Challenges are Opportunities

  • By Moira McDougall
  • 05 Nov, 2016

A new day brings new focus

I have signed up to participate in Natalie Sisson’s 10 Day Blog Challenge. Why, you may ask, as I have already asked myself! Well, I love blogging. I have realised that creative writing is one of my passions. I have been out of sorts recently, and I believe this challenge will help me to find my rhythm and reason again.

Day One Challenge is to name 2-3 of my biggest challenges that I am facing right now, why they are coming up for me, and any possible solutions I could identify.

Immediately I name my ‘Broken Wing’ , the fracture I sustained to my left shoulder joint. Physically, every action is taking longer as I am slowly regaining function of my left arm. I tire more easily, and find the quality of my mental focus is also affected. I don’t feel quite so ‘driven’ as I did before my fall. I am truly grateful for the space the recovery time has given me – time to reflect on the path I was walking, and how I might want to change course. I see this as the perfect time to reassess my priorities and vision regarding my HeartFire Therapy Practice and my spiritual orientation.

To this end, I am focusing on regaining whole body health – eating well, exercising, resting, meditating and loving myself.

My second most pressing challenge is feeling overwhelmed by all the business models and business tools ‘out there’. In the past I have spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours completing online courses on all sorts of topics that interested me, in the hope of finding the elusive one that would bring me closer to my dream of being self-employed and financially independent. While I have learnt heaps of interesting stuff, I struggle to bring it all together cohesively.

In the course of my research into the solution to my overwhelm, I have learnt that I need to ask for help, that there is no shame in acknowledging that I am floundering. I have consulted with a number of different coaches, and am learning to accept jewels of wisdom where I find them. So many styles of coaching, so many personality types. I realise that I need to find a Tribe where I am accepted and Celebrated, where I can flourish and share my talents and gifts.  I am unique, I create my own style.

My third most pressing challenge is prioritising my time . I am so easily distracted by the chores and daily habits that I have created. It is true that living alone creates a certain freedom from ‘have-to-do activities’, yet I am the one who is responsible for keeping my home the Sanctuary I love to live in. I love gardening, pottering at home, writing, reading, craft work……. I lose track of time, and often put grunty things off in favour of doing easier more enjoyable activities.

Why this challenge comes up for me now, is to bring me to a point of focus. How serious am I really about shining my light, about taking my gifts and talents to those who would receive them? How serious am I really about my HeartFire Business? What is truly holding me back? What would it take to create and hold my Focus?

I am working on this one, planning my next steps.

What challenges are you facing now – and would you be prepared to share them?

This blog post is in response to   Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1


Self Manage Chronic Pain

By Moira McDougall 14 Feb, 2017

I recently visited an elderly woman in her home, in my community therapy role. So much had been happening in her world. During the weeks since my last visit she had experienced some serious health challenges, and her brother had died.

How could I be surprised that she had not managed to continue with the exercise and walking programme we had started?

She was tired, heartbroken and wracked with guilt, describing herself as “full of self-pity” because she was mourning the loss of her dear brother. This had also reminded her of the grief she experienced when her sister died a year previously.

I sat and listened with my Whole Heart.

 I was not there to offer solutions, to slap a band-aid over her aching heart, to make light of her feelings. I told her I believed it was good, right and proper to feel such acute loss and to express it. How else do we recover from our deep wounds?

She told me about her family, her ancestors who had migrated to New Zealand from an Eastern European country, just before the time of the Depression. She spoke of a grandfather who worked many menial jobs to provide for his family of seven children. Her parents also worked hard to raise her and her many siblings – a labour of love which she reflected on with great gratitude. She spoke of one of her sisters who had endured many trials and tribulations only to finally triumph – and she now lives overseas. She spoke with love of her own children – their successes and challenges.

In the telling, she called all of her Ancestors into that small lounge. I could feel them standing around her. I told her that I believed that talking about our Loved ones brings them close.

I can recognise the entrenched belief that being occupied fully, being accountable for every minute spent at the expense of any form of pure relaxation, has been ingrained in our psyches. No wonder, then, that this dear soul believed she was “full of self-pity” because her thoughts kept turning to those she loved dearly who were no longer here, in physical form. Because she could not do it for herself, I offered her the gift of my time, so that she could express what her heart was longing to share.

When it was time for me to leave, she hugged me tightly and thanked me for “just listening”. I feel I was the recipient of the greater gift. I heard her heart sing!

Do you feel taking time to grieve is selfish? Do you believe it is a form of self-pity?

I welcome your comments.

By Moira McDougall 12 Jan, 2017

You are going to win! With these words spurring me on, how could I not be a winner!

This morning I set out on my morning run, and it was hot already. Along the way, I passed and greeted a mum on her early morning walk, pushing her two small children in their stroller. The older child called out to me as I passed them, “you are going to win!”. How could I not honour that proclamation? How could I even consider feeling tired or discouraged with those beautiful words ringing in my ears?

This set me thinking about the many times I feel discouraged, as if I am wading through sludge. I have a strong work ethic, and set myself tasks and deadlines. This works for me when I have a good idea about a desired outcome, because it keeps me on track and I can measure my progress. But what happens when I am not sure about what I want to pursue or produce?

I am marooned in indecision, in not knowing, what my ‘next step’ is. Do you experience this too?

Business and personal coaching works wonders in helping one to define a pathway, helping to break down goals into manageable steps, in order to reach the defined outcome. This supposes that one already KNOWS or at least has an idea of the desired outcome.

One beautiful practice I was invited to participate in, invited us each to choose a Word to define a theme to focus on through the new year ahead, and to choose four Supporting Words to cushion or supplement the Word.

I have chosen SURRENDER.

Nothing works easily when I am pushing uphill, trying to do it all alone. I am not giving up, just practising being present in the moment, experimenting with ‘flowing’ rather than being rigid.

My supporting words are Grace, Gratitude, Courage and Insight – all qualities I will need to call on and include in my daily living.

Which brings me back to the proclamation “You are going to win!” We are all winners when we focus on what inspires us, what gives us meaning, and practice living in the present moment. And when we have others cheering us on!

“You are going to win!” – how does that make YOU feel?

By Moira McDougall 02 Jan, 2017

I have a heavy heart moving into this new year. Endings and more endings, because I am grieving the loss of two people dear to me.

My sister Anne has dementia and she is sliding further into the space between here and there. While she is still physically present, I miss her intellect, her sharp wit, her full presence. She is my older sister. I have known her my whole life. I never imagined that I would not be with her ‘fully’. She was the drawcard for my move to live in Christchurch.

She always looked after my younger brother and I; we looked up to her and trusted her guidance. As the eldest child, she copped the authority of our parents, and she fought hard for her independence. She is super intelligent, and my brother and I had a hard time following after her at school. She chose her own path, and with her husband travelled to places I have only ever dreamt of.

Now, I call on all my parenting and therapy skills as I navigate our relationship. She can’t remember what she ate two minutes ago, or whether she has eaten at all. She can’t dress herself. Her spatial awareness is impaired – steps are a challenge, and she doesn’t recognise familiar objects. Loud noises and busyness upset her, and her tolerance levels are reduced. Soon, she will need to be placed into full time care, which seems like a jail sentence. Excepting, there is no parole to look forwards to.

My heart is breaking. How did her Soul choose this challenge in this Lifetime?


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