when you find yourself in a dark place, it's not always as it seems..

About two years ago I moved to Perth and some pretty big events happened, pre-departure from Aotearoa, that forced me to reconsider almost everything I believed to be true..

I failed at the two main roles I used to identify who 'Hana' was; being a rugby player and being good at what I do (my job at the time). I later learned that it was all in my head and wasn't as bad as it was - but man, in that moment...

it was the only truth I knew and it sucked.

“I didn't try to rush or fix me, because I didn't even know what 'fixed' looked or felt like anymore..

I was in this really unknown, awkward, in-between, existing kind of space I'd never experienced before. I was unsure and indifferent about who I was, what I stood for or what I wanted to do each day - let alone with my life. Not the Hana you know and love today... lol it's a stretch but worth the shot.

I knew it wasn't a space I particularly enjoyed being in, but I still had some confidence (of all things) that I had to just let it be and ride out the wave..

I didn't try to rush or fix me, because I didn't even know what 'fixed' looked or felt like anymore.. Instead, I focused my energy on cultivating a nurturing and safe environment to strip back who/what/why 'Hana' is, down to its core.. to expose myself.. and rebuild again.. Because sometimes,

“when you're in a dark place - you think you've been buried.. but actually, you've been planted.”

- Kōkā Christine Caine

And almost two years on, what's been growing in te kōpū o Papatuanuku, in the earth's womb, is starting to surface.. I've still got a lot of growing to do for sure, hah ohhhh I'm only just getting started! But I'm only doing what I am now and have the awareness, the confidence, the conviction I have now - because of my time in the darkness..

I was a seed in the ground; naked, vulnerable and bare.. I learned to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, to go into spaces I never knew existed (physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally), to clear out stagnant energy and create space for new energy and life to flow through..

“for a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

- Cynthia Occelli

So if you've found yourself in a dark place, don't think you've been buried by the weight and pressures life throws at us.. you're going to be alright, because Papatuanuku's got you. You've been planted and while it might feel like chaos to you and who knows (or cares) what it looks like to others...

It's time to grow.

Ngā mihi,

Hana