sharleen bailey


The trouble with certainty

Have you ever been certain of something, but it turned out it wasn’t true? That’s the trouble with certainty… I jumped in the car one morning before dawn for an early gym session. Living in rural Australia at the time, encountering kangaroos on the road was a common occurrence, so I flicked the headlights on high-beam. In a comical ‘cross-eyed’ fashion I could see one beam was pointing diagonally upwards, casting more light into the treetops than the road ahead. ‘My husband must have hit a kangaroo on his way home last night,’ I thought. After my workout, in the light of day, I noticed a dent in the side panel. ‘That must have been where it hit,’ I deduced. Driving back down our driveway I saw a mark in the gravel where the event obviously took place. ‘Wow, he was lucky there wasn’t more damage.' When I walked into the [...]

2023-06-28T17:24:02+10:00By |Healing, Life|0 Comments

How creativity cured my perfectionism

Why aim for perfection when excellence will do?  This was very wise advice from my high school English teacher, Mrs Brown.  I was about 15 and my perfectionist self was devastated by a 94% on my Hamlet essay.  Or was it 97%?  I can’t actually remember, because only one thing mattered in that moment.  It wasn’t 100%. It seems ridiculous, but that’s the cruelty of perfectionism, it’s unattainable.  Good enough is never good enough, and anything short of perfection is unacceptable.  I spent much of my life in that vicious cycle of striving, never measuring up, and the shame of never feeling good enough.  That’s my definition of perfectionism: shame, wrapped in striving. Where does perfectionism come from? As a child, our parents and teaches and coaches are hugely important.  In our desire to please them, and to avoid the shame or judgement of their disapproval, we work hard at doing [...]

Is your past weighing you down?

I loved my mum’s charm bracelet when I was a kid.  It was silver and heavy, crammed with charms from each of the cities in Europe she and dad visited on their honeymoon.  Each one was different.  There were tiny little buildings, landmarks and national symbols. I don’t remember her ever wearing it, but I’d pull it out and she could tell me which country each charm was from.  I imagine it triggered memories of the cluttered souvenir shop where each trinket was thoughtfully selected as a memento of the visit.   Charm bracelets today tend to be branded items, uniform in design, more of a fashion piece.  Their origins, however, reside in being a keeper of memories.  They have been worn for centuries, tokens added as cherished records of places, people, and events holding special meaning to the wearer. Recently I was reminded of that bracelet and I thought about how [...]

2022-06-02T08:05:47+10:00By |Healing|0 Comments


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