Releasing My First Book

Along with everything else going on in my crazy life, I am working towards the release of my first book, Poetry From The Ashes. All the hard work is done, I’m just waiting on a release date.

I’ve been talking about writing and publishing a book, for almost 8 years now, so it’s been a long time coming. At first I was focused on writing a novel, then moved to short stories, and have ended up completing a poetry anthology. Talk about a journey!

The writing of this book, was a journey in itself. Expressing emotions and memories – sometimes quite graphically – of recovering from child sexual abuse, was at times quite triggering. Or was it?

Sometimes it wasn’t the content triggering the anxiety, sometimes it was the anxiety triggering the content. While I would tap into the fears, thoughts and feelings I had during a panic attack, and use them to delve into the murky depths of my past, the panic attack itself had an unrelated trigger.

It has taken almost exactly 12 months from when I first decided to change to publishing a poetry anthology, to where I am today. In that time, I have also amassed enough other poems to fill 2 more books – if you would to read some, visit Poetry From The Ashes – so it has been a very productive period. However, the next goal is, at least at this point, to complete my novel.

I will have an announcement soon, about when the book goes on sale, and how you can go about purchasing one.



Love is a funny thing.

In an ideal world, we love our parents, our siblings, children and extended family. We love our friends, our pets, our neighbours. We love celebrities we have never met. We love our lovers, our partners, and spouses. Sometimes, we love ourselves.

How is it that we love in so many different ways?

But what about a love that just exists, with no rhyme or reason, so completely and unconditionally that we do not get feelings of jealousy, hurt, anger, disappointment, regardless of what the other person does or does not do? A love so pure, it doesn’t matter if we are loved in return? A love that enables the object of our love to feel free and unrestricted? How rare is such a love? And what are we meant to do with it?

Reflection Of Me

I had a conversation yesterday, and in it, I said some amazing people had come into my life in the last couple of years. The response from the person I was talking to was, “that is maybe a reflection of you.”

Their words have been swimming around in my brain for a while, and I’m starting to think they may be on to something. 

The people who have come in to my life have, for the most part, been respectful, adventurous, willing to explore the world, life, and themselves. They’ve predominantly been open and willing to share their experiences. They have all taught me something, and helped me grow as a person. They’ve helped make me who I am.

Many people have described me in very similar ways.

But there is a deeper level of similarity emerging. All these people have been attached, or detached in some way, unable to give of themselves completely, hiding behind the image they project to the world, their fears, their pain, or even something undefined. Just like me.

So, perhaps it is true that we attract what we project. Perhaps all these amazing people really are a reflection of me.

Still Breathing

It’s been such a long time since I wrote here, and I didn’t really have any intention of returning after leaving, but there has seemed to be quite a bit of interest the last couple of weeks, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to say, “Hi.”

So much has changed, and so much has stayed the same since the last post on here. I left my relationship. I found myself, lost myself, found myself again, only to lose me once more. I found my sexuality, and lost it again. I have a manuscript ready except for the formatting. I stopped writing short stories, and started writing poetry. I’ve had three jobs, four different addresses, across half the State. I fell madly in love with a liar and a cheat, and I had a whirlwind same-sex relationship. Just normal, everyday stuff.

In amongst all of that, has been the omniscient presence of my father.

Panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, memory floods, body memories, and ever increasing anxiety has been in the background the entire time. Every mountain you think will be the last one, and it never is. But it does get better.

In the last two years I have learnt to smile, to feel safe enough to play and makes jokes, to trust myself to know I can look after myself, and I’ve broken many of the shackles. So, it can be done. The question is, at what cost?

I still have dreams to be able to help others. I still have dreams to write. I still love getting out and exploring the country.

I’m still breathing.

Hey Universe, I Hear You This Time!

I hope you don’t mind me reblogging this on Writing From The Ashes. I very much understand what the woman you met was saying as I have experienced something similar myself – it was not until I changed the way I thought about myself and started to ‘accept’ from others that I truly started to heal.


Juanita-Lewis Universe is calling This post is about a tremendous AHA moment I experienced on Friday. It is so powerful that I needed to share it with all my fellow seekers out there. You see, like many others I am aware of way too many moments in my daily life where stress, anxiety, depression, and a sense of despair threaten to undermine if not destroy my happiness. With all the daily practices I have in place to increase my conscious awareness, I still am a work in progress and prone to ruminating about the tragedies in my past and fretting over my future.

I begin each morning with a silent gratitude session, before my feet even touch the floor. This small ritual is a fabulous way to set the tone for the day. After I drink my deliciously flavored coffee, finish with my personal hygiene, and dress – I then have my morning meditation…

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The apology of Pope Francis

Pope Francis apologises and asks for forgiveness

Pope Francis apologises and asks for forgiveness

I have been totally consumed with completing a uni assignment for the last few days and haven’t had time to write anything.  When my thoughts turned to writing earlier this afternoon, for the first time in weeks I drew an absolute blank – zip, nada, nothing.  So, I sent a silent request out to the Universe for a topic.

Several hours after this request, I sat down with my computer and caught up on the news I have missed while I have been researching and writing my ethics assignment – and what do you know? – the first news item I read has provided my topic for today’s post.

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness for child sex abuse by priests, says sanctions ‘must be imposed’

Hmm… with a headline like that, how could I not read the article?

To be clear, I am not a Catholic, nor do I know the Pope personally, or in any other capacity, however, I have read many articles expounding his virtues and generally indicating that he is a pretty decent bloke.  Now he has apologised for all those ‘evil’ deeds members of the Catholic ministry have enacted upon children, so that must mean he is a good man, mustn’t it?

Well, maybe not.

Yes, it is, theoretically, a good thing that he has done by apologising, however, I don’t personally feel that the apology goes quite far enough.  You see, although Pope Francis has said the Church “will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed” he has also indicated that those sanctions only relate to the priests who abused children.  He has made no mention of what will be done about the many, many more within the Church who protected those men and worked hard to discredit and discount the victims.

It is all well and good to impose ‘sanctions’ on the perpetrators, even though the form those ‘sanctions’ will take has not been elaborated, but while there are people within the Church willing to aid and abet “…the evil which some priests…” have done, then it’s a hollow apology.

Take Australia’s own Cardinal George Pell.  He is now Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy – a bloody good reward for his diligent efforts to cover up child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Australia, don’t you think? 

Although there will be an endless number of people ‘out there’ who will be thinking something along the lines of, “Wow, wasn’t that a wonderful thing Pope Francis did, apologising to all those abused children?  They should all be feeling much better now that it’s all in the past, forgiven and forgotten” (believe me, there are people who really think like this), I find it hard to believe or accept such an apology when the people in his inner circle, those hand-picked by the Pope himself, have spent so much time and energy fighting to silence victims over the last few decades.

I can only hope and pray Pope Francis will ‘see the light’ and also ensure he weeds out all pro-child abuse supporters from ALL levels of the Catholic Church.


I’m sorry for my hypocrisy

I'm sorry for my hypocrisy

I haven’t always been so true,

No one knows this more than you.

When your child was abused too,

I said, “This is what you should do.”


“You should definitely speak out!”

My words becoming a shout.

You should’ve given me a clout

And said, “Go sort yourself out.”


For yet, and all the while,

I was drowning in denial,

That though I continued to smile,

I was protecting a paedophile.


You slowly drifted away,

Saying, ‘’”We’re much too busy today,

For the kids to come and play.”

Our friendship was in decay.


In the intervening years,

I have shed so many tears,

For my cynicism and sneers,

Arising from my inner fears.


I miss you with a passion,

My heart and soul are ashen,

But not for my inaction,

We would still have interaction.


So, here for all to see,

Is my full apology,

For the person I used to be,

And my ignorant hypocrisy.