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Where Stuff’s At …

Wow, I love the memory of being such an active blogger.

Unfortunately my health has continued to decline and writing has become very difficult for me. I’m learning the speak to text strategy but it’s not the same. I seem to think while I’m typing, so trying to think while speaking feels much more like being put on the spot.

Anyway, I’ve also been extremely unwell over the warmer months, with my health just seeming to get worse and worse. So I just haven’t had the energy to write OR speak a post during this difficult time.

I hate to sound soppy and self-pitying, but I’m not sure this post can come across as anything but?

I really got a bit sad that I wasn’t getting any of my thoughts out there or discussing things with the interesting people I know follow this blog. And I wanted to firstly, start my blogging back up again, and secondly, fill you all in with where I’m at.

So … let the soppy begin …

As I said above, my health has deteriorated. But to be clear, it has deteriorated intensely.

I now have paramedics out every few days, sometimes every second day. I do this when I am extremely syncopal (passing out) and need IV fluids to fill my blood volume again, to prevent the syncopes.

I’ve also had a lot of hospital trips when the paramedics couldn’t stabilise me at home.

And there’s been the occasional admission to hospital for migraines and severe pressure headaches that are un manageable with my medications and also go on for several days.

At the same time, we’ve had a billion other things we’ve been trying to tend to.

One of the things we’ve done that has proven pretty fruitful, is to keep researching the conditions I have. We realised that one of the conditions I have, that has to do with mast cells, is linked, or mirrors (if that makes more sense) someone who is allergic to a huge amount of stuff and whose allergic threshold lowers to the point that they begin having allergic reactions to things they have never reacted to before. So this particular allergic threshold spirals further and further down, creating more and more restrictions in foods, household items like soaps etc., medicines or medical equipment (like the tape they use on cannulas etc.) and environmental factors such as pollens, chemicals, grasses, trees, weeds — all of which I am surrounded by.

From the outside, it basically looks like my body is shutting down on itself.

No. Not a very nice thing for the witnesses to watch or me to be experiencing.

But at least we figured out, through a variety of methods, that a better climate, where the environmental allergens are much less impactful on my body, is what I need — quite urgently.

Every doctor that we speak to urges us to move to a high, dry and cold environment — every. single. doctor.

I have to admit, that was a bit of a shock at first, but the more we researched and talked with doctors and the more we looked back on my life and remembered the times I have been very sick while living in an environment full of things I was allergic or sensitive to, and then we moved to a better environment for me and my health improved dramatically — the more everything began to make more sense.

When you’re trying to explain it to people for the first time it’s really difficult, so hopefully I haven’t just confused the crap out of y’all. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

But now that that’s done, I feel like it might be easier to just get on with blogging or vlogging without quite so much confusion around why my body is as unwell as it is.

I have had so many posts I’ve wanted to write or videos I’ve wanted to record, about things like the silver linings to being so disablingly unwell, our amazing paramedics, watching how families can bond tighter in these situations as well as all my ballet stuff … which, to be honest, isn’t very much but it’s still my favourite passion and I still want to talk about it.

I’m proud of myself for continuing my exercise regime and my ballet-physio every day (most days.) Even though I only do a tiny amount now, I am holding hope in my heart and determination in my mind, that one day I will be able to do so much more.

Boy, do I have plans, for when I get my health back.

Anyway, we have started a fundraiser for us to hopefully be able to afford to buy a caravan and then we’ll just move into the caravan, in the better environment that we know my body responds well to.

So the fundraiser is at the link: Zoe’s Fundraiser

If you feel you’re in a position to donate to our fundraiser then that’s fantastic. If you can’t donate, you can help just by sharing the fundraising page.

Alternatively you can also like our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/helpzoegetherlifeback and share the page or posts you like.

Ok. That’s it for now, guys. If you read to the bottom, thank you. You’re a gem. If you didn’t, I just hope you read enough to understand where I’m at, because I won’t be explaining it over and over again.

Much love to you all. I hope you have a wonderful day/night/moment today.

Love,

Zoe xxx

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Dear Dream Seekers

Dear Dream Seekers,

You are wonderful. You are inspiration. You are life being lived.

I love seeing so many adult ballerinas emerging currently. Particularly on Instagram, it’s like watching these beautiful buds of hidden desires start opening their dare-to-dream petals and blossom into the most beautiful, soulful dancers.

Something I have noticed is that there seems to be an ever persistent pressure flowing from within many of the adult ballet students I see.

Inner pressure to be good at something we love is not a new thing. It is natural to want to progress.

And I am no stranger to that inner pressure. I felt it. I breathed it in and out, day and night. And it happily went and killed my love of ballet (for a while.)

And so I feel a little sad when I see people putting huge amounts of pressure on themselves to be better at something they love.

I mean, if you love it, then you should be doing it for love.

Let’s repeat that: If you love it, you should be doing it for love.

I know that you want progress. And I know that the ballet studio is a pretty intense place regarding your progress — indeed, it can sometimes feel like a comparison festival is happening in each class.

Everything you want is a valid desire. Improvement, enjoyment, strength, musicality, memories, flexibilities. It’s up to you what you want to aim for. It’s your life. Your choice. No-one else can, or has the right to, choose them for you.

But please be sure to think about it first. Think about you and what you really want because of how those things make YOU feel.

Don’t look at what someone else is doing and just follow along. God knows, you might wake up ten years from now able to do the splits but not able to dance in the centre. You might then shake your fists in the air and scream at yourself for following the splits trend only because it was what others were doing — and you missed getting your teacher to help you learn some amazing mini-solo piece that feels like heaven to dance.

Don’t set yourself up to one day wreak of regret.

So, with that in mind, what I do hope you do is sit with yourself a while. Ask yourself what you feel in this moment you want to do — like actually do right now — because you never know what amazing idea might have been waiting to flow through you but just hasn’t had the window opened to it before.

Then, ask yourself what you think you might regret NOT doing in twenty years time. I usually get my deepest inspirations flowing from this one.

Then lovingly think about all the things you, your body and mind, are good at doing. Really appreciate those things. If ballet is your thing, maybe you’re really musical and your body just naturally flows with the music, maybe you have lovely hand expressions, maybe you have a sparkly passion, maybe you have strong muscles, maybe you can smile during class (harder for some than others!), maybe you understand combinations, maybe you are flexible, or have lovely feet, or maybe you feel your soul fill up during ballet class.

These are all wonderful elements of what you do and of how you feel. I feel it’s important to fully embrace them. Soak yourself in the things about you and your passion, that you love.

When thinking about what goals to set yourself, or what path to set off on, I think it’s really important to take stock first, of all the wonderful parts of yourself that already exist within your passion.

I would look at what you love doing now, look at what you would regret not doing, and set your path accordingly.

If achieving the splits for ballet is part of that path then set your goals and go for it. If it’s smiling more during class, or learning a combination, or performing — then set your goals and go for them.

But be sure to start your intentional path with the full acceptance of how incredible you already are.

Be sure that you don’t discount all of your gloriousness and just focus on what you cannot yet do. If you do that you will be starting your journey with a destructive cycle of focusing on your downfalls. You should be real about yourself. But leave the negativity at the door. If negative self-worth is already an issue for you then I would suggest adding that to your goals — “Learn to love myself for all that I am.” That, and if neccesary, see a therapist, because honestly, that bullshit will become a serious obstacle to you fully realising your dreams.

So, in summary…

1) Align your goals with what YOU enjoy doing and what you feel you will regret not doing.

2) Make sure to begin your path to your goals/dreams/passions swimming in self-appreciation for all the wonder you already are.

Always remember why you’re doing it.

Always respect yourself for doing it.

Always hold your head high.

Remember,

You deserve to be in the room.

Zoe xxx

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Above and Beyond…

Paramedics were called out again this afternoon. Not great.

HOWEVER…

While here, they told me about the headway they’ve been making in getting our little rural hospital to give me regular, preemptive special IV therapy.

The idea being that this IV therapy would hopefully reduce the amount of times I need emergency calls to ambulance services, helping me to not get as severely sick as regularly as I am at the moment and not clog up their services when someone else could be doing it. It’s not a perfect system but it’s better than anything we’ve got going now.

We’ve been trying to get doctors and community nurses to make this happen for a long time now, without any luck.

So one of our amazing paramedics decided to march up to the community nurses and the hospital and see what they could do to get it happening for me.

And today, one of these amazing paramedics said he’d convinced the hospital and nurses to give it a try and see if it helps — probably just over summer, as that’s when I tend to need this treatment the most.

It just blows my mind when I see someone go above and beyond, to help others.

Thank you Mr. Paramedic. You rock.

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Ballet-Physio Update

A few supine leg stretches. Feels great to be moving again.

Hope everyone is treating themselves fairly, cause you know, unfair treatment of yourself will likely lead you to a place you don’t want to visit.

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This Time Around

This time round on my ballet journey, I have the power of knowledge alongside me. I am aware of my body’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s funny because, although this time round I have many many more challenges, I am choosing to see those challenges as opportunities to do things the right way for me, and therefor achieve more of my dreams and goals.

Last time, I had hopes and dreams but was continuously failing. I was continuously feeling my body crumble when it didn’t seem like it should.

I was being told my body was perfect for ballet and “should” be able to make all these perfect ballet shapes if I tried hard enough.

I also had a strange fear of movement. I began to get over that fear while I was at the barre — in fact, Iearned to adore the feeling of movement at the barre, and I even started feeling a little more confident with some pirouettes.

But move me away from the barre and I completely froze up.

I remember during my first private class my teacher tried to teach me a very simply pasย deย bourree with a simple relaxed pirouette on the end.

But it was the strangest thing. It felt like I was learning to walk again. Like everything was foreign to me. Like I didn’t even know my left from my right. Like I didn’t even know my own name anymore.

I used to walk away from centre time feeling so deflated. I didn’t understand why my body felt so weak in the centre and I didn’t feel like it would ever end.

(I do have to add that my in-class teachers were wonderful. They would always say, ‘Just give it a try!’ They could see I was really struggling and didn’t make me feel worse for it. And I am incredibly grateful for that!)

Now, after having experienced such a massive physical breakdown, and doctors finally being forced to pay attention — and that attention leading to the right diagnoses’ and now treatment, has meant that I actually know now why my body was not ‘failing’ but struggling with certain elements and why I felt so awkward doing centre work. Yes, there are actual physiological reasons for it!

So many things make sense to me now.

I remember during my hardest days a few months ago, I would lie there, unable to speak properly, unable to stand up, unable to wash myself,ย pain searing through my body, and I would try to think of the good things in my life. I found them in my children and my hopes for better times some day. But it was bloody hard to find them. Some days I was too consumed by my suffering to find them and I just wished for the day to end.ย 

But I never thought I would one day look back at that time and see it as a vital part of my future success.

And that is what it is. (I am not ignorantly suggesting that this is how it is for all chronic illness sufferers. We all have our own journeys.)

There will be many ups and downs ahead. And my daily grind is still a pretty heavy grind.

But now I am armed with knowledge and am moving forward in an achievable way, giving my body all the support and understanding it needs, to get me where I want to go.

And understanding makes ALL the difference. I’m no longer confused. I no longer feel like a failure. I feel more confident that I can achieve my dreams than I have ever felt before — because I have adjusted my dreams and the ways I intend on achieving them.

I may have health issues that are making me see things in this new light, but I think it’s relatable to everyone who may start to feel that pressured feeling about what they’re trying to achieve.

I suggest we all stop comparing ourselves to others and start learning about our own bodies, how we work and don’t work and start working WITH ourselves rather than against ourselves. As that is how I see the greatest growth happening.

Zoe xxx

P.S remember, if you like it… share it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Give Your Dreams a Spark (aka: saying them out loud)

Remember this…

Uncaging Secrets

Okay, so upon thinking about it overnight I realise that this isn’t really that deep or dark a secret. And I may have even mentioned it here before, but I am admitting it super duperly, no-turning-back, loud and clear now… 

I wanna know want it feels like to dance en pointe. 

In other words… I WANT TO DANCE EN POINTE! 
In other, other words: I want to slide my feet into pointe shoes, strap those baby’s on and take a tour of the dance floor. 
There. I said it. I mean, it’s obviously not really that much of a secret, but I haven’t gone all out with it before because I feel like such a dick when I say it. Like, I want to crawl under a table when I say it. 
I may, or may not be crawling under a table right now. 
I still have people in my real life finding out that I do ballet from my deck in the bush, and some are overwhelmingly positive about it and others don’t get it. Although I still feel very uncomfortable when people want to talk about it (especially when they don’t get it but want to keep talking about it), I have learned to remind myself that it may seem silly to other people, but to me it was either ballet or a therapist, medication and some pretty dark shit. 
So to choose ballet seems like the most un-silly thing in the world — to me. 
My point is that I’m getting better at not crawling under the table when people say they heard about my ballet (I think about the table but I don’t go there) ๐Ÿ˜‰ 
But if I think about allowing myself to want pointe work? ….. 
Damn the underside of this table is cosy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 
Okay, so I have been thinking hypothetically for a while about this and I want to start thinking literally. 
Could I literally do this? I feel like there are so many factors involved. Like how do you learn pointe work if you can only get to an in person class every few months? How do you know you’re ready? How do you even know you have the right shoes without your teacher seeing you dance in them again and again? How do remain safe? What if you snap your ankle? 
Why am I thinking about crazy things like pointe shoes? Where has my table gone? 
But hang on a sec. Take a breath and calm a little down. Okay, calm a lot down! Is it possible that a sensible person could do an absolute beginner pointe class, or record a private absolute beginner pointe class, and then just keep repeating that at home? And then learn more at their next class, and go home and repeat and practice that — and just repeat that again and again? And I’m not talking about starting turns en pointe. I’ve seen how intense pointe classes are, I ain’t stupid. 
I’m just thinking about starting with the prep work and then the barre work. 
Is it possible? 
So, here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s possible or not, but it is a desire that is growing inside me. It’s getting closer and closer to the surface. I’m sure you all remember taking your first ballet class as an adult? I’m sure you remember the build up to that class, the moment you decided it had to stop being an idea and start being real? 
That’s what this feels like. I am terrified that I will be terrible at it, my feet will break and I will be mortified by the whole experience — but despite all those fears, I am feeling more and more pull towards having a go. 
I want to add that experience to my ballet journey. I would love to know when I would be ready for it. In any case, it’s a huge thing for me to be letting this secret out of the vault. So I’m gonna just let it hang around with me. Let it be present with me and allow it to exist and breathe for a while. 
Well, thanks for listening. Here’s to uncaging secrets. Here’s to these feet possibly being in pointe shoes some day! “

  

I was thinking, almost boringly, about how I need to order a new pair of pointe shoes soon, when it dawned on me that just a few months ago I was sweating with fear about going into a bloch shop and asking to be fitted for my first pair of pointes.

And I remembered this post. And as I reread through it I could tangibly feel my desire to try pointe work. And as I felt the memories of those feelings and desires I started feeling pretty darn proud. 

I did it!

I took the leap of faith. I refused to let the doubt keep me imprisoned. 

I felt the fear and did it anyway.

I was safe. Overly cautious. And completely aware of everything that could go wrong. 

But I took itty bitty steps. And slowly eased myself into this dream. 

Then I eased my feet into those point shoes.

Then I stood up en pointe in those pointe shoes.

I did it! 

And how did it feel to finally do it?

The emotional and mental feelings were all jumbled and mixed up during this process, and are a bit of a blur. 

But one thing I remember crystal clearly is how my feet felt. Because it was so striking to me. I thought they were going to scream at me, but they didn’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure I heard them say…

“Thank you for bringing us home.”

That’s what it felt like. Like my feet were home. Finally home.

So odd. Completely unexpected. And NOT AT ALL how I expect them to be feeling after an actually pointe class. ๐Ÿ™‚

Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we allow ourselves to want it? thats the thing I really wanted to write about today. 

Dreams, be them big or small, all need a start. If I hadn’t ever allowed myself to want to dance en pointe, if I had never let the secret out of the vault, it never would have happened.

I have found that the most important part of achieving your dreams is daring to say you want them in the first place. You’ve gotta let those babies out. 

It’s almost like, if you keep them inside you, even you can’t see them clearly. So how can they get started?

It’s really scary but for your dreams to light up, they need a spark. Saying them out loud is the spark. If you don’t want to speak them then start by writing them down. But let them out.

Give them the spark they need to get started.

I have loved looking back at this post today. It’s helped me to see what my own courage and determination can lead to. Something I never thought would happen did happen.

Can’t wait to see what’s next!

P.S: just so you know, my comments section is a safe haven for dream sparks. ๐Ÿ™‚

   

   

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4 Questions to Find Your Calling

I don’t believe callings, dreams or paths need to be big in order to be worthy. Some turn out to be big, but the size of them isn’t what makes them a path or a calling. It is just essentially how they make us feel. 

And I do find that a lot of people are unsatisfied with their life until they start living authentically, or in other words, start doing shit they love. 

I used to think that I needed to make peace with the mundane in my life and that I was stupid for ever wanting more than mundane. I watched people laughing and having a good time in spite of their mundane and felt as though there was something wrong with me for feeling so damn numb within my mundane stuff. 

Reaaaaaally happy that I found a window out of that world of thought ’cause holy crappola that was causing me grief.

My realisation and new way of thinking was (and still is) that it’s not what I thought. 

Those people who I thought were happy with their ‘mundane’? One of two things is going there. Either: 

1) What I percieved to be their mundane isn’t really mundane to them. They love it! It is exactly what fills them up with joy. They ARE on their path, it’s just a different path to mine. 

 or 

2) They’re bullshitting. Not really happy. And covering up their unhappiness with facades of fake ‘we-must-look-like-we-fucking-love-our-perfect-lives’ laughter. 

And either way, that’s okay. My big lesson was that it isn’t me. There’s nothing wrong with me wanting something different. There’s nothing wrong with whatever I want! 

There’s nothing wrong with whatever YOU want! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

My biggest inspiration that keeps me going in life and dance is my “follow your heart” motto.

‘Cause I just don’t think you can go wrong with that baby. 

This subject of following your heart, finding your path, realising your dream etc. fascinates me. I am intensely drawn to it. 

Why some people do it and others don’t. 

What gets in the way of fulfilling your dream and how to work around those obstacles. 

How to let go of always having to know and plan the way forward and let your path show you the way.

How you even find out what your path is!

I have been reading and watching more and more about this subject recently, just because I am so drawn to it. And I wanted to share these four gems of questions that I really love.

These questions are from Steven Pressfield and Oprah Winfrey — from one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday interviews.

Okay, so these are 4 helpful questions to ask yourself, if you want to know what your calling/path/dream is:

1) What are you more afraid of doing, than anything in the world?

2) What would you do if you knew you were going to die in 3 months?

3) What would you do if fear were not a factor?

4) Did you want to do something when you were a child that you were told you couldn’t or shouldn’t do? 

๏ปฟ๏ปฟ

And here is the video clip from this insightful interview…

http://youtu.be/4Rl0N2W7arw 

I hope this post is helpful to someone, or at the very least, a fun read.

xxx Zoรซ