Protecting Our Children

I remember when my children were first born, feeling the innate and the fierce urge I had to protect my them from harm. I had been given the most precious job in the world, and all I wanted to do was keep them safe. This protectiveness is still very much within me, but now I know its futile trying to keep them safe and protected in a World where there is so much hurt and suffering. As much as I have wanted to protect both my children from the hardships of life, from experiencing heartbreak and disappointments, as much as I want to wrap them up in cotton wool and ensure they don’t make their own mistakes – I now know that I can’t. Now I know – as the turn 21 and 18 this year- that the only requirement that I have ever needed and will ever need to fulfil in my role as their mother is to love them unconditionally.

There are so many ways in which I haven’t been able to protect them. I couldn’t stop their world from collapsing when the were 7 and 5 and their parents cold no longer live together. I couldn’t protect them when they both struggled immensely when the co-parenting arrangement was introduced. I couldn’t protect them from the fear and worry when I got sick and none of us had any idea of what was happening. There were so many times I didn’t keep them safe in the way that I wanted to, there were so many times when I wasn’t the parent that I could have been.

 

So much of my healing has centred around my children and the immense guilt I felt for providing so much chaos in their young lives. I had wanted to give them a family life that would be vastly different to the one I had experienced.  And while it was completely different it also had strong elements of pain and grief. I especially held on to the guilt of being the one who instigated the separation between my ex-husband and myself. The reasons for so much of my children’s suffering has much to do with the reality of growing up in two very different households. It was a valuable lesson for all of us on how NOT to co-parent.  The burden of that was something I carried on my shoulders for a very long time.

But not any more. I’ve healed that pain, I’ve forgiven myself, my ex-husband and the situation that we found ourselves in. My children have and will continue to suffer in ways that I wish they didn’t have to. But I also know through this suffering they have the opportunity to experience so much greatness, so much love, so much joy. They have the opportunity to heal from within if they so choose. These things that have happened for them are blessings. The pain, when and if they choose to confront it will be their greatest teachers ever. I know there are no coincidences in life and I know that our children choose their parents for whatever life lesson they need to learn and heal from. And as their mum, I know as much as I want to slip into the lower energies of the EGO and tell them what they should and shouldn’t do in their lives, to try and maintain some control (grip) over their lives, I can’t. But when I stay aligned with Spirit I know I don’t need or want to. I know and I’ve known for a long time that they don’t need to be told what to do, they both have a very capable inner guidance system that tells them exactly what they need to know. They don’t and never needed me to tell them what to do.

I’m done with the fear parenting, I’m finished with the games between their dad and I, I’ve stopped the behaviours that would indicate that they owe me something (for being their parent & for the sacrifices that I may have made), and I’m no longer beating myself up for how it all turned out. I don’t nag them, I don’t tell them what to eat, I don’t try to make them feel like they have to look after me in any way, I don’t harass them to ring or come and see me if they really don’t want to. I’m not trying to stop them from making the same mistakes that I made and I’m not telling them that they have to work/study hard so that they can make something of themselves.

Instead I’m doing the only thing that they need me to do, the same thing I’ve done throughout their lives and the same thing they have done for me- I’m loving them unconditionally. I’m accepting them completely as they are just as they are, knowing that they are capable and competent of becoming whom ever they want to be and living their lives in whichever way inspires them. I know their decisions are their own and that they have no obligation to keep me happy or satisfied (that includes if they choose not to follow their intuition, align with their higher selves and become who God knows they can be). I know that when I do this, when I’m there for them whenever they need me, when I’m living my life in the best way possible, when I’m loving them with nothing but pure love I’ve done everything they need me to do.

Kylie West
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BELIEVE

If there’s one thing I’ve had to learn over the past 3 years its letting go and learning to trust. There’s so many reasons why this is near impossible. EGO tells us to control, plan, cling, hold on to the stories and the fear based reasons as to why we can never have the life that we want. That little bit of inner doubt is the very thing that stops us from manifesting the life that is waiting for us.

 

When I look back and reflect on how the last three years have played out it is blatantly obvious that I have been protected by a force much bigger than myself. At the worst time in my life, when everything had fallen apart, when I had fallen apart, the Universe was making sure I was okay. But it would have been easy to miss these miracles because I was so caught up in the reality of loosing my old life. It could have been so much worse than what it was and these little things that could have gone unnoticed kept me in a constant state of gratitude. I had to see the little blessings amongst the chaos and heartbreak.

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The Biggest Struggle Of All

The biggest struggle most of us have is with ourselves. We get in the way of ourselves with the constant belief that we have to be more than who we are. Our normal human desire is to want to be loved, we want to matter and we want to feel as though we have something to contribute to those around us and to the world. More than anything we want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. We want to aim high and show those around us that we do matter. From a very young age we learn that when we please others and make them happy we are rewarded with love and praise. And it feels good, but we also learn from a very early age to care deeply about what others think of us. We let others words and actions impact how we think about ourselves.

We want to get it right, to get life right, to prove ourselves and to show those around us that who we are is somebody really important. We want to make the people who love us proud, and sometimes we want to prove ourselves to the people that treated us poorly. (‘See I do really matter, you should never have treated me the way you did’). Most often we use the lower energies of EGO to convince ourselves how well/or  poorly we are doing. Self-worth comes from money, possessions, achievements, appearances, fame but we can never rid ourselves of the self doubt and the longing for more. We can never eradicate the feeling that we always need to be more than who we really are (no matter how much we have or what we have achieved). What we are looking for is fulfilment but we think it comes from others. We have forgotten it can only come from one place – ourselves.

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Walking Around In EGO

How are you living your life? Are you going through the motions, caught up in the busy-ness and routine of life? Or do you feel energised, alive and inspired. Are you living your life in the best way that you can? Many of us don’t even realise we have a choice and the vast majority of the population are living their lives in a way that is hard and uncomfortable. Are you willing to look for another way? What would it be like for you if you were to move away from living an ego dominated life and move towards living a life where you feel aligned with the higher energies. What would your life look like if you chose to return to Spirit, to return to your higher self, to return to LOVE.

Living life in EGO looks something like this; feeling tired all of the time, not feeling fulfilled in your job/relationship/home life (& believing there is no way you can change any of it), living in your head trying to plan, think and control your way through life, allowing fear to stop you from doing the things you really want to do, letting other peoples actions and words dictate your mood, constantly waiting for the weekend to roll around, feeling like you have to please others and put their needs before yours,  waiting for your happiness to arrive (when you meet the right person/get the job/buy the house), fretting and worrying about money, feeling like you never have enough time and repeatedly putting yourself down or wishing that you were more than what you are (this can also come in the form of thinking you are better than others because of what you have/how you look/ & what you have achieved).

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Speaking Your Truth

Oprah’s speech last night at the Golden Globes stirred something deep within me. You too? The message was loud and clear; speaking our truth is the most powerful tool we have.

Speaking my truth has caused me immeasurable pain throughout my life, I’ve told my truth to lots of people only to be shunned, ignored, belittled, disbelieved, blamed. My truth, like so many other people’s truths -seemed too hard for too many people to listen to. And so I learnt to stay quiet, to suppress myself, to pretend that I was okay. I held it in, pushing all of the hurt, blame, anger and resentment deep down within me, until I made myself so sick that the only way for me to recover was to unravel the truth, to pull it from the depths of my being, to confront and feel the sorrow and then to let it go. I had to speak my real truth for the first time ever, all of it, I left nothing out. Secrets, lies, betrayal, all of the things that I had tried to ignore and run from, exposed. All of the shame, guilt, regret, people I had tried to protect, the dirty little secrets all exposed. It was excrutiating but I also knew it was the only way forward.

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The JOY of Christmas

Christmas. I used to somewhat detest it. It highlighted all of the things that were wrong in my life. The family dysfunction, the fact that I was still single & my life looked so different to those around me, my kids going to their dads every second year leaving me feeling completely removed and alone, & the constant struggle with lack of money. I spent many years ‘surviving’ Christmas rather than enjoying it. I drank too much, I ate food that made me feel crappy and I engaged in behaviour that I regret (busy-ness, criticism & judgement of those around me, control -trying to make everything perfect, & always feeling like I didn’t really fit in to my family). The last two years I’ve not felt the Christmas Spirit at all due to my life exploding- this is the first time I’ve genuinely been excited for Christmas in a really long time. I look back at the person I once was and am thankful for the lessons learnt, the opportunity to grow and evolve so that I can choose something different.

This year I choose differently. This year I choose to turn to LOVE, to open my heart as wide as possible and to move into the festive period feeling nothing but appreciation and love for myself and those around me. This year I am letting go of the control and frantic pace that so often comes with this time of year. This year I go into Christmas FEELING like I never have before. I feel a calmness, a steadiness, a wholeness never before experienced.

Many of my memories around Christmas consist of some kind of family drama. We can hold it together for a period of time before it all unravels, there can be snickering and talking about others behind their backs, there can be criticism that results in others feeling like they have to defend themselves, people holding it together until it all becomes too much.  There is withdrawal, disconnection, an outward politeness covering the internal angst. There can be pains of the past that resurface but are never fully confronted. EGO always comes up strong- an internal judgement towards those that we are surrounded by. The words are often never spoken out loud but the separateness is felt by all. ( How those around us should or shouldn’t be living their lives, how they should or shouldn’t be parenting, whose marriage is right and whose is wrong, who does more work, who’s the busiest, tiredest, who is more successful, who has more money, who drinks too much, who is right and who is wrong).

This year I choose to open my heart and really be with my family. To be present and with them knowing that when I align to the higher energies I can see the beauty in everyone around me. I stay in a state of gratitude knowing that life can change in an instant, knowing what matters and what doesn’t. Knowing that the things I once gave so much energy to really don’t matter in the slightest. I choose to be the best version of myself and see others in the same light, knowing that energy is our currency. Trusting that when I feel good others around me will also feel good. I know that everyone is struggling with something so I choose compassion and kindness, I choose to listen more, to ask more, to focus less on myself and more on those around me because my cup is already full.

I choose to lift the people that I once judged and give them nothing but love. I choose to support my sister with her kids instead of comparing her parenting to mine. I choose to take more time to make my mum feel connected and to honour what she is feeling rather than telling her not to  worry about the people that have hurt her it or trying to get her to do what I do (or holding onto resentment for the mistakes she has made in her past). I choose to be fully present with my children instead of worrying about them or trying to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes that I did. I choose to make sure my daughters boyfriend feels comfortable and included in our family rather than finding all of the reasons why he may or may not be a suitable match for my daughter. I choose to lift my son and make sure he knows that he is so very loved after what has been a difficult year for him. I choose to be IN Christmas as opposed to sitting on the sidelines passing judgement and living in my head allowing the constant inner dialogue to dictate my holiday and to take away my joy, peace and happiness. I choose this knowing that I don’t expect to get it right all of the time. If I do fall into judgement or become frustrated by somebody else’s behaviour I know that feeling these things is okay and that I am human. I won’t beat myself up for failing at trying to live an enlightened life, I know that amongst the frustration that ultimately comes when spending large chunks of time with family members I now have something I never had before- awareness. I know that when these feelings and emotions come up I can feel them and then I can always choose again.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE XX

Kylie West
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Caring What Others Think

For much of my life I’ve cared deeply about what others think of me. I’ve spent most of my life trying to please others, putting others needs before my own, trying to do the right thing and trying to fit in. I’m a people pleaser from way back, never wanting to make too much fuss, never wanting too much attention and never wanting to disrupt the status quo. Ironic, considering this is the work that I have been called to do. At times it scares me and I have spent a lot of time trying to think of ways that I can escape this calling. But I know its not an option. I’ve come too far. I made a commitment to never betray myself, to never settle for less than I deserved and to never ignore the callings of my soul. I have to move forward – even though I feel extremely exposed, even though fear makes me want to run and hide, even though there are many people who are going to disagree with what I have to say.

 

But here’s how I’m choosing to do it – I’m stepping forward knowing that WHO I AM- JUST AS I AM IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. Who I am is all that I have to be. I BELIEVE THIS TO MY CORE – this is what got me through my breakdown/breakthrough and this is the mantra and belief that I will subscribe to for the rest of my life. I AM ENOUGH means that I stand firm in the truth of who I really am, that I don’t need to change myself, watch what I say or try to keep others happy. I AM ENOUGH keeps me grounded and rooted on the path that I am destined for without trying to control or fear the outcome.

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The Curse of Mental Illness & the Secret Blessing It Can Bring

I have never been as scared as what I was when I was fighting to try and stay alive. Suicide threatened me for a long time. I was highly suicidal for  6 months and mildly suicidal for close to 2 years. Anybody that has lived with depression, anxiety or any type of mental illness knows that each day feels like a week. Time slows down. it is quite possibly the cruelest form of self destruction there is. I get why people kill themselves, I really do. I understand why people turn to alcohol and drugs and I know how easy it can be to suddenly find yourself living a life that you could never have once imagined.

It’s true – there is help available – but for me (and I suspect many others) it wasn’t the right kind of help. I watched my mum go through the public mental health system for decades, only to see her steadily worsen. My mum is the reason I knew I had to look for answers outside of the current system. I had a very strong instinct guiding me when I was at my sickest. I had (before my breakdown) suffered with depression and mild anxiety for 10 years in which time I had taken varying quantities of Zoloft while regularly seeing Psychologists and counsellors. But during my breakdown I had a very strong inner sense that this was no longer going to be the path that I wanted to take. I refused to take any medication and I no longer believed that the mainstream medical system had the right answers for me. I did end up being admitted to the mental health ward at one stage for a short period of time, only to be handed a comprehensive list of labels telling me all of the things that were wrong with me. I left immediately afterwards terrified that I would become trapped in a system that would do little to help me find the underlying reasons behind my illnesses and subsequent breakdown. I knew how easy it would be to believe that I had what they told me I had, I knew that I was so down on myself that it would almost be a reassurance to believe that there was something very wrong with me that could never be fixed. It was almost a relief to know that I didn’t have to search for any more answers, it was a relief to know that there was a reason I was going ‘crazy’.

 

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FOOD MATTERS

Food has been a huge part of my journey. My body ended up rejecting everything that I fed it. I lived on bone broth, silverbeet, organic chicken, pumpkin and zucchini for close to 8 months – because anything else caused a major reaction. Over time these foods also ended up causing me major grief and eventually there was nothing I could eat that didn’t cause some kind of reaction. Food became a constant source of angst for me. Despite my bodies rejection of any form of nourishment I proceeded to gain over 10 kilos in a very short space of time. I now know that my body rejecting food was a huge part of the inner hatred going on within me. It was a clear message that I needed to unravel the turmoil of my past and address the underlying health issues within my body. Its been over 5 years since I ate ‘normally’ and its only been the last 6 months that I’ve been able to eat a variety of food again (still somewhat limited but now because this is what works best for me- mainly organic veggies and some fruit with a small amount of organic or grass fed meat) without the dreadful reactions I was experiencing.

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This is What Choosing LOVE Looks Like

‘I choose love over fear’.

I say these words a lot, they are the foundation of my life. Fear ruled my life for a long time and now I choose differently. Now I choose LOVE.

But what does this actually mean in the everyday context of life? We grow up with fear, we learn it at a very young age and many of us don’t realise that we can actively choose to not buy into the fear based stories that can so easily dictate our lives. Learning to wrestle with my fear, trusting that I am supported by the Universe, and choosing not buy into the stories that my mind wants me to believe has been a game changer. Before my breakthrough FEAR would constantly win in all areas of my life, in my job, my parenting, my friendships, my finances, and of course when I became ill. So what does choosing love actually look like? I’ve listed some examples below so that you can begin to gain a greater insight into living a love based life.

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