I've been absent from Blogland for a while (since April!), processing big emotions from past events, and working out how to move on and grow.
It's affected my health, but I am getting support from many directions, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This hitting rock bottom has opened up the possibility of huge personal transformation, which takes time and inner work.
The usual activities of my life have been shelved while emergency healing, reading, writing and talking have been the focus of the last few weeks. The warm cosy comfort of purring cats has helped me to come back to my feelings, which have been frozen for many years, taking much energy to remain incarcerated safely within.
Both of our cats are from the RSPCA, abandoned as kittens. The large grey cat is Willow, who was malnourished and terrified when we got her, a 4 week old bedraggled and skinny, shaking kitten. She didn't purr for a week, and I just held her in my jumper every day. She remains very traumatised - afraid to go outside, afraid to even go through a doorway to another room without pausing and fearfully running through.
They are family to each other now, and a special part of our family.
Both cats are a metaphor for me to learn from! Willow who carries her fear with her all the time, holding her back from life, and Gypsy who is well-adapted despite her early trauma. She was part of a litter dumped too young to be separated from their mother, and left in the rain to die.
Like the cats, some people are more affected by their negative experiences, while others are more resilient. But unlike Willow, who might never learn to be brave and bold, people can make decisions and changes in their thinking patterns to grow more resilient. That's what I'm doing!
One of the best things that has come out of this experience is how books have come into my hand just at the right time. I have picked up many an interesting book at a garage sale, thinking, "I wonder if this book has something to say to me..." and brought them home to add to the pile of possibilities by my comfy chair for a spare moment. The pile at my chair ebbs and flows as I read them, put away or pass on those I've read, or decide it's not time yet for others, so into the cupboard they go for a while.
And so I stumbled on these...
What a wonderful coincidence that my daughter's primary school is the first school in Australia to include a mindfulness course as part of its curriculum, and I attended a recent information night on it.
Subsequently I bought this book and CD which comes from rigorous research through the Oxford University. I'm into my third week of the course, and it's transformational. I'm feeling like the Ice Queen, melting into Spring (even though it's Winter here!).
The forest near our home has been a source of grounding, peace and inspiration to my process. Every day I spend some time there.
I'd like to take you on part of my walk and let you, too, hear and see the beauty of an Australian dry sclerophyll forest.
From our back gate I cross the bridge we made from fallen trees. There's rarely water here, only just after rain.
The tracks wind up to the ridge, some fire trails, some foot-worn paths.
The spotty gums are white after their old bark drops off. The ironbarks and spotty gums are over 30m tall...
The bird calls are amazing here... have a listen to a recording done on my smartphone:
So until then, enjoy each moment as much as you can...