Acceptance

How many times have you gone through a life event feeling like your world has crashed? Or you could be just holding it together, then something so tiny comes in your path and that is the thing that has tipped you over. How we deal with every life event has a significant impact on our health and well-being.

When I was in recovery of adult trauma, I built on my well-being research and created about 150 tools over the course of two years. The tools helped me learn more about myself and how to deal with life events in a positive way and they went on to help many other individuals as well. In a St John of God (SJOG) program I attended (2014-2015), on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), it widened my horizons in understanding more of my behaviour following trauma. A program that every individual should complete! Like most things I learn, I drew on everything I have read about, attended and utilised in therapy to harness their full potential. This included, my own research, DBT, CBT, ACT and mindfulness. Out of my learning, I created a board game The Wellbeing Roadmap Game that is designed to discover your core values, five senses, a firmations, world views, well-being and acceptance to life events. At the end of the game, you walk away with tools to use when stressed and more of an understanding of self through the roadmap of life.

You may find yourself going up through the mountains on Overcomer Highway. You may visit Respite Place at the foothills beside a beautiful peaceful lake for some time out. You may find yourself a few times in the desert of Internally Stuck Avenue, you know the place, that endless vicious cycle that never seems to have a way out! And you may even wind your way down into Give Up Close, that cave or pit, we hang out alone in sometimes. Whatever path we are on, we discover and learn more things about ourselves. When we get the opportunity to be at Acceptance Round-a-bout that’s when we make a choice what road we actually travel upon. If we continue to not deal with the life event, we might find ourselves on that rollercoaster ever circling Internally Stuck (the suffering road). This road is not all bad, sometimes we need to build up our courage, and growth does come from suffering.

In DBT, Marsha Linehan, talks about radical acceptance. If we accept, then we are willing and free; if we don’t accept, then we are wilful and su fer. Acceptance doesn’t mean we approve of what happened to us. Acceptance means we acknowledge that this life event happened and work out the best strategies to move on and not let the event drag us down any further. The more we stay on the “suffering road”, the more we are using all our energy to fight, and our health will deteriorate because the amount of stress and cortisol that is mounting up can cause long-term damage.

To learn more about acceptance, read inspire stories, see amazing outback Australian photography, be empowered in learning about the top 5 movement therapies to improve your mental health and heal illnesses – grab your copy of issue 3 today!

Mel

Finding your purpose

Purpose is like the breath of life. Or for some it could be more the breadth, depth and width of life. The times when we think most about our purpose is usually when we are struggling: as a teenager wondering what job we will do and/or university course; when we become dissatisfied with our job, career direction or course; and when we su fer trauma or health issues and lose the role we loved. I’ve been through all three and the worst was the latter one. When you finally found that role that fits you like a glove, you’re passionate about it, you love going to work, being part of the team and then everything is taken from beneath you. Not only have I experienced it, but I’ve also witnessed and stood beside thousands of police o ficers and Defence personnel going through this change once labelled ‘hurt on duty’ then medically discharged. How do we recover from this loss? Not only loss of something we loved, but loss of our mental health and perhaps physical health, loss of our passion and drive as well as loss of our purpose.

One thing I discovered on my journey through this is that my purpose was actually never lost, the way that I executed it needed changing. It will certainly be di ferent and when we get our head around that and it is okay, then opportunities start to arise. My purpose throughout life has always been education, motivational speaking and supporting others to be the best they can be. What I started to do post-police and navy in various roles, I could see that my drive, passion and purpose was still thriving. I just had to find the right avenue with my limitations.

After you decide to move forward, what happens next is truly amazing. It is like the shifting forces of nature were engulfing your whole being beforehand, even most days felt like you were trying to move in the opposite direction through a massive wind storm. Then, the day it all becomes too much, sand is flickering into your eyes disabling your sight and you feel totally exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. It seems impossible to go on. At this point we have a choice and we think the choices are to give up or keep battling, but there is another choice. Let go. Let go of everything we are holding on tightly. Allow the storm to pass. Rest our mind and our body, then start working on the root cause slowly and steadily. Yes, it’s hard work, but the result is amazing. Things in life start to align again. We feel more connected to life, to friends, to nature, to the world! Indeed, we feel alive! We are survivors and becoming people who can empower others to reach that amazing place too.

Feel free to download a free tool on how to discover your purpose and meaning.

Latest publication on purpose out now at your local Blurb

Balance, Unity and Harmony

You definitely know when you feel balanced. Life feels goods. You are not exhausted. You are having that “top of the mountain” experience. Those moments that rarely happen. Can we help ourselves to be more in-tuned and more balanced? Yes. In fact, most of us most likely do the opposite of bringing balance, unity and harmony in our lives.

In my wellbeing research, regardless if you are a healthy adult or suffering from a mental health disorder or gone through trauma, a BALANCED LIFE was the lowest category.

What thoughts and behaviours do you have that unbalance you? The law of attraction theory states that we essentially become what we think about all day long. Do you dwell on what’s missing from your life? Do you have conversations heavily weighted with what’s lacking in your life? Do you cultivate an inner picture of yourself in the negative or being unlucky?

If you think scarcity, you will create scarcity. If you analyse shortages or downfalls constantly in your life, more will appear. If you talk negatively, you will attract more negatives and wonder why bad things keep happening in your life.

Seven thought systems that keep us being unbalanced in life:

  1. Not believing in yourself
    • instead enjoy the fullness of life, believe that you can do anything
  2. Making excuses
    • instead don’t limit yourself, there is an infinite supply of abundance, resources, what we need to live a full life
  3. Saying “I don’t deserve it”
    • instead cultivate an inner affirmation of who you really are, you are worthy, you are worth it
    • realign your desires with your thinking
  4. Believing you have limited abilities and talents
    • instead don’t compare yourself with others, you are a unique individual given abilities and talents just for you – some receive many (like me get bored easily), some receive a few (that’s all they need) and others receive one (as it is part of who they are to do one thing exceptionally well).
    • create an inner picture of yourself already living an abundant life, then become the abundance you desire utilising your gift/s
  5. Saying “I’ve never been lucky”
    • low negative thoughts attracts low energy (depression) instead positive calming thoughts in the spiritual activate the desires of your heart
    • no such thing as luck, accidents happens, it was a moment that went wrong
  6. Believing it’s always been this way
    • instead learn from your mistakes, keeping your thoughts on your past mistakes will guarantee them into your present moment!
    • rather, look upon your entire history as a series of steps you needed to take in order to bring you to this moment – you have everything you need for what is coming
    • restoring balance is releasing yourself from the past and focusing on the present and where you desire to be – doing meditation, Tai Chi, Qigong all helpful for this
  7. Saying “I don’t know how to think abundance for myself”
    • instead start saying to yourself “I am abundant. I am balanced with the desire of my heart aligned with my Creator. I will not think negatively about myself again.”

You are entitled to live a balanced abundant life. Start living it! Start believing it! Start aligning your desires and thoughts towards it.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep.

Rumi, a Sudi poet

illness to wellness

Struggling with being mentally unwell is one thing and then when your body cannot stand it anymore, the physical illness signs start to show, especially if you are fighting against your mental health and not doing the best things you can to avoid stress.

I was certainly one of those people. I was under a great deal of stress and trauma for 6 months before I finally told someone. By the time I did, I was thrown in all sorts of directions and work in the navy didn’t help my cause. They kept me in the same place for 18 months where the triggers from the trauma existed strongly and my body couldn’t cope. Daily I was led to jumping off the edge.

I certainly understand looking back why my body withered away – inflammatory diseases, arthritis, hypertension, stacked on weight, most likely because I was drinking far too much to cope with the trauma and numb. So I wasn’t helping myself either and it took many years to accept this and take on the responsibility of my health.

I learned the more we can accept, the more we can take courage in taking that step forward. In going forwards, and not stopping, means we can find the best avenues towards recovery or living with the conditions we have. It is a balance. I still hold victory in my mind that one day I will be healed, but at the same time in knowledge of living with my mental and physical health conditions that I do what is best for me in this moment. That is all I can ever ask.

In finding balance, I have found that if I complete something I am passionate about in each of these areas on a daily basis, then I am doing okay.