Monday, 11 September 2017

Riding the waves of consciousness

A societal shift is occurring around us and has been for quite some time. It started a number of years ago with the introduction of "The Secret", "The Law of Attraction" and all such publications that describe and explain how universal energies work around us. Society has clung onto this like a joey clings to its kangaroo mother; just along for the ride. More scientific writings have also been released by authors/physicists like Tom Campbell that actually often dispute the "law of attraction" principles because they don't fit with quantum physics. Regardless they are all essentially describing the same thing; universal energy and our awareness or consciousness of it. Some are explaining in layman terms or what some would call "touchy feely", others have researched and explain it in more technical or scientific terms. All of them are attempting to describe and share knowledge of a universal energy around us and help others to understand it. It's not complicated, it just IS!

As we know, we are all born with very limited skills and knowledge. We are also very unique and have a journey called life ahead until the ultimate day of death. Our journeys are very unique as they are shaped by the knowledge and experiences that we acquire through our life journey. We do share some similarities in character and experiences and that allows us to be classified in to groups sometimes. In terms of the shift we are seeing there are three groups of people. The surfers, the kayakers, and the whitewater rafters.

The surfers

Riding waves, ups and downs. Some days they ride euphoric waves all day and some days they spend mostly underwater. They choose not to understand the mechanics of how the world works, they just go with it and accept it as it is. Surfers hear or see the information presented to them but choose to ignore it or call it babble. Surfers need tangible, concrete information. Abstract ideas are too much for them or maybe even scary to them. Surfers allow their ego to get in the way, so much so that they refuse to consider that they even have an ego.

Pros of being a surfer
They are in the majority so they are seen as "normal" everyday citizens who are just living life as it comes.
Cons of being a surfer
They experience a lot of struggles in facing the challenges of life and actually create more despair for themselves than necessary.

The kayakers

Gliding along, enjoying everything around them, living in the present moment. They pack the essentials into the kayak. The kayak gets tippy at times but they quickly steady it so they don't lose anything. Kayakers are willing to see the abstract ideas and contemplate them, they are willing to do the self exploration and hard work needed to become mindful and have the ability to pull back from their ego or situations that can cause distress and make peace with what is. They are not immune to their ego, they are just more aware of it and make decisions that bring peace to their lives. They value peace and are happy to avoid the challenges that their knowledge could bring them if they allowed themselves to deeply contemplate the deeper realities.

Pros of being a kayaker
Peace and tranquility of their journey by choice. Ability to feel emotions yet put situations into perspective to stay on a path of peace. They make choices that create a journey that they choose and they handle unforeseen circumstances with logic. Living in a state of euphoria and awareness of the blessings around them
Cons of being a kayaker
People see them as "hippie like", sometimes a bit "out there". They are said to be living in a dream world. Its really hard work to stay mindful and continue a self reflective journey keeping your ego in check while living in a world of surfers.

The white water rafter
They want the challenge. The hit the water with force sometimes riding with great adventure and sometimes flipping the boat, getting back in or causing injury or loss. Rafters grab the abstract ideas with full awareness of the implications of it for society. They have a passion for all people to "see" it, know it, acknowledge it. They struggle with people who do not understand universal energies and the science involved. They want to make people "get it". They want to change society and challenge the systems that they know are taking advantage of humanity. They are very aware of their ego and do the hard work of self reflection and being open minded and mindful of the present.

Pros of being a rafter
Living a journey of choice. A state of euphoria that others often never experience. A full understanding of what universal energies and the science means for humanity. Ability to share and encourage others.
Cons of being a rafter
Not a lot of people understand them, they are the minority leaving them with less relationships and people to have conversation with. Often seen as eccentric, selfish, cold hearted. They struggle in their own brains so much that they create their own distress and frustration unnecessarily.

There is no right or wrong place to be. No group is "the best place to be". Its all personal choice, where we choose to be on our own journey between life and death based on the experiences and knowledge that we have acquired. We can all be more conscious of others. Surfers could have more open mindedness, kayakers could choose to join the momentum of the rafters, rafters could try harder to accept the world as it is and that they cannot force people to understand; that some just don't care to learn about the science. 

Differing levels of consciousness are sometimes misconstrued as people having a "higher level of consciousness" being more intelligent. Consciousness is simply having awareness, physically and intellectually; awareness of ourselves and others. A "higher level of consciousness" simply means that you have done the hard work of self reflection and you work hard at keeping your ego in check to understand others.  It doesn't equate to superiority, it's not a destination; it is a personal journey that never ends because our energy never dies.

We all experience, live, ARE universal energies. Society seems to be shifting to a higher interest in learning; possibly creating more kayakers or rafters.We choose our level of consciousness. It's not complicated it just IS!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Unconscious rituals created by childhood trauma

Some days I am amazed by the power of self reflection on an hour long walk.

I have recently, like just 5 days ago, begun the transformation to a ketogenic lifestyle which essentially is a low carb diet. I also recently started bullet journalling. These two things combined have created a huge shift in my life and health in 5 small days.

The bullet journal helps me stay on track with my daily routine, habits and self care. This includes my new diet.

I have been feeling GREAT! So yesterday when I went to town and I suddenly felt like Fall was upon us and started feeling down I was boggled. Why does Fall always get me down? Heck it's only July, why am I thinking Fall?

As I walked this morning (part of my routine and habits tracked in my journal) I thought about why I woke feeling down and didn't even want to walk. It's Fall! It's an unconscious ritual that has been living in me since I started school in kindergarten. It begins when I see school supplies in the store.....which coincidentally happened yesterday (what are you thinking Walmart, it's only July?).

So I thought more about the transitional rituals in my life and the feelings that go with them. Here they are:

Back to school (Fall) - depressed
Christmas break - excited, feeling great
Back to school (winter) - depressed
March break - excited, feeling great
Back to school - (end of year) - depressed
Summer break - the best times of my life

There is a pattern here. The childhood trauma I experienced was in the school setting. Light bulb! I have been living out these learned rituals for my whole life. Now that I am conscious of them I can change them. I am going to start with the Fall. I am going to learn a new, celebratory ritual for transitioning during those "back to school" times of year.

Rituals, conscious or unconscious are very important to explore. They have a great impact on who we are, what we do, who we choose to be with. They tell us a lot about what is important to us in life. They identify areas where me might need some support to cope. I know my husband has recognized these negative transitions for me and I have always brushed them off. I have never identified how to support me with them. Now I can do that. This Fall I will identify ways to help me cope and work toward creating a positive way of embracing the new season because there possibilities for good things are endless.

Rituals are something that I am consistently conscious of (or try to be) because they are a great tool that I use in my job. I use rituals to get to know people, I train other to use rituals to get to know people. Again I am reminded of how useful the work I do can be for anyone in any situation. Most importantly they have helped me change my life.

It's amazing what a good walk and some self reflection can do.

"Once you know better, you do better!" Maya Angelou

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Bold or duty to society?

I have been mulling something around in my head for many years now -

making contact with the man who so graciously inserted all of this trauma into my life, my brain, my world!

It started with wanting to contact him to angrily force him to hear all of the awfulness he left me with without a second thought. I wanted him to feel guilty, I wanted him to remember like I do and feel as sick as I do every time I am triggered.

As I started the healing process and did some therapy and I learned how to "forgive" or rather let go or release my own responsibility in it....I wanted to contact him to let him know that I was leaving all of the responsibility with him and that I was no longer going to carry it with me. I was going to force him to feel guilty and be angry that I didn't carry it anymore.

Then it changed to simply wanting to write him a letter and tell him he no longer has control over me, I have grown and healed and know how to cope now.....that I am an adult just like him and he no longer scares me.

I have never contacted him. I don't know if it is because I'm not 100% sure I believe everything I want to say to him or because the thought of even hearing his voice or being within a bazillion feet of him makes me nauseous, shaky and feel like that little helpless girl again. Yet every once in a while I look up his address and phone number and consider taking the step.

Lastnight I found myself considering it again. I think its time to make a decision, do I do it or not? What would be the purpose in doing it? How would I benefit from the contact or would I only suffer? What am I trying to prove anyway?

So I took the time to really think about those questions last night and I have come up with a potential answer for myself. I would like my readers input and support.

I came to the conclusion that I still haven't brought the awareness to society that I feel is the only potential silver lining to my experience. I have always believed it is our duty as humans to share our experiences in order to help others. It's a huge item on my bucket list and I have put it by the wayside for a while now making small attempts here and there, mind you those attempts have been successful but I feel like there is more to do.

Here's my plan. I want to work with a convicted pedophile who has had successful treatment to bring awareness to both sides of the issue. I want to have a public conversation of sorts that explains what is happening in the minds of both victim and abuser. I want to write a script and act it out or have actors act it out. The script will need to be developed with a convicted "healed" pedophile as I have no idea what the script would say on their part. Maybe this is all just another piece of my healing journey but I think it is important for society to understand how intricately woven sexual assault is and how difficult it is for people to come forward when the current stigmas continue to exist.

Here's where you can help. Do I make the contact and approach my abuser about working on this with me? Of course I think this would be the most powerful or do I work on it with a random convicted pedophile that has done a lot of work to understand themselves and reduce the possibility that I become revictimized by association? Personally I think I have done a lot of work myself and I am in a healthy space to be able to do this and cope with it with support from others but I question that as well.

So what say you? Bold or duty to society?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Found and lost

I was born into a family of two parents and two older brothers.

I had no idea what I had found. My sister came along to add to our blessings. Over the years there were many ups and downs.

The bond we built between the 6 of us was unbreakable.

I lost a cousin. I hurt.

I lost aunts and uncles. I hurt.

I lost amazing grandparents. I hurt.

I lost my oldest brother. My world was shattered.

I have been blessed by not having lost my parents or my children....God willing I will outlive my children but reality is I will experience the loss of my parents. That pain will be it's own.

All year I think about the great memories. This time of year I think about those last month's,  days, minutes.

I wonder what he was thinking, what he wanted me to do. I try hard to reassure myself that I did right by him.

I will never know.

This pain will never leave. It is the worst pain I have ever felt.

I miss him and want nothing more than one more day, one more moment, one more smile, one more beer, one more phone call, one more campfire, one more Hollywood howl!

Johnny I miss you! I love you and my heart will never be as full as it was when you were here.

We found each other by luck, through biology and we lost each other by death but only until we meet again. ♡

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Feminism or Equalism?

I have recently become involved in a peer mentorship program for survivors of sexual violence. The journey to becoming a mentor includes 40 hours of training which I have been attending every Tuesday afternoon for a number of weeks.

Each week I come away with more motivation and inspiration. I have a one hour drive home from the training and always leave my radio off and think about what I have just learned.

One of the greatest pieces of learning I have found is about Feminism. I was 100% of the belief that feminists hate men and want women to control the world. I did not consider myself a feminist, in fact,  I strongly reconsidered getting involved in the program because the agency that is offering this opportunity is a feminist agency and I wasn't sure I fit with their philosophy. Well, I am glad I decided to give it a try because I learned what feminism really is.

It is about being equal. Not about burning bras in protest of men's position in the world or fighting to take away the rights of men. It is about sharing the world with men. Feminists want to have the same opportunities in the workplace, home, society as anyone else.

Men are feminists. Yes, there are men who truly believe that the world can be shared equally with women very peacefully. They even believe that women have a right to equality in the workplace, home, society. I would dare to go so far as to say that Feminists believe in equality of all humans regardless of sex, race, colour, creed or sexual orientation.

I am a feminist. Who knew?

So why is it still called feminism? I understand historically women fought very hard for the rights of women and I thank them greatly for all they did to allow me the freedoms I have today. However, I think the word feminist is misleading. I would also venture a guess that many men who are feminists would deny it because of the label and the stigma that goes with it.

Isn't it time that we move with the ages and call it what it is? EQUALISM!

Not to minimize the work of the feminist movement but to offer gratitude and show their success. We have moved, we have a long way to go, lets make it socially acceptable to be a man and fight for equality for all humans.

I am an equalist and proud of it.

Friday, 22 April 2016


We all have aspirations. I have started my 101 item Bucket list full of things I aspire to do.

What about who we aspire to BE?

I have just returned home from our annual HSA/Learning Community Gathering which is always so very inspirational and includes leaders and followers from various countries. We talked a lot about aspirations this year.  I have very much admired Helen Sanderson (the UK CEO of HSA) since I first got to meet her via social media. Julie Malette (HSA Canada lead) is also a woman I very much admire, not to mention many other associates. These two ladies particularly have a presence about them, a sense of strong mindfulness, a  level of conscious awareness that I covet.

Now covet is a strong word, much stronger than admire and that is a realization that I came to during this week together. Since I have known these amazing women I have aspired to BE them. I wanted to be the person who leads an international or national organization in person centred practices. I wanted to be the person who has led so many people on such inspirational journeys and introduced brilliant work to the world. I coveted their success superior to admiring their qualities.

This year it felt different. I didn't want to BE them I wanted to BE WITH them. I wanted to enjoy their presence, learn from them and share learning with them.

My journey of self awareness, mindfulness and conscious awareness continues and will never end and I recognized the movement I have made through the past year. I no longer covet what they have, I admire who they are and what they contribute to my work and personal life. I dont want to BE them. I want to BE MY BEST ME!

I aspire to be Barb Swartz-Biscaro, the best woman I can be acknowledging my faults, quirks, failures, lessons, successes and qualities along the way. The woman who does the best work she can in the areas of her interest. The woman who is the best she can be for her family. I dont need to be internationally known or respected, I need to be introspect-fully known and respected. I aspire to be ME.

It wasn't a waste of time to covet these women. I learned a lot about the qualities I want to emulate as a successful woman. I aspire to strengthen some of those same qualities to be the best me.

I can't be Helen Sanderson or Julie Malette, they already have those titles and carry them very well. I can only be Barb Swartz-Biscaro.

It is pointless to aspire to BE someone else, find the qualities you find admirable in the people you covet. Do your best to be your best YOU, that's your only choice. You were given one title in life what do you aspire to do with it?

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A letter of forgiveness - to my abuser

(I would say Dear, but he's not dear to me)

James Elson Tulloch;

Today I found my purpose in life.

I thought I forgave you about a year ago; and I truly did try but I held onto hatred. Now I know that I can really let go.

I can forgive you.


Not for you, but for me. For my mental health, for my future.

You stole my childhood!

You stole my adolescence!

You stole my young adulthood!

You had a strong hand in my divorce from my children's father!

It took me about 32 years after you left my life to start to learn to not let you to control me.

Now 34 years later, YOU ARE HISTORY!

It sure has been a long road.

There will always be triggers.

There will always be reminders.

But no longer will I submit to them. No longer will I surrender to them, relent, concede, yield......YOU HAVE NO CONTROL ANY LONGER.

I  am FREE!

Today I found my life purpose! I knew I would eventually find a way to help other survivors and I have been searching.

Today I found it!

I give gratitude for your influence on my life and appreciate the direction you have given me to help other survivors.

Did you ever think I would thank you?

Me either.

I guess I should thank Karma because she is helping me help others and I no longer care what she does with you.