Thursday, 5 November 2015

I Can't Do It!

Helloooo! Well, here I am, still alive.

Breathing, eating, sleeping = tick. Life is good!

After posting my blog Growing Pains I've had messages and emails from friends asking if I'm OK. The past few weeks have been some of the most powerful and awakening weeks I think I've ever had but they have involved parts of my world (and Self) falling apart.

But I see that as a good thing and I'll tell you why…

If you've read some of my other posts you'll have an idea about who I am and how I go about my business. My version of that is I'm a coper. By that I mean I can cope with almost any situation and still end up happy. Doesn't matter how bad the scenario, I might have a meltdown in the middle but it doesn't usually take me very long before I spot a silver lining or three and I'm back in Happyville.

And that's great.

However, part of my being an eternal optimist is my uncanny ability to solve problems. I mentioned in a previous blog Save Me that I'm a rescuer. One of my main archetypes is the rescuer/healer which has its upside (I'm really good at helping people/myself see a way out of their/my problems), and a downside (I have a tendency to "fix" things [things being people/me]).

: /

Being a natural healer (both of myself and for others) I'm very good at understanding the bigger picture, empathising (i.e. figuratively putting myself in the other person's shoes) and coming up with a creative and practical solution.

And I do this for myself All The Time.

Seriously, put me in a fatal car crash and I'll see it as an opportunity to grow, take away my job and I'll carve new pathways into my career, reduce my income and I'll come up with five new recipes that cost next to nothing but are still healthy and delicious.

Really, it's almost ridiculous how I can maintain a positive outcome. But there is a converse reality to my apparent ability to cope with everything, and that is, that I can't.

I'm a human being so there's absolutely no way I can cope with everything.

No. Way.

And that's where I've got to in the past few weeks. I've started allowing myself to not cope. I'm not falling into a ball of tears and unable to get out of bed – that's not my style. But I am allowing the part of me that cannot and does not want to cope (small as it may be) to underfunction.

Underfunctioning and overfunctioning are terms I first heard when reading The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner. Harriet is in my opinion one of the western world's leading psychotherapists and her books have literally helped change me.

Upon reading her books I quickly identified with being an overfunctioner: I get things done, I always seem OK, people rarely offer to help me because I don't appear to need it.

But anyone who identifies with that will agree that even those of us who seem to always have our sh*t together, sometimes don't. And in those times we'd really like someone to ask us how we're doing. Only, it's probably easier to know when an octopus is ovulating because overfunctioners give off such a strong vibe of being OK, you'd have to be Harriet Lerner to know when we're not.

And as a classic case I can also vouch for the fact that we're usually not very good at asking.

Guilty as charged.

So, during the past few weeks as my client list and bank account shrank, I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to learn how to underfunction. Optimism = tick!

Yup, instead of rushing in to "fix" my problem (my old pattern), I have used this recent experience to get to know a new part of myself. And I gotta tell you, it feels fantastic!

Previously, I have had such an automatic response to solving problems that I've never given it a second thought before shifting into rescue mode. I think I had the notion that underfunctioning was a bit like an old cardigan that you might find in an opshop. It would have had holes in the elbows and missing buttons and probably smelled a bit musty.

But, I'm thrilled to say, the complete opposite is true! Underfunctioning (for an overfunctioner like me) is like a fur-lined jacket that actually feels super soft and relaxed.

Who knew!

Now I'm not saying that lying in bed, doing nothing and feeling sorry for yourself is going to soothe your Soul. I'm still taking action towards finding work and getting my cashflow back on track. The difference is I'm letting myself ask for help. I'm no longer pretending I've got this. I even had a conversation with my mum where I explained my situation and asked her if I could come and stay with her if things don't get better in the next couple of months.

I would never have done that before.

And to be frank, I don't intend to do it either, but it feels really good to have sat in the underfunctioning seat and asked for help. Really, really good.

Truth is, that conversation has undone a lifetime of (unaware) inauthenticity on my part. I mean, I didn't even know that I was continually putting on a brave face and presenting a facade that was impossible to upkeep. Well, it lasted 44 years so that's not bad, but now I know I can let my guard down, I feel so much lighter!

Because now I can be All Of Me. Even the tiny bits that I was previously locking in the basement because I was telling myself it was not OK to "fail" or need help. Like ever.

Wow! Imagine trying to keep that up! But I hadn't even realised that's what I was doing. Coping and overfunctioning were so ingrained in me that I had absolutely no idea I was simultaneously denying a whole side of me that wants to take her hands off the wheel and let other people help.


And the greatest change that's occurred though all this is that I am now looking for a job! Gasp!

For 10 years I've resisted looking for solid, lasting employment because I was so hell bent on doing it my way (see above) and was in denial that actually, it would serve me to have steady work because then I could focus on my other pursuits without the underlying (and unconsciously overwhelming) need to sort my sh*t out so that I can eat.


And the best part is I'm actually excited about finding a job! Because now I realise it's my choice and not just a reaction to needing money.

Although it may sound counterintuitive, my letting go of needing to have it all sorted (especially in business) has allowed me a whole new sense of freedom to seek work that is meaningful to me.

I'm not going to go back to what I know, I'm going to move forward into something I can grow into. I have a multitude of skills that I can make great use of and I no longer need to make it hard for myself.

I had no idea that choice and freedom lay at the bottom of the ability to Let Go and simply wear a new emotional wardrobe. In my case, permission to not know how to fix my own problem but to simply let it unfold, which in turn is enabling me to find new choices and an incredible new sense of inner peace.

All I ever needed to do to find that was to be completely useless! Well, not completely, but you get what I mean. I just needed to give myself permission to Be All Of Me, not just the bits that I thought were "good" and that deserved a pat on the back.

No, true inner peace lies in allowing ourselves to be Everything We Are. Including the parts that can't cope, have no idea about budgets and who simply want to let go and ask someone else to sort it out for us. (Well, at least sometimes!).

: )

Choose love xxx

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Paradise Awaits

If you've read my last two blogs Growing Pains and Love or Money? you'll be familiar with the fact that I have been through a major financial breakdown in the last two weeks.

The breakdown was really a breakthrough in my ability to see reality vs the fantasy I'd created around money. Namely, that I could carry on doing exactly what I'd been doing for the past 10 years and somehow get a completely different result.

Yuh, I know, right…

So, for the past two weeks I've been collecting my new thoughts and cementing them with new actions and behaviours. Firstly, I had to meet myself where I was at. By that I mean I had to see the truth – that my current way of operating was never going to get me into the 6.5 million dollar house on the Sunshine Coast that I have in my vision box.

It's a house that I've seen in my meditations for over 8 years. I didn't even know it really existed until I found it while doing some research about 2 months ago.

Yep, really.

So, let's talk about the Law of Attraction for a minute because that's really what this blog is all about.

The Law of Attraction (LOA) is a well documented phenomena. Most of us on the spiritual path have heard of it and probably tried it – and hopefully had some success.

But, I'll bet on that $6.5m house that even those of you who consider yourselves to be conscious and/or "awake" or spiritual, have equally suffered from a sense of WTF when it comes to the LOA.

WTF is this LOA that only seems to work sometimes and not others? Surely by aligning our thoughts with what we want, we should be able to manifest it, right?

Even if it's as big as a $6.5million dollar house on Sunshine Beach.

Because if you've been reading or listening to the same material as I have, the LOA does not hold one thing bigger or smaller than another. Correct?

Well, after seeing my reality about money in an entirely new way since my breakdown/breakthrough over the past two weeks, I'm going to add what I can now understand about LOA and that is that there is a necessary requirement that I was previously overlooking.

So, to use my example:

1. I asked the Universe to align me with the $6.5m house on the Sunshine Coast.
2. I KNOW I'm going to live in that house because I've seen it in my meditations for over 8 years, and whenever I've envisioned things before I actually saw them in real life, they have ALWAYS come into my reality. Alignment = check.
3. So, feeling like I'm completely in alignment (see above), I firmly believe that I'm on the right path to manifesting said house.
4. And I'm right.
5. But, in order to manifest that house, I need to clear out any unsupporting beliefs and thoughts that are currently preventing that house from being in my immediate reality.
6. In comes MAJOR BREAKDOWN #1.
7. In order to be in purest alignment with that house, I need to change. The biggest change is that I need to meet my reality head on. And that means I can no longer continue operating the way I've been operating for the past 10 years, because if I do that, there's not a hope in hell that I'll move into that house in this lifetime. No matter how creative I am with the fantasy of that.
9. I have to change the way I'm doing things.
10. In order to get into a more pure alignment I need to breakdown my fantasy so I can breakthrough to reality where I can create an entirely new reality that is in far greater alignment with what I want than I currently realise. In fact, I must entirely let go of my belief that I know how to manifest that house and hand that job over to the Universe. Which doesn't mean I completely take my hands off the wheel, sign on to social services and keep fantasising. It means I must learn to TRUST that I am being guided in a new direction that may (or may not) seem congruent to my desire of buying that house, but that is MOST LIKELY to be leading me to an exact match to the feeling I want when I envision myself in that house, which is basically that I feel happy, safe, successful and financially secure.

Are you still with me?

In short: all the while we are clinging to our fantasy version of life, whether that be around money, love or owning a house on the Sunshine Coast, we are completely UNABLE to manifest the very thing we want.

Until we meet reality we are unknowingly keeping ourselves from the very thing we are continually saying we want.

For 10 years I've either been working part time as a freelance writer/editor or I've been working full time setting up a new business, be it a healing or coaching practice or an online business. So I've got 10 years of cold hard evidence that what I've been doing for that time does NOT align with me manifesting a $6.5 million house in Queensland.

And yet I have insisted on believing otherwise.

I have refused to see the truth in the situation. So on the one hand I've been utilising my amazing skills and talents as a writer or healer and I've been motivated and driven enough to set up buinesses and had some success from that, but have I come anywhere near to moving into that house?

Not even!

And yet, I've continued believing that if I just keep doing what I'm doing for a bit longer (another 10 years??) then SURELY that house will be mine.

Well, here's the rub. Through questioning my thoughts in a whole new way during the past two weeks I was able to hear the Universe saying "Sweetie, we really, really want to give you that house, (and anything else you desire), but you're so busy sticking your head in the sand, that we're finding it impossible to get it to you."

Yes. I was so busy believing my own fantasy that I was completely (and unconsciously) ignoring the reality (which btw is always in alignment with the Universe), which meant I was STUCK.

And so STUCK is what I was getting back via the LOA.

You see?

The turnaround for me was seeing the reality: I needed to change the way I was looking at my situation. And I could only do that by first accepting the truth. That what I was doing wasn't working.

Humble pie alright! I call it more of a humble crumble because in order to see the truth my ego had to crumble to nothing so that I could be clear enough to see a new way.

And now, amazingly, that's where I'm at.

From that place of truth I've been able to create a new agenda for my work life. And although I'm not going to tell you exactly what showed up (only because I don't want to mention the roles I've just applied for), I can tell you that the situations that have landed in my lap just 24 hours after creating my new agenda are INCREDIBLE opportunities that I would not have been able to see if I was still stuck in my fantasy.

So you see the LOA does work.

I could already see that because I'd manifested outstanding results in both love and money in the past 12 months alone. And yet, I was unknowingly limiting even bigger results because I was staying in a place where good stuff happened, but HUGE stuff was being blocked (by me).

So, if you're finding yourself stuck in a world where the LOA only works for you sometimes even when you KNOW it works and can FEEL the thing you desire, I invite you to enter into a new level of self enquiry. I used Byron Katie's four questions which you can find in her book Loving What Is, but there are numerous ways to deliver yourself from your own prison, so I'll let you find your own way on that one.

Suffice to say, after spending two weeks in one of the shittiest self-inflicted breakdowns I've ever had, I can absolutely attest to the fact that if you're willing to question yourself, especially on the things you really think you know for sure, then on the other side of that enquiry you might just find an overwhelming paradise that you couldn't see before.

And if you do, then I welcome you to a whole new world and an incredible new level of trust in the Universe and the Law of Attraction.

Choose Love xxx

Friday, 16 October 2015

Love or Money?

In contrast to my previous blog and at the risk of sounding schizophrenic, today I first want to say that no matter what you do in life, you'll always be in the perfect place for you.

You can't be anything other than perfect. Ever.

Yesterday I blogged about sharing your personal development journey with another person. How if you don't, you won't change as much as you hope. But the truth is, the opposite is also true.

Do absolutely nothing, and you'll still end up in the perfect place anyways. Because even when things are completely out of control, the bigger truth is that it's all exactly right for you.

Even when it doesn't look or seem that way.

Action plays a role in our experience for sure, so yes, take action towards anything that takes your fancy, but rather than force that action, if we can come to a place where we simply flow with the easiest option, then our lives will unfold anyway and we'll be able to enjoy it, even when it "stinks".

And that same theory applies to the concept of Love and Money.

Can we believe in both?

For the past few days I've been in a panic about money. Nothing new there. I've spent my entire life struggling with even the concept of money. When I was 16, my parents and siblings were each investing in an insurance plan that paid them out after 10 years (or something). The insurance dude would turn up at our house every second Thursday (or whatever it was), and every time he'd ask me "When are you going to sign up Hannah?" I would shrug him off and go to my room and get lost in music. My sanctuary.

One day, I answered the door to the insurance guy and he flat out asked me: "Hannah, if you don't put money aside now, what are you going to live on in the future?"

My answer?

"I'll live on Love."

It astounds me that I said that back then, and as much as we do live on Love because we are Love, money is the currency of the world and it definitely has a place. But the point I'm making here is that I have never understood money.

The very idea of handing over cash and coins in exchange for something has always baffled me. Why can't we all just give and receive and not worry about money? I've often thought to myself. What is this craziness that we all get so wound up about? Why can't we all just live in peace and love each other?

You might think this is the idealistic thoughts of a teenager, but I still have those thoughts today.

I can see that having money can be a good thing. I get it. Travelling is a big part of my life and I require money to pay for my flights and accommodation. I also spend a lot of money on personal growth: courses, books, coaching, it all costs money.

But what I have recognised in the past few days is that all the while I was spinning my Love Story, underneath it I was unconsciously resisting money because I saw it as "bad".

When you peel back my overriding philosophy that Love Is All There Is, I was also kidding myself into thinking I didn't also buy into the global money story. I did, but I had hidden that belief because it didn't match the identity I'd created for myself that said Love is all there is.

I had been deceiving myself for years!

A couple nights ago, I woke up at 2am and spent about 2 hours writing down some of my money beliefs. It was certainly eye opening. Some of the notions I'd held about money were so incongruent with my Everything Is Love beliefs that it was laughable. I had given money SO much weight and yet I thought I was viewing it as insignificant.

Truth is, my up-until-then unconscious beliefs about money were the complete opposite of insignificant.

Money was the biggest thing there was.

Money had SO much weight that I couldn't handle it. Yes, my conscious mind told me it was less significant to me than Love, but my unconscious mind had created one helluva story that meant no matter how much I sang my Love Song, money was there, lurking in the corner wearing a dirty overcoat, ready to flash at any time.

And now I can see that.

And because I can see it, I can now change it.

Until we shine a light on the very thing we're avoiding – which is often so unconscious to us that it's impossible to shine a light on it without the awareness of how to become aware of our hidden beliefs – we're basically living a lie.

I know, that's a lot to take in… read it again.

But the crazy thing about our unconscious beliefs is that even if we don't know how to shine a light on them, our experience is perfect anyways.

So, in complete contrast to what I wrote yesterday: even if you do absolutely nothing to further your growth and expand your consciousness, it will happen anyways.

Even if you believe in Love and think money is just a joke, you will realise the truth for you anyways.

Even if you think money is what makes the world go around and Love is a futile concept, you'll realise the truth for you at some point anyways.

Unless you don't.

Which is the even bigger head f*ck of this whole experience.

So, what am I saying here? Essentially I'm saying Do Whatever You Want. Do whatever feels right for you in this moment and if that feeling changes in the next moment, change what you're doing to match your new thought or feelings.

It doesn't matter.

I'm letting go of a big story I've held about money for my entire life, but did I need coaching or all those other courses to get me here? No. Would I be where I am today if I'd done nothing other than eat, sleep and work my whole life? Who knows. Point is, it doesn't matter.

I chose the path I've chosen and I love it. It feels right for me. Until or unless it doesn't.

Once we let go of our attachment to an outcome, nothing matters anymore. And that's where joy really comes in. Have money, don't have money, meet your soulmate, don't meet your soulmate, hire a coach, don't hire a coach, it doesn't matter.

Just follow your own path in the moment: follow the path of least resistance and just let the Love or money flow in.

Or not.


h xx

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Growing Pains

OK, I'm gonna come clean.

I am completely f*cked.

A couple months ago I waved goodbye to a 22 year career as a magazine writer and editor. I publicly announced it on Facebook because I absolutely knew that being a coach is my life's purpose and at the time, the money was rolling in, I had a healthy repertoire of clients and life was buzzing along.

The prior 6 months that I'd spent working with my own coach had lifted me to incredible new heights both work/money and love-wise. I was in a space I'd never been in before. So I did the obvious thing and hired my coach for another 6 months, then I joined a coaching group where more amazing lessons came thick and fast on a daily basis. And it was even more amazing!

But then, all of a sudden, the Shit Hit The Fan.

And not only did the shit hit the fan, but my emotional faeces sprayed long and wide and appears to be on a mission to take me down.

My insides feel like they're covered with shit. My belief system has turned into a sewerage pit, I can barely hold a cup with my right hand, my back feels like it might crumble if I make any sudden moves, and my bank account, well, that's the best part. I can't even pay my rent.

Awesome, huh!

And why would I write about this you might ask? Because it's the truth. So, here goes…

If I were to look at my current situation in a linear way (what I call Mass Majority thinking), then I would seriously be fucked. The straight lines that our current operating system has been built on say that I should go get a job. That I should be more sensible. That I should spend less money on travel and save more for my future. That I should be married with kids. That I should swear less. That I should wear shoes. That I'm too old to sit on the floor, I should sit in a chair.

You get the picture.

But I'm not doing any of that. I live by my own rules. My mum says I'm the butterfly in the family (a nice way of saying I fly by the seat of my pants). But there are consequences of living this way and they are huge.

The consequences of living what I call a Curly Existence mean I don't have social norms to fall back on. I don't have a savings account or a day job to prop me up when life gets tough. When it rains, I get wet. When the money runs out, I don't eat. Or, I get creative.

Before I go completely off point here, what I'm trying to say is that what's really happening for me at the moment is Personal Growth.

And growth hurts.

In fact the more you grow and the quicker you grow the more it hurts. Think of a baby. We wonder why they're crying sometimes, but think about it, their bodies and awareness are growing rapidly every day. No wonder they bawl at "nothing", huh!

And that's where coaching comes in. At the point of growth.

Before I became a coach I thought coaching was about helping people feel better about their lives. I thought it was about motivating them to feel like they can reach their goals (even if they don't). And I thought Wow, I'll be really good at that, that's what I do anyway.

And that's absolutely where I started. Both as a coach and as a client of my coach. I felt all the nice stuff that was missing for me. More money, deeper love, being paid to support people and having someone who was there to support me no matter what.

But as I travelled deeper into my journey that path opened up so wide that I no longer had the right vehicle to go any further. My emotional capacity was no longer in alignment with where I am heading. My beliefs no longer held enough weight to keep me where I'd been for the past 44 years.

And so I needed to change. To grow.

But it fucking hurts.

There's a tendency for us to run away from pain. Who wants to feel pain? Makes perfect sense to shut that shit down, turn around and go back to the "safe zone". "Normality". What we already know.

But if you really want to change your life, then you gotta grow. And it will hurt. No exception.

Anyone who is truly committed to change will experience a version of what I'm going through. In order to break my old habits I gotta learn new ones. But until I learn them there's a transition. There's a whole lotta I Don't Knows to navigate.

And that's where many of us stop.

We're halted in our tracks when we get to I Don't Know. We want to hire a coach but we can't afford it. We want to find our soulmate but we don't want to open up first. We want more money but we're not willing to have less first.

But as long as we sit on the current side of change there's only one truth. We Don't Change.

Well, we do a bit, but ultimately, we become another member of the herd. Society says don't take risks, play it safe, save for a rainy day, play by the rules, do your homework…

But I say Fuck That.

Live Your Life. Take that risk. Spend that money. Make your own rules and never ever do your homework unless YOU want to.

If you do that you'll be scared sometimes. You'll have less money than you think you should sometimes. You'll have friends who will look at you like you're a lunatic sometimes.

But you'll be free. And on the other side of that pain you'll find a new life. A paradise that you can call your own. And your friends and colleagues will wish they had the freedom you'd created. Because as much as it can feel nice to have money, a wife or husband and a steady job, without the freedom to be yourself you have nothing.

All that other stuff can be taken away from you. At a moment's notice. And you might never see it coming.

As a coach, I work with people to find themselves. I no longer motivate people to feel good about themselves. I encourage them to feel their pain. I even take them there. I push my clients' buttons to the point that they say they hate me.

And I'm glad when they do.

Because it means they're really growing. When they give me that look that says "Really? You want me to tell you what I don't want you to know about me?" Then I know we're getting somewhere.

And the reason I know that is because that's my journey too. I don't have all the answers. I have no idea what it is you really want, and from what I see in my clients neither do they. But I do know that if you don't go to that dark and shitty place that you've been avoiding your whole life then you might have a nice life, (and I hope you will), but you'll never become the most brilliant version of you that you can really be.

Because there will always be a fear lurking in your unconscious that is urging you to shine. Or a fear that the money will run out, or your partner will run out.

Going to that new place is fucking hard and it fucking hurts, but on the other side of the pain is a life that shines brighter than any diamond. And that's where I'm heading. I'm done playing small. I'm done pretending to Be Me while I run a tape that says I can only do that for a while. Until the money runs out and I go back to a day job again.

But you know what, this time I'm sticking it out. This time I'm gonna step right into the septic tank and stick my face in it. I'm gonna ignore the "reality" and spread that shit all over my body. I'm gonna feel the pain. Inhale it. Smother myself in it until I stink.

And then?

Well, I don't know what then.

I've never done this before. I've always stopped at this point. The point where it gets sooooo tough and sooooo scary that I revert back to "reality".

But not any more. And never again. I don't know what's on the other side but I'm willing to find out. Because if I don't then I'll never know. Which means I'm buying into the story that I've been saying I don't agree with for my whole life.

So today I'm willing to hurt. I'm willing to Have No Idea what's on the other side. And I'm willing to take the biggest chance I've ever taken. To stay. To feel the pain that's taking over my body. To crack the "reality" that I've bought into even when it looked like I wasn't.

Are you willing to do that too?

If you are, then I'm here, not just as a coach, but as a fellow human being who's doing it too. I'll help you. I'll sit by you while you weep in fear at what's to come. I won't know the answers but I'll support you.

If you know deep down that there's a greater version of you that wants to be set free, then talk to me. Come show me your pain. I promise I won't judge. I'll simply guide you through it.

And I might not be the right coach for you. And coaching isn't the only answer. But choosing to stay the same is definitely not going to set you free. And knowing that it's scary and knowing you  haven't been able to do it on your own, then think about it. Are you living your best life? Are you willing to move through I Don't Know to have what it is you REALLY want?

If you are then I sincerely encourage you to find someone who can travel that journey with you. To take the risk that feels too big. And if not, then that's your choice too, I respect that. Kind of.

But I know there's more that's available to you. I just know it.

Meantime, I'll see you on the other side.

Choose love xx

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The End Of The Road

So, earlier this year I outed my deepest and most personal "secret" in a blog called Defining Moments. It was about the fact that I had survived a horrific car crash that took the life of my friend Dawn and left my then-boyfriend Steve in a coma for a while.

For those of you who have read the story, there are a few questions that haven't yet been answered. Hopefully this blog will serve up the final words on that night and fill you in on the missing pieces that I haven't yet shared.

I'll start with the verdict.

The accident happened on 8 December 1989. It was a Friday night and as you already know, we had a head-on collision with a truck. There were four of us involved. My friend Dawn who died at the scene, my boyfriend Steve (who was driving) who suffered head injuries and was in a coma for a couple of months, and then there was the driver of the truck, and me.

As neither Dawn nor Steve could testify, and because there was a question as to whether Steve or the truck driver was potentially at fault, I was the only witness.

From memory, the inquest happened around April 1990, about 5 months after the crash.

I had already walked away from my relationship with Steve, had come out the other side of a nervous breakdown and was surviving as best I could. My dad and my friend Carol came with me to the courthouse.

As you can imagine, Steve's family would have been desperately troubled over this verdict as it could potentially throw their son under the spotlight and as far as they knew, maybe he was at fault. And what would that mean?

I was no longer in contact with them and you can read all about why in my blog Broken But Not Forever. Suffice to say, I wasn't exactly over the moon when I saw his dad and one of his uncles sitting outside the courtroom when I got there.

In fact, I wish the ground could have swallowed me up because it became another chance for his family to use me as a scapegoat and take a stab at me with their projected pain.

As I sat waiting to be called, Steve's dad came over to me.

"Why did you say you were travelling at 40 miles an hour?"

He had been given a copy of my statement (that had been taken a couple of days after the crash), and he was far from pleased with what I had said. Even though it was the truth.

I honestly don't remember what I said in response but I do remember feeling mentally bashed (once again), and totally appalled at his lack of respect, lack of compassion and basic lack of human spirit as he venomously spat his thinly-veiled accusation at me.

Like it was my fault his son was in a coma and that my friend was dead?

I don't think I need to tell you, his spiteful words didn't exactly help me feel better about an already stressful situation.

Thankfully it wasn't long before our case was up and I was called to the witness stand. Declaring my oath to tell the truth and nothing but, the judge proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions which I answered as authentically as I could remember.

The verdict was given almost instantly: Accident.

That's right. Neither Steve nor the truck driver were held accountable. The verdict was that the accident was exactly that: an accident.

As for Steve's health? I don't know the answer to that. I have never heard from him since. Bar one phone call a week after I left him there has been no contact. I heard that he suffers from epilepsy and walks with a slight limp, but that's hearsay and not something I can verify.

I did write him a letter about 4 years ago. I found an address for someone with the same name as him at an address that was in the vicinity of where we lived at the time. I never got a reply. But when you think about it, it took me 22 years to write that letter, so it could take 22 years for him to respond. If it even ever reached him. Which I guess I'll never know.

The final question that I may have left unanswered is about whether I've ever actually been in love since I walked away from my first love. I wrote in Life Sentence that I hadn't ever loved a man as wholly and completely as I loved Steve, and that's at least partially true.

However, just for the record, and to clear up any misunderstanding (especially for my exes…!), I should make it clear that yes, of course I have been in love since then. The point I was making is that I had come to realise that part of me had stayed locked in that situation. Until I saw it more clearly, which is why I wrote about it.

It's not that I've never loved anyone since then, but I had a definite sense that some part of me had been holding myself accountable for walking away, and I hadn't recognised it until last year when it was the 25th anniversary of the crash.

My writing about the Life Sentence wasn't so much to say that I have been a stone cold ice queen for 25 years, it was merely that I had come to a new level of understanding of who I am in relationships and that maybe, part of me had been holding back because the first time I'd fallen in love it all ended terribly. And that maybe a part of me had held on to that because I was scared to love at that deep level incase I ended up feeling as hurt as I had back then.

So, in order to set the record straight, I should acknowledge that I have been in love many times.

There was the sensitive musician who I had a 2-year relationship with when I was 21. I definitely loved him because I was distraught when he called it off. Then there was the DJ who stole my heart and who I reconnected with 15 years after our first fling. Still love him. And of course, my longest relationship – 9 years with the kooky creative who was a brilliant athlete and all-round funny guy. That was a love that had its own recipe and came to a natural end.

They're the ones I call my most important loves, but to be honest, I fall in love on some level all the time.

So my Life Sentence wasn't about never having loved since then, it was about having baggage that I hadn't fully let go of. Which as far as I can see, means not fully allowing myself to love in the way I did when I was 16 when life seemed so bright and full of promise.

Lucky for me, that baggage has been put down and I am now in a far more available position than I can ever remember.

Maybe this is where all of us arrive at some point? I don't know. But what I do know is that I feel different. More free and ready to dive in to new things without holding on to the unconscious belief that I still owe my ex for leaving him.

So there it is. The conclusion to my 25 years of unconscious "suffering".

Having been through such an awful experience as being involved in a fatal car accident it's worth saying that I believe the worst things that happen are truly our greatest gifts.

Losing people we love and being forced to get up and dust ourselves off when all we want to do is crumble and fall is one of life's most humbling yet empowering opportunities. And I'm glad I went through all of it. Because now I get to look back on past events and see how far I've come.

I can look through the window of the past and notice how strong those painful moments have made me. They provided me with a choice to grow and become a better person. And they have certainly made me more compassionate.

I hope you've enjoyed travelling that road with me as I relived the pain and unearthed those memories that, until writing this blog, had been stored in my cells, waiting to be set free.

Because now, I'm well and truly back on the road and loving every minute.

And I hope you are too.

Choose love xx

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Save Me!

This morning I happened upon a video by Robert Ohotto – a US based astrologer who sits alongside the likes of Michael Beckwith and Carolyn Myss (two top spiritual authors/speakers).

Robert talked about how he looks at astrology as a symbolic representation of what's going on within us.

I've always leaned towards astrology as a tool to help me figure myself (and other people) out or to get some more information about what's going on in the world, so what he said resonated with me.

But whether you see astrology as science or BS, is neither here nor there, because regardless of where you find your prompts, what Robert said this morning has got me thinking.

Today is a full moon eclipse, which, from what I can gather is called a Blood Moon. This means that the Earth is moving in front of the moon creating a shadow that will eventually cause the moon to appear red (due to refracted light coupled with particles from the Earth… but enough of the science, it's not my strong point…)

Blah blah on a bit longer and what Robert said lit a lightbulb for me. He said, this particular full moon eclipse is in Libra which represents our relationships, specifically our shadow side in relationships (i.e the shit bits that we consistently cock up and can't figure out why).

And heck, I dunno about you but I have a ream of f*cked up shit that I do in relationships that scans from not speaking my mind in the moment and saving it till I'm truly pissed off – when I lose my shit and attack my partner's character as opposed to their behaviour, through to simply being awkward around guys I like when all I want to do is skip up to them, give them a smile and tell them how amazing I think they are.

As Robert Ohotto pointed out, each of us has themes that come up time and again that are not necessarily a problem unless they're in this shadow realm (the bits that don't make sense, even to us). He suggested thinking about our patterns and then choosing to do something completely opposite.

What he was talking about is based on our archetypes (Carolyn Myss is the queen of archetypes so if you want to know more, read her book Sacred Contracts).

To make it easy, I'll give you an example; I'll tell you what mine are. Firstly, I'm a rescuer. I want to save people from themselves. That's why I became a bodywork therapist and ran a healing practice for a few years. And it's why I'm moving into the space of becoming a Life Coach. I have an inner need to help people. Helping is the "shiny" side of that characteristic, but the shadow is wanting to save people who neither need to be saved nor want to be.

And trust me, I do both. If I see a man looking forlorn or better still, if I date a guy with those cute-as-hell puppy dog eyes that scream "Save me", you can bet I'll be scooping them into my healing hands and giving them the time of their lives so that they can feel whole and complete again.

Just like me.

Umm, yeah, maybe not so much, right?

Psychologists will argue about where and how these archetypes are formed, and I'm not going to go into it because 1) It's not my area of expertise and 2) You can look that up separately. However, there is most certainly a link between the role we saw for ourselves as children, and any "wounded child" behaviours that have stuck around into adulthood. But without going into where mine came from, I'll simply move on to stage 2…

Which is: flipping the shadow behaviour into something more useful.

For me, now that I can identify that I fly into rescue mode, Robert Ohotto suggests I flip that shadow trait on its head and, after first recognising that "I am enough", choose who I want to be instead of falling straight into that old shadow pattern. Just like the way the moon flips from moving into shadow, becoming a full blood moon and then perambulating through the reverse shadow until it's full again.

When I looked at my need to "save men" I reframed it to mean asking for help from men.


You might laugh, but when I wrote that down this morning I actually let out an involuntary gasp! Yup, no lie, I gasped in SHOCK at the very thought that I might ask a man/men to help ME.

[Collapse into pseudo-faint]

Tells you something, doesn't it.

So. Asking for help from men it shall be. [Breaks into cold sweat…]

The fact I had such a strong reaction to this is certainly testament that it is a valuable lesson for me. And never one to turn away from a challenge (particularly one that I've set for myself), I shall endeavour to move into this space – pronto.

In fact, I have two perfect opportunities to do this very thing today.

1) I'm going on a first date this arvo with someone who knows very little/nothing about me, and 2) I've recently made friends with a guy who, until I watched Robert's video this morning, I didn't realise had (at least partially) been on my "rescue radar". So I think I'm gonna ask him to help me with this.

If you feel like playing with the energies of the moon, or if you just like to stretch yourself and work on becoming a better version of you, I invite you to consider what your relationship shadow(s) might be?

And if you feel like you need to rescue anyone, then try me! I'll be the one in the corner looking forlorn and helpless, and trying not to save all those poor, puppy dog-eyed males from making the terrible mistake of trying to help me.

Or will I?

Let me know how you go!

h x

And PS, if you're still waiting for me to answer some of the Qs from my previous blogs about the car accident – stay tuned. I'll be writing the conclusion this Easter weekend. h xx

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Voice Within

If you've been following my last three blogs Defining Moments, Life Sentence and Broken, But Not Forever you'll be up to speed on the fact that I survived a horrific car accident when I was 18. My friend D died at the scene and my then-boyfriend suffered head injuries and was in a coma for a number of weeks.

Me? I walked away with a ripped earlobe and some torn ligaments.

"We saw the car," said the police when they came to my house a few days later to interview me. "It was a total wreck," they said. "I don't know how anyone managed to survive that crash."

Damn straight. The roof had to be cut off the car and the front end was basically squashed under a truck. It was a mangled wreck to say the least so I'm not surprised the cops were amazed at how I survived.

But I know exactly how that happened.

About a month before the accident I was temping as a receptionist for a construction company. I had been working as a temp since the age of 16. After leaving school in year 10 I had skipped college and gone straight into the workplace. I wanted to be a temp and had managed to manifest that dream despite having nothing but a couple of O-levels (certificates of achievement in English and maths) and a bucket full of confidence.

My confidence wasn't just teenage arrogance. I'd harboured a very cool "secret" since the age of about 3 when I realised that I could "smell" whether someone was trustworthy or not. That secret evolved into a deep knowing. I somehow always knew what was the right path to follow, or if someone was being deceitful or dishonest.

Now, obviously at the age of 3 I wasn't able to articulate what I have just explained to you, but I do know that from as young as I can remember, I had a very strong sense of knowing what was "right" and what was "wrong". It didn't necessarily mean I never did anything "wrong", because wrong means all kinds of different things to different people depending on the circumstance and their own version of what's "good" and "bad". But I definitely had an inner compass that sensed whether I should do X, Y or Z.

"Go and sit on so-and-so's lap" my parents might say.

Not on your nelly, I would think to myself.

"Eat your beetroot" said the dinner lady.

But I'll be sick. 

"Eat it," she insisted.

So I ate it and promptly vomited bright purple spew all over the classroom.

Those are two very general examples but what I'm trying to point out here is that even as a very young child – when you're expected to listen to and believe what teachers, aunts, uncles and parents tell you – I had an inner barometer that would sometimes tell me a very different story, and lucky for me, I knew when to listen to that voice instead.

I became such good friends with that voice (which is most often actually a feeling), that when I got to the age of 18 and heard it even louder than ever before, I knew I had to sit up and listen.

And thank God I did.

"Hannah, be careful."

This was the voice I heard every time I got into my car during the month that led up to the accident.

True. Every single time I got behind the wheel of my bright yellow Ford Fiesta, (my first car), a voice, as clear as day would "appear" over my right shoulder and tell me to be careful.


At first, despite it being a very loud voice (one that I knew no-one else would be able to hear), I was surprised. Because despite being highly intuitive, most of my intuition arrived in the form of a feeling. Yes, there would be a thought attached but it was more of a sensation followed by some inner dialogue where as this was like a real person standing over my shoulder and speaking VERY LOUDLY.

I couldn't ignore it.

I'm not sure if I remember telling one of my friends or if I've since made that up, but I think I told a girlfriend because even as someone who relied on their intuition all the time, it was a bit weird. The memory I have is that I told a friend, "Hey, I keep getting this voice telling me to be careful every time I get into my car, so I'm just telling you incase anything happens and you'll know I wasn't going mad."

Whether I really did tell her or not, I'm not 100% sure.

But I am 100% sure that the voice existed. Because on the night of the accident I heard it again.

Only this time, I wasn't the one driving.

On the way to pick up D, I was sitting in the front passenger seat of my boyfriend's car. I wasn't wearing a seatbelt. This was 1989 and wearing a seatbelt had (I think) only fairly recently been made compulsory. Sometimes I would wear it, sometimes not. And there were definitely no seat belts in the back seat of the car. Or if there were, there were no laws saying you should wear them.

So, driving to D's house I did not have my seatbelt on. I didn't even think about it. I often didn't wear it.

When we pulled up at D's house, I jumped out and let her into the backseat. We were in a 2-door car so she had to climb past the front seat to get in the back.

As soon as I sat back down I heard the voice saying "Put your seatbelt on."

I didn't think about it. I didn't question it. And I didn't hesitate. I simply put my seatbelt on.

Clunk. Click.

You know the rest of the story so I won't go through it all again. But suffice to say, had I not paid heed to that voice and fastened my seatbelt, I think it's reasonable to assume that I would not be here today.

At the very least (or most), I would probably be a vegetable.

There's no way of knowing of course, but going by the wreckage that cost my friend her life and left my boyfriend with severe injuries, I can take a fair punt in the assumption that I would have been flung out of my seat, hit the dashboard and been thrown around in such a way that would have most likely resulted in my being severely physically damaged. There were no airbags in those days so the only thing between me and the windscreen was the dashboard.

My friend D was in the backseat (with no seatbelt) and was flung past me straight into the windscreen. She hit me on the way past which twisted my seat round to the left and caused me to feel as though I'd been hit by a baseball bat on the right side of my head.

Truly horrible.

If I hadn't been strapped in, (thanks to the voice that told me to do so, I was), the collision – not only of our car and the truck – but of D and I, would probably have been a lot worse for me.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd be dead.

It sounds dramatic to say all this, and maybe it is because there's no way of knowing what would have happened. And there's no need to even go there except that it's healing for me. But the reason I'm writing this is not to shock or to retread the past, it's to show how important listening to our instinct is.

Had I not learned to listen to my inner voice, to my gut, to my inner barometer, I may not have listened to that voice that night. And had I been someone with less trust in myself and the Universe, I may have heard the voice but hesitated, or questioned it, or not paid attention, thinking it was just me being silly.

But the voices we hear are not silly. We all have an inner voice. You might hear it as a voice, or you might just feel things, or maybe you see stuff? I get all three, but feelings are the most common sensation for me.

Truly, I am certain that all the guidance we need is within us. Right in the palm of our hands and the centre of our chest. In our hearts. All you have to do is learn to trust those feelings. To listen to what your body and your heart is telling you.

I'm lucky in the sense that when I get a feeling that something isn't right, or that I should take that road instead, or not get on that bus, or fasten my seatbelt, that I listen. I trust my heart. I always have. And lucky for me, I have proof that those inner messages are for real. That they are there to serve us and keep us safe.

Because if it wasn't for that voice that told me to put my seatbelt on that night of December 8, 1989 there's a very high chance I wouldn't be writing this blog and you wouldn't be reading it.

So learn to trust your inner voice.

It might just save your life x