Category Archives: Interviews

11 June 2013 – Alone Without Being Lonely?

One of the biggest fears in society today is loneliness.  We are historically tribal creatures whose ancestry stems from small groups working and co-operating together to survive.  As we progress, however, we are losing that sense of co-operation and finding ourselves in living conditions that are far from these tribal beginnings.

For example there are more single women living and existing on their own than ever before, resulting from shifts in attitude of self preservation, increased acceptance of divorce in society, changes in priority of choosing career over families and the change in work opportunities to include working away (Fly in Fly out – FIFO) arrangements.

So this begs the question, without a “tribe” don’t these single women get lonely?

Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t, perhaps they have developed a balance between loneliness and freedom.  As it is likely that we will all be single at some point in our lives, I decided to find out.  I asked a number of single women that I admire to share their thoughts on how they live their life and cope with loneliness and here are their answers:

How long have you been on your own?

SM: 6 years;  SE: almost 2 years;  LB: 25 years plus;  DO: Wow hard to believe its 16 years;  AR: 2yrs, but 8yrs since being in a serious relationship.

What circumstances resulted in you being on your own?

SM, LB: Divorce

SE: I decided to return to Perth after doing FIFO work with my partner due to family circumstances, my partner stayed on.

DO: My marriage ended for various reasons but initially infidelity.  From there it is was more me not having faith in myself or trust in others.

AR: My boyfriend moved interstate to be closer to family which resulted in our relationship ending.

What do you enjoy about being on your own?

SM: I enjoy the freedom it brings.  I can totally be myself and do whatever I feel like doing without recourse.  I can spend money how and when I like, I can be the person I want to be.

SE: I enjoy that everything is in my time, the house stays the same which then allows more time for me or anything that comes up.

LB: I love having my own space, things are the way I want them and I am in control.

DO: In the beginning I didn’t like been on my own, now I thrive on it.  I have no one else to answer to, I make my own choices and decisions based on my family’s requirements not on what anyone else expects.

AR: I enjoy the freedom to make my own decisions on a whim without consultation and the ability to do whatever I feel like without considering what my partner might want to do.  And of course cleaning up only after myself and not someone else. 

What do you most like to do with your time when you are alone?

SM: I like to read mostly and meditate and relax, I have mastered the ability when I am alone, to ignore that I have lots to do.

SE: I like to relax on the lounge, potter around the house, read a magazine, be in my own space.

LB: I love to take the paper down to a café and read it without interruption, I also spend time thinking, making sure I am working through any life issues that I need to.

DO: I love to do my gardens and make my home tidy.  I also like to watch TV it’s so much better to watch on your own no one to interrupt or steal the remote control.

AR: I do all the things I have intended to do all week. I have subscribed to a few blogs and things I am interested in, on the net so spend time working through these.   I have a space in my home that is all about me, I like to spend time in it writing in my journal.

What do you not enjoy about being on your own?

SM: In most instances I gain energy from other people and with that energy get lots of things done and can be adventurous.  That goes when I am on my own, I often find I am either seeking company or spending a lot of time resting.  Seeking company is fine but you can often draw in people that aren’t that good for you.  Rest is good too but when you are alone your mind has space to consider all of its insecurities.

SE: I don’t enjoy the sense of feeling lonely and being dependable on people just because I’m lonely.  Weekends are the hardest sometimes, during the week it’s about routine, but when the weekend comes I feel lonely, especially on a Sunday night.

LB: I actually really love being on my own, there isn’t much about it that I don’t like.  I have been on my own for such a long time, I enjoy the freedom which I did not have while in a relationship, so it suits me.  I do get frustrated at times when I have to move heavy things or things around the house need fixing but that is minor.

DO: I miss having someone to love me as me for me and share the financial burdens in life.

AR: It would be nice to have someone to be spontaneous with and to talk about mundane day to day events which you wouldn’t bother bringing up in conversation with friends.

What has been the most difficult hurdle for you to overcome being on your own?

SM: I had to get over the feeling of being unacceptable as I am in and alone again on a Saturday night.

SE: Not feeling scared in my own home, to get use to the noises and that I am not always going to be busy and there will be nights that I am on my own with nothing to do.

LB: I found it a financial burden of being on my own, there is only my wage to rely on, if I get sick it will be a problem.  I have, however, invested in insurance to give me more of a sense of security.

DO: Being the 3rd wheel at gatherings or not been invited at all because I’m the odd one out.

AR: Special Days are the hardest when everyone has family events or plans with their partner and I am on my own.  I have worked out some strategies though to help with this.

When you feel lonely how do you overcome this feeling?

SM: I work actively on being engaged in a broader space, trying to gain little connections with whoever crosses my path, so get a more community spirit going.  For example I engage with the local shop keeper or one of the neighbours passing my house and smile a lot.  I try to be as adventurous as possible and within reason say yes.  This becomes a benefit to being on my own as it actually leads to some interesting opportunities.

SE: I watch a DVD or play on my phone, which I know is bad….but I am changing that by reading good books.

LB: I have a cup of tea or ring a friend for a chat.  I have also spent time thinking about what it is I really like to do, what my interests are and then I make sure I have capacity to do it.  I love gardening so I have subscribed to a magazine and when I feel lonely I try something new in the garden.

DO: I call my Mum or my best friend, I tell them straight up that I am feeling a bit lost and lonely.  They always make me feel better just talking to someone lifts my spirits.

AR: I look around on the internet for courses or interests that I have and enrol in something to broaden my circle of friends.  It can be a little hard going to things on your own for the first time but you soon get over that and it is so wonderful to meet other people with the same or similar interests.

What practical measures would you suggest to a person who has recently found themselves in this situation?

SM: Get connected but try not to be too busy or actively fill up your entire day.  It is ok to be and feel lonely, it is not a disease.  You could alternatively feel that the extra space you have could be used positively to find out who you are, try new things or be more adventurous than you would be with a partner.

SE: Enjoy it, get used to being in your own company.  Read a book, cook a nice meal, go for lovely walks, really try and make the time about you and giving you and your body what it needs (quiet time, nice healthy food).

LB: I would counsel that it is best to accept the situation as quickly as possible, to stay in touch with friends and get to know yourself.

DO: You have do what is right for number 1 – YOU.  Strive to rise above petty annoyances and concentrate on what’s most important to you, not what everyone else sees as important.  Happy, healthy you, happy, healthy family.  I always say keep occupied, find a piece of dirt, dig a garden bed, plant something and watch it grow, it will give you strength to try new things!

AR: Enjoy it, it may not last forever and if and when you do get a partner you will miss that time on your own, I guarantee it.

And finally…

What character/s have you developed by being on your own that you would not have had to develop by being in a relationship?

SM: Like any minority, Bravery – it is the more difficult road.

SE: To not be dependable on others, to nurture and look after me.  Its only been this experience that has opened my eyes up to how busy I was making my life – I am grateful.  I also get excited about seeing my partner come home, even though I know when he is home, its excitement rather than routine.

LB: The time I have spent alone has taught me that I am actually an okay person.

DO: I’m a lady “bob the Builder” and proud of it.  I have a shed full of tools and I’m sure I would never have been this strong and independent had I been in relationship.  I also have no fear of anything when it comes to my child’s safety … I am so much more mindful of what’s going on the world now and how it will affect me  …. Before I would just go with the flow – not now I am the flow!

AR: I have learned independence and to be strong in order to cope with situations on my own.

7 June 2013 – Interview Heroines with Heart

I was recently very honoured to be asked to do an interview for my friend Claire’s Heroines with Heart segment of her wonderful and incredibly successful blog – This is Lifeblood, and here is how it went…

Today’s Heroine with Heart is a very special person in my life. Synchronicity brought Fiona Ferreira into my world when I had hit absolutely rock bottom. My entire life had changed overnight; I was lost, confused, angry, anxious, heartbroken and in serious need of some healing. Fiona’s blend of reiki, meditation and energy healing has transformed so many areas of my life, physically and emotionally. I have written about my personal experiences with reiki here, here and here.

Fiona is not only a Reiki 2 Practitioner, Writer and Blogger but also a wonderful Mum to two young children. She seriously blows my mind with her intuition and her ability to give so much to the world. She has the biggest heart of GOLD and I am beyond thrilled to introduce her to you today.

___________________________________________

So, first things first. What is your dream?

My dream is to be successful. Success to me is enjoying every aspect of my life, career, relationships, hobbies, money, exercise etc… It’s not just about having these things, it’s about enjoying them too and the enjoyment comes from fulfilment where the activity does not own me and I have it/do it because I choose to. To fulfil my dream I actively work on self discovery, confidence, defining happiness, peacefulness and love.

What makes up your lifeblood?

My passion is to live a spiritual, creative, exciting life full of adventure and making connections with people who are travelling down the same road as me.

What has been your biggest fear to date to overcome?

My biggest past fear was the fear of “losing” my children as during our divorce proceedings my ex-husband insisted on shared care. I was worried that the children would make preferences between households and reject me. I feared losing my influence on them and that the less time we spent together, the less the kids would bond with me. For these reasons I turned into a horrible control freak, until one day it dawned on me that I could not control what was happening and that I really had to make the best of it.

I set about trying to reconnect to my heart so I could then live through it. Once I did this my relationship with my children blossomed and I cannot imagine we will ever not be close irrespective of the amount of time we spend together or how different the households are.

Being healthy means that I…

Feel strong in body, mind and spirit. I was a slow learner on this one. Connecting the dots between my thoughts, my beliefs and the consequent desire for physical health took me some time to master. I started working on the health of my mind, then my spirit after which the health of my body, which I had struggled with in the past, came easy. I did not change diet or exercise significantly, but just found a natural balance which keeps my body strong.

To me, the word ‘healing’ means…

True healing is going deep into self discovery and changing what it is that isn’t working for you anymore. Healing is identifying and then moving emotional and energetic blockages that hold you back in life. Deep healing is a cellular level, it creates a sense of calm, a sense of peace, it is when you still have day to day things to deal with but have moved most of your baggage and you are no longer controlled by past experiences or outmoded ways of doing things. It is losing the need and doing/having because you choose to.

Where is your ultimate travel destination?

Is this a trick question to see if I am adventurous or not? I don’t know, I used to be a big traveller but the interest has faded. But if I had to choose I would have to say Scotland is up there as I feel a spiritual connection, particularly to the Scottish countryside.

What DRIVES you?

I love being part of self discovery, being a part of a new story, a new person/client which brings new energy and momentum for achieving their peace. There is nothing better than hearing someone make the connection… The AHA moments.

Choosing love over fear means…

Personal growth. In life there are always choices between taking the easy road and the hard road. In most instances choosing the hard road brings personal growth and the courage of that choice brings self respect, therefore stems from a love for yourself.

Choosing the easy road is often done out of fear and can limit growth.

I feel really creative when I…

Write. I have so many ideas and thoughts, solutions and stories to tell and to get them down on paper, to share them, satisfies my creative side.

If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?

Stop trying to grow up so quickly. I spent a lot of time in childhood thinking I was missing out because we lived on a farm out of town. I didn’t get to go out with friends who hung out with older kids who drove laps between the main street of town and the beach to see who else was driving laps (affectionately known as “bog laps”).

In reality I could have enjoyed those innocent years more by an understanding that there is plenty of time to do bog laps and that by doing the same things as everyone else isn’t necessarily the best option (I mean seriously – bog laps!!).

Can you share with us your secret pleasure?

I am such a geek, I looooooooove Lord of the Rings. Recently I was home sick from work and spent an entire day watching nearly all of the movies. I can see in my crystal ball another day in the near future – with a bad headache coming on….