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Not Guilty

finding peace in three simple steps

A new book on finding
your paradise

Introduction

 

Despite appearances, some of us don’t realize we are traveling along life’s road to nowhere until it trips us up and brings us to our knees. That’s what happened to me.

Literally.

I had ticked all of life’s boxes in my own special way. Sure, life had its niggles, but I meticulously pushed them all down so that They believed in my shiny polished exterior complete with matching manicure.

To onlookers, I had it all. Behind those proverbial closed doors, however, alcohol and other fun distractions relieved me from looking in places my eyes feared to tread. I wasn’t walking on eggshells, I was tip-toeing around them. I lived in Expectation City and tension was high.

It was 2012 when the life I had carefully carved out for myself began to fall apart. It took an undignified public tumble to show me that my path was ‘off course’. It seemed my internal compass was decidedly headed south.

At the time I was a partner in a seaside law firm. As far as society’s rules go, I had made it! My name now steadfastly in lights so to speak, I was finally what They referred to as ‘someone’. I worked hard for that title having hailed from a less than privileged background, if you define privilege in terms of ‘happy families’ and material wealth.

The road to that life-changing event was animated when I landed a reception job at a small local law firm. I was 32 years old at the time and my brain was flatlining from being a stay-at-home mother for Four. Long. Months.

A friend I’d worked with in law firms previously, called me about the position. It was perfect! A new daycare centre had just opened right next door, so I could work full-time and continue to breastfeed on my breaks.

Mind you, according to Them staying at home All. Day. Long. with a newborn was the ‘right’ thing to do. I battled with this idea. Stay-at-home motherhood was simply not my calling. Nevertheless, They judged me as a ‘bad’ mother for returning to work so early.

I’ll explain who They are in more detail as we move on, for now, They are society, or those who come complete with all their ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and guilty verdicts. They have expectations of you and woe be to you if you let Them down.

Take a moment to reflect on a situation in which you're having difficulty making a decision because you need to consider the expectations of others. Why is it so hard to do what you want to do? Generally, it is because you don’t want to feel guilty of being called ‘wrong’, ‘selfish’ or even ‘stupid’.

My story is about how I learned to overcome guilt when I understood how I had been allowing guilt to control me in so many ways. 

I returned to work, despite what They said. Guilt popped in now and then, but in this scenario I was able to selfishly ignore its niggling voice.

Shortly after, the law firm was acquired by a lawyer from the city who was seeking a sea change. He, at the time, was not all that familiar with the nuances of a small, private, legal practice. He saw my potential and encouraged me to apply to go through law school. I, being one who had both the highest of ideals and stiletto heels decided I would help people. I am a person. I like being helped. ‘It is what I’ll do!,’ I declared (one hand on hip, cradling newborn baby, superwoman cape flapping gently in the breeze).

Boxes ticked, I turned 40 in the year that I was admitted to practise law. I finally completed my law degree part-time via correspondence while working full-time as a paralegal. During those six years of study and one further year of requisite practical legal training, I added to the degree of difficulty, the responsibility of both motherhood to my then very young son, and wife to my now ex-husband (not listed in order of difficulty).

That 2012 game-changer, and I do see life as a game, unfolded as my favorite pair of leopard print stiletto heels tripped me right up … in broad daylight … for everyone to see!

There I was suited up, on my hands and knees in the middle of a pedestrian crossing hoping the stripes would open up and swallow me whole. For some reason, I remained frozen, for who knows how long, staring bewilderedly toward the ground at my now-chipped manicure. Surely a sign that the polish of my life was about to wear off.

A lovely man had to get out of his car to help me up and off the road. So embarrassing.

Those heels betrayed me in a way that no woman should ever have to endure, yet they set me on a course that, whilst bumpy, would dramatically change the course of my life. For the better.

Off to the chiropractor I went, who prescribed yoga as the sure remedy for my bruised ego and knees. ‘Yoga?’, I uttered, eyes rolling, ‘That’d be like watching paint dry’. I was miffed. I was a Zumba girl. Apparently, my knees also betraying me, said a stern ‘no’ via my chiropractor’s lips.

The first yoga class I attended felt like I had encountered something familiar. I wondered why a few breaths and stretches made me feel such a sense of peace. A stark contrast to the underlying tension I encountered every day.

Like any good lawyer, I needed some evidence. Not to do things by halves, and in an attempt to maintain my polished perfectionism of credibility, I spent a whole year adding a Diploma in Yoga Teaching to my collection of personal labels.

Another box ticked.

I was all swept up in the delight of playing with my newfound toy until the realization hit me:  yoga spoke of connection and oneness, whereas my lawyer life perpetuated separation in its ‘me vs. you’ model. Oneness and separation, like oil and water, just don’t mix.

Uh-oh!

I’d worked so hard to ‘make it’, to become somebody, so I wasn’t going to let ‘it’ go that easily. More investigation was needed. Surely, I could emulsify my two worlds.

It took me just under ten years of getting lost in some rather dark rabbit holes to figure out why my emulsification efforts were simply not possible.

Why so long?

I had yet to become skilled at discerning the difference between those two worlds so I truly understood the implications arising from each one.

I particularly needed to thoroughly understand the concept of oneness, particularly from a grounded and scientific perspective, and to explore what true connectedness would look like in everyday life.

Within that expedition came some quite painful learning experiences.

This is what I discovered.

The problem

You have been feeling confused, concerned or anxious about circumstances in your life and want instead, to be in a place where life feels safe, certain and loving. Paradise.

You don’t really know why life has become so tricky to navigate and wonder why people are become more difficult to deal with.

It’s at about this point you start judging your circumstances, declaring that something is ‘wrong’ or maybe even someone is to blame. You become stuck and don’t know how to move forward. If only They would change so you can get some long-awaited peace in your life!

Stripping all that away, the problem is really one where you want to shift from feeling trapped, to feeling free.

Society’s Solution

Tick all Their boxes and at some point in the future They will judge you to be a ‘good’ person and success is yours. Be sure to know how to judge ‘right’ from ‘wrong’, work hard, be virtuous and you will earn your freedom.

I tried so very hard to follow Their rules. I wanted life’s gold star. I was a ‘good’ girl in school. I was a partner in a law firm. I had acquired the sought-after beachside home with sweeping ocean views. There was a Ferrari in my garage full of luxury cars and holidays to exotic locations all tied up in a neat bow, or rather the knot, of a long marriage.

All that effort. All that careful curation of life, pleasing other people and tip-toeing around the eggshells did not bring me freedom. I remained fixed, still anxiously tip-toeing around life. Any wonder those leopard heels print tripped me up!

I have found that so many of us have been feeling confused, and concerned because of a strong desire to avoid failing at life. Under no circumstances do you want to get it ‘wrong’ and be found guilty of breaking society’s rules. They will reject you and you will not get the love you seek.

Perhaps you feel this too?

Do you think you need to follow their rules to become free. In society’s model, you can never be free if you remain under the influence of others. You are allowing Them to trap you … in a negative feeling state.

The Natural Solution

Life lit up for me when I realized things change for us when we align with our natural beingness. You are made of the same stuff as the stars in the night sky. You are a gold star. You don't need to earn one. The nature of you cannot be pinned down. Nature is not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – it’s wild and free, like leopard print heels.

I figured if I wanted to feel free, then maybe aligning with natural ways of being held the answers.

I tested it. A few times. It worked a treat!

Nature is governed by energetic principles, so when I opened to the application of these principles, I understood how we could easily use them to navigate our lives. This is point where the notion of interconnectedness or oneness lit up as my guiding path.

Life does not function effectively as a ‘me vs. you’ or ‘us vs. them’ world if we are all fundamentally all connected. And this is why I believe we are feeling so out of sorts. We are attempting to push against our nature. The way we have been seeking satisfaction in our lives, or solving our conflicts has not been aligning with our natural selves.

Said another way, if everything is fundamentally one energy, as science tells us, there can be no Them ‘out there’, despite what you’ve been taught.

You are Them too!

This makes a lot of sense when you see that you are a part of the society that created the social rules, the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘musts’ that you are trying so hard to comply with.

They cannot make you feel ‘bad’. You are doing that to yourself.

This is really exciting news because life now becomes all about you and how you choose to feel about life. It never, ever, has anything to do with Them.

How liberating is that?! Yay!!

Feelings are your keys to freedom. They are the essence of your natural being and I will guide you toward learning how to use the energetic frequencies or vibrations associated with your feeling state to navigate your way to freedom.

When I figured out that it was my feeling state that created everything external to me, and not the other way around, I realized I was invoking a true superpower. No more tip-toeing for me.

The Outcome

Aligning with my natural state of being, I made dramatic shifts in my life. I started simply by feeling like everything was in perfect order as it was. I then moved my state of being to feeling that I lived in a state of ease. It felt like paradise to me. Where did I end up?  Footloose and fancy-free … in paradise.

Within 2 years I’d left my marriage, sold my legal practice, and moved interstate. My being is as far as humanly possible, at peace. As far as doing is concerned, I am a now reformed lawyer specializing in guiding people toward invoking peace in their lives. Added bonus: I uncovered a buried talent for creating colorful artwork reflecting a more authentic me. Aligning with nature you will find the natural talents you had buried too. It’s really exciting!

I love my life and it shows. Others now ask me how I’ve reached this place and I’m showing them too.

Given I’ve learned how much fun it is to laugh at myself, and how beneficial laughing at life can be, I invite you to join in the fun and laugh at my experiences too. With anecdotes and other real-life examples, I’ve written this book to guide you through three steps that can help you locate that peaceful, satisfying feeling place, no matter the enormity of the crisis you might be facing. And, unlike me, it won’t take you 10 years to get there!

Whilst the process itself is simple, changing course is not necessarily easy. It does raise some challenges and takes some self-reminding to embody a new way of being. But there are no ‘shoulds’ or ‘musts’. There are experimentations, observations, choices to be made and outcomes to reflect upon. I call it a game!

I am not here to change you. Aside from my inability to change anyone, I assure you, you are perfect right now in every single way. If, however, you have the desire to experience life with way less concern, with a cheeky sense of humor, willingness and a little courage, I can guarantee that your life will change accordingly.

Mine most certainly did.

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