Personal Review 2010 – 2020

let’s begin in 2010

I’ve not been all that inspired by the ‘review of the decade’ idea so far, but then, as I was folding fresh-from-the-washline tea towels and dropping into some kind of an alpha brain state (there were a lot to fold 😄), there it was.. my review writing itself for me in my head. By the time I began typing it out, the words were just flowing and I just kept transcribing them.

In 2010, my marriage came to an end in a really devastating-to-me way. I spent most of that year grieving, falling apart, having a complete collapse of faith and belief in the non-physical world I’d lived with one foot in for at least the previous decade, not to mention losing my faith in people. Looking back, I always described this as the ‘twin towers’ experience of my life, where I was left with everything I believed in, razed to the ground. At the time, it was terrible, but in time, I began to be grateful for everything it destroyed and the way I took the opportunity to build something new in its place.

That year, I spent hours upon hours doing EFT to get through the darkest bits that threatened to swallow me whole. I went to sleep with my ipod plugged in so that I didn’t have to listen to my own thoughts spiralling between despair and revenge. I went to bed with Mike Dooley and Abraham-Hicks and countless other uplifting, inspiring, revolutionary teachers in my ears, and when I woke up in the night, breathless from nightmares and waves of anxiety and grief crashing in on me, I just plugged my earphones back in and listened to their thoughts instead of my own. It changed my thinking, and my life right along with it.

By the end of that year, I joined a group coaching programme called Visionary Moms, run by Lisa Work, who helped me to unearth a juicy vision for my life, come to peace with the life I was already living, and introduced me to planning in a way I’d never grasped before. I also found myself in the most exquisite group of women, where I could be real, give my gifts, be received, and learn so much about myself. Sooo much!

As I was folding tea towels, it was actually this last bit of 2010 that first floated up into my mind. What I gave and received in this group was stellar. Over time, we’ve drifted apart, though still joined by a thread of connection that lights up every once in a while, and I love that it does. I still have the cheery cup cosy in my kitchen drawer, and the bunting they sent me hangs in my living room window, and my kids and I still refer back to the ‘box of hugs” this circle of women sent me in a dark time.

 

divorce, bankruptcy and dating again

A year after his betrayal, I’d worked through enough emotional baggage to file for divorce and I handled it all myself. Negotiating the terms with him, filing the papers in court, paying for it, all on my own, based on my own homework: legal and emotional; no solicitors, no mediators, just me. I’d also ended up with all of our debt in my name alone and no way to clear it on my own, floundering as I was as a single self employed mom with two children 4 and under at the time, so I also found myself filing for bankruptcy and losing a lifetime of solid creditworthiness, which felt surprisingly liberating instead of crushing me with shame as I thought it might. Still, it took another year after that before I was ready to move on as more than just a ‘single mom’, and consider dating again, which happened the same week my youngest weaned himself at 4, and my divorce was finalised.

I remember the tangible feeling, as if some kind of force field around me suddenly dissolved and I was ready to re-engage with the world outside my tiny family. It was perfect timing because I’d spent the previous year on my own, and celibate, consciously coming into a deep and nourishing relationship with myself for the first time, embodying self love and self responsibility for the first time, exploring my own intuitive version of a kind of solo tantra, and rediscovering my truest self from which I could relate to others from. This was revolutionary at the time although I can now see how far I still had to go.

For the next two years, most especially through the new relationships I was in and out of, I learned a whole lot more about myself.. and about relationships. I learned how deeply my codependence actually ran, and how poor my boundaries were. Well, I didn’t really learn how poor my boundaries were at that point, but I sure did live with the consequences of them! I also learned the difference between a lover, a partner, and a life partner (this alone was life-changing for me). I learned about the beliefs I had hidden inside me around love and sex, worthiness and abundance. I’d always fallen straight into long term relationships in the past, so these mostly short but powerful lessons were elucidating for me and how grateful I am for them and for the me that I became because of them.

 

endings, bullying, and re-awakenings

After the devastating and traumatic shift at the end of my marriage, I was a lot better at listening to the quieter calls for change along the way for a few years, but then had a few more intense and agonising kicks up the butt from a Universe I obviously wasn’t listening to very well any more. Over a year or so, I dealt with the endings of quite a few close, but, in hindsight, not very healthy, friendships, a spate of intense bullying in the home ed community, and my kids and I also found ourselves at risk of homelessness, which all contributed to the death of my business at the time, just as it had begun to see a profit.

Again, these events have all lead to way better circumstances.

As a result of these events, we also experienced the most unbelievable care and generosity from officials and our landlord and friends, that restored my faith in people and allowed wave upon wave of abundance to begin to flow through my life. Most importantly, I gained my first real sense of boundaries, especially when dealing with abusive authority figures or those who I perceived had ‘power over me’. It’s hard now to believe how I’d normalised that kind of abuse or what I was prepared to endure for my children in the unhealthiest of ways, but I had, and I also faced it and changed it, and I’m grateful to those who stood by me as I faced these challenges and transformed them into greater freedom and joy.

 

the next five years

Oh my, I just realised that’s just the first 5 years of the last decade! Well, in the next 5, I met my partner, Jol, and have finetuned my boundaries even more; waaaay more! I’ve learned to put myself first, to fill myself up before I give to others, to mirror other people’s investment in my relationships with them, and to listen to my feelings and to allow them all as fully as I can because they are my wisest counsel. And I know that this is a lifetime work for me.

 

a truer calling and a new business

I finally realised I’d been helping creatives and changemakers to share their businesses in the world, while holding back my own calling to do the same for me. I began building a business around all I’d learned in those first 5 years of the decade, trying and failing at many avenues, and still reorienting and feeling my way forward to what is true and aligned for me, even now. I started training in developing energy awareness and learning how to cultivate energy to create a better life. Over time, with the help of my teachers and their teachings, have healed myself of dozens and dozens of food intolerances and sensitivities, faced and healed cervical cancer last year, and have step by diligent step, begun to turn my whole life around yet again.. only much more gently this time.

 

art, decluttering, baking and family

I’ve embraced my inner creator and am creating art that I love enough to frame and put on my walls. I’ve invested in business memberships and mindset coaching, personal therapy, energy solutions sessions and energy, emotional and psychological tools of every kind, and I lean into them every day. I have my first ever consistent daily spiritual and self development practice and that has been the most solid foundation of all. I’ve KonMari’d and decluttered the hell out of my life – literally – and have the lightest, most organised, cleaned, and tidied home I’ve ever had in my life on a consistent basis. Which has, in turn, lead to a passion and talent for baking that I didn’t quite know the extent of! I’ve dealt with shifting co-parenting arrangements, extended family drama on all sides, and stayed true to myself and my values, becoming more compassionate and more boundaried at the same time! It’s been sad, and yet not surprising, to see family members fall away from my life since I stopped being the one to reach out. Being in recovery from over-functioning (giving too much and taking responsibility for other’s stuff) has been worth it and I’ve begun to see the rewards from holding a strong container for my own energy in other areas of my life (little talked about benefit of healthy boundaries!)

 

parenting and home education

I’ve home educated my kids from day one, growing as they do, learning new skills and owning others I already had, in ways I could never have dreamt of. I started along this path with nothing but a sense of rightness in my bones and a huge amount of faith. I’ve been doing it now for long enough to start to see the results of the parenting and educational path I’ve chosen for my family, and it’s truly awesome. I’m loving the teen years already for all the wild and sweet potential it has, feeling the healthy separation with my kids as it develops, and celebrating it for them, as well as for the newfound space for me and my own dreams. Nothing ever needs to be forced and there’s no joy for me in trying to push the river.. surrender and flow and faith all have their own gifts close behind them.

 

authority and the justice system

Alongside the beauty, I’ve also been catapulted into dealing with prisons and police and social services and the local authority, and been appalled at the incompetencies and failings of a world I didn’t even have on my radar before external circumstances put it there, and I’m left wondering what, if anything, I can offer to make it better in any way. I don’t know if it’s possible, or even if it’s my path, but I can see that, at least in some small places, where I showed up fully as myself, strong in my commitment to my choices as a parent, I’ve left some individuals in that system inspired, and as a bonus, found my own phantoms about authority that I’d carried and feared for years have dissolved.

 

cancer and writing a book

In many ways, my dealing with doctors and consultants in the NHS through finding and dealing with cancer on my cervix was similar. In a system where the power balance is anything but collaborative, and self responsibility is an enigma, I had to hold the clearest boundaries, express the clearest needs, reinforce the need for active consent time and time again in a way that was challenging as well as inspiring. It was such a powerful experience that I’ve finally begun to ‘write’ and have started drafting a book documenting my experience and my lessons, which has led to me also starting to write a book, or maybe a course (we shall see), on boundaries in relationship with a partner.

 

a highly sensitive extrovert

Somewhere amongst all that, I’ve continued to learn about who I am and I learned all about high sensory-processing sensitivity, or being a Highly Sensitive Person, which was AMAZING! I also embraced myself as an extrovert with high sensitivity, rather than an introvert, and that has made so much sense for me. Elaine Aron’s books and film in particular validated me in ways I didn’t even know I needed validating. This is so huge for me but so hard to express in a few lines!

 

2020 – bring it on

So much growth and change and liberation and love and loss in just ten short years.. and some astrologers say 2020 will hold so much more potential for the same!! Well, bring it on is all I can say.

I’m just going to keep focusing on living with authenticity and integrity, with love and compassion, and honing, honing, honing those healthy boundaries and self love, and expect that everything that appears for me from that space is for my own highest good and has the potential to weed out and compost even more lack and old wounding, and make space for the truest most beautiful soul that I am to actualise and blossom in its place over time.

 

love,

2 Comments

  1. Janice

    Thank you Natalie for a beautifully written story of your past 10 years. I look forward to reading more inspirations flowing from you. I have worked with Stephen and Lynda for 16 years which has also resulted in many changes in my life.

    Reply
    • Natalie Chalmers

      So lovely to hear from you, Janice, and to know you read and enjoyed my personal review. 😊 I have a lot of drafts in the works, but they seem to be slow in coming to fruition and being published here, but I hope that you’ll enjoy them when they are! In the meantime, if you’re on social media, I’m posting daily on Facebook and Instagram (links to my profiles are in the footer of this page). Savita!

      Reply

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