From fear to ecstatic freedom.

A gift to myself to move forward in line with my spirit in 2019

I have been following Jenni Mears on Facebook for about 12 months or so: my interest first piqued when she advertised a women’s retreat to India. While I was unable to commit the time and money to that retreat, having just rejoined the workforce (see post here) I continued to follow her work online.

Then (NOT) coincidentally… because I do not believe I coincidences….. I attended a wonderful local women’s circle which finally gave me a sense of belonging I denied being absent in this town. My desire to reconnect more in circle with other women was reignited and I felt the fire burn stronger every day.

I contacted a friend who I used to work with in circles, with women, at retreats and using somatic therapies in our work and with each other. “I have a thought in my head and it wont go away!” I moaned.

We talked on the phone when texting back and forth became ridiculous and she chuckled her sensual deep throaty laugh, knowing me well. She liked my plan…..

Then….a one day workshop by Jenni Mears presented itself and I attended last weekend. Here are the workshop details. It was delicious.

With my soul recharged, my vision clarified I have floated into my regular roles and functions with a renewed sense of self . The day to day grind is now manageable because I have acknowledged my true calling and know how to fit that into my life.

Don’t worry dear friends, I am not about to quit my job anytime soon. However, I do now have renewed vigour to combine all my skills and passions into some soul work.

Introducing a peek into my new project..

Stage one of my work is to create Circles for women.

The first will be here in Portland and is specifically for pregnant women. The Portland Pregnancy Circle.

Jump on, like and SHARE.

What about me?

If you are not pregnant and would like me to facilitate a Women’s Circle for you, reach out to me and I will make it happen. Because that is in the plan too!

Just wait until you see what else is in store…

Family Violence: Why doesn’t she leave?

Police in Australia are called out to a family violence incident on average once every two minutes

Family Violence: Why doesn’t she leave?

 Quick Facts

Police in Australia are called out to a family violence incident on average once every two minutes Continue reading “Family Violence: Why doesn’t she leave?”

Preparing for the death of a pet.

….when I heard the words I did not want to hear, my heart broke

Preparing for the death of a pet is never easy.

When I picked Bindi up from the vet on Friday I was steeling myself for bad news but when I heard the words I did not want to hear my heart broke.

Bindi an Australian Shepherd

 

Bindi came into my life just after I moved to Portland, a rescue dog who rescued me.

You can read Bindi’s story here

 

Over the past couple of months Bindi has become unwell. Slow, unable to jump up into the car for her rides, feeling the heat, drinking more water, lost weight….

A check up revealed anaemia and an enlarge liver so we booked in for a diagnostic ultrasound. Nodules on her liver have answered the questions to her rapid decline in condition

Bindi is 10 and a half and I honestly thought she would be with us for a few more years yet but it is not to be.

I have no idea how long we have with our darling girl. The vet says days,maybe weeks. Bindi can put on an impressive sad face and at the vets was almost limp on the table on Friday. Just now she has checked the Guinea pigs with me and then jogged of with purpose to check her chooks.

Bindi meets rooster
Bindi on watch

 

 

 

 

Mason is one! Where has that year gone?

Mason has just turned one and I can’t believe how quickly the past year has flown

I have written before on the delights of becoming a grandmother and how it was like falling in love again. See posts New love and More new love. The family is growing and roles are shifting. I am honoured to watch my children morph into adults parents aunts and uncles.

I seem to move a little slower now. While the parents of the babies run around parenting I can drift along and smell the roses, build the sandcastles and hunt for ladybugs with the little ones.

The past year does seem to have flown by but on the other hand so much has happened. The babies have grown into toddlers, my career move back to Midwifery has been a happy one, trips have been taken, gardens grown and quilts sewn.

The birth of my grand babies are the most wonderful of life memories etched forever in my heart but now there are new chapters to enjoy such as first steps, learning to speak, family holidays and birthdays.

 

Turning one is a big deal.

I am not sure Mason will remember his first birthday party but the family sure will. There were cousins and friends, balloons and bubbles, a pinata and presents and of course cake! Oh the cake.

Barely a grain of sugar has crossed my grandchildren’s lips and for this they are blessed. Mason had his first taste of cake on his birthday and it was quite the hit!

Masons cake

Planning for 2018: What I am watching right now

What is it that kids, dogs and even horses intrinsically don’t trust?

Planning for 2018

I am a planner.

Oh, how I love to plan. I find peace and stability in being organised. Already my personal planner for 2018 is underway, some goal setting drafted and Sharpies at the ready.

My partner and I dedicated some time on the weekend with a yearly planner, post it notes and stickers to the year ahead. While we are flexible and dates may change, mapping out individual commitments, a planned road trip and weekend escapes has helped us unite as a couple and clarify each others needs.

Planning for 2018 at work had begun.

I have drafted the first few rosters, set about recruitment plans and considering the education, equipment needs and meetings schedule for the year. Today I unwrapped a shiny new whiteboard and already it is covered in ideas and thoughts better out than in.

Planning for 2018

 

 

 

 

Mostly I am excited to be organising a team planning day. Very excited. My return to Midwifery has passed it’s 6 month trial and surpassed my expectations. Despite intentions to remain professionally detached from my team, the rotten buggers have sucked me right in and I love them dearly now. I love my job, my workplace, the other Managers and the staff.

I digress…

The reason for this particular post on planning was to share what I have been watching of late on leadership as I plan ahead for my work as a Midwifery team leader.

I am totally addicted to Kerwin Rae. He is a  Sydney  businessman, entrepreneur, investor and international speaker. As an introvert I prefer to communicate via the written word. I don’t speak well unless I have written something out and planned ( see I am a planner). Kerwin speaks as I think. Every single word, his tone, swearing is a reflection of the words that run around in my head.  I particularly love this short clip: Leadership That Builds Trust.

Basically, get your shit together as a leader if you want people to trust you. Have a look and let Kerwin speak for me!

Mental health in the workplace

What are your self care strategies in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace.

Did you know that November 22nd was “ Go Home on Time Day”?  I love this. There is a day for everything these days!

Jokes aside, Go home on time day was a great excuse to not only leave when you’re supposed to but to also have a think about what we can do along with  managers and the workplace to get out the door on time consistently .

Deadlines or the occasional day with competing demands can sometimes mean we can’t stick to our normal working hours. I do not mind this on the odd occasion. However, it’s when these long hours become the norm rather than the exception that it can negatively impact our health.

I recently had 3 weeks off work from a relentless virus. I initially returned too early causing a setback and had to be very firm with myself, being still, minimising interactions and  implementing all self care strategies.

This self imposed rest and quiet time provided me a wonderful opportunity to reflect. And reflect I did: on my return to midwifery, on my role, and my vision and goals for the workplace. On life and why I haven’t blogged for 6 months.

My reflections on mental health in the workplace

I reflected that I have managed very well to develop a sound work life balance. However, some of my old habits at work have been creeping in. Coffee and lunch breaks at my desk, going home late, checking emails at home.

When I did return to work last week I set myself a goal to continue not only my home self care but also self care strategies in the workplace.

I don’t believe in coincidences. Rather I believe everything happens for a reason.

Femidist Mental HealthThis Beyond Blue post on Facebook about mental health in the workplace came at a perfect time for me. I had just returned to work following my illness and its reminders were very important.

 

I encourage my staff members to take breaks, to get home on time and I always try to meet their roster requirements to have a great work/life balance.

Now I have asked them to remind ME  to take my breaks! Having experienced workplace stress burnout and compassion fatigue I place high priority on mental health in the workplace.

Here are my top 10 strategies to maintain mental health at work:
  • Go home on time
  • Take my breaks
  • Walk outside
  • Delegate tasks to others
  • Do not read work emails at home
  • Set realistic deadlines
  • Ask for help when I need it
  • Diffuse essential oils to motivate or chill the mood
  • Eat properly
  • Drink my water

For some great strategies on how to manage your mental health at work, visit Heads Up: http://bb.org.au/2jHDm34

References and link

Beyond Blue

Heads Up

Related Posts

My return to Midwifery

Self care

White Ribbon Day – Have you taken the oath?

Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society

White Ribbon Day

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day

What is violence against women?

The official definition is of violence against women is:

‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’

Wind back to 2004….

I was out shopping and the second text came “Can you get the paper?” The first I had received just 15 minutes after leaving home as he reminded me that he loved me. Oh,how sweet. Half an hour later he called. “Where are you now?”I sighed and reassured him that I was still at the supermarket, yes I had received his text, yes I loved him too.Seriously, I thought to myself. Give me some space.

Interestingly, at the time I was working as a midwife. A frequent part of my role was, recognising and responding to domestic violence.

And yet I missed the early signs myself.

One day before I went into town he was cuddling me in the kitchen, lifted my skirt and asked “What colour knickers are you wearing?” It seemed like harmless fun until I learnt that when I got home he checked that I was still wearing the same pair. “Just want to check your being faithful” What The Actual Fuck!

I was talking to a counsellor about another issue with one of the children and with her wisdom and experience she picked up on something I said and her questions shifted to asking me about this man’s behaviour towards me.

I had tried to make the session quick as He was waiting out in the car ( Oh god , is that not a red flag in itself!!) She gently but directly got to her point. “You are in an abusive relationship. This is controlling behaviour”

Femidist Lightbulb Whit RibbonA light bulb went off. I stared at her with a mixture of shock and relief. The vibration within me was my soul calling out which had known all along that something was up.

She told me “You know women take several attempts to leave. Generally they come and go about 5 times before they leave the  relationship.” I grinned at her and said “Can I walk in and out of your office 5 times right now? I am done”…… and I was.

 

What I learnt from this relationship was how socially ingrained patterns of male control over women are and now I can spot it a mile off.

The impact of this violence on women can be physical, sexual and psychological. For me, the low level verbal and social control I experienced made me hyper vigilant in predicting his needs, protecting the children from being yelled at by covering for them. I avoided social situations because his comments were embarrass.

Tragically violence against women can also result in death: women die from the negative health effects of violence and some are killed.

Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society. It also impacts on families, the community and the nation. As I wrote earlier this week, I see the negative consequences of domestic violence in my work as a midwife DAILY.

But what about violence against men?

Sigh . Really? This is actually a whole other post.

Of course men’s violence against women is not the only form of violence. I know violence is experienced by both men and women. All forms of violence are unacceptable.

The White Ribbon Campaign focuses on women because the majority of domestic violence victims in Australia are women, and this is most likely to be perpetrated by a man.

Violence prevention campaigns need a central focus to be successful in their mission and the White Ribbon campaign does focus on violence perpetrated against women

White Ribbon Australia engages men to highlight the positive role men can play to stop domestic violence and other forms of men’s violence against women. White Ribbon Australia tailors messaging and tools to achieve this mission

The impact of violence against women

Violence against women and their children takes a profound and long-term toll on women and children’s health and well being, on families and communities, and on society as a whole.

Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor.

Domestic or family violence against women is the single largest driver of homelessness for women, a common factor in child protection notifications, and results in a police call-out on average once every two minutes across the country.

Have you taken the oath?

There is something you ca do right now to contribute to the White Ribbon Campaign. You can take the oath that you will work towards the end of violence against women here

https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/stop-violence-against-women/take-the-oath/

Family Violence by Femidist
Links and references

White Ribbon

Our Watch

Violence Against Women: Facts and figures

I am back because I could not let November 25th come and go without mention….

Violence Against Women: Facts and figures

Violence against women is now recognised to be a serious and widespread problem in Australia. It has enormous individual and community impacts and social costs.

What we must remember is that violence against women, a significant social problem is also ultimately preventable.

Violence Against Women by femidistMy regular readers will know I an open activist for the prevention of violence against women.

I follow Our watch and often share posts from their sites.

Have you checked it out?

 

As well as personal experience of violence as a woman. I also see DAILY in my work as a Midwife the consequences and flow on effects of violence against women. Yes……. DAILY.

To prevent violence against women we first need to understand it. This list of key facts is cut and paste directly from the Our Watch website.

KEY FACTS about Violence Against Women

The following basic statistics help demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women:

  • On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.
  • One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence, since the age of 15.
  • One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
  • One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
  • One in four Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
  • Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.
  • Women are five times more likely than men to require medical attention or hospitalisation as a result of intimate partner violence, and five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.
  • Of those women who experience violence, more than half  have children in their care.
  • Violence against women is not limited to the home or intimate relationships. Every year in Australia, over 300,000 women experience violence – often sexual violence – from someone other than a partner.
  • Eight out of ten women aged 18 to 24 were harassed on the street in the past year.
  • Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
  • There is growing evidence that women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience violence at higher rates than non-Indigenous women.

November 25th is White Ribbon Day…. more on that later.

Femidist White Ribbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side note: Yes. I am back!!

Femidist writingI have not blogged for many months due to paid employment commitments.

While I am still working I have now managed to re balance and write again.

 

I could not let November 25th come and go without mention…….

 

Routine GBS Screening in pregnancy not recommended.

GBS screening can cause more harm than good with large numbers of women unnecessarily receiving antibiotics.

Routine GBS screening is not recommended in the UK

Screening pregnant women for Group B streptococcus (GBS) is “not recommended” by the National Screening Committee (NSC) in the UK but remains common in Australia.

Read the full article here Continue reading “Routine GBS Screening in pregnancy not recommended.”

Reason number 7 to homebirth. Students upon invitation only

This intensely private sexual spiritual event may not be one women want to share with students.

40 Reasons to Homebirth
Reason Number 7: Students upon invitation only.

Women have the right to decide who will and who will not be present at the birth of their baby. While this sounds like a fair and reasonable statement, in the public hospital system controlling who is on the room can be extremely difficult. Continue reading “Reason number 7 to homebirth. Students upon invitation only”