“People with ME/CFS face debilitating symptoms but often feel dismissed by doctors. The focus on long Covid could help change that.” Source: ‘The Guardian, 30 June 2021.

This is fascinating to me for many reasons. First and foremost because western medicine was of no help to me when I had chronic fatigue. I cried in more than one doctor’s office when they offered no solution other than what I was already doing; sleeping a lot and slowly trying to build up my energy levels.

Since COVID began I’ve thought a lot about all of the parallels with chronic fatigue.

Being…

I exist to ignite your genius
To remind you that you are more
So much more.

I exist to expand consciousness
Yours, mine, theirs.

I exist to stand witness to Shakti rising
To shout Her name
To embody Her intent.

I exist to heal the torn pieces of our heart
Yours, mine, theirs.

I exist to embrace you and the terrifying pain of shame, loneliness, regret, doubt.

To echo from the spaces beyond. This too is the Goddess. This too is growth. This too can be borne.

I exist to cry with you, deep in the night. When all is…

It’s been a rough few weeks for Australian women.

We’ve watched Chanel Contos collect the testimonies of girls and women in Sydney — and increasingly across Australia — about the horror show we call ‘sexual relations’ amongst teenagers.

We’ve had to endure the painfully ignorant response of our current Prime Minister to the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins inside Parliament House. We then watched other women go public about being raped by the same man.

The current Attorney General has been accused of rape and the Chief of the Defence Force perpetuated a classic ‘blame the victim’ tactic, telling new…

I recently came across this from the Mayan sacred text Popol Vuh;

All of you, O my friends!

You know it and I know it:

our life passes at once,

in a single day, in a single night,

nothingness.

We came only to meet each other.

On Earth, life is but a loan.

What struck me about this passage was the line; ‘We came only to meet each other’.

As a mother this is apparent every day. Children teach nothing if not that life is for play, for the sheer joy of being with one another.

Looking at my children…

Observations from an evening at the State Theatre…

  1. A man five rows in front of me with long, muscular arms, waving and punching the air in pure pleasure at seeing City and Colour play live.
  2. Dallas Green’s pitch-perfect voice being used precisely as it was designed — as a celebration of itself.
  3. A glimpse into a world where everyone uses their talents to bring such pleasure to others. Where one person’s pursuit of bliss (as a writer, a cellist, a sports star), feeds into another’s idea of heaven (as a reader, a listener, an enthusiast).
  4. Remembering what it takes to…

So you have passed from this world.

The world of sand between your toes and sunshine on your face.

The world of touch — of hugs and kisses, of holding hands and stroking hair.

The world of cherries and berries, and mangoes which drip down your face each time you bite in. This tactile, sensuous world you enjoyed with such appetite.

And yet, how does the proverb go? This too will pass.

And so your time has come. To pass through. To pass beyond.

What awaits you now, I cannot know. For this journey is yours and yours alone.

What…

The data on conversations around abortion tell us that men are the ones who dominate the conversation. So as a woman, I’m speaking up and if you’re a woman, I want to encourage you to speak up too.

Because women may not agree about how to manage reproductive issues but one thing is clear; it’s OUR conversation to have.

This is women’s business and as women we must reach agreement that our first and most basic human right is that of sovereignty over our own bodies. …

I was recently involved in a discussion where lots of middle aged women — women over 40 — really resented being referred to as being ‘midlife’.

It really got me thinking because in Australia, the medium age of death for a non-Aboriginal woman is 83 years old. (For Aboriginal women it’s currently 73.)

So factually, once you hit 40, you’re middle aged.

I’m an optimistic woman so didn’t technically feel like I’d hit middle age until I turned 45 because I’m pretty sure (based on lifestyle and genetics — the women in my family live on and on) that absent…

It’s so easy to feel despairing at the moment. The world feels ugly and violent.

So violent.

Despair is easily dismissed. People try to ‘buck you up’ and tell you it’s going to be ok.

But rarely are we invited to sit with despair. To develop a deeper appreciation of it.

I believe it’s an emotion we should treasure more. Because despair is indicative of investment. Investment in society, in the future, in our world.

Although it doesn’t see a way out of the hopelessness, its very nature signals that it’s aware there’s an alternative.

Somewhere.

It just can’t find…

Samantha Nolan-Smith

Feminist writer, visibility coach. I support women to be more visible by releasing the social conditioning that keeps us hidden. www.theschoolofvisibility.com

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