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By February 13, 2021June 23rd, 2022No Comments





Written by Ciara O


This past year has been such a human experience.

It’s been scary.

I’ve felt doubt.

I’ve questioned my recovery.

I’ve questioned who I am.

It’s been frustrating.

It’s angered me.

I’ve feared sickness or been seen as a victim.

I saw and felt the cracks in my sense of self, my relationships, and my so called solid base of freedom. I felt that shame.

I’ve got caught up in what other people are doing. I started to compare again. I’ve got caught up in what other people think of me again.

I had to dust my lingo off for shoulds and whys and cants and other bits of distorted thinking.

All I can say is thank you to anyone, and anything that has made me feel the above (myself included). Anything that challenges me heals me and frees me. So, to the past year, I’m really grateful because I have got the chance to see what needed more attention and love. The freedom ill emerge with at the of this will be far better than one with cracks 🙂

I actually really enjoyed this year.

I feel very lucky and grateful to have a space like this, to know the free people I know, for the one to ones and group, and even a recovery journey to draw on to help through the past year.

I let go of any lingering body love/self-love ‘conditions’. I truly get and understand loving my body and myself as it is now.

I found new ways to cope and new hobbies when old ways were outside my 5km.

I bought a new wardrobe, stuff I actually like to wear, comfortable clothes rather than fashionable ones. They work for my life. I cleared out all the condition stuff I had kept. They weren’t serving me.  Now I look around and see a room that is full of ME, colour, things I do NOW, books I like to read, dip into from time to time, jewellery I wear, my crystals, shell, rock collection, my yoga/ surf/climbing gear. I am surrounded by reminders of who I am and the life I want to live. I got rid of the clutter and simplified my life.

Every day I choose to be a warrior and not a worrier.

It’s been freeing.

It’s been enjoyable.

It’s been enlightening.

It’s been exciting. I’ve rediscovered the joy of living with curiosity and getting to know myself and others all over again stripped off external things I used to enjoy and having more time at home.

I’ve felt proud.

I’ve been sharing who I am more.

I’ve been sharing my thoughts/ opinions on things more. Sometimes I’ve reacted before I have a chance to think what I want to say or not say. That’s ok. I make amends as best I can. Sometimes others react and I make sure we all go to bed on good terms if possible. Sometimes I observe or respond. It’s been interesting when I take the time to learn from and observe the process rather than judge it.

I’ve learnt what I want from relationships. Some of it doesn’t come easy to me, some of it does. Some of it I have to ask for. Some of it I already have. Some things I had to let go off.

I’ve learnt a lot about self-forgiveness and a whole lot about been gentle on myself. Nothing good comes from hardship or pressure.

I’ve found new hobbies I enjoy.

I became more honest. About what I like, how I feel, who I am, and what I can and can’t do in the sports I do. In the process I ended up meeting some super cool like minded people. I still get a little bit nervous that I’ll be judged, or I’ve said the wrong thing, but being someone else was exhausting. I also remember from my own judgemental days that if I am judged that’s nothing to do with me and all about the other person.

I have a really cool project in the works. I could not have predicted this happening last year. I’m embracing just going with the flow of life and trusting the doors that appear when you are yourself. Its refreshing to let go of control and be open to things.

I’ve reconnected with old friends, I’ve started to forgive my past and focus on the adventures it gave me, the friends it brought into my life, the learnings I learnt, and who it’s made me today.

I cleaned up my social media accounts and deleted anyone I compare/d to, anyone I’m not actually friends with, anything that isn’t actually helping me.  Instagram is useful for work and can be fun, has some pretty awesome content that can help and inspire me to practice and enjoy my surf and climbing more. I don’t think there is anything wrong with using social media if I’m the one using it rather me been a puppet of it.


The one constant thing that kept me going was …HOPE.

There is always a choice to choose freedom, hope and kindness in every moment, no matter how dark.

Hope can be anything:

Its group sessions, thank you everyone for feeling like I have an army of freedom fighters with me along my freedom journey this past year, and for all the wisdom shared. We are never alone.

It’s one to one sessions, thank you Marie.

It’s a podcast. Thank you, Jacqueline.

It’s a cup of coffee.

It’s a hug.

It’s colour. I adore colour now. In clothes, nature, the house, stuff I own. Colour is the new black.

It’s buying flowers for the house, or people I love or myself.

It’s self-care.

Its holding my hands on your chest and telling myself ill be ok.

It’s compassion for myself and for others. We are all dealing with something.

It’s each brave step toward something I’m scared off of doing. Usually, the big scary thing never happens anyway. If something does happen and knocks me off my feet, I have tools, I have support, I have inner strength to get through it.

It’s choosing life over fear and living where I can.

It’s acceptance. Of who I am. Of who they are. Of the situation. As it is now.

It’s the decision to myself, not to anyone else that I’ll do something.

It’s choosing to believe that I am ok, that everyone else is ok, that the world is ok.

It’s choosing to believe that despite it all the world is still a beautiful place; the world is still a kind place and the world is still a safe place.

Its giving to others, this is the best way I melt my anger/hurt. Not giving to receive that’s a business deal. Best quote I read in a long time 🙂 I choose to give because I love people and because I don’t want to carry around a heavy heart feeling forever. Giving/kindness softens my edges, my attitude, and my mood. I can only give, though, If I give to myself first.

It’s expressing how I feel, to myself and others.

It’s cherishing my senses. I can’t imagine living without any of them.

Its cherishing my feelings, they mean I’m alive. They mean I love my body and myself enough to go through the emotion/experience and let it pass.

Its observing a feeling. Where do I feel it? is it big or small? Is it moving? Is all over my body or in one part? Is a colour? Is it changing colour? This always calms me and makes me realise everything is life is energy and maybe my mind is making it seem bigger than it really is.

Its daily gratitude, and daily credit. Those simple tools are brilliant.

It’s having a choice and believing in the power of choice. I choose love, trust, kindness, freedom.

It can be a movie day.

Seeing myself as a human, as strong anything but a victim.

It can be smiling at a stranger, it can be smiling to lift my own mood. One smile can have a ripple effect.

It’s saying hello to strangers. Even if they don’t say hello back. Heaps of people do.

It can be listening to and gratitude for my breathe.

It’s learning, then unlearning, then relearning.

It can be music.

It can be reading a book.

It can be a dream for the future.

It’s simple.

Hope can be big, or it can be small but there is always hope around me. Every day I have the choice to choose fear or hope and love. I’m not perfect. I’m working on things. That’s the strength and beauty in life, choosing to consistently choose something that will help you even if it’s not always the easiest. It’s does get easier though.

Ciara O