10 TIPS to check whether people are coping♥ & 46 Weeks Post Fire Update

LOVE NOTE – Saturday November 29th, 2014

Dear Friends♡….

It will be 46 WEEKS P.F. [Post Fire] tomorrow and it feels both like the fire was decades ago on the one hand, and only yesterday on the other……the ache for home is still so raw…..and filling the emptied space in my soul is so tiring and wearisome….definitely a “quest”…..and not for the faint-hearted…..

I’m imagining you are as tired of hearing me share about how exhausted I am as I am writing about it!!……and experiencing it……Yet being real and authentic seems to be one of the most important lessons for me on this Post Fire journey……staying present to what is feeling real and true and not trying to “pretty it up”and just covering up and presenting as having it together…..I value an appreciation ♡Lisa made of this –  we usually “get the edited cleaned up version not the warts and all version…”

Today has not been such a good day….. too many precipitous and steep downhills on the ole bushfire roller coaster.……I don’t know whether people ‘get’ just how exhausting it is to continually have to be vigilant about bringing oneself back to being positive and grateful….especially when one’s brain and physiology is still teetering on the edge of Post Traumatic Stress…. having to keep looking for the positive…..
– and how phony it can feel to have to pretend…….
– and how that sort of gratefulness doesn’t last for very long……
– and how it can feel a bit like being on a constant and arduous giant hamster wheel / treadmill of life – doing lots of exhausting fast footwork but really staying in the same-place-getting-nowhere fast…….

TIP 1: don’t assume just because people look like they are coping that they are!! ……..

Being so high on the stress scale and so low on resources I got massively triggered into some old history by some of ♡Shelton’s actions today and ended up being soooooooooooo T O T A L L Y out of my core values and ‘going for the jugular’ from a heavy-attacking-take-no-prisoners Self that could have won the Olympics for foul-mouthed fish-wives ……aka coarse-mannered, vulgar-tongued women……

Will she survive, that is the question? Or maybe, will he? Or more to the point, will they? Our connection is very strained and fragile at times. It adds significantly to the pain….

TIP 2: don’t assume just because people look like they are coping (and you think that they should be able to) that they are!! ……..

You may remember I  mentioned in the post on the auspicious day of the 11th of the 11th we got our “eviction notice”…..the request to vacate ♡Ivan’s place where we have been renting….. so the last few weeks since then have been ‘seriously’ getting on with the renovations to the Owl House at Warm Fuzzy Hill so we can live there…….and I think I just might start believing in Murphy’s Law seeing it seems if something can go wrong and get screwed up it does!!……and it has!!

I’ll spare you the details of the things that have ‘gone wrong’ …….I am over-the-moon grateful and relieved to announce the space that is being converted to a kitchen and dining room has been re-concreted and the floor tiles bought, the cabinet maker will have our new kitchen cupboards finished and fitted when we return in late January, broken windows have been repaired, door locks have been found and installed and the Owl House is now secure (you can’t imagine how many hardware stores were sold out of the ones we needed!), the electrician and plumber are teed up to do their part to connect things up, a sea container has been bought and positioned on site as a storage shed for the furniture and gear that was originally in the rooms we will be using…..and that is just the major tasks

Back at ♡Ivan’s it has felt like continuous full-on and tiring days of organizing. sorting. washing. clearing out rooms and cleaning up. packing……. shifting things and discovering things I had forgotten we have been given……so many things that have been stored waiting and waiting for what it is we are going to do next…. for such a long time some of them…….

One aspect of our circumstances is that we have been accumulating and collecting and gathering and stockpiling all sorts of this and that…..bits and pieces. assorted paraphernalia. all sorts of new and pre-loved belongings. supplies. things. equipment. gear……and as we have been renting/sharing ♡Ivan’s house we haven’t been able to use most of them and make them “ours”……..

Some of it we don’t even know if it is ‘ours’!!!….When you are living in someone else’s space / home and most of our stuff is “new” to us it is a challenge to sort what is “ours’ and what is not…..stuff in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, office, lounge……. but then again do you know I even go through my clothes and many of them don’t “feel” like me or mine…..it is such a weird feeling…..like going through someone else’s wardrobe……someone else’s belongings…..

TIP 3: never underestimate the value of your popping in (even for a few hours) and offering to help with whatever task is being done. There are always options whatever your level of fitness and strength and availability….

TIP 4: packing up (or in fact ALL seemingly overwhelming jobs that need doing) is best done with ‘accomplices’ who aren’t going to let you off the hook (read – give up!) as it all feels like it is toooooo much!!

As well as renovating and packing up, November has been the month to clear out the acres and acres of “giant weeds” that have needed weeks of whipper snipping and piling up to burn off along with more of the dead trees……I am very. very. V E R Y grateful for ♡Shelton for working day after day often from 8am to 7pm for such long hours doing such hard work……….true grit and doggedness to the MAX!! I admire and appreciate his huge strength and tenacity and staying power……. What a STAR!! 3 Cheers Hurrah!! :)

WFH-Spring-weeds-Sh

So I guess it makes sense how I am sooooo looking forward to getting on the plane tomorrow (Sunday) and flying to Victoria for the holiday that we have had planned for months……… I am grateful that I can actually still walk after getting through all the tasks…….well maybe it is I am grateful that I can ‘hobble’….it’s like everything hurts and is groaning for a break: my back in a few too many places, my legs, my shoulders, my feet, my calves, my arms, my fingers and especially ‘that’ knuckle that now feels permanently crippled and aching from raking up and pulling up weeds and more weeds…..

I am grateful to you for reading this and following my story…… that matters over and over to me. Big Appreciations to you :) …….Unfortunately one consequence of PTSD is people tend to isolate socially, which I have done. This often follows the repeated experience of people not really getting or understanding how it is……and having to inform them (which can often feel like having to justify) over and over of how it is…………..it just all gets T O O much…..

This leads to less and less having people to call on for help……and anyway, reaching out and asking I do less and less, as it is too hard to hear people say over and over, No they are not available (and I do understand people have lives of their own that are very full and it is OK to say No)….. because when they do it all feels even more hard and hopeless and being alone……it is a very vicious and dangerous cycle……

TIP 5: don’t assume just because people look like they are coping (and have stopped asking for help) that they are!! ……..

R U OK - I'm not

TIP 6: don’t say, if you need help just ask. People usually won’t ask. Many people say, if you need help just ask and don’t mean it, so it doesn’t take long to generalize it to not asking to eliminate not being disappointed.

TIP 7: when people have been through any type of prolonged stressful life experiences (and especially traumatic ones – illness, tragedy, death, loss, heartbreak, relationship breakdown, etc, etc)  expect it will take longer than you think for life to feel ‘normal’ for them again. We have been informed to expect at least 2 years!!

TIP 8: ‘words of encouragement’ and ‘acts of service’ go a long way to lift people’s energy and add to their resources when they are under stress. I am amazed at how often my energy levels were raised by someone saying “Good job”, “Well done!” or “I can help you with__________” or “I’m here for the next couple of hours, give me a job”……..

TIP 9: there are many sites that share great information on how to reach out to check whether people are going OK and to connect with them. One of my favourites is the grassroots R U OK? movement in Australia. I wrote about it in this post 

TIP 10: the fresh perspective from someone (you) who is not day in / day out looking through the same lens and going through the same experience as you can offer great insights / options / help.

The OWL HOUSE - Week 46 Post Fire

The OWL HOUSE – Week 46 Post Fire

It is somewhat depressing to read back over some of my recent posts and see that things haven’t changed all that much since 9 months (36 weeks) Post Fire. In fact it is mostly the same theme!!

So I guess the solution is just more of – back to my mantra – One day at a time!!! …..or even one hour at a time!! and sometimes just one minute!!

Gratefully, LOVE Susie♡

♡♡DAY 333 - Being-♡LOVE-and Being-Grateful for it All 

Posted in 365 DAY Being-♥LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign, ♥LOVE NOTE, GRIEF & SORROW♥, Warm Fuzzy Hill | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

nothing is impossible…well almost :(

LOVE NOTE – Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Dear LOVE-Finders♡….(which I am NOT right now)
GRATEFUL FOR IT ALL•*¨*•♫♪♡….
1. I am grateful that I am actually here at the keyboard typing as right now even contemplating writing my daily 5 Things I Am Grateful for seems so phony, false. fake. in-genuine. and most inauthentic …….because all the biggest part of me wants to do is scream loudly how damn shitty IT ALL IS and then go beat myself up for being so damn ungrateful and unconscious….or better still thinks An Evil Part…….. Why don’t we just dump it all over and beat up ♡Shelton instead who is the closest in range? And really??…….Why hasn’t he been able to fix all this already anyway?? He’s a Man, isn’t he??

Uh Oh, then I’m starting to think of the people (all 4 of you) who may read this, and after all you’ve done to faithfully support me…… and all I can do is be cranky and grumpy and groaning and complaining and foul mouthed….and criticising, judgmental AND sexist!! WARNING – Achtung!! D.A.N.G.E.R Ahead!…….
Proceed with Caution!

It all feels just so H A R D and I’m so dumb I can’t think S MA R T E R.
I hate it so much! I’m whining and whinging and saying it again in gigantic and technicolour words – I DID. NOT. SIGN. UP. FOR. THIS!!!
How do I Unregister? Unsubscribe? Where is the line at the end of the page that says Safe Unsubscribe???

Bob builderWhy is Everything – and I mean EVERYthing!! – soooooooo H.A.R.D? Let’s build a house and / or renovate the Owl House which is the sole building that survived the January Blazing Inferno at Warm Fuzzy Hill…… Sure, can’t be that hard!…. Ha Ha :) …..Think again!! I’m NOT a builder or trades-person of ANY description! NO I AM NOT!! – certainly NOT a carpenter, cabinet-maker, architect, designer, plumber, electrician, concreter, tiler, plasterer, wall-renderer, joiner, roofer, glazier, painter and I could go on and on and on and on_____, ______, _____, _____, _______,_______, _______
AND then not forgetting to add that other dimension of it being solar-passive and eco-friendly and ALL that! (of course)……

So let’s forget house-building, thinks She-Who-Doesn’t-Know-How-To-Build-Etcetera (or insert any of the above)!!…….
light bulb momentL .I.G.H.T. BULB Moment! -
Let’s BUY!! That can’t be so H.A.R.D!!…..
So scrolling, trolling, trudging through online Real Estate sites and trudging tramping, traipsing, trekking, on the Home-Buying-Trail throughout the district looking at Home Opens……house-open

Fantasizing and letting my imagination run riot how my clothes would fit into madam’s built-in robe, sitting in that spa bath by candlelight, waking up looking out on that view….making the most delicious meal and entertaining the hordes in their fancy kitchen and dining al.fres.co area……sipping green smoothies dipping my toes in the crystal clear pool water……….AND wondering how anyone in their right (or wrong) mind would choose that combination of colours of tiles / wall paint /floor coverings / kitchen cupboards / etc, etc………..
Thinking how many things am I willing to compromise on just so I have somewhere-anywhere to live……

motor-house

 

Then there’s another suggestion. What about a Caravan, Motor-home, RV? And do you know how many different ones of them there are? Seems like t.h.o.u.s.a.n.d.s! ……. Initial excitement at the freedom of it turned to more H.A.R.D. Work in a day or two…..because it quickly became Another-Version of More-That-I-Don’t-Know-About and would need to learn for that to be An Option……

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Travel by Motor Home

I’m getting E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D just writing about it allllllllll ….no wonder I feel tired all the time! There’s plenty more I have on my plate but do you know what…..it was releasing me somewhat to write (well it has stopped me feeling angry!) but now it is just feeling strenuous and arduous, as I am imagining it is for you too, so enough!………..

I do write too as I also like to give some REAL sense of all there is for me to deal with…….. rather than just showing all the I Can-Do-It Days…….but I’ll have to do another installment another time……

For my other 4 Gratefuls – I am Grateful for 4 people who I imagine will read this – ♡Gaelia, ♡Lisa, ♡Natalie, and ♡Emily – thank you – and if you don’t I am grateful for you anyway♡

Sorry for being dreary and grim and bleak and tedious……truly wishing all that is good for you, ♡LOVE from a desolate and dismal Susie…….

Deepak-Chopra-nothing-impossible

NOTE TO SELF:
“You must find the place inside you where nothing is impossible….”
Well today ♡Deepak that feels NOT possible. I am wondering if I missed out when those places were handed out Uh Oh!…….

Oh and on this auspicious day of the 11th of the 11th we got our eviction notice for where we have been staying! It is reeeeeeally time to move on and forward……..and choose something…..

♡♡DAY 315Being-♡LOVE-and Being-Grateful for it All – only 50 more days to go! WoW!!

Posted in 365 DAY Being-♥LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign, ♥LOVE NOTE, Warm Fuzzy Hill | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

tears of sorrow…..♥

LOVE NOTE – Wednesday October 15th, 2014

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Hey dear Friends

I wanted to share how I am doing. I do feel the support and ♡LOVE every day from many and it lifts me up……I am deeply grate-full for your caring and checking in and blessings and generous gifts of so many kinds…

And right now, right here, this is what’s happening for me….

Such a deep feeling of sorrow wrapped itself around me as I was driving ‘home’ to ♡Ivan’s this evening……..and was flowing around inside and all through me….. Not really sure where it came from…….what triggered it……what tender and fragile part is hiding inside me that I haven’t taken the time to notice…….. maybe it’s the smoky haze above the trees from the controlled burns of the bush they have been doing to prepare for summer…….. maybe it’s the beautiful songs playing on the CD Bliss …..filling my car, filling my soul…..

“….what should I do when tears of sorrow
just won’t stay inside these eyes…….”

•*¨*•♫♪♡sings the beautiful ♡Lucinda Drayton…..and I can’t stop crying…….

grief-loss

it is the first time I have heard this song in over 40 weeks…… it is 40 weeks Post Fire [P.F.] this coming Sunday…… 40 weeks since the bushfire destroyed my beloved Warm Fuzzy Hill and turned my world and life upside down…..Before Fire [B.F.]  I played this CD every few days…….at least……one of my very best favourites. I’ve missed it.

I miss the Me Before Fire [B.F.] that listened to it…the Me that played it and sang it over and over…….that was carefree and untroubled…

What a touching gift it was to receive the CD from ♡Anita last Sunday…..beautiful ♡Anita, a friend of 25 years ago. It is that long since we’ve seen each other or talked, yet somehow she knew this would nurture my soul and spirit…..

She knew. I didn’t. I have kept forgetting that I’ve missed it…..

Ahhhhh that is what is whispering to me…..that is what I haven’t been able to hear……the sorrow of my soul…..while I am having to take care of so much physical stuff…..of dealing with the demolition of our destroyed house and the cleaning up and clearing of the dead trees and bush….. and now the invasion of the giant Springtime weeds….of gathering together new furniture and belongings and everything that goes into furnishing one’s life…….and planning things that I don’t how to do……….and consulting and conferring with trades-people and ‘designers’ and builders and real estate agents and what seems like a trillion different people……….all with equally BIG amounts of tasks on a To Do List that never gets completed…..

I am neglecting my soul….

“Where do I go with all these feelings…….”

“Where do I go with all these memories…..”

How do I describe that bitter-sweet feeling that stirs in my chest, in my heart……

“…..Where do I go when all these pieces
of my heart lay on the floor………”

We dropped into the Community Connects Store today and one of the ladies there said is your new house finished yet? I wanted to yell out NO-ONE’s house is finished!! In fact, many people haven’t even started building and are like me and don’t even know whether they want to build or what to build! What makes well caring people forget that building a house in “normal times” takes more than 10 months from deciding and drawing up designs to completion…..let alone when you’ve gone through a traumatic time and don’t even know if that is what you want to do…….when your brain and body and heart feel like they have gone AWOL…..when making decisions about so many things is magnified and so much harder…

Stop! That’s it, my heart is saying – We don’t have a home…….. That is sad…..that is when the tears of sorrow……….“just won’t stay inside these eyes…….”  Sometimes my heart feels too fragile to hold the pain………or is it my soul…..

Right now my chest feels like it does when there is a pain and you want to breathe but you are scared to because maybe it will hurt too much so you hold your breath……and this is how my brain feels…..I want to remember things but it hurts too much so my brain holds still and freezes and the memories are there like they’re behind a curtain……and just flitting through ephemerally…..

Flowers are the MOST important way I have been nurturing my soul……every day first thing going out to greet… and look at… and smell…and delight in…and pick a few blooms…..and tend to the roses……I sometimes think I would not have been able to get through the last 10 months without flowers………maybe it’s the Beauty that I’ve needed to contrast with the ugliness, the emptiness, the starkness, the bleakness………that I’ve needed to remind myself that life is beautiful…

WFH-flowersThis is how it is feeling now….how it feels sometimes…..how I feel sometimes…….just wanting to stay real…

I’ve probably said lots of this before……. and I’ve needed to say it again……and maybe will again…….and I feel blessed and indulged that you are here reading………that is a miracle…

Welcoming all that is…. and grateful for All the beauty and generosity that is in my life…… And I’m Grateful For It All•*¨*•♫♪♡…..…..for it ALL…….

LOVE, Susie
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Being-♥LOVE-&-Grateful for it All…

LOVE NOTE – Thursday October 2nd, 2014

grateful-heart-collage-crop.jpg

Hello dear Friends

Yesterday I wrote on the 365 Day Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign Facebook page:

“…Here we are at the beginning to the fabulous new month of October so I thought I would take the opportunity to choose some changes for myself. 

The most significant one for October is I am not going to daily post my 5 Things I am Grateful for anymore…… I have done it now each day for the past 4 months starting June 1st. It does feel like it has been important for me as a significant consciousness shift…… I know I will still choose it as a daily focus for myself……And I will review at the end of October how it has been to not record them here and give myself the option of reinstating doing it at any time I feel I want to.

Part of me is imagining [or my SIMU - Story I Make Up] is I am boring you with sharing my 5 Things I am Grateful for and you are humouring me as there is usually minimal engagement.  I also feel some loss to not do it as it has been the closest thing that I have done to a diary, recording what is happening for me over the months….”

Well that resolve didn’t last long! This morning I have changed my mind!….. Even if ♡Lisa [thanks Sweetie] is the only person who values my post of my 5 Things I am Grateful for [or even if no-one does], I am going to continue doing it. It is a ritual that is healthy and sweet and oh so nurturing……It nudges – and sometimes out-rightly pushes – me into choosing a positive and creative lens to view/experience life through.  And I want to be a World Champion at doing it. Look out ♡Louise Hay, Queen of Positivity move over, here I come!!

Like right now I have just been out hanging our bed linen on the line to dry in the sun. It is sheet-changing–and-washing day. The sky is the softest bluest blue with fluffy white clouds just floating unhurriedly by. The air is warm and there is just the right sheet-drying-windy-ness….And I am grateful all over again to ♡Marg who in the early months Post Fire [P.F.] donated the sheets to us along with a whole pile of furniture and bits and pieces as they were shifting house and downsizing. Did we know her? No. She is a friend of a friend.  And for me an Angel I will remember forever. They will always be “♡Marg’s sheets”……

We didn’t have ANY sheets then, and had only just been donated a King size bed, and together with her high quality 1000 thread, almost-new [felt like to us] sheets we did feel like a King and Queen. Still do every time I get into our bed and slip sensuously between those sheets or hang those sheets on the line or run my hands over them….

I was talking last week with a lady who was volunteering at the Community Connect Shop [which is a store that was set up by the Mundaring Community Bank for donations of every sort, and people whose houses burnt down can take WHATEVER and as much as they want for Free and everyone else pays only $2 per item – in reality, it’s an Op shop]…… and she said if her house burnt down she would want everything new………

Well, I was thinking about this…. and do you know I came up with I am so GLAD that I have so many things that people have given me/us as well as finding pre-♡LOVED ‘treasures’ at the Community shop…..which I do all the time…. as each item connects me to the ♡LOVE and generosity and heart-felt caring of whoever those people are…..[even though I don’t know specifically who they are from at the Community shop they still have a special feel to them over shop-bought new and mass produced products]

Back to washing the sheets. I am so over–the-moon grateful that we have our beautiful bed and so grateful for the sheets and in fact everything on it…..so grateful that I wrote this whole post about it…..our bed. patchwork quilts. and lots of ♥LOVE stitched in…

And I am grateful for being able to use ♡Ivan’s washing machine to wash them in, for clean water and having washing powder to wash them with, for a Hills Hoist [for the non-Hills-hoist-sheetsAustralians a rotary clothes washing line] to hang them on in the beautiful warm air under the bluest blue sky with just the right sheet-drying-windy-ness….

Ahhhhhhh the wonderful smell and feel of sun and wind dried sheets …mmmmmmm….. one of my favourite smells. Anyone else?

And I am grateful for Gus the horse who is in the paddock next to me only 10 feet away, who is agisted there as a ‘horse lawn-mower’, who now comes up to the fence to give me a big velvet-feeling-nuzzle Hello…..[I am grateful for and amazed and delighted as I meditatively watched him yesterday as he was ‘mowing’ through ripping up the weeds and eating them……..that’s a whole post in itself :) ]

And I am grateful for walking on the earth with my bare feet, grateful for passing three of rose-rosemary-fence-Ivanmy favourite roses on the way to and from the clothes line and the house; the two stunningly splendid pink rambling climbing ones arching over the gate and the yellow one nearby that ♡Shelton likes….. and for being able to take the time to stop and smell the roses and take in their beauty and healing energy…… and for brushing past the biggest old rosemary bush that smells divine that I just adore…….

And now it’s time for breakfast and back inside I go and I am sooooooo grateful for the amazing organic eggs that I mentioned on Sunday we bought from ♡Gail and ♡Frank…….Most days I make an omelette and just the act of whisking up the egg with a fork is a delight for me – it is so bright. bright. brightest. golden. yellow – not to mention how big JUST one egg is!!  I am so grateful for people like them who care about our environment and put so much care and ♡LOVE into producing food for me that is so healthy on so many levels.

I am grateful for the parsley that I chop up and put into my omelette and salad that ♡Shelton brings me each week from ♡John and ♡Bronwyn’s organic garden. More Earth Warriors I am grateful for. Parsley for me is a staple daily food having so many different valuable nutrients in it…..a veritable “vitamin-and-mineral pill”. I am so grateful for parsley……and gardeners…

I am grateful for being here alone right now and having the house to myself [this is very high on my self-♡LOVE list] and for being able to totally focus on myself and nurture and nourish me…..in ways I want…even if just doing ‘chores’…

I could go on being grateful for so many things no matter which direction I go……there are objects and stories of gratefull-ness whichever way I look, whichever way I walk……♡

I like viewing/experiencing the world through grateful eyes. I like the Me I am when I am a Delight and Beauty and ♡LOVE-Finder. I like the way it feels in my physical body and in my mind and how my spirit feels soft and gentle and tender and nurtured…..

As I’m reflecting on “it” all….. Being-♡LOVE-&-Grateful for it All feels like a much more powerful concept for me than the idea of Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity. It is time thinks I, to change the name to Being-♡LOVE-&-Grateful for it All.  As well, I choose and publicly declare that as my life focus and one of my top Core Values.

Gratefulness

I imagine if we carried our Being-♡LOVE-&-Grateful for it All Journals and consciousness with us and used them as much as our mobile phones and other mobile devices – in other words we would interact and connect with whoever we are making contact with by Being-♡LOVE-&- Grateful, whoever they are and whatever it is they are doing……I reckon doing this would make our world and all the world an amazingly different place….

Question for You: Are you willing to give it a go?

gratitudeGrateful and with LOVE always, Susie

♡♡DAY 275 - 365 Day Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign

 

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Warm Fuzzy Hill: Making a Spectacular Comeback♥

susiesheartpathblog:

Sunday September 21st, 2014 – 9 months [36 weeks] Post Fire
It was good to mark the date with a visit to Warm Fuzzy Hill by ♡Marc Russo, our talented photographer friend, fortunately finishing shooting just before the wet and windy, wild weather ‘hit’…..It was a follow-up to ♡Marc’s original photo series he did a couple of weeks Post Fire in January when everything was looking destroyed and devastated.

We are grateful for the generous gift of ♡Marc’s time and skill and for being able to see Warm Fuzzy Hill’s on-going healing and recovery through his discerning and sensitive eyes :) ….. When different people look at what I am looking at it always fascinates me what they see……..where their attention goes, what stands out for them, what they pick out and focus on, what is the ‘lens’ they look through…..

♡Marc has so beautifully re-visited many of the places he photographed in the original shoot in January. One day I will go through and post The Then and The Now next to each other like this one…..

WFH-MR-gate-sparaxis1 I have been taking my own series of photos and I am always attracted first to the magnificent displays of flowers before anything else. Spring-time Warm Fuzzy Hill is so magical – it just keeps on giving – layer after layer – it is like a giant stage or canvas and one colour of flowers shines and then ‘steps back’ and then the next pops up resplendent – and even though the last showing has been breath-taking and like a masterpiece and we are thinking it just doesn’t get any better than this…….we arrive the next day…. and there is yet another splendid display of a different type of bulb and colour spread across the hillsides…….

Mother Nature – the ever wise teacher – lessons of beauty and growth AND change and impermanence…… GRATEFUL FOR IT ALL•*¨*•♫♪♡…

With gratitude and LOVE, Susie♡

Link to ♡Marc’s January 2014 photo story here.
Link to my January 2014 post using many of ♡Marc’s photos – bushfire destroys our family home at Warm Fuzzy Hill… here

Originally posted on marcrussoamazingadventures:

I went back last weekend to do some updated photographs of Warm Fuzzy hill and I was amazed at how well the vegetation is making a come back!

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9 months [36 weeks] Post Fire….being really. really. really. REAL♥

LOVE NOTE – Monday September 22nd, 2014

9 months [36 weeks] Post Fire.
OK, OK, time for me to be really. really. really. REAL.

I am over sharing my 5 Things I Am Grateful For each day on the 365 Day Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign Facebook page! Gosh I’ve been doing it every night since June 1st – that’s nearly 4 whole months and my brain is still NOT re-wired and neurologically revamped and refurbished so that I’m able to be happy!!

grateful-eyes

Nope, I didn’t get that right! Lots of parts of the world still look the same way! A failure at happiness rewiring 101!!

I’m over looking for the positive. Over being  a ♡LOVE-Finder. Over presenting my confident, strong Superwomen part who can bend steel in her bare hands, jump buildings with a single pounce, do cartwheels and back flips whilst fighting a never-ending battle for peace, justice, ♡LOVE and Zero Negativity……

supersusie

My QUEEN R-A-N-T part needs to write the post tonight as I am feeling so l-o-w that I just want to go to bed and never. ever.  get up.

I am over having to choose between this hot water system or that one, or this one or that one!! And multiply it times what feels like a h-u-n-d-r-e-d different types! Do you know how many frigging ways there are to have a hot water system and types and makes of?
Too many!
W-a-y too many for me to choose one and feel like I am going to be GETTING IT RIGHT and the next person who walks in is NOT going to tell me I’M GETTING IT WRONG and the problems with the choice I have made and why didn’t I think of______________!!!.

And how should I know anyway????  I DON’T KNOW! I am just a bloody therapist, not a house builder or an architect or a designer or a carpenter or a plumber or an electrician or a cabinet maker or a solar hot water company rep selling the range of systems they stock and it could go on forever. and ever. and ever. about WHAT I AM NOT . and what I am not skilled in!! I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS!

I am well and truly o-v-e-r hot water systems and troughs and sinks and benches and taps and walls and doors and handles and floors and tiles and knocking out this wall and replacing these doors and windows and where to put these taps and pipes and waste and what cupboards and benches to build and where and trying to imagine fitting furniture and appliances into spaces that are too small and that are makeshift that people have generously donated to us and I’m over not knowing how much to spend “as you don’t know whether you want to live there anyway!!”

Or looking at homes to buy on the internet and then traipsing around Home Opens or ringing agents to show us properties and houses. But then I don’t even know where I want to live let alone in what kind of house and for what reasons, do I? Don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life? Don’t know where I want to do it!

And I am over having bits and pieces of paper and brochures everywhere with notes about this that and everything littering and piling up so high that I can’t find what I am looking for when I need something anyway that I am almost daydreaming about another bushfire coming and just burning all the bloody lot up and then I can just GIVE UP and GIVE IN and go and lie on a beach or in a hammock somewhere and it be legitimate for me to just be a tragic traumatised has-been for the rest of my meaningless life.

And I am sad and it is gloomy and miserable that I don’t have a father or a mother or a big brother or a little brother or a big friend or a little friend who I can turn to who knows what to do, and can help, and does help, and who is there for me and just swoops in like a good fairy or Superman or Superwoman or Wonderwoman and knows what to do and does it.

Phew!!

grief-mess-GU

I thought if I let the Queen R-A-N-T part write and express her way of seeing things then I would feel better and then I would be able to get on with things. But I was wrong, it hasn’t. Yet I guess I’ve done one thing in that I’ve allowed myself to be a BIG MESS. Correction – BEAUTIFUL MESS :) and I’ve been real and open about it……………………even though I’m S-Q-U-I-R-M-I-N-G thinking of the judgments that people can make……

Admittedly I am not as low and gloomy and cheerless and a bit of my frontal lobes have come back on board BUT I. still. don’t. know. how. to make a lot of the choices that I need to make…… and it is tiresome and energy sapping to daily be facing choice after choice that I don’t really know enough about…….

And it is tiresome and energy sapping to daily have to put that positive face forward; to stride chest-forward chanting in my head “I CAN DO IT” when really being able to do most of the above is in the league of riding naked and bare-back on a sleek Black Beauty type stallion galloping across the moors, or hang diving off the highest craggy cliff or swimming with sharks or lying in a Perspex case with scorpions crawling all over me [like the woman on TV did tonight], none of which I did when I was 16 let alone now in my 60’s.

So be it!……

I am grateful for you being a super-power [well you read this far – that deserves a lot of credit in my book] and indulging me…… Let’s see what tomorrow brings and back to my mantra –

One day at a time!!!

LOVE from a tired Susie♥

♡♡DAY 265365 Day Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign – WOOHOO only 100 more DAYS TO GO!!!

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♥Robin William’s death. no one saw. or knew. or reached out. and was there.

LOVE NOTE – Sunday August 31st, 2014

Hello Friends

It’s been 33 weeks….just over 8 months Post Fire [P.F.]
I wrote most of this post on the 19th August which is nearly 2 weeks ago now. Not sure exactly why…. but I felt I had to finish it today before we start the glorious new month of September….which is probably my most favourite month…….the month that for me is about new growth and lightness and delight……and the beginning to Springtime at Warm Fuzzy Hill…….

We are at the very early stages of new beginnings to the Owl House and the Next Stage of our life at Warm Fuzzy. It is serendipitous that this afternoon ♡Shelton and I had to totally empty out the small room that is to be converted to a kitchen as they are starting some work on it tomorrow, September 1st……What they are doing is knocking a hole = door way through a brick wall……..quite an appropriate metaphor /symbol thinks I, for the brick walls I feel I keep coming up against…..time for a finding a way through….for a New Beginning!

Today’s clear-out took us 3 hours of exhausting work and my body is aching. I tell myself change is doing stuff that feels uncomfortable and feels like a challenge!!

Here’s my post….. 19 August 2014
This is a hard post to write and share….one of ♡Liv Lanes brave posts….
[from ♡Liv Lane’s How To Build a Blog You Truly Love E-course… The invitation-challenge is to step outside our comfort zone and write about something that feels BRAVE.]

Robin-Williams-no-matter

I’ve been thinking lots about ♡Robin Williams since I heard about his death…..as I know millions of others have been…….reflecting on, and pondering about why someone like ♡Robin Williams would kill himself….

I associate him with fun and laughter and playfulness…… and such bigness and brightness…..someone who was oh so quick in his mind …..a gifted mind, a genius mind….. He who was so full of laughter and caring……he who spent his life making others laugh and smile and feel good…..a humour that was brilliant and clever and not of the type that used put-down and attack…….humour that takes absolute genius…..and sharpness and sensitivity……and pure talent.

And he also had an energy of humbleness …….I love looking into his eyes when he is on screen….I see eyes that are soft and full of gentleness and a sweetness and tenderness……eyes that feel safe…..

I am sitting with wondering about what it was like to be ♡Robin Williams in the time leading up to his death…… the question that is yelling out loudly in my head is why is it with all the people that ♡LOVE this man that no one saw. or knew. or reached out. or reached in. and was there to hold onto him…..

Yet I do wonder why I am surprised. The following statistics [2010] for suicide in Australia [and I imagine they are similar in the United States] tell a grim story:
- 8 Australians take their own life each day – more than 2,500 deaths each year
- About 180 people attempt it every day
- 65,000 attempt to take their own life every year…..
SUICIDE is the leading cause of death in Australia for people aged between 15 and 44 years!!!

With these statistics everyone will know someone who is depressed to some degree or another….so we all have a part to play…..

How blind we are as a culture to seeing and hearing and being there for people’s pain. and hurt. and grief. and suffering.

I have been in some very dark places Post Fire [P.F.]…..darker than I’ve ever felt. ……surprisingly to me it feels even darker and more despairing than the time of ♡Russ’s death and being with him and tending to him and watching his 18 months of wasting away and dying……Words fail to describe what this is about….and the closest description I come to is that with the loss of all the physical that connected us to him it has felt somehow like he has ‘died’ again……added to all the other devastating losses from the fire……

People took ♡Russ’ dying ‘seriously’ and showed up daily and many who were close to him basically ‘camped out’ to be with him and support him and us…..some even for months…..like his close friend ♡Craig……….. who would sit for hours and hours holding ♡Russ’ hand and talking with him….and doing whatever he wanted……and who mostly left our house quite late into the wee hours of the morning to spend a small amount of time to be with his own wife and small child …….and was back again the next morning to start it all again…..

After watching him so very caringly give ♡Russ a Reiki healing which helped him to relax and go to sleep…..and which he gave to him most nights ……I asked him why do you do it? He looked me straight in the eye and said simply “Because I ♡LOVE him…..”

And many ♡LOVED ♡Robin. His disease was life-threatening. It killed him, didn’t it…..? Why have we as a culture allowed it to happen that someone who is in that much pain and fear is left alone to struggle with the monster that depression is [or whatever other demon he was fighting with]…….and then is alone as he dies as that monster attacks him and wrestles with him and overcomes him…..

Let us proclaim loudly that depression is a mental illness. Many times people require similar caring attention as those who have had a heart attack or any other life threatening illness…..and at a minimum, need to know there are people who are there for them to reach out to.

I have been writing openly about the “dark places” I have been in Post Fire [P.F.] ……yet I am amazed at how often I have been left to grieve and mourn alone……with months going by with people who say they care…..who I would have thought cared …….not even ringing me…… or messaging or visiting, let alone offering help of any kind….

Yes, we have had a lot of help that we are amazed with and feeling very blessed by…..yet the majority by far has been given by people who were strangers Before Fire [B.F.] ….people we didn’t even know…..and the assistance they have given has been largely practical, helping us to replace a myriad of things……and still are….

I have been left alone for hours, for days, for weeks, for months……many times questioning whether I had what it took to get through……many times feeling so totally in the dark and that there weren’t any lights at the end of the tunnel……..so ‘dark’ and exhausted that to go searching for the light let alone where the tunnel has felt as mammoth a task as climbing Mt Everest…..

I found that if I told people even a very scaled down version of these feelings comments [that were meant to be well-meaning] would be some version of:
“This too shall pass”….
You’ll get through it
It could be worse
AT LEAST you have…………insert a trillion options for the dreaded “at-leasts….
It’ll be better tomorrow
Just put it out of your mind….
You’re strong – you’ve got what it takes to get through this
A million and one positive statements / quotes / affirmations etc etc….
The Phoenix will rise from the ashes
Just look for the silver lining
“I’m sorry I haven’t been able to be there for you”…..and then proceed to tell me about how overwhelming whatever is in their life that they think is worse than what I am going through…..
“I know how you feel”, I would hear. “No, you don’t”, I would think,…..“You are not me….”

They weren’t saying, I’m right here with you. I’m not going away. Take whatever time you need……..walking beside me……. or staying silent and being present and listening to me…..crossing the bridge into my world……

And it is not like I needed them to know what it is like for me………you don’t have to have all the answers….or any in fact…..just be interested in me and my story I’m sharing….

People seem to be able to do it for their loved ones when they are told they are dying……or when they are in a critical life state following any number of accidents….. But I don’t see it happening in those many places where the rate of suicide goes up like disaster/trauma, divorce, debt, bankruptcy, chronic illness…..and there are many others…..

Incidentally it is reported that there is a rise in depression and suicides [and domestic violence, marriage breakdown and alcohol and drug abuse] peaking about two years after a traumatic event like a bushfire…..most dealing with continuing issues of stress and many with emotional scars that are still raw…….

And I do know that the darkness and pain I feel is nothing compared to the daily sense of meaningless and hopelessness that many experience….. whose minds trick them into believing they are worthless and un-♡LOVE-able and that their life isn’t worth living………

I do have the resources to eventually shift the darkness and find the light at the end of the tunnel and are able to switch it on….a light that shines so brightly at times it shines for hundreds…..

When I’ve been in that ‘dark place’ I just walk by and ignore all the things that would “wake” me up and soothe me – like the CD player with 100 Hay House talks by the most inspiring group of people imaginable…… I don’t do any EFT tapping or pull out any of the other huge amount of resources that I have for shifting blocked places……
I ignore people’s phone calls, I ignore invitations to be in the company of friends, ignore reading Facebook as others’ good times can feel like a smack in the face when I feel I am suffering…..

My body and my energy are too depleted to make self-♡LOVE-ing choices that are nurturing and caring for myself….I am too exhausted and energy depleted and tired to be able to do things that normally I adore doing…..like having a bath…..too tired to sit in the sauna, too tired even to read a book where I can disappear into another world for respite… not bothering with most forms of self care ……not showering as often as normal, wearing the same dark work clothes day in-day out, not exercising……too lacking of energy to do anything different….It feels somewhat like trying to start a car when there is no petrol or to turn on a light switch when the power is off…. 

A note to say that I do know all these perceptions are those of a very vulnerable and raw and ‘broken’ part of me….. that easily can be labelled as ‘negative’…… Yet when we are in the ‘dark place’ a different Self has taken over and we no longer perceive the world through a grown-ups eyes and brain…. I am not this Self – it is a part of me that came into existence and developed a long time ago……it is showing up now for reasons that I am aware of that I don’t wish to share….

And sure I am being presumptuous assuming that ♡Robin would have felt unhappy and in pain leading to him killing himself……yet I do know that people don’t kill themselves when they are enjoying the life they are living…..

But I am not here to make sense of why he did it…..just to share what has been touched in me. What it has stirred in me. What has been awakened. And also to send a reminder that your ♡LOVE-ing presence may be what is needed to make a difference in someone’s life and living…..and it matters much more than you think…..
With deep respect and gratitude to ♡Robin Williams and his life for so many reasons.

LOVE and gratitude, Susie

5 GRATEFULS FOR IT ALL•*¨*•♫♪♡…
1. I am soooooooo grateful that we have finally been able to clear out the room for our new kitchen in the Owl House.
2. I am grateful for ♡Shelton working so supportively and superlatively to clean out the room.
3. I am grateful for ♡Shelton’s strength in being able to move all the heavy things.
4. I am grateful that we went looking at a number of Home Opens today in the Hills and for the many creative ideas people put into designing and organizing their homes which has given me some ideas of what would be good to include in our new Home.
5. I am grateful over and over again at the beauty of the hillsides along the driveway into Warm Fuzzy that get more amazing each day……..seeing and smelling the freesias just take my breath away as they are sooooooo splendid…… :)

♡♡DAY 243 – 365 Day Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign 

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