You don’t have a choice.
Your family raised you to be kind and to be generous and to work hard and to never complain.
They raised you to do as you’re told and legitimately that is what you did.
I got to the age where I could begin working and my parents were keen for me to get the experience of what having a job and working looked like.
I was a checkout chick, a barcode swiper, a supermarket cashier for about two seconds. Well it was probably a few weeks but it felt like years.
This was the first time I felt hollow and dead.
I was just a robot.
Turning up shift after shift.
Having pangs of anxiety at the things I didn’t yet know how to do and then a fear of failure if I didn’t get things right?
The manager telling me to stand at the ready in my aisle with a smile on my face. A fake cheesy smile that hurt my face.
I can’t remember exactly why but mum and dad told me I could stop the job for school holidays and then they got a fish and chips shop and asked me to help out in my spare time there instead.
I didn’t baulk. In fact, I felt a huge sigh of relief. I’d rather work with mum and dad who I knew would help me with anything I was unsure of and be better company than my first job.
I watched a young person receiving training on the job today at a cafe. I watched his face as he was learning, taking in all the steps etc. and how there was so much for him to take in.
In the evening we went to a local Malaysian Chinese restaurant and I always pay particular attention especially to family food businesses and their kids who are behind the counter helping their mum and dad.
It just takes me back to what life was like for me way back leading me to wonder what life is like for them.
They want their parents to succeed and do well because their parents fortune becomes their fortune. But not the kind of fortune because they want of very much. The kind of fortune that helps them put food on the table and be able to afford to go to school maybe even University one day.
It can be highly stressful to grow up in a family like this where every single day counts. In other words, if it was a slow day you got worried. You wanted it to be a busy day. Even on the busy days, you weren’t sure. You had to count the dockets and balance the till before you knew for sure. Mum and dad still do this, to this day.
We learnt the best from my grandmother who taught us there would be food on the table and she would spoil us like we were at a restaurant, no matter what. She knew we all worked hard and that was her gift to us. A buffet on the table, where we got excited and looked forward to it arriving to the dinner table.
Friday nights were late night shopping at this eatery where the shop resided. It was a fish and chip shop featuring a handful of Indonesian dishes. I was allowed to buy from another outlet if I so chose to and I did as you became bored of eating the same things.
Sometimes, my aunts would make different meals for us and those were the ones you looked forward to because they weren’t the meals we were selling to customers.
I told my mum and dad we should do the family meals in our restaurant now. We should promote the meals that we would eat. Even my grandmother said today to me that when we eat at home, we don’t eat all of the dishes we would serve at the restaurant. We only have one special dish for dinner not many. I totally got this. She said we have soup, a vegetable dish and a meat dish and rice. That’s it.
But she said something really important. She said she never compromised on the quality of the ingredients. She bought the best quality of meats she could find. When making her dishes for the family she would make the whole days meals by 7am that day - breakfast, lunch and dinner for her six children.
She said when helping to cook for us while we were all at the shop, she would buy at least a kilo of meat to serve the selection of dishes she was going to make for the day.
I came home smelling like a fish and chip shop. I wore a uniform to school and got changed into another uniform for work. I served food to customers and learnt how to build rapport, engage in conversations and build long lasting relationships with them. I learnt how to add up and subtract on the fly, how to program the cash register, how to design promotions, offers and flyers, How best to stack the drinks fridge, how to unpack and stack all the cutlery and plate ware.
Soon after this, mum and dad got another business but this time a restaurant in the heart of the city. I learnt about good communication with the people who worked with and for us and I learnt about the power of word of mouth, and the importance of a supportive landlord. Oh and boy did I learn about prioritising.
All the while I was in year 10, 11 and 12 and also off to university, but when I came back during the holidays, I worked full time for mum and dad. I didn’t have a holiday. Going to university was my holiday even though I also worked three jobs while at university.
Thinking back about all I learnt, I am grateful for everything but I have to be very careful of how I promote the opportunities that are out there now for my children and not say when you get a job or you have to get a job. When you’re an entrepreneur or when you have you’re own business can also be stifling. When you decide what you’re most passionate about and then pursue it. When you creatively design your future?
When you’re ready to discover your own journey through leveraging all your individual skills and talents. What are your unique gifts? When you find out what your special gifts are, that is when you pursue those. It’s not just one thing either, it’s many things!
I also learnt that although I didn’t have a choice at the time, I have a choice now. I can choose to leverage and use all that I have learnt from each and every single one of my past experiences to create how I want to live my life today. I’ve been more alive pursuing my passion and my purpose in life which is to honour the legacy of my grandparents and my family of shopkeepers.
I just watched the unfolding of a woman rising like the Phoenix. A tale of feminism and female empowerment but it didn’t feel forced, it didn’t feel wrong, it didn’t feel like men were pitted against women or women against men.
It just felt like women had found a way to share their voice. Helen Reddy finally found herself and wrote the anthem for all time, without ever really knowing the impact it would have. She did it for her, for her daughter and maybe for Lillian Roxon.
I posted on my own social media this time five years ago about John Farnham’s, “You’re the voice”, Your voice matters, you matter and if your voice matters how will you use it? I was reminded of the Truman show. How does Truman finally listen to his voice?
What if a song leads us to a movie, or the movie leads us to a song? What does the Truman Show and I am Woman have in common? There is something to be said for just how much we are learning from someone’s life and from someone’s voice, the power of their words. What if they are the clues and crumbs we pick up along the way?
What if it’s within us to recognise the power of song as powerful positive affirming statements. I am strong, I am invincible. If you didn’t believe it yet, in singing the words over and over, you would come to believe it. You’re the voice try and understand it, make a noise and make it clear.
What if you have power within to create your own powerful positive affirming statement such as I am worthy, I deserve.
I began my journey within the area of my life called finances and money. First, I had to discover something was blocking me. There was a barrier. When I uncovered the block and barrier, I was able to see things differently like my taxes weren’t done for four years, researching my finances and setting up payments automatically, changing spending habits here and there, spending on myself for the first time like properly spending on me, property went from not being leased to leased and so on. We found ways to fix our house for example we got solar panels and are paying it off. It feels like we are making progress without money being a no for us if that makes any sense. Money is a yes because we are a yes to everything in our life.
Because we are yes more and more and more ideas arrive for us.
In regard to friendship through this journey, I let go of friendships that were not serving me and I see now, it needed to happen for my own growth and for their growth. One day we may come to realise this blessing collectively and there is opportunity for a transformative friendship to arise.
I have made accidental friends with my daughter’s friends mums - school mums and actually it didn’t even occur to me, I sat aside one day and they said come and sit with us, I was shocked myself that it didn’t occur to me to sit with them! So to do this day I’m learning from them about how to be a better mum but also learning how I hold myself back and don’t give all of myself to friendships for fear of rejection. In regard to what was manifested I just remember saying I wish my friendships had equilibrium that I give and they give equally. I also have to acknowledge friendships with my family members have grown stronger too.
My partner - I found. I remember manifesting what I wanted - I said it’s time for me to settle down in to a loving committed relationship where I can be myself. When I met him it was like time stood still and it felt like I had known him for years even though it was the first time I met him. I knew he was it. We are married with three kids. I created and caused our marriage from the very beginning too and I own it. Everyday I’m learning about myself I get to see more and more the things about me that don’t work and own up to them and this has made such a difference to how close we are still today despite arguments, I’m sharing my journey with him and he can see what I’m committed to.
It’s all about forgiveness and then believing in yourself and honouring what you really want for your life. We want ease and grace, we want peace and harmony. What environment do we need to create so we can have those things? Who do we have to be to attract what we really want?
It could be as simple as saying Im no longer chained by my self limiting beliefs, I’m giving all of them up, please let me become aware, let me see what all of my self limiting beliefs are.
Then once you see them you know what they are, they can disappear and dissipate.
Next is creation - create who you are as a possibility in the world, create powerful positive affirming statements that align and resonate with what you really want. Who knew the simplicity of I am worthy and I deserve would make such a difference to my life. What if it can do the same for you because you realise your word is all you have, honour your word and create the life you really want?
You can read more about my discovery of I am worthy, I deserve here
Carve time in your day just for you to reflect upon the conversations that don’t work in your life and give yourself permission to say I stand for something else: insert your powerful positive affirming statement.
I woke up suddenly on Saturday morning with much heartache for myself.
I realised it was a young version of me witnessing the opposite of love and for a child love is all there is.
I felt afraid and alone. I felt like it was my fault. I asked what have I done wrong?
A child of maybe three or four, my world felt shattered from the experience of dischord, disharmony, negative vibration from two forces (two parents).
This experience isn’t the first time I have seen this, I saw it in 2005 also, but not as clearly not as deeply.
I reached out to a friend to let them know I was also experiencing lower back pain and felt it was associated with this.
She sent me instructions on how to reconnect with Mother Earth and realign my chakras. She also sent me an inner child guided meditation.
I visualised roots from my lower back reconnecting with the root of Mother Earth.
I listened to the meditation coming home from work yesterday and while it takes concentration when driving I just made sure my eyes did not make any connections with other human being and their eyes. I kept my eyes on the road. I only recommend this for someone who has meditated with eyes open and able to do this.
What came to me was this experience of sadness. Of being alone and lonely. If I could have I would have asked for help, help me, tell them to stop. Perhaps I did call on myself internally in that moment. Perhaps that’s when my inner child tried to protect me and said don’t worry about them, you can’t rely on them. And that’s where my upset and sadness comes from. If a child can’t rely on them, then they have only themselves to rely on. And that’s where the loneliness comes from. Cutting myself off from the people I love and who I knew loved me.
Last night I had an impossible dream, impossible in many ways. It was vivid as if I was experiencing a living moment but also surreal, I soon realised it was a dream within the dream.
I discovered I was pregnant the same day I birthed a baby. The baby was a boy and the name Kai lingered in my mind but I didn’t announce his name. I was at first disappointed for I had an expectation of giving my daughter a sister (this was when I realised it was a dream, within the dream). I put this aside. I also told myself to - let go - it’s just a dream. There was a scene of being in a hospital with equipment and devices I didnt recognise but guess it had something to do with protecting the baby.
The baby is calm, gentle and quiet that I have to remember to feed it. I feel serenity and confidence. I know what to do. I know how to be.
As this figment of my imagination unfolds in this dream, suddenly the environment shifts and changes. Im letting my work know about my situation. For them, there is sadness. For me, there is guilt. Another presence in my workplace communicates it’s ok for me to have leave despite feeling they will miss me. This was an interesting insight for me.
Dreams are all about the feelings. And I feel this is the rebirth of my inner child. What an absolute privilege to have this in-depth insight.
I’m still processing this dream and I’m hoping there is more to come. Dream state authentic state connected state.
I am asking if this is a rebirth. If we can be given a second chance over and over again then what’s possible? Am I getting stronger and building new muscles around my language and how I relate to my inner voice? She can sometimes be hard to catch but I’ve been able to laugh at both her and the stories she/we make about things that don’t work out in life or her perception of things not working out.
What if how we relate to ourselves is really all we have? What if our language, our words, how we see ourselves, that’s it? How will you live your life knowing each moment is a new moment?
Yesterday was Father’s Day. This year we decided to do something different and active together.
The kids love watching the Australian Ninja Warrior. And so this particular venue has a ninja warrior course and with the famed warped wall.
The warped wall is at the end of the course, is about running toward and upward and reaching the height to pull yourself up to the top.
We each had a go and got up there. My daughter who is seven and just about 110cm tall was scared and afraid at first. I told her I would go up even though I was scared and afraid too just to show her to believe in herself.
After she saw I was able to get up there, she said I want to have a go.
All together she attempted the wall over 100 times, each time increasing in confidence, and excitement.
I heard her say I’ve got this I believe in myself. I said who taught you that sweetheart? She said I did. I said that’s called a mantra and I love your mantra. It’s a beautiful one. She was harnessing the power of believing and empowering herself through positive self talk.
Every now and again I observed watched on as she would find another obstacle and challenge herself to master it.
When she had mastered a different obstacle, she used this energy of achievement, carrying this feeling back to the warped wall.
Absolute genius, through watching my own daughter I discovered how to harness the power of believing.
Don’t give up
Never ever give up
The secret is to try 1000 times
Take a break and do something you know you can get done
Try a different challenge instead of staying stuck
Come back and try again
Carry the feeling of achievement in one area of your life to another
I saw her little face as she saw her much taller and older brothers get up and over the wall - “anything they can do, I can do,” and seeing them get over inspired her to keep going.
And I absolutely loved hearing the encouragement of her brothers, who only saw that she could do it.
She managed to touch the top of the warped wall with her hand three times. She was happy with this secondary goal even though I could see her little face wanted to achieve the primary goal of getting all the way to the top, she said I want to keep practicing, can we come school holidays and Christmas holidays too.
Of course, how could I say no to that?
This is how you harness the power of believing - you say it, you believe it.
EDIT: we visited the warped wall again, and guess what? YES! she made it up to the very top of the wall. You should have seen her face. Next challenge here she comes, she is already setting her sights on the next wall!
For the past two days I have had dreams that are lifelike. I hear a vivid voice, its mine and its loud and clear.
Dear god please help me. Please guide me. Give me insight.
When I was younger, we had a really amazing religious education teacher. He would sing songs, he would share about all religions, truly a very inclusive approach. It was probably him that gave me my first access to praying. I was quite young when I remember praying on my own at home and without being told do it.
Mum and dad aren’t religious so to speak but my grandmother went to church and took me to Sunday school with her where I learnt about god but I also learned how to speak and write Chinese; Mandarin to be exact.
I remember when my parents fought, I would pray. I remember when I was unwell or anyone in the family was unwell I would pray. But I wasn’t consistent. Beyond that though, I definitely discovered the power of metta intentions by accident, on my own, and at the time not really knowing what it was.
My little sister would cry far away in another room. I would have conversations with her in my mind. I was sending a little message or vibration through to her and she was receiving it too because she responded each time. She would get louder or softer after receiving my message. I soon taught myself that this was something I should practice for things that were important.
So I eventually created a way to pray that was powerful for me through sending my message and vibration through to the world. My ability to send messages soon became my ability to receive messages.
At age 12, I believe this is the reason why I was upset and emotional. I was feeling the loss of my grandparents even though they had passed years before. I believe my praying had led me to begin a journey to discover what was important to me. My grandparents and the legacy they left for us was the beginning. It was like they were talking to me but I couldn’t hear them completely yet, the radio signal was not quite clear.
So today, I’m asking for help, guidance and insight.... maybe the message needs to be heard by me. Even though I’m the one asking for these things, maybe im the one who can provide help, guidance and insight?
I have told myself before that messages don’t work like they do in the movies. I was hearing my own voice speaking to myself. I recognised it as my own voice but often I would wonder how I knew to say what I said. You just have to identify what it is you are trying to say to yourself. Trust yourself. Trust your intuition.
Perhaps the reason I’m hearing myself pray and ask for help is actually because there are other people in the world asking for help, asking for guidance and asking for insight.
Maybe I’m not hearing myself. Maybe I’m hearing many other people. I’m a reflection of myself, but I’m also a reflection of others.
What I know has truly been in my way is self confidence and self belief.
I realise I have everything I need within me.
We have a gift called being a human being. The experiences we each have, our upbringing and backgrounds are all so unique and even every single decision we made and continue to make has a place in our story.
I often talk to my team about being a piece of the puzzle but this analogy can also be used for your life and for you - that each decision, each outcome is a piece of the puzzle making you who you are today. But what’s left for you to do is recognise the parts that are truly you.
Taking away everything that’s not you is easier than it sounds. You just have to be open and willing to see something you’ve never seen before.
I pray you will have courage and belief. I pray you will have self confidence and self belief. I pray this time, will be the time you take action everywhere there is inaction.
This looks like doing things that sound hard but when you take the step, realise it’s not that hard after all. This looks like being available to opportunity. This looks like being unchained from the patterns and programs of your past, by asking to see something you have never seen before about yourself and about your life.
Recognise yourself in the mirror, honour the ancestors that came before you, and vow to hear their whispers through your voice, the lessons to learn.
Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.