Written by Ema Borg Director of Unique Phoenix
In my first blog for this amazing project 1000 Ripple Effects I shared some of my story, the challenges I had in childhood and the feeling of disconnection it created.
Through these experiences I have continually sought out ways to not feel this way. What I discovered was that I would always have moments of feeling this way. So what I needed to do was figure out how to better deal with those times. I spent a few years researching emotions, mind set and I also took any kind of personal development that was offered. What I uncovered that was waiting within me was a simple way of looking at emotions. Taking the complications out meant that I could see the benefit of each of our base emotions.
I call it The Emotional Code. The 5 base emotions are Anger, Shame, Sorrow, Fear and Love.
Starting with Anger. For a long time I was angry, at myself, my family, teachers and well pretty much everyone.
Why was I so angry?
I was angry because I had been abused as a child and no one ever listened when I spoke about it.
I was angry because I did not feel as if I could trust anyone around me.
I was angry because I did not feel heard.
I was angry because I did not understand why this had happened, why anyone would hurt someone like that and why no one stopped it.
Right there in that last sentence is what Anger is all about. We get angry because there is lack of understanding, confusion, and a question that you can’t answer. Anger is one of my favourite emotions now, because it one of the most curious always providing an opportunity to learn about yourself and others.
Anger can come from what someone has said, or they have done. Sometimes you get angry at yourself. Not understanding why you have done or said something you feel is wrong, you can even get angry at yourself when you make a mistake.
Can you think about a time you felt angry?
Now I want you to ask yourself one question……Anger’s question - What Am I Not Understanding?
So simple, but effective. The next time feel angry, confused, frustrated or even wronged ask yourself that very simple question…
WHAT AM I NOT UNDERSTANDING?
When you ask yourself this question is does 2 things – first allows to pause before you react with an angry action and 2 helps you really find out what is underneath you feeling that way.
Of course you are not always going to understand why someone has done something that you don’t agree with, however taking a pause can get you back to a better space of clarity.
Anger is the most curious emotion, always wanting to learn. Asking angers question gives you the opportunity to become more aware.
With more awareness comes more choice and you always have a choice. You cannot control your emotions, but you can choose what action your take with them. It is not the emotion that has the greatest impact, but the action you take. Not only on those around you, but, most importantly on YOU.
Choice gives you the ability to feel empowered, raise your voice and be heard.
So the next time you feel that rising anger simply ask yourself – What am I not Understanding?
I love working with kids around this emotion, seeing the shift when they give themselves permission to feel angry but make a choice on how they react – now that is real awareness and gives them personal trust and power.
Next time I will be sharing Sorrow’s question, and how you can use this emotion to your benefit.
Thank you and remember….. BE YOU, FEEL GOOD – Ema xx
Ema Borg, Founding Director of Unique Phoenix.
Ema says "I Facilitate Change to Deeper Love. I specialise in Emotional Health and Relationship Communication."
I am a mum, wife, entrepreneur, friend, basketball coach, but most of all I am ME. The road to finding ME has certainly been challenging, however worth every step. Before I made the leap to became a facilitator 5 years ago I ran a successful direct sales business, and discovered the wonderful world of personal development and it was through this time that I uncovered my unique view and wisdom. This led me to begin my own business and embracing being out of my comfort zone each and every day. I choose everyday to make healthy and loving choices that support the feel good life I need, that we all need. Being a mum constantly challenges me to be the best I can be, as it my purpose as a mum to help my children be the best humans they can be.
My purpose in business and life is to serve others by supporting them to be authentically themselves and feel good for who they are. Working with Children 8 – 16, Women and Men Business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs, 25 – 45. To allow them to shine, be heard, communicate and lead through their emotions to always get what they need. I believe that every person is born wonderfully unique and each day can rise up choosing to live being the best they can be. Living completely with a heart driven perspective. Constantly uncovering there inbuilt strength and unique abilities. To teach tools that will support them to continually grow, learn, reinvent, rise up, raise their voice, seeking solutions through emotional intelligence, clear communication and independent free thinking. I embrace empowering others to find their own inner strength and the courage to fiercely find there centre to Self-Respect and Self-Love.
Many Thanks, I appreciate the opportunity.
Enjoy your beautiful day.
Be You, Feel Good,
Written by Ema Borg
Hi there, my Name is Ema and I wanted to take the time to introduce myself and the wonderful, sometimes not so wonderful, life I have lived that has led me to the work I do. Probably then, best I share what it is I do now, my passion, my work, and something I will be sharing in future articles. I Facilitate Deeper Love - Specialising in Emotional Health and Relationship Communication. What I will be sharing with you in the future is a unique Emotional Code I have developed to help simplify each base emotion - Fear, Anger, Sorrow, Shame and Love, so that you can use them to your benefit rather than detriment.
How did I find this wisdom in me? Let me share a small story, and snap shot of what my life was like as a kid to help show you how I came to uncover this wisdom within me.
Growing up like so many kids around me I wanted the perfect family. To be like all the other kids, ‘normal’. What is normal? Well to me as a kid it was having a mum and dad, friends, being active, being happy and feeling like everyone else. On the outside I had figured out how to cover it all, to look happy, to act like my mum and her boyfriend were that ‘normal’ family type and most of all to fit in with everyone else, not wanting at all to stand out.
Life was far from normal, my mum was being abused by her boyfriend. He had a drinking problem and would beat my mum. Sometimes we would be left in random places, far away, with mum having to figure out how to get us home, no money and sometimes no idea where we were. I can remember one time near Christmas, late at night he had left us, forgotten us, after an all drinking session with ‘new friends’. After walking for a couple of hours in the dark on an empty country road, way out of town, a stranger picked us up. What could mum do but to hope that this was a generous act and a safe choice that she was making. Thankfully it was. Once we were home there was a taxi in the driveway, thanking the kind stranger we all walked inside to hear the music blaring. My mum, brother and I found the boyfriend with the taxi driver, both completely drunk. He welcomed us and started pouring a drink for mum and asking me to come sit with him. For the first time that I could remember mum said “NO, it’s after midnight, she is going to bed”. Maybe he didn’t want to be embarrassed or found out, as this time he let me go to bed. The music continued, but as I was only 5, maybe 6 I fell right to sleep. Mum was quiet the next morning and I soon begun to learn that this meant she had ‘gotten in trouble’, much later in life I understood what this really meant. Mum had been beaten, and she always covered it up. Over the years of course we saw it more, but we were kids and felt completely powerless to stop it.
With all the abuse mum was experiencing she missed what was happening to me. I didn’t want to always be at home, the tension, the fear, and this was at a time when you could walk freely around the streets at aged 6 with a couple of mates feeling safe. Well, so everyone thought. It was during this time that my friends and I met a local man who had a menagerie of animals in his back yard, he lured young kids, gained trust and then abused them. This man was clever, looking back he had it down pat, knowing who to target and then how to get you to keep it ‘Our little secret’, because, ‘Everyone has a special friend like me’. This went on until I was 7 and thankfully we moved across town. At this time there was no internet, he had no way to find me. Sadly though he was not the last man to have access to abuse me. After we moved there was another man who quickly became our ‘family friend’ and began abusing me.
At around 9 my mum found the courage to leave her boyfriend and we moved far, far away. Now it was just Mum, my brother and I, with no boyfriends in sight. My mum moved to get away from the beatings and abuse she was experiencing, having no idea that this had saved me as well. The freedom I felt was, well there are no real words, but if you have ever felt trapped in secrets and lies then I know you understand the overwhelming joy that comes with thinking you can now live an open and honest life. However it was not really over, because of how I was groomed by both men the secret of stayed within me and festered away. What it did come out in was my behaviour. I became aggressive to my mum, manipulative and lying to cover up all stealing and bad choices I was making. I am a highly adaptive and intelligent person, so you can imagine how easy this was for me.
By 10 I had begun counselling which would continue into my 20’s. No one knew what had happened, everyone just assumed that I was a bad kid. As I mentioned before I had been groomed by men that knew exactly what they were doing. In my mind what had happened was not wrong, it was not bad, in fact I had been so manipulated and fully believed that everyone does it, it was natural, everyone had a secret friend and that the only bad thing I could do was telling anyone about it. I had been convinced that if I shared our ‘secret’, I would ruin all the special time we spent together and get into trouble for telling.
At age 11, Grade 6, I sat in a sexual education class. The first 2 lessons were uncomfortable, even a little embarrassing and sometimes funny. The 3rd lesson was like a huge weight had been dropped on me when they talked about inappropriate touching, and even now all I can’t remember any of the words, only one thought running through my head.
“What happened to me was bad, it does not happen to everyone. I am not special. I am dirty. I have been touched in the wrong way, I let this happen”.
I walked home that day feeling ashamed. I felt even more strongly that I could not tell anyone because they would think badly of me. So I continued the ‘I am ok’ outer world façade, but my inner voice was becoming even meaner, more negative and crying out to be truly seen.
Remember all I ever wanted to be was like everyone else, and now I felt even more different. My teenage years were filled with self-abuse, drugs, alcohol, more lying and manipulation. I was now a master at covering up how I felt, and by the time I was in my 20’s I had almost completely covered up any real emotion or reactions. My 30’s I began shedding the fake stories, found real authentic love with my now husband but still had to find real authentic self-love.
Why am I sharing this with you? The next article I will start with the first of five emotions, Anger. I will share I began to understand it’s purpose and then to show you how anyone can use it for their benefit.
I learned deep compassion, forgiveness of self and others. I got to know the very worst of me, which led me to see the very best. I can now say without any kind of hesitation that I love all sides of me, the very best and worst. To know that there is always a way to love, deep self-love. I want to give you the power of the knowledge that you can shine through all the crap, with hope, finding the light.
You see that is what I discovered. I uncovered my light, learned that I could choose hope and then I continually allowed my unique wisdom to surface each and every day. I know now that everyone is different and in fact this is the most beautiful part of each of us, the wonderful uniqueness.
It is in all of us, uniqueness that can only be found in YOU.
I am Enough Coaching
I witnessed a case of road rage the other day, I would like to share my experience of what I saw, the ripples as events unfolded and how each ripple lead to the next. Finally I would like to discuss how taking a moment to pause can stop the ripples and the escalation.
I was driving to work in my car, a car further down the road had pulled out of a junction in front of the car that I was following. As I saw this my immediate thought was, “wow, crazy man, he is cutting that fine” then the car in front of me slammed on its brakes so hard it actually skidded a little bit. This made me have to brake hard as well. My thoughts were; “that was close”.
What followed was crazy. This was the first ripple effect. The driver who was in front of me started blowing his horn, waving his hands at the driver in front and then he drove so close to him. Very dangerous and aggressive driving. As I said this was the first ripple effect that I witnessed, how this driver decided he had been wronged and that he was going to get his own back through his aggressive driving. I had to slow down, so that if they did hit each other and have an accident I wouldn’t be involved in it. A few times I was really worried they may hit each other and cause a big accident.
Then I witnessed the second ripple effect. Eventually both vehicles ended up at the bottom of a hill at a set of traffic lights. Still the horn blowing continued until one of the drivers got out of the car and approached the other vehicle and driver. Very quickly both drivers were outside their cars and were having a full on argument with plenty of swearing and pushing. This was the second ripple, the incident had escalated to another level, now instead of driving dangerously, and they were on the verge of having a fight. Why, because one driver had pulled out in front of the other person. I couldn’t believe I was watching these two grown men behaving like teenage boys in a school playground.
Next was the third ripple effect as the incident was just about to become worse for both of the men. Neither of them had noticed the Police car on the other side of the traffic lights that had been witnessing the whole event unfold. The Police car sounded its siren, turned on its lights and one of the officers stepped out of the Police car and indicated to the two men to get back in their cars and pull over to the side in a layby. Crazy, this was the third ripple I was witnessing. These two men were now in trouble with the Police and were getting pulled over and who knows what the outcome will be.
As I drove past, both cars were pulling over the Police car was pulling in behind them. I couldn’t help think that did this really need to happen? I fully understood how frustrating it was for the driver I was following who had to brake extremely hard. But that frustration, very quickly turned to anger, which then escalated to rage. Ultimately both drivers ended up having a chat with a couple of Policemen. If only the driver who was in front of me, had taken a moment to pause, to stop and think, to take a deep breath and think, “wow, that was close, but I am still alive” and had just been grateful for that fact, instead of flying off the handle and escalating the situation by driving aggressively and being aggressive toward the other driver things would have ended so much differently.
I never got to witness the fourth and then successive ripples, but I had no doubt that there would be other ripples. Both drivers, could have been given a fine, maybe charged with an offence, maybe incurred a fine and penalty points, which may have led to a suspension of their licence. Now if they needed to drive for a living, that loss of licence will have had a massive impact on them, and if they had a family, it would have rippled out through the family as well.
So let me take you back to the beginning of this series of ripples that I witnessed. I have to ask you a question, do you think any of these ripples would have happened if the first driver had not been in such a rush that he felt he had to pull out in front of the other car? Or, do you think any of this would have happened if the driver of the car that I was following, had not reacted the way he did to being pulled out on?
Do you think all of this could have been avoided if either of them had just taken a moment to pause and think about their actions and the consequences of those actions?
Do you think that this could have been stopped by either of them, by them actually controlling themselves in a better manner?
Can you see how the ripples just lead to the next level? How each level got wilder than the next? Then eventually how both of them ended up in trouble with the Police? Imagine for a moment, that one of them didn’t choose to react the way they did, the whole incident would have ended right there.
Now can you think of a time where you were so wrapped up in an event, that you got swept along in the momentum of that moment, without thinking, all of a sudden you have found yourself in trouble, with no real explanation for your actions, other than blaming someone else?
So the next time you find yourself getting caught up in something, remember to take the time to think, to press the pause button, to take a deep breath and say to yourself, where is this going to lead me? What is the outcome going to be? And, do I really need to be doing this? I am sure you will be able to quickly stop things from getting out of control once you do.
” You are Enough” to take control of yourself at any moment, do you have the courage to do it?
Written by: Jenny Whyte
Many times in our lifetime we hear a few words that can and ultimately do make a difference to us and how we view the world around us!
Sometimes, it's not till later in life that we find the wisdom in our thoughts and feelings!
Sometimes, it's through hardship that we learn our greatest lessons!
Everyone has challenges to overcome in their life, without exception!
Some of the simple things I would truly love to share with you have been gathered together in these few short pages!
We may look at others and think 'how lucky they are', however, if we knew their challenges we may prefer to stick to our own!
Challenges are part of life's experience! To learn and grow! To learn how to react and handle them! To become stronger, more compassionate towards ourselves and others!
Possibly, our challenges can lead us towards our purpose in life! To being able to share with others from our own heart and experience!
I would like to share some things that could make life easier and more enjoyable than it's may appear today!
There are always others less fortunate than ourselves!
Start everyday with three things that you are grateful for! Even if you need to really think hard, do it, because it will change your day! Your week! Your month and ultimately your life!
When you start your day with gratitude, you start your day with a positive outlook, and then little miracles are drawn to you! Positivity is Powerful!
Gratitude or thoughts of gratefulness can be about simple easy things!
Always live with an Attitude of Gratitude
The power of gratitude attracts what we want, improves relationships, reduces negativity and improves problem solving!
Some of the most successful people in the world were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth, in fact some of the most beautiful, powerful human beings had to overcome challenges, and now are some of the most influential role models
Thomas Edison who developed the light globe, he failed 1000 times before being successful! He was an ordinary person who achieved an extraordinary accomplishment!
"Our greatest weakness, is in giving up, the most certain way to succeed, is to give it one more go" Thomas Edison
Steven Spielberg one of the greatest movie directors of all time! He was rejected by The Californium cinematic multiple times, his dream! He kept pursuing his dreams, believing he could make it! At the age of 17 he snuck into a real life filming at universal studios! Then continued to pursue his dream!
Did you know?
Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini, Ella Fitzgerald, Daniel Craig, Jim Carey just to mention a few, sometime in their lifetime they were challenged with not having a home; living out of a suitcase; living in their car; being homeless; not knowing where their next dollar was coming from! True!
They all had something! A Dream! A purpose! A determination! A belief!
I believe within each of us there is this spark! It's a feeling hat we are more than what we perceive ourselves to be! I call it the Giant Within. None of us are without it, sometimes, we just need to remember who we are, how magnificent we are, how incredible we can be! Not from an outside perspective but from an internal perspective!
If we look for a positive in every situation, we may find the joy we are seeking!
Your thoughts create your feelings!
Your feelings create your actions!
Your actions create your results!
Your results create your belief systems!
I remember learning many years ago about 'stinkin thinkin' and sometimes during my life's experiences I have fallen back into stinking thinking! You hear this little voice in your head and it sounds something like this;
YOU "I love singing and I'm going to audition for The Voice!"
Voice in head "Ha ha! You! You're not good enough! You will make a fool of yourself! Ha ha!!
I also learnt a great tool to overcome those negative chats!
I refer to it as Mr Pozzie and Mr Neggie
It started out this way;
Mr Pozzie sat on my right shoulder and Mr Neggie on my left
During the day as I have internal dialogue both parties chat to me....Mr Pozzie always has something good to say, whilst (yes, you guessed it) Mr Neggie just feeds negative feedback! Well I learned the 'finger flick' you make a circle with your index finger and your thumb, when Mr Neggie starts negative feedback you turn to your left shoulder and you assertively give Mt Neggie The Flick! Keep doing it....even if it takes as many times as Thomas Edison did...you will succeed!
It finishes on a positive! With your left hand turn to Mr Pozzie who sits on your right shoulder and you thank him for his love and support! For always being there for you! For always encouraging you! For believing in you! For being patient and caring! If you are really brave you may even wish to tell Mr Pozzie 'I love you"!
If we look for the positive in every situation, we will find the joy we are looking for!
May the Giant Within you guide you to all that your true heart desires!
May you enjoy a life filled with love, peace and prosperity!
Go do it!
We are very humbled and honored to have Marissa join us and write a story for the 1000 Ripple Effects Book.
Marissa is a high school English and Legal Studies teacher and sees the incredible value of stories and the impact that they can have on young lives. She is passionate about enriching young lives and has chosen the 1000 Ripple Effect project as one way to actively achieve that goal.
Marissa is a lifelong learner and has several university degrees. She has recently been published in Volume 2 of The Regionalist, the journal associated with the Institute for Regional Security in Canberra.
Although she loves writing about international relations, world security and politics, she also loves escaping into a good book. She has always been an avid reader and has always known that there are stories she just needs to write.
Marissa has a passion for creating young adult fiction and has recently written her first full length novel: the first in a series of fractured classics. Her message for all aspiring authors is to just do it. Let the story flow out of you and worry about what happens with it afterwards. Let your truth be told.
Barbara is a spiritual magpie and co-creator of Daring Spirits, where the mission is to bring meditation into the mainstream. Barbara serves as a lightening bolt to instigate change and help you magnify your purpose. As an Energy Worker (clairvoyant, medium, and teacher), she'll rouse your inner dragon and show you how to work with it instead of shy away from it.
She honors her creative energy by showing up and letting Spirit take the lead, co-creating with the Universe as a student of A Course in Miracles. She's made peace with her inner bull in the china shop after decades of unsuccessful attempts to quiet it. Curious and more than a little irreverent, nothing thrills her more than hearing authentic truth expressed without fear (or, even juicier - despite fear!).
Written by: Kayleen Greagen-Castle,
When you look at society today, most of us have our heads down looking at a rectangular screen, funnily enough, this is exactly what I look like right now, coffee to my right as I wait for the car to be cleaned. There is something I feel is different however to people looking down at screens compared to what a lot of people assume is happening, and it's what people are doing while they're looking down.
One thing which is more and more apparent is people seeking inspiration. Not only people seeking inspiration, those who are offering it too. There are people everywhere seeking uplifting content, reading empowering quotes, inspirational personal development books and audiobooks, additionally, more and more people are sharing, demonstrating and offering those things too.
Along with people reading with their heads down, there is a stack more people these days with their heads up looking at positive and inspirational role models. Women and Men who are standing in front of crowds uplifting citizens to empower them to improve their own lives, in whatever area/s it is at the time! More and more people are taking to the stages to share their messages.
The thing which inspires more and more people to live a fulfilled life, are the real life stories of how people came to be successful, how people rose against adversities, how they went against the crowd, the underdog. Why? Because it shows 'regular joes' can have a life full of their dreams fulfilled and be successful too. It wouldn't nearly be as empowering if it seemed the goals and dreams you have were so far out of reach because those who were successful seemed like superhuman who've seemingly achieved the impossible.
Seeing others empowered to make a difference in their life along with the lives of others is empowering, a ripple effect, and for every empowered human being, Man, Woman, Child, another human is empowered and so the domino affect begins in reverse, instead of dominos being knocked down, every domino pulls up another domino after it, standing tall, United, Empowered! Collectively, this is how we are changing the world.
Admittedly, we do spend too often looking down at a rectangle screen than up and at the world around us, to remind ourselves there is more to life than just screentime, however, there is a STACK of incredible content around the world which is inspiring, uplifting, empowering and assists in your personal growth should this be something you are after.
Each of us has a unique opportunity to offer a service to the world, and there isn't a better way than following your own dreams and passions, to walk the tightrope and be the person you wish to be, doing the things you want to do. You never know how many people you will inspire simply by following your own dreams. Your example may give them the courage to stand up and go after what they too desire, after all, if you're empowered, chances are somewhere along the line, you've seen or felt it from another person and just decided to go for it. Each of us are stars, designed to shine, to offer the light we have inside, and by sharing or reflecting the light we have, others can also shine their light.
Positivity is contagious, as is being empowered. When you show you're a strong independent person chasing after your dreams, others catch the bug.
Get out and shine your light, share your gift. What will it be? What do you have to share? How can you help? The true gift of life is giving, the most fulfilling feeling in the world is the service of others.
If you have a message to share, one you'd like published, check out www.facebook.com/1000rippleeffects to become part of the collaborative book project giving back to children and the world, creating ripple effects, to empower and inspire children to succeed in life, no matter which way it is.
Children are our future generation, we get to make way for future generations for it is those who will change the world in ways we haven't even seen yet.
Written by Kayleen Greagen-Castle, living an empowered life, shining my light on the world through words.
For more of my work, checkout www.thoughtfulperspectives.com
How the combined ripple effects of your experiences create the INNER and STRONGER YOU! – An interview with John Stephen Broadbent
Written by: Louise Keramaris
The first of May is a significant date for you? What happened on this date?
On 1 May 1987, I decided to leave the security of permanent employment and a regular pay-check, and head out on my own. I was in a pretty comfortable place at the time when I left my job as I was able to collect my superannuation and long service leave, I was debt free and I owned my own house. I had a $3,500 a month in income and owed nothing! I was bored with my pharmaceutical position and my “heart was not in the business.” I was approached by a colleague who was a contractor to provide support in his business so I threw caution to the wind and seized the opportunity.
What was going through your mind at that time? What were you saying to yourself? What were you feeling? What were you thinking?
I'll never forget that first day of wonder, knowing the world truly was my playground! I felt an extraordinary sense of liberation and that I was the master of my own destiny.
I reflected back on my high school motto which was “Every man is the maker of his own fortune”. If I back track to my birth my parents were advised that I had “24 hours to live when I was born”! In so in many ways I was not “supposed to live” and yet it was this “tenacity” within me as a driver running throughout my life. I grew up as an only child where I had to adapt totally on my own and then later in life I got myself my own scholarship and then cadetship. I spent a lot of time on my own with a “strong sense of independence or rather anti-dependence”. I saw this strength as a “double edged sword”. I got everything by myself.
Later in 1991, the 'recession Australia had to have' cost me my home, my life savings and my 17 year relationship. And a time for some deep introspection after contemplating suicide for feeling such a failure. I remember leaving the house that I built and owned on the long weekend of October 1992 and looking at the keys as I left them on the breakfast bar and walked out with a suitcase, to head to a job in Kuala Lumpur.
When you said you “were contemplating suicide for feeling such a failure” – What did you focus on that prevented you from going down that path?
I drew on specific memories that helped me during this tumultuous time in my life. Let me give you some context… At the beginning of 1991 my wife wanted to swim with the dolphins in Monkey Mia. You can imagine that this was not something that I was keen to do being an engineer! However, I did do it and during this challenging time in my life I managed to reflect on this extraordinary experience. I recall being so immersed in their world and having so much fun and joy. What I most remember is the synchronous event that followed.
When we got back from Monkey Mia I got a phone call from the personal assistant of a spiritual teacher who had recently moved from Adelaide to Sydney, inviting us to a “dolphin meditation”! How that person got my phone number is still a mystery! I was destined to meet this extraordinary man living in “tie-died King G overalls” who happened to be one year younger than me. I ended up going to one of his workshops in June 1991 and within 3 minutes of talking to him he had me in tears. I hadn’t cried like this in years. He then said to me “I know you better than you know yourself.” It was this friend and mentor and these experiences that I drew on during this time.
I came to realise that I needed to be stripped bare of all the things that society tells us are important so that I could recognise what was left was “me”! I spent the next 8 years or so investing in myself and used all my income to travel with this man to various countries and met a Shaman in Alaska, Healers in Bali, Elders at Uluru, Masaai in Kenya and sages in the Himalayas. What I had to go through I would describe as “dismantling my ego” completely. What I realised was that I had to connect with a “complete lack of self-worth” that was at my core, to dismantle this and then re-assemble and build my new self.
Later in 2008/9 the Global Financial Crisis cost me $300k in a wellness centre, again, overexposed and not enough in the bank for a month of rainy days. Being homeless for 8 weeks with a 1year old and 6year old is not an experience I'd like to repeat, however it humbled me by the support I received from our school community. Looking back, it was probably the beginning of the end of my second long-term relationship, which eventually ended last March.
As you reflect on the past 9 years, what advice would you give to someone that is themselves going through a massive upheaval in their life?
The pain is worth it! The sense of liberation is enormous. You only do it once. In effect, you’re engaging with your psyche. The first time is very painful as it is the death of a part of the ego but as you take a little chunk at a time you see the cycle of your own self-empowerment journey unfolding, so you take another bite and then another. You learn more of who you are and then you take another bite and soon enough inertia builds up and you are “learning that who you are is the gift of unlocking something about yourself” and then you realise the “how I know what I know” is the journey towards “the gift of wisdom”. You realise how much the unconscious level has been controlling you and you see this gift as a celebration. I realised then when “we think we are in control” we are truly at the call of our unconscious controllers. We need to do the inner work to come to this place of self-realisation.
As you reflect on the key events that rocked your life what “ripples” did they create? In particularly what ripples were created:
There is no competition between me and my sons and if I can give you an example of the nature of our relationship, I recall a time recently where my son was sitting next to me and simply leaned into me and put his head on my shoulder. At the age of 15 years that so moved me. I’ve also more recently reflected on his experiences with his ex-girlfriends and how he has called each of them to account when “they lied to him or played games – he called it “putting his mind through a blender.” I am so proud that he has such a strong sense of who he is in the world.
The work I’ve been undertaking on over the last 25 years, experiencing “rites of passage” ceremonies with boys, attending mens’ groups and gatherings is focused on understanding the maturing process of men. It has included providing a safe environment to take boys and young men on that journey. My work has been drawn from research done in this area by a key Anthropologist, Arnold Von Gennup, who worked and studied the “rites” of Indigenous communities world-wide. What Gennup identified is that there are common practices across all communities. These are in 3 areas: separation, initiation and integration, also known as pre-liminal, liminal and post-liminal.
For example, the boy is taken away from the main tribe for a period of time. During this time the boy is then supported to participate in a mysterious process of initiation to test his stamina, fortitude and grit. Following on from this practice the boy is then re-integrated back into the community as a “warrior”. The boy is now expected to operate from a place without the ‘me’ ego. This work has proved to address a huge gap in what is absent from many cultures and societies today.
What else have you learned about yourself?
I have learned to trust myself now. I’ve become aware of what is called the “witness process”. At the Wellness centre in 2008, there was an outstanding NLP practitioner who explained the concept of the “witness process”. By this she was able to describe that I was experiencing an awareness of this “observer” in me whilst I was watching me. I thought at one point I was going mad as I had this ongoing sense of watching and monitoring myself. She explained that it would go away in its own time and yes it did do just that. It’s then that I realised that I am free, that I trust myself and at my core I know what to do in any circumstance. If I do make a poor decision (I don’t believe we ever make mistakes), it then becomes an opportunity for reflection and further growth.
Last year between April and May, I ended my 21year relationship, buried my cousin and also asked a 20-year friend to leave our business partnership. It was a whirlwind time of my life, yet considering what was going on I had this “deeper inner peace” of “acceptance”. I felt in one piece and mentally, physically well and solid. I understood that I was simply where I needed to be. I noted the “paradox of being nothing and everything at the same time”. It reminded me of the experience I felt whilst doing a profound workshop in Uluru many years ago. A privilege granted with the respect of the Traditional Owners. At this powerful workshop, I experienced a process where each person was led into an egg shaped hole in Uluru and invited to climb in and sit in an almost foetal position. I watched as each person had to be carried out of the hole which was intriguing in itself. When my turn came, I climbed in and as I connected to the space my consciousness was propelled into space where I experienced a state of bliss and being-ness and I was consumed with a divine sense of oneness. I thought “there is no way I’m getting out” and then like the others before me, I too had to be carried out!
So tonight, 1 May 2017, I'm pouring myself a wee dram of Lagavulin (my favourite single malt whiskey) to remind myself of my grit and determination in still wanting to turn up every day and give my best.
Do I have difficult days? Hell yeah! Do I have any regrets? Hell No! Each decision I made took me one step closer to self-awareness and closer to my destination ... whatever that looks like. I now know I have a well of inner strength that has become a solid foundation on which I can engage with Life … and that it contains!
John’s book, Man Unplugged – Exploring The Inner Man, is available at manunplugged.com.au and explores:
Hello and Welcome Terese Eglington to the 1000 Ripple Effects Book Project!
Hello, I am Terese Eglington, author and illustrator of ‘Wotsiu and the Whispering Wattles’ and ‘The Laughing Tree’. I am a primary school teacher and former dance teacher. Writing and painting are two of my favourite activities, and combining them in children’s books has been extremely rewarding, especially seeing the faces of both children and adults light up as they turn the pages. My stories and illustrations are inspired by events, landscapes and wildlife of the local area.
If you would like to know more or chat about my writing or art please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or
follow my face book page: https://www.facebook.com/terese.eglington
Terese Eglington - Children's Book Author