I don’t know about you, but some days I struggle with the insanity and madness that continues to permeate our world and struggle to figure out how I can manage all of that within my beliefs of who I truly am. Where is the balance between allowing it to be perfect as it is and seeing injustice and the continued destruction of our physical environment and human rights? Some days I scroll through my social media and am so inspired by the amazing things that people are doing in the world and other days, like today, I am so disillusioned by the ridiculous policies that our Governments keep introducing and the continued acceptance of this nonsense by the population. That people can be so bamboozled and sucked in by catch-lines and propaganda is beyond me. That people can sit and watch the news and BELIEVE everything that they are told is mind-bending to me. I cannot comprehend this.
So what can I do about other people and their thoughts? Nothing.
I cannot change anyone’s opinion. I cannot get them to question their beliefs. I cannot do anything to change legislation that has already been passed. The process for appealing something within the Government is so complicated and comprehensive that you need to have a degree in Public Policy just to understand the process!
But I digress. What I CAN do is not to put my head in the “sand” and forget that any of it is happening, but I can take my energy away from the insanity. I can stop getting angry about the things I cannot change and channel my energy into the world I do want to create. I CAN put my energy into the things that I love, that bring joy, that inspire others and to look to ethical leaders who are living in their truth and whose voices and actions are creating more love, more peace, more compassion into our world.
I want a world with more love.
I want a world with more peace.
I want a world with more conscious be-ing.
I want a world where the air, water and food is fresh and nurtured in a way that honours the Earth.
I want a world where we all care for this biosphere that we call home.
I want a world where people care…
…and so I become it.
We are at a critical juncture in history. We have a choice to continuing to be a consuming, ravaging species who uses up all resources until we have nothing left, including the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food that we consume, OR, we can be conscious consumers who make caring and compassionate decisions about things that sustain us, what we invest in, about how we treat others and who we are as a species. Even the amazing Alan Watts warned about this in 1970, that was four years before I was born!
We have the power to change the direction and create a world that not only survives, but thrives. But to do that WE need to make good choices. We need to put our energy into sustainability, into ethical practices and wise and conscious global leaders like Ralph Smart, as well as the people in your own personal circle. Invest in the wisdom in your community. Invest in the wisdom in the shining lights in your world and most importantly, invest in yourself. Be that inspiriting person that can inspire others through spirit. Look to others living through spirit.
What sort of world do you want to live in?
Create it today with every interaction, every thought, every action.
We can change the world one person at a time.
Practice compassion...always, in all ways.
It starts with you.
It starts with me.
It starts today.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2015
“We wanted to be real,” Mandy said. As a larger figured person with “big bones and muscles” Mandy and Awhina wanted to create a lifestyle transformation that was “achievable…for the real person.”
The thing I most remember about my former teaching colleague, Mandy Francisty, was her increasingly shrinking body when she was training for the International Natural Bodybuilding Association competition in 2010. She wrote a number on her hand to remind her how many days until she competed and I remember admiring her determination and commitment to her sport and very strict diet. At the time, we were working at the same school and I have to admit, I was a little jealous of her beautiful physique and motivation to succeed.
Mandy went on to win the Tasmanian title, came third in Australia and last year competed in the world titles in her family’s home country of Slovakia and has recently started a personal training business with her friend Awhina Matthews-Egnot. Heavy Lifting Hippies is a response to a culture where stick-thin models are the ideal. “We wanted to be real,” Mandy said. As a larger figured person with “big bones and muscles” Mandy and Awhina wanted to create a lifestyle transformation that was “achievable…for the real person.”
Both Mandy, 28 and Awhina, 25 shared a love of lifting weights and the same outlook on training and good nutrition and Mandy said that they thought they were finding happiness, but they weren’t, they needed balance but they were also aware that there was a better way. They started an Instagram page @HeavyLiftingHippies to share their sport and passions and were pleasantly surprised by the response. They set up the website and had a photoshoot and soon they were getting clients.
Their services are online and can be accessed anywhere there is Internet connection and they provide weekly contact with their clients as well as a detailed nutritional assessment. Mandy now works as the head Personal Trainer at Fitness Renegades in Perth, Western Australia and Awhina lives in New Zealand. “It’s based on a balanced lifestyle but still achieve a physique with flexible dieting…it’s really a lifestyle transformation…We teach our clients to work with the body,” she said. “It’s about having a happy and healthy body,” Mandy said.
As well as a love of surfing, skating and weights, Mandy and Awhina also grew up without a positive self-esteem and found that lifting weights was empowering and they want to share that passion with their clients. “Being a PT, you can see the results in our clients with an increase in their self-esteem,” and they encourage clients to accept their bodies as they are. “It’s more important to be fit and healthy…it’s very rewarding…inspiring other people,” she said.
It’s funny but both Mandy and I have moved away from teaching for similar reasons to do with the bureaucratic nonsense that exists in education, but mostly because it wasn’t where our passion lay. “I went overseas and realised that life’s too short, the world is massive and there are so many opportunities,” she said. Mandy is full of ideas and has another business in the pipeline, FitBooty, a line of female underwear for training. “I used to be stressed, but now I just relax and roll with it,” she said.
I find Mandy to be an inspiration and unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Awhina but I’m sure that their project will be amazing and continue to grow. I am inspired by young people challenging traditional beliefs about health and fitness and more importantly accepting their bodies as they are, inspiring others but also putting in a lot of love, time and macronutrients.
I avoided weight training for years because I thought that I would bulk up, but I feel fitter, stronger and more flexible than I’ve ever been in my life and Mandy and Awhina are right, you do need to work with the body you have and feed it quality food so it works the best that it can.
Six months ago I was in a job I hated. I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with depression. I then took a leap of faith and quit my job. I have been so much happier (and healthier) since. As always I am inspired by another two amazing women who are following their bliss and their passion and serving the world in a way that they can be authentically who they are and in that way, they are changing the world.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015
What do you fear?
I do not fear death, or acts of terrorism.
I do not fear being physically hurt or abused.
But crocodiles scared the bejesus out of me! They seem all very cute until you see a five metre female in the height of the wet season marching towards you and your child. Luckily we were separated by chicken wire! Gulp!
But those are only little fears. It’s the deep, dark fears that I’ve hidden deep in my psyche, which define my daily decisions. For example, as a child I remember my mother warning me to run to higher ground if the water at the sea receded quickly, I probably was no more than nine. I am now deathly scared of tsunamis, so as a result I always try to live at the highest point of a city (with the exception of Broome which is completely flat)! Having said that, my fear of tsunami was one of the things that made me leave Broome, a place I loved living. Stupid? Yes, it is. I didn’t even realise until recently that even when I’m at the beach, I’m always making an exit strategy in the case of tsunami. It’s unconscious, but I do it.
It wasn’t my mother’s fault that I’m afraid of tsunamis, but something that in that moment I started telling myself. I have had nightmares about tsunamis for years, but it never quite looks like that video of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The waves are always at least 100m high and there is never a way out. Sometimes I run, sometimes I let it take me, sometimes I hold onto debris for dear life. I usually wake before it ends.
I once said to a friend that my worst nightmare would be to be in an underwater cave in scuba gear, but I can see now that I need to add a tsunami to that worst nightmare.
Scuba gear and caves, easy fears to recognise – fear of enclosed spaces and not being able to get out or breathe. Wow, you’re learning a lot about me here! Mazes are another source of frustration and irritation for me. Like caves, you don’t always know your way out, that lack of control and being lost and scuba breathing is about running out of breath without time to surface, so in many ways it’s a fear of drowning. I imagine that comes from a past-life experience of drowning at sea en-route to the Australian colonies.
But the fear that most surprised me when I started exploring my fears in depth was the following: I am petrified about being a bride in my own wedding; to have people looking at me as the centre of attention and a man looking at me in complete love and devotion. Even writing that down I feel a tremendous anxiety in my chest and I just want to run away! But today I made a commitment to practice feeling what it might feel like to have the excitement of a wedding, of feeling the love radiating from my loved ones as I share the moment with them and of course feeling what it might be like to feel loved from a man, my best friend, who adores me.
It’s probably easy enough to embrace the scuba diving fear and take some lessons, it’s probably easy enough to learn to let go of control by going to the local mazes and get completely lost and embrace that feeling. I have done a bit of caving and unlike my peers who found it exciting, I found it traumatic, I should probably do more of that, or at least feel what it would be like and embrace that feeling for what it is. Tsunamis? I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that one, but learning to live on the flats might be something that I might have to embrace in the future. But the fear of marriage, of being loved so much that someone wants to share their life with me, of being someone’s wife/partner, I have to just put conscious effort into feeling what it might be like.
I wish I knew where that fear came from?
OMG! I know what it is! When I was nine, I was a flower-girl in my auntie’s wedding and my instructions were to start walking down the aisle when the music started. The music started and I started walking…everyone thought that I was adorable…but it was the wrong music! I was chastised and the only other thing I remember was falling asleep afterwards in my dress, even though I wasn’t supposed to. The only two things I remember about my first wedding were getting in trouble!! And I probably wasn’t even in big trouble!
Oh, it’s such little things! Seeing it all as an adult, it seems all so silly, but as a child, somewhere I associated weddings with being embarrassed in public! No wonder I fear being the centre of attention! It was so deep in my psyche that I never linked the two events until now.
Wow! Mind blown!
So, I am embracing my fears and learning to feel what it would be like to explore each of those things. As you know from previous posts, I am working through my stuff about being loved by the masculine and fear of commitment. It doesn’t mean that I’m getting married or want a wedding, it's about me just learning to love the feeling of what it might feel like to be loved by the masculine and be the centre of attention!
With the sensationalist media stories dominating the headlines, we, as a population, live in a sort- of controlled fear-state, but it’s not terrorism that we need to fear. It is the hidden fears that we have deep within us that keep us trapped in patterns of behaviour that we do, without thinking. It’s those fears that we need to face and learn to feel what it is to face them within the safety of our minds and bodies.
What are your fears? And when are you going to start facing them?
I am not afraid. I am safe. I surround my world with love and compassion.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015
“When love is happening, don’t hanker for permanency. Think and brood, meditate and contemplate…the eternal. These moments are rare, love moments. Windows open easily, melting happens easily.
I saw this quote on Facebook recently and it hit me so suddenly, I have been using the ego as my main driver in my love interactions. My love comes with attachment, with expectations, with conditions. I wanted to find out why.
During the past 12 months I’ve undergone a transformation of sorts. It was triggered by two events; the sexual healing courses that I did with Leyolah Antara at Kundalini Dance and meeting and connecting with GSM (Gorgeous Sexy Man – see posts here or scroll down, I write about my growth with him a bit!).
Both events have awoken amazing energies within me that have brought my ego to the forefront to be released as an entity that runs my life. I have had two periods in the past 12 months where I felt like I was ready to die, to transition to a new state and I finally feel like I’m ready to shift it. At that time, this is what I wrote in my journal:
“I don’t know why I’m here, what is the point of my life? I’m missing something, there’s something that I should know but I don’t. I feel like I’m still living on the edge of life and not quite engaged in it.
Two nights ago I felt the strongest urge to die…the death that I felt was like, not a physical transition, but a movement upwards – all I can find on the net talks about ego death, but that can’t be it can it?
I feel like I’m just playing the game of life and filling the roles and somehow waiting for my life to begin, meanwhile 40 years have passed. When will my life begin? What is it that I’m missing? What is it that I’ve forgotten? I don’t understand the purpose of being here, now.
…I am so lost right now. I am at a crossroads and I have no idea where to go or what to do….
(Then this voice says) “You need to die to be reborn”
What does that mean? What does that look like?
“Let go and let us worry about the details.”
Let go? Of what?
“Of the illusion that you are this body; this life. “
(So I did some googling and found this quote by) Jeffrey M. Solomon which said (sorry I don’t have the reference):
“To let go of the body is to deny the ego. Death is the ultimate test of our faith in what we believe to be real. To face death – and the prospect of the end of the illusion and ego…it is the fear of death and lack of faith – that is the certainty of knowing yourself as a spiritual being as an energy being and an eternal being – that holds us captive.”
The transition is not about a physical death, or a death of my body, but more of a death of the mind, moving into a no-mind state where I am driven by spirit and love what is, no matter what arises. That is, to accept things without judgement, expectation or fear and be grateful for what is. I do not fear death, nor am I rushing towards it.
It’s been a cognitive knowing for quite some time, I even wrote about it previously (link) but I was verging on surrender for so long that I’m ready to let it go, to live my life, driven by spirit not my head.
That feeling of ego death comes and goes for me, but one of my favourite healers Christine Paskett said that it is a part of the process; it was a time of acclimatising and assimilating the learnings. Sort of like when you climb a mountain, the body can’t cope with the atmosphere, so you have to go up to get used to it and then return down before rising up again. It’s like that with spiritual growth, sometimes you come back down to clear out any of the debris left from the patterns to make sure that you understand it before going back up to a higher state of awareness. That’s why when you think you’ve dealt with all those issues, they come back up for clearing.
Every day I wake and am grateful for my life and do things which bring me joy. Not happiness, but a deep tangible feeling of joy and surrender to spirit and let it guide my every moment. Three teenage daughters test that daily, so I am grateful for their teaching me to stay centred in love, in authenticity, in who I am and I am light. Just for today, I am letting spirit guide me, I surrender to what is.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015