the capacity to hold love and sadness in equal measure.

Our capacity to fill our lives with joy is only limited by the capacity with which we are prepared to be who we are. Thank you for showing me that.

In your absence you have taught me many things. The belief that you had in me has become the belief I have in myself. The love, trust and understanding you showed me have become the love, trust and understanding I show myself.

Losing you has opened within me a capacity to open to myself and to help others to open to themselves too.

Your life has blessed mine in ways neither of us could ever have imagined. Every person I help, every time I have the honor of leading someone home to the truth of who they are, you have that honor too. In honoring my clients I am honoring you.

Today I sit with sadness and beauty and loss and love and gratitude and pain and delight living in my heart in equal measure.

Thank you for walking by my side. Thank you for reminding me every day to be a little more me. We were each others rocks and you are my rock still.

Today is for you and today is beautiful

Love always

Paula xx

 

Feeling the call…….an invitation to action

I wrote today’s blog post on Sunday 23rd July, just over 30 days ago. Although at the time I wrote this post I did not publish it I did follow my own invitation to solitude. What has unfolded for me over the last 30 days has been an amazing illustration of the benefits of exactly what i wrote about in this post. I have greater clarity, I have followed my own guidance to refresh my branding and make small but important changes in my business. As a result I am happier, more engaged with my work and working and plying with a new sense of Joy and energy. I invite you to join me……………..

 

Lately I’ve been feeling the call. Soul Whispers, internal urges, that lingering sensation that it is time.

Being a widow with no children, I have a love /hate relationships with my alone-ness. As much as I crave company I also crave solitude. You would think that a person in my situation would have alone-time sorted but true solitude is not just about being the only person in the room.

It asks us to be present with whatever we are holding inside, good or bad.

For the past few weeks I have had house guests and i have allowed them to become my convenient excuse. My excuse to not meditate and to deny myself true moments of solitude.

I become aware again of my perfectionism….my need for the perfect set of circumstances to align before I set aside my Busy-ness (even when alone) and settle into some moments with myself.

What I find there in my solitude is a chance to fill up on myself, to feel the presence of my soul self and to reconnect with all that is within and around me.

It is in this place that i can draw from when I am stuck or confused or in need of some clarity. It is in this place that my intuition, desires and heart reside.

I ask myself why I avoid deep drinks from the well of solitude and my answer is a rising tangle of fear and excitement. I am afraid of the power of what lies within me, of the depth of my own presence and what it asks me to bring forward.

This age old oscillation of fear/intuition/power/darkness/light and ego is present within all of us and can manifest visibly in procrastination, resistance and putting everyone else before we give to ourselves.

This reluctance to truly own the power of our presence, keep us small, dims our light, dampens our creativity and stands in the way of our success.

Today I take a stand and say “No More” no more dulling our magnificence!

Join me in a commitment to the self and all that reveals

Join me in a conscious movement closer to yourself, your heart, your power.

Join me in action by taking steps on what is revealed

join me in walking in the face of fear and discomfort.

Join me in finding more joy, more clarity and inspiration in solitude.

Join me in the magic of rediscovering yourself!

21 Days of Solitude

Join me each day for the next 21 days as I carve out moments of solitude and share the experience on Instagram using #21daysofsolitude 

What is your default setting?

This new lifestyle I have embarked upon, so much slower than the racing pace of my former job, has given me space to really examine my own inner workings.

This has always been an area of interest to me. I have self analysed my way through life’s hurdles to this point and also accepted the support of others when I felt it necessary. Some of this has been shared here on this blog in the hope that someone else reading it might find it useful but also for the relief of spilling it onto the page. Writing is my pressure relief valve!

Last week I took a deep dive into my darkest feelings about myself. Feelings the “self help” world would call “limiting beliefs” This week I have felt lighter, extending myself the hand of understanding and gently inching forward beyond those limits.

What has persisted is a sense of restlessness. In an effort to free myself from my inability to settle into any distinct routine I have taken my own advice. I have slowed down, got acquainted with my restless feelings and I have resumed my meditation routine.

What has come from all this self contemplation is an awareness that I am waiting for instructions! I am waiting to for someone to tell me what to do next…..

After 10 years in the fast paced world of Sales where life is governed by call cycles booked 3 months ahead and targets to be measured by every step of the way, I have become very used to working to someone elses instructions. So used to it in fact that without it I have been left completely overwhelmed by the decision of what to do first, what to do next and what to do after that!

This awareness was quickly followed by another….I can give myself permission to do whatever the hell I want!

I am having to do a Factory reset on myself because all of my default settings are out of whack!

I am defaulting back to the routine of a life I no longer belong to – I don’t want to go back to and I am realising how conditioned I was to respond to life in a certain way.

There was essentially nothing wrong with this in the context of the role I was in. I was very successful and achieved results I am proud of however I no longer need to operate from the same defaults. I am in a position to take time to discover new ways of operating, new defaults settings for my working life.

My restlessness and procrastination has had a purpose to it. A deeper understanding of myself and the freedom to redesign my operating system. That’s where the JOY is! Paula Version 5.0!

Life’s greatest opportunity is that we are not limited by our default settings. We can always upgrade our operating system to perform in a more joyful way….

If we are prepared to give ourselves the time and space to discover this. To take a step back, a wider perspective, to appreciate all that we are – the good, the bad and the downright annoying! There is magic in the process I can promise you that!

Are you coming up against parts of yourself that are getting in the way of your success? Feeling stuck or blocked? I can help. email me at pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz to set up a free skype call to see if coaching is right 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

Changing the world is an Inside job!

About 8 years ago, I picked up a book in a bookshop in Invercargill. That book gave me a message that I needed to hear. “change the way you view things and the things you view will change” I felt inspired by those word, so inspired in fact that I wrote them on my hallway mirror so that I would see them every day and not forget them. They are still on my mirror today.

Those words helped me to realise that the world was not responsible for the things that were happening in my life, I was. The fullness of what this meant has taken some time to really sink it. I have oscillated from taking responsibility for everything in my life back to blaming my circumstances and those around me. Recently I am feeling this message at a new and deeper level.

The man who wrote those words and that book passed away this week and began a new journey in spirit. Dr Wayne Dyer was and inspired writer, teacher, speaker and human being. He changed the world, he started with himself.

My life, your life, is like the words on my mirror and like the mirror itself. Life is a reflection. when we don’t like what is reflected back we have a choice. We can shift our perception and change the way we view things or we can change ourselves. Both of these choices work. What doesn’t work is continuing to do what you have always done. If you don’t like your current results then why keep repeating them?

There is something in my life that I don’t like…..it has been bugging me for a while. Being strong. Yes, really…. I don’t like being strong. Being strong has brought forth experiences in my life that I have had to endure, power my way through, survive. People say to me with admiration you are so strong, you are such a strong person. I know they say this as a compliment but to me it is a reflection of what I don’t want. Being strong does not allow me my vulnerability or tenderness. It does not allow me to be supported and cared for. Being strong does not allow me to receive and to give in the way that I truly want to in the depths of my being.

What I have learnt from Dr Wayne Dyer and many of the other teachers in my life is that if you want to change the world the best place to start is with yourself.

If you want to see more peace make peace with yourself, be more peaceful

If you want more love, be more loving to yourself.

If you want more tenderness be tender with yourself.

If you want to feel supported then offer yourself support.

Ironically the hardest things are the simplest things. For me to let go of strong I need to embrace my vulnerability, my gentleness, my tenderness. I need to offer myself support and caring. This is going to take a lot of strength! lucky I am good at that 🙂 I can continue to view being strong as an obstacle to getting what I want or I can view it as a gift to support me to be all that I am.

So If you have ever watched the things that happen in your life and in the world in general and felt helpless or wondered “what can I do to change this” you can start changing the world from the inside. You can start by choosing You.

Be self loving, be generous with yourself, be more peaceful with yourself. Go within and choose YOU, this is where you can truly create a change that will spread ripples out into the world.

Let me know how it goes as I’m sure I will in future posts

Paula x

There is a well of love inside you….

I woke up at 213am this morning to the sound of snow silence. I always know the sound of snow because its so incredibly quiet outside. I got up and sure enough my lawn was coated in white. The snow silence made me think about the silence I find inside when I meditate. Its a different kind of quiet but similar in a way. This then made me think about love. Ahh the things that go through your head in the wee hours of the morning!

Relationships are hard, this is a truth. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when it comes to love. Love teaches you about all of your strengths and all of your weaknesses. I tend to love hard and sadly I have loved and lost and loved and lost a number of times. For me love and loss are intimately entwined. The fear of losing someone I love is very loud for me currently, having lost my last love to cancer.

This morning, in the wee hours, I started to write about this fear and how crippling it is for me. I liken it to pavlov’s dog, to fear loss when I feel love is my conditioned response. Yet having lost someone I loved very deeply has also gifted me many blessings. It has shown me my strength, my resilience and my instinct to survive. It gave me my voice, my writing, through which I can express things I feel but cannot always say out loud. It has taught me the true value of love. I have learnt that loss is a transit, a gateway, a new birth.

The lesson of my early morning wake up was a pertinent reminder that fear of loss in love can also be an indication that we are looking to another to meet our need for love. It is easy to look for love outside or yourself especially when someone comes along who makes you feel special and seen. When we externalise our experience of love we will always be disappointed. Regardless of the strength of your relationship there will always be times when your partner does not meet your needs and you feel hungry for love. This can lead us to do and say things we later regret, it can turn even the most level-headed of us a little cray cray! However there is a reliable source of love that will always be there for you to turn, to even in your most difficult and unloveable moments. There is a reservoir inside you. A place where you can turn to feel the connection you desire. There is a place in your heart where love resides.

It took  me a long time to discover this and sometimes I still forget. Its difficult to explain how this even works but this is what it means to love yourself first! Some would call this source of love, spirit, or god or divine love. All in know is, that when you give yourself time to find that connection in your heart, to the well of love inside you, all things that previously felt impossible suddenly become possible. This place will feed you and heal you and hold you.

This is the place I draw from when I feel afraid. When I fear loss I go to this place within and I know that I will always have love regardless of external circumstances. This well of  love inside will sustain you and then you will have nothing to fear in giving yourself to another, for it will not be from a place of need but from a place of being whole.

So the next time you feel there is not enough love or you feel afraid, take a moment,, put your hand on your heart and rest there. Breathe and if you quietly allow it, get curious and explore, you will find this well of love resides in you also.

When daylight arrived this morning, the rain had all but melted the snow away. My lawn was back to its winter greenness but the love inside has not melted away with the snow, it is there always for me and also for you.

Paula xx

Acknowledging the Ebb and Flow….

Have you ever noticed how your life has an ebb and flow? Sometimes things flow easily and you feel that everything is in alignment. All your ducks are in a row, you’re on top of it all and making things happen. Then for some reason, out of the blue, it will all shift and change and you are in a much boggier place. You feel weighed down by your responsibilities and overwhelmed by all that you need to get done. Sometimes this shift will happen quite independently of any day to day changes in your life. You can one day feel good about exactly the same things that will tomorrow feel too hard to deal with. Sometimes you just begin to feel icky inside without any apparent reason.

I have been observing this pattern within myself recently and asking the question what really changes, what really causes this shift? How can we even out the ups and downs and come to a place of greater balance.

Bringing my awareness to this has made a difference, I have become very conscious of the internal shift when it occurs. Obviously there are external demands on our lives that can affect this massively but I have also noticed that the time and attention I give to myself and my own needs has an impact as well. How we respond in times when we feel heavy and less inspired holds the key

I have a daily routine. I meditate each morning for around 10 to 15mins. I write in my journal at night before I go to sleep. These two things change the way my day goes, they change how stressed I feel and they change the way I respond to the world.

I didn’t always do these things. Although the journaling has been with me on and off for many years. What I notice is that when life starts to move away from an easy flow it will generally coincide with letting something in my routine go. These small things I do each day are acts of self-care or self- love that help me to respond to what it is I am feeling in each and every moment and this in turn guides me to actions that are in alignment with who I am and where I want to go.

If I let my routine slide I will find myself sitting in the tension of being out of sync, out of flow and feeling but not quite getting to what it is that needs my care inside. In the past I have been so uncomfortable with the internal feeling of tension that I have tried to block it with food, or TV or a couple of glasses of wine. I will procrastinate and avoid and generally behave in a way that isn’t productive. I do these things to distract myself from the icky feeling of tension but they do not offer a solution, the tension remains and becomes louder.

Recently I have changed my approach. I now recognise the tension as a signal that I need more of myself that some part of me requires my attention and the best way to shift to a lighter frequency is to address that. I still resist taking action for a while and I need to approach myself gently with a hot bath or some gentle music. This will generally assist me to a deeper level of supporting myself to find what it is this tension is trying to tell me. I can move to journaling or meditation or sometimes, I just suddenly become aware of what it is I need to do.

We have some much more power to change our experience that we can ever imagine. Feeling a downward spiral in your energy is, in my experience a gift. There is gold there waiting to be revealed. It may be a need that is not being met or that some change is necessary, that you need to reach out for support or that you have drifted to far from what it is your heart truly desires.

Internal turmoil is an invitation to respond to life differently, to make another choice, a choice to support yourself especially the most vulnerable parts of you. The parts that carry your hopes and dreams and also your wounds. Each of these moments is a chance to heal inside to bring your dreams to life and to live deeper.

So I invite you to test your own waters. The next time you find you have shifted into a boggy energy or that you are out of the flow and feeling down or grumpy with life. Pause for a moment and ask yourself, what is it that I need? What is it within me that needs my attention? Try out a few small acts of self-care, a walk, a hot bath, or early night. Start the process of internal dialogue, love yourself enough to know you deserve your own time and attention and let me know in the comments below what changes for you…..what is revealed that you didn’t expect…. How quickly you are able to shift back to joy

Paula xx

You are beautiful, You are Perfect, You are Loved…..

Where is your anchor point?

Where do you hang the hat of your self worth?

Do you look to the world to show you that you are valued?

Do you need the approval of others to feel love?

I overheard a conversation at the hairdressers the other day….One Mum asking another “what makes children tell lies?” the timing of this overhearing set off a series of clicks in my consciousness. I had had a week of observing some of the most important people in my world struggle with their own sense of self worth. I know this groove myself, like a well worn pair of shoes. The endless cycle of negative self talk, feeling unloved, struggling with body image, trying so hard to be perfect, looking for everyone else’s approval and never feeling good enough.

So how is this related to my overheard conversation? So much of our experience as an adult comes back to what occurred when we were small. This pattern of low self esteem and low self worth all begins with our attempts as small children to make our parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/teachers happy.

A child will tell you a lie if that’s when they think you want to hear. As a child you learn very quickly what elicits a positive response from the world around you,and also what will ellicit a negative consequence. From a child’s eye view the world is simple…”what I do that gets love and approval is good about me and what I do that gets me in trouble is bad about me”.. As a child we simply desire love and approval and sometimes this means changing ourselves to fit within prescribed limits. We learn to censor our spirit, to be seen and not heard, to supress our nature to comply with the world. We channel our energy not into what makes our heart sing but into what gains us the most love and approval. We learn that self worth comes from outside ourselves.

This is understandable, as a child it is very hard to make sense of the complex adult world and the relationships in it. We all still have a small child inside of us with unrealised dreams and sometimes a trampled spirit and a heart that is confused about how to be loved.

The truth is that we arrive in this world divinely perfect in every way. That divine spirit still resides within all of us. We do not need to change who we are to be loved or to feel worthy We just need to be ourselves.

So its time to stop beating yourself up for being, too fat, not pretty enough, to loud, to intense, to flaky, not smart enough, not brave enough, too needy, not self loving enough. Instead turn within and find that place inside where your unique divine sprit resides and to offer yourself the love and approval you crave. There is a small child waiting there for you, for your love, for your care and for your hopes and dreams. That’s where you can anchor yourself, this is your safe harbour.

It may not feel easy at first, you may even resist it not believing it will give you what you need, but I promise you if you keep working at it. Gently getting to know who you really are and offering yourself the love that you crave everything will change in ways you cant even imagine.

Its time to stop looking for what you need from outside of yourself. Its time to be you. Fall in love with yourself as you are. You’re the most perfect you in existence xxx