It’s a funny old position to be in and not one I expected but here I am. Waiting. Waiting for a flight that takes me to someone I hope is waiting for me.

It’s been a whirlwind of a 24 hours. Yesterday morning I was at the gym and one phone call was all it took to turn my life upside down. One call that stopped my world spinning for a few moments while I took everything in.

And now, a day later I am waiting for a plane to take me back to a place I wasn’t intending to be today. I’ve had to discard emotions and put my big girl pants on and do things and see things and be part of things I really would rather avoid.

But this is my reality and I must move forward.

One step closer. One plane journey completed but one still to go and that’s not for 10 hours yet. Torture. I am so tired and uncomfortable after being squeezed onto a busy plane and in seats so tiny that it almost became painful.

I’m not a great flyer so to be doing this solo is even harder but I know my hand is being held virtually, so it’s bearable.

Continually getting updates to see if I am too late and all going well so far. I hate this but then I am simply the traveller and not the one holding on.

What we experience and get used to can feel strange when you are on the outside looking back. I feel alien in this world of busyness, such intense movement, rush, noise, chaos. That is not where I live. I live in silence, quiet calm, community, with laid back movement and a ‘it will happen eventually’ mentality. I like that place. I am uncomfortable in this, the one that used to be my world. How fast we change – not even three years and I feel like I’ve been placed in a different planet.

It’s late, or is that early morning and the airport is beginning to wake. First there was a team in yellow hi viz, reading sheets of paper and pointing. Next came the team in pink; some moving the spare stands that form the queue and a couple of others who weren’t quite in the mood for working but happy to take pictures of the ones who were. More people are hovering , watching the boards to see where to head to next for their flight. I still wait, I can’t sleep, I keep waiting for the message I don’t want to see; that this has all been in vain. Thankfully so far it hasn’t come.

You see all life here, waiting and what I wonder most is where have they come from, where are they going, and why! The couple behind me, one American and his partner South American (I think from her accent), I can hear are travelling but looking for work for when they get back – she is a nurse of some description and he a photographer.

But what about the lady in pink in front of me. Pink coat, sweater and hat. Where’s she going and why? Or the young couple to my right sharing some food from a plastic box, looks like cold pizza – are they going or have they been?

The booming voice of a lady behind me to my right echos around the room. She has been talking non stop for the last couple of hours and shows no sign of stopping. Not sure where she is from as I don’t know the accent or language and I don’t wish to turn and stare but I picture her. I don’t want to turn and see something else in reality as she is sensational in my head.

And then there are the numerous children – too young to be in school so going on holiday maybe? Incredibly well behaved considering the travelling they are doing to have done and the hour of the night. One is starting to flag but I think her mummy did that long ago as her patience is on the edge.

I love to people watch and create lifestyles for them in my head. I wonder what they think when they look across to the woman by the window, looking a little sad and tired, tapping on her phone. I wonder if they realise I am capturing them for all eternity…

A couple more hours and I can move again. Why didn’t I get a hotel to get my head down – far too expensive for a few hours – but how I wish there was a comfy sofa to rest on rather than this hard wooden and very uncomfortable chair.

The clock is ticking, for more than one reason.

Final leg. It’s 6:56 I’m waiting to board and I’m too late….


Do you know what this feels like? Do you know what it’s like to sit with no other people, no phone, no contact with the outside world, even though it’s all out there happening.

Today is a festa in town but I have no car to get there. Everyone in town is in town, no one walking down past the house for foraging or walking to the forest and everyone is busy with their own lives so no Facebook, no Instagram, no emails or calls… a strange silence pervades my life today.

I am comfortable in my own silence and am happy in this still space, but I know for some this would be unbearable. This nothing space, this quiet space, this empty space. Whether I am inside or out, the silence is particularly loud.

There was a time when this would have driven me insane, I would have been restless and needing to do something, usually with someone, but not now.

I don’t need people or noise or things to occupy me. I don’t need contact. I guess that is why I live where I live. I love people. I enjoy their chatter and clatter and noise. I love creating or singing to the radio or working where I hear life happening. But… I don’t need it in my life; it is most definitely a choice.

Silence is my starting point; the outside world is a decision I make for some touch from the world… quite the opposite of years gone by.

Years ago I lived in as much noise and chaos as possible to cover up the silence; the silence I feared as that is where my head went into overwhelm which made me anxious and fearful of my own bad choices.

Silence was never my ‘go to’.

Now it is my world. It is the sound I wake to, I choose to be in throughout the day, and fall asleep to at night. Silence even pervades my dreams, giving me no reason to wake any more with cold sweats or anxiety of the day that’s about to dawn.

I can feel, physically feel, a pulse of energy around me. Not pressing or forcing itself on me, more sitting alongside me and waiting for me to ask it to leave or at very least, allow some sound or activity to share its space. We are friends, silence and I.

If you’ve never been introduced or introduced yourself to silence, I highly recommend you take some time to say hello. Do not fear it. It holds nothing but love for you. Yes it has the tendency to be uncomfortable, as is any new relationship, but it’s worth the ‘uncomfortable’. It can be the beginnings of a very beautiful and healing friendship. It really can change your life for the better.

Tomorrow I choose noise and people and life outside of my relationship with silence. She doesn’t mind, she know me well enough that I will always come back home when I’ve filled my pockets with peoply things. Today it is she and I and we will sit and watch nature and discuss… absolutely nothing.


We are at the end of the first month in 2023. What have you done? What have you achieved? Did you begin, try or complete the plans you had on January 1st? Oh I can hear “I didn’t even begin”, “no nothing”, “I started but life got busy so…” 

Excuses?  Reasons? Possibly yes. Does it matter? Absolutely not !!!!!

At the end of last year I beat myself up for not achieving… it was only when I sat and looked back and talked through what had been done that I realised just how much had been begun, progressed and some even completed. Some of this was sitting and watching the world, my world, and wasn’t all get up and go. I needed to be reminded of all of this because I had simply forgotten. So I have decided not to wait for December to come round, I am reviewing today.

I am a list type of woman so I can tell you exactly what I began the month with and what has been ticked off. Has it all been done? Of course it hasn’t because my list is for the whole year; but what I asked of myself, I have delivered. What I would have liked to have done is obviously more…. but, I haven’t berated myself for being slower on some or having to wait for other people before I can complete others; instead I have given myself a big “well done” for achieving what I have.

It is important to recognise things you have done, started, completed, tried and even failed on. You don’t need to justify what is left or what you think you failed on… (you never failed by the way, – if you look at what you thought you would do, was your heart in it or did you tell yourself you ‘should’ do it because of xxxx?). You do not need to feel pressure from others who may tease you or berate you… this is your year and your life and you can do whatever the heck you would like to do – remember that please.

If later you forget what has happened this month, or don’t like to face the month that has now been done, when you come to later in the year, all that you hold inside about your lack of self worth, lack of achievement, inability to complete things (yes I know some of you are thinking these because it is human and we are all that), you will feel this year was wasted. I don’t want you to feel like that because I care for you.

Take five minutes today and check what you planned and what you’ve done. If they don’t match who cares. Congratulate yourself for what is done and forgive yourself for what you expected to do. Most things can wait and most things will only be done when the fire in your belly tells you it is time. Let that happen.

Whether you achieved loads or nothing at all, welcome in a new day and start again when the love is there. It is amazing what you can achieve when you love it and yourself… see you in February.


We are experiencing shockingly cold weather at the moment here in Sicily. It does get cold occasionally but this feels something else. We have had rain and thunder storms, winds howling like I have never known, and this incessant cold…. Even my house is cold and that is really saying something – it rarely gets cold inside and yet here it is. But, as I walked around the house checking that all was well and looking through the window to see if the wild kittens needed food, and even as I pause now, I have a sense of peace and stillness.

This house is off grid and with the best will in the world sometimes we run out of the solar energy stored in the batteries, and at 07:35 I heard the stillness come in as the power went off. To be fair, I wasn’t expecting it to last all night, so the fact it lasted that long is amazing, and I know the sun is lurking behind the fog so it won’t be off for too long,

Due to the lack of electric there is a beautiful stillness in the house which matches the stillness outside this morning. We have been battered for a few days now with rain, thunder storms and the most horrendous howling wind I think experienced since I arrived, so to open the door and hear nothing, feel nothing but this overwhelming silence was beautifully overpowering. The morning fog is lingering in the valley and has crept up and around the house, the wind has stopped and these have created something special; the world, my world, has fallen still and silent.

Calming. Peaceful. Comforting.

All days should bring with them these emotions, this sense of inner quiet and calm. Because of the fog I can see only to the edges of my land and that in itself gives a sense of being the only place in the world that is awake. Having no internet and therefore no phone pinging with morning greetings or emails, also silences the world outside, enabling me to focus only on the world I am in, right here, present only in this moment.

How do we capture this moment, this emotion, this sense of quiet and solitude on a ‘normal’ day I wonder?

In the few moments that it took to write this, I see the sun is rising and burning off the fog to the side of the house and I can see more of the world appearing. It is great to see as that will bring back power to the house, but it is also creating a tinge of sadness because in that action it is putting me back in the world of others. I am not sure how I feel about that just yet. Am I ready for the world today?

I may have mentioned before that I live more by the sun and moon than I do by the man made linear calendar, so I don’t really have week days and weekends unless I am interacting with others for meetings, for events, for coffee (this is the most important one here is Sicily) and therefore today is another day, not necessarily a specific day of the week for me. Saying that, I have had a fabulous couple of days interacting and socialising with people I love and care for, and that makes me at peace with myself and the world this morning – I think that is why I am not sure I want the lifting fog to throw me into the human world yet, there is no rush, let me stay here a little longer…

There are moments in our lives that we want to hold onto because of how we felt in that moment, in that space, and they are precious beyond anything else we can expect from life. I guess it maybe like that moment where we lie between life and death, one single moment where we are being held by those we leave and those we travel to and yet one hand has to let go.

These moments of the end of life, of death, I think are quite beautiful and if you ever get to experience this, I feel that the split second where the dying let go of our hands, but are held safely by those who love them and are waiting to take them forward into another world, will bring you a split second of peace, knowing that you and they were loved. And I think that emotion is what I feel right now. I feel loved. I feel held by people in my life, but also by the universe outside and I don’t wish for that moment to be over.

But over it is for now, as I see the blue sky peeping gently through the fog as a mother at her child’s bedside, gently calling for them to wake and enter into a new day. I guess I have to listen to that voice and join the day, but I enter knowing I am loved, that I have all I need in my life and that I am grateful for still holding the hands on this side and not the other. For those who have had to let go, I send you love.

The fog is lifted, the robin has appeared at the window so it is time and I know that very soon I will experience the breaking of the silent house as the sun regains her power, the solar panels fire back up and the pinging of the various electrical things in the house will wish me good morning. The moment I have experienced has been precious, but I know that externally it will leave me as soon as the sun is high and strong enough, although internally, that moment, that silence, that inner peace, will remain with me all of the day and for that I am extremely grateful.

I hope that you can take a moment in your day to welcome your inner peace and feel what it brings to you and your day. Breathe in that moment, close your eyes and feel it, then carry it forward and know that for today, you are loved and at peace with the world. No matter what you face today, hold that moment close. I wish you well my friend.


It’s just a bean… Is it? Is it really? Is it ‘just a bean’?

Not for me. This small, beautiful bean is autumn sunshine, winter rain, it’s friendship and hard work, it’s attentive focus, and observation and it’s pleasure and patience. This small and beautiful bean is nature, wind, sunshine, rain, contentment, love, positive energy, dialogue and music.

This little bean received as much of me as all the others in the pod and on the plant and on the rows of plants. This little bean is sustenance, nutrition, food. This little bean is part of me because I gave it all I had.

Calling this ‘just a bean’ is the same as me saying I am ‘just me’… it’s not enough because it and therefore I, are more.

Just me. Just a sister. Just a mother. Just a lover and partner. Just an aunt and great aunt. Just a lover of dance and creativity and singing and nature. Just a healer of people. Just a supporter of those who feel less. Just a listener and friend. I could go on but I think you get the gist of what I am saying.

We are never ‘just’ anything and if I could delete that word from our vocabulary I would because it immediately makes something less, when it really is enough.

My bean is precious. Priceless even. My bean is special and it’s very beautiful. My bean is who I am and I am part of it. I am as precious, priceless, special and beautiful as my bean, as my family, as my friends and acquaintances, my town, my country, the nature that surrounds me and on and on and on. I am as precious, priceless, special and beautiful as you, so if you don’t see yourself as these things, what are you therefore saying about all the things and places and people in your life.

Your world is a reflection of your ‘self ‘ as you are of it, therefore if something doesn’t feel right ask yourself which needs to change.

Next time someone asks you who you are, what you do, what’s your passion or simply ‘how are you’, promise me you’ll never say ‘just’… or at very least learn to catch your words and correct them.

Just a bean? I don’t think so.


And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”.

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way”.

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

These words were gifted to me by a very beautiful soul, but I don’t think they knew the impact they would have or know what they would mean to me. I thank them, for they (the words) stirred in me, something most important and have got me thinking, and I simply love things that make me think, make me question my own thoughts and stir something inside me that makes my feel just a little uncomfortable whilst I sort out how I feel about them.

I have learnt to love walking where I cannot see what is ahead; it has a sense of excitement, as well as fear, but my belief in knowing what’s right has never wavered. Have faith, step forward, and enjoy the journey I tell myself. Never give up, never doubt, keep on moving forward because somewhere, at sometime, you will be where you are meant to be.

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way”… As a child and young adult I believed in God and all that came with it but still I questioned what I was taught from the bible and over the years this hasn’t changed. Once I was able to believe these words, and indeed I lived them, but this, this blind faith, was lost nearly 30 years ago now. Or was it?

Does not believing the words or stories in the bible, or perhaps I should say believing that they are the words of man not God, mean that you have no faith? I think not, but I am open to someone telling me otherwise. I am talking Christian faith by the way, but what I have seen of the Christian faith they are good at talking, and praying but not so much doing or living (perhaps I have just experienced very poor ambassadors of the Christian faith).

I do not see this in other faiths but maybe that is because I am not close to these. It is of course probable that all faiths have different levels of “living and breathing” it. I am also not talking of the extremities of fanatical religious beliefs, I am talking ‘average Joe’. But I digress and will say that for the purpose of this blog I am going to be talking only of God and not of religion as I fear I will go down a rabbit hole I am not prepared or ready for.

So… “go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.”…

To you, is God a man, or a woman, is it nature, is it the Universe, is it a spiritual or an angelic being? I wonder. How often do we say the name of God, in times of pain, or grief, or stress and confusion and never expecting anyone to hear or answer, we simply cry out the name. How often in times of gratitude, or joy, or happiness, do we do the same? I wonder. But, whatever God is to you, can you reach out in times of darkness and truly trust that hand is there?

It is easy for me to answer that one and say yes.

I have done it many times in the last 10-15 years and always as I reached out into the dark and empty silence, there was someone or something there that would take my hand and assure me that I was safe and protected and all was going to be okay. Knowing this, how could I ever doubt that there is a God in some form or another.

As I write I can feel my trust in my own intuition fighting with me. Why? Because I really don’t want to be judged here – ridiculous I know, but judged not for my words but my beliefs – will I be considered less if I say that I believe in God, and do I have to justify what God is or means to me so people don’t think I have gone mad? I have spent so long fighting with my vision of the God from my childhood that I find it really very hard to accept the God that lies within me now.

I have no desire or need to go to a Church. I have no desire or need to read the bible. I have no desire to have a debate on how the world began – Science versus Religion – and yet, I know that every morning as I wake I thank someone or something for giving me another day, I pray to someone or something to keep my family, friends and myself, safe and well, I meditate to join with someone or something to find my peace and I walk within the nature to take care of my physical and mental health, that someone or something provided. And I don’t believe in a God…

Nearly three years ago I left all I knew to live in a country that I had only stepped foot on once, without fear that I would fail in what I went to do. I knew little of where I was living, and even less of the people who lived there, and yet I trusted my gut instinct that this was a safe place, and a good place and that this was a community I wanted to be a part of for the remainder of my life. Nearly three years ago “to the man who stood at the gate of the year I said “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown””. And the someone or something I spoke to, reached out to hold my hand and never let go and in fact “led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.” If you saw the view I am looking at from my window you would understand just how true those words are.

It can take a lifetime to work out what you want to say and I think I have reached that point. I want to talk about how to feel, to love, to touch and be touched. I want to talk about being true to your soul and never regret life to the point where you decide it has to be different. I want to say that I love you, that I thank you for being in my life and I treasure each interaction we have, no matter how large or how small.

I have reached the point in my life where I can say what is important for me to say and all I hope is that my words touch the people that need to hear them and they in turn find whatever is inside them that holds them back from being the best they can be and is courageous enough to let it go, release all they have been and welcome in who they are. Now is the time where words need to be spoken and if you are the one who welcomes them in, then I will always be glad that they have been spoken.

I have reached a point in my life that all my words if I feel they need to be said, are said; that if I see a soul in distress and in need of comfort, I will speak up; if someone needs to hear that they are loved, I will never be silent; and if they need to sit within their silence but are afraid of what they may hear from within, I will sit by their side and keep them safe. And therein lies my faith that there is something bigger than myself…

So this God that you all speak of… I thought I knew who it was but as I have aged and as I have changed, it has too and I guess that is why or maybe what, I am starting to believe again. Not in the stories or what is said within a Church because for me, God is about doing and not simply praying; God is within me and not within a building; God is about having faith in myself to do the best for the world and if I waiver, that someone or something will shine a light and take my hand; God is about knowing what the world needs and where I play a part in all that is.

God for me, is not a man or a woman, God is nature, God is love, God is what is right in the world, God is hope, God is about and inside me, God is whatever makes me the best me I can be – not for, but because of. God is faith in that there is something bigger than myself and yet it is something I am to be a part of because that is why I am here, it is why you are here. It is what has walked with me to be where I am, and will walk with me wherever I go to next. I thought I was perhaps finding my way back, but that is never possible, so the only thing I need to do, is continue to have faith (in something or someone), take a step forward, and enjoy the journey. Never give up, never doubt, keep on moving forward because somewhere, at sometime, I will be where I am meant to be… and I won’t be alone.


That space between the Christmas of faith and the Christmas of commercialism, is a strange place to sit. Neither one is where you want to be but as you aren’t prepared to wear the grinch suit again this year, what is Christmas if it’s not one of these?

As I write this morning the only sound I can hear is the gentle clicking of the fridge and a slight distant whirring of the solar panels as the sun tries to break though the morning fog and charge them for the day. Apart from that I am greeted by a really loud silence. It is eerily beautiful.

From where I am writing this morning I can see the whole house and much of outside too; it was designed for moments like these. The kitchen still holds the memories of last nights food preparation and cooking, coats are thrown casually over the lounge sofa which looks out over the mountains, my craft room door is ajar and is reminding me I need to tidy up in there today, the bedroom door is closed on the warm safe space I left a few minutes ago and the tv area… well that is looking lived in with Italian books scattered everywhere, slippers cast aside and the beanbag looking like a body just got out of it.

My minimalist wooden Christmas tree last night lit up the house with its bright lights, reflecting in the glass of the windows at the front of the house, to be met by the ones reflecting in the mirror and the tv room was lit by fairy lights but today, with the chilly morning fog it’s background, all is unlit and almost irritates me with their ‘untidiness’.

It’s Christmas Eve, it is not even 8am and is already 12 degrees outside and is planned to be at 20 degrees at some point this morning – I am not sure I will ever get used to a warm and sunny Christmas, but I will try really hard (if I had an emoji here it would definitely be a slightly sarcastic winking face) – a warm and sunny Christmas is still odd to me and makes it more difficult for me to feel Christmassy and is another reason for being in this space between Christmas’s.

So you see where I am physically but where am I in the other parts of me. If you read my blogs you will know that I am ‘made up of’ five parts; physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and energetic (as are you if you feel like taking a look), and I always check out all five before I really know where I am at any moment in time. Did you say time consuming? No not at all, I can do it in a moment when I am balanced, maybe a little longer when something isn’t sitting right with me like this morning.

So physically, I am sat in my beautiful home, surrounded by nature and all I was part of creating. Tick. Emotionally I am in a good place in that grief is leaving me alone today, I know I am loved and I have no real stresses or worries today. Tick. Mentally, (I had a quick scan around my mind before I put my hands back to the keyboard), I am at peace there today. No bickering going on up there and all the parts of me that live in that space seem to be away having a peaceful Christmas of their own. Tick.

Now then, I feel I am stepping closer to this Christmas thing as energetically I am ‘fidgety’, I think that is how I would describe this part of me. I have enough energy to do all that I would like to get done today, but being out of sync with something, is making it impossible to move forward and achieve. And that, joined with my spiritual side, who is feeling very ‘unsatisfied’, makes for quite an agitated woman.

What is Christmas to you? Are you a Christian? Do you celebrate the virgin birth and revel in the story told many times over of the child in the manger, born to save the world? Are you a completely different faith, maybe one where Christmas simply isn’t Christmas? Or do you have no religion at all so this time is of no interest to you? And on the back of that if you have faith or not, do you still head for the stores and fill the house with commercial gifting and decoration?

Personally, I don’t go along with the story of a child born to save the world and yet I do believe in a world where magic happens. I do not believe the story of the shepherds and the wise men and yet I love seeing all the children re-enacting this beautiful story. Just because I don’t believe doesn’t mean I don’t love to watch others swept away by it all – I guess a little piece of me would love to be part of that too as I once was but to watch others joy is enough for me today. I cannot speak of other faiths as I have never been part of them but I am fascinated by where their faith comes from and how it evolves, if at all at this time of year. Feel free to educate me.

I have a tree up and lights and follow through with all the things we did as I was growing up and I did with my children too, but I struggle with the commercialism of Christmas. This whole buying of gifts we cannot afford, that are not always wanted or needed, the eating and drinking until we are too full to move or we get into family fighting because it has all been too much. The stress, the pressure to do and be more, give more, eat more, drink more and feel less. The pressure to provide in case our children have less than someone else in their class. The starting of Christmas in late September or early October. The drip, drip, drip from advertising of “if you don’t buy this / have this, you will be a failure, less of a man or woman or child, not good enough, not pretty enough, not satisfied enough… and I watch people fall into the credit card trap year in and year out; the “I’ll pay it back after Christmas” conversation, which we all know we never do because we can’t afford to.

We have all been here and done this at some point, but for me it makes me sad, angry, furious, exasperated, frustrated, and back to sad again. Why do we put ourselves through this to achieve something we are told Christmas has to be? Maybe it is something that comes with age, when your children no longer have the expectation of a trillion presents or maybe it is part of personal growth that you step away from this commercial Christmas… I don’t know but I am happy that I have. Are there gifts under my tree? No. Is my fridge full to overflowing with food I will never get around to eating? No. Are there bottles and cans of alcohol ready for opening before lunch is even cooked? No… well maybe a glass of wine, it is Sicily after all… Is Christmas cancelled in my house and do I have my grinch suit on? No. I have simply stepped back and looked at what I want for Christmas and gifted it to myself.

What do I want?

I want my children to be safe and happy and always have a place in my home and in my heart. I want my family to know they are loved. I want my friends to know whether they are here or overseas, I am thinking of them and am wishing them well. I want to relax, breathe deeply, walk in the countryside, eat good food, drink nice wine, sit back and watch an old movie. I want to enjoy my home, my space, my sanctuary. I want inner peace and to be comfortable in the knowledge that life is what I make it and that tomorrow I get to choose what it is and what I do, without guilt or sadness or stress. Simply asking myself the question and being able to answer with confidence and truth, I found that energetic and spiritual are now ‘tick’.

If you are sat this year worried by the post Christmas bills, or that you are missing someone, or are under pressure to provide more than you can give and on and on and on… know that you have twelve lovely months to decide what next year looks like. You have twelve months to talk to those around you and explain what Christmas 2023 is for you and how that will impact them. You have twelve months to put plans into place to choose whatever you want to choose about you…

About you yes… whether you believe in the Christmas story or not, whether you believe there was a child in a manger or not, whether you believe the son of God was born on 25th December or not, whether you believe it or not… this is all about you. You were given the gift of life, of choice, or being who you want to be. You were given a life to live, love, and be part of. The greatest gift you can receive this Christmas is the understanding and acceptance that Christmas is about you; your peace and your happiness, and in ensuring that you gift yourself these two things, you gifted yourself so much more…

You are the light, you are the way, you are what makes others lives more, but only when you believe… not in god, not in the advertising slogans, but in yourself. Maybe by asking yourself; how do I feel physically, emotionally, energetically, mentally and spiritually, you will begin to find what Christmas really is all about, for you. Is it about the child born in a cowshed? Is it the bright, bold commercial Christmas? Is it a quiet enjoyment of your own space and those you love most? It can be all of these or something else… the joy is that you can choose all or none or something completely different and in that, the joy of your Christmas time is found.

Buon Natale Tutti x


I never use extracts from my personal journal but as that is what started me on my path this morning I guess I am comfortable to do it.

“I feel like I have taken a deep breath in and I am living in that breath, Not releasing just holding, just floating. It’s kinda nice, still, calming and nurturing and I am ready to breath out… just not yet. Life is on hold. Time is on hold. Nothing is moving forward, it is simply being held by my breath. Nothing is moving forward but nothing needs to either.”

Some days I feel like I am doing nothing, just sitting around, wasting time, wasting life, not doing, not achieving, not doing and yet I know this is untrue and I have to remind myself. I have to remind myself that I no longer live in a world of rushing, of timetables and schedules, of have to’s and must. I have to remind myself that in the last two and a half years I have packed up my life, moved to a new country, built a house, completely changed the landscape around me by planting trees and plants and vegetables, have created a small business and am in the process of building the next one… not bad really and yes I deserve this time to simply be and enjoy what I have.

First of all I had to learn to take a breath and I now practice this every day during my meditation. I don’t know if you have ever noticed how little you breathe, properly breathe. I like to sit for just a few minutes each morning and feel and see and observe the breath enter my body, watch it moving around and then leaving. My entire focus is on that breath and yet I feel my body get heavier, relax more and for the areas that still feel tense I send my next breath there and watch them relax too.

But today feels different. Today my whole self is inside the breath, rather than the breath being inside me. It feels a little strange but also really comforting. Like being held by a warm bath of water or the most beautiful hug or that feeling of being held by the air as you jump from a plane, knowing you are dropping quickly but feeling no speed, simply enjoying the view. I like being held and supported by my own breath and accept that I deserve it too (and that is a hard sentence to write and believe).

We live too much of our lives outside of this breath. This nurturing, loving, calming, comforting breath. We live outside of it, constantly trying to catch it.

When I choose to live within it, my perspective changes, my mind presses reset and my body feels renewed. When I live within my breath, I become a better version of myself because I give myself credit for all I have achieved. I accept things that I have failed on or have failed me and I thank them for the lessons they taught me. I appreciate the people who have stood alongside me on good days and on bad and I am grateful that I have the capacity to do the same for them.

For those who have come into my life for motives other than good, for selfish reasons or in the belief that giving me their issues will rid them of them, in this space I am able to send them on their way with love and the hope that the courage they speak will one day be the courage they realise they have to change whatever it is they want to change.

In this space I am feeling invincible, and, whilst I know this isn’t true, I am comforted by the strength and courage it gives me, and that I can take this forward when I step outside of this breath and move on. But when will this be my old self asks… I have no idea I reply. Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next month. When I am ready and not before I guess. That is all in another time and space as right now I am taking pleasure from the space I am in, within my own breath, breathing in and breathing out and observing my life, just as it is, and not how it was or can be. This space is wonderful and I don’t intend to leave it… not yet.

As this calendar year ‘ends’ remember that time doesn’t exist, it is simply a structure we humans created to give some form to our existence. Time is what you make it so if your new beginnings really mean something to you, you don’t have to wait until January 1st and if March 23rd comes round and then it is time, that is okay too. Try not to be dragged into the pressure of endings and beginnings that the calendar tells you it is time for; it is only ever time when you are ready, otherwise failure, repeating old habits and choices are the results you will see and then you will step into the spiral of being ashamed, disappointed, sad, angry, feeling you are not enough… when you sit in your breath and really feel all that you feel, in a safe warm space that you create, you will know when it is time to move forward and who and what you choose to do it with.

Shed all that no longer serves you. Release all the negativity that holds you in a place you no longer live. Breathe in all that is good and kind and beautiful and safe… and then sit inside it and take all that is gives you. You deserve it. Remember that… you deserve to be happy, safe, loved, to love, to laugh, to know and appreciate your inner strength and courage and to change whatever you feel you want to change. Years ending and years beginning are not the reason to begin, step forward, create new… you are and you are the best person to know if and when it is time for you.

My time is on hold and I am okay with that. I am not doing, I am being and I am discovering I love ‘being’ me. I have done the work, I have made the choices, I have created the changes and now I am living in it. When it is time I will do it all again, but right now I am breathing and living and loving life and myself. I hope that you make time to hold yourself in your own breath, your own space and appreciate all that you have.


I am in a grief funk today. Have you been there? If you have, then my heart goes out to you. My daddy died recently and most of the time I have been okay with it but this morning I woke as if someone had thrown a blanket of sadness over my head, but it is so big I can’t seem to find my way out. So what do I do?

I have a choice I guess…

1. I can stay here and sit under it hoping that someone comes and takes it away.

2. I can fight my way out, possibly getting more upset and frustrated in the process.

3. I can choose how long I sit under this weight before I move on with the day.

4. I can sit with the grief funk and feel it, know it, understand it and wait for it to pass.

5. I can talk with someone who knows me and express how I feel.

6. I can talk to others and discover something else that I haven’t experienced, tried, learnt yet.

I never bother considering (1) as the grief is mine and my responsibility to deal with it. No one else knows how I really feel and I cannot express it so how can I expect someone else to ‘fix’ me.

Being honest, I opted for (2) first thing and I have fought it, but one little Christmas video made the tears run, then I fought those and got myself even more cross and upset – back to the drawing board…

I didn’t even consider (3) this time because I didn’t really understand why I was feeling this way or where it came from. Grief is like an unwelcome guest isn’t it, where you have a good nights sleep, get up with the best of intentions of ‘doing’ but then suddenly you have an uninvited guest sat with you whining and moaning, blaming you and the world for how they feel, dumping all their anger, sadness, frustration and bitterness on you and then leaving! WTF – who are you and where did you come from and may I ask why you left me all your sh*t?

Not being able to answer that meant I couldn’t do (3) because I didn’t even know what I was sitting in.

I did a bit of (4) and a bit of (5) – I didn’t understand this range of emotions I woke with but I did know how they made me feel. I felt like a weight was on my chest, tears were gripping onto the edge of my eyelids ready to fall at any second, my head ached and I didn’t want to eat, drink or move. Apart from that I felt great 🙂 🙂

A morbid part of my soul wanted to really feel this. It was uncomfortable and horrible and sad but I knew I needed to feel it to remind myself that I am alive, that I have lost the most wonderful human and that I am not emotionally bereft, which I what I was beginning to feel. I needed to feel the emotion, how that impacted me physically and emotionally and I had to be brave enough to let it stay a while. Grief makes you do these things and I do not know why, but here I am, so I had better get used to it.

Spiritually, usually the largest most colourful and strongest part of me, is sitting in the background, as pale as I feel, quiet, feeling unloved and uncared for but knowing that soon I will reach back, take it gently by the hand and apologise for deserting it whilst I managed the rest of me. How can I do this? Because my spiritual side is enormous and solid and secure and strong enough to spend some time in the background whilst I process ‘stuff’.

Mentally, I am too busy with lots of nothing in particular, I am thinking but not thinking. I am reading and writing and sewing and cleaning and having the normal conversations I have in my head, but… it is too exhausting to manage and I need to crawl to the back part of my mind where I know it is warm and quiet and safe… my garden of roses and a willow tree and water; the place where I meet my grandpa and mum sometimes, both gone but very present in that space. I sit with them under the willow tree in the warm sunshine and just feel their love. Now I can visit and see if dad will come there too – realising that bought a smile to my face as well as a few tears. How wonderful, because he hasn’t totally gone after all.

In that moment of writing, my ‘mental’ ran into the background and met with my ‘spiritual’, and between them they bought me peace and opened a space in that busy mind for me to breathe.

People often wonder why I write, and I can tell you that the single moment I just experienced, and the breath that came with it is exactly why. I process what is inside and in the words that flow I find my peace. I like to think that others may find something in the words too – maybe, maybe not, but I hope, I always have hope.

Getting myself out the house, if only to get bread and talk to the one human who totally gets me and loves me unconditionally, set me on the right path to seeing my way out of this. Someone who can see the pain but simply sits alongside until you are done, without questions or offers of advice, is the most perfect gift for me. To hold space to laugh, cry, weep uncontrollably, scream or shout, is the most beautiful thing one human can do for another and I am blessed to have that human.

Already my writing feels lighter. I am not having remind myself to stop gritting my teeth whilst I stab at the keyboard, I have just felt my shoulders drop and a breath, long and deep, escape my nostrils, and I am quieter inside somehow.

Processing, no matter how you do it, is absolutely vital to bring all the parts of you back together. Grief seems to have the ability to separate me; mentally, physically, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually and I find that being given a safe space to express myself without judgement and my writing slowly bring all those parts of me back into the present and back into me.

I never reached (6) but I know that when the next grief funk comes (and for sure it will), I may have to introduce myself to it and find another way. Maybe you will share something you have done/do that I could try. That would be lovely, possibly for us both.

So I have got to 2pm and now I feel like I am ready to face myself and give myself a hug and also a “well done” for getting through the day so far. We will all have to meet grief at some point in our lives and for me, I know it’s important to be comfortable with it and work with it. Fighting it, or ignoring it, really doesn’t work for me so I work out what I need and go with the flow. I know it will pass, I just don’t always know when… but for today the blanket has been lifted and I feel more like me again.


Babies, birthdays and badass boys… wow when did one become the other? Time. Always time isn’t it… Twenty years ago I gave birth for the last time. It was fast. It was easy. It was wonderful. And I can honestly say the same for the time in-between. I know we all look back at our children through rose coloured glasses but I am happy to say that it really has been an easy thing to do, to bring up two wonderfully independent, well rounded, funny, loving and caring children. They are both in careers that I couldn’t be more proud of and in relationships where they are safe and loved and most importantly, they are both happy.

I know as I write, that memories are popping into my mind of an argument here and a telling off there, but on the whole, my kids have been an absolute joy to observe growing into adults. I really am blessed to have them in my life. They have taught me much, given more than I could ever ask for and I hope I have given that in return. I have doubted my decisions, I have kicked myself for not being ‘enough’ and I have let them down (in my eyes) more than once BUT, that is parenthood and I am big enough to accept them, but I have done a damn fine job. I know that when I look at them and feel myself smile, and my heart expand with joy.

I told myself for years that I didn’t want children, particularly when I fell in love with a man who was 14 years older, already had two of his own, and didn’t want more. But that meant I lied to him and more distressingly, I lied to myself. I loved him, didn’t want to lose what I had and so I thought the lie was worth living. What I really wanted was a big family. I wanted a house filled with the noise of children playing, music blasting, laughter, screams of giggles as they ran through the house and them all around the dining table from babies to adults with children of their own. I was simply to afraid of what I would lose to gain what I wanted.

But I lied… and always had done. I was just scared to admit I wanted what society expected me to do as a woman, produce children. I had spent all my years to that point, fighting against ‘the norm’ and not wanting to do what everyone else was doing but this was one choice that hurt me far more than anyone else. I had two fabulous step children (although I have never called them ‘step children’ – they have always been my boys) and that was enough… but was it really?

Neither of my children were planned, nor the three I lost, but I feel that was the universes way of giving me what I had really wanted. Their dad wasn’t overly overjoyed at the thought initially but he (I think) was a better dad second time round – he had more time, more patience and always put them first. A great dad all told and still is – no matter my personal thoughts of him or us, I will always be thankful that he has always been there for his children.

So, how can they be such helpless babies one minute and then managing their own lives with busy careers and relationships by themselves? Where on earth did that time go – 26 years for one and 20 for the other – if I could turn the clock back would I change anything? That is actually a far easier question to answer than I expected… no!

Of course if I could stop them getting hurt or being sad or injured or left out, I would do that in a heartbeat to ensure never-ending happiness, but aren’t those things part of what makes them who they are? Of course they are, as much as my experiences have made (are making) me who I am, theirs make them too. When I was ‘in charge’ of decisions on their behalf, that may have been different, but I created two very independent children who quickly learnt to make choices for themselves and therefore that stage didn’t last as long as maybe I would have liked.

I have always stood by and wrapped my arms gently around them to make sure when they fell they did it safely and didn’t get hurt as much as perhaps they could have, but that is being a parent isn’t it? I guess as they have become adults themselves, the best I have been able to do is listen and guide and show them my good and bad choices so they learn from some of my experiences, rather than go through them by themselves. Again, being a parent and hopefully helping them to ‘fast track’ into adulthood without as much ‘mess’ as I sometimes made.

As a mum I know I could have been better, made better decisions, lived life differently to ensure what my children had was ‘more’ somehow, and yet also as a mum I know, I can see, that I did a good job. My babies are now adults and will maybe become parents themselves in time and experience what I know, making mistakes and wanting more for their children than they can give but I know they will create independent, open minded and strong children because they will create mini versions of themselves and that can never be a mistake.

As a parent you have to be honest with your children. You have to show them what you did well but also ensure they see and understand what you could have done better or differently, or even not at all, because that is how they learn. As babies, as toddlers, as young adults, they see you, they watch you, they copy you, they are another version of you, so be careful what you teach them.

Teach them kindness, love, independence, fairness with themselves and with others, respect for themselves and for others and they will do fine. Teach your children to be honest with themselves as with others and be brave enough to admit when they get it wrong. Ensure that they live the lives they want to, not to please you or anyone else, but to fill themselves with joy and passion and know they are fulfilled by life. Try not to wrap them in cotton wool. Allow them to fall and pick themselves up, just make sure you are standing by to hold them, reassure them, comfort them. They will thank you for that when they become adults themselves. Teach them whatever you feel you learnt and include all that you messed up on, never watch them repeating your life; it has to be their own. Love them. Love them. Always love them.

Our babies become… enjoy!