Know When To Get Out Of The Way

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Everyone would agree that it’s important to maintain balance and harmony in our lives. That means keeping our environment as positive as we can, and the people around us are a big part of that. While there is always a reason why people behave the way they do, sometimes we’re in tune with it, and sometimes we’re not.

Everyone has to work through their own stuff, and they have to do it their own way. However, we don’t always have to go along for the ride. If it doesn’t feel right for us, we don’t have to get involved.

For instance, I’m not comfortable with hostility or drama. By saying that I’m not in any way diminishing what people go through. Heaven knows I’ve had my dramatic moments in years gone by, so I understand it happens, and I have great compassion for those who are in pain and use hostility as a defence, but not as an ongoing way of dealing with life. It’s not for me.  I see it as wasted energy.

Also, if I don’t get out of the way, I find myself wanting to judge, and I don’t ever want to go there. And really, if the vibration feels wrong for me then I know it’s, someone else’s lesson, and it’s time to step aside, send good thoughts their way and let them do what they have to do.

When it comes to any disharmony that rattles me, it’s not only a clear indication of what I don’t want, it always reaffirms what I do want. And when you know it’s not about you ~ and you will always know ~ all you have to do is get out of the way and let it whistle right on by. We will never change how people behave, but we can choose how we respond, and we don’t have to let negative energy impact us. It’s a conscious choice to get out of its way, and by doing it, and sending positive energy their way we affirm our path and who we are.

Now, why not get in there and help I hear you ask? The thing is that if we are not in harmony with the energy, it’s very hard to help. By leaving it alone, it gives those involved a clear run to sort it out the way they are meant to, with folk who can help. Sometimes in the process of stepping aside, the relationship fades away ~ negativity loves company ~ and sometimes it doesn’t. If it does, I keep sending positive energy. It’s the best I can do. But either way, I have maintained my integrity.

So, if something doesn’t feel right, it’s easy ~ get out of the way and keep moving.

Inara Hawley © 2014

There Are No Accidents

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There are no accidents. Knowing what I know now, I believe that to be a true statement, for when we live with awareness, we will always find the connection, the reason or the lesson.

Twenty one years ago I had a car accident, one which changed my life forever. It was the biggest learning curve of my life, and today I am all the wiser for it. The years of dealing with a severe injury was where my greatest lessons lived ~ in the pain, the panic, the fear, the anger, the frustration, the despair, and in the will to keep going. And the instant it happened I knew ~ when the car stopped spinning, and I was able to get out, I looked at the wreck and said aloud, “What do I have to learn from this?” And learn I did … for year and years.

My body fell apart a few weeks later ~ one night I awoke and couldn’t breathe. The twisted metal of the car seat should have been a clue. It was so badly damaged it could not be repaired, and for a very long time it seemed my body may not be able to be repaired either. I was in constant pain, I couldn’t get a proper breath, I could barely walk, I couldn’t use my arms … I couldn’t do anything ~ I was trapped. Everything which represented who I was … was gone. Instead, every fibre of my being was focused on surviving the next second … and the next … and the next. It was so intense, if a bomb had gone off next to me I wouldn’t have noticed. I was no longer the nurturing mother, the supportive wife, the doer, the giver, the loyal friend, the keeper of my house, the achiever, the university student, or the partner in our family business. Except for my will to survive I was stripped bare.

About ten years after the accident I started writing a book, the purpose of which was to help others going through a similar experience. In the early years an acquaintance, one of those good people who throw you a lifeline when you need it most, lent me exactly such a book written by a man who had survived a serious car accident. At the time his words were a godsend ~ someone out there actually understood what I was going through. An injury such as mine, with massive soft tissue damage, long term inflammation, and no broken bones or outward signs of injury, is hard to deal with. I would imagine it is very similar to depression, asthma or rheumatoid arthritis … invisible to those around you, but always the silent companion walking beside you. It never complains out loud, only you know it’s there. And because there are no bandages, the support you so desperately need is not there. Not because no one cares, but because no one notices or understands. Only the closest ones know, and while they do their best, even they cannot share your journey.

Today I am too far removed from the events to ever finish the book. I have no desire to call myself a survivor, nor do I wish to revisit those desperate times of panic, struggle and uncertainty. I define myself by what I’ve learned, not by the struggle. I worked through each step with purpose and determination, and have no desire to step back into yesterday’s emotions. When I look back at my journals they are harrowing ~ my despair and isolation was overpowering, but so was my hope, my strength and my courage. If I had not been such a positive person I might have given up, but I didn’t. I was determined to get better. I have always believed that I could heal myself, both on a physical and spiritual level, and I was prepared to explore anything and everything to get there. I saw doctors, specialists, spiritual healers and every kind of alternative therapist you could imagine. For the first three years I had physical therapy every day except Sunday. It was my safety net. But ultimately, it was when my head space changed that the journey changed.

One day I stopped fighting. In a moment of utter desperation I heard myself scream, “Die now or get better!”. I had challenged the Universe and fully expected to be struck down, but it didn’t happen, and that’s when I surrendered. I let go of resistance and instantly changed the vibration. I stopped focusing on the pain and the struggle.

The next few years were a mind-blowing time. I left no stone unturned in my quest to open my mind and my heart, and connect to the healing energy within. I meditated myself into oblivion. I created affirmations, recorded them for my meditations, worked on releasing cell trauma, imagined a better quality of life where I could move and breath freely and easily, aligned myself with ease and flow, and saw myself as ‘new’. I also discovered deep tissue laser therapy, and that was like a magic key. It broke down the scar tissue, and allowed a courageous therapist, one who had the guts to do what was needed no matter how painful, to put everything back in its place. Slowly I started to improve. And in the years that followed I finished my university degree, taught in a classroom, was able to get back into our business, and bit by bit create a garden. I was holding it together, and I was getting better.

It took fifteen years to get to a place where my body felt reasonably stable ~ where I had more good days than bad, where I could get a decent night’s sleep, and where I felt well enough to plan for something in the knowledge that I would be able to fulfil it. I still have to pace myself, but now I am able to do many of the things I once took for granted … simple things which fill me with immense appreciation and gratitude.

So what did I learn and what did I change? I learned to look after myself first ~ to pay attention to my body. I learned to ask for help, and I let go of being the eternal fixer-upper. I examined my beliefs, and let go of fear and perfection. I learned to trust on the highest level. I learned to validate what someone is going through ~ to honour their strength and courage. I also created a peaceful place within, one which I can go to anytime. I learned to find the joy and live in the moment, and I connected to the infinite source of love.

It’s in the dark night of the soul that we reach out to touch what we need to move into the oneness of the light, and that’s exactly what I did. And if we are brave enough to be truly honest with ourselves, the steps we take forward will be sure-footed, and we will find the right path. This is a poem I wrote about a year after the accident, when one day, my mother said to me, “Insi, you are very brave”. And I thought, yes I am. It’s simple but expresses exactly how I felt at the time.

I Am Very Brave

I am very brave
For I want to save
My body, my mind
Not leave it behind
To see a new day
With the pain gone away
Is where I will be
Just wait and see

I am very brave
I don’t hide in a cave
I go forth and try
With my head held high
I won’t give in
For me that’s a sin
My body can make it
It’s just hard to take it

I am very brave
Even when I rant and rave
Then I yell and scream
Till I run out of steam
I feel lonely and sad
Sometimes it’s so bad
My body hurts so much
That I just lose touch

I am very brave
For I choose to behave
Like I can cope
And I don’t mope
It’s been so hard
From my life I’ve been barred
I hate being trapped
But it’s like its been mapped

I am very brave
I’m in touch with a wave
That helps me to flow
And cope with the blow
I’ve learned many things
It’s like I’ve grown wings
Sometimes I feel I could fly
Right up to the sky

I am very brave
For now I don’t crave
To have what is past
I feel safe at last
I’ve let go of the fear
That made things unclear
I now dance with the ‘All’
And I know I won’t fall

I am very brave
For I know what to save
Often I wondered
And sometimes I blundered
But with the love of those dear
My path is now clear
This moment’s the one
To feel joy and fun

I am very brave
For now I behave
How I really feel
And it’s no big deal
To myself I am true
For me, and for you
I know I can do it
I will get through it

Inara Hawley © 2014

 

Tennis Anyone?

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For me the phrase ‘Tennis anyone?’ has always conjured up a mental picture of clear blue skies, white outfits, sun visor caps, and hitting a few balls around the court. However, the real fact of the matter is that there are those who ‘really’ play tennis, and those who don’t, and there are good reasons why.

When hubby and I were first married, we decided to get fit … as you do when you’re young and energetic, and tennis was how we chose to do it. Hubby had played quite a lot of it in his younger days, and as it had been my chosen summer sport in high school, we figured tennis was definitely for us. So with the court booked for a daily hit, off we trotted every morning at 7 a.m. sharp with balls and rackets in tow, and looking very sharp in our tennis gear.

And we loved it! Full of morning energy we’d get out there and serve with confidence, relishing that sound the ball makes after it hits the racket. And then we’d tear around the court trying to hit it at the other end. We thought we were doing really well. We’d arrive home hot and sweaty, jump into the shower, and because we felt so terrific after running around for an hour, we’d say to each other, ‘Wasn’t that great!’ Oh yes, we were playing tennis!

Then one morning, about a week or so later, the owner of the courts sauntered over as we were leaving, and with a good natured good-morning nod said, “I’ve been watching you two!” And then as he slowly shook his head from side to side, the look on his face said it all. Obviously we weren’t doing nearly as well as we thought ~ we needed lessons, and the very next day we were hitting balls that were flying at us from a machine!

But that became very boring, as did the game of tennis, and we soon gave it up. Why? Because for us there was no sense of healthy competition! Not the kind where you want to wipe others out at all cost and win; the kind where you get a spark to try harder. Hubby and I have certainly never been in competition with each other. We are partners, both in marriage and business, and our partnership has always been built on teamwork. In how we operated our business, however, we always had that competitive edge. But unfortunately, tennis just didn’t do it for us.

While plenty of people will say otherwise, having a healthy competitive spirit can be a good thing. As I have intimated, I’m not talking about comparing yourself with others or competing for a trophy. I’m talking about using it to challenge ourselves, learn, grow and move forward. Of course we learn and grow in many ways, and healthy competition is but one. On a spiritual level, there is no competition, but in our everyday lives, it is not only a natural thing, it can be extremely useful. It can create incentive and be motivational, energising a fire within that helps us do better, take a chance and even try something new. It can also help us be more creative and inventive, and in so doing, it spurs innovation.

Even in the most competitive environment, if we stay true to high ethical standards while seeking our goal, then competition can be a very healthy growth experience. It helps to set benchmarks and encourages progress. Without it, where would civilization be?

So, there was no ‘game, set, and match’ in our tennis experience. If someone was to say: ‘Tennis anyone?’ I don’t think we would even bother to look up, but give us a challenge where we could tickle our competitive spirit, and we’d feel right at home. We’d play that game very well indeed and have loads of fun doing it too!

Inara Hawley © 2014

Imperfectly Perfect

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I so enjoy being my imperfectly perfect self. There was a time though that I relished the world of perfection. I walked hand-in-hand with it for quite a few years, and here’s what I know.

There is nothing wrong with being happy with what you’ve accomplished and seeing it in the perfection of the moment. That’s a very joyful thing, however, it is important to realise that perfection is not a realistic reachable goal, and it should never become an obsession. When we start to feel we want to control everything, that’s when we get ourselves into trouble and have to do some serious work on letting go. But having said that, never fear perfection either for as Salvador Dali said, ‘you’ll never reach it!’

Feeling the need to be perfect ‘all the time’ is very stressful, and in reality, you can never get everything right all the time, so why be so hard on yourself? Relax! Don’t bash yourself up if you make a mistake ~ mistakes are in fact golden gifts. Welcome them, learn from them and be grateful that you are human after all!

Who wants to be perfect all the time anyway ~ it would make for a very boring and isolated existence. Aim for excellence instead, and while you’re doing it, make friends with your imperfectly perfect self. Cherish those imperfections of yours, for they will not only endear you to others and make you more lovable, each one can teach you something.

Another thing of course is that if we spend all our energy focusing on an end result of perfection we risk losing sight of the journey. I’ve always had a natural talent for order, neatness and organisation (I don’t like sloppy), and I love the challenge of getting things done the way I want ~ it always gives me a buzz, but these days I make sure I enjoy the journey as well.

The bottom line is we are not meant to be perfect, we are meant to be whole. We are wiser, stronger and more beautiful for having travelled our journey. Find value in your imperfections and love yourself despite your flaws. Fortunately, I can say that I now live my life, not judging myself, not upset by my mistakes, and not wanting to control a thing ~ I travel far lighter without the burden of being perfect. I have a laugh and am very, very happy to be my imperfectly perfect self.

Inara Hawley © 2014

A Pleasing Pattern

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Are you a people-pleaser? Fortunately, I’m not, and haven’t been since my teenage years. I have pretty much done what I wanted to do, and I have never had a problem saying ‘no’ either if I didn’t feel right about doing something.

Having said all that, there was a ‘pleasing pattern’ which came to the surface quite unexpectedly ~ one that I thought was long gone. It really surprised me, and had it not been for a very direct statement I may have missed it, which would have been even more surprising given how brutally honest I am with myself.

At the time I was at university ~ a confident and successful 40 something businesswoman who had stepped away from what she did very well to follow a new passion. But given my miserable school history both in primary and high school, stepping into the academic world after 25 years was not only a momentous step, it was a huge challenge.

And I did it brilliantly because I loved it ~ straight A’s and distinctions. And with each result, I’d phone my mother, and with great pride tell her about my latest achievement. Until one day she said, “You know I’m proud of you, but I hope you’re not trying to please me. Do it for yourself.” And suddenly, it struck me, I did want to please her. I’d slipped back into an old childhood pattern ~ I was the good little girl performing perfectly because it made my mother happy.

What an amazing realisation! I couldn’t believe it was still there! Over the years Mum and I had spoken openly about why she steered me in the direction she did when I was growing up. As far as her children were concerned, her hopes were high. She wanted the very best, which for her was a cultured upbringing. And being as tuned in to her hopes and dreams as I was, I fulfilled them to the best of my ability. I played piano beautifully and danced ballet, even better. And while there is always an element of pressure in having to practice daily and rush off to lessons I didn’t question it, for me it just was. My sibling’s response however was quite different. My brother flatly refused to have anything to do with the piano and couldn’t understand why Mum kept dragging us into the city to see Swan Lake and Giselle, or sit through Madam Butterfly and Faust! And by the time my sister came along, well, times had changed, and freedom was in the air ~ she happily did whatever she wanted!

Education was also very important to my mother. The war had completely destroyed her hopes for higher education so when I decided to apply for university, I was yet again fulfilling her dreams. It would seem the stage was set, and there was no way I was going to escape revisiting the past. It was almost as if the Universe had conspired for it to be dealt with, and deal with it we did ~ instantaneously!

I have never been one for over-analysing. I don’t see the point. For me, it’s a waste of time. Once I see it, it’s fixed and I move on. And that’s what we did, my mother and I. I can’t thank her enough for recognising the pattern, for in that moment we were both released. She was not prepared to repeat the past, and I was finally free to be truly true to myself. The pleasing pattern’s power was at last gone.

Inara Hawley © 2014

Analysis Paralysis

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Do you over-think? Do you play out your doubts, worries and fears over and over again in your mind, and try to organise all those thoughts so that they make sense, but you still can’t move forward? If the answer is ‘yes’, then maybe you are trapped in analysis paralysis.

Obsessing over issues and getting stuck in clarifying, rationalising, and justifying is akin to cluttering your mind with unwanted thought litter. It’s not only hugely counterproductive, it complicates your life even further for it creates more problems and worry, and ultimately leads to feelings of negativity.

Analysis of course is a valuable tool if you use it to move forward. Analysis paralysis however is like a revolving door ~ it goes nowhere! It makes you feel helpless and out of control. So maybe it’s time to clean up those thoughts ~ stop getting lost in the clarifying, stop constantly poking it with a stick. That only keeps you stuck and creates more unwanted thought litter to clean up.

Get out of your head space, look at the big picture, accept ‘what is’ calmly, and start telling a new more positive story about yourself and your future. There’s no such thing as the perfect answer. Life moves on and we must move with it. So let go of over-thinking and start building a new stronger you. Make a choice to be more joyful and turn your thoughts into useful positive ones. And remember, ultimately, everything always works out … always!

Inara Hawley © 2014

Want or Desire

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We all have things we want and desire, but here’s the thing, and it’s very important ~ there is a big difference between want and desire. And when we understand it, it’s like turning on a light. Life can change almost overnight!

So, what is the difference? When we are in a state of wanting we are focusing on what we don’t have. In other words, we are focusing on lack ~ on the ‘not having’ of it. And focusing on what’s missing in one’s life generally brings with it a lot of dissatisfaction and negativity ~ self-pity, frustration, even hopelessness. It suppresses the possibilities and leaves no room for creative expansion.

Desire on the other hand is full of creative expansion for it brings with it enthusiasm and exuberance. It is that strong heart-centred feeling which comes from deep within. And within that, is the seed of passion, motivation and powerful intention. Desire is an empowered positive state, open to creation and possibilities. When we are in a state of wanting we are attempting to fill a hole, a place of needy emptiness. But when we are in a state of desire, it’s all about inspired feelings and delicious anticipation, which in turn opens doors and creates pathways.

So what are you focusing on ~ is it wanting or desire? Find the vibration essence of your desires ~ bring yourself into harmony with them and stay connected to the positive feeling of it, and don’t forget to ask yourself every single day … what else is possible?

Inara Hawley © 2013

A New Stronger You

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If you are having trouble letting go of past hurt and pain and it keeps knocking at your door, perhaps it’s time to create a new stronger version of you. And it’s not as hard as you may think. It’s just a matter of harnessing imagination with intention, and focusing on it ~ creating an image in your mind of the new stronger you, engaging with it, feeling it, and holding it every day as often as possible.

But don’t make it hard work. Make sure you feel good when you are doing it. Play with it ~ create anticipation, fun and joy. What fabulous outfit are you wearing, what fun thing are you doing, how passionate do you feel, how vibrant are the people around you? Imagine it with intention, feel it delicious anticipation, and be it with heavenly joy. And then hold it for as long as you can.

For when you feel good and make it fun, your whole being will begin to resonate with the harmony and joy of it, and the Universe will line up more and more matching joy, and you will move closer to your vision.

The new you will become stronger and stronger. Everything you learn will be added to the new you ~ every time your self esteem bursts through with joy, every time you love yourself a little more and every time you choose to feel good it will be added to the new you until one day, the new you will be stronger and more powerful than what was before. The attachment to the past will be gone, replaced by something so much better. And then it will be easy to say, “That was then, and this is now”.

Inara Hawley © 2013

Be Understanding

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When someone misunderstands your good intentions, whether it is a comment or an action, it’s hard not to have a knee jerk reaction, especially when it’s unexpected. But when you put your brain into gear and think about it, you will realise the other person has misunderstood for their own reasons, which more often than not you know nothing about. Your good intention may have hit a nerve, pushed a button, not agreed with their standpoint, but it is their issue, not yours, so don’t get upset.

Sometimes we get a chance to explain and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes it resolves and sometimes it doesn’t. However, if you do get a chance to explain, and it still doesn’t resolve, step away ~ don’t press the issue. Let them sort it out in their own way, in their own time. We can never step into anyone else’s thoughts or walk in their shoes ~ we simply don’t know where they are coming from unless they are willing to tell us.

So send a kind thought, and just let it be. We don’t all flow with each other’s energy in perfect harmony, but we can all learn from each other and be understanding. As the Chinese Proverb says ~ Be not disturbed at being misunderstood; be disturbed rather at not being understanding.

Inara Hawley © 2013

Letting in Freedom

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As much as we all want to work out any issues which arise in our life the best way we can, and of course we should always try, when we become stuck in an unresolved place, that is when we have to start doing some serious work on letting go.

To do that we have to come to two basic realisations ~ first, that we are actually holding ourselves in a negative thought pattern, and second, that we have the power to release it. So, how to do it? I call it ‘space and replace’. Ask yourself how much unwanted space the negative thoughts and feelings are taking up in your life, and then, think about anything better or more productive you’d want to replace them with. It’s a bit like making a wish, and it comes true when you choose.

So what’s more important? Hanging onto what’s making you unhappy, or choosing to feel good? Remember, it takes a lot more energy to hold on than it does to let go. And when it happens, when you finally decide to let go, then suddenly everything that was weighing you down simply doesn’t matter anymore ~ the energy is released, and you are free.

All the defensive thoughts and justifications just dissipate. We don’t have to protect ourselves any longer. It becomes so easy to ignore the issue that was bothering us. We literally stop holding on and walk away from it without a backward glance, and what a good feeling that is … there’s nothing better than letting in freedom with love in your heart. I don’t know about you, but it always makes me want to fly!

Inara Hawley © 2013