I am amongst Warriors

‘To those Warrior Chicks out there, creating new lives and living their dreams. You’re beautiful; stay that way inside and out. You’re strong; always know you have that back up. You’re wise; let that be your center point when you doubt yourself. You’re brave as a fleet of men going into battle hardened by life, empowered by experience in being a woman. Stay that way forever.’ Lxo

I was inspired today to write this to a woman who is off on an adventure. For some it may be an adventure of a lifetime, for her it is her life. A leaflet from her book should be used in a guide on how to be a strong woman. But can I tell you she is not the only one. There is another woman I know who from a casual glance would seem that her life is easy, carefree and without worries. She has worked hard to maintain that façade but behind the scenes there has been destruction, loss and sadness.

I have the honor of having an international sisterhood, made up of woman from all walks of life, but with one common thread, they have turned their weakenss’s into strengths.

Here are some outstanding examples.

Maxine, a woman who lights up the stage each night as she plays to a crowd. Her strength and weakness are both entwined as she is playing to her lost love and that is her closest connection. Her strength to go on to leave a crowd wanting more is her power to fulfil her sadness in to love. I have learned from her.

Jules, who turned her corporate life in the cement jungle, to yogi extrodinaire. Travelling the world bringing her yin with her yang, but that is a life that requires strength in yourself to be alone and be at one with that. I have learned from her.

Shashanna, who went into battle with the biggest beast of them all, Cancer. All I can say is FUCK you Cancer…and she did too. Her daughters are her accompolishment, her drive and her reason. I have learned from her.

Om, the beautiful single Mom. She sets examples that are positive and sacrifices herself daily to be the Mom and the Dad. Strong in character but soft in heart, the base line of what being a single Mom is. I have learned from her.

There are opportunities everyday to meet these woman, take time to do it. Learn from them, but do not fear them. For they are different, you will feel it. Their strength can almost be overwhelming, they don’t mean it. I for one do not want to miss another moment. If I had I would have missed out on learning how to dive, how to be a skier, how to save a life, how to be a Mother, a sister, how to be a woman, how to love and how to heal.  Each of them has a strength that has been created by the weakness’s that they have had to overcome. Learn from them.

Today when I realized that a wonderful creature had taken flight to fulfill her destiny, I was so proud of her.

I am proud of all of you and maybe we don’t hear that from each other enough. So if anything comes from this, learn from me too. For there is another woman I know who from a casual glance would seem that her life is easy, carefree and without worries. She has worked hard to maintain that façade but behind the scenes there has been destruction, loss and sadness. Learn from me.

I am that woman. Warrior Chick

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I Am the Why

I Am the Why

A rock group, movie star, screen writer, comedian and famous musician walk onto my mats…but I don’t know this yet. A Mother, a cancer survivor, a bride to be and a divorcee all sit on the same matts.

A father who has lost his first child, a man who is about to make his first business deal, a boxer who is training for his first fight and an unknown artist share the same goals. From pole dancers, editors, lawyers, pilots and house wives, my mats have many stories.

The mats are met with many types of individuals that are there for one purpose and one purpose only, to find their why.

Why? Why train? Why work so hard? Why get up and sweat with a stranger to achieve a goal that is elusive at the time? Why do we do put ourselves thru this pain threshold or for that matter why do I?

Here is Why: Training isn’t just about the physical, no it is much more than that, it is about the mindset.

I do the training and I am the trainer. I have walked in all of these amazing humans footsteps with them. I have found that each of us are connected to our external goals as well as our internal struggles. Men and woman alike.

Everyone is the same when they walk onto my matts and there in lies the beauty of training. You are not your pain, your beauty, your loss, your achievements or your struggle. You are the why in what you are doing in that moment for yourself. All doubts leave, all worries are forgotten and you are there for just you.

The individual stories and hard work of my clients are Oscar-winning moments of their lives. I cherish every moment being apart of their growth and no matter what stage of life or goals they have been thru, I know that they have worked thru some amazing odds to shine as brightly as they can. What makes these individuals different from you?

Between their why and yours, they have found that the why is the love of themselves. They have realized somewhere along the way in one of those lightbulb moments that time is needed for themselves to rediscover new things, new goals, push boundaries and live without fear or judgement.

In that time and space all traps of society are forgotten, worries are replaced with endorphins and sweat is your friend.

To be there for yourself means you are better out there in your field of dreams. Your why becomes you and it shines from within.

My mats have a lifetime of stories from the ages of 5 yrs to 75 and thru all the years there has not been one moment that I haven’t felt blessed to be in the company of such awe-inspiring humans.   You are my why and I thank you all for allowing me to be apart of your journey.

And I leave you with this, that undiscovered artist, holds exhibitions all over the world. That rock group has hit the top ten in the Uk and Australia, that actress has just walked the red carpet and the screenwriter just got his first signing of a movie. The bride to be is now pregnant, the cancer survivor is a mom of 2 and kicking it everyday, the divorcee is in a new relationship, the pole dancer is about to get married, the pilot is now a solo and the Mom of three feels empowered sexy and strong.

I am the WHY.

 

#rubyrose #theveronicas #starfire #cancer #philnichols #barricuda #dennythetrainer #fightingyourdemons #sweatsmileswear #iamthiswoman #boxchick #trainer #marriage #fitness #mindset #thailand #boxcamp #boxculture #rawartwarriors #welcometothejungle

 

 

I Am Grateful for him-Part 3

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I Am Grateful for him-Part 3

I would like to share with you a message my husband posted on his time line.

He has always been the most generous, giving man I have ever met.  He is world class to say the least, but has inspired me on so many levels to be who I AM today.  No one is built alone, we are built from our experiences with engaging in people.  And as I write you will notice all my experiences good and bad have shaped me into who I am based on those interactions with these individuals.

Yet, there is one person who rises to the occasion time and time again, and to be honest I don’t know why or how he is here.  How did I, a divorced mother of three with a history of hell have heaven enter my door?

I thank you Mr.Denny from every fibre of my being for being you, consistently and persistently.  It’s beautiful to read you feel the same, thank you again My King x

An excerpt from Denny Denholm: a Royal Marine, a War Veteran, a Father, a writer, a boxer, a Coach….My love

We all have pasts and we all have demons…that can never be denied.

Some of us have to fight our way through youth and adult life, and others sort of sail through, unaware of the pain and violence around them. We all suffer. I am witness to that, especially Veterans, like me. 

This is why we are doing 22 Push Ups for 22 days in support of Vets who still live and need to be inspired by community and FB does that well. 

BUT…REMEMBER…OR WAKE UP TO…DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KILLS!!

When I returned from war, it horrified me that I had been genuinely sacrificing my life for my country and the good of mankind. Willingly taking my body and mind into the end of times to become strong enough to withstand war as a Commando. Then living through a career of it, for my country, family and kin.

I was horrified because while I was gone there were rapists and child molesters running a muck in every community. The more I looked the more I was broken in my soul. Any fucker tells me war broke me I will punch them right on the nose. Finding out this shit after my career in war totally broke me. No fucking question.

While i was trying to sort out how the fuck I can change this shit I met my wife Lisa Denholm. We were both going through horrific divorces and child custody nonsense and decided to fight back to back together, preserving love at all costs. We fight on and my wife has the courage to tell these stories so bloody eloquently. Watch this space…this woman has talent.

Listen to Lisa Denholm‘s story in her blogs. She has lived through the most horrific of abuses and still remains strong, faithful and able to teach others how to be strong, confident and loyal. God knows, meeting a loyal person is a challenge in these days. When I met this woman I learned about loyalty, hope and compassion, everything she tries to teach everyone every day. 

A true warrior and a true Love Legend!

Strength to your courage and I pray you that you can touch millions of people’s hearts. Together, we unite to STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

STOP SUICIDE

Lxo

Who would want you?

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Who would want you?

I had left my husband months before, tried to leave rather. I was back in 4 hours after the pleading and begging over the phone, the endless promises of, “ I will change!’ I knew, deep in my heart that wouldn’t happen, but the reality was I was a 40 something woman, a mother of three and had a responsibility to try for the sake of the family.

But how long is a piece of string? How long do you keep your life on hold in the hopes that one day all those promises will come true? And better yet, How do I set an example to my young daughter that abuse is never ok? or to my sons that treating woman badly is not OK? As they were getting older, they too were questioning my belief systems. For I wasn’t practicing what I preached, not even close.

‘Just get us out of here,’ my daughter pleaded one night. I had just turned 40, my 40th birthday party was in true form to the standards we had all grown accustomed to and let him get away with. He had gone from belittling the guests, to hitting on woman, to abusing his kids and finally to throwing out my presents and smashing the rented glassware.

As my daughter stood behind the door, slightly ajar, I could see her tears and her fear, “Why do you put up with this!”….Why indeed.

I was doing it for them I thought, I was trying to keep it together for the sake of the family, for the fear of being alone, broke, lost, lonely, used up. Then I realized I was already those things when I tried to look at myself in the mirror.

Yet I had tried bloody hard to keep it all together. I tried when the bottles of wine would come clanging up the driveway, I tried when he threatened the kids, I tried when his vicious words would keep pouring out nonstop abuse…I tried when he would pass out every night, I tried when he would spit tones of inadequacy…lord knows I tried. For 19 years I tried.

How long do you stay in an abusive marriage? What is the code of conduct? I tried thru marriage counseling, I tried to keep the kids on their best behavior, I tried to keep my house the cleanest it could be, I tried to be Suzy homemaker (even though my name is clearly Lisa), I tried passiveness, I tried loneliness, I tried giving up friends, and when I realized how hard I had been trying, I changed a few vowels around and came up with TIRED!

I was so tired. Tired of the eggshell floor, tired of the accusations, tired of not being allowed to grow because he couldn’t, tired of my children watching abuse and thinking it was the norm.

That’s the key thing with relationships; each of us will grow at different times. Not always at the same time, but if you are truly meant to be in that friendship/relationship then each one of you has to acknowledge that change is inevitable. Each day I change, a new wrinkle here, a new white hair there, nature tells you, you are changing.

I could have tried to hold back the changes, but Botox and boob jobs were never going to be for me. He insisted if I was to have the above, then he would love me more. Actually he would always love me more if I changed for him the way he wanted that change.

Who is anyone to tell you to change for them? Change is for you; you are not on anyone’s time frame of how you should change.

4 months later I was back in the same position. Sitting all business like with his sister, a 30 something, single woman with only her career and her endless degrees of paperback knowledge to contend with. After I had explained the circumstances, tried to make sense of this existence and how it had to stop. This modern day woman of the world had this pearl for me, ‘But, honestly Lisa, Who would want you? You have 3 kids, your over 40 and face it, you come with a lot of baggage! Not words of, as a woman you shouldn’t stand for this, or I am ashamed that you had to go thru this. No, there was no sisterhood support, actually she just shrugged and kept with her line of thinking…’Who would want you?

I thought about that for about 2 seconds, to be honest the cold had now set in and at the same time a burning rage. My eyes set straight ahead knowing my next steps. In my heart I was looking for me, I had been lost trying so hard to be everything for everyone else that I wasn’t interested in who would want me!!!

I was interested in if I would want me, if I could look at myself in the mirror and be proud of that woman who was changing. Changing from a young girl on her own, changing from a newly married woman to a mother of three. I wanted my changes to be appreciated not held onto like a bonsai tree. I was interested in my children seeing a woman stand up for what was right. If I wanted anyone to, ‘want me’, it would be them.

I left the next day, quietly packing my bags. He and I had spoken the night before in a long stand off. Reasoning was difficult, there were never going to be enough words, once a loyal person is pushed and the indifference sets in, there is no going back.

He had 5 key statements in desperation to make me stay, for this change to not take place.

1.If you leave me I will kill you

2.If you leave me I will kill the children

3.If you leave me I will kill you and the children

4.I will kill myself

5.Let me take you out for dinner and everything will be alright.

To answer her question, ‘Who would want me?

I’ll tell you who would want me… even though my losses have been high, I can finally look at myself in the mirror and know that change is inevitable, that being smothered, abused and disregarded is not what you are here in this life for.

I am here for me! Once that had been established, once I could honestly be me and sit in my skin, the who comes, the wants arrive, the love flows and you realize that piece of string is yours alone to measure.

I have changed again, a little older, a lot more under my belt, and I am with an amazing man who has watched from beside me those changes take place. In fact he encourages them, loves the fact we are changing, sometimes together other times encouraging from the sidelines.

I am this Woman.  Who would want me?  I would x

I AM just like you

 

 

 

 

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I am just like you.

In fact I am you. I am 18 going to college and working two jobs, I am 27 with my second baby on the way, I am 32 with my third baby arriving, I am 42 going thru a divorce and custody battle, I am heading towards 50 and starting to be comfortable in my skin. I am you and you are me. That statement above is my life in decades to this day. I too, like you have had a multiple number of excuses to not be healthy, to not look after myself, to put others first and to not make time for me.

Reading them back, even I can see that they are legitimate reasons to not being able to find the time. I have real life issues, just like you. What I want to do is show you how you can take an excuse and turn it into an opportunity to change your perspective.

Years ago, too many to mention, I became a Personal Trainer. At the time I was in my mid-thirties entering into what would be considered a younger persons environment.

As my client list grew and word of mouth started to increase my business, I found myself opening my first studio in Australia, which I named HOTBOD. This wasn’t a grandiouse place, by no means. The space was no bigger than 100 metres by 50. Just large enough for a skipping rope and a towel.

In my years of experience of being a trainer I have found that the hardest part for anyone trying to maintain a balanced existence is being consistent. So many things get in the way, important things. Illness is usually the predominant factor whether self inflicted or the common cold. To be able to rock up for your own life is hard.

It is actually easier to have an excuse than to make a date or a time for you. And these excuses are by no means an accusation that your lazy, what you have to own is that they are a realization that you didn’t think enough of yourself to take time out for you.

I have to say I am renowned for putting myself last and everything else first so I suppose that is my excuse and I work on that daily. I am not alone in that. The majority of my clients have always been majority women and we are a funny bunch to say the least. And not in the haha funny but in the huh funny. We want everyone in our life to be happy and will make those sacrifices accordingly, the first being not present for ourselves.

We have many obligations in our life, family of course is always to be number one. Next is work as that keeps the family going and second, third, fourth hell all the way to twenty and everything else in between we are obligated to.

School drop offs, concerts, after school activities, husbands, friends, house maintenance, cooking, shopping this endless list of life. Sometimes you can feel like a used mop, after being run across the floor and then squeezed out only to be dipped back in the murky waters again yet hoping for a shiny surface. But you won’t get a shiny surface if the water is murky. Murky water just keeps getting murkier, in order for a clean start one must change that water.

There are society standards blazing at us, gossip mongers being haters and everyone keeping up with the Jones’s whoever the hell they are their standards are by far unachievable and they have a lot to answer for. Must be hard to be a Jones, just saying.

Set backs are the norm, consistency is the hard part. Please do not beat yourself up over this, we are all in the same wash.

My husband and I designed a course years ago in Australia called the 32B Free Challenge. The course consisted of 3 weeks, training 4 times a week inclusive of our detox and our metabolic nutritional system. It was a success, not only in the turnout, but most importantly in the results. The theory is it takes 21 days to rid yourself of old habits and instead replace them with positive and motivational ones.

The response was fantastic in that I watched shy women turn into strong inspirations to their friends and families, I watched men throw their first punch and lose 14 kgs. But it went on to do much more as those that were apart of our fitness journey went onto become successful trainers, crossfit owners and body builders. How awe inspiring is that to know that we had touched their lives and motivated them to have fitness and a positive attitude thru our courses.

32B Free had been designed for you, the inconsistant globe trotter, whether your globe is four streets between the school drop off and the grocery store to home to travelling 13 countries in a year. Trying to maintain being in shape,is to be your biggest challenge.

Can’t we have it all, my head screams. Others make it look so easy. I myself have been accused of making it look easy. Please note anything in life that looks easy isn’t. Fact. Follow any sports person, any great chef or for me a trainer who is heading into her 50’s and yet still gets asked why I look only in my early 40’s. All of us will say it was sacrifice, hard work, passion and support, and here’s the big one, being lonely.

I believe why 32B Free worked was because we took that lonliness away, we created achievable goals and others to work towards. And we laughed, cried, smiled, sweat a lot, but we swore alot more.

Fitness, a group of like minded people pushing me on got me thru depression, fear and opened the door to happiness and freedom. Maybe we can sweat, smile and swear together someday, I would really like that.

I am just like you. I am that Trainer. I am Hotbod. I am 32B Free.

I AM just waiting on a train

An excerpt from the book I am this woman…..

 

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Just a few weeks ago I discovered a hidden SMS message on FaceBook that had been sent to me over a year ago.

I can tell you now, looking back on the discovery(hindsight is golden) that it was one of those ‘movie moments’. You know, when the train doors slide open, and you have a choice, to get on or not. The choice of getting on from the audiences point of view is obvious, but instead we seem to choose to stay on the cold lonely platform. I am guilty of  choosing the latter too many times, this time I was getting on that train.

I was in the middle of checking emails and not being the most-savviest person on the planet with my iPhone skills, I had overlooked a whole section of SMS’s. There were about 15 in the bank, but only one caught my interest. The message was written with a shy tone, cautious, but yet direct.

It was from my first husbands, first girlfriend and fiancé.

They had been high school sweethearts over 25 years ago. I had never met her before in all of my time in Australia, nor being married for 19 years, and to be honest, never really heard much about her. Like all high school romances, I had thought it was left in the pages of their yearbook.

I don’t know why I didn’t see  her message before, maybe the timing wasn’t meant for me to see it then but a few things were at play that day. Let’s just say the stars were all aligning, but not in a glorious Milky Way moment, more like a catastrophic parade of meteorites heading for Planet Blonde.

I recognized her name from the past, and then realized that maybe she hadn’t known ‘our ex’ was no longer living. I felt obliged to contact her, and of course a little curious as this was literally a blast from his past, and from all accounts, nothing to do with me.

However, the second reason was because her words were chillingly close to the bone, as to how accurate her description of what had happened to me over 19 years of marriage, reflected in what she had claimed to be her experience.

Her name was A, she typed thru messenger. She hoped I was all right, that my daughter was ok, and that she had been concerned all these years for my safety. She had hoped he had turned into a good man; and the last line, ‘she had been plagued all her life worrying for me and what she hoped I had not gone thru’.

The surreal part is I received this in late 2015, yet he had died 3 years previous and secondly a lot of work has gone into my growth and moving on.So why now, why after all these years did it have to come back.  I had managed to put all of the past behind me. But here is the rub, the past can’t be put to rest until you deal with it…all of it.

So, with a heavy heart, I have to bring back the past in order for me to succeed in my present.

Please note, I AM not a victim, I AM a survivor, I AM that daughter, I AM that divorcee, I AM that widower, I AM this strong, I AM a body of those experiences.

If this is not spoken about and I AM not able to share my experiences,as dark as they may be then how can I help someone out there who is going thru the exact circumstances and is overwhelmed in their isolation and can’t see their way out?

Maybe that SMS was a sign to say hey, you have had plenty of time to let others know, to help those when others doubt them.  For I have been doubted, called a liar, blamed and yet still had to grovel for those peoples affections.  Yes, it is hurtful to read but not as painful as receiving it.  And without my truth, that this happened to me, then how are we going to stand up for ourselves and say, enough is enough?

I to have had all this pain and not to be able to show others that pain just equals more pain.  Hurt people hurt people, sad people share sadness all the time.  I am here to share knowledge, personal experience and how to grow from it without the guilt or societies branding.

So please, bare witness, but don’t bare sadness, or despair, read for hope, truth and knowing that we are not alone.

My Living Hell

I was groomed from an early age. Trust has never been my strong suit.

Groomed from an early age by my uncle Herbie, from what I can recall 8yrs old to finally having the strength to stop him at the age of 16.

My mother knew, I told her over many years; her response was to get drunk and chase me with an axe thru my bedroom door, beat me or burn me. I have all scars to prove it, outwardly and inwardly.

Thankfully my stepfather had put locks on my door only a few weeks before the big finale, or it could have gotten really ugly. I left that day and didn’t look back for nearly 25 years!

To say my childhood environment reflected what was going on behind the scenes was the sinister part, for the house was always clean, there was food and I was clothed. My mother’s attention to detail, her fantastic taste in design and her immaculate presentation of her many houses did not reflect the pain.

There was pain, a lot of it. From beatings after school, to burns on my body, my mother’s drunken ranting’s were always followed with beatings, pulling hair, being punched or kicked. Accusing me of sleeping with her second husband, let’s just say the list does get bigger but you get the general idea. And the end result was always the same; she couldn’t remember that she had done it. Here is where the ‘blame game’ starts. I felt responsible for every punch, every bruise and every grooming experience. I blamed myself for the treatment my ‘family’ gave me. After all it was me who made them do what they did, right?

I know, I don’t look like anything could have happened to me. But it did, they did it and then  I blamed myself for it happening…every single day. But I left that behind; I put it in my past and just walked away. Dusted myself off, and made way for my future, a bright one. I wanted my life to be so bright like a glowing ball of sunshine, that anyone who came near me would feel my radiant glow of love and not want to hurt me. I wanted that so much.

The problem was though; that my past was still there and my first hand knowledge of ‘love’ was that it came from either a fist or a fuck.

The lady at the other end of that SMS was not to know that she had opened my Pandora’s box. Please note, it wasn’t her fault, she has had her own battles all her life, and I hope she can be at ease now, and know that I am thankful for her strength in reaching out.

I was 21 when I married. Looking back a child bride. He was from the other side of the world, a world away from rejection, ignorance and plain hate. Or so I thought.

My next 19 years were to be a repeat performance of my childhood. Physical and emotional abuse. The thing is bruises heal but words; words stay forever in your mind. And he was great with his words.

But one day those words didn’t hurt anymore, the sting in them was still there, but the indifference to them had set in. I was realizing my self-worth in the phrases of a childhood nursery rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’.

And so I left, again. I AM that mother who left her children with that hu-MAN, this will always be my guilt and sadness. At the time all I could think about was my survival and once that was established, then I was in a place that I could save us all. Sadly it hasn’t been that way.

Since this woman contacted me, I have had to regroup and look at all of my actions that led me into these situations.

I AM not accountable to those steps that were laid down for me by those who failed me in my past. I take great responsibility in creating new steps, with big giant leaps.

I chased those demons down and fought thru it, but not without help. Help came in strange ways and also in undeniable, downright spiritual ways too. As soon as I had decided that enough was enough, those train doors started to slide open and the boogeyman wasn’t there anymore.

I AM now well informed about what I will stand for in my life. Who I let be near me, and how I want to be treated. Simply. With Love

The night before I left my yet again abusive situation, I sat down outside on the steps and wrote down on a tiny piece of paper what I wanted out of my life. Not what I owe someone, not what I can do for them to make them happy but what I needed for me to fulfil my journey.  I realised that if you are truly loved, then the above doesn’t happen to you, if it is happening then get the hell out.  Find a way.  It’s all scary, but the scariest part is that you could still be there.

Dear Lxo

I AM in LOVE, I AM strong, I AM happy, I AM a rebel, I AM a traveller, I AM empowered, I AM a cougar, I AM raw, I AM an Artist,  I AM that Mother and my door is always open.

I AM this WOMAN, and the past is now just that…

My 11 Affirmations to Warrior Heaven – Forever Strong in Love †

 

**If you are a victim of #childabuse, #sexualassault, #parentalalienation, #domesticviolence #incest #mentalabuse #physicalabuse please reach out, to someone, anyone, me….

The more we  can bring awareness and stop the taboo of talking about these subjects the more the ‘System of Silence Stops.

LXO

 

I am that Wife

I am that Wife…

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2012 Thailand

The jungle trek was proving to be a bit frustrating for Sam.

Sam being the elephant who was taking them deep into the jungle’s of Chaing Mai. His master had already told them that Sam was upset with them. As he went onto explain why, Sam’s trunk again extended over his head in desperate search for the banana treats that most rides provide. Fleur and Saul’s hands were unfortunately empty.

They had forgotten or rather hadn’t realised they should have bought those 40bht bananas as they mounted their safari cage. Fleur’s mind was racing, this was their wedding day, here in the jungle, on an elephant dressed in a white embroidered cotton caftan and matching white fisherman’s pants, Saul was in matching gear, minus the embroidery. How did they get here?

2010 Australia

‘If I was to ask you to marry me what would you say?” said Saul over his shoulder as he was packing the final bags into their new home. Fleur looked at him, wriggled her nose, this was the 6th time he had spoken like this, and she knew better than to fall for his set-ups. The first time he asked Fleur was outside a Domino’s pizza joint waiting for their Tuesday cheap date deals. ‘So, what would you say if I asked you to marry me’? She recalled her reaction, wide opened eyes, a light blush; she was in no way ready for that. Before she could answer he laughed it off, ‘Just kidding, wow you should have seen your face! By the 6th time, she wasn’t falling for it.

2012 Thailand

And yet here they were, in Thailand, on an elephant, 1000’s of miles away from Australia, family and friends. As the trek continued along and Sam’s trunk eagerly awaited the possibility of a miracle from their cage Fleur looked out to the mountains. Something bright was shining and then it disappeared. ‘No way’, she whispered under her breath…she glanced again. ‘Saul, do you see that’, she touched his wedding whites and pointed to the hills. There thru the trees was a cross. Saul tapped the Masters shoulder and asked for their ride to steady them closer to that mark.

The trek thru was easy; a tribe was set at the foot of the cross-called the Aka’s tribe, the long necks. The tribe lived in huts with dirt floors and hammocks, bare in it’s form but with all the needed necessities. As they walked thru they saw a church at the end of the town. Saint Nicholas was the chapel and Fleur and Saul were still a bit in shock as they entered the Catholic Church.

A pastor was passed out at the base of the altar, ‘Perfect’, said Saul, ‘We have our witness.’

They were both so bewildered by the day’s events; this was not at all what they had been expecting. They set about setting up the camera to take self-shots, when a German family walked in. A young son with his parents, the boy looked to Fleur and Saul and asked if his family was interrupting a wedding. Fleur and Saul just looked at each other and said, ‘Well yes and no, a wedding yes but you are not interrupting. The young boy offered to take the photos and with that in agreeance the couple went about composing them selves for their hand written vows.

2010 Australia

She had just finished her morning shift of clients and was packing for their first weekend away as a couple. Both sets of children were with their respective ex’s and Saul had organized for a weekend away. He wasn’t giving anything away, all he said to Fleur was ‘just pack for anything’.

He had also handed her his book, the very book he had started writing 2 years ago and was now on the market. ‘I need you to read this, it’s about me and maybe if you think I am too much for you hopefully by after this weekend we should know where we stand with each other.

That was last night and after her packing she had a few hours before he was to come pick her up. Fleur opened the first page and set about getting to know the man behind the writer.

2012 Australia

Excuse me miss can I get you to stand to the side. It was midnight; Fleur, Saul and Cupid were standing at the border patrol waiting to go thru. Saul had gone first and they had spoken of this the night before. Once he goes thru passport he can’t come back thru. As frightening as that possibility was Fleur knew there was no other way around it.

The past week had been a blur. From the moment she had seen the Fb message from her sister to the nightmare that had unfolded in front of her. She couldn’t get a hold of any of her children, she was being accused of murder and drug smuggling. The arrival into Brisbane had been with much fear, She had been threatened with jail upon her arrival back into the country. Threatened with her children never having contact with her and all this on top of a horrible suicide. In the days leading up to finding Cupid she had only been able to see him under watch at his school. The whole school she was to find out later had been put on lockdown just at the sheer mention of Fleur and Saul arriving into the country.

From there she was able to organise a visit with Cupid her youngest. And from there everything just went faster. Cupid was in shock, he had just lost his Dad and was now telling his Mother that he was sent to the police station to write a statement to not have anything to do with her.

‘Enough, enough!, Fleur closed her eyes and started to breathe slowly and calm herself. Action was required. Fear was not an option. How this all happened was irrelevant what was needed was reasoning and distance.

So she did what every Mother would do to protect her young, she kept her son. He agreed. The days that followed were nothing short of a nightmare, screams of threats from family, cries from her daughter pleading with her not to break the children up. Heart wrenching, as that was Fleur knew her In-laws were wrong. And they had intimidated her long enough.

She called Saul, told her her plan and he quietly said, ‘I got your back baby.’ Thank you she whispered as she put down the phone and looked at Cupid, ‘Are you sure about this’…Yes Mom, I want to do this.

2010 Australia

She could hear him pull up in the driveway. ‘You ready baby’

Fleur looked up over his book and smiled. ‘Well’, she said, this could be a very interesting weekend’. She had just finished the last page of his first book, Fighting Your Demons, Denny Denholm.

2012 Australia

As the situation was unfolding to Fleur and police officers were now heading towards her and Cupid, she started to crumble. Cupid was crying in her shoulder and tears were running down her face. Saul had already gone thru, she was on her own.

As another police officer was walking towards her and Cupid, he stopped suddenly and headed to the direction that Saul had just been thru. Actually now she realized all the officers were leaving her side as a seen was starting to unfold. All she could see was a man’s arm with a passport coming back thru, it was Saul.

‘I won’t leave you Fleur, I am your family’.

I am married to a hero, I am that wife, I am that rebel who took action, I am that survivor who said no to fear, I am that Pirate who used the broken rules in her favour, I am that victim who stood up and said NO. I am that Mother who would do anything for her kids…. even letting them go. I am Fighting my Demons…and I have been given the strength to do so.

I am that Chick

I am that Chick…

He was late, their first ‘coffee date’.

As Fleur started to close the studio and put the possibility of morning coffee on the back burner, she started to recall who he was.

They had met two years before, Fleur had needed to update her qualifications as her studio was busy and she was looking to increase her knowledge for her clients. He had been at that same course, and he was late then too, she remembered.

The thought of their conversations from that weekend two years before had started to flood back. He had just returned from War and he spoke of the other War he was now in …divorce. He spoke of his little boy and the love for him and his fight to be in his life. He also spoke of his love of writing and how he had been in the process of starting a book.

I am that chick from the course.jpgShe remembered he was funny, engaging and he spoke of finally enjoying his life and all the ladies that came with that. She remembered thinking then what a great friend to have met and they parted ways and that was that.

Fast forward two years, Fleur was in exactly the same War he had spoken of all those years ago.

And so that is how Fleur ended up here in her studio, recleaning the same floor pretending she wasn’t all that fussed if he was a no show. After all it was silly to be waiting for this man she couldn’t quite place.

As she turned off the lights at eleven past eleven, the studio door opened…She remembered him, he was that guy from the course.

I am that Chick from the course

I am that home…

an excerpt from I am this Woman…I am that home.

They say home is where the heart is, but, to be honest, I have been struggling with that phrase all of my life…

I have had many dwellings, in many countries, each one has been unique and was the space necessary for that period.

I was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. Brought into this world in a little town called Salmon Arm. Born to young parents who divorced by my first birthday, I then had required two spaces. My Mother’s and my Father’s….

I discovered that although these were where my parents lived, they hadn’t included me in their environments, not on any reliable level. Just as the little girl who went to her Dad’s for the summer or her Mother’s for the school year. I may not be to quick on the uptake sometimes, but it did eventually rock home to me that whenever I drove into my Father’s ranch, the names of all my brothers and stepmother were on a sign by the edge of the driveway. My name never made the list….even when my youngest brother (RIP) was born, his name was put on with additional chains and proudly presented. Lisa never made the cut.

Over the years I stacked up 13 schools, one of them was even for the mentally challenged and blind, to this day I can sign the alphabet…so all things considering I learnt from each experience. My Mother moved what seemed like every two years, for whatever her reasons were, I still to this day can’t say which place was my childhood home. But through that I became adaptable, needing to survive in any situation that came my way…I was always the new kid on the block.

My graduating year my Mother entered me in a beauty pageant… I won. Every weekend I was away, and I was cool with that, as that was exactly how my life was any way. Packed, in a bag, waiting to head out.

I moved to Australia by the age of 24 and started a family. This was a family home that had many lives in it. All of my children were brought up here, Christmas, Birthdays Primary school, and then the fire. A 13-year-old boy one night decided to randomly pick my kids’s home and light it a flame. …that burnt everything I had collected within those 15 years of calling it my ‘home’ to the ground in 7 minutes. Those pictures that I had collected of the kids, art, children’s toy’s and their pets…all gone .

So it got me to thinking as I roam the earth over the past four years as a person with No Fixed Abode. I have travelled 3 Continents, lived in 11 countries and seen more of airports than most do in a lifetime. This, by the way, is not a complaint in fact the very opposite.

‘My home has always been within me.’

I am that home….
On first foot into my home, you would enter into an environment quite sterile, clinical and verging on OCD cleanliness. Please don’t feel awkward that you are the first to see this, as once inside my home you might be shown more than just the front landing.

After a few more visits, my door will open a little wider and as I invite you in you will start to notice slight changes, some subtleties that on your first visit were not there. Maybe a hint of color catches your eye or the smell of my favorite fragrance or even something yummy cooking on the stovetop. Enter into my home and cast your eyes down my hallway, what once looked to you like a cold and long descent, slowly starts to fill with pictures and art that I made myself and proudly placed on my walls. As you entered into the first room you might have felt at a Doctor’s office but wait on a little longer and you will start to notice the collections of my travels and the knicknacks that meant enough to me to pack across the globe.

Oh, please don’t open that door. That room has been locked for awhile, in there is pain and it has been dealt with for now. My home has it all, a room for pain, for laughter, but especially for love. This is my home, and my home is my heart and so I decorate it accordingly. You might not like my layout; that’s ok you probably only got to the front door. For those that have seen the colour and embraced the atmosphere, I hope you enjoyed my hospitatlity because I wanted you to see my house.

I am that home where the hearts of the people I have loved and embraced along the way decorate my halls and fill the pantry with the song, wine and laughter…they are my home, and I am there’s…one needn’t always a roof or a hanging picture to prove that you are home when hearts touch hearts and eyes lock.

I am that home….

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Miss Chase, 1986