Category: community

I need to write to breathe. I need like-mindedness to thrive.

Blogging has become not so much about writing, but about the complete opposite for me. Ironic. What once was a freeing catharsis has become a cage. That can’t be right! That doesn’t sound balanced. I locked myself in there, mind you, too afraid of sharing my own held truths.  As they stacked up and up amongst the growing social media world I found myself in (which grew and expanded around me and swept me up along with it), my view on things grated against how I was actually behaving online. That more than anything is why it’s time to give this place the respectful farewell nod.

I can no longer afford (for my own health and growth) to keep a lid on this, for the sake of not wanting to alienate any readers. This realisation is in itself a mark of growth within me that is also deserving of being shared, in turn to hopefully give someone the faith and trust that they can do it too. It’s quite ironic, really!

So now that I have explained and explored and exposed the past few weeks to you in copious amounts of words (that’s the writer part of me, sorely in need of a good edit), it’s time to wrap this thing up in a sweet bow and get on with life.

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Today I am preparing to single-handedly facilitate (with lots of background support, I hasten to acknowledge) a weekend-long workshop that was postponed due to my accident. Just one of the many things that have factored in the background and which I don’t talk about here openly. That is set to change (on the new blog space, which will be more finely tuned, more focused and less ‘personal, me front-and-centre’). The workshop is about Clearing & Protection – how to tap in to and avail yourself of the constant source of life force energy that abounds around and in all of us, clearing that which is permitted and protecting from the sorts of sapping experiences we can often inadvertently find ourselves in. That’s it, in a very small nutshell…

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In my world – the one I will let you in on more if you decide you want to join me on my new blog once I’ve finished setting up over Christmas/New Year – the Red Kangaroo totem sits with a mandala known as The Cure Curator. These mandalas provide understanding and focus for a current cause or concern. Each mandala has its own essence (usually that of a Stone) and a sound chord. I was compelled to look this one up because of its relationship to the Red Kangaroo.

The essence of this particular mandala is that of Bone:
“…helps you to feel calmer and less fearful, especially toward your instinctual or survival-oriented issues… Assists you to be more open and honourable with your knowledge and less secretive and reserved as a result of past experiences or misguided teachings. In those who have had their energetic levels misused or infiltrated by another’s fear, or have been disconnected from their personal truth… BONE will create strong resilience and enable them to reach out their knowledge, or method, in a sharing and co-operative way. Bone alleviates ill-patterns brought through the genetic family lineage…”

Good old synchronistic resonance! It is not lost on me that I had been in the process of discovering my ancestors a little more on the trip that was ended by the run-in with the roo. The quotes below are from that animal’s wisdom and from The Cure Curator.

Red Kangaroos survive in the arid Australian inland… Red Kangaroo, therefore, reminds you that over-emotional responses to life are unnecessary, and that if you live with what you are given you will survive. They remind you to avoid seeking to fill your emotional wants by accumulating more than you need.

Quite clearly, this says to me that it is now redundant for me to maintain a blog where I am front and centre. My emotional wants can no longer seek to be filled by “you out there”! And actually, to hold onto it will only cause increasing bouts of anguish (in me) now because I’ll feel too anchored by it.

Red Kangaroo offers the lesson of staying in touch with the True Creator within, creating what you need in tune with the rhythms of the Earth and for the good of All.Red Kangaroo also suggests you check what new life you intend to bring into being. Now may not be the time to be self-focused simply for the sake of having.

Again, another indicator that it’s time to wind the old blog down. But perhaps there is room in my life for a blog of a slightly different nature. Certainly one that affords more anonymity and less self-focus “just because I can.” I’m starting to see in my mind which direction I would take this. It would certainly be something far more esoteric – just to warn those who want to jump ship now!

Red Kangaroo knows to respond to the inner connections of the Mother Within—that is, Mother Nature. It suggests that you do the same for, by your doing things just because you can, you could be risking an improper or unwanted outcome and creating harm or hurt. Red Kangaroos graze at night, early morning and evenings—something that can remind you that, for your best direction, you should pay attention to your intuition and spiritual connection at this time, too. Red Kangaroo rests in the middle of the day, avoiding overexposure to the desert heat. Those who maintain busy daytime lives would do well to pursue spiritual sustenance in the quieter hours of morning and evening (dawn and dusk) and so avoid the influence and radiation of the heat from a chaotic world. This could be a time to find rest under the shade of a tree to avoid depleting your energy. The appearance of Red Kangaroo heralds a need to bring balance into your daily life.

So… if one flips off the bonnet of your car, it’s trying to really tell you? Would that be fair to say? If I’m honest with myself, my life has not had proper balance for at least a year now. The imbalance crept up on me. Too much online life and not enough real life, is what it boiled down to. But there it is. The good news is, these are all things I can change!

The totem of Red Kangaroo will assist in integrating proper action in tune with Mother Nature and her needs. It will help you to practise correct methods of mothering and nurture for all your family as well as for the community to follow and so set examples for future generations.

The biggest indicator of all – the final paragraph – tells me as plainly as if it were taking me by the shoulders and saying, “Oi! You! Over here and concentrate. You’re about to do some really hard, very rewarding, incredibly special work with young people. For however long you house them and hold them in your circle of care, you have to be on call, front and centre. No time for anything other than that which nurtures EVERYTHING around you!”

Will you come along for the next leg of the ride? Send me an email if you wish, in case you miss the messages on Twitter or Facebook (I’m not sure how that will even work yet, as I will need to completely close down this domain name and not have it link at all with the new blog space, for the protection of identities).

So! Well. Yes. This is… awkward. I’m like the last guest at the party who hasn’t taken the cue to leave. But really, how do you wrap up a whole entire blog of this many years and this much depth? You hang up first… No, you. I think I’ll miss you most of all? No… YOU!

“You haven’t let Ella go, have you?”

The question wasn’t dissimilar to many I’ve received over the past 9 years. When people are new to my story, I understand that initially they can’t appreciate I have been living through it, then living with it, for countless hours. The event – and, Ella herself – is not front and centre in my life any more. But for them it can be quite fresh and raw and confronting to consider they’re with someone who’s lost a baby. How does she move through her day? Surely she must be in some denial, look at her laughing and enjoying life… I’ve almost heard it being thought sometimes.

But see, the presence of my firstborn daughter is inextricably woven into the fabric of who I am now; we are easy travellers together, she and I. No longer do I feel the need to make statements, the realisations have long since settled down to a gentle hum in the background. And for over eight years, I have willingly shared those realisations here on this blog with the trust and faith that the words will fall into the laps of those needing to read them at any given time.

In this time, my audience has also changed. You have grown too, alongside me. Many no longer reading are doing so because they have grown away altogether. That is simply brilliant if you ask me!

The truth of it is, I have worked very hard to get to where I am now. To work out and be aware of the lay of the land in which I travel. Getting to know what affects me energetically, how I can effect change (and learning to be much more consciously aware and responsible for this effect on others). I am still learning. And it sometimes takes much introspection and patience to let the lessons settle.

So this question, while not necessarily out of place, certainly felt out of the blue. It was posed by a relatively new friend, someone I have known barely two years. Her introduction to Ellanor (and us as a family) is, therefore, fairly recent. And I admit – as I did to her eventually – it surprised me and I was a little on the back foot about the inference that I had still not “let go” of my deceased child. It could have plunged me into a soul-searching. But it didn’t. For I know with absolute solid certainty my place with Ella and hers with me. I’m well beyond pop-psych stage on that one and I was about to call bullshit, defensively.

However, as this challenge came while I was already at a low point this past fortnight, where the shock of my accident with the kangaroo had taken hold, I couldn’t overlook it. The timing of her delivery had to have some significance. Of that I was sure. Although it seemed to come like a shot out of the blue when I was already questioning the relevance of all things (and people) in my life now as the truth and further meaning of this accident came spilling out, the question – “Have I let her go? And, actually, do I even need to if I have not?” – danced around the edges of my awareness.

It’s been three weeks since the accident, which in itself has signalled a profound turning point in my life. One that has marked a positive time for great change. Not surprisingly, that is another of Red Kangaroo’s lessons. I have read the following paper on the Kangaroo as totem before, as part of my study over the past eleven years, but this time every single paragraph seems to be telling me directly that it’s time to stop this blog and open myself properly to what is to come.

The nature of my family life is about to change again completely, with the coming of foster parenting in 2014 and the relative bureaucracies and other external families who will shine their own brilliant lights onto us, themselves seeking truth and keeping us accountable. I have reached a crossroads. I am choosing to be in service to these other families for the next “whenever” period of my life.

My friend had served me up a clue. Not that she realised it. She was not asking if I had literally let go of Ellanor herself. It was this blog. To me, over the years the blog came to represent, for want of a much lengthier explanation, Ellanor. I have had and held and shown and shared all parts of my relationship to my daughter with you all.

It’s time for me to move on from that. Not from her, not even from any of you necessarily… but from that experience. And to me, this entire blog (no matter what I’m writing about on it) will always represent the whole concept of infertility and neonatal loss. I have looked at it from every angle and made my peace.

Bit of housekeeping:
This blog will be visible until New Year’s Eve, 2013. When the time comes and I have a new space sorted, I want to be sure those who want to come along will be able to find me. Just in case I can’t reach you via Facebook, please feel free to email me and let me know a contact email so I can include you when I send out a bulletin (just the one!) and advise the new blog details.

So… Next up, on Friday this week I will (finally) post the lessons I learned from Red Kangaroo! (which will also be the last post on this blog). They’ve been a long time coming, but so much has come out of it that I didn’t even realise two weeks ago I would be shutting Sunny Side Up for good. But…

It’s time.  xx

fantasia

The #MSO 2013 program has been floating around for months on my desk and various kitchen counter tops so I wouldn’t forget to purchase tickets to Disney’s Fantasia. October was SO “almost next year”… back in March. So what did I do? Why, consistently forget to book them, of course!

It just goes to show the importance of setting reminders as soon as they occur to you that you “must remember to do that”, no matter how many months away it is…

Now that I understand the process a bit more, I will be booking tickets for MSO shows in 2014 as soon as I get the program because, so I hear, the tickets are available once the performances are advertised (in the program and on the MSO website).

The exciting thing is…
There are still a few seats left for next weekend’s MSO performance of Fantasia at the Hamer Hall in Melbourne – Saturday 7pm and Sunday 2pm – and if you were thinking of going, with or without your kidlets, I’d highly recommend you come along. I’ve long sung (ha! see what I did there?) the praises of live orchestral music for little ears on this blog and this particular musical feast, set to Disney’s classic, somewhat trippy as I recall, Sorcerer’s Apprentice tale featuring Mickey Mouse is no exception.

I remember seeing this movie as a kid, just once or twice, and it captivated me. Some of the animation quite alarming, but it was the score that was riveting. I read reviews now online and see that one reviewer spoke for many others when he called it one “for adults and very nerdy kids”…  Oh.

Well, give me an atomic wedgie and call me Nerdy because this is going to be the highlight of my musical calendar year! And that’s including our recent trips to the theatre to see not just Singing In The Rain but Hot Shoe Shuffle as well. Some fancy footwork is awesome to see, but to me, nothing quite reaches the soul like an orchestra in full flight. Live, even better.

And with the line-up of classics in not just Fantasia but Fantasia 2000, I am sure we are set to have our socks knocked off. Cannot wait to introduce the LGBB to it (and shield her eyes at any over-exciting moments).

If you are super-quick, hopefully there are still some tickets available for you too!

From the Melbourne Arts Centre website:
“…see and hear selections from the original version of Fantasia, and Fantasia 2000, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Nutcracker Suite and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. This magnificent repertoire will be performed live to Disney’s stunning imagery.”

 

Last-Minute Rush Tickets 
A limited number of Last-Minute Rush tickets may be available to this performance. When available, these tickets can be purchased at Arts Centre Melbourne Box Offices (Hamer Hall and Smorgon Family Plaza, Theatres Building) from 48 hours prior to the performance, at a cost of $40. One hour prior to the performance, any unsold Last-Minute Rush tickets will be available from Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall Box Office. Please call (03) 9929 9600 to find out whether Last-Minute Rush tickets will be available for a specific MSO performance.

 

If you want a calendar of program events for the MSO 2014 season, or for more information on this or other performances, head over to the MSO website. And for information on their 2013 Education program (so you get an idea of what to expect for the upcoming 2014 events), see here. It’s well worth keeping abreast of concerts and performances so you (and your kids) don’t miss out!

 

Special Note: I have received two tickets to this performance from the kind people at the MSO. The opinions expressed, and possible gushing, are my own and are in no way influenced by said receipt of tickets. So, too, the tears and emotion that will no doubt flow on the day as they do with every live performance of theatre or orchestra. Because I am a sap.

The only photo I have of me as a baby with my mum, seen here with Lolly Jnr. (aka Me) – 1975

 

 

To be perfectly frank, I had deep personal issues with Mothers Day a long time before giving birth to my own firstborn in 2004. It’s something I’ve been practicing and trying to embrace in recent years (in my family’s own way) and now, I can do it with my child with free abandon. It’s taken years.

People have begun to share their first ever Mothers Day photos. And their first photos as new mothers.

So here is mine:

Me and my girl – Jan. 13th 2004

 

I had never seen anyone more exquisite and delicate before seeing Ellanor. She was wrapped in the feather-soft cloud of Somewhere Else. She never lost the magic of where we come from, in the In-between. She was born with it, and she died with it. But she showed it to me and forever impressed upon me the importance of relishing Life and embracing Death. It is all a part of all of us. We know this. I’m not afraid of it. I just wish it didn’t have to happen to so many of us before we’re ready! Impossible…

My next “brand new mother” photo captures a look on my face that is full of pain, confusion and terror. So I won’t show it. We weren’t sure what was happening to our little Lolly, only that we didn’t hear her cry and that she looked pasty grey upon delivery – worse than her premie sister, in fact. I’m not so sure I’m all too excited that Steve got the photo of my face. But it does tell a story.

So here’s a more pleasant one from a few hours later instead:

"Oh, it's YOU!" – 2006

I’m of the firm belief that mothers are not made from the act of giving birth. I was technically a mother at the point of giving birth to Ellanor. And yet, I know I was a mother before she made an appearance. I considered myself a “real” mother – in the eyes of society, that is – the moment she reached beyond the medically-termed point of “viability”. How cold and harsh; you’re a mother only once your baby (or babies) has passed the gestational age where they give you a birth certificate. That’s 20 weeks to you and me (in this country, at present). I didn’t need either of those photos to tell me I was already mother. I was born a mother. I came out nurturing, for Pete’s sake. Over the years, I’ve just learned to reserve it for the truly needy.

I ponder the animal kingdom quite a bit when I think about “mothers”. Look at how the sea turtle comes up to the beach, lays her eggs and then leaves them to the elements of the sun, the moon, the sea. She does her part and returns to the water to ensure her own chance at longevity, nature takes care of the rest. Instinctively, those little hatchlings know how to make it and where to head. Some will fall prey to hungry predators. Others will be too sick to survive. But each one of them knows how to get back to what will nurture them.

When I was in my years of striving for a child with Steve, I knew that I had the heart of a mother in me already. There were many years of healing to go through, to soothe my heart and gather my strength, and it has taken to the eve of the LGBB’s seventh birthday before I’ve been ready.

I was so confused when child bearing eluded us, for I knew in my depths that I was supposed to have children all around me. Even before we had Lolly, we discussed foster care. It was too hard. We shelved it. Losing Ella had muddied the waters too much. But I still wondered if my future was meant to involve children. Somehow.

The survival instinct is strong in me, thanks to a childhood that had to be survived more than enjoyed. The passion and determination to ensure a child feels heard and counted and loved… that is my utmost drive. I’ve been waiting patiently, often not even thinking about it for months on end, to feel strong enough to take on the task – knowing that when I give, I give my all. Even the passionate need to balance their approach; our history makes me a good candidate but I’ve had to put a lot of time into learning how to carefully cauterize my own wounds now that they have cleared so that they are not reopened (or hardened). The decade of practice and study into ways of self-nurturing and being in service to the All of this Earth led me to realise that what the world needs from me and Steve is not more of our own biological children. Anyway, I gave away that notion several years ago, saying goodbye to the fourteenth tiny life to leave my body in 2010.

Besides, there are so many other children the world needs, right now – for they are already here – it’s just that sometimes, the way each child’s unique story unfolds, the care and nurture falls away for many and varied reasons. Like the turtle returning to the water for its own survival.

There is so much hope, and such brave and exciting, beautiful potential in these young people.  They have to deal with things, huge things, that most of our children have no concept of. I am well familiar with the pull of the impossible on the heart and all the ways life seems to show no mercy.

We are ready to do this. I, personally, HAVE to do this. The papers are signed.

Do you see even the most seemingly insignificant things in your day as spiritually significant? I never did. Before “because”.

 

Before “Because if I take the chance to go out today instead of stay by her side, it could be the day she first opens her eyes”

Before “Because I will never see her face again, I must do this”

Before “Because if I stay in bed, I might just never get up today/again”

Before “Because this next pregnancy could be The One, it’s got to be worth the heartache and physical pain of each miscarriage to try”

Before “Because now I see past the belly and appreciate that All life is precious”

Before “Because if I don’t, I will miss out on every precious moment of her and she may just be the only one who stays here”

Before “Because I must find the balance between my desperate fears and letting her live her life”

Before “Because she will be fine just as she is, I can’t control her”

 

…there was less of me. Not more. I may have been happier. Life certainly felt uncomplicated, more carefree and far less cruel. The world was warmer. But I was also oblivious. Asleep. I was by no stretch of the imagination as well-rounded or complete. Did not fully consider mercy. Or worth. Or wealth. I was not as compassionate and far more judgemental. Perceived perfection has a lot to answer for.

“Anyone who wants to appear to be perfect is struggling with something, and usually something pretty major,” a good friend once told me, years ago. Well, I wouldn’t know about that. That sort of outward striving for perfection (whether it be image, body size, hair-do, home, car…) has eluded me, always. I’m happy to remain blissfully unaffected. And this far in to my journey, it’s like an entirely different language for me now.

I am full today. A life made richer through the longest enduring struggles I never would have wished upon myself. But if it’s true – and we all sign up to our lives (and the challenges and choices we make in that lifetime) in a contract before we become mortal – then I would say, by and large, I am satisfied with the choices I have made. Am making. And the contract I signed up for is by no means finished (I hope, anyway!), which is good news because I have a way to go yet before many of my attitudes and beliefs are reprogrammed. Still… it’s a start, as they say.

Free-will and choice.
Do you let moments pass you by without recognising their significance? As mundane as they at first appear? By choosing to seeing each moment in a day as spiritually significant (note this is nothing to do with religion, but spirituality… the spirit that is within everyone), we can actually spin the driest, most apparently insignificant “straw” into gold.

True story.

 

I remember taking this photo, us holding hands and me in tears at feeling the reality of her warm little hand in mine. This was… Before "Because she has survived. I don't need to document any more. She's here."

 


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