Another Bumpy Ride

Another Bumpy Ride

Hello My Arty Friends,

If you are not connected to my socials you may not be aware that on the 24th July 2023 I was diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer.  I remember clearly writing about my previous stomach cancer experiences and how my perception of time changed. Hearing the ‘C’ work again after 12 years was like watching two cars collide in slow motion, only this time I felt like I was observing the accident rather that sitting behind the steering wheel.  I love explaining things in metaphors, so let’s call this ‘the 2nd baby’. Anyone that has experienced childbirth knows that no matter what anyone tells you first time around, nothing can actually prepare you for parenthood.  Second time around you know what’s coming and even though the experience maybe similar there will be new lessons because no second baby is ever like the first baby!

In 2019 I wrote a letter to my past-self which I will share some part of. It tells a grueling tale of what I would have said to myself knowing what I know now. The lows and highs of cancer. The sadness, grief, hope and gratefulness all mixed up in a messy soup of medical appointments. The weight loss, the hair loss, the friend loss. The additional financial burden that’s placed on a family and the lack of support and understanding that the primary Carer suffers.  I soon worked out that a wig only made other people feel comfortable, so the night I decided not to wear one to a school open night was met with awkward stares and parents avoiding eye contact to avoid conversations.  The absolute clincher was a school mum’s jesting, calling me a ‘skinny bitch’ post-surgery.  I assured her that she could also be as thin as me if she was prepared to go through the same thing.  Some people are soooooo inappropriate!

‘You are going to lose a lot of weight and I mean a lot. You are probably going to kick yourself for wishing you could lose weight.  You got your wish but not the way you thought it was going to happen.   You know those chubby cheeks, those voluptuous breasts and wobbly belly you hate so much when you look in the mirror – you are going to lose it all.  In fact, by the time you have finished you are going to have to change everything in your wardrobe, even your shoes.  It was nice at first but when those curves that define you as a woman start to disappear even you will be shocked at your appearance.  You will actually walk past a window and smile at the person looking back at you because for a split second you didn’t realize it was a reflection and you didn’t recognize the girl looking back was you. ‘

Reading back through that letter it is clear how much I have grown and I’m not the only one. The level of support provided by the hospital has improved so much over the last decade that I honestly don’t know how I managed it all by myself the first time around.  This second diagnosis has been challenging for my husband and children who, once again, have to watch me go through more treatment, surgery and 12 to 18 months of recovery.  I honestly have no idea what life looks like on the other side of this, but I have some comfort in knowing that although this is another high mortality cancer, we caught this one early.  It certainly doesn’t mean that I’m out of the woods, but it does give me more options due to early cancer screening.

As this tumour is in my pancreas and not my colon the recommended treatment has to be privately funded.  My family needs to raise $61,000 in order to pay for a ‘mismatch repair deficiency cancer’ that decided to grow in a non-government funded organ.  This covers approximately 21 treatments and then the next two years are free of charge.  If you would like to help us financially I have started a GoFundMe page where you can donate.  If you prefer to own some of my artwork you can support me by purchasing through my shop.

If you would like to know a little more about the science, here is some information regarding Lynch Syndrome and its associated cancers along with information regarding Keytruda which is the immunotherapy treatment I have been put on.

Lynch syndrome (previously known as HNPCC) is an inherited genetic mutation which gives people an increased chance of developing certain cancers across their lifetime, often at a younger age than the general population (i.e. before 50 years of age). 

These cancers include, but are not limited to:

  • Bowel cancer*
  • Endometrial cancer (lining of the uterus)*
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Hepatobiliary cancer (liver/gallbladder)
  • Urinary tract cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Skin (sebaceous adenoma, sebaceous epithelioma, or sebaceous carcinoma and keratoacanthoma)
  • Small bowel cancer 

Most cancers in people with an inherited MLH1 mutation will have a tumor biomarker known as “MSI-high” or “MSI-H” (microsatellite instability). This biomarker indicates that the tumor has a feature known as “mismatch repair deficiency,” which is also known by the abbreviations dMMR or MMR-D. Testing tumors for mismatch repair deficiency or MSI-High can be important, because these tumors are more likely to respond to immunotherapyagents known as immune checkpoint inhibitors

 People with an MLH1 mutation may qualify for clinical trials looking for more effective treatments for cancer. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor used to treat metastatic or advanced colorectal cancer. 

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For the first time, Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) will have its listing extended on the PBS to include the treatment of unresectable or metastatic mismatch repair deficient colorectal cancer.

This is the first immunotherapy treatment available to Australians with this type of cancer, which cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to an area outside the colon/rectum. 

Keytruda® belongs to a new class of immunotherapy medicines that help the body’s own immune system to detect and fight cancer cells. The drug is already available on the PBS for other types of cancer, including lung cancer and melanoma.,mismatch%20repair%20deficient%20colorectal%20cancer.

A new health report from consumers reveals over 80,000 Australians, at increased risk of developing one or more often-aggressive primary cancers in their lifetime, don’t actually know that they’re at risk from a hereditary cancer gene.

Lynch Syndrome Australia Founding Director, Ms Beth Fairbank said only 5% of Australians with Lynch syndrome have been diagnosed.

“It’s imperative that people with the gene are diagnosed early in order to increase cancer prevention and early detection. 

For a person with the gene, they have a 70% chance of developing a Lynch syndrome-related cancer (including bowel, endometrium, pancreas, stomach, breast, prostate, kidney and skin cancer),” said Ms Beth Fairbank, Lynch Syndrome Australia Founding Director.

This path has so many casualties. There are depths of self you have to dive into to find strength, hope and healing that only comes with a cancer diagnosis.  I am refining what is important and who I want to spend my time with.  I am relearning not to set expectations around those that show up and those that don’t. I am having to find forgiveness for things that I thought I had already forgiven and letting go of people, situations and emotions that I thought I had already released. The cycle has come back around and its time to lean back into the dis-ease so I can peel off another layer and clean house, yet again. This ascension stuff is hard work and I can only say that a cancer free body and true enlightenment will be the ultimate outcome from this experience.


Michelle xx

Re-Braving in 2023

Re-Braving in 2023

“I am re-braving after a difficult stage that un-braved me.” – Jeff Brown.

2022 was indeed The Tower’ for me.

January 2022, things were starting to open up, people had already started planning for a mask free future, but my hesitation had all but turned me into a paranoid skeptic who saw how ugly and selfish the world had become.  I had already distanced myself from certain social media platforms and as much as much as my reflection started to resemble Shrek in his swamp, I reveled in the luxury of just being able to put my phone down to alleviate any drama that was going on in the outside world.  It was generally nice not having to people.

School began, my eldest heading into year 12 and my youngest being able to attend his first year since commencing high school.  Just getting accustomed to having the house back to myself felt weirdly quiet.  I can’t say I missed the smell of the air fryer or the fridge door constantly opening and closing, but we had worked out daily routines so we were not constantly getting under each other’s feet.  Getting reacquainted with myself took some time but I missed the kids and the company.   I knew that life, as we all knew it, had changed and just as I had had an enormous amount to time to think and contemplate the last 2 years, I was not prepared for what was to come.

On January 18, 2022, I went in for my yearly colonoscopy. This is part of my cancer screening and is something that I have done since 2011.  My histopathology came back showing the removal of a tubulovillous adenoma with extensive high-grade dysplasia, and lots of other medical terminology that no one ever wants to see on a report.  I cannot tell you how much my heart sank. My specialist of 11 years was now all but retired to Queensland and his office admin were under strict instructions not to contact him under any circumstances (unless it was his week on in Melbourne) so getting hold of the right people to give this the urgency I felt it needed was nothing short of challenging.  Getting past the frustration of pouring out my history to medical receptionists and being able to speak to ‘someone’ that would call me back sent me into meltdown.

Living with a genetic predisposition to gastrointestinal cancers is not something you can fully appreciate unless you are living it.  Its not like a cough or cold that you ‘get through’ and then your life becomes healthy again.  Living with this constant threat of another ‘C’ is my life.  Fatigue and fall out from multiple surgeries is a daily grind.  I have to prioritize everything, and I mean everything.  From what I can do in a day, to who and what I give my energy and time to.  What I eat on a daily basis can affect my hydration levels, my bowels, my ability to complete tasks and how much I can do physically.   AND let me tell you, no matter how much spiritual work I do and how positive I am, shit things happen.  Shit does not discriminate. It doesn’t care how kind or generous you are. It doesn’t matter if you give your last $20 to the homeless guy outside Woollies or how many self-help books you have beside your bed.  Shit doesn’t care how much money you have in the bank or how many friends you have.  Shit just happens.

Two gastroenterologists, my oncologist and a colorectal specialist later I was given the option for a partial colectomy or close monitoring (quarterly colonoscopies).  It was explained to me that the partial colectomy involved the removal of ¾ of my bowel with a 12-18 month recovery and the possibility of a temporary or permanent colostomy bag.  The thought of having to endure the same recovery as my gastrectomy was more than I could cope with so against my oncologists wishes I went with the latter.

This experience cracked me open to my very core.   My mental health suffered on a scale I have never experienced.  For the first time ever, I knew I could no longer do this on my own. I sought medical intervention for my anxiety and depression and by May 2022 I was speaking with a psychologist and on medication. It almost seems insane that I waited until I was right on the edge of self-destruction before I took these steps.  My belief was always ‘I can do this on my own.’ Surely with all the self-help and spiritual guidance I had for support, seeking medical intervention seemed weak. How can I be a Reiki Master, a Lightworker Practioner, lead women in Circle, know all that I know and need help for my mental health? It felt like I had failed. That by doing this I was ‘a fake’ and clearly not spiritual enough to heal this myself.  Pushing past all these belief systems was challenging.  I accepted that being vulnerable was not a sign a weakness and even if we have all the answers we need inside, sometimes its a hell of alot easier if someone is holding your hand as you walk through it.

Not all that long ago I listened to a podcast from the Spiritual Tradie and he spoke to someone regarding our ‘Spiritual tool shed.’  That we have all been living in a state of overwhelm for such an extended period of time that even if we feel we had all the spiritual resources at our fingertips, some of us forgot where we put the key to the shed.  This was me in a nutshell.  I was thrown back 11 years when I was just a babe on my spiritual journey.  While everyone else went on re-planning events that were delayed through the pandemic, I was being thrown back into a space of the unknown, of poking and prodding, tests upon tests, hospital and specialists’ appointments.  So, not only was it was imperative I stay virus free but I had to navigate what this potentially meant for me and my family. And I cried and cried and cried.

2022 was also a huge year of acceptance.  Finally facing my health issues head on and really accepting my limitations, which grieved me more than I had imagined it would.  Letting my grey hair grow out (for a time) and seeing the 100% me.   It’s a weird feeling being a woman in her 50’s, it truly is a bit of a void.  It’s like a light switch turns on and you start the see the world differently. You certainly may not feel ‘old’, but your reflection lets you know otherwise. I remember my mum telling me that when women hit a certain age they suddenly become invisible. We sort of slink into the background. We let go of the last strands of youth but have to learn to reshape that into something new.  Something inside us stirs and if we give ourselves permission, we can make own rules. Simply nod your head and leave the youth to make their own mistakes as you start to weave a new life, your way.  No ‘bullshit.’ But this to is something we need time to adjust to, and for a while anyway we feel suspended in that space ‘in-between’.

Last year un-braved me so much that I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to face what may lay ahead.  I am proud that I resourced myself, learned how to take better care of me and I am happy to report I am in a much better place now.  If you are having a tough time, know that there is help out there if you seek it, and if you don’t know where to start, go and speak to your GP or a qualified medical practitioner.  It is okay to be a complete mess and to have no idea where your life is going, no matter how old you are.   The Tower always brings extreme emotional turmoil, chaos and scary adjustments.  If The Tower has entered your life, then it’s time to rethink your foundations, open yourself up to a clearer spiritual path and a more truthful existence and remember you don’t have to do it alone.

Today is not forever. <3


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The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Dawn

The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Dawn

Welcome to the year 2022 and a different world.

My blogs have been few and far between and 2021 was no exception.  As Julie Andrews would sing ‘Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.’

This won’t be your usual upbeat blog because lets face it 2021 for the most part was pretty shit.  I felt like Artex, the horse from the Neverending Story, slowly sinking in the Swamp of Sadness.

For those living in Melbourne Australia, I can only compare my experience to slowly being tortured.  Each lockdown got harder and harder.  The frenzied toilet paper grab of 2020 was replaced by cynicism when we watched the same thing happening in other States.  Some of us even scoffed at a 3 day snap lockdown in Queensland.  Watching queues of people lined up outside Coles as they prepared to bunker down for their long weekend.  The mental and emotional toll it took on myself and my family was more than I could bare.  Lockdown number 6 broke me, not to mention my Doctor, who would download more on me than I did on her every time I booked an appointment.  Psychology waiting lists no longer existed because of the overwhelming surge in mental health issues amongst our community, including our children.

Our neighbour laughs about saving on petrol but wearing out 4 pairs of shoes doing laps of his garden, but all jokes aside it was incredibly hard watching the rest of the Country getting on with life while we were being treated like District 8 in the Hunger Games.  Instagram posts of diners smiling at open restaurants, family gatherings and going on holidays, while we had security guards standing at funerals making sure the bereaved were not comforting each other and maintaining social distancing.  If you think I’m exaggerating, I am not.

Then there was the division. Not just the overwhelming grief of leaving behind any sense of normality, but the personal impact this had on my friendships. There became a clear line within the Spiritual Community. In the end my friendship list and who I followed shrank as I watched many around me no longer aligning with my truth.  The option to ‘unfollow for 30 days’ on Facebook became a futile attempt to not offend.  As someone that works within this community with my intuitive art and women’s circles, I was somehow supposed to remain impartial to the constant barrage of posts and opinions from others.  Telling me I was a ‘sheep’, I was ‘living in fear’, that I needed to ‘wake up’, that my choices were not the right choices.  The kindness and generosity of the first 2020 lockdowns were torched up in flames along with a severe lack of empathy and understanding for other people.

Watching this all unfold last year had a huge impact on my spirit and my heart, withdrawing me into the safety of my own shell.   My initial enthusiasm to extend myself to run online women’s circles and share my teachings via zoom in 2020 had long fizzled out.  Instead, my daily outings became walks within my 5klms radius or getting my essential shopping whilst doing my best to avoid anyone that even remotely looked like they wanted to engage in conversation.   Things got pretty dark, and I don’t mind admitting that in retrospect.  The ultimate in shadow work, one might say.

Jumping social media platforms was my creative savior. Watching everything you have created come to a complete standstill is devastating for a small business.  The lack of growth, reduction in views and interaction seems to be all driven by the push for paid advertising, and you can’t spend what you don’t have.  I discovered a brilliant Art Community on Tiktok and landed on my feet. Arttok has inspired me to step out of my own way and try new things. All the while being truly authentic to who I am, not someone I thought I had to be to drive people to my business.  And as with anything new it has taken up a lot of my time. Learning how to use the app, recording artwork progress, editing, learning how to engage people and to draw the right people to my account so I stay on the right side of TikTok!  It has been full steam ahead.

My daily routine and coping mechanism. My creative outlet, my ‘new art tribe’, and my sanity. However, it has not come without its shadow side and finding a balance between escapism and inspiration has been non-existent. I admit I threw all caution to the wind and totally burnt myself out in the process.

It was a year of clarity and introspection.  The weight of the collective grief was huge and here I was one little human not wanting to burden anyone else.   I am a Reiki Master, a Lightworker Practitioner and a qualified Women’s Circle Facilitator, this was my chance to shine. I worked long and hard to attain my qualifications. Years of personal growth and self development behind me and if anyone had their shit together surely it should have been me?  Well, just letting you know I didn’t, and I certainly didn’t do anything wrong.  Accepting what is, is sometimes the only way to walk through it.  The darkest of times is when we have an opportunity for the most growth, and if there is anything I have learned through my life’s experiences it’s that these times can create huge breakthroughs as long as we are willing to work through them instead of avoiding or dwelling to long on the negative aspects.

I’m not going to lie, my post lockdown lethargy feels like I have been to war and my energy is still quite depleted. As I unplug for a bit to recharge I feel like I have finally turned a corner.  As far as goal setting for 2022 I feel I need to be more fluid, like water, so I can bend and move more easily with whatever is heading my way.  I would love to hold Circle again in my beautiful big tent which has been a great refuge during these hard times and although bookings are looking up I would really like to work with more watercolor, so I will see where that takes me.

I know it’s been tough, really tough. A lot harder for some than others, and there are no guarantees that just because you’re a good person that good things will happen to you.  Those story lines only play out in fairy tales. Life owes us nothing, it’s about experiences and it’s up to us to create the life we want to see.  In the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi  “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

C’est la vie to 2021

C’est la vie to 2021

C’est la vie to 2021.

What started as a slow return to normal quickly turned into a round of dodge ball at the supermarket, avoiding all eye contact with masked faces because the last thing I needed was someone downloading on me in the middle of isle 4.

The isolation for myself and my kids simply got too much and I found myself increasingly concerned about their mental health, unsuccessfully grappling for resources to try and help support them.

Manageable self-care routines went out the window when Allied Health Services had to close to all but emergency cases. This turned the usual aches and pains into chronic conditions which are now going to take months to repair.

Lock down 6 admittedly broke me. If I haven’t messaged you for a while it’s because I have had nothing left to give. Literally. The give in my clothes finally gave out and now I have a wardrobe full of things I can no longer wear. Let me tell you, this is no mean feat for a girl with no stomach.

The prolonged stress and emotional weight has been overwhelming and this is from someone who has done years and years of shadow work. Believe me, I have had all the spiritual resources at my fingertips and I have still struggled through this 18months.

Some days my sense of humor is the only thing that’s has kept me from a total meltdown and even that has managed to get me in trouble.

This post is not about seeking sympathy, support or advise. I just want you to know it’s okay not be okay, no matter how ‘awoke’ you are. This new world is still taking shape and there will be no going back to the old ways. It is a huge time of grieving in so many ways. We will all have to find our place again and that might mean a big change in direction.

Some days it’s just about getting up and having a shower. For those mums in the room, remember bringing that newborn home? Those few minutes you get to run some cold water on your face or actually get changed out of your pajamas.

Some days are going to be about the small wins. Bringing your energy in and simply saying ‘no, I can’t do that today.’ And being okay with that. Loosing the guilt behind trying to be everything to everyone. It’s hard enough carrying your own burdens without the weight of others.

Allow yourself to create space just because you can and you should.

On a personal note this also means that I have pulled back from several social media platforms, groups and friendships. I need to do what is best for my mental health and that includes not being a part of other peoples agendas or listening to others opinions.

Where does this leave me? I simply do not know. I have not been able to regain my pre lockdown energy and drive to make things successful. After 9 years I have made the tough decision to hand over my Gastrectomy Connections Site to a much larger organisation in the hopes that they will have the drive and resources to give it everything it deserves. It’s time to let some big things go

It is way past due for some karmic separation with things and people that no longer align with me. So as we enter this last month of 2021 I will be addressing all that needs to be addressed so I can walk into next year with some clarity around what lays ahead for me. I am choosing to surrender to the process.

I hope you’ll hang around but I understand if you don’t. We are meant to change and evolving is part of the process.

The Space In Between

The Space In Between

Being ‘in between’ is an odd feeling. Like those awkward years when you feel like an adult but you’re told to sit at the kids table. For a time you feel like you don’t fit anywhere, but you do know that you have outgrown a part of yourself and that it is time to move on.

The type of language that people use doesn’t sit right with you any more. The places or people that used to give you joy or inspiration, no longer give you peace or comfort.  Something just feels blah.

You know you can’t go back, but you also feel that you can’t go forward, not yet anyway. It’s like you are in a holding pattern until the path that you are supposed to take starts to appear in front of you.

Time where you need to be content to just ‘be’.  Just sit in the ‘I AM’ for a while. This is the most difficult part of the ‘in between’ for me. I’m used to going full steam ahead. I create, and create, and create to the point of exhaustion.

I create for joy to myself and others, to earn an income, to keep my mind busy, to see how far I can push myself, to improve my skills. I create for fun, to feed my soul, to heal, but I also create to distract myself so that I do not have to focus on things that will cause me emotional distress.

It’s like a double edged sword, and sometimes I would say an addiction. You can become addicted to anything, even creativity. Once you throw the word ‘addiction’ into something it has a negative connotation. It means that you feel you have to do this ‘thing’ in order to feed an aspect of yourself that you feel is missing. Perhaps this ‘addiction’ distracts you from the real problem or emotion that you won’t, can’t or are not ready to face. Perhaps this addiction has turned into a belief system where you feel you need it to function. The epiphanies only come when you change your course and you step away from those behaviors.

Stepping away from things that you do every day allows you to see with more clarity. You just have to go camping for a week to realise how much you can live without. The ‘in between’ can be an uncomfortable space to be.

2020 gave rise to a lot of people all over the world, and continues to do so. The New Age or Spiritual movement calls this a ‘Mass Awakening’. Putting people outside their routine and comfort zones where they have to really look at themselves and reassess who they are, what they want from life and how they can contribute to mankind.

This movement has also given way to a lot of new programs, courses, self help and well-being resources that perhaps you had not thought of delving into before. My Facebook feed is saturated with sponsored advertisements and no doubt so is yours. The temptation is always there to sign up for another masterclass class (BTW I can’t stand this term!), course, or program while you are sitting in the ‘in between’. A past mentor of mine would use the term ‘perpetual students’ referring to certain individuals who would take course after course rather than going out into the world and fully integrating what they have learnt into their lives. Resisting becoming teachers or mentors themselves through sharing or living in alignment because they are forever in search of perfecting or growing their knowledge.

Trust me, the butterfly part of me always wants to try new things, even if it’s to work out how I can learn and understand them so that I can create something of my own. But I know that this is not the time for me to do that. I know that I need to be comfortable in my discomfort. I know that rest is what I need in order to find inspiration. I know that I do not need to take another class or course or workshop at this time. I know that ‘not’ being busy does not devalue my worth.

So if you find yourself like me, stuck in the in between, be kind to yourself. Do not feel that you have to go and seek things to validate your existence. Circumstances will change, they always do but it is where you find yourself when that happens so that you do not miss the opportunities when they appear.

Michelle xx

Getting To Know Your Inner Drunk Girl

Getting To Know Your Inner Drunk Girl

Getting To Know Your Inner Drunk Girl

Have you ever had a bad experience that hits you right in the heart? Of course you have, we all have. By my own admission I am an extremely sensitive soul.  I will own my mistakes and have no issues apologising for any wrongdoings. However, being at the blunt end of someone’s emotional outburst leaves me quite upset and perplexed. Much like anyone I suppose.  Another reason why I was never good at working in retail. Sometimes you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and you are the closest target for somebody’s aggression.

If negative emotions start to rise due to a situation it can be very easy to react with defensive behaviour. If you are anything like me, shock is normally my first response.  I cocoon myself with like-minded people, so this rarely occurs.  In fact, I can count on one hand how many times this has happened in the last year. But when it does, it takes me completely off guard and I feel thrown off my axis. Not just a little, I’m taking about all consuming thought process that take me down a spiraling pathway of traumatic experiences.  I understand why they are coming up now and I am taking them as an opportunity to finally release them and let them go.

Being locked up in isolation for the last few months has not assisted with some people’s emotional intelligence, tolerance and showing a little kindness, let alone staying professional. In fact, for some it has brought out the worst in them.

I have created a folder in my brain for some of these very people. It’s called ‘Arseholes’. This is where I put those nasty and unwanted perpetrators. These people have not two but three sphincters, yes, we have two at the anus (I am both funny and educational). Their lack of empathy or narcissistic privilege belongs in that little box surrounded by an imaginary electric fence with a big neon KEEP OUT sign. It’s a small but necessary folder.  I acknowledge its existence, but I also understand that it is a very small portion of my life.

So how do you find something good out of a bad experience? The most important but painful part of this process is to experience the emotions. Yep, you heard me right ALL of them.  Feel that pain, anger, hurt, shame, guilt, fear, embarrassment, frustration and all the rest of those nasties.  Feel the full impact of the emotions created by the situation. Feel through each and everyone of them, take days or weeks if you have to.  Become the observer of your own thoughts as they start to overlap like the tide and bring up the past and seemingly unassociated situations.  Kind of like that drunk girl in the toilets who starts bringing up every single bad thing that has ever happened in her entire life. Be the kind sober friend to yourself as your inner drunk girl starts her verbal vomit.

Most of us have no patience for our inner drunk girl so we may start this process of ‘feeling’ and instead of seeing it out to the other side we shut ourselves down or we begin to lose clarity. We find ourselves stuck in an emotional loop where we head down paths of unresolved emotional experiences.  By this time, our inner drunk girl has numbed her pain and is back on the dance floor or she has passed out in the corner somewhere.  I get it, I did it for years and guess where it got me….SICK, like am I going to live or die sick.  As Caroline Myss, one of my favourite spiritual teachers said in her book “Creation of Health”, our life history and experiences, become intertwined with the cells of our physical body.  Your emotions reside physically in your body and interact with your cells and tissues, our biography becomes our biology.’

Every time that inner drunk girl starts, and we shut her down we are holding negative emotions within the cells of our body.  Does that hurt the person who created the emotional reaction in you? Absolutely not, but it can have detrimental effects on you.  If we just allow ourselves to ‘feel’ into an experience you can find the light at the other side.  By ignoring or blocking negative emotions you are doing a disservice to your own health and your own personal growth.  With thoughts come emotions and with emotions come feelings. If you get the formula right then those feelings can open to lessons, growth and opportunities.

Let me take you on a journey.  Yep the J word!  No one likes emotional pain, unless you are the narcissist inflicting it.  The minute you get upset, angry or feel like reacting like a three-year-old who can’t put lollies into a shopping cart, people want to shut us down.  Ever noticed that? We cry and instead of holding space for us people want to automatically calm and comfort us with tissues and a cup of tea.  I am not saying that it is okay to display random acts of violence or to hit out at people because we need a sales assistant to abuse because of our frustrations.  But when we feel intense emotional reactions to situations, we need to think of the sober friend holding space for our inner drunk girl.  Here are some techniques you can use to support your inner drunk girl.

Firstly give her some room to vent. Allow her to talk through all her problems. Let her cry, let her get angry, let her bring up the past.  By simply listening to her and writing things down and giving her time you can start to unravel the big ball of complexity we call emotions.  You would be surprised how many times she answers her own questions if you truly hear what she is saying.  The next step is to separate the emotions and the feelings. This is the tricky bit and the most common place when we let our inner drunk girl back on the dance floor because things can start to feel overwhelming.  Note: You are under no obligation as the sober friend to solve all your inner drunk girl problems at once.  You have an entire lifetime (and then some) to unravel and its not all going to happen over one bottle of Merlot.

Usually a big emotional reaction will occur over an accumulation of events.  The one that triggers the biggest reaction is not necessarily the worst event. It could be quite a small situation that brings up an over-reactionary response.  You see every time you send your inner drunk girl back out onto the dance floor because you can’t ‘deal with her’, she holds onto all your stuff.  A few bits might drop off as she stumbles her way back through the crowded bar but most of it is still hanging off her.  The next time she is triggered by a situation she has all that baggage accumulated from the time before, and the time before that, and the time before that.  If emotions are not worked through, then we can start to build walls that end up feeling like mountains.  We can become resentful, bitter, closed off, unfeeling and worse of all, sick.  We don’t allow ourselves to be open to new experiences because we become so stuck in believing they will cause us pain, distress or hurt.  Here’s a News Flash, that doesn’t stop ‘life’ from happening.   It is our ability to put things into perspective that gets screwed up. It always has to come   back to YOU.

Have you ever met two people that have experienced the same situation, yet their responses were completely opposite?  Meet Kylie and Karen. Both ladies had a rather unpleasant conversation with a Printing Company. The salesman acted and spoke in a very unprofessional manner when they decided to take their business elsewhere.   Kylie spent a day with her inner drunk girl and has processed through her emotions. At the end of the day Kylie can see that even though it was an unpleasant encounter, this situation was a good thing because she wanted to align her future business dealings with the right people. Clearly these were not the right people.   Karen on the other hand does not like to be spoken to in a rude manner. She feels totally disrespected and never got to have her say because the call was ended rather abruptly.  Karen is infuriated with the company and spends the day writing them an email about how unhappy she is and bitching to anyone and everyone that will listen.  She gets so side-tracked with feelings of rejection and righteousness that she does not want to deal with another printing company ever again.  Karen gives up in anger, lets her inner drunk girl go back onto the dance floor and self-sabotage’s her dream of self-publishing her first book.

Karen’s reaction may seem extreme but is very normal and more common than what you think.  Under all of Karen’s anger is a fear of failure. What if her book is a massive flop? What if people laugh at her? What if she isn’t good enough? What if no one buys her book? Could she cope with the rejection? What if she is successful? Does she fear success? What if people think she’s a fake? Karen’s inner drunk girl was triggered by one small conversion. She was trying to tell Karen to face all those things that she feared but instead she misdirected her anger as a means to shift the responsibility away from herself by projecting that feeling onto someone else.  Remember every experience can teach us if we look for the lesson.

So next time you are confronted by a situation that brings up some unpleasant feelings sit with your inner drunk girl and really get to know her.   If you take the time to listen you will find a deeper level of understanding within yourself. You will start to unravel why you do what you do. When you become aware of the ‘Whys’ you have something to work with and that’s how we open to new opportunities and experiences.


Photo Credit: Justin Aikin | Unsplash