Over the past two years and right up to this autumnal Sydney morning that I’m blanketed in, I’m constantly amazed by the level of trust, honesty and openness that is confessed, shared and even tear-dropped into the beautiful messages and letters that continue to pour in from all around the world.

Some stories are from those who have chosen to narrate their experience like a handbook on how to live life more fully from this moment forward. Others speak of being frozen in the paralysis of their pain and feel unable to exist in a world that seems to harshly continue on without even a flicker or a pause to stop and acknowledge the indescribable destruction of the life they once knew. And finally, there are those, perhaps you, who hold on so tightly to the memory of what was, that you now, without knowing, innocently strangle the breath from the new beginnings that await you as you try with all your might to hold onto your loss, mistaking it as a connection to your past.

It is very difficult to describe how I feel about life, love and loss to people these days without sounding insensitive or like I’m perhaps undervaluing the weight of their experience. I do very much believe that trauma is real and that when your thoughts and emotions are so physically overwhelmed by the reality of your experience, it is more than understandable that you become completely overtaken by your mind trying to make sense of it all. As a result, you begin telling yourself, with absolute authority, that your experience not only defines who you are now and how you live your life, but also that you have little to no capacity to change your situation.

As a self-confessed, meaning-making machine, and having come to a place where I no longer believe that over-analysing EVERYTHING makes me any more clever, wise, or happy in my life, I now very much believe that everyone has the capacity to completely and utterly change their life with nothing more than a shift in their thinking. Which, by the way, is easier said than done when the ground is cracking beneath your feet and your heart feels ripped in two. But there is a point when it is time to acknowledge that the land around you has regrown and is bursting with life and yet yours is still on pause.

We have a beautiful children’s book at home that explains the cycle of life, and I often read it with the kids, especially Indigo, when she asks about Andy and why he died. It talks about the fact that whatever you are, a human being, a fish, a flower or an ant, that there is always a beginning and always an ending, everything is born and everything will die and that everything in between is the LIVING part!

When we are discussing this book, we talk about however long or short that LIVING section is, whether you are fit and strong, or weak and frail, it is how you CHOOSE to do the living part that makes life either an ocean of possibility or, as for so many, who exist from the confinement of their fears, a sad and often frightening place.

We also talk about the fact that birth and death are a natural part of the cycle of life and that whilst we can’t control how and when either of these take shape, if we just learn to accept that they are part of life’s adventure, we can then begin to appreciate their importance, instead of wasting out precious time fearing them.

By now, you are likely either scratching your head, utterly confused, starting to feel rather agitated, or impatient for some gem of an insight into just how that is actually possible.

The fact is that you can either fight your situation, blame your circumstances, be terrified into an emotional paralysis by your fear of the unknown,  complain about everyone around you TO everyone around you. Or you can stop exactly where you are, right here and right now and begin exploring one step at a time how to think, feel and begin looking at your life in a different way.

Above is a beautiful little film about taking life on.

 

Nothing but love….

  • Nicole DeNosky

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post and sharing this video. Loved those two little ladies and their story!
    The subject of fear is something that has been consuming me at times over these last few months. I have a life filled with so much joy; a wonderfully supportive and loyal husband, two beautiful and healthy daughters and all we could need. However, devestating loss has happened to several families I know over this past year and the sadness and fear that this brings is something that leads to a downward spiral of negative thoughts and lands me in somewhat of a pit at times. I’m fully aware of when I’ve landed myself in this pit and I know what I have to do to pull myself out but it just keeps happening and that’s frustrating to be honest.
    My post is in fact to ask if you might share the name of the book you read with your cubs. I’ve noticed lately that even though I try to keep my worries and fears to myself, they so often get revealed, one way or another, to our daughters. Our oldest, who is nearly six, has been asking a lot of questions about birth and death and life in between. Her questions are often filled with fear and worry and she will cry about something happening to mommy or daddy. It’s very hard to find the answers to bring her comfort. Maybe this book will help. :) Thank you for sharing your stories with all of us. Love and peace

  • millie

    This video is great!!!!!!!!!!!!! made me laugh and cry, and it´s so true how our fears stop us from doing amazing things!!! thank you very much Vashti.

  • Kristin

    I absolutely LOVE this video! A fantastic way to start my week! Thanks for the insightful post!!

  • Kelly Thomas

    Amazing video, great reminder that even ordinary things can be great impactful undertakings if you’ve never dared to venture through them and how life changing it can be to realize how brave you can be and how many beautiful things come from taking chances!

  • Carolyjavi

    Oh thank you Vashti!!! I am still laughing and crying after watching the video. I have to learn soooo much of these two ladies. I am really scared of flying and I know that I am not seeing and visiting many places because of it. Gorgeous!!! And…what a lovely place to go…Barcelona!!!
    I waste so many time overthinking and analizing things that if I spend at least half of this time enjoying it, it would be great and I am sure I will be happier. Thanks for sharing again

  • Laz

    Thanks you for the amazing post and video, great remanding that life is just one .I loved those two braves ladies. lots of love.

  • Sally T.

    Really, really great post, Vashti! 2 insights came up for me after reading:
    1. I had to fly the other day. I’m often anxious and spend a lot of time deep breathing. But I was sitting next to twin boys who were maybe 7 or 8. And they giggled and put the window blind up and down and commented on the seat card instructions. And their joy in the newness of being on a plane was contagious. It made me conscious of how amazing it is to travel a great distance in a very small amount of time. And how exciting it is.
    2. I used to think saying ‘yes’ in every moment was difficult because it was accompanied by action. If I say yes to such & such, I’ll have to do this/go here/endure this, etc. Saying ‘no’ seemed easier (less painful?) because it’s inaction. But saying no meant finding excuses so it wasn’t really easier.

    One of my favourite bits of this little film is when An & Ria tumble into the sea: no moaning, no drama. Just laughter and a simple observation of a wet bum.

  • madeleine

    How beautiful! It was a film about overcoming your fears but I also saw the beauty of two strangers coming together and having a marvelous time! so gorgeous! thanks for posting V! lots of love! XXX

  • Corinne

    Fab video..you’re never too old to make a change, but don’t procrastinate do it today!

  • Rivke

    I was nodding my head saying ‘AMEN! She speaks only truth.’
    It is so thoroughly true. Over analysing and trying to justify the hows and whys can only hold you back if that is all you focus on. It is necessary to just accept that what has happened has happened, and open yourself up to whatever it is that lies ahead on your journey. Just accept the unknown and make the most of your time. Ive never thought that all the bad, or even good, things that happened in my life define me, but Ive always thought they help shape me by making me grow and learn and evolve. I’m always ensuring I stay open. I firmly believe it is how I stay so positive for the most part and why I keep pushing through all the shit. I FIRMLY believe you can change your life merely by changing your thoughts. It’s cliche but Ive always said “Be the change you want in your life because it isnt going to fall out of the sky and into your lap!”

    And like you said it isnt easy but once you start……………………….

  • Renata

    They give the power to create ;)

  • mimi81

    This video and this share was exactly what i needed today!! a big huge thank you!

    I normally am able to analyse, experience, and explore my throughts, and feelings to deep levels of understandings and acceptance, but right now im on a different kind of lattitude because i find that my state and thoughts fluctuate according to the thoughts and state of someone i deeply care about and her illness (my mom).

    I don’t know how to disconnect from that.

    When it seems she’s out of danger and there is hope with a new treatment, i find life to be beautiful, birds are singing, flowers blooming and i turn into this super positive person…..i can even accept hard thoughts like life is all about beginings and endings, i accept that her life will end sooner rather than later…..im a person that is positive even through negative circumstances – But, and this is where i’m stuck when her state has degraded, when we have to hear bad news, and when the hope we had is crushed….i find myself reeling back into a big black hole of endless pain, every inch of my skin hurts, every beat of my heart shakes my being, i become lost, confused and a well of tears…..i feel like i’m a great swimmer, gasping for air and so happy to find it, breathe it in while longingly looking at the blue skies, and birds flying, reveling in the beauty of it all as i feel a soft breeze caressing my skin…..before another tsunami waves crashes on my head and pulls me back down so hard that i have to fight with all i have to not drown and to swim back up again for yet another gasp, another blue sky…. gasp…..before the next wave……(i’m so tired)

  • jamie

    Thank you for sharing this Vashti! Another two beautiful souls! They had me smiling and tearing watching them. Truly inspirational. Another solid confirmation to BE HERE NOW! Could you tell me Vashti, is there any way to still get a BE HERE NOW Bracelet? I always need a little help remembering to live in the moment and enjoy all of the blessings I have in this life.

  • Jenny

    Beautiful reminder that this one moment is all we have and that it’s never to late to learn that we can sit in our fear without believing it or letting it define our lives. I could completely relate to both the ladies experience flying~it’s exhilarating and frightening like most worthwhile endeavors.

  • Shawn Reed

    Vashti, I just watched Spartacus season 1 and discovered minutes later that your husband Andy was no longer with us. I couldn’t believe it, for hearing of the passing of someone I didn’t personally know, it hit me so hard! I know it’s been allmost 4 yrs but also know to lose someone so close and valuable inflicts a wound that takes a long time to heal. I’m 42 now and since I was sixteen I have lost my mother, a brother,sister, nephew, and many more family members so I relate to your pain, allthough to lose someone you shared children with I’m sure carries a different type of pain. I’m not really good with words of comfort but want you to know my prayers are with you and your family. Please let me know how I can donate to help your family. It would please me so much to know that I helped Andy and his family. Thank you for reading and may you recieve many blessings in the years to come.

    • Stephen

      Wonderfully said Shawn Reed. I felt the same way when I first saw Spartacus, late May 2013. I was so shocked and stunned by Andy’s death. Like you, I didn’t know this wonderful man, husband, father, and actor. I too lost my parents and feel the pain of losing loved ones.

  • Sabrina

    Dear Vashty,

    Last year I lost my unborn child.

    I thank you so much for all your inspiring words!

    Last 3 Years I had to learn a lot about forgiving and moving forward.
    My childhood was very scary, often I thought : ” please God take me with you”.
    Now I am 30 years old. 3 Years ago I wake up and began to change my thoughts, my attitude, my life.

    Then, last year I lost my unborn child.

    I had to learn, that all what happens, happens for a reason… I have the power to change what makes me unhappy….and the power to accept what I can not change.
    Everthing has its time.
    Just one life….to short to spend it whith dissatisfaction, doubt and fear….
    Long time I did not know what in life I want, I was always afraid to fail. But if we do not try, we already have failed.
    The world needs to wake up….and I feel it has already begun….
    We need to change and flood the world with light and positve vibrations.
    Thank you so much for all your Inspiration!
    I wish you all the best with Maybemcqueen, whith all my heart !! :)

  • Olga Popova
  • Eva H.

    Hi Vashti, I am constantly amazed by your inner power and wisdom that blinks at me from your every word and I wish I were more like you, less insecure about my confidence and my abilities. You are so right about living our lives to the fullest. I need to do something about it at once.
    Greetings from the Czech republic.
    Eva H.

  • michelle

    how did u know Vashti i’m still waiting for him to come home…. its been almost 3 years and i’m still frozen

  • Tammie

    Oh my goodness Ana is wonderful! I don’t believe anything can beat Ria’s spice…… I think we all need a Ria in our life and if not than we need to try our hardest to be our own Ria! What a Hoot