Watching The Trees Shimmy Shake

Watching The Trees Shimmy Shake

Engaging in childlike moments of wonder

 

When was the last time you paused and watched autumn leaves fall?

Let me tell you about a wonderous moment I had the other day walking down the main drag of town. 

I consider myself a bit of a lucky bitch right now. I have time up my sleeve with COVID. To support my recovery from PTSD I purposefully make more time to observe small things around me. 

As I rise I set my intention for the day — to surrender to ordinary thinking. I often ask the universe to send me small miracles that make me smile and fill my heart with pure joy and demonstrate life outside of the square of normalcy.

You may find it surprising to find that watching autumn leaves fall fits the bill of miracles, but then again I am a bit of a self-confessed weirdo. I’m totally ok with that. Your opinion of me is none of my business! I remain focussed on self, the things I can embrace in my heart space, and practice surrendering to the things I can’t.

Picture this. 

You find yourself walking in the glorious warm sunshine. A small breeze is blowing as you steer your path amongst the heritage-listed English elms, down the Traralgon Avenue of Honour.

These magnificent trees line each side of a wide green belt of the original township’s main road and were planted to commemorate the First World War. Given their size and sheer colour magnificence I can believe that!

At times the light is dappled, as the overhead branches provide cover and shade. The sun is thawing from a recent cold snap, yet the air is still fresh. To someone like me who’s just had chemo and the hairs, on the top of my head, are thin, it’s chilly out. That’s ok, that is why hats were invented, they aren’t just a fashion statement.

Back to my walk.

There are times when spirit whispers to me, like receiving a coded message meant only for me. Other times I feel drawn intuitively to look at something. It is as if a hidden magnet is turning my head and inviting me to share a secret.

I was admiring the green lush grass growing everywhere after recent heavy rain. I saw a bogged truck and felt for the driver who was getting reamed by the site foreman. Oh, the stories these trees could tell of the adventures that have been held at their feet.

And yet as I walked I marvelled at the trees which had red-green leaves patched with oranges and golds as you looked up. I liken natures artwork to that of a renaissance painting that I once saw in the national art gallery. I could have been in any country, and yet I was in my simple home town, admiring the fleeting autumn colours. 

The array of nature’s colour canvas was so inviting that I paused, simply so I could soak in the view. I mean just how often are you gifted the opportunity to stop and stare in wonder? It’s often only when you are travelling that you truly relish what you see.

And just like that, a breeze lifted some of the golden hues from the upper branches and began to swirl. If the leaves hadn’t of moved, I would have presumed I had stepped into the matrix and the movie had been paused.

The uplift of the breeze held the falling leaves almost as if they were in suspension, shimmying around the tree. It was absolutely mesmerising.

I likened it to a scene from Harry Potter whereby the ‘Whomping Willow’ shakes its autumn leaves off as winter snaps it to attention.

This aerial flight of the golden leaves was in slow motion. Their descent was not rushed, and they dispersed like a troup of ballet dancers, each dancing but as a collective. So every single leaf contributed to the overall kaleidoscope of the performance. 

Due to the number of trees, all shedding their golden leaves at the same time, and forming this suspension mid-air, the trunks of the trees appeared to shimmer. It was if they were actually belly dancing, and the leaves formed the outer rim of the headdress. 

I have videoed it in my mind as it was simply spectacular to watch.

Remembering it now I am taken back to my childhood whereby my brother and I would rake up fallen leaves in our backyard and burn them. Our family dog would lay in the piles of leaves, presumably because she had short hair and the piled leaves were warm in the sun.

There were several times my brother would rake up the piles of leaves over her as she mooched and slept. And as she awoke startled there would be a massive pile of movement as she emerged and vaulted upon the nearest squealing human.

I’m pretty sure that dog had a wicked sense of humour for this escapade re-occurred a lot each year during raking!

My fondest memory is that same dog hiding in a pile of raked leaves, with only her small wet nose poking out. Cheeky mutt. My brother had called out to her, and her wagging tail had given her location away as the rusty leaves crinkled with her movement. And hence her sudden emergence from the pile of leaves is where came the story of the snoopy snigger — my brother killing himself laughing and rolling around the raked leaves with the dog.

To this day I’m still not sure who had more fun — my brother or the dog. And again I’m reminded that I didn’t capture it on film, but it is indelibly marked in my memories.

There is something magical watching the living art display evolve as the seasons change from hot scolding sun of summer to cold nights and sunny days of autumn. Then as the ice queen arrives and delivers winds and weather from Antarctica the leaves burn in colour. 

It is much like day time fireworks in slow motion.

I shall return tomorrow with my camera and attempt to capture the miracle of the shimmy shake on film, with leaves captured in suspension mid-air. But if I don’t see the miracle, I need only close my eyes and the vision is right there, indelibly etched in my memory bank as another small miracle I got to witness.

Miracles are everywhere when you surrender to ordinary thinking. I found the day I chose to change was the day I began to bloom.

My Mean Girl Is A Nasty Bitch

My Mean Girl Is A Nasty Bitch

Ways to accept and release anger.

I have always been tough. Strong if you feel the need to label it. I have a crusty outer shell which I have used for four decades to protect the soft gooey version of self. Most people who have experienced trauma as a child often do have outer layer crust as their defence mechanism.

No one wants or chooses to feel vulnerable. Or do they?

Right now what’s important is that I can acknowledge that outer crust for what it is — it’ just the old story I tell myself to keep me safe. That crusty festering defence mechanism has served me well. To a point. 

That crust has cost me dearly as well, for you see I have shut down access to my heart space in order to allow my head to rule my world. It’s now time to re-arrange who gets to sit at the head of the table.

One of the fundamental things I acknowledge moving forward in my healing journey is I don’t have to fix either the crust or the internal goo all at once. 

The practitioner within me understands this logically. My nice girl is wondering when the fuck I will feel better and can shed the old skin.

 

Acknowledgement of your stuff is the first step to healing.

 

I am working with my therapist regarding a recent shitty experience. There is a myriad of emotions that have caused shockwaves out of that catastrophic explosion, and the practitioner within me is reminding myself not to deal with everything all at once. 

Just breathe honey, is a phrase I am telling myself a lot lately.

In a recent session with my therapist, we were working through aspects of my self confessed escalating anger and linking with snippets I had previously disclosed from my past. During this discussion, I felt antsy like I could punch something, and there have been times in my past that I did hit things to feel better. A battered old punching bag in a boxing gym comes to mind. 

During this discussion, I had an epiphany after being assisted to connect all the dots.

My lightbulb moment highlighted how I was being too considerate and reasonable. My good girl was trying not to rock the boat. I felt deeply conflicted.

On one hand, my good girl was a quivering mess and wanted to avoid confrontation at all costs.

On the other hand, my mean girl wanted to punch someone with a baseball bat, which left with an internal conflict that boiled and bubbled away much like a witches cauldron on Halloween. There is something primal about releasing negative energy through purposeful movements, like punching a sports bag.

I was dancing around that witches pot, avoiding making contact with either the anger or the mean one, and the good girl was in hiding. Neither is pleasant to deal with and have always left me feeling spent after going a few rounds in the ring.

But here’s the thing I realised, I knew who I was mad at, but presently can’t make them accountable for the incident. I am left holding the responsibility of the trauma caused by the incident — rather than those who are responsible for my violation.

My therapist called me on that shit and pushed me about why I was afraid of the mean girl coming out of the closet. I told her I didn’t like how being the mean girl made me feel. 

The mean girl makes me aggressive and wants to win at all costs. White anger flows through her veins and she loses her shit. And that was the crux of the situation, I didn’t like it then and don’t like it now when I lose control. It makes me want to vomit and crawl into the corner of the room and hide.

I realised at that moment that my mean girl is holding onto her own trauma for me to acknowledge and deal with.

 


 

Let’s backtrack a little for some perspective. 

As a teenager, I had competed in various karate and kickboxing events. My coach would repeatedly train my good girl on proper technique. But come fight day that same coach would invite my mean girl into the ring by saying ‘unleash the beast”. 

My mean girl was an undefeated age champion. The good girl would help pick people up off the floor of the fight ring.

I once worked at a nightclub when I was first out of high school and attending university. I wasn’t a nice girl (with big boobs) behind the bar. Noooo, sir. I was a bouncer at the front door. 

I was a boss bitch mean girl who didn’t take shit from anyone. I was five foot two inches of seemingly harmless ‘girl with a ponytail’, with an attitude that could make Mike Tyson’s balls run home to his mommy. I didn’t take shit from anyone. And my boss loved that fact.

What I realise now is that both my coach and the club boss exploited my internal fire and taught me to use my unresolved childhood anger as my power. At the time I thought I was being useful and worthy. I thought to have any form of power I had to remain in that hate fire space, so I adopted that persona. 

Incorporating this hard exterior toughened me, much like forming an outer crust. This inability to release anger caused me to disconnect from compassion for self and others.

The first professional serious job I worked as an enforcement officer with a government department because I had an environmental science and chemistry background. I’m qualified for drugs, bombs and waste! 

The mean girl was the first female delegated informant in that organisation. The good girl is an academic and a bit of a nerd and completed the detective course. The mean girl could make any grown man cry in about three minutes as her words cut like the sharpest sabre. The good girl was left with an impeccable record and later became an auditor.

Whilst the mean girl persona provided me short term satisfaction having power over others, the good girl would always cringe — because that is how her father used to yell at her and she remembered how debilitating, broken and shattered she would feel. 

My former government boss would often send me out onto a tough job. Instead of using my feminine wiles (ie compassion), he would threaten the client with me as the bad cop. I was the only female in the enforcement team, and I easily fit in as ‘one of the boys’. I could swear better than most of them, and I had an attitude to boot. I was too eager for appraisal since I never got it as a kid. I was younger and shorter than everyone else and most clients were unassuming of me. That was before they met my mean girl.

 


 

Getting back to my aha moment with my therapist. The deeper we picked at various historical points of my timeline, she pieced together that I had been using my mean girl as a shield to protect my inner child, my vulnerability. That was something I protected at all costs because it’s a sign of ultimate weakness to show your belly to the enemy.

And yet in the situation I was working through with my therapist, I very soon realised my unresolved anger was the enemy. The therapist gave me some very specific homework.

The pattern that I am breaking down is the fear to be vulnerable or out of control

Fear is a funny thing, but not funny har har. It has subliminal power, in that it can activate your entire sympathetic nervous system (flight or fight) without conscious thought. You can be triggered by your senses to put you into that fear-based state.

My homework was to communicate with my mean girl. I had to revoke her place from the head of the table. In fact, I decided I needed to ask her to leave the room altogether. 

Before mean girl left the building I did meditation. I used to breathe to ground myself. I slowed my breathing and gave myself permission to enter my heart space, where my intuition lies.

In my heart space, I imagined a beautiful safe room with two chairs. I gave my imagination permission to get creative. I pictured myself in one and invited my mean girl to sit in the other. 

It was this point that I had a gorgeous encounter with my mean girl. Instead of telling her to fuck off, I asked her why she was mean. She had good reasons and I simply sat and listened and allowed her sacred space to use her voice. 

The story of what she told me is for another day. But I can say this. As she spoke and expressed out her stuff my body began to relax and soften. I could feel the mean girl’s hurt and anger dissipating with each and every breath. 

At the end of this meditation, I permitted my good girl to forgive the mean aspects my psyche had generated to once keep me safe. We embraced for such a long time and I experienced a deep-seated serenity. 

Prior to leaving my heart space in this meditation, I realised at the end of the meditation that my mean girl had merged with the good. We were one again.

I thanked my guides and returned to a conscious state once more. Calmer and armed with a truckload of information about old reactive patterns. 

After that meditation, I journaled out the experience. Therefore I was able to connect with the feelings and then let them go.

I am sharing my experience in the hope that you too can change who sits at the head of your mental health table.

 

If you’re struggling to express out your anger here’s a couple of tips

 

  • Write a fuck you letter

  • speak out to someone you can trust

  • pound the bed with a pillow or pool noodle

  • break old plates

  • scream into a pillow or in the shower

  • punch the bag

  • dance it out

  • get therapy

  • join a help group

We all have stuff. Every single one of us on this planet experiences things which are joyous or traumatic. In my experience I have found, hanging onto the trauma weighs me down and makes me sick. So I choose to let go and bloom from within.

How to Work Through the Anger That’s Weighing You Down

How to Work Through the Anger That’s Weighing You Down

Every time we’re challenged by life, we experience reactive feelings in the present time. Yet what we don’t realise is that we activate old mental thought and behavioural patterns from incidents long ago more often unresolved than not. And it’s this unfinished business which fuels your hate fire today.

These are our emotional wounds.

We all have them, and I’ll repeat that because it’s significant. We all have stuff. We’ve all had a childhood, and experiences, and breathed through this journey called life.

Sometimes we refer to these emotional wounds as ‘that old monkey on our back’. Emotional wounds are the source of negative energy which drive the uncontrollable defensive impulsive actions.


In a session with my psychologist, we spoke about the injustices of this world. She reminded me that there is no real justice in this world, just our acceptance of what has happened to us and our ability to heal. My psychologist reminded me of this quote:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you’re the one who gets burned.”

We spoke of how anger is a second-hand emotion (or substitute emotion) which we use subconsciously to avoid a primary emotion such as fear, vulnerability, or pain. Why carry that pain and negativity in our bodies when we’re the ones who suffer by hanging on?

The more we spoke and unpacked those feelings of anger, the calmer I began to feel and I began to relax. It was then I was able to reflect and dig deep, connecting to the reference of injustice.

We don’t like to be told what we cant do. We don’t like the thought of being confined in our homes. Ultimately, we don’t like the thought of our space being invaded. We hate the thought of our civil liberties being denied or violated.

Let’s talk about some tools to work through these feelings:

Tip #1 — Own your anger

 

Honour all the feels you’re experiencing, because you can’t process anything until you acknowledge it is there. Ignoring that emotional stuff only means that you’re stuffing it deeper within.

Purge into the journal. Tell your story in your words and your way. Ramble to your heart’s content. Word vomit out onto the page, and have the tissues handy.

Tip #2 — Recognise the source of your anger

 

Acknowledging the source of your anger is a healthy connection and great start to ridding out all the negative feels. Bringing your stuff into your conscious awareness supports you in identifying and understanding the impact in your heart space.

Tip #3 — Practice relaxation techniques

 

I find that meditation is a beautiful relaxation technique. Regular practice of meditation enables me to connect to my heart space and leave the monkey chatter of the mind behind.

Manage your stress through mindful breathing, meditation, yoga, or taking a bath. The more you can relax, the more your logic brain will work to enable you to strategies and identify solutions to solve the problem.

Tip #4 — Talk to a professional

 

Talking therapy is very powerful when you feel safe to do so. Chatting with someone you connect with is paramount. I strongly recommend they are trained to support you to safely release trauma and take back your power.

Tip #5 — Take a time-out

 

Having a self-imposed time-out is sometimes safer than speaking up or speaking out to the person who has triggered you. Taking a timeout will prevent you from saying something out of anger that you might later regret.

Tip #6 — Deal with one issue at a time

 

Don’t try and problem solve everything at once, as it rapidly becomes completely consuming and overwhelming. Once traumatised, you expend a lot of energy just trying to remain out of flight-fight, let alone dealing with the extra things that life has us juggling right now.

So push the pause button and place your focus on one thing at a time. Usually, this would include the pressing priority and nothing else. You’re already stressed out, so why include additional burdens upon yourself?

Tip #7 — Daily exercise

 

Get outside and walk. You’ll gain the benefit of vitamin D from sunlight and also generate your own feel-good hormones through invigorated movement, which helps fire your logical mental thought processes. Look for positive rather than focusing on anything negative.

Tip #8 — Nurture yourself

 

There is no one else on the planet that you will have a longer relationship with than the person who you look in the mirror each day, so it stands to reason that you should be looking after yourself.

Yet we don’t, and we conjure up all manner of excuses to avoid looking or doing anything for self.

There is no end to how you can pamper and nurture yourself. I always suggest starting small so that you can connect with how you feel when you do make the effort. For example, do you get in the shower and go through the motions of washing, or do you value that you have legs to stand up, fingers to massage your skin and experience touch? Could you loofah your skin so it’s glowing later on? Do you moisture your skin after showering? Do you wear underwear that makes you feel awesome regardless of what you have over the top? Do you wear comfortable shoes so that you can walk anywhere all day long?

Tip #9 — Express yourself via a journal

 

The joy of a journal is that it immediately enables you to express.

Writing about your experiences and the feels in your journal is a lovely way to empower yourself through expression. Exploring awareness of your triggers — people, environment, smells, sights — all contribute to learning about yourself. Our senses all have the opportunity to associate with negative situations which eventually become our memories.

Tip #10 Don’t hold grudges, and learn to let go

 

Holding a grudge actually has more health implications for you than it does for the other person. Not only do they take up your physical energy, but they also make your emotional state toxic.

Even if you have been legitimately offended, which most people have, try to take an empathic perspective rather than acting like a victim. Forgiving thoughts will allow you to have a greater sense of perceived control and reduced physiological stress response, which will help decrease your anger.

Always remember that you aren’t forgiving the other person for their benefit. You are forgiving them for you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean all peace, love, and mung beans. It is simply gifting yourself the opportunity to stop carrying around toxic negative feelings and getting on with making happiness deposits in your bank.

Tip #11 — Visualise the release

 

Sitting quietly and visualising the release of anything negative is very empowering.

This blog has also been published within Publication Write Like A Girl”.

A Blissful Return To An Old Friend In New Times

A Blissful Return To An Old Friend In New Times

My first post COVID massage

My body has been tired lately. I have been working it hard in preparation for an upcoming surgery. I desperately needed to iron out the kinks, so I was delighted to receive notification from my massage therapist of a cancellation.

 

Before COVID to ensure my body performed well, I had a regular fortnightly massage. I work my best when my body is relaxed. My clarity is at its peak when I am limber.

I pretty much stand in a static position when I work. This can be taxing on my postural spinal muscles and places undue stress on my neck and shoulders. 

A massage literally rubs all my cares away. It shifts the kinks. It is one of my zen zones. But it is so much more.

As a massage therapist myself, I can attest to the fact that my regular clients don’t just come for a rub. They share more than parts of their naked skin. 

You see there seems to be an unwritten thing when you are partially naked and allowing someone to touch you. Undressing is like providing consent to that vulnerable part of you to let go of anything emotional that has been brewing. You lie down on the table covering yourself with a towel and instantly begin to chill out.

 


 

Today that’s what I did. I have been setting my intention to surrender to ordinary thinking. With that intention comes significant unpacking of old, unwanted and heavy emotions which had grown stale, and no longer serving my higher purpose.

 In true letting go style, I felt hot tears dripping down my cheeks as I drove to my appointment. This was the first normal routine appointment that I used to do before I was diagnosed with cancer. 

Every single appointment I’ve had since November 19, other than the hairdresser washing my hair after surgery because I couldn’t do it myself, has been oncology related. I’ve exposed my body in a whole new way, and one I still can’t get used to. Get a ‘cat’ scan here, go for an MRI over there. Consult two surgeons. Visit the oncologist and physiotherapists.

So the thought of visiting my massage therapist to rub out the kinks was bloody fantastic. It felt cathartic and strangely different all at once. My body wasn’t the same anymore and I’m still getting used to that, let alone getting myself into a headspace to allow others to touch me.

I’ve known my own massage therapist for nearly two decades. When you find a good one who makes you feel like putty you never change or seek another.

We go way back. So I felt comfortable discussing and showing her my scars. We discussed the technical aspects of what I needed in this session. We chatted therapist to therapist and talked shop for a bit.

I warned her there would be tears. We both knew they were coming. She was ok with that, smiled that familiar smile and I felt the relaxation begin.

I was in a safe place and I could trust this person. This hasn’t always been the case in this cancer chapter.

My therapist is beautiful and she began with slow strokes and hot rocks. I melted into the table. I felt my defences lower immediately. 

It was then my story flowed, as did the tears. I can’t begin to describe how a simple massage reinstated my ability to trust. Firstly that I could trust someone to touch me without causing trauma. Secondly, I can trust that life will resume some sense of normalcy after experiencing cancer. Thirdly, that I can trust that I am moving forward bit by bit, meaningful life will, I won’t be trapped in this trauma vortex forever.

PTSD is no walk in the park. The flashbacks and anxiety are now are getting easier to manage because I understand them better. I’m learning to embrace and accept myself more and what the patterns are. The surrender to the release gets easier and easier.

I told her about my shitty experience. As I found my words she simply held a silent space and continued with the therapeutic strokes. The more words I found and expressed, and the longer she stroked, I felt lighter and more relaxed.

Our rhythm had returned. The tension held in my body subsided and it was delightful to have some normal back in my life. Up until that point, I hadn’t realised how much I had been craving normal. Thanks to COVID, many of the things before cancer had been taken for granted and I’ve been either housebound or attending oncology appointments for months.

We barely spoke of the cancer chapter, because she knows I am so much more than that. We talked about my evolution what I do with my days. Mostly we laughed about boobs. It was a delightful way to spend an hour nurturing both my physical body and my heart space.

 


 

What I learnt from this experience is this … there are some things that will change drastically after COVID, much like the extensive cleaning process my therapist now has to do between each patient.

Some things blissfully don’t change, like the services continuing to be offered within our local communities. They continue to be genuinely heartfelt and sincerely and best of all nurturing to our spirit. Use each and every one of them. Grab a cuppa to go. Click and collect locally. 

 

Do what it takes to support your local business and possible future employer of your teenage kids.

 

I am excited about the opportunity for life to return to a new normal. One whereby nurturing ourselves with amazing practitioners is our highest priority.

I am excited to return to a world filled with positivity. Whilst the external world may be filled with worry and doubt, I can assure you mine is filled with hope and a wish list. Once the restrictions are lifted don’t get in my way, I’ve got shit to do! I have love to give and laughter to share and there’s an evolving list of recipients who have put up their hand to partake!

I am finally excited to feel hope towards the possibility of one day returning to my own clinic. There was a time recently I felt too broken at just the thought. I look forward to when I am strong enough to hold space for another once again. 

For now, I focus on practising holding space for myself. Once I get better at that I’ll share it cautiously with the world!

Releasing Your Anger Is A Gift

Releasing Your Anger Is A Gift

10 ways to let go of old shit that weighs you down

When we are challenged by life, we experience reactive feelings in the present time. But what you may not realise is we activate old mental thought and behavioural patterns from incidents long ago, that more often than not are unresolved. And it is this unfinished business which fuels your hate fire today.

These are our emotional wounds

We all have them. I’ll repeat that because it’s significant. We all have stuff. We’ve all had a childhood, and experiences and breathed during this journey called life.

Sometimes we refer to these emotional wounds as ‘that old monkey on our back’. Emotional wounds are the source of negative energy which drive the uncontrollable defensive impulsive actions.

Without getting into the specific details, I experienced an incident late last year which made me feel extremely vulnerable and violated. My personal space had been invaded in the worst possible way. 

It took me at least five weeks of processing those stunned shocked emotions, to be able to write a letter of complaint and express the wrongdoing. And just to clarify this did not mean that the issue was resolved. It simply took me that period of time to be able to speak up. 

And now that I have submitted that complaint to the organization. They accepted that they did the wrong thing. They said sorry. But it still doesn’t feel enough, and I’m angry.

They said they would investigate and get back to me. Two months later and their ongoing silence and I feel ignored, cast aside. Frankly, I am pissed off to the point of feeling incensed.

My psychologist helped me to connect my feelings which were associated with injustice. The emotional pain I was experiencing was multi-faceted.

The injustice of being ignored, of having my personal space being invaded makes me see red.

How fucking dare you ignore me.” I thought to myself.

The injustice that it took me a month to summons my courage and speak up and you still aren’t meeting me halfway.

The injustice associated with I did the right thing for other women following me using this service who could just as easily experience what happened to me…because I’ve had no feedback, I have to presume nothing has changed.

And as I breathe I realise my blood pressure has risen. My hands are clenched. My lips are snarled and I want to cause harm — with a baseball bat.

I am infuriated.

And in a session with my psychologist, we spoke about the injustices of this world. She reminded me that there is no real justice in this world, just our acceptance of what has happened to us and our ability to heal. My psychologist reminded me of this quote:

 

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

 

We spoke of how anger is a second-hand emotion (or substitute emotion) which we use subconsciously to avoid a primary emotion such as fear, vulnerability, or pain.

Why carry that pain and negativity in our body. We are the ones who suffer by hanging on. From a physiological perspective, emotions such as anger and resentment are scientifically linked to heart disease and hypertension.

The more we spoke and unpacked those feelings of anger, the calmer I began to feel and I began to relax. It was then I was able to reflect and dig deep, connecting to the reference of injustice.

The current incident and the remnant emotions actually connected to unfinished business from a traumatic incident as a child. The near-instant connection of injustice that the perpetrator from before was never held accountable for their actions hit me hard. And I am still angry about that.

And it was happening again. The rising pain, and desire to run from the burn of a myriad of emotions was overwhelming and vomit worthy. I took a breath and realised now as an adult, I now have a voice and can speak up and continue to communicate how I’m feeling. 

But that little girl who was hurt wasn’t able to speak. And right now she has a bucket load of emotion to rage vomit up and out. To resolve the depth of arising pain, I got into my journal. I smacked a pillow. I screamed in the shower. I slept. I cried. And I finished with meditation to ease the rawness.

If we compare this conflict and injustice with how some are coping with COVID lock down the psychology process is similar.

We don’t like to be told what we cant do. We don’t like the thought of being confined in our homes. Ultimately the connection between my story and COVID is this — we don’t like the thought of our space being invaded. We hate the thought of our civil liberties being denied or violated.

So let’s talk about some tools to work through these feelings. 

 

Tip #1 Own Your Anger

 

Honour all the feels you are experiencing. You cant process anything until you acknowledge it is there. Ignoring that emotional stuff means that you are merely stuffing it deeper within.

Purge into the journal. Some find this very confronting or get stuck now knowing what to write. Tell your story in your words and your way. Ramble to your hearts c content. Word vomit out onto the page and have the tissues handy.

 

Tip #2 Recognise the Source of Your Anger

 

Acknowledging the source of your anger is a healthy connection and great start to purging out all the negative feels.

 

Tip #3 Practice Relaxation Techniques

 

I find meditation is a beautiful relaxation technique. Regular practice of meditation enables me to connect to my heart space and leave the monkey chatter of the mind behind.

Manage your stress through mindful breathing, meditation, yoga, taking a bath. The more you can relax, the more your logic brain will work to enable you to strategies and identify solutions to solve the problem.

 

Tip #4 Talk to a Professional 

 

Talking therapy is very powerful when you feel safe to do so. Chatting with someone you connect with is paramount. I strongly recommend they are trained to support you to safely release trauma and take back your power.

 

Tip #5 Take a Time Out 

 

Having a self-imposed time out is sometimes safer than speaking up or speaking out to the person who has triggered you. Taking a timeout will prevent you from saying something out of anger that you might later regret.

 

Tip #6 Deal with One Issue At A Time

 

Don’t try and problem solve everything at once, it rapidly becomes completely consuming and overwhelming. Once traumatised you expend a lot of energy just trying to remain out of flight fight let alone deal with the extra shit that life has us juggling right now. 

So push the pause button and place your focus on one thing at a time. Usually, this would include the pressing priority and nothing else. You’re already stressed out, why include additional burdens upon yourself.

 

Tip #7 Daily Exercise 

 

Get outside and walk. You’ll gain the benefit of vitamin D from sunlight. You will also generate your own feel-good hormones through invigorated movement, which helps fire your logical mental thought processes which look for positive rather than having you focus on anything negative.

 

Tip #8 Nurture Yourself 

 

There is no one else on the planet that you will have a long relationship with than the person who you look in the mirror each day. So it stands to reason you should be looking after yourself! But we don’t and we conjure up all manner of bullshit excuses to avoid looking or doing anything for self.

The is no end to how you can pamper and nurture self. I always suggest starting small so that you can connect with how you feel when you do make the effort. For example, do you get in the shower and go through the motions of washing, or do you value you have legs to stand up, fingers to massage your skin and experience touch? Could you loofah your skin so it’s glowing later on?

Do you moisture your skin after showering?

Do you wear underwear that makes you feel awesome regardless of what you have over the top?

Do you wear comfortable shoes so that you can walk anywhere all day long?

 

Tip #9 Express yourself via a journal

 

Writing about your experiences and the feels in your journal is a lovely way to empower yourself through expression. Exploring awareness of your triggers — people, environment, smells, sights all contribute to learning about yourself. Our senses all have the opportunity to associate with negative situations which eventually become our memories. 

The joy of a journal is that it immediately enables you to express, rather than having crap doing laps inside your head.

 

Tip #10 Don’t Hold Grudges — Learn to Let Go

 

Holding a grudge actually has more health implications for you than it does for the other person. Not only do they take up your physical energy, but they also make your emotional state toxic.

Even if you have been legitimately offended, which most people have, try to take an empathic perspective rather than acting like a victim. Forgiving thoughts will allow you to have a greater sense of perceived control and reduced physiological stress response, which will help decrease your anger.

Always remember that you aren’t forgiving the other person for their benefit. You are forgiving them for you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean all peace love and mung beans. It is simply gifting yourself the opportunity to stop carrying around toxic negative feelings and getting on with making happiness deposits in your bank.

 

Tip #11 Visualise the Release

 

Sitting quietly and visualising the release of anything negative is very empowering. 

Tips and examples of visualisation can be found here.