The Best Version of Me

The Best Version of Me



What do you do when the best version of yourself is never enough for someone else?  
This belief pattern started when I was eight years old. My mum met and married a man after a whirlwind romance.  My father’s replacement would literally put his hand out and hold me at arm’s length when I went to give him a hug.  This rejection caused my little heart to cry with despair.  After losing my father to cancer a couple of years prior all I was looking for was his unconditional love and affection.  I couldn’t change want I wanted, I was just a kid.   
I fell in love at twenty and married a man whose attention was anywhere other than the relationship he had committed to.  Reinforcing the belief that the best version of me was not worth loving and was never going to be good enough for anyone. 
My second husband and I met at work. As like attracts like, we were thrown together by the Universe with our pending divorces and emotional distress.   After a few false starts we decided to try and make a go of it.   Here’s the irony, I thought he was the one that came with baggage!  I had cut ties from my ex and saw myself as a childless, free spirit ready to explore the world of the Thirty somethings.  Whereas he came with two young children, parents steeped in tradition and an ex-wife, who for the sake of the children was still very much in the picture.  
With the addition of two impressionable girls into my life I did not want to repeat the experiences I had as a child.  So, I always went over and above to make them feel comfortable, welcome and loved.  You could say at that time I had a Wonder Woman complex.  If I wasn’t organized, then I couldn’t control the outcome.  If I couldn’t control the outcome, well that thought was terrifying.   I was conscious of needing to feel accepted and I was literally stuck in a pattern of old belief systems that were self-destructive. I was on a collision course heading for disaster.  
Eleven years into our relationship I was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  At the time circumstances would have it that neither of my step daughters wanted a relationship with me.  I felt totally and utterly defeated.  A crescendo of years’ worth of self-sacrifice and desperation to be loved.  The ultra-best version of me was never going to be good enough, ever.   So where did this leave me?  What lesson was I not learning here? Why did each karmic challenge seem more heart wrenching and harder to pull through? This one contributing to and almost costing me my life.  
The original wound of my eight-year-old self was still playing out and cancer was my opportunity to fully awaken and see things very clearly.  It was never about the people that rejected me, they were just the mirror of what I didn’t want to see in myself.  Being brave enough to confront my old beliefs allowed me to understand that I have purpose and no longer needed to look outside of myself for love, acceptance or validation.  
I love my authentic self and thank my teachers in life for helping me find her. 
Michelle Potter
Visionary Artist
The Spiritual Journey Has Nothing To Do With Being Nice

The Spiritual Journey Has Nothing To Do With Being Nice

This quote came up on my news-feed on Facebook this morning and got me to thinking.  There is still the belief that people expect you to be a tree hugging hippie because you are living a ‘spiritual life’. It is like the shadow of religious dogma coming down on you again and people having the perception that because you believe in a higher consciousness that you should walk around being a ‘nice’ person. I’m not sure why they feel you should turn the other cheek and forgive unconditionally then diss you if you don’t.

From my experience, when you start to walk in your truth, when you decide to put boundaries in your life, when you start to honor your space first you may not appear to those around you like a nice person.  You may actually appear like a very selfish one. The reason this occurs is because you start to change and shift and people don’t like that.  They either have to change themselves to continue to be a reflection of you or you leave them behind, which in turn can bring up lots of negative feelings for them.   There are plenty of victims in life and when you shine the light on their bad behavior or no longer tolerate their dramas then they feel they have no other option than to deflect the responsibility of their actions and bad mouth you.  Its like being voted off the Island on the game of Survivor! You can loose entire friendship circles, family members, work colleges. It can sometimes feel like a purging by fire only you do not come out Daenerys Targaryen and you are not the Mother of Dragons!

Instead  you are left with a lightness which can feel like a void. What are you going to possibly do with all this time now you don’t have to sit there in drama?  You are going to get out and live the creative life you were born to live, that’s what you are going to do. Find your purpose, reconnect with your spirit, do things that make you happy and love those important people in your life that make your heart smile.  Embrace the shadow side of yourself, for there is no Yin without Yang. Learn how to read your negative thoughts and pull them apart piece by piece until you locate the real reason why you feel like you do.  Self truth is an incredibly confronting thing and it pushes you out of your comfort zone.  Not everyone is ready for that, and that is why not everyone is ready to go on a ‘spiritual journey’. I’m not going to lie, it can sometimes make you feel very alone especially around those special milestones when you realize that you no longer have enough genuine ‘friends and family’ to invite to fill a room to help you celebrate.

If being real has lost me friends, then I know the one’s I have gained since and continue to meet are the ones I allow to enter into my sacred space.  I still struggle and like all humans I have an inner craving to be accepted. The last six years of my life has seemed like a tidal wave, all the old was washed away and I am more confident with who I am and why I am here, and realize that I may not always appear to be ‘nice’, but I’m okay with that.

I Hope You Never Understand

I Hope You Never Understand

Late last week I felt a thickening of my left breast tissue.   A small but noticeable lumpy bit that just managed to get more painful the more I poked and played with it.  I made an unscheduled visit to my doctor, followed by a lengthy mammogram, and ultrasound.  At least some relief was given to me at the appointment and although nothing was found in the left breast a fibroadenoma was found in the right. This will require some monitoring due to my history and genetics as Lynch Syndrome also carries a slighter higher risk of breast cancer.  Yet another reminder that no matter how positive I am, how healthy I live, how self aware and #ultraspiritual I feel there are just some things that I cannot control.   It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m a good person , a bad person or something in between. Sometimes shit just happens. 


Having gone through an enormous life changing experience in 2011 I  know I have grown and changed in so many ways.  My family is the most precious gift I have.  Watching my children grow up is such a blessing that many of my cancer friends will never get.  Every year that ticks past, and every photo that I can get with Santa fills my heart with so much gratitude.  I have focused and continue to develop in my craft and work at it every day.  My art has been at the forefront of my ability to heal, help and express myself.   I also devote my time to helping others to connect and give a platform to so many out there that also live life without a stomach.  I have used the last 4 ½ years positively, productively and creatively in the hope to better understand myself and what I have to offer the world.
My ability to discern which relationships I allow into my life is extremely important and anything I feel is toxic just has to go, no question. When you are sitting in a doctors office waiting for test results you are not thinking about what the mums at school are saying, or what sale you might be missing out on.  You are worried about your kids, your husband, yourself .  You worry about how you and your family are going to cope. How you are going to stay positive? How you are going to get through this?   You ponder on the what ifs, no matter how hard you try not to.  The anxiety and anticipation of an outcome you cannot control is the scariest thing you can possibly imagine.  It shakes you to your very core and nothing else matters to you accept those that are close to your heart.  
I feel like I am continuously being grounded and reminded of what matters most. As much as I can appreciate the experience from a spiritual awakening sense, from a human perspective it is absolutely exhausting. And this isn’t just a little bump in the road, I have to live like this for the rest of my life.  I have been reminded this week that no matter how much I put the cancer behind me there is always, always going to be a percentage of it on my mind.  Every lump, every blood test, every scan brings another wave of anxiety that unless you have experienced it, you can never possibly understand it.  
Why wear a dress if it doesn’t fit you anymore?  Of course you might put up with it for a while but you will eventually get to a point where you think “I need to let that go that, it doesn’t fit me anymore”. Nothing has changed with the dress, it’s exactly the same as when you first purchased it. Its you that’s changed. 
If you were once a part of my life and are no longer then it’s nothing personal.  Seriously, it’s got nothing to do with you, it just means that you are no longer a reflection of me. Why wear a dress if it doesn’t fit you anymore?  Of course you might put up with it for a while but you will eventually get to a point where you think “I need to let that go that, it doesn’t fit me anymore”. Nothing has changed with the dress, it’s exactly the same as when you first purchased it. It’s you that’s changed.  We all have our light bulb moments, the ones that put our lives into perspective.  Well, my life seems to be one massive light bulb!   Your perspective on life is based on your own personal experiences, your truth, your belief systems and I respect that, but it also means my experiences have evolved me to a point where I have outgrown you. It doesn’t mean I think I am better than you, it just means that I am very selective about who I allow into my life and the energy they bring. I truly hope you never understand, but if one day you do then you might appreciate just a taste of what its like walking in my shoes.    
Enlightenment | To be or not to be? That is the question.

Enlightenment | To be or not to be? That is the question.

I have long forgotten asking the Universe why things happen the way they do. I never project too far into the future because I am never sure what is around the corner for me, so I live my days as much in the moment as I can and surround myself with those that I love. 
What I do know is life is so fragile and can change at any moment.  We all have to ride the waves and our attitudes define who we become on the other side of our experiences.  Then you have those defining moments in which your life will never be the same again.   Through my own experience, I have learned than sometimes when we take too long to make decisions the Universe makes them for us.  It can shake us down to our very core and be excruciatingly painful both physically and mentally.  It makes us reevaluate who we are, why we are here, what we want and what we are supposed to be doing on this crazy planet.   
Pain makes the world stop. You look around a world which was normal the day before and yet it now seems so far from the truth we wonder how people can carry on without noticing.  Its like all of a sudden we wake up and everyone else seems to be sleepwalking. The shift in us can be so great that it can change the course of who we are and where we thought we were going. 
Just as our bodies become sensitive and cannot longer tolerate certain foods over time, it becomes the same with people and situations.  For a time we still eat things knowing that we are going to pay for them later.  Over time our tolerance levels get lower and lower until our bodies immediately reject or react to something that it doesn’t like.  As we become more and more aware of ourselves the same things happen in our relationships.  That old friendship circle maybe tolerable for a while, but then you will find you become less and less like the people you once called friends.  Socializing with them will become so unappealing that the only logical thing to do is to move away from it.  Friends will change, relationships will change, jobs will change as each one no longer is a reflection of you. This then has to be replaced with something new, which is another entirely different blog for another day. 
During my recovery a few things stood out that were glaringly obvious. I discovered the people that really cared, and the ones that just said they did.  I noticed the people that I could have genuine meaningful conversations with and those that were transparent and shallow.    The kindness of strangers restored my faith in humanity and those I thought would support me during my illness are the ones that disappointed me the most.  I learned never to underestimate the power of kindness and who I should spend my most precious gift of time on. 
All I know is I am wide ‘AWAKE’ and working my way towards becoming an ‘ENLIGHTENED’ being. After all,  we are all headed in the same direction, I just prefer to do it with humor and a light heart. 


When The Past Comes Knocking

When The Past Comes Knocking

High school is a place where society throws hundreds of pre pubescent hormonal children into one big arena and says ‘work it out’.  Its a learning ground for friendships and the most impressionable years of a young woman’s life.   Girls look outside of themselves for validation during these awkward teenage years.  Probably one of the reasons why we had so many female Bon Jovi look alike’s walking around the school courtyard.  Seriously, if you could grow big hair and have a spiral perm, you were definitely in the ‘popular group’.  Girls would either form tight impenetrable circles or like me simply just spent 6 years trying to fit in.  God forbid you got labeled with a bad nickname at the start of your school life, because it stuck. 

For those of us that ended up at a co-ed public school it was a time of discovering boys, who lets face it, just wanted to play with your boobs.  Unless of course they were struggling with their own sexuality.  In amongst all of this lets not forget why we are put there in the first place which is to make some big life decisions on WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  High school is a place where you can stand out, sometimes for all the wrong reasons, or disappear into a big hole of loneliness and it can be a tough ride for a lot of people.

I was an average student with a handful of friends.  I occasionally moved around from group to group but never really fit in, so I pretty much kept to myself.   By year 11 I was doing my homework at lunchtime, I’d have a quick smoke at the end of the football oval and watch the boys play basketball during breaks because boys were just drama free and uncomplicated.  The Year 11 camp turned me into an emotional basket case when the cigarettes ran out and my life was berated by a couple of mean girls in the boys tent one night.  Obviously my ‘over sharing’ when trying to fit in with the popular girls backfired.  If social media was around back in the 80’s my mum would have been on suicide watch.  This one incident effected my inability to form ‘female’ friendship circles for pretty much most of my life.  

Which leads me onto our upcoming High School reunion.  Stop with the Facebook requests already! I keep removing myself from groups and then someone else adds me back in. Whats the life lesson here?? The past is just nipping at my heals but I know its just coming around in a big karmic circle to make sure I’ve evolved and moved on.

“In movies, the reunion is seen as the place where your emotional tether to the past is cut; where shamanistic lessons are learned.  Which brings me to the biggest reason for attending reunions: finding out what people are up to. Leaping forward ten years in time and seeing whether people had aged well, or not so well. Have they aged like Clooney, or aged like they’d just looked directly at the Ark of the Covenant? Did they have kids? Did they bring their kids? WHY did they bring their kids? Or are the kids here actually classmates who pissed off a gypsy? Wait, was our art teacher a gypsy? That would explain why there was a creepy caravan parked in the playground. Although I do seem to recall being taught about sex in that caravan by a giraffe.”
I am no longer the chameleon that tries to fit in.  My life is surrounded with friends and family that love, support and accept me.  I also know who I am, why I am and I simply don’t feel the need to reconnect with my past.  Its taken years of self development,  purging of relationships, a major illness and some pretty huge life lessons to become the person I am today.    I really like this version of ME and it took a lot of hard work to get here.  The people that are in my life are because I want them there.  Why invite all that old drama back in…………….no thanks!


Quote from