What’s Really Going On, Nicole?

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“Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else.”
~ Mignon McLaughlin

 

I’ve had a cranky few days.

I could explain it away as lack of sleep – too much noisy koala sex outside my bedroom window keeping me awake all night – but that would not be it. A contributing factor? Sure. But still, I know my own mind.

Which is why I have a handy question for such instances.

‘What’s really going on, Nicole?’

That’s what I ask myself. Because I know that I know…

So, yesterday, I asked myself, ‘What’s really going on, Nicole?’

‘Oh, just shut up!’ I told myself in my best cranky voice. ‘Leave me alone. I’m just tired. I’m just busy. That’s all.’

The word ‘just’ is a huge red flag for me. It’s my cop-out word. It’s my loaded word. It’s nothing… It’s just…

It’s just that I’m obviously avoiding some big fat thing that I don’t want to talk about.

Hmmmm.

Does that sound familiar to you?

Are you sniffing, and flicking your hair, and shaking your head, and turning away, and saying ‘Fine, I’m just fine…’ at something too?

It’s no good living with a stompy five-year-old in my head having a temper tantrum. That’s not how I want my year to be. 2016, among other things, is about bringing what is hidden into the light. It’s about owning our shadow, and the unclaimed and rejected parts of ourselves, our families, our societies.

I decided to make a pot of tea and do some journalling using a technique called Left Hand Right Hand Dialogue for connecting to that cranky inner child.

 

Let me show you what followed:

Big Nicole: ‘Hi, Little Nicole’ I asked with my dominant hand. ‘What’s really going on?’

Little Nicole: ‘Your planner is dumb!’ I responded with my non-dominant hand, in words so cranky they made stab holes in the page.

Big Nicole: Surprised, (I love my Planner and have been using this method for years) I asked ‘Why do you feel that way?’

Little Nicole: ‘I don’t want to do it. I don’t like it. It’s stupid.’

Big Nicole: ‘Why don’t you like it?’

Little Nicole: ‘I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to have to do that thing.’

I immediately experienced a sinking feeling in my stomach. My stupid Planner. Yep. It’s four days into January and I still haven’t chosen or brainstormed my One Big Thing.

Except.

Actually.

I have.

Last year when I was working with Bek, my graphic designer, she asked for an example of a mind-map that we could use as an illustration in my Planner. I happily obliged, telling myself, ‘I’ll just choose this thing, because it’s a good example, and it’s not really my One Big Thing. ‘Next year I’ll choose something different. Something business-y. Or health. Or… something.’

Here’s that thing I keep avoiding.

mind map

What’s really going on, Nicole?

Shut up, alright. I just don’t want to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People will know I’m weird. I won’t be able to take it back once it’s been said. People will judge me. I’ll be laughed at. Rejected.

It won’t be good enough.

I won’t be good enough.

I don’t want to do it.

Except that I really do. It’s the thing I care about so much. Every time I think about the manuscript, finished and needing editing and sitting in my bottom drawer. Every time I think about it, or avoid thinking about it, or do it, or actively avoid doing it, Black Cockatoos fly over my farm, squawking loudly. My Aunties, encouraging me. Reminding me. I am this thing. I need to be this thing.

That’s what my Aunties told me about Black Cockatoos, all those years ago as I sat in the dirt in a circle of wise Aboriginal Women.

“Dis fella keep you company too. Remind you of your black sisters, up here in dis country. Even when you leave and go far, far from here, dese black fella birds and their yella-tailed cousins will find you. Sing to you and say ‘Remember, Remember,’ No way we let you forget. Dat story in you now. You belong part of our family now.”

“One day you live somewhere, you call dat country home. Smell like dis place. Earth. Sea. But make you happy again. We send all dem black fella birds remind you your promise. Remind you your story. Then you know it’s time. Time to be dat story. Live dat story in your heart. Live your true Dreaming.”

 

Already, people who are working with my Planner have been sending me encouraging messages about my memoir. Because I used that stupid example, and it’s there on the page for everyone to see.

Have I started it yet? they ask. Can’t wait to read it!

Do you need an accountability buddy?

??????????????????????????

Bugger.

Today I will sit with my Planner and map out how to properly make my memoir my One Big Thing.

I’m not resisting now. I’ve had my little moment. It’s time to own this thing in me. To own my story and put it out into the world. And then move on to something else.

I am what I am. My ‘Otherness’ is what shapes me. It will all be okay.

I highly recommend asking yourself the question.

What’s really going on?

Examining stuckness, resistance and repressed emotion is always a good thing. Bring that which is hidden out into the Light.

book

25 thoughts on “What’s Really Going On, Nicole?

  1. Hey you. Was asking myself something very similar last night. Exploring my ancestry was fun, but was SO much me avoiding the same thing. What is my one big thing for 2016. Exactly the same self doubt. Thanks for posting. It helps to know it’s not just me AND there is a way through xx

  2. Your agonised blog today has sent me to you for the first time. Genevieve Lilley is my fab stepdaughter & she put me in touch with you many moons ago as we have a young neighbour who is bedridden with Lyme.
    Firstly your stamina & courage light the planet & offer extraordinary comfort to many.
    Now why I am replying after knowing you silently is in hope of offering you a small comfort.
    We have had a huge, wonderful (26) family christmas, yes Genevieve too!
    It has been challenging emotionally & the female members of the family are all confused by a sisters behaviour.
    What to do?

    I have been blessed to find a perfect white feather nearly every day since Christmas. This has never happened to me before but I know I am surrounded & reminded to be cognisant of great wisdom & patience. Maybe you will find these white feathers at the farm?
    Maybe a circle of white feathers around the noisy gum outside your window will calm the sexy koalas?

    This ancestor year is amazing already, blessings for you,
    Sharon

  3. Nic I believe that all the people you are worried will judge you are the same people who are simply terrified that everything you say is true. It’s their issue not yours. I think you’ll be surprised how little judgement of you there will be and any that does come up says far more about the judge than you. We LOVE you for being special you. Every single bit. Even the cranky bits xxxx

  4. Yay! Can I put my order in now please? How do we get an invitation to the launch? Will you sign my copy for me, Nicole? I have a book shelf especially for ancestral tomes and books written by folks I know – there’s a space waiting, so don’t make it too long 🙂 <3 You go girl

  5. Congrats on the breakthrough Nicole. Have you read “Big Magic ‘creative living beyond fear’ ” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m only half way through but I find it a refreshing look at boring instincts that hold us all back such as fear, perfectionism, never finishing stuff, worrying that people notice everything, criticism etc etc .yawn yawn lol:). At the end of the day this is your story and we know how much it has come from the heart. To my mind a book doesn’t get much better than that. Lots of love, Ange xxx

  6. Oh haha.. Yes, yes,yes. The Dreaming.
    It’s your “engwadhja”.
    You bring him story outa that stone and put him in the hearts of those people. And the story goes round and round in their brains, what they are thinking in their brains. It goes round and round and washes up things.
    And then they feel better.

  7. Dear Nicole, The fears of people judging you. – Are they any different to those who judge already? We all have our coterie of ‘judgers’ and we always will. Although it may be hard to bare your soul, you do it right here on your blog and in your retreats…. it’s in cyberspace 🙂 You are very honest in sharing subjects most people would not want to admit about themselves and you have, which helps others know they are not alone. Your Aunties chose you because you have a beautiful gift, and they didn’t choose you lightly. They have honoured you in sharing their gifts. So keep doing the ‘thing’ you were put here for. We all love and support you. We have your back. Much love xxx

  8. Thanks for this so much Nicole. My inner cranky has been visting a lot lately too accompanied by Big Sister doubt. Loving using your planner – day 2 ahead. Much much love sista XX

  9. I just have to say, I love what you’ve written. “People will think I’m weird, people will judge me, I’ll be laughed at, rejected” these exact thoughts run through my head at the moment as I contemplate charting a new course. It’s one thing to have the perfect plan all thought out in your head and another to put it out there for all the world to see. Thankyou for your beautiful and honest post it has inspired me today.

  10. Hi Nicole,

    You’re describing something similar to what I am experiencing. My son just moved out and I’ve been on my own since early December so I’m in a huge transition phase. I’m reacting by gorging on junk food, getting way to little sleep, getting lost on FB (my favorite unconscious time stealer) and being totally distracted. I’ve been getting signs that it’s time to stop messing around and get down to it. I need to make space for my new life as a Spiritual Ecologist and Spiritual Entomologist. I have ideas for books (don’t feel it’s time for that yet), classes, youtube videos, oracle cards and more. I’ve done some small things up to now – small, free, safe. Still working in corporate. This is the year to change that.

    And I know your planner is going to help….I just need to get my butt in gear and get started.

    I know I need to look at what is going on, then love, accept and release it all so I can be my authentic, shiny, much larger and more powerful and beautiful me. I think I may try that dominant/non-dominant hand writing. Could prove very interesting.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration.

    Blessings, Lori

  11. Gorgeous Nicole – Oh we are so way overdue for your story of deep, deep Remembering. You are living your True Dreaming and the beautiful way you write brings tears of joy, love, sadness as the Remembering filters through your words to me. I could hear the Aunties saying that to you with an indigenous accent and it made me well up. The Aunties placed their trust, faith,and knowingness that you could get this message out. No second guessing on this one Beauty!! Go for it, without a doubt!! Mwah! xxxxxx

  12. Nicole, how I wish I had had your circle of wise Aboriginal Women. My nuclear family was VERY isolated from extended family for reasons too personal to go into here. I had my mother, an aunt and a part-time grandmother. I often feel like a blind person with a red and white cane ad my primary source of wisdom. Any suggestions?

  13. Ha, I love it. I just realised that I will have finished the first draft of my book in about 6 weeks…and then there is some stuff I haven’t done before. Like…editing, rewriting and crafting a large document. Like, get beta readers, like get a good editor, graphic designer. Like…yeah, you know. But meanwhile, just do the next thing. Which is finish it. Good luck Nicole!

  14. Pingback: The Power of Positive Self Talk | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

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