Terrified of Life
If someone had told me 20 years ago that I ‘d be living the life I live today I would’ve snapped and asked what frickin fairy was going to make that happen!
Lifetimes ago I was an angry messed up teenager with a whole stack of reasons to hate myself. By the age of 21, I was a single mum and had endured two domestic violent relationships and was terrified of life.
By 22 I met the love of my life and had two more kids. At the ripe old age of 28 I went through a cancer scare and became even more frightened. Consumed with fear and self doubt I was convinced I was a misfit.
Not surprisingly, I felt like shit most days. I felt like I didn’t have a say in my own life. My self-esteem was shot, and self-confidence was non-existent.
But something in me, thankfully, didn’t give up. You could call me a stubborn cow!
Determined to dig my way out
One way or another, I was determined to dig my way out… even if I wasn’t sure what I was doing at the time, I was not and am not a quitter.
At 29, I was looking for peace, love and contentment and had my first Reiki initiation, which complemented my exploration into Buddhism and Yoga. These powerful experiences prompted me to study Applied Kinesiology, Aromatherapy, and Remedial Massage, join a healers’ circle, learn yoga and attend regular yoga retreats.
I went through the “New age, self-development” era that promised a brand new life. And ticked (almost) everything that was to be done off that list.
Yet I still felt like shit.
The past wouldn’t let me go. The old stories kept turning up to haunt me.
At 36, I felt the urge to reconfigure our family unit and define my authentic identity. With 3 kids in tow, we embarked on a journey without a destination. We traveled thousands of miles and lived in tents for 6 months as we figured out what mattered most.
Turned out living in tents was one of the best things we could have done as a family.
We got back to basics, figured out who the hell we were and fell in love with the tropical far north of Australia. Attracted by its pioneering spirit, we settled into Darwin life.
Meanwhile, I hadn’t forgotten about my personal quest for peace, love, and contentment.
Without any networks, connections, family or friends, I was given a clean slate and a second chance.to immerse myself in a new community and come out of hiding.
Who the hell am I?
I had lived most of my life in the shadows: as the daughter of, the sister of, the mother of, the wife of blah blah blah. Now I was faced with the question – WHO the hell am I?
I decided more education would be the answer to healing the void I had inside of me to fill the empty gap of peace, love and contentment. I prayed further education would soothe the pain of feeling not good enough.
Within 4 years, I enrolled in 3 national qualifications in community services, alcohol & other drugs and youth services, a Diploma in communications and Bach Welfare. I even helped pioneer the Restorative Justice movement in the Northern Territory and won a national award for my contributions to the community sector.
You’d think I became a brand new person, right? Nope! I was still living with my constant self loathing and struggling to manage my inner demons.
Without enough peace, love and contentment, I still felt like shit.
At 42, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and decided it was time to come face to face with the dirty secrets I’d kept locked away.
That was the year my whole world blew up and I thought I’d never ever recover.
Being formally excommunicated from a very large Catholic family was soul-destroying, yet loaded with opportunities to grow and finally stand on my own two feet.
The shit hit the fan, and I had to dig myself out of it. Somedays with sheer grit and determination.
(In retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise. Because instead of bottling it all up inside of me, the shit hitting the fan actually allowed me to deal with it.)
Fortunately I had a wealth of field experience as a community-based counsellor and formal training in dealing with hurt & harm, pain & shame. Plus I had learned some pretty useful empowerment strategies to pull myself out of the muck & mud that I had slipped into.
My old swami used to say, pain is inevitable, suffering is by choice. So I made my choice.
By 47, while still finding my way through the pain and shame of exclusion, I faced death as a result of self-neglect and complications from a major surgery.
That was the whack over the head I needed so I could wake the hell up to achieve the peace, love,and contentment I so desperately craved,
Life IS precious. We need to face our fears and dive right on into LIVING.
That brought me to studying Life Coaching and the Law of Attraction. I incorporated these new perspectives into my professional training background and set out to create a new way of living – for my clients and myself.
Here’s what I know as a result:
I’ve got a natural born gift for turning shit into fertiliser both for myself and my clients. I think this has come about through the alchemy of my exceptional intuition and years of solid professional experience plus decades of personal practice!
Since 2010 I have coached, counseled and mentored hundreds and hundreds of clients through processes of change.
We all have the right to bust through old stories and redefine a LIFE that’s worth living.
Every time I hear a bullshit story like “But you have no idea how hard this is Bron!” I look my clients in the eye and say “Oh YES I do. And if I can learn how to turn shit into fertiliser, so can you!”
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In 2000, Bronwyn Clee, together with others, pioneered the introduction or Restorative Justice practices into schools and community in the Northern Territory.
It is unique blend of experience … that has allowed Bronwyn to be good at communicating the importance of processes, which treat everyone with respect and dignity, and importantly, are capable of making a difference in the lives of those experiencing difficulties.
Bronwyn is a genuine and compassionate person who possesses considerable moral courage. She is prepared to challenge others in a respectful and constructive way.Terry O'Connell OAM