My work life

I’m at home with a sniffy nose, a lot of coughing, a painful stomach and a headache. I chose not to go to work this morning. I always think I should not call in sick – feeling guilty and full of shame for being not well. Anybody else feeling like that? Also, when I’m ill, I feel so very ill and so very upset and low.

Anyway, I wanted to write about my work life.

2 years I’ve been with this department now. The time for change has come, ….. I thought. I’ve just had a radical haircut, which is usually an indicator for change in my life. Two years is enough. Isn’t it? No, don’t get me wrong. I love (most of) my colleagues, and (most of) my job. It doesn’t pay very well, but – compared to other reception/admin jobs – it pays pretty well. There is no obvious reason why I should leave. Well – that’s not quite true. It’s the city I’ve got to commute to and from; it’s loud and full of tourists and students – overcrowded, I’d call it. At least I’ve changed to three full days from five half days. But still, a minimum of 2 hours commute on a work day? Okay, it gives me time to read (on the bus). And – really – an hour to work is not that bad. Is it? It’s like I’m looking for a good enough reason to change jobs. My husband calls me a job junky. I think he’s right. Maybe I’m just addicted to changing jobs after it has become routine. Maybe I’m just addicted to change anyway???

I’ve been looking, locally, but nothing compares to my current position, neither the pay rates nor the stuff I’d have to do to earn my wages. And – will I ever find such a lovely team of colleagues again? I’d be taking quite a risk.

There’s something else bugging me, if I’m honest. When I came to this country, in the beginning of 2005, I did not intend to work in admin much longer. I’d had enough of it when I left Germany. I actually hated being a PA/secretary/admin assistant. The whole admin crap – I didn’t want it anymore. And here I am – still doing admin. I wanted to be a full-time therapist. That’s what I wanted. In eight years I have not managed to earn a living from being a therapist. I am now not earning a living from anything I do. The part-time job in admin doesn’t pay enough to live – at least not in an independent way. I’m contributing to the bills, that’s it. The other days I’m spending hours and hours trying to get my name out there and trying to convince the public that constellations are fantastic and that I am a great therapist.

Drawing a balance: I failed.

Is that the deeper reason I’m at home, feeling pretty grim? I think I feel sorry for myself. Yes. I feel sorry for myself. “Poor little Silvia! You are a loser! Let’s face it. But I do feel sorry for you, I really do.” Is that what I need?

Wuh, – – – wait!

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I am not a loser. And I have not failed. Let’s face THAT, shall we?

I have changed jobs a lot, because I was never happy in them. I finally found a job, in which I am feeling happy enough to stay. I may only contribute to the bills and not earn enough to make a living, but I could if I wanted to. I don’t need to earn more than I currently do, because my husband and I have an arrangement. More than the income I need the time to build my therapeutic practice. And that is what the 2 other workdays are dedicated to.

I learned a lot on my way, and I learned that it is important to give energy into the things I’d like to grow. I also learned that I have most of my energy in the mornings. I know I haven’t made a rocket start; I’ve taken – I had to take – the little side roads, and I still am. On the way, I got to know exciting, supportive people, and slowly but surely I’ve been getting my name out there and still am. Don’t forget: I had to adapt to a new country. I left all my friends and family behind and had to start all over again. I’ve built friendships, strengthened my relationship, was a mother and bonus-mother to five children. I fostered two young people and I looked after dogs. I simply had no time to make a rocket start.

I know what it is: I’m sitting in this space that is empty. My kids are no longer here, the dogs are gone, too. I caught a bug. I’m feeling crap. That’s why I get this sense of emptiness. I misinterpreted it as failure.

I’m not failing. I never failed. I only ever did as best as I knew at the time.

There is so much to learn, still. But I’m on my way. I may not be the rocket therapist, but I may be the one who has been there, done that. And – once this bug has left my body – I’ll be my old sparkling self, inspiring and full of kindness and love.

Watch this space!

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Heart connection

My husband and I spent a wonderful evening amongst like-minded people, connecting with our own and each other’s hearts. It was the first of a one-monthly series of ‘Heart Support Circles‘ in Oxford, hosted by Oxford Tantra Wave; well – really hosted by Rowan Parkes. Please, don’t be put off by the word ‘Tantra’. I know that some people would not even consider taking part in an event that had even in the slightest anything to do with Tantra. The Heart Support Circle is Rowan’s “baby”, she hosts it, and the event is not tantric. It is about growing, exploring, connecting – self development really. We got to know Oxford Tantra Wave through a friend who had participated in one of their “Diving for Pearls” Workshops and recommended it to us. Because my husband and I wanted to do something as a couple, that helped us step out of the everyday life stress and connect with each other on a heart level, we participated in their workshop ‘Pink‘, which is – you guessed it – about the heart; and it was an absolutely amazing weekend full of lovely people, experiences and connection. It did not only bring more awareness and tenderness into our relationship, but we also made new friends. So, when Rowan invited us to this Heart Support Circle, we were absolutely delighted and totally up for it.

Again and again we get so carried away by our every day lives, that from time to time we like to do something as a couple that helps us re-connect on a deeper level. Tonight, we met a few people we knew from the Pink workshop and lots of new faces. They were all such interesting, lovely individuals, and we enjoyed every minute of the 4 hours we spent together. Rowan guides people so sensitively and gently into a safe place where one can open up and be vulnerable. As a result, real connection can happen and does happen. I watched so many stressed and tired faces soften and brighten up during the evening, it was just bliss.

I would like to share one exercise of the evening:

At one point we were asked to find a partner and have them mirror our expression of our own heart. We were asked to feel into our heart and-  in a body posture – express how we treat it or what it feels like. Our partner would then copy this posture and we would have the chance to look at it (our heart) and ‘do’ something with it or speak to it in order to make it feel better, or (if it was looking good) even better.
I found myself expressing and then – even more powerful – seeing my heart as a young girl staring into the sky, kind of lost or as if it was searching for something up there. Tears filled my eyes, I felt so touched by this picture, and all I wanted was to get it to look at me and show it the world and to have it connect with Mother Earth and tell it to open up it’s senses to what was there in front of it. My ‘mirror’ responded so beautifully to my attempt to make it feel safe and happy and open up to the world around it. We ended up poking and tickling each other and having a giggle. I felt so much love for ‘my heart’, it was overwhelming. And ‘my heart’ (embodied by my partner) was in awe about the life out there and the connection with Mother Earth and the answers being right in front of its eyes.

So that’s what I’m doing. What an eye-opener! I was actually gutted. I thought I was in such a great place, really grounded. And there I see myself with the head in the clouds and looking for the answers up there.

I am so grateful for this (open) monthly Sunday evening group, which I can recommend to anybody who is interested in connecting with people on a deeper level, but also to them who want to re-connect with their heart on a more or less regular basis. We also brought along vegetarian food to share, and found ourselves enjoying the most beautiful, delicious food.

By the way, Oxford Tantra Wave’s next workshop on the heart is ‘Pink’, coming weekend (6/7 October) in Chorleywood, between Oxford and London, and there are still places available. If you’re interested, contact info@oxfordtantrawave.com or find the details on their webpage.

Good night, World. I’m going to bed now, feeling very tired but enriched and still full of love.

Huge hug!