A Mother’s Prayer

A Mother’s Prayer

I loved You before I met You.
I felt You before I saw You.
You taught me how to Listen. How to Feel.
You taught me to Love what’s inside of Me.

My body grew you, fed you, warmed you, nurtured you.
And Your Life Began when I Let You Go.
You teach me always to Remember This.

You’re a Miracle
Who came from a Miracle.
And so it will Continue Forever.
Because You Are.
Please Don’t Ever Forget It.

I Love You

Gratitude on ANZAC Day

– By Kirsty Greenshields

I took this photo from my bed this morning, as I lay there in reflection of the last 10 years, since experiencing ‘the bomb that changed our lives’.

ANZAC Day didn’t play much of a role in my life, until I joined the military in 1994. Before that I had no significant close family connection to war. Apart from history lessons at school, I felt distanced from war.

Serving in the military puts war in your face every day. It’s the purpose of the job – to train to ‘fight’, to ‘defend’.

Then I deployed to East Timor in 2000. Whenever I exited my compound I would have to take my loaded rifle, and if going on long trips, I had to wear body armour. I lived among a small village in the hills, where people who lived in small huts, with dirt floors and grass roofs would go to church and sing harmoniously in union. I’ve never been a religious person, but I would go to church just to be in the company of these people.

I wondered “What am I fighting? What am I defending here?” But I never voiced my thoughts, because I knew the spiel. We were defending the right of these (helpless) people to live peacefully. We were fighting the militia elements that were still present and creating a less-than peaceful atmosphere.

I returned home from that deployment and sank into depression because I had been awakened to a paradox, which I had previously chosen to ignore.

By the time James deployed to Iraq I had distanced myself from the military and become a ‘peace-loving hippie’ (as described by some who knew me). We argued a lot about the purpose of our country’s involvement. We were both rigid and dogmatic in our beliefs and neither of us were prepared to budge. We were fighting a war with each other, and our relationship was on the verge of breakdown.

When he left for Iraq I was ANGRY. Big time. I hated him, and who he was choosing to be. I hated that our lives were moving in opposite directions, and I didn’t know if I wanted him to come home to me.

In late March 2007, four months after he left, we met in Vanuatu and, after many letters of apology and deep reflection to each other, we decided we truly loved each other, and when he came home we would rebuild our marriage and our life together.

On 23 April 2007, James’ convoy and vehicle were hit by a roadside bomb. Miraculously his entire crew survived. He experienced shrapnel wounds, and every now and then I still remove a tiny shard, which has pushed its way out of his body, through the skin.

On ANZAC Day 2007, still in a bit of shock, I sat in gratitude for the life of my husband, and for the decision we had made to continue to LIVE together.

On ANZAC Day 2017, I do the same. I have medals, and I will show you them if you ask, but I have no need to wear them. I have no need to march, or fight or defend because I choose to live in a world that the East Timorese people taught me about.

I choose harmony and gratitude for life.

Each day I choose peace.

I no longer fight the military and its purpose. I no longer defend my position as a peace-lover. I believe most of humanity loves peace, and that’s why our military brothers and sisters do what they do. And I love and honour them for that. It’s why I joined – because I want peace.

As I admired this photo I took of our bedroom window this morning I noticed the symbolism of the (necessary) integration of the paradox in our life, 10 years on. Embracing all of our choices and parts helps us live in greater acceptance of ourselves, and of others.

There is the statue from one of my retreats in Bali, the feathers and symbols of James’ time in a Native American medicine circle, our crystals, James’ meditation chair, and the cartridge James received from a posting at the 2nd Cavalry Regiment – the unit with which he was serving when he was hit by ‘the bomb that saved his life’.

Today, 10 years on, I embrace Who I Was, Who I Am, and Who I Will Become.

Today, I choose gratitude for LIFE.

Thank you ANZACs for wanting peace just as much as I do and doing what you believe needs to be done to have it.

Lest we forget the sacrifices that have been made in the name of peace.

Let us re-member the importance of choosing peace every day.

#ANZACDay

Exploring Feminine Leadership

– By Kirsty Greenshields

‘The feminine’ was a term I was not friends with for a long time.

I believed anything ‘feminine’ was weak, flighty, flirty. I believed that, if I associated myself with ‘feminine’ I would give myself a bad name as a woman. Instead, I chose to disassociate completely from this side of me, and join a heavily male-dominated environment, where I constantly felt the need to PROVE myself.

Of course, I’m not saying everyone who joins a male-dominated working environment has this going on for them … but I did.

I was addicted to proving myself.

I wanted the recognition of any man who would look at me. I desperately wanted to be noticed as an ‘equal’. Likewise, I was in competition with every other woman in that environment.

If I was better than them there was more chance I would be noticed by the men.

Over a period of several years, this way of life broke me. When I submitted to my ‘broke-ness’, which had resulted in depression and dis-ease, I decided to leave the male-dominated environment. I felt lost. My identity had been stripped away, and I was left with a shell.

Inside, somewhere, was a woman, but I didn’t know her.

Slowly, I started to explore the true nature of the word ‘feminine’. I had no idea what I was doing, but I just allowed myself to be led by a part of me I had shut down for a very long time, because I perceived her as inadequate. As I did so, I started to understand that ‘feminine’ is only 50% of who I am.

I am here in a woman’s body, which means it’s important to have a strong relationship with this half of me. At the same time, it’s important to have a strong relationship with the other half – my masculine.

Some could say I had already experienced a strong relationship with my masculine – I was a ‘successful’ career woman – I had all the ticks in the box for a ‘together life’.

The reality was that, when I was more identified with that concept of masculine, I was lost. I was broken. I felt inadequate.

It was not true masculine. It was false. True masculine sets direction, and has structure, yes.

True masculine is also flexible in its structure, rather than rigid. It does not require status because it is strong. Flexibility creates stability and strength. True masculine feels, because it is connected and balanced. I did not know how to feel anymore. I had numbed myself to my true desires because I saw them as weak and whimsical.

We have shamed our true masculine and our true feminine in our society.

It’s time to restore the balance. I’ve been an army officer. I’ve been a CEO. I’ve been an energy worker. I am a mum. None of these things DEFINE me. But they are all part of who I have chosen to embody at different times of my life.

What defines me is my relationship with Who I Truly Am, at my core. As a woman, I MUST explore this, for the sake of my children.

And if I have daughters, what better way than for me to explore it with them?

As I do this, I provide them with effective role modelling of a strong woman who is not afraid to admit her perceived imperfections, and who calls on the support of other women when she is not feeling at her strongest.

As we explore ourselves with women we love we create a stronger humanity. We create a safer space for ALL to grow. We contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet for our children.

Join me, Meg Forrester, CEO at EVOHE, and Kristy Trede, Sacred Feminine Facilitator, for a weekend of wisdom, nourishment and power at Triple Goddess Wisdom.

 

Re-membering and Reflection For The Future. 11.11 – How Do We Guard The Records?

By Kirsty Greenshields

Recently, our short film documentary ‘The Ripple Effect of PTSD‘, as part of Kym Melzer‘s, compilation documentary, was added to the records at the Australian War Memorial.

As we attended the Veterans Film Festival 2016, where the film was nominated for Best Australian Short Film Documentary, I took note of  the quote on the wall of the BAE Systems Theatre foyer, which says,

Here is their spirit in the heart of the land they loved and here we guard the record which they themselves made.

records

 

This quote sparked a great deal of inner reflection.

I want to tell you, I’ve never really had much time for Australia’s War Memorial, even when I was a serving member. Perhaps it was because I didn’t like the thought of a memorial to war, or perhaps I would not stomach the sadness I felt when I walked into the place. I know, after 2007, when the after effects of return from war caused my family so much heartache, I consciously chose to disown our War Memorial.

As I sat in reflection I noticed things have changed for me. For over ten years I have pursued a path of learning about, and understanding, energy in all its forms.

As individual humans, our personal energy is our ability to embody Spirit – that force which is unseen, flowing and infinite.

It is our intention that shapes this embodiment and provides us with a framework by which we act. When our actions are aligned with the pure essence of our Spirit’s intention, outcomes are also aligned with spirit.

So too with dwellings and other structures built by humans. The intention with which they are built, and the intention – spirit – that is placed within afterwards, symbolises the structure.

Think about an environment in which you have felt safe or happy. Now consider an environment where you felt uncomfortable. What was the spirit of each of these places? What was the intention?

“Here is their spirit in the heart of the land they loved”.

moonmemorial

 

The records we guard at Australia’s War Memorial are a symbol of the spirit of our predecessors, our ancestors, who fought in war for a cause in which they believed – our freedom.

They fought, sacrificed, for something larger than themselves. Whether the cause was right or wrong is not our job to judge.

What is our our job is to honour their spirit – their records.

As I sat in reflection, and gazed upon this dwelling of the records of our ancestors, I realised I had been dishonouring the intention of our ancestors, through my own anger and judgement. And furthermore I recognised that, as an autonomous human who embodies spirit, I have the power to choose the energy and intention with which I associate this place that guards the records.

As a collective of humans who embody spirit we can all choose together, the vibration with which we infuse the building that holds the records.

We can choose to see it as a sad place, which symbolises war and the darkness of humanity.

Alternatively, as I now consciously choose, we can infuse this place of records with love, to honour and express gratitude to those who believed they must fight the darkness to secure our freedom.

If we choose this intention we raise the vibration of our Nation’s Memorial, so it becomes a beacon of light and hope which, by its very nature, draws more light to it.

As the light grows, no longer is it necessary to fight the darkness.

sunmemorial

How to LOVE a Man With an Open Heart

MOST WOMEN BELIEVE WE WANT A MAN WHO IS OPEN-HEARTED.

We want a man who is romantic, who loves us and who shows us this love. We want a man who adores us and who is not afraid to tell us so. We want a man who is strong. A man who makes us feel protected and safe.

But the truth is, often, many of us don’t always know what this looks like for us … in a partner. Have you ever found yourself being conditional when it begins to impinge on the ‘reality’ of life?

When a man begins to follow his bliss and truly open his heart, we begin to get scared. All of a sudden we realize we are not the centre of his world, because he has discovered who he is really living for. Continue reading How to LOVE a Man With an Open Heart

On Rememberance Day

– By Kirsty Greenshields

Here’s why Rememberance Day is so important to me. And why I, personally, am placing a whole bunch of Love, Joy, Compassion and Kindness in to that doorway at 11am today. Eight and a half years ago, a man who was feeling a bit (no, a lot) broken returned to me from a war zone. Well, he didn’t actually fully return at that time – his complete return took several years.

But here’s the thing. I never, not once, bought in to the belief that there was anything wrong with him. There wasn’t. What he needed was someone to continue to affirm the fact that he was ALIVE! And what was necessary was for him to make a different DECISION about himself, and about this gift of a second chance at life. Because, let’s face it, things weren’t looking so bright before he got hit by the bomb.

Nope. I never ever bought into the entitlement, to the self-pity, to the belief that life was hell. I just loved him, as best I could. It didn’t always seem like a perfect love, but it was just what he needed. Sometimes it was pretty tough love actually.

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And, little by little, he started to see what I was on about. And when he fully bought in to this fact that LIFE IS A GIFT (and he had been given an incredibly huge one!), our life together began to turn around. Now it is amazing, and my own love of life is ever-expanding, because of him. Because of you, James Greenshields.

And in the last couple of years, others have seen what he has done with his life, and have wanted to know how they can do the same. So he taught them how. They too are now turning their lives around and the people who love them are thankful. His program is Awakening The Warrior Within.

So here’s what I’m remembering today, at 11am.

I remember the miracle of Abi waking when James was hit by the bomb so we could help him come back to his body and begin the journey of healing.

I remember the miracle of conceiving our miracle Pene, in my first cycle after his return from Iraq.

I remember the miracle of falling in love all over again, with a man I had never met, because the old ‘us’ died somewhere along the way, so the new ‘us’ could create a life of joy together.

I REMEMBER LIFE.

What will you remember?

6

Domestic Violence. What’s not being talked about?

By Kirsty Greenshields

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. WHAT’S NOT BEING TALKED ABOUT?

Yesterday a dear friend asked me to comment on the domestic violence issue currently being profiled so strongly in the Australian media. So here I am, writing about it today. Firstly, why do I believe I have a voice to speak up about what’s not being talked about in the mainstream media?

1. I am human
2. I am a woman
3. I didn’t always feel safe growing up as a little girl
4. I took a stand in my marriage, when I feared for my child’s safety, and decided to powerfully change the cycle
5. I have helped many women powerfully change the cycle too.

I didn’t always feel safe growing up. There was yelling, emotional unavailability, and smacking. When my dad left – I was 10 years old – I chose to feel abandoned by him. After healing work, I now know I chose to believe I would therefore be abandoned by men I love, which resulted in me choosing emotionally unavailable men in relationship. This proved my belief to be true, and continued my reality cycle, of feeling ABANDONED and UNSAFE in the world.

Notice I use the language, “I chose” – it is confronting to think I would choose these decisions, isn’t it? But when I take responsibility for these choices, it gives me power to choose different beliefs for myself. I love my parents, and I know they love me. It was my beliefs about myself, and the world around me, which created my circumstances.

Several years ago, in the moment I saw my little girl pinned against a wall, as her daddy screamed at her – her eyes like dinner plates serving fear – I knew I had gone too far in perpetuating my cycle of belief. It wasn’t just me I now impacted. It was her, and the little being growing inside of me, which helped me take a stand and say “No more”. I did not run as I had when I felt scared in the past.

I MET THE DRAGON FACE TO FACE, SAW JUST AS MUCH FEAR IN HIS EYES AS MINE, AND TOOK BACK MY POWER.

It was a long road, but each step of the way, and with each stumble, I remembered WHY I was doing it. I WANT TO FEEL SAFE in the world. And I want those I love to feel safe. I want them to know the only way they will achieve this is to CREATE THE SAFETY for themselves.

Notice I said “Those I Love”, rather than ‘my children’. Yes. Because I include my partner in this desire. At the height of his anger, HE WAS IN PAIN.

*This is a point I want to make strongly, and one I wish for every person in our society to understand, because those who control the media understand it, and they use it to keep you afraid. But if you open your mind, and your heart, together we can help humanity heal*

When someone strikes out, they are in pain. They are fearful for their life, for their safety, and they have lost themselves. They FEEL lost and SMALL and they are DESPERATE.

The power comes when we see this, and we respond to this issue. Yes, I know you may feel resistance at this point, because of atrocities that have been recently committed, and that’s okay. Not everyone likes what I have to say.

One of my mentors, Caroline Myss, says “War – out there – exists because war exists inside of us”.

THE PERPETRATOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FEELS JUST AS UNSAFE AS THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

That is why he/she lashes out – in FEAR. The difference between the triumphant survivor of this situation, and the one who continues to be caught in the cycle, is CHOICE.

The person who moves beyond the cycle no longer chooses to be a victim to people, circumstance and environment. This person chooses COMPASSION – first and foremost to the one who matters most (to oneself). This is a powerful act, which allows them to choose, at some point, to view the perpetrator with compassion. At this point, the person who was once the victim calls back his/her power, and sees the other person for the scared little child they are.

THIS IS WHERE LOVE IS CHOSEN OVER FEAR, AND THIS IS WHERE THE CYCLE BREAKS.

No, it’s not an easy road, but it’s an empowering one.

IT’S NOT OKAY for us as women to continue projecting our ideas of feeling unsafe in the world onto men. They don’t know how to feel safe in the world either! They keep being told their species is VIOLENT, that they are WRONG, and that they are not doing a good job of PROVIDING.

So a man tries! He sells his Soul to do a J.O.B. that he believes he SHOULD do, so he can get money to help those he loves feel safe in the world. But resentment builds – a wife feels ALONE and UNLOVED. The children feel ABANDONED by their dad because he is never present. The man feels HOPELESS so he WITHDRAWS even more. The result? No-one feels safe.

It’s time to STOP! Please. If you look into the world and feel anger or grief as you witness pain and suffering, ask yourself “How am I continuing to choose this in my own life?” How do I still choose to be a victim?

Do you love the person you choose as your partner? Do you want to be with them? If the answer is no, leave. And do it powerfully. Seek support from people who understand – people who want to EMPOWER – not people who reinforce your victimhood and powerlessness in the world.

If you’re not sure, stay until you decide to make a POWERFUL decision. And if you stay again, take back your power. Look the dragon in the eyes and see his pain and fear. It is here, at this moment, you will OPEN TO LOVE and choose a powerful way forward, for both of you.

If you haven’t already, download our free book “Living Resilient Relationships – How to Create Harmony and Better Understand Those You Love” at http://www.centreforresilientleadership.com.

In Love, Kirsty

Rite of Passage

(**This article is a reproduction of the article written by Cat Lindsay, for the ‘Parallel Lives’ section of ‘U Magazine’, inside The Sunday Mail, 26th April 2015**)

James Greenshields has gone from being a leader of soldiers to leading boys on a journey to manhood and self-discovery.

Young Warrior Project

James Greenshields, 40, Burringbar.

Continue reading Rite of Passage

Why Men Are Stuck

Humble Changeby James Greenshields

Ask yourself what is your immediate thought when I mentioned the word vulnerability?

Strength or Weakness?

Or a mixture of both?

Most men will associate it at some level with weakness.

If you’ve said a mixture, there are things in your past you have caveats with being open about. You feel you may be attacked because of these things. Which actually means you’ve attacked yourself already, as you’ve judged yourself for them therefore believing others will do the same. For if you hadn’t there would be no need to have caveats.

Continue reading Why Men Are Stuck

To Be Crucified By Our Past; Or Not To Be

Falling DownBy James Greenshields

If you hold onto your past, then it becomes your destiny.

I am often asked to comment on how I have “recovered” from a condition that many argue is not recoverable.

In short – I believed I could.

Yes it was true that whilst serving in Iraq in 2007 my vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Not only that, my marriage to my partner Kirsty was on the rocks because I had given my all to the military up to that point. As a commander in Iraq I was allowing myself to get continually infuriated with decisions by Generals in Australia that, in my opinion at the time, put me and my soldiers lives at risk and made my job harder.

Continue reading To Be Crucified By Our Past; Or Not To Be