Ever since I was little I not only knew but I wholeheartedly believed that we make things happen by aligning our thoughts and energy with our desires. Some call it wishful thinking. I call it logic.
Sitting in the corner of the bedroom I had just packed into my tiny car, I stared out at the golden sunlight pouring in lighting up everything.
As my fingers traced over the keys on the grey cordless phone, I realised that I would never sit in this room again. Instead of sadness, relief washed over me and an invisible weight lifted from my shoulders.
I waled down the stairs, locked the door and never looked back.
A myriad of events shaped my early childhood and adolescence and thus altered my life.
The premature death of my mother when I was 14 months old.
Its domino effects of my father’s grief on our family.
His heartbreaking second marriage.
A verbally, mentally and physcially abusive stepmother.
The trust issues that stemmed from that abusive experience.
Boys that were wrong for me.
Friends that were family.
The debilitating but well concealed anxiety that followed.
And while my early life sounds dark and heavy, most of it was good.
I was lucky enough to be raised by two extremely kind, generous and warm-hearted people.
My grandparents (all of them) are my heroes.
My grandmother quit her job to raise me, a gesture I can never repay. My grandfather picked me up from school every day, half an hour early to nab the prime parking spot so I’d be sure to see him standing beside his sky blue Ford Falcon.
It would seem the universe also dabbles its hand in cosmic real estate. One of the most beautifully serendipitous things about my childhood is that both sets of my grandparents lived across the street from each other.
Imagine the glee and freedom of spending the afternoon picking vegetables with my dad’s parents and then popping over the road to watch ‘Days of our Lives’ with my grandmother while my Nonno would make wine in his cellar.
I was happy, safe, loved, respected and held in every way a child should be.
My inner calm would fill every cell of by body until my stepmother would pick me up to take me home, where it would dissipate as quick as it came.
Her pre-planned interrogations began before we’d even pulled out of the driveway.
Menacing side eyes through dinner, ignored questions, eye rolls, barked demands and empty threats were the norm.
Journalling, loud music and daydreams were my escape.
Remnants of the warm afterglow from my happy and carefree afternoons are what kept me from shutting off entirely. Those honey hued remnants set my malleable young mind into gear. I began to experiment with questions that were bigger than I could wrap my head around.
“What if I could feel good all the time?”
“What if I could shield myself from other people’s words?”
“What if I could get out of here and do what makes me happy?”
The more I envisioned all the answers I could create, the stepping-stones leading me to them began ‘magically’ landing in my path.
I practiced closing out external influences and zeroing in on my thoughts and feelings. Using music I began to find a way to feel how I wanted to feel and remain fairly unfazed by the usual daily roasting. And soon enough that roasting began to simmer down.
I became intentional with my feelings before I realised that I was directing my thoughts and shaping my world. I allowed them to guide me, used them to navigate home situations and even relied on them so much that I began speaking less and listening inwards more.
School report cards praised me as being intelligent but shy. Smart – sure. But shy? Not really, I just
Back to that afternoon in my bedroom: the relief and the smile on my face were from proud acknowledgment of where I’d come from. The scene I’d always held firm in my mind as a girl was of me walking away from an abusive and uninspiring home life. No doubt about it.
My heart ached for my forlorn father, a truly good man who will never be the same. I felt pangs of regret for my young stepsister, knowing that our relationship was coming to a close for now.
But as my feet moved down the stairs my posture shifted and I felt whole.
I deserved better, I wanted more from life and I was going out to get it.
My stories from those darker periods are kept close to my chest. They’ve been the biggest catalysts for the changes I’ve created and serve as beacons to remind me of what I’ve always known: we hold the power to create what we want.
Some parts of me are still tender and healing.
But there has been one transformational event that has changed me more than any before it. Motherhood.
Mothering a small human when you are in a sense motherless is indescribably lonely yet liberating in a weird way. I don’t have her on speed dial. I don’t remember the sound of her voice. And there are no traces of her in my memory bank .
Mothering in this semi isolated way forces me to embrace the less pretty parts of myself in my quest to become lighter, to expand and evolve.
As my son approached 14 months, the age I was when my mum died, I started questioning my mortality out of sheer paranoia. Another clear sign that I have a lot of inner work to do.
My truest strength when it comes to mothering is this: I follow my feelings in the moment. Retrospectively I realise this has always been my strength.
As I turn my attention now to my own nurturing and healing I’m calling on the same wholehearted beliefs I tapped into as a child.
That long-held belief has given rise to a new idea that allows me to do the ‘inner work’ while sharing all of my findings here because I also know this to be true: “We best teach what we most need to learn”. ~Pema Chodron.
The ALIGNMENT Project is my newest and most sacred commitment to myself.
A means to share the enlightening and useful by products of my ‘inner work’ of which transparency, vulnerability and connection are the foundations.
I’ve shared my guiding word of the week for a little while on Instagram and I’m chuffed to report they’re getting some beautiful engagement.
Your backstory is just that, a backstory. Your capacity to create change in your life has always been inside you. An Alignment Project, whether its about moving across the globe to the city you dream of, writing the book that keeps you up at night or asking for a pay rise, only asks that you turn down the outside world so you can clearly hear the guidance inside your own.
And I recommend you start with a killer playlist.