Life As I See It

How the bloody hell are ya?!

It's been a wee while since my last wordy post.
If you've been keeping up with the cyclone that is The Soul Echo, you would have seen I've dived into Vlog-land aka the Vlog-osphere as I've deemed it. 

I'm really digging it, more than expected which is freakin' sweet! I do have my moments where I long to write, like, right (write) now. *ayyyeee*
BUT I do have a wild love for editing videos, and I'm enjoying exploring a different medium to connect with YOU and share my message(s). 
If you'd like to take a squiz, you can do here.  There will be more of where that came from v. soon!

I've also been asked and am honoured to announce that I'll be exhibiting my photographic work as a part of the RAW Brisbane TRANSCEND showcase, happening on the 16th November! *starts ferociously sweating* Beyond the nerves and stress that currently surround me, I feel so freaking excited at this opportunity. If you'd like to come along on the night (which would burst my lil' heart into smiles) you can grab yo' tix here. Not only will you get to see lil' ol' me but you'll get to see a dynamic range of art and performances from fellow local creatives. 

Soz fam for the humble plug, this self promotion thing is kinda uncomfy and tricky, but it's necessary (to an extent) and something that I'm going to have to get damn comfy with. 

A special mention to those wonderful souls who have been following my journey from the beginning or to those who have just joined, you've all been incredibly enthusiastic and encouraging, which fills this gal's heart with all of the love and feels. So much freaking love! 

So, now... How are you? 
No, not just the standard 'Yeah, good thanks' that you whip out at your local cafe. 
Try again. 
This time with the honesty of your current mood, emotion, feels. 

Depending what's been goin' on in your world this morning, yesterday, last week, last month or the last year - your answer might fill you with extra joy or perhaps feel a little uncomfortable because things have been challenging...
Both are totally cool and are completely OKAY! And hey, the latter is actually awesome because you can recognise, process and work through it. 

Now let's dig a little deeper.
Another deep breath. Close your eyes. 
Embrace whatever emotions are showing up for you in this moment. 

The biggest thing I've learnt in my short life is in order to heal, you HAVE to feel all there is to feel.
Every little inch of your feelings, in all of the dark and dusty corners. 
Suppressing, disguising and not honouring them only means they will bottle up until it feels like you're choking and until it feels unbearable. 
Feelings do not disappear, and suppressing them will only mean they begin to show up in other areas of your life. Experiencing your emotions as they arise allows you to fully understand, process, make peace, grow and take baby steps forward. 

But with this comes some good news...
When you're in the depths of those difficult and painful emotions, your heart and soul are expanding and you are growing beyond the confines of who you think you are and what you believe you're capable of.  
Through the darkness comes the light and some well earned freaking empowerment. 

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#vulnerability

Yep, post teary selfie. Owning it. 

One of the biggest things I observe in my world and the world around me, is the pressure to front up with 'all of yo' shit together, always'. There's some spooky societal stigma around not being okay, which really f*cking infuriates me. Let's face it, we're not okay 100% of the time. That is f*cking impossible and completely irrational. We are emotive and expressive beings, and life is really, really tough and at times tragic.
How can we accept only happiness as making us whole? Why are we considered broken, weak or less of a human if we feel and express the spectrum of emotions?

A lesson my beautiful Mama taught me, is that no feeling is wrong or right, it just is and it's a beautiful gift indeed. 

How beautiful it is that we cannot contain our emotions, that we cry in the height of both happiness and sadness, that we laugh when our bodies cannot contain the joy we're experiencing. And how freaking beautiful is it that we can feel other emotions, some of which require a little extra TLC and support. It's all energy in and energy out. 

I'm saddened hearing stories of people struggling on their own, with no support, kindness or compassion.
My heart literally breaks that we're losing loved ones who cannot carry on anymore, that the pain they're suffering is too much for them to carry on. 

Coming from someone who has lost a loved one to an 'invisible illness', I'm calling on you to help me fight and break the stigma. 
I lost my beautiful Mama to suicide 8 years ago. And I know I'm not alone, but to continue her legacy I am determined to shake this goddamn f*cking stigma. I know she won't be the last to be lost, but I'm determined to do something to honour the beautiful woman she was and to all those left behind from this tragic kind of loss. 

We must as a community come together and take a stand. We must shine the light on these unspoken topics, we have to create acceptance for ALL human emotions. We must speak up and normalise 'not being okay'. 
Along with eradicating the stigma, creating acceptance and standing up - we must stop blaming and shaming fellow human beings who are suffering from unseen diseases, dark emotions and troubled times, because we are losing them - at a heartbreakingly rapid speed. 

We owe it to all those who have passed - our loved ones who have passed - to keep their legacy alive, to inspire change and prevent the unnecessary loss of life. 

We don't need judgement and alienation, we need empathy and compassion - just showing someone you care can change their life, it can literally turn it around in an instant.  

We need to be human and a hell of a lot more humane. 
Smile as you make eye contact with strangers, ask the stranger serving you their name and how their day is going. Act with kindness and love, and share that sh*t around like it's going outta fashion. Pay it forward, act with kindness and accept yourself and those around you as they're showing up - messy, vulnerable and everything in between. 

And if YOU are that person who needs an extra hug or a reminder that someone cares, then this is it. I am here. I care, I really freaking care. You are loved, you are stronger than you believe and you have got what it takes to get through these tough times. And I'll be right here with you. 

So get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Reach out to your network for extra support. Feel all there is to feel. 

You may feel lonely, but you're never alone. I promise that the light always shines brighter amidst darkness, and this too shall pass. 

Let's break this stigma, together. 

Light, love and big cuddly hugs. 

x

Steph

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