Frumpy Mother In A Tarago

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I have been attending a LOT of courses and workshops in the past six months. So many in fact, that’s it’s time to retract back into my Purple House like a pinctada into it’s shell and see if I can produce something other than grit or sand.

My most recent foray into the world of business, marketing, networking and global change was a full-day workshop on marketing and branding, held by Marnie LeFevre. A bit of a marketing genius, Marnie has recently decided to spend a great deal of her energy and time on empowering women to become smarter, braver and richer so that they can change the world.

Now the workshop I attended was pretty confronting and I have to admit that I broke down twice in the morning. There were quite a few economically independent, intelligent and highly employed women at this workshop and hearing them talk about balancing their commitments and their families made me feel isolated and lonely.

But I had to push myself past this, as I knew I could learn so much if I shove those old scabs back under their bandages.

I was given the tools for personal branding, logo design, relationship to money, hourly rates, target market, personal presentation, brand essence, the golden circle of sales, blogging and database building.

Pretty full-on, huh?!?

There is so much information in my scone that I feel a bit surreal today. So much to process and to action. What surprises me the most is that today, I am not feeling a sense of overwhelm – which would be my normal response. I honestly feel like I have been gifted some extremely important information that will help me change my own life.

Including how I look.

You see, part of the workshop entailed a partner exercise, where a complete stranger within the group was given nine questions to answer about their opposite. The lady I was partnered with – Renae – was happily married with three children living on five acres near Kalamunda. I thought that she was childless, perhaps married living in an apartment in Scarborough.

Yep – I got it badly wrong.

Except I did guess correctly that she loved cats!

But how did she do with my profile? Well slap your gawkers on this list and try not to cry for me. You see, the whole point of the exercise was to show just how important what we LOOK like, represents our ‘brand’. Who we are trying to convey we are professionally and personally comes across in how we do our hair & makeup, the shoes we choose to wear and what clothes we are clad in.

It turns out that I present myself as an exhausted, overweight, middled-aged mother.

Fuck!!!!!!

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Tarago

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Look Into Their Eyes & Wait Until You See Their Soul Leave

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We have been lied to via prose and celluloid . . . that when someone we love dies, you can see something alter in the depth of their eyes. A shadow is cast, or a light flickers out or a cloud hovers.

None of this is true.

When I stroked Horatio as he was passing, and I held his head in my hands, I didn’t even know he was gone. Although his eyes were still open and yet his body went limp, I had to ask the vet. “Is he gone already?”

I was looking directly into his eyes, but I didn’t see him leave.

And as I held Jack cradled in my arms I insisted that the vet let me continue to hold him as she sent him away. I sobbed as I knew he was going to be out of pain, but I would not know when this moment was to pass. I kept stroking him and telling him how much I loved him and would do so “. . . . for ever and ever”.

I loved him SO utterly.

My beautiful gorgeous old Boys. Neither time, was I able to see the moment that they left. And it hurts so absolutely. There is no flickering connection or last moment contact between souls. Death isn’t a journey – it’s just the end of life.

I know that my period is coming, so I am well aware that I am hormonal. Stiff shit to that! I know the anniversary of Horatio’s death less than a week away, but that’s not it either.

Last night at work, I was made aware of the fact that some ‘things’ have been said about me while I was not present. Petty, small minded talk that doesn’t actually upset – not the words or who they were spoken by.

But the emotion that flood me last night was disappointment. Disappointment in women my age or older who could behave as kinder people – but choose not to. So I was quieter and more removed, than I have been for many months. Someone thought I was unwell, and another thought I was stressed. Amanda asked me if I was feeling ok – perhaps I was catching a cold.

I quietly explained that I was grateful to rarely get a cold (although I am stricken with other shit – let’s be honest) as I don’t have children who need cuddles and loves, or a husband who breaths on me in his sleep – to pass on their illness/es. I was lucky to escape catching normal ‘bugs’ simply by exclusion. She pointed out that we work in a closed environment with air-conditioning for ventilation. As I walked back to my work space, I threw out the line “It’s not aircon that makes you sick. It’s love.”.

I didn’t realise how sad this truth was, until today.

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Instructions On How To Change The World: 3 Steps

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Press Play

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Look at this

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a6y4zPq_700b

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Make the disparity smaller . . . .

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Charity: Water

Girl Up

Kiva

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Pencils Of Promise

Virgin Unite

World Vision: Child Sponsorship

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Because every child deserves to be raised
to be healthy, happy, safe and educated

with the hope of a long life. 

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Information Overwhelm in Today’s World

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Just a week ago, Pip from Meet Me At Mikes published a pretty full-on post: “How to beat information overwhelm and still care about the world“. It’s about how we have a tendency to click past or mute anything that is tragic or confronting. Earthquakes, genocide, terrorism, economic collapse – sometimes it IS all too much.

But is switching off the answer?

Pip talked about chemical reactions our bodies have when we get this feeling of overwhelm. She talked about our social conform driven by Social Media. She discussed our glazed eyes at the news.

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Pip

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BUT, she also discussed ways in which to deal with – a pretty big deal in my opinion. She didn’t ignore the reality of our lives and all the stimulus we are exposed to, instead she used it as a perfect example of how to attack this Overwhelm and how to still make amazing change in our communities and the world at large.

Although it is a hefty read (you need a good 10 minutes, uninterrupted!), it is genuinely worth it. It is insightful and intelligent and gives us all hope that we aren’t all sheep.

 

ps

Check out my comment at the end of the post, as I discuss how I deal with Overwhelm . . .

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For instance, this is not a normal occurrence in Oz.

Although in saying that, last year I did have a kangaroo stuck in my backyard and I don’t live in middle of suburbia, I certainly don’t live in the bush either. I live in a rapidly expanding and quite large town (officially a City, but come on!) in the South West of Australia and although we do have a mob of kangaroos living in a large paddock on the edge of town, I’d hardly say a kangaroo in the backyard is a normal thing.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3052325/Meet-Dusty-kangaroo-sure-s-dog-hates-cats-Young-roo-eats-sleep-cuddles-family-s-puppies-adopted-road.html#v-3989905050001

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Bravery Is Taking A Small Step

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Today I rose one and a half hours earlier than normal, filled my water bottle, put Maxxy Moo into the bathroom and drove to Perth. For the first time, I was meeting a group of B-Schoolers for a mentoring and ideas workshop. Entirely free, in the home of one of us and filled with support, nurturing and empowerment.

I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

There were five of us, and we had all brought snacks that were healthy – absolutely no junk. We told not only the story of of our businesses, but also our personal stories. Not like some Nimbin/hippy/touchyfeeley kind of thing – just a genuine connection about who we were + our journey to now + where we were planning on going.

How often to do you get a chance to share these things?

I’m lucky right? Knowing these women and having this opportunity? I mean – I did have to pay $3000 to join the course, and participate in twelve months of online dialogue in the B-School community, and travel nearly three hours just to get there – but I know that I’m still lucky. I’m truly grateful.

And it’s quite possible that out of the five brilliant women who attended (I’m including myself in that), I believe I walked away with the most wisdom and learning from the morning. I was just blown away with how these other women believed in me and gave me solid and tangible ways in which I was holding myself back and how I could be successful almost immediately.

I was so grateful.

When I left, I had a lot of “To Do” lists compiling in my mind. Seriously – a LOT! However something very strange and unexpected pushed that all aside and pounced on my psyche. I had driven three hours from my beachside haven and was now just fifteen minutes away from all three of my nephews.

Fifteen minutes.

Although I have been actively excluded from the lives of all three of my beloved nephews, I still love them fiercely and dream of seeing them and hugging them (no kisses – boys don’t do kisses). As I closed my car door and turned on my ignition, I knew that I had to risk the reality of being barred from entering their homes, or being yelled at or worse – simply for the chance of seeing and hugging my those three boys.

And so I did it.

I drove to N1’s home first and was completely packing my dacks. I knocked and waited to hear either voices or footsteps coming to the door – there was neither. I knocked again. No one was home. So I wrote a short note to N1 telling him that I loved him and would have loved to see him. My fingers are crossed that he will receive it.

I’ll probably never know.

Then I drove the five blocks to N2 & N3’s home. These three lads with their Mum’s as sisters, never see each other. Can you imagine something so sad? It’s how their Mum’s and I were brought up. My Mum & also my Dad didn’t get on with their own families, so we never grew up with cousins, aunts, uncles, or grandparents. It was hauntingly lonely.

And now my beloved three are repeating the sadness.

When I got to their home, I could see at least one car in the driveway and I knocked. I wasn’t thinking about anything – my reception/rejection/arse whipping – I just knocked on the giant glass door and waited. And a face peeked out a bedroom window, but he didn’t recognise me. N2 had no idea who I was.

My sister, S2, answered and welcomed me in. She was pleasant and cordial, and she called to boys to come and say “Hi”. She had to introduce me to them. I tried to joke about how tall they were and that I felt short – they’re only seven and nine and a half, but N2 is almost as tall as me already. Far out!!!

I asked for a quick hug and then let them go.

I only stayed for seven minutes, but I did my best to have a light and ‘normal’ conversation with my Beloveds and their Mum. School, chores, cats, dogs. After a second genuine hug from N3 and a very hesitant second hug (with a pre-promise of “no kisses”), I left.

I just left.

It was the bravest thing I have done in a long, long time. I am proud of myself for facing the possible rejection and just taking a chance. I am proud of myself for making the boys relaxed enough to talk to me for five minutes. I am proud of myself for putting our collection need, to be a family, above my fear of being cast away.

H, B & G – if you ever get to read my blog, I want you to know that I simply adore you and miss you incredibly. I love you more than any other humans on this Earth and I would do anything to protect you and keep you safe.

You are my Beloveds.

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Why The Death Of A Dog I’ve Never Met, Broke Me

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You would be forgiven for believing that we have never lived in a more dangerous and deadly age.
Death penalty by firing squad.
Deadly earthquakes.
Extremists murdering school children.
Deadly riots in the ‘Land of the Free’.

However, the truth is the opposite.

We live in the safest ‘age’ since we evolved into being 200,000 years ago. Although this knowledge doesn’t really dampen the genuine sorrow following the tragedies we have seen in the past week. Carnage and death all over our blue planet. Mostly by our own hands.

However, it’s not any one of these tragedies, nor the combined sadness of them all that dropped me into a sea of sadness this evening.

It was the death of a dog that I have never met.

My online friend Mel, lost her beloved poodle just recently. And I sobbed as I read her words. I crumpled  in my chair and covered my face with my hands, and sobbed. I still feel utterly wretched at losing Horatio and Jack eleven months ago. Almost a year – I can’t quite believe that number.

Ginger having a nap after a bedtime story

Ginger having a nap after a bedtime story

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Despite all the human casualties that have passed in the near gone days, only the news of Ginger’s death was enough to make me succumb to misery. Dogs are such genuinely wonderful creatures whose hearts are larger than their earthly bodies. All they do is give.

But somehow I need to move past my sadness, so I will attempt to empower myself with the words that Mel shared about her departed pooch . . .

 . . . . ” all pets returning to their healthy state, trotting around with butterflies and birds”.

So my Beloved Jack & Horatio – please take Ginger under your wings and show him around. Show him where the sweetest water is, where the sunniest patch is and take him to your fluffy warm bed each night.

I know you’ll all be best buds.

I love you.
Thank you for loving me all those years.

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