Mum

I am not a mum to my own children. I have been a foster carer in a past life, and that gave me an incredible insight into parenting at some levels. It is the hardest job in the world being a parent. It means that your life is not just about you anymore, and that you are responsible for another human being.

I remember calling my mum after my first week as a single parent foster carer of 3 teenagers; I thanked her for putting up with all my teenage angst, and told her how I didn’t know how she did it…She told me it was OK, that she loved me, and encouraged me not to give up, that I was doing OK… She laughed when I told her all her sayings that I had used in that week and always swore I would never say to my kids.

I also felt ashamed for some of the hateful things I had said to my mother growing up, names called, anger screamed. Often it was not my mother that I was angry with, but another situation, person or I felt generally sad about my life… I was angry at Mum because she was safe, I knew she would always love me, never reject me; that was something that I never doubted.

Mum was always safe, but it wasn’t until I grew older that we grew closer. I didn’t really understand my mothers strength until I became a woman myself. It wasn’t until I grew up that I saw and understood her love for family, that she would put her own needs and wants aside and solider on in the face of tough times and opposition. It was when I realised this that I finally saw my mothers true beauty and strength.

Neither of my parents are perfect people, we all have our flaws – but I know this.             My Mother is a woman who loves her children, their partners, her grandchildren and extended family with the heart of a lioness combined with a spirit of grace, wisdom and forgiveness.

Not everyone gets a Mother like mine – the work I do is testament to many young people who don’t get a childhood or parents that they need and deserve. My two brothers and I are the lucky ones. Forget about the 70 million dollar Powerball draw – We won the lotto when we got a mum that loves us unconditionally and with passion to see us become the best version of ourselves we can be.

Thanks Mum & Happy Mothers Day,  Love Lin xox

P.S. Remember to tell your Mum what she means to you… and not just on Mothers Day.

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Boot Camp, Leaps of Faith & Sucking Marrow from Life

Obstacles of Course - Mental or Physical?

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…                                                                                                           – Henry David Thoreau from his work Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

I went to Boot Camp and Discovered that I am capable of so much more, I am capable of pushing through fear and self doubt. Capable of working hard for 4 hours at a time, in heat and with little sleep. I sucked the marrow out of life this weekend and loved it!

This past weekend I went with my Step into Life Group (outdoor group personal training) to a Scout Camp Site in Mt Martha. The brief was 4 hours training Saturday afternoon, backed up with another 4 hour session Sunday morning. Over the weekend we carried a metal “rifle” pole  and ran in lines, got punished with a lot of pushups, went through a obstacle course (twice) then put together a “structure” with ropes, water containers, wooden poles, logs, tires all joined together and carried it as a team. We played capture the flag, ran hills in the heat, worked out on sand at the beach, ran relays and more push ups and sit ups…. well you get the picture.                                                                             It was hard work… But as I say, all things that are worth achieving are hard!

Two moments over the weekend stood out for me – the first was conquering something I was afraid to do last boot camp….the Fireman’s Pole. The pole was in the obstacle course, basically you climb a structure, then put your legs around the pole and slide down… sounds simple, but I couldn’t do it last boot camp and I was so scared this time. But with the help, guidance and support of my team I slid down that pole like it was covered in butter! Then celebrated with a decisive fist pump and a big YES!

The next moment was the Leap of Faith…. With the first day and the first 4 hours over, we had some free time before dinner, so 4 of us headed down to the beach.  One of my friends said he knew of a spot just down the road, and that it was not just any beach – It was jumping off a cliff into the water! I thought that it sounded like fun, so down we went to the beach walking down the cliffs to where there were quite a few groups of people (mostly young guys in their 20’s mind you) were jumping off the cliffs into the cool water. It didn’t look high from a distance but standing at the edge was a whole other matter.

My friend went in, (he jumped and didn’t die so i knew it was safe 😉 – No seriously we did check the depth before jumping in… After he was safely in the water  I went down to the edge of the cliff ready to jump – It was here that I FROZE. Yep, there I was with guys in their 20’s around me saying “comon, you can do it” and I was completely frozen. I wanted to jump, but just couldn’t do it I was paralyzed with fear. So I moved back from the edge, shaking and disappointed in myself.

My next friend jumped in – she did a great job and then I decided to have another go, So I moved to the edge, the problem was every time I looked down into the clear water, I just froze… I then decided to focus on my friends faces – stop thinking (and psyching myself out) and just take a step out. And that is what I did – jumping 3.5 – 4 meters into the clear cool water below.

It was a rush as I took that leap off the edge. Facing a fear and pushing through it was awesome – not being stuck on the cliff looking like a sook was good too! I hit the water and popped up to the surface quickly, and it was all over!   After all 4 of us had jumped into the water we swam for a while, and then my friend got out climbed the cliff and jumped the off the 10m cliff – Awesome to watch and his efforts were out of my league!

I remember that my parents used to say to me “if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you follow?” – If they asked my that today the answer would be ABSOLUTELY 🙂

Cliff Diving was not something I would have considered 12 months ago, I loved the jump (in the end) but more than that – I was living life and present in the moment, not eating dip and chips in a corner somewhere, wishing I was living life with everyone else!                                           I had the strength to climb the cliffs down to the spot, the confidence to jump, and the strength to climb up out of the water and climb the rock face back up to the top. That was a great feeling and realization as to how much life has changed for the better…

On Sunday after a beach workout (think lots of sand running and dragging stuff) we had to run 4km back to camp mostly up hill. The last hill was a killer, it was a hot, hot, hot morning and I managed to ran most of it, with a few quick walking breaks along the way… But every time I stopped to walk a bit, I had to keep telling myself – “You are fitter than this” “You can finish this – keep running” – It was a great feeling to finish it – working hard all weekend right to the end was great. Even the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) today is good pain – It is good because I know that I worked really hard to earn it.

Our trainer Dave put in a great deal of work over the weekend for us to have a fun and challenging time! Thanks Dave! – Plus a big thanks to all my friends and team mates who without encouragement from I wouldn’t have slid down a fire man’s pole, or jumped off a cliff !

While they might not be completely new learnings, this weekend I came away with the following being reinforced;

*I am capable of more than I think, and then some more on top of that too!

*Real friends encourage you to achieve and break down your own barriers.

*I enjoy spending time with people who love living life.

*I will continue to live deliberately and suck the marrow out of life and every moment possible.

Thanks for reading (especially this long post), Till next time,

Lin xox