“NOTHING OF ME IS ORIGINAL. I AM THE COMBINED EFFORT OF EVERYONE I’VE EVER KNOWN.” – Chuck Palahniuk

My last article was published over two months ago now. For a lot of reasons.

First, I’ve had a lot going on.

Second, my website was hacked a little while ago.

I worked with a particular woman a few years back now, who is a celebrity publicist.

My company at the time, did over $2000 worth of work for her and her high profile client, and she decided to not pay her bill. As you do…

So I decided to write about it.

Anyway, fast forward to about a month ago.

I get this message from someone who was doing some work for this woman. They asked me if I would ever consider deleting the article. After all, it’s pretty bad publicity for her.

I said I would consider deleting the article if she would consider paying her debt. But in reality, I would have deleted it anyway. I’ve let it go.

That’s a lesson in itself. Letting certain things go…

As the philosopher Allan Watts says – “let it go, and it will all come back”.

So a few hours later, at around midnight that same evening, I awoke with a jolt and a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I instinctively knew that my website had been pulled down, and sure enough when I tried to log into my site – it had.

I couldn’t have cared less about deleting the article, but as my site had coincidentally been hacked within hours of receiving this request, that particular article shall now remain on my site.

That’s the funny thing about your intuition.

You need to trust it.

Tapping into the mystery and invisibleness of intuition has been something I have spent a long time working on.

I’ve gotten so good at paying attention to it, that I will become physically ill if I don’t listen to what it’s trying to tell me.

At the end of each year, as the holiday season approaches, and at the start of each new year, I like to do a bit of a stocktake of my life.

I like to look back, and see all of the ways that I have changed and grown.

I also like to examine the areas in which I feel I’ve taken a backwards step. And to see why I’m moving in the opposite direction.

And I like to make a list of the things I want in the new year.

As my website was finally back online as of a couple of days ago (and please note, that I’m currently in the midst of changing the site, so I apologise in advance for any issues on the site), I have had the opportunity to go back and take a look at my list for the past two years.

Two years ago I was grateful that I had the opportunity to enjoy my friends’ children.

Two years ago I had come to accept the sometimes difficult reality that my life had not gone according to plan. I’m not sure anyone’s does.

I desperately hoped for peace and happiness.

One year ago, I had a full on year.

I had lost touch with a lot of people.

I had cried so much I could have drowned a small nation. And I had drunk a lot of alcohol.

I had participated in retail therapy in an attempt to bring me momentary joy.

I felt as though I didn’t sleep almost the entire year.

Yet, on the flip-side…..

I had learnt how to be alone.

I had learnt how to practise compassion and not judge people like I used to. That we are all battling in our own way. There’s nothing like being brought to your knees to ironically make you stand up and show you that we are all suffering in some way or another.

And that it’s kind to be kind.

I understood the depth and magnitude of my sometimes consuming loneliness. That often gripped me tightly, and refused to let me go.

I understood that I told people that I pretend that I’m strong, but looking back now, I know that I am actually much stronger than I comprehend.

I learnt how to make new friends. Something I had struggled with. I often feel like an outcast. A weirdo. Because my life does not resemble the cookie cutter life that it should at this point in time.

I learnt about who I am as a woman.

I learnt that a year ago, I felt guilty for simply being alive.

I learnt to embrace my sensitivity as a gift. Not a curse.

I learnt that everything is pretty funny if you look at it in the right way.

I learnt in my reminiscence of times past, that I had a pretty shitty few years.

I learnt that a year ago, I was afraid of rejection, but now I know that so long as I accept myself, I’ll always be ok. It really is true that the most important opinion is the one you have about yourself.

I have learnt that the power of prayer, mantras, hope, wishes sent out to the universe, faith, manifestation, being surrounded by amazing people that believe in you, are the most spectacularly powerful things we possess.

And I have learnt that if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. No matter what it is. And in that understanding that you have that power, you also need to be warned that you need to be really careful of what you wish for…

And in looking back, I recalled a quote from Kelly Cutrone:

“This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died.”

Today, I ask you to take a trip down memory lane. And ask yourself the difficult question about who it is that you really are.

Nothing of any of us is original. We are ALL the combined effort of everyone we’ve ever known.

Life cannot be experienced to its full by living it alone.

We need other people to help shape us into the person we.

We pick up things from the people we choose to surround ourselves with.

Habits, mannerisms, quirks, ideologies, thought processes, and more importantly, we often decide what we DON’T want to be like. And what we don’t want to have to experience again.

We learn different things from every single person who graces us with their glorious presence.

Sometimes these things are good.

Sometimes these things are not so good.

But we learn regardless. And that’s always a positive thing.

Some people are there only for a season.

Some people we only have a fleeting glimpse of.

And some people are there for the long haul.

But the most important thing to know is this – we take something from everyone we’ve ever had the pleasure of crossing paths with.

No matter how brief.

And all of it is a pleasure. Despite what you may think. Because all of it adds up to who you are right at this very moment.

I dedicate today’s article to a woman by the name of Laura Byrne. An Australian jewellery designer who owns a company called Tonimay http://www.tonimay.com.au/ .

About a week ago, she posted on social media about the fact that the best selling author Paulo Coelho, had stolen her writing as his own.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3389843/Jeweller-claims-award-winning-Alchemist-author-ripped-tender-Instagram-post-shared-version-shared-90-000-times.html

Paulo Coelho has since deleted the post, but hasn’t acknowledged his deception. Which is very disappointing. As I have always admired his writing.

So today, I would like to acknowledge the words of Laura Byrne, and leave you with the quote that was stolen from her. And know that none of us are immune to being influenced by someone else.

“Be present. Make love. Make tea. Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation. Buy a plant, water it. Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed. Have a smart mouth, and quick wit. Run. Make art. Create. Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain. Take chances. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn. Know you worth. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy. Grow.” – Laura Byrne

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