LIFE is but a dream, but my eyes are wide open …

Image may contain: Tracey Marie Fletcher, smiling, close-up and indoor

During times of uncertainty, I frequently ask myself and am now asking YOU

How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?

These are uncertain times for us all, which is why I’m sharing my thoughts and feelings. As I dive a little deeper, I’m being a little more honest and open about how I reacted to news of COVID 19 and the current restrictions.

When I first heard the breaking news, I felt the niggling sensation of doubt, which tickled my curiosity. I wondered, why this and why now? Wonderings that wanted to know the truth behind the source of its creation and who would be benefiting the most from this global pandemic. My mind gravitated towards the political agendas, which triggered my fear because I felt like my newfound sense of freedom was under threat. As the days unfolded, I began to feel the bitter sting of resentment because once again life feels unfair. It seems every time I finally get a grip on reality as it IS and whenever I adjust to another major life change, life delivers yet another curve ball to remind me.

Change is inevitableGrowth is intentional”. (Glenda Cloud).

Hmmmmm … why do such insights still piss me off ???

I spent the last 2 months in Chenrezig, contemplating why I felt stuck. By confronting the source of my agitation I came face to face with my resistance, and gained deeper insight into the nature of my own mind.

But what do I mean by that ???

Well, I already know I struggle with heat and humidity because my body temperature has always ran hot and I’m perimenopausal, which is why it didn’t really make sense to find myself working in a hot kitchen, during the hottest time of year in Queensland, in the humidity of the mountains (or) perhaps it made perfect sense. I was in a constant state of physical discomfort, which is what activated my agitated state of mind and then attracted the “Tormentors” (aka March flies). The longer I sat with my discomfort, the deeper I explored my agitation, the more I talked about my irritation, the more I understood my frustration. I noticed how I was becoming impatient with grief and therefore resisting the need to sit with my pain and suffering.

“It isn’t impermanence that makes us suffer, its wanting things to be permanent when they are not” (Nhat Hanh).

I sat with the full intensity of my insecurities and uncertainties and accepted the heart-breaking reality of what IS. Acknowledging that my life has never been about security or settling. Accepting that my gypsy soul needs to wander as part of my healing process and soul purpose. So. I left Chenrezig feeling a little more certain of my direction, only to find myself stepping back into society during a time of even GREATER uncertainty. After going through my own personal apocalyptic experience, I now find myself in a global Armageddon.

What the actual FUCK ???

I felt a mixture of frustration and concern when the government started to tell us to stay home to reduce the spread of infection. My home is in the form of a rented camper van because my bohemian spirit wants to wander, but I’m being told to not wander. After battling with myself for a few days, I thought, it’s OK I can camp in National Parks and still have the adventure and experiences I need to have, but then that option was taken away too. Having trained as a nurse, I know the importance of preventing the spread of infection to protect the vulnerable, but my inner rebel also reacts to being told what she can and can’t do from authority figures. Although I agree with the necessary restrictions, I still feel oppressed and uneasy about the unforeseeable future that lies ahead of us.

That’s when I noticed how my thoughts were consumed with what I couldn’t or didn’t want to do. So, I began to lean into the tension without resisting what was arising, by observing how I was reacting to what I was thinking.

Questions arose and I’m going to share my answers …

Why am I struggling?
Because life has thrown me yet another curve ball

What am I holding onto?
My sense of freedom

Why do I feel like I’m living someone else’s life?
Because I don’t feel in control

Who is making me feel like a burden or an intruder?
Myself, because I’m not living my own life on my own terms in my own way

How do I really feel about life not going to plan or as hoped AGAIN?

What am I most afraid of?
Being controlled and manipulated by the forces I seek liberation from

More questions arose …

What if the collective unconsciousness is manifesting for a reason?
How can this challenging experience serve our healing and growth?
Have I learned anything of value that I can now share with others?

Hmmmmm … one would hope I’ve learned something

Over the last (3) years my family and I frequently put ourselves in lock down to protect our parents from infection, to prioritise their end of life care and to privilege our need to mourn. So, isolation and solitude aren’t anything new for us, but I thought those times were behind us. My sisters and I went through things that challenged us to dig deeper, which meant different things for each of us. For me, it meant digging deeper into the roots of my foundation, to explore my sense of security. My life has been full of detours, roadblocks, U-turns and roundabouts, so I understand the meaning of impermanence, but I now find myself in groundlessness. Although safe in my sisters home, I feel a strong desire to retreat deeper into Nature, so I’m feeling a little confused.

Why would I want to leave the safety?
What is calling me deeper into Nature?
How can I heed the call without putting others at risk?

Thoughts and emotions continue to flow through me, while my energetic body feels kinda suspended. Hovering above shaky ground in a state of levitation. As if an upward force is counteracting the pull of gravity, so I neither fall nor fly. Instead of falling apart, breaking open or running away I’m being called to focus on how I can remain balanced and fully present in the moments.

When our parents were diagnosed with incurable cancer within 8 months of each other, I struggled with reality because what I had feared most had manifested. Sometimes it felt like I was living in an alternate reality, as if we were actors playing a part in a story that someone else was writing. Sometimes it felt like I was having an out of body experience. My mind would switch off, my heart would close for repair and/or my soul would temporarily step out for a break. Staying completely present in some moments wasn’t always easy for me to do, which is what contributed to my experiences of PTSD. I believe traumatic memories resurfaced because I hadn’t fully processed, felt and released them.

Why am I sharing something from my past ???

Because once again I’m struggling with reality and know I’m not alone.

Although I wasn’t officially diagnosed with PTSD, I recognized the symptoms. No, I didn’t google it, I’ve actively studied (undergraduate degree in psychology and post graduate degree in counselling), and worked with mental health in Aged Care for 20 years.  But instead of going to the Doctor for a mental health referral, I trusted my own inner guidance. Asking myself what I needed, listening to my inner Medicine Woman, who led me towards the experiences and support I needed: Spending more time in Nature to reconnect. Seeking solitude to read through Mam’s journals and dive deeper into the depths of my own psyche. Using energetic therapies such as crystals, reiki and kinesiology, to clear blockages and align my energetic BEing of rainbow light. Seeking refuge in a Buddhist Institute of Learning, to better understand the nature of my own mind and reading books on the topics that interested me. Experiences that helped me to expand upon my understanding of grief and PTSD.

Cancer, death, grief and loss have guided me deeper and deeper on the road less travelled. A path I keep trusting even when I don’t always understand it. During times of chaos I focus on integrating psychological growth and spiritual attunement, to access intuitive guidance because its how I expand my consciousness. I do this because I no longer believe a crisis is a problem to be solved, but our greatest opportunity for healing and growth. A psycho spiritual approach “engages the mind, body and spirit, moving beyond problematic life patterns and overcoming traumatic life experiences.” Expanding upon traditional theories, by accessing our higher consciousness through things like meditation, self-awareness, mindfulness and creative expression, which is why I keep trusting my inner guidance.

I refer back to my initial reaction to the COVID 19

Who can benefit the most from this global pandemic ???

And realize there is more to gain than loose from this challenging experience.

According to the star gazers this is a revolutionary time of spiritual awakening. Whatever the source of this virus was, it has created the conditions for change. Nature is healing and Universal energies are flowing. Although fate is written in the stars, our destiny depends upon the choices we make. We can choose to react from fear (or) love. We’ve already witnessed both the fear and love in action, so you know what I’m talking about.

So, I ask YOU …

Are you willing to dig deeper into your truth so you can BE the love we need? Are you open to accept the possibility that this pandemic is NOT the crisis we think it is, but an opportunity for healing and growth? Are you doing what needs to be done to benefit future generations? Are you willing to peel back the layers of your identity and discover the truth of your BEing?

I invite you to notice your response to those questions and explore any discomfort and/or resistance that arises within you.

As I learn more about my own mental health challenges, I’m able to share my own struggles with an ever-changing reality with a little more clarity. Sharing how my search for inner peace has led me towards accepting that pain and suffering cannot be eliminated, but must be felt in its entirety so it can be alchemized into the pure love it is.

Instead of resisting the tensions, conflicts, chaos and necessary changes that come with a crisis, lets learn how to relax into this global challenge. Focusing on the opportunity for healing and growth as the collective conscience we are. Because whether we like it or not, we are ALL in this together and we each have an important role to play.

What is my role?
What are my responsibilities?

The answer to those questions will vary depending on who we are

I’m finally grasping Einsteins theory of reality being an illusion because our version of reality depends upon how we perceive it, which usually has nothing to do with the actual truth. To see the truth of reality as it IS we must be willing to let go of any conclusions we have come to and fully surrender to the impermanence of life, which is scary. We are afraid to do this because it means letting go when we innately feel the need to hold on. It’s breaking the habits of a life time (sometimes several).

This is the road less travelled, that I and many others continue to walk. We are the social misfits who challenge what IS because we see and feel how the collective wounds impact upon our individual experiences. We are the wounded healers who are guided IN to heal our own wounds, so we can help others to BE the change our world needs.

I’m not sharing my thoughts and feelings to convince you what I believe is true, because my beliefs are informed by the experiences I have. Therefore, my beliefs also change and that is the point of my sharings.

“When we resist change its called suffering, but when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that is called enlightenment.” (Pema Chodron).

This is my spiritual integration …


Having already experienced the tensions between my inner masculine & feminine, and the conflicts that arise from my shadow (which is the suppressed parts of myself). I’m learning the importance of integrating our dualities.

“Wholeness isn’t achieved by cutting off a portion of ones being,
but by integration of the contraries.” (Carl Jung).

I’m learning how to navigate my inner world with a little more insight. So, I notice how often my conditioned mind, distorted thought patterns, coping strategies, defense mechanisms and habitual behaviours limit me. Although I’ve experienced a spiritual awakening, I noticed how my struggle with conflicting truths intensified after the death of our beloved Father and the unexpected death of a beloved soul sister … and I wondered WHY ?

Apparently, there are (7) stages of spiritual awakening.

  1. Unhappiness and emptiness
  2. Perception shifts
  3. Seeking answers and meaning
  4. Finding answers and experiencing breakthroughs
  5. Disillusionment and feeling lost
  6. Deeper inner work
  7. Integration, expansion and JOY

I recognize that after Mams death, I was moving through stages (3) and (4). After Dads death, I was stuck in stage (5), which is WHY I came to Chenrezig to do the deeper inner work. Whether I believe I am a spiritual BEing having a human experience (or) a human BEing having a spiritual experience, I wasn’t feeling a wholeness in my BEing. I was experiencing myself as two separate parts, which created tension that was restricting my energy flow. Although my higher self has awoken to deeper truths, my habitual humanness still struggles to let go of dysfunctional thought patterns, unhealthy behavioural cycles and limited beliefs … and I wondered WHY ?

Before coming to Chenrezig I acknowledged, that although it was only a small step in the right direction, it somehow felt like I was taking a giant leap into my Faith. I suppose it made sense, considering I also acknowledged the need for more spiritual support. I came to Chenrezig because I was struggling with myself: I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t sure how to get to where I wanted to go. Like many others, I came seeking refuge, but didn’t really understand what that meant to me. I just knew that the help I needed was yet to be found.

I reflected over my grief process and wondered WHY I felt stuck ?

Grief isn’t just the sadness we feel because of what we have lost, it also guides us through our own process of change. Grief isn’t just a mourning experience, its also a transition and a NEW beginning for us. Everyone’s grief process is unique, so this is a little insight into mine. I felt the pain of my heart breaking the moment I was told of Mams diagnosis, which propelled me into a state of grief before we actually lost her. My experience of anticipatory grief took me on a very lonely journey. Throughout the dying process and after her death, my heart kept breaking open to deeper truths about love. Although I began to connect with her spirit a few days before her death, I still experienced the tensions in my heart. Tensions that guided me to certain places and people in the UK, that were instrumental to my healing, but my experience has been different with Dad.

When Dad was first diagnosed, I felt the tension in my head because I had a mental response, instead of an emotional reaction. I was conflicted between going ahead with my plans to move to the UK (or) to put my plans on hold. Throughout the dying process and after his death, I continued to experience the tension in my head. Some people believe its because I haven’t been able to fully feel the pain of my loss, but I disagree. I still feel the waves of sadness in my heart, but I know it wasn’t my heart that needed to break open.

I knew the persistent tension in my head was a resistance in my mind, but I couldn’t see what it was and I didn’t know how to shift it. So, I booked in for a reike session for some additional energetic support. During that session I didn’t tell her why I was there because I prefer people to be guided by spirit. Being intuitive, she picked up on the tension in my head, mentioned the need to energize my solar plexus and was overwhelmed by the openness of my heart chakra. She said she had never seen one like it before because it was crystallized … and I knew why.

I’ve come to my own realizations, but I’m not ready to share my story in its entirety just yet. I’ve already shared my thoughts about family as a system. How I see the Mother as being the heart and the Father as being the head. So it makes perfect sense to me, that the loss of our beloved Mother broke my heart open to deeper truths about love, and the loss of our beloved Father is opening my mind to deeper truths about life. As crazy as it may sound to some, I believe more than ever that our loss and healing is a collective experience. A belief that continues to guide me on the spiritual path I’m called to walk, and the process I keep trusting, even when I don’t always understand it.

My mind is still too agitated to be at peace, but I have found the teachings I need to achieve it. Buddhist teachings are heavily rooted in psychology and philosophy, which is what sets it a part from religion. It encourages us to know the nature of our own mind, helping us to recognize how an agitated mind creates suffering, which can then manifest into dis-orders and dis-ease. It was so validating to hear the Monk say this during a teaching, because I’ve been saying it for years. Buddhism is more interested in our current state of BEing, than what our faith based beliefs are, which is what appeals most to me. According to the Buddhist, an enlightened mind is fully present in the moment. Able to see the truth of reality as it really is without grasping, avoiding or attaching. If we are willing to be completely honest with ourselves, we will notice how often we mindlessly drift though our days on auto pilot, grasping, avoiding and attaching.

In hindsight, I wish I had studied Buddhism much earlier in life. Maybe I would have cared for our parents end of life with less anxiety? Perhaps I would have processed my grief with less trauma? But what if I had to experience the struggles to better understand my own suffering? Maybe this is all part of the healing process? Perhaps the experience is teaching me the skills I will need on the path? Maybe its guiding me towards my destiny?

I’ve been living and working at Chenrezig for 2 months and am so very grateful for the experience. The community not only opened its arms and embraced me, but the people have offered love, compassion and kindness, as they supported me though some very challenging times. I’ve met so many beautiful souls with open hearts and minds, learned some valuable lessons in the most unexpected ways, experienced a new way of BEing, which has opened up the path to so many more possibilities. I feel myself coming into alignment, as I integrate my spirit and dance with life once again. So, as I prepare myself to leave in a few days, I take the next steps with a stronger sense of faith in the journey.