Week Six begins and still the Government’s promised Job Keeper allowance has not emerged in my bank account. On the other hand, as I followed up my request to access my Superannuation of several weeks ago, I find that the total amount available has grown by $5000. I also found out that the request I made to access the monies was not an “official request”, God knows what the computers are saying to each other, so I lodged my application and was told that by the end of next week (the Week 6 turn over to Week 7) it should be in my account. I have now received the last straggles of Home Visit fees from my third-party payers and so other than the above mentioned two sources, there is no further money coming my way. But I have ideas!
The creativity that my brain is now able to indulge in is creating a new future for me. I really would love to “get back to” my Ayurvedic World. I participated in a webinar last week (one of four different topics actually) from my Byron Bay colleagues of the Mudita Institute. The webinar was on Ayurveda & Menopause. The idea of a “Women’s Health Centre” as the next stage of The Health Exchange’s endeavours is what calls to me. The “Doula” side is lingering but my thoughts with that is I can help only one person at a time and due to the intensity of the work, maybe 6 clients a year! That is a slow boat to my end goal, I feel. If I can use my training to support more people over the next 23 years and then into my last 25, then that will achieve a higher distinction in my mind. The way to do this is through empowering leadership – a TMLP II type project. Causing leadership in others. The “others” would be the mamas themselves along with their family and friends. Like the original idea I had of building a network of support around mamas for postpartum care. Also, like Michelle Petterson’s “Seven Sisters for Seven Days” Programme that I am in the middle of qualifying as one of her Planners.
The talk on the radio is about never going back to how life was before. I could see that as a spiritual concept but not the practical one they make reference to. The dependency on a Corona immunization means there will always be a lingering threat and so things like social distancing and not gathering in large groups will maintain as a social expectation. I was hoping to be able to shake someone’s hand in future or hug my mates or at least give my not-so-favoured-high-five! But it is not sounding like that … not for now (a year or two) anyway.
So small groups and workshops is what I am thinking. These would be along the lines of “Preparing for Puberty”; “Managing Your Menstrual Cycle” including tips for avoiding issues such as endometriosis, fibroids and the like; there would be the talks on “Preparing for Conception” which will be about getting your health and life ready for the miracle of babies; “Pregnancy Health” will be for our pregnant Mama’s and of course include a programme of massages & meditation; then of course the “Preparing for Menopause” sessions subtitled as a “Flattening the Roller Coaster”! These talks and workshops will be offered in small groups as well as online courses/webinars. I will offer both “in person” and “on computer” Ayurvedic Consultations, which will extend my reach to outside Craigieburn. I will have a “Professionals Hub” of small business health professionals, who fish in the same pond, so we can cross refer and support each other. I will also offer my clients a “membership” package that will include a variety of options both treatments and training. This is coming together nicely as I take it out of my head and lay it on the computer page!
One of the other webinars I participated in last week was about powering up my business from a digital perspective. The speaker had some great ideas and I will be having a 30 minute “free” consultation with one of his business mentors whose job, I am assuming, will be to enrol me in one of their 12-month business support programmes. As long as it does not cost more than $750 per week, I will consider it!!
Another webinar was on “How to write a Blog”. I learned in this that these weekly “essays” I am writing are not actually blogs and their size is comparable to “an extended blog” or almost an E-Book. One of the great tips she had was to “write as though you are having a conversation with the person”. I hope this is how my writing appears for you as I feel I do not know how to write otherwise. Back about 25 years ago when I was undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Health Education & Health Promotion, the tutor took me aside one day to sorrowfully explain that I did not write like an Academic: “You write like you are talking to me” she said in anticipation of a reaction unlike the one I gave her. My response was “Great, that will work for my Novel!”.
The rain pitters down as I sit here at the Tennis Centre while Lorretta undertakes her first massage for the day. An early start of 8.30am broke my hibernating routine of a 9/9.30am rising! It was not as hard as I expected and the cats more obliging than I “have a story around” and so it shows me I can get back into a working routine … when the time comes! It is 9.30am now and if I was in bed, the sound of rainfall on my flat tin roof would just lull me into a weekend sleep in! Instead I get to gaze out the window and watch it feed the grass and run a stream down the concrete finding its way into the storm water drains. It is difficult to know which I prefer!
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and the 98th Anniversary of my Fathers Birth. It would be mum’s 56th Mother’s Day if she were here to enjoy it! She was here for only 52 of them, which almost beats Dad’s “here” for 59. When mum was my age, I was 9 years old. When Dad was my age, I was 6. Being the parent of a 6 and 9-year-old at this stage of my life is … unthinkable. Allow me to think about that for a moment. My mate’s youngest is 10 and I consider her a handful. The truth of the matter about “when my parents were my age” is that they had 2 kids – when I was 6 “the other” was 12 and when I was 9 “the other” was 15. Oh hell, I would say! Well, no point dwelling on it, it is not how my life turned out. So, to commemorate this special day tomorrow, I am making a film (of course). It is in anticipation of their Centenaries in due course. For mum’s 95th earlier this year I made a film called “Pulito Il Bagno (To Clean The Bath)” – my first Italian film with English subtitles. It is actually a combination of Italian & English words with Italian & English subtitles. That is the best I can do in my bilingual capacity. I think she would have had a good laugh at it. I hope Dad would be proud of what I am putting together for him. Yeah, I’m sure he would be. No point thinking otherwise, he is not here to correct me! Positive interpretation is always the way to go!!
I want to reiterate again here, in case in future I have a different perspective, that I am enjoying my Hibernation Weeks. I could not have done it without the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Governments intervention to close businesses to “flatten the curve” of the spread of the virus and especially their ‘yet to be seen’ financial support. Globally it looks like Australia did well with the lowest number of deaths and, I assume, lowest number of positive cases. We have had something like 98 deaths Australia wide and while Italy and Great Britain report thousands of positive tests overnight on a regular basis, New York reports a total to date of 19,000 deaths. Buggar to that too!
So, without belittling the impact this virus is having on the world, in my little corner it has proved a positive experience. I needed a break from the “where is my next dollar coming from” business lifestyle I have created. We always talk about ‘taking time OUT of the business to work ON the business’ but my business was not making enough money to let me open the door! And now it has. I can say the first 4 weeks were necessary to just unwind so even if I took a day or a weekend to ‘step out’ it would have just been like icing on a mud pie! I needed to really ‘empty myself’ so I could get clear about what is important, what time I have left and what I really want to do with the rest of my life. They also say, ‘your business is not your life’. That is true if you have a life outside of business! I keep saying that if I had a husband or kids then life would be different but without those contributions, all I have is me! I created my business as a reflection of me, the service I wanted to give my community. I created a lifestyle not a 9-5 job. I live with my business so there is no ‘leaving work to go home’. And I like it that way. When I was taking care of mum and then when she moved in with me, there was an interruption to business. I would watch tele with her from 10pm to midnight most nights; I would cook for her or buy her favourite Chicken Parmigiana from Schnitz locally; we would go out to dinner on a Friday or a Saturday night; and grocery shop on a Sunday fortnightly along with a monthly Sunday Roast and invite our friends around. After she died, I had my sister’s needs to meet until she walked out. Now I have just me … 3 cats … and my community through my business. As soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted I will return to my expensive hobby of Indoor Skydiving and that will be the only ‘time out’ I will indulge in! But until then, my feet are planted on the ground!
As possibly the final note for this week, I just heard that today, Saturday 9th May is the 75th Anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, marking the end of World War II. The importance of this is obvious (to me). Dad volunteered as a photographer in the second world war. He could not enlist in the Air Force as his eyesight was myopic (he wore glasses for distance). As my film will inform you, early in his time he became ill with Typhoid and Tuberculosis and then Pneumonia. I do not know the order of illnesses and at what point but I am aware he was sent to a possible “Sanitorium” to recover and this was for a couple of years, until the end of the war. After the war he was discharged as an invalid. If the war ended on the day before his birthday, his 23rd birthday in fact, it might have been the best present he ever received. I am disappointed I did not talk to him about his experiences back then but to my defence I was 11 when his ulcer/cancer was first diagnosed and 13 when he died and so not really an appropriate conversation for that age. I recalled my sister several years ago gave me her recollection of Dad and she said: “you really could not have a conversation with him until you were 15, did you notice that?”. I was surprised that she was surprised that I did not get to that age to explore the difference. Mind you she was also surprised I considered myself grown up in a single parent family. There was her myopia – anything outside her skin!!
So, to end this week on a positive note and not one showing the rumbles of family disgrunt I still harbour low in my abdomen, Week 6 of Hibernation has been excellent for the development of the next stage of my business and life. My eyes have been opened to opportunities I could (re)create and I look forward to the unravelling of my future.
Miss Sophia Cull Ayurvedic Traditional Medicine Woman | Doula | Pregnancy Massage Practitioner | Massage Therapist Writer | Poet | Film Maker