RISING

I have no doubt that many would view having a complete breakdown, and having your life completely dismantled would be the worst thing that could ever happen in a persons life time. I know. I thought it for a long time as well and I can remember as a child hearing about people that had had ‘nervous breakdowns’ and understanding at a very young age that having a breakdown was something I should never do. But I did. Insanity became my new norm, along with the deep desire to want to die. Now I know this fall is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

 

What must happen in ones life to believe that the only choice you have left is to take your own life? How many times do you have to fail and fall before you can take no more?  To no longer want to exist in your reality, no longer feel the love, joy, and excitement that life is. To feel that nobody in the whole world needs you, understands you, wants you, desires you or loves you for who you really are, and to believe that you are nothing but a disappointment and a failure to the people closest to you. It is without doubt the lonliest place anyone could ever find themselves.

 

There were many reasons why I had a breakdown but there were also many reasons I made the choice not to take my own life. At the time I was literally losing my mind, I was also firm in my belief and knowing that I was being directed to something ‘better’. Losing my mind, my body, my health, my family, my career, and my friends within a short space of time pushed me into a darkness I never believed was possible. I had known depression before,  and for close to a decade I had navigated, medicated and managed the rocky terrain of living, working, studying, raising children, re-building my self and my life all with the heaviness of depression continuously weighing me down. In contrast that depression seemed like a walk in the park compared to what I have endured over the past three years. Now I know that decade of depression was getting me ready to battle the biggest fall of my life – those years were the stepping stones that taught me how to rise, how to pick myself up again and again. The difference now is that I have learnt to rise with an open heart and to turn away from fear. I do this not because I believe nothing bad will ever happen to me again, but because I know I can now get through anything simply because I have come back to who I really am. I am firm in my belief that I am enough just as I am, I am no longer buying into the old sad story that the world is against me.

 

Today, sitting here writing this it almost feels as though it happened to somebody else..(almost!). I feel so well, I feel so free and I feel beyond blessed that I found my way through to the other side. This knowing that I am so supported, connected and loved by a force much bigger than myself could never have occurred otherwise. This turning from fear to love would for me otherwise have remained undone.

 

My breakdown was the catalyst for changing my life and essentially changing the person that I was. I can’t go back to living my life the way I used to. Working in a job that I didn’t particularly enjoy (but I convinced myself that it was fine because it payed well and there was a certain amount of prestige with it- hello ego!!), feeling constantly tired and fatigued and battling with health issues (and believing it was a normal part of growing older), always rushing and busy, overstretched (yet never feeling like I was doing anything well and never feeling fully present), struggling with money and always feeling broke (despite earning the most I had ever earned), and never feeling fully connected to those around me (I had shut my heart off because I was carrying so much pain and hurt from my past. It was easier to put my guard up and try to protect myself rather than open to others).

 

This morning I read this quote from Brene Brown and it resonated..deeply.

There is no greater threat to the critics, the cynics and fearmongers than a woman who is willing to fall because she has learned how to rise.

 

I read it and I felt it..the words resonating from deep within. I know I’ve fallen, and I know I’ve risen to levels I never thought possible. But the rising hasn’t just happened now, I didn’t wake up one morning and say ‘Yep I’ve made it, I’ve risen once again’. This rising was a slow and challenging process where it felt like I lost myself over and over again. Rising happened the moment I made the decision to not take my own life, it happened the moment I decided to confront and feel the pain I had been holding on to for a lifetime, it happened when I made the commitment to no longer betray myself, to learn to finally love and respect myself, when I made the decision to do whatever I needed to do to return to the me that I really am. I rose when I looked for the light amongst the darkness. I rose when I stayed committled to believing that the Universe has me cradled securely within its grips. Rising feels like strength, like truth and like real courage. But at the time it felt like nakedness and absolute vulnerability. Many times it felt like weakness.

I rise- not because I feel as though I have to prove myself after my falling but rather because rising for me means coming back to the truth of who I really am – who God intended me to be- and for me there is no greater achievement in life than that.

Every day I make the choice to continue to rise.  Rising for me comes from the most basic of choices I make…the food I eat, the way I move my body, the way I talk to myself, the way I speak and interact to others around me, the daily choices that I make that will either benefit me or hinder me, the time I put myself to bed, the way I allow other peoples actions to affect me. Its all a form of rising. Its all a form of LOVE.

 

 

 

Kylie West
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WHY GOD, WHY?

At the end of last week something really tragic happened. One of my sons school friends was involved in a car accident that took her life. On Monday, on the day my son turned 18, on the day that he has been looking forward to and counting down for months he gathered at school with the rest of his year group to attend a ceremony organised by the school. Afterwards he and his friends got really drunk and later that afternoon when he came to see me he cried as I held him, he cried trying to explain how he was feeling, he cried relaying the events that had occurred. Later I cried at the loss of this young girls life, I cried because my son was hurting so much and I cried because as much as I understand why God does what he does- sometimes it is just too much for me to comprehend.

I know that there are no mistakes, I know there is a higher purpose behind what happened, I know that the passing of this beautiful sweet girl to the non physical world would have been filled with absolute love and light, but still it hurt. And when I woke up the next day I was ANGRY. Angry at God, angry at the circumstances that surrounded the accident, angry that a good family were going through unbearable pain and anguish, angry that this could have a negative impact on my son. I stayed angry for hours until I remembered that I was allowed to be angry. That I was supposed to feel it, that it was okay to feel everything I was feeling. And when I felt and confronted what was underneath this anger (my fear), this anger suddenly disappeared and replacing it was the greatest feeling of love. I made the choice not to get stuck in the anger, not to run from my anger and not to numb it out. I confronted it head on knowing that if I continued to resist it, it would only persist.

And then afterwards, I wrote a Prayer to the Principal of the school. From my heart and with the knowledge that the Yr 12 students, teachers, family, and community now have the ability (when they are ready) to see the World through a much different light if they so choose. Through this cruel and unexpected pain many people now have the ability to make a choice- to awaken and to step into a new way of seeing things- knowing they are blessed and supported by Universal power, knowing that they themselves are connected to Source. That is the legacy of death, that is the legacy of this young girl. God is using her for a mighty important role and while it will not make sense to many of us, almost begrudgingly it makes perfect sense to me. And while a part of me wants to buy into the stories of ‘It’s so unfair’, ‘what a waste’, ‘why did this happen’, ‘that could have been my son’, & ‘how could there be a God when things like this happen?’ – I know with all honesty it will only keep me trapped. And thats not what this girl sacrificed her life for.

I’m sharing the prayer I wrote. For anyone trying to make sense of something harsh and hard that is happening in your life please know that I am sending my love to you. Please know that God is within you giving you strength and courage so that you can find your way through. Please know there is always an opportunity to look at the hardest moments of our life through a new lens.

 

Lord,

Fill us with the strength and courage to help us understand and process the deep emotions that come with our friend ………. passing. Remind us that it is okay to question our faith during this time, to try and understand why you have called upon ……. so soon. Help us to make sense of the events of the past week as many of us are now looking at the world in a very different way. Remind us that everything we are feeling – the anger, the sadness, the disbelief and the resentment are completely normal, we are allowed to feel these emotions and find ways to work our way through them. Guide us gently through this pain that each of us is feeling. Allow us to question why …….. was taken so soon, and empower us to find ways to make peace with what has happened.

 

God remind us that while it is perfectly normal to feel everything that we are feeling, help us to also remember that we always have a choice. An opportunity to look at things through a different lens. And while it seems easy to stay stuck in the unfairness of …….. passing, please remind us that ……. transition back to the non physical world was not in vain, that perhaps we can begin to view her passing as something of a legacy. A gift from her to us. An opportunity to take note of our own lives, and the way that we live. Perhaps we have been given a gentle reminder to be kinder to each other, to show more compassion and understanding to ourselves, our parents, teachers, siblings and each other. Perhaps we can learn to move a little slower, to take the time for each other, to focus on what really matters, and to find more clarity in how it is we really want to live our life.

 

Show us how to unite, how to come together in our grief, and support ourselves and each other. Help us to remember that each of us will deal with this in our own unique way. Many of us have had little experience with death; some of us have had a lot. Either way we have been led to question our own mortality, our own story of why we are here. We now understand that life can change in a second.

 

Allow our minds not to dwell on the ‘what if’s’ or the ‘it could have been me’ scenarios and instead fill our minds with gratitude and the reminder that the only time we really have is now. Help us to stay present and appreciate the moment we are in. Help us to be more loving and patient with those around us, help us to understand that when others are hurting we do not need to fix, we need only to love. Let this be ………. legacy to us.

 

And lastly God remind us that you and your love are within each and every one of us and no matter how much we are hurting we are never alone. You are providing strength for us, for …….. family, for each of our teachers and for our community. Whenever we are hurting and feeling alone you have the power to fill us with your love, strength and courage to feel what we need to feel, to help pick ourselves up and to make the right choices that will move us to become the people that you intended us to be. We know you are keeping our ……. safe, we know she is surrounded by the deepest love available, she is free of pain and is experiencing only love, joy and beauty. Remind us that we too have the opportunity to live our lives this way.

Amen

 

Kylie West
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Can I Surrender More?

I’ve got some questions. For myself, I’ve been sitting on them, contemplating, and in many ways resisting. I know that without the alone-ness that I have been sitting in for a very long time I doubt these queries would ever have been raised. But I’m glad they have. I’m curiously questioning, probing deeper, understanding more and less at the same time because this is the time to do so. This is what I’m being guided to do.

There’s been much change, my life looks nothing like it did before I got sick three years ago. I’ve learnt so much, opened myself to so many new ways and possibilities and every time I think I’ve learnt as much as I can, suddenly I am reminded how much more there is to know. Many new possibilities open up and I begin to see a whole new world in a brand new light. So many gifts but also so many moments when it is easy for me to feel so alone, when I feel worn down from the evolving and the growth. Times when I am reminded that sometimes I would like a ‘normal’ life as opposed to remembering that my life actually looks very different to many of those around me. Times when I crave for a partner, my children, the safety of having a job and a home, with an army of friends to come and take the isolation away, to gather me in their warm grasp and cocoon me from the harshness of life that I can so easily feel.

But I know the truth, and I keep coming back to the faithful reminder that I am never alone, SOURCE ( GOD & The Universe) is within me, protecting me, guiding me, reassuring me that I am in fact in the greatest company of all. As I continually commit to making many new discoveries about myself , as I commit to finding out how I really want to live my life, as I commit to living a life of Service, I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am constantly reminded the only thing that matters is living in the present, in the here, in the now.

Pain has allowed me this opportunity. Grief, loss, devastation, illness, heartache, isolation and nothing-ness. They have all been both my curse and my greatest blessing. And now as I begin to walk back into life I know it is different to how it has ever been before.  I’m opening into a new way of being, a version of myself that I have not known for the longest of times. So tender and fragile yet so strong and so certain. I’m learning as I go, resisting the urge to fall into old patterns, particularly the need to speed up and control. Now that I feel so well it is easy to convince myself that I need to make up for lost time- three years where I have learnt to do nothing but surrender, survive and re-open myself back to my natural state of love.

And so I come to these questions for mysef. Can I surrender more? Can I let go when I’ve already let go of so much? I’ve been stripped back, more than I ever thought possible. The things that I used to care so much about- gaining approval and love, fitting in, possessions, looking a certain way, and achieving are no longer of any interest to me. But I wonder with great compassion for myself and the acknowledgement of how far I have actually come, can I go further without feeling the pressure of having to do so? And the answer is here before I even finish asking myself the question.

 

YES, of course I can. I lost the thing I cared most about in my life – my family unit, and I survived. I spent three years battling the demons that told me the only way out was to kill myself, I restored my body back to health when countless medical specialists told me I would be living the rest of my life with the long list of diagnoses they gave me. I healed my body and mind from horrific abuse and trauma to once again restore my heart and believe that the world is a good place to be. I walked away from the safety and comfort of my own home to live in a camper trailer by the beach so that I could be closer to my son. And I abandoned my 20year career because I always knew that I was here for a higher calling. Every step of the way I have turned from fear to love. So the answer is A DEEP RESOUNDING YES.

 

And so the quest begins here;

To go slower when I already feel like a snail.

To be more present when I’m consciously aware of living in the present moment

To be kinder when I know I’m already compassionate

To give away more ‘stuff’ when I now own so little

To release the need to know and control when I’m already trusting my intuition and instinct

To love myself more when I love myself more than I ever have before

To listen more to others when I have so much I want to say

To feel more when it already feels like I feel too much

To release the need for an outcome when I’m already living life as I wish

To show more appreciation when I’m already truly grateful to be alive

To be more gentle with myself when I have so often resisted the urge to be harsh

 

Now I step forward knowing the choice is always mine, the only thing I need have is awareness. My natural state is one of love and joy and so I will do whatever I can to remain here. Yoga, meditation, prayer and real food are the foundations, and will always be the foundations I need. These are the tools I used to re-build myself, and will continue to do so. These are the non negotiable’s in my life so that I can continue to fulfil Gods’ purpose for me.

 

 

Kylie West
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EGO AND DEPRESSION

You may be somewhere deep in the depths of depression, anxiety, trauma, or illness. And more than likely you are thinking, feeling and believing that you are never going to find your way out. You’ve accessed help, your doing what the medical specialists tell you, maybe your taking medication, having therapy and trying to exercise, eating better, trying to reframe your thinking and noticing your thought patterns. But you’re still feeling the struggle, your still exhausted, your still feeling alone and your probably doubting if you are ever again going to be okay.

 

I understand. I’ve been there many times. Questioning, doubting, thinking and believing that finding wellness and feeling alive were things that were way out of my reach. There were so many times when I was doing everything I was ‘supposed’ to be doing and it felt as though I was making absolutely zero progress. I’d become so frustrated because I had made the commitment, I was doing the work, I was going above and beyond what the experts were telling me to do and I was still in pain, I was still severely depressed, I still couldn’t leave the house and it was still a struggle to wake up each morning and find the energy and motivation to get out of bed.

 

Here’s the thing that I needed to continually keep coming back to, and perhaps this will serve as a gentle reminder to you. This is not about ‘fixing yourself quickly’. I desperately wanted to wake up one morning and be ‘cured’, but had that of happened I would have missed the opportunity to truly heal myself and to find the gifts and blessings that were being handed to me. This is about finding your way back to your purest state- to return to your natural state of LOVE. And for that you need TIME. Time to re-learn how to be. To stop running from yourself, to stop numbing, to stop letting other peoples words and actions influence how you feel about yourself.

 

This process of returning to perfect health and returning to source energy- your highest self- is about digging deep within- finding yourself again. Returning to the person you have always been, accepting that who you are – just as you are- is more than enough. You are finding your way back to who you really are and more often than not that means becoming comfortable with sitting in the discomfort, accepting where you are, and knowing that nothing has to last forever.

 

To move back into our natural state of wellbeing, we are asked to do many things. The first is to shed the things that no longer are of service to us. Particularly, we are called to escape the lower energies of ego. Wayne Dyer writes in ‘THE SHIFT’,

‘Taming the influence of the ego is the beginning of the second birth. By taming the ego, we elicit the support and assistance of our origination Spirit, and we come to notice synchronicities happening in our life. The people we need appear, circumstances come together in a way that assists us on our dharma path, and financing becomes available that was never there before’.

 

For many of you reading this you may wonder what ego has to do with depression, anxiety and suicide. You could be thinking that mental illness has nothing what so ever to do with ego and Spirit, because it goes against everything that we think we know about mental illness. But in fact it has SO MUCH to do with it. When we are living aligned with the lower energies of EGO, we have actually moved away from our natural state of love, and aligned ourselves with fear. Ego is so entwined in every part of our daily life- the way we are raised, the education system, the way we interact on a social level, societies expectations all contribute to the level and depth of our own personal ego-  that most of us are simply unaware that there is another way ‘to be’.

 

Here are some of the ways in which ego dictates depression and anxiety;

 

  • Ego causes separation and convinces us that we are alone and unsupported and that nobody really understands who we are; or what we are going through- a huge contributing factor of depression. As we begin to return to spirit (love) we become aware that in actual fact we are connected to GOD, to Source and we are never truly alone.

 

  • Ego causes us to compare our lives, our looks, our possessions to those around us, to feel as though in some way we have failed or missed out and that others are living a better life than we are. When we return to love we come to know that the life we have been given is exactly what we needed to enable us to return to Spirit. Where we are in life right now is exactly where we are supposed to be (and we now have the choice to choose something different).

 

  • Ego tells us that we have to do well in life, that we can’t fail in any way (or have an illness or diagnosis), and that we are wrong if we are different to the people around us. Ego constantly causes us to think that we need to make others proud of us and show everyone that we are worthy and capable. It means that often we focus heavily on money, achievement, success, looking the right way, and fitting in (having a partner/children/acceptable job etc). And; if we don’t have these things that we become less than- irrelevant and invisible (or we need to over compensate in other areas). But in fact Spirit/God/Source loves and accepts us just as we are, no matter what we do or don’t have.

 

  • Ego tells us that we have to be strong, to keep going no matter what. To stay in control for the sake of our children, our partners, our family and ourselves. That any weakness or feeling like we just can’t cope is a major fault within ourselves. Ego also tells us that nobody will ever be able to help us. Spirit tells us that we are human and we need to feel and acknowledge our emotions. There is much beauty to be found within the messiness, if only we choose to approach the pain differently. Source will lead us to the right people in our healing journey that will help us heal the UNDERLYING reasons behind our health struggles.

 

  • Ego tells us that we have to think our way through life, control and figure everything out in our minds. That it is normal to be stuck in fear and worry, to think excessively, plan and control our way through life rather than listen to our own internal guidance system and trusting that we are all supported if only we tune into the higher energies. Source reminds us to ‘feel’ our way through life and to become aligned. To let go of the need to know and to trust, as opposed to ‘thinking’ and ‘planning’ our way through.

 

  • Ego tells us that we shouldn’t trust our own intuition. That we should believe what others say about us (parents, teachers, relatives, medical specialists, colleagues) -that there IS something wrong with us. It plays on our own self doubt and intrinsic inner belief that we are not quite right, rather than accepting that God has made us perfectly just as we are (yes- flawed and imperfect). That, we are all unique and different; and that each of us views life through our own unique lens (which is neither right or wrong -just right for ourselves).

 

  • Ego tells us that it is wrong and selfish to look after ourselves first, that we must put others first, that we don’t need firm boundaries and our needs come last. Source reminds us that when we make peace with ourselves, take care and nurture ourselves, and re-align with our higher selves then we can do what we are all here to do- Serve others.

 

  • Ego tells us that the dream we have for ourselves within, will never be achievable. It convinces us that we are not smart, pretty, confident, skinny, rich enough to achieve what it is that we really want. Ego allows FEAR to win every time. Source reminds us that when we align to the truth of our higher self, and when we focus on feeling good and having fun (while letting go of the attachment to the outcome) then the life we have imagined is always available to us.

 

  • Ego tells us that how others treat us and what they think of us really matters. Ego might tell you that if the girl that you have a crush on doesn’t like you,  or if your partner leaves you, or if your boss makes you feel invisible, or your sibling always has to have a go at you that in some way you are deficient. Ego makes us feel bad about ourselves for being who we really are, to convinces us that if we were better/richer/smarter than others would treat us with the love and respect we deserve. It allows others actions to dictate how we feel about ourselves. Ego wants us to mould ourself, fit in, stay small and stay quiet. Source reminds us that we come back and realign with our higher self there is no need to worry or be concerned by what others think of us and that we don’t need to be affected by how others treat us and make us feel.  That really we are free to live our lives (and speak) as we choose as long as we do it from LOVE (this does not mean recklessly walking away from people who matter (partners, kids, parents) and pretending you don’t care what anyone else thinks -that is actually shutting yourself OFF from love).

For me, when I reflect back to the times I was highly suicidal EGO was always present. I was so ashamed that I had fallen so far, I cared so much about what others thought of me, and I believed that I would be living with these diagnoses for the rest of my life (and hence thought of myself as a second class citizen, but also couldn’t bare the thought of living the rest of my life trying to manage and live with the severe symptoms I was experiencing). The fact that I was completely alone, single, had limited friends, was unable to work/socialise/exercise (due to my illnesses), and that my life looked so different to everyone around me only contributed to the feelings of shame and resentment I had about myself.  I thought I had no reason to be alive, and I convinced myself that my life would never be any different to what it currently was. I was exhausted from trying to hold it together and I was fed up with thinking that one day my life was going to suddenly fall into place (I’d been holding on to hope for a very long time). In the midst of heavy depression these things all seemed like very valid reasons to take my own life.

It took time to understand and comprehend and to look at things from a different perspective (time is something that when your suicidal you don’t feel like you have). These beliefs were strong and unrelenting and deeply embedded within me, but I was able to I held on to my belief that what I was going through was for a higher purpose- which enabled me to work through the process of changing my beliefs from and EGO perspective to a LOVE based perspective. I wonder if this is where you too can begin to ponder a different way for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kylie West
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When It Feels Like It’s All Falling Apart

Have you ever felt like your whole life is falling apart? When nothing is going right, perhaps you feel unsettled in your job, you have never ending bills coming in that you have no idea how your going to pay, perhaps your relationship is falling apart and you have little idea on how to fix it, the people around you are irritating and annoying you or maybe your just sick of the constant struggle of life.

The more your life begins to dismantle the harder you try to hold on to control. You want to fix, you want everything to go back to the way you used to be and more than anything you want to escape the reality of your current situation. You begin to speed up- your actions, your thinking, you are desperate to hold on and make everything okay. You will do whatever it takes to avoid the train wreck that you suspect is imminent.

When I was right at the beginning of my breakdown, I did the exact same thing. I clung- DESPERATELY. I held on because I was so scared of losing everything that I had worked for (my career, my possessions, my social status, my lifestyle, my physical appearance), but mostly I was scared of letting go because that would mean that I was a failure- a belief that I had been running from for a very long time. Giving up and giving in had never been an option for me. I was desperately searching for answers, trying to find the right medical specialist that would be able to quickly ‘cure’ me, refusing to resign from my job- even when I was so unwell- because I had nobody else to support me. I was petrified of being alone and losing everything I had worked so hard for. I tried to do everything I could to hold on to the life that I had built for myself, but NOTHING went the way I wanted to.

Eventually I had no choice but to let go. I was depleted, incredibly ill and so despondent. I let go of trying to find the answers to my failing health, I let go of my high paying job, I let go of trying to figure out how I was going to keep my house, my car and pay the bills, and I resigned myself to the fact that I was utterly alone in a way I had never been before.  I then fell into the deepest darkest depression that I have ever known. A depression that was so heavy I was convinced the only way out was death, a depression that many believed I would never escape. A depression that lasted almost three years and ultimately changed the course of my life forever.

I had little idea that the chaos that was happening in my life, the giant collapse of everything that I had ever cared about (mostly the loss of my family unit), and the complete falling apart of my body, mind and heart were actually going to be the greatest blessings of my life. I didn’t know that God had something bigger planned for me. I was too busy clinging to the lower energies of ego, fear and grief because I didn’t know any differently.

I know that I can’t change the past, I realise it all happened exactly as it was supposed to but there are some things that I wish I had known when I was in the midst of ‘falling apart’. I wonder if ever you find yourself in a place where it feels like everything is falling apart in your life – that it may in some way serve you to consider the following;

  • Anything that is falling apart in your life – your job, your health, your relationship, your friendship circle- is supposed to. Perhaps you’ve been putting up with little inklings and signs that something is not right and trying to ignore them thinking that it will get better. What you resist persists. Its time, the universe is forcing you to evolve and grow- there is something much better for you. Your ego will try to convince you that you need these things/people, and fear will convince you that there are no other options for you. You can make the choice to continue to believe this fear and ego or you can begin to look for another way and trust that you are being guided to something better.
  • God doesn’t give you anything that you can’t handle. Its okay to not feel strong- be weak, feel what you need to feel. True strength comes from within when you are willing to look at your ‘problem’ in another light. Instead of ‘why me, its not fair’ try ‘what has this come to teach me, show me the way’.
  • You may think that losing your possessions, your job, your partner, your social status are the worst things that could happen to you. That you are nothing without your identities, roles and items. Its ego once again telling you that you have to fit in, not make a fuss, make it look like your succeeding at life. Its difficult to begin to let go of the person you have spent so long becoming, and who others have come to expect you to be. But you are being given the opportunity to come back to the true you and to accept yourself completely just as you are. (This one is EXTRA HARD).  The people that stick around and love you when you think you have nothing are the people you really need.
  • Your going to lose people, they won’t be there for you in the way that you need them. IT WILL HURT. And you have every right to be resentful and angry but eventually you come to realise that everyone who comes into your life does so to teach you something specific. It will make you feel unloved, and unimportant, and it will make you question yourself but it will also show you what you do want and expect from a relationship/friendship/family. It will force you to strengthen the relationship with yourself so that you can attract the people that you really need in your life.
  • If you listen deep within, and turn your attention and focus to appreciation, you will be guided every step of the way when you make the decision to stay true to yourself and your inner voice (yes its usually taking the harder option over the easier one). The Universe will open doors for you that you could never have imagined. When I finally let go and accepted what was happening things began to fall into place effortlessly, money came to me without struggle, I was guided to the right health specialists, and I began to trust that I really was supported by a force much bigger than myself.
  • When your panicking, worrying or feeling like you are losing control because your head is so full, use techniques to bring yourself back to the present. Teach yourself to come back to the present, to stop trying to figure everything out and come back to the only thing that matters – your breath. There is a way through whatever obstacle you are currently facing and you will find a way to move through it. But you can’t do it when you are speeding up and trying to work everything out in your head. Come back to the present moment, using grounding techniques and affirmations such as ‘I’ve been through hard things before and I got through them, I can do it again’, or ‘I don’t have to figure it all out now, I will slow down and find some stillness first’, ‘The answers I need are within me, I am always guided’. Resisting the urge to speed up and numb (alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, sex) and avoiding your true feelings will be strong but sitting in the discomfort and facing the fear could be more beneficial to getting you to where you really need to go.

Letting go is hard, trusting that we are being guided and supported is the thing that trips so many of us up. We want to believe, but we also want to maintain some control over our lives. To not know what is coming next is terrifying, but it can also be exhilarating if you let go and surrender. Look for the signs, if things are falling apart please believe that there is something better in store for you.

 

 

Kylie West
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Where is Your Energy?

When I was in the midst of the worst depression I had ever experienced I believed I had very little to be grateful for. I was extremely ill with a long long list of medical symptoms (& no matter how many Medical Specialists I saw nobody could give me a definitive explanation as to why my previously healthy 40 year old body was no longer functioning), I had resigned from the job that I had spent my whole career working towards and I had no way to support myself or pay the mortgage, car loan and other responsibilities that most 40 year old adults have. I was completely alone- no partner,  and both of my teenage children had suddenly left home within a month of each other in  circumstances that were completely out of my control. The vast majority of my friends and former colleagues seemed to all suddenly disappear at the same time. I was alone and in the worst state of my life, so it was no surprise that suicide was pretty much the only thing I could think about.

The negativity, frustration, and deflation that was sitting within me was huge. I had lost everything that had ever mattered to me- my health, my children, my career, my appearance had dramatically changed, my ability to support myself and contribute to the World, my social life, my friendship circle, and my eternal optimism that one day my life was all going to fall in to place. To say that I was depressed, anxious and traumatised would be an understatement. I kept replaying things over and over in my head, I kept holding on trying to find ways to get out of the mess I was in, and I kept falling into the mindset and belief that I would never be okay ever again. There was no happiness, no joy, no smiles, no laughter, no chats, no music for a very long time. There was only darkness and it stayed with me 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I hated the world, I hated my life, I hated everyone that had caused me pain and hurt, I hated everyone else who was living their ‘normal’ life but most of all I hated myself.

I spent close to 7 months highly suicidal, predominantly locked away in my house. My parents and a friend were my only constant visitors during this time, but I know they lived with the constant fear that one day they would find me dead. I wanted to be dead, and I thought about how I would do it thousands of times a day. I imagined my body hanging from the ceiling, I imagined the phone call my dad would make to alert the police, I imagined how few people would be at my funeral, I imagined my ex husband badmouthing me to my children because I had let them down, I imagined the relief I would feel when I no longer had to feel. I wanted to die because I thought I had failed, I wanted to die because I couldn’t see how I would ever dig my way out of the mess I was in, I wanted to die because no matter how hard I tried it was never enough, I wanted to die because nobody really seemed to care that I was hurting so much.

But the reason I found a way to stay alive is relatively simple. I began to shift my focus, I turned my vibration, and my energy from the pain and turmoil that I was experiencing and instead started focusing my attention on tiny things that I never used to notice or acknowledge. I started to look for anything that I could be grateful for. I started to change my vibration. And when I mean tiny I mean mi-nute. The bird that sang outside my bedroom window, the energy I found to have a shower, a new blog I would find that gave me more information on finding the underlying reasons behind my declining health, the fact that I still had a house because the bank allowed me to stop my mortgage payments for a period of time, the times that I ate food and wouldn’t have a major reaction, the moments when I could walk pain free.  I started with the most basic things that I would once never have given a second thought to. I began to shift my energy from fear to love. Slowly, slowly ever so slowly.

But just so that we are clear, this didn’t make my depression go away, I wasn’t miraculously cured ( I did many other things to heal- but this is what initially helped me through the 7 months I was suicidal). I was still depressed, anxious, traumatised, and at times suicidal. I’m not saying this is your answer, but it can be the beginning of healing. Finding any tiny thing you can feel some kind of gratitude and appreciation for has the opportunity to move you towards a better feeling so you can begin to escape the grip of suicidal thinking. We attract what we think about and our thoughts create our reality, had I of continued to focus on suicide instead of beginning to feel a slight sense of calmness because of what I did still have then I doubt I would be here.  As bad as my situation was I started to realise that it could still have been much worse. You can’t go straight from depression to joy, but you can go from depression to anger or resentment etc (which is better than focusing your attention on suicide). You can gradually reach for a better feeling simply by focusing your attention- even for the slightest period of time- on to something that is not associated with the dread and anguish you are feeling when you are heavily depressed.

The energy that we give out is what we will receive back from the Universe (yes I know how frustrating that is when your in depression, I know you are already giving yourself a hard time). If we focus only on everything that is going wrong (even if it is all going wrong) then we will receive more of the same and we will stay trapped in the fear that there is no way out). When we shift our attention and our vibration and reach for a better feeling then we will be rewarded. Things will begin to shift and change ever so slightly- perhaps enough so that you can begin to see some light, even if it is the tiniest speck. I’m not suggesting that you can just brush off the pain and turmoil and the underlying reasons behind your depression – I know how vital and important it is to explore and confront these things- BUT by shifting your focus and finding just one thing to be appreciative of- perhaps your bed, or the food that you have eaten today, or your favourite song, or the water running over your head when your in the shower, or a friend that suddenly sends you a text..you will automatically begin to change the vibration of your energy. Dig as deep as you need to- because I know that no matter your current situation there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. I know its so easy to focus on what we don’t have, what we are lacking in, the lower energies of ego can so easily convince us that we have nothing, and that there is little to be grateful for but I assure you when you begin to notice the small things and feel a sense of appreciation (even if you have to fake it for a while); bigger things will soon be on their way.

I understand why people take their own lives. Its exhausting trying to find reasons to stay alive when you think you have nothing to live for. But I also know that staying alive when all I wanted to do was die has and always will be the greatest achievement of my life. Taking the steps to return to LOVE has changed my life forever. Being heavily suicidal may appear to be a weakness but for me it was the beginning of a new way of being. Perhaps, for you as well..

 

 

Kylie West
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How Can You Help Yourself?

When I think back and remember all of the things I did to make a full recovery, I find myself overwhelmed, because there were so many things I did. I don’t ever want to make it sound as though making a full recovery from mental illness and returning to Source Energy (the truth of who I am) was easy. I know that when I was in the grips of deep dark depression and constant anxiety the idea that I could ‘get out’ seemed preposterous. And in fact- the sheer belief that recovery might be a possibility made me feel like an even bigger failure. I would think ‘ I really am a looser, there’s no way I can get out of this, maybe other people can but I’m not strong enough. I’m in too deep’. I would then fall even deeper into the bleakness.

I was living in a constant state of FEAR, everything and everyone was a threat. And the more I tried to work things out in my head and to hold onto some form of control in my life, the more agitated and frustrated I became. It felt like I was being punished, it felt like everyone was talking about me and laughing behind my back, and it felt like everyone else had perfect lives and I was the only person in the world that was screwing up. What I couldn’t yet see or even begin to fathom, was that behind this crashing collapse where my whole life had fallen apart was actually the beginning of a major miracle.

I know for many of you, the very idea that pain and suffering can in fact be a blessing is probably too much to bare. But stick with me, because the alternative of going back into survival mode and continuing to do the things the old way I suspect for many of you is no longer an option. What I know for certain is that almost every single time in my life where I have struggled -whether it be because of my marriage breakdown, a betrayal from a friend or lover, facing redundancy, the death of a loved one, a situation where someone treated me in ways that I didn’t deserve, a complete breakdown- I have come out a stronger, more resilient person with a firmer idea of the type of person I wish to be and how it is I want to live my life. These struggles have not been a curse, they have been the catalyst I needed for me to find ways to grow and evolve into the person I am destined to become.

I’m not saying that we deserve to go through the heartbreaks or that we are supposed to suffer ( I now know that I was energetically attracting so many of these hard situations I found myself in) but if we refuse or are unable to grow and evolve from the hard things in our life we will likely find ourselves repeating past mistakes. But most of all we will begin to live our lives guarded, hardened and trying to protect ourselves from any more harm and in doing so we will turn from the very thing that we are all here for – LOVE.

So my wish, for you today, if you choose to take these words, to turn away from the lower energies of EGO (that try to convince you that you will never recover or the only option is to self harm or suicide) and instead choose to return to LOVE. Use these words so that they may provide you some relief, and give you the reminder that you are not doing this yourself. You always have support and guidance if you so choose to be open to the possibility.  Start your journey of healing here with this simple sentence, say it as many times as you need to, say it in whichever way feels right for you;

‘Thankyou Universe for leading me here, I am open and ready to receive your help, please guide me to what it is I need to know’. 

Immediately you will return to LOVE, you will reconnect with your inner wisdom and you will release the grip of fear that has been holding on to you so tightly. You are not broken, you are not alone, and you are not a failure. You are a beautiful spiritual being with so much to give, you can feel ‘normal’ (better than normal!), you can do the things that you want to do, you can live the life you so desire. You can and you will find your way back- to you. Find some stillness, in whatever way feels right for you- lying on your bed, walking, listening to gentle music, meditating, gardening, swimming, sitting under the shower or in the bath, going to the beach- and wait for the answers to appear. Resist the urge to over think and instead breathe, come back into your body and when you find the stillness, when you stop searching and over analysing you will know what it is you need to do next. It will be the thing that comes from deep within, that you have been trying to outrun, ignore or put up with. And it will be the thing that probably scares you more than anything else. You don’t have to do anything for now, except listen and become aware. You will know when its time to act. You have all of the answers within you, you always have and you always will.

Kylie West
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MY TRUTH ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS

I, just like you, am here to Serve. To live with joy, love, and to give hope to people that are looking for it. To show others that anything and everything is possible. I feel inspired and passionate to fulfill my calling and show you that no matter where you are in your life you are always capable of aligning with your highest self and live the life you are destined to live. It’s a calling that is so deep within me that it is part of me. I didn’t have to search to find it, because it was always in me, and when I look at the way my whole life has played out I can see how every experience has guided me and led me to where I now am.

But the thing that I feel the strongest about, the thing that lights a fire in my belly and brings up so much inspiration, dedication and emotion within me is the thing that I am probably the most scared to talk about. Mental Illness. Depression, anxiety, labels, medication, hopelessness, despair, suicide. These are the topics that I care most about and intend to base much of my work on, purely because of the huge impact they have had on me, and my family’s life. This is where there has been so much hurt, shame, disconnection, grief and silence. Even now as I am sitting here writing this my family is currently in the middle of living with the reality that comes with loving a loved one who is in the grips of mental illness.

It brings up so much emotion. Pain from the past, fear of what might happen in the future, disconnection and judgement within our extended family, frustration with the system. The never ending cycle that shakes us all to our very core and in the past has caused us to shut down from one another and deal with it in our own individual way. Something which we are beginning to change. The feeling of hoplessness, of not knowing how to help, what to say or what to do. The heaviness that we carry with us throughout our day; trying to hide it from others. The constant reminder of the statistics, the number of people taking their own lives, and the reality of how many young people are now being affected. Now I KNOW there is another way to do this, to support one another and to come back to the only thing that matters LOVE.

Mental illness is cruel and ugly and the discomfort is unbearable. It brings so much fear with it, and it is easy to fall into the trap that any form of mental illness is nothing but a curse. But from my history, my past, my own experience of living with severe symptoms of mental illness I know it also has the ability to do something else. To move us back in to the truth of who we really are.  It comes to shake us up, to disrupt and it comes as a potent reminder that we are not living our life in the way that is true and meaningful for us. That something (or many things) within our body, mind and soul need our desperate attention. Mental illness is the sign that we have moved too far away from who we really ARE. It’s our higher self screaming at us for attention, forcing us into a stillness so that we can STOP and LISTEN to the only person that matters- OURSELVES.

In many cases the lower energies of ego have taken over and we have become disassociated and removed from the essence of who we really are. We hold on to pain (and find ways to numb) from our past without ever feeling and confronting it, we care too deeply about what others think of us, we try to fit in to society that focuses greatly on appearance/achievement/money, we live in our heads and fill our bodies with toxins and foods that do little to nourish and nurture our bodies, and we beat ourselves up for not being stronger/smarter/prettier/busier/more capable.

I had a long list of mental health diagnoses and I suffered immensely with severe depression, anxiety, mania, voices, PTSD symptoms, and suicidal ideation for over 2 years. My whole life fell apart in a way that I could never have imagined and I was forced to concentrate only on finding ways to stay alive- and that meant healing from within. There was no label, no tablet, no treatment program that was going to cure me. I was pulled apart and then I had to put myself back together in the way that felt true and right for me.  Nothing has ever scared me more and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel immense appreciation that I am now well. I have made a full recovery and I am now living my life in alignment with my true self. I struggled with some form of depression for 13 years, I have a long family history of depression. I know how easily I too could have been living the rest of my life managing these symptoms, relying on medication  or succumbing to suicide. To be living my life now medication and symptom free is nothing short of a miracle. I believe that its also a miracle that is available to so many others who are struggling with symptoms of mental illness.

I  believe that mental illness has many blessings, but I don’t believe we are supposed to live with it for the rest of our lives. Rather than looking at it as a curse, or something that is purely negative I believe we are being called to look at mental illness in another way. Perhaps as a valuable wake up call. An opportunity to investigate ourselves at a deeper level and to pull apart our lives so that we can make the adjustments and changes we need to move back into a way of living that is true for who we really are. To begin to live the life that you actually want to live, to find ways to re-open your heart and return to love, and to heal yourself from the pains of your past. A chance to un-learn all of the things you thought mattered and re-focus on what really matters. A chance to come back to the free soul that you once were and to let go of the restraints and constraints that others and society have placed on you.

Mental illness has so many complexities, and there are many people who have very strong opinions on how this should be managed. I too, have many thoughts related to the underlying causes of mental illness and alternative ways it can be treated and also prevented. I don’t pretend to have the answers for everyone, there is no right way or wrong way to go about healing yourself (and yes in many cases this means finding the RIGHT help), there is only the way that feels right for you. This is an opportunity to go deep within yourself, to begin to listen and unveil the real you, and to most importantly make peace with yourself and connect to your true SOURCE.

I know its possible to live the life you dream of living. I am proof. All you have to do is begin to believe that this is also a possibility for you.

 

 

 

 

Kylie West
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The Final Test

 

So you feel like your right on the brink of a break through. You’ve been doing all of the right things- working on yourself, expressing gratitude, meditating, eating right, trusting and following your intuition, and dedicating yourself to a new way of being. It feels like your edging closer to achieving the very thing you want MORE THAN ANYTHING. You know your not doing it for any other reason then you know its what you came here to do. You can feel the change within you and around you. You’re inner dialogue tells you that you are about to manifest the life that you know you can have and that miracles are about to happen. You know its time – you’re closer than you’ve ever been before.

And then – whoosh out of nowhere- your dealt with a blow, perhaps even several all at once. And just like that your certainty is gone only to be replaced with doubt, fear and anger. Your beautiful inner dialogue suddenly switches to ‘ARE YOU SERIOUS, IS THIS EVER GOING TO HAPPEN, WHAT AM I DOING WRONG, I’VE BEEN SO PATIENT, I THOUGHT I WAS ON TRACK’.

And just like that your back questioning EVERYTHING. Your angry at yourself, at your life, and mostly your angry at GOD- for making it so hard. You begin to question yourself, your life, your intuition. You loose faith that there is even any such thing as Universal Guidance, and you want to crawl deep back into the ‘It doesn’t really work, it’s a load of rubbish, I feel like an idiot’. But most of all you get down on yourself and the self doubt and the self loathing can quickly begin to erode that self assurance you had only 5 minutes ago.

But it is here, when you know your so close, when you know your on the brink, when you know you’ve done the work but to others it looks like your still so far away, that you must resist the urge to fall into the belief that the very thing you want is actually never going to happen. This is when the voices of all of the people that made you doubt yourself and questioned when you were going to go back to ‘normal’ life fill your head. This is when the fear, doubt and questioning begins and it is here that every single thing that has ever gone wrong in your life flashes before you. It is here, when you are the closest you have ever been to wanting to give up, that you must pull out every singe trick that you have learnt along the way.

Feel the disappointment, let the rage and anger rush through your body, don’t try to drown them out with positivity. Listen to the fear stories that are bombarding you, yell, scream, cry. FEEL IT ALL .. and then pause.

Pause to remember that God doesn’t give you anything to punish you. It feels like punishment but really God is making sure your ready. Its a test to see if you will give up, its a test to make sure all of the doubts are really gone, its a final clearing to show that you are ready to Serve and do what it is you came here to do. There will be many more tests along the way, but none more important than this.

This is the time (when your right on the brink of a break through/ a miracle) when you have to keep the faith more than ever. This is the time when you have to show your dedication, show how much you have grown, how faithful you remain, how committed you are to fulfilling your purpose.  This is when you fill your mind, your inner dialogue with love and support for yourself (instead of beating yourself up or falling into blame), this is when you thank God for the lessons and tell him that you are ready, this is when you clear out everything you no longer need to live the rest of your life manifesting and expecting miracles.  This is not the time for doubt and fear to win, this is the time for faith and love to rule. This is the time when you have to back yourself like you never have before – at the very time you think you want to throw it all in.

Your not being punished, your being guided into the new. It’s probably not working out the way you thought it would but its a timely reminder to surrender, to let go of control, to trust that God has it organised. All you have to do is believe.

 

 

Kylie West
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Are You Betraying Yourself?

I’ve spoken at length about the importance of building the relationship with myself and how crucial that was in my recovery and healing. Had I of continued to speak to myself, push myself and treat myself the way in which I had become accustomed to then I have no doubt in saying that the likelihood of me being here would be zero to none. Taking note of my inner dialogue was the first crucial step for me, figuring out and addressing the reasons as to why I had become accustomed to speaking to myself so poorly and thinking so little of myself was one of the hardest parts of my recovery (esp in the midst of debilitating depression and suicide ideation).

The way I speak to myself and think about myself now is completely different. My thoughts are the opposite and my automatic thinking patterns have changed significantly. But to be honest I never really thought that I gave myself that hard a time, I thought I was just pushing myself to be the best that I could be. But I was pushing myself for all of the wrong reasons. I was trying to prove my worth by showing others how well I was doing at life but internally I was constantly beating myself up. When I got the great high paying job my inner dialogue was ‘You’re not good enough for this, you have to work harder because everyone else is smarter than you’. When I lost weight instead of rejoicing I focused on losing more (even though I was skinny) ‘Now you just need to lose that weight on your hips and your belly then you’d really look great’. When I went out to dinner with friends instead of relaxing and enjoying myself fully, I would feel threatened by anyone that was skinnier or prettier than me ‘See you’ve got no chance of finding a boyfriend when there’s girls that look like that’.

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