Acceptance – the key to life?

So many times I have looked in the mirror or at the shadow on the ground and have been appalled at what I saw. This wasn’t me. This was suddenly some middle aged woman who looked sad and angry with the world and that body…. when did that get that shape – where was the bright, happy, beautiful, giggling, young woman? Where did those 30 years go?

So many times…. but no more. Acceptance was the key. When someone stands before you and all they see is that person you felt you were, just a little older, a little wiser, and just as beautiful, they give you permission to love yourself again. You shouldn’t need another to point it out or give permission but sometimes it is all you have – someone else being the mirror you no longer look in.

What comes with acceptance? A fire in your soul that reignites. Laughter, with others and at yourself when needed. Wisdom to know what matters and what doesn’t. Passion for all you can be and the ability to lose the tight grip on what you no longer are. With acceptance you fall back in love with yourself and all you can be today. Yesterday no longer has the same level of importance and tomorrow will be whatever you decide it will be.

“Wise men say only fools rush in but I can’t help falling in love with you. Shall I stay? Would it be a sin if I can’t help falling in love with you? Like a river flows surely to the sea. Darling so it goes. Some things are meant to be. Take my hand, take my whole life too. For I can’t help falling in love with you.”

Acceptance doesn’t make you blind to your faults and flaws, it simply allows you to accept that you have them and move on. No one is perfect – not the models in the magazines, the celebrities living the life you wish you had or the man or woman down the street who seems to have it all. They all have their faults, their weaknesses, their anxieties, their pain and they too need reassurance, confidence boosters and the need for acceptance from those around them. They are people on their own journey and yet you look to them and wonder why you can’t look, be or live like they do…

People on their own journey – just the same as you – this life, this journey, this huge fast moving learning curve that sometimes you wish you could slow down or even put on pause, this is your opportunity to love who you are, who you have become and you have the choice of what happens next. The future, your future, is written only by you and the choices you make. How marvelously exciting to hold that pen and begin to write your own story. To be able to pick up the pen and open the book at a clean page is the ability to know who you are today, accept yourself for what you are, today, and then begin to write….

What’s your first line going to be? Tell me… I really would love to hear your story…

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Little Brown Bear – Lost

What do you do about the little brown bear you’ve lost? What do you say when you need to call out to them? What do you do when you need their hug but they can’t be felt? What do people do when mamma bear cries?

I think we’ve all got memories of our childhood teddy bear. The warmth, the comfort, and the love we shared. Some may still have them, some may still secretly cuddle them but what do you do when yours is lost?

I’ve lost my bear. My beautiful baby bear. I lost my bear and I didn’t know why. My baby bear gone and no one to tell. I lost my bear and searched high and low but no one could tell me where she was. In time the pain lessened. In time the hurt healed. But there are days when oh how I long to hold my beautiful baby bear. Today is one of those days.

 

I have a dream…. think BIG, work small

I HAVE A DREAM…. I think we all know this quote and where it came from but that isn’t the quote I want to use today.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King Jr.

I have a dream…. In fact I have many; some work, some personal and some for others that I love and I know without working in the present, little by little every day, these dreams will always remain just dreams. BUT! If I live in the present moment, working on what I am doing, with intent, with care, with passion, and not losing myself in ‘what if’ and ‘maybe’, little by little my dreams will become my reality.

On bad days or in moments of despair I have been known to drift forward into fantasy land and I know you know the one… that place where all your dreams have come true and life is wonderful. I have lived there often and sometimes for far longer than was healthy. Why? Because it was life as I wanted it, everything was just right, life was perfect and life was easy – but more importantly, I was happy there. Sadly when you then arrive back in reality it is harder, darker, more complicated and you feel stuck in treacle with the lights off and someone sat on your chest to make sure you can neither breathe or move. It is fantasy and can be fatal.

This quote “Think Big, Work Small” was actually given to me this weekend whilst I was on a massage course and was referring to seeing the space I was working on as much bigger but focusing on, and working small and deep within – but what a beautiful thought process for life. See the big picture, have dreams and ambition but work deep and small, see the detail, plan, prepare solid foundations for what you are about to create. Keep your eyes on the horizon and your mind on the present but, in that small space, that detail, know that at every level you are creating a ripple effect and all you do impacts something else which in turn impacts another step, another door opening, another opportunity for you to take. It’s like a magical sequence of doors that lead you forward until one day you realise there are no more doors and you have arrived!

May I ask what your dreams are? Are they fantasy and fatal or are you thinking small and stepping forward little by little to achieve them? Do you have someone walking by our side or are you doing this alone? Have you even begun? Think big and work small – but you have to begin…. if you don’t you will reach then end and wonder ‘what if’ and that is just sad.  Your dreams don’t have to be fame and fortune – they can seem insignificant to someone else but remember they are your dreams and you are not only the dreamer but the creator and the one who will know that sense of achievement when you arrive!

Don’t live others dreams and don’t allow them to live yours but dream, dream, dream….. then begin.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Today We Tango

The tango has been called “a dance of sorrow”, it represents frustrated love and human fatality or frailty. It is a usually between a man and a woman, a dance of passion, romance, possession – a game, a conversation, an expression of emotion and inner feeling. It is a beautiful, fascinating, non verbal discussion of power, sensuality, love, healing, relationships, courage, personal growth and an exchange of power and the alternating lead in a relationship between two people. It is life.

For me the dance is not sorrowful but all that is beautiful in an exchange of emotion between two people. These people for me do not need any relationship, as this is a conversation and one will take the lead until the other is ready to take some control and respond to the light touch, the space, the encouragement to step into the conversation and release what they hold inside.

Today we tango…. let the music begin – just listen….

Your head is so busy, so full, so noisy. Your thoughts are scattered and making little sense. Your focus flits from this place and that and back again – never settling, never making sense of what is before it. Your body is tight, agitated, unable to relax into the day and your non verbal image is harsh, angry and frustrated and you cannot engage with the world in a way you feel you would like to or need to. You are so used to this it has become your ‘normal’.

Take my hand and let me lead…. don’t worry about the steps, feel the music….

Step outside of yourself for a minute and look at a version of you from before this time. Keep going back until you find the you who is relaxed, laughing and focused on what is important to you rather than what you feel you should have to focus on. Are you with family or friends or maybe you are just taking time on your own. Are you at home, on holiday, at work? What activity? Who with? What is your body language saying? How old are you? What is the expression on your face?

You dance well… no one is watching so relax into it…

Talk to me. No need for words yet. Just move, relax into it and allow your body to talk. I have your hand and will take the lead if you stumble. Feel that breath? Let it go all the way through you -from your very core to your finger tips and toes. Feel your posture. Let go of that curled over, tight tense body and allow yourself to stretch, grow, feel taller, wider and your limbs to feel loose and free. Are you gritting your teeth and holding your jaw tightly? Relax, smile, feel those cheek muscles lift you. Move across the floor. Glide. Skim over water. Don’t worry about what you look like to others – it’s just you and me and I won’t judge. You’re doing it….. you’re talking to me.

Now lift your chin and look at me. It’s safe. It’s okay. Talk to me. With your eyes and your cheeks and your mouth and with every line and wrinkle and expression of emotion. It’s okay if a tear falls. You are safe. Let that music move through you and release what you hold onto inside. Breathe.

The music is coming to an end but you have begun and in time this will be easier and your body will instinctively move when you play the right music…. practice is all it takes.

 

 

 

Dance with me

Dance with me. Feel my rhythm. We may Salsa or we may waltz; we may hip hop or free dance but we WILL dance to the rhythm of life – whatever we choose that to be.

 

My Tribe, My People

There is much to be said about finding people who just ‘get you’, but finding those people is a process and one which comes with many trials and tribulations. To discover them you must discover yourself.

Your tribe may change as you change and that alone comes with worry, decisions that are difficult to make and a sense of not belonging to anyone or anything. It is all about letting go, acceptance that this is a necessary part of growth and having enough belief in yourself and who you are, to be able to trust your decision making. Your tribe will be made up of all those like minded people who can build you up and you them, who stand by you as you learn, pick you up when you fall and encourage you to be better then yesterday.

But, people grow and develop at different rates, with different needs and in different directions and this is where you need to recognise that you cannot hold onto people, meaning the only place or person or emotion you have control over, belongs to you. You must also remember that because these belong to you, and in return for your giving others their freedom, no one else has the right to dictate who you are, where you go or what you do. If you do not change you, life, circumstance or opportunity there is no one else to take responsibility for the outcomes.

I have chosen my tribe for this chapter in my life and I love and respect them even though we don’t know each other well yet. How can I feel like this with very little to go on? I trust my instinct and I know when an opportunity lands me in a place and with people that I need to walk alongside.

Do you know your tribe and walk with them seeing, growing, expending our horizons, having fun and laughing? Do you love them enough to let them go as they need to move on? Do you trust that you know yourself well enough to move on when the time is right for you? Think about it…. really think and be honest. Are you holding on to people and places who don’t serve you or you them? Are you in a place, job or role that you know you have grown out or away from? Can you dig deep and find the courage to make a difference to your life?

Take a quick look at the people you surround yourself with right now. Why these people? What do they mean to you and your life? How important are they to your growth, your future? What are you to them and how do you fit into their growth, life, future? Do you even have those conversations with each other and see what you each/all need?

My tribe currently? A group of amazing woman, like minded, strong, courageous, and determined to make a difference to not only their lives but are there to serve others. To do this they have all realised and accepted self love is the only way to do this and feeding their own soul enables them to walk alongside those who need them. It’s not just women though – we are only a small percentage of the world – we need balance – I need balance. I need the male figures, ideals, humour, viewpoint and strength. I need them to hold me up, nurture me, stand up to me and for me and I need them to need me.

Who are your ideal tribe? Look around you….. are they stood by your side?

 

 

When the Universe Changes Your Path

You can be strolling along through life, quite content with how it is all going when the greater, higher you, decides that you have walked that path long enough. Sometimes it just pushes you gently in another direction and sometimes trips you with a hump in the road and occasionally it destroys what you see ahead like a car crash. All of which, if you are in a positive frame of mind, should simply encourage you to step swiftly on….

Years ago I would have found myself in the car crash and stayed in it and yet now, after much hard work and personal development, I find myself well and truly looking from a viewpoint where I acknowledge, learn and walk on down the path lit for me…. never looking back unless it is to see how far I have walked.

How you deal with life’s curve balls as we love to call them, can be the difference between living right inside your dreams or one day wondering “what if”. The fact that you can ‘mourn’ for a few days to get over the chaos that a curve ball brings is important, in fact, crucial. To believe you are on the right path and this is finally the one you are to be walking to reach the dream you have been working on, and then it is all taken away from you is totally devastating. To realise that this simply means you have to go another way round is priceless.

There are some things we are just not meant to have or know or experience, no matter how much we want them. The universe has a knack of knowing more and knowing what is best for us. This leads to either heartbreak or the ability to adapt and enjoy the new journey. We are sometimes sent to experience things, places, people and relationships just to learn and once it is learnt we are moved on and away. This can be devastating or it can be a huge step to the next level of being you. I wonder how you would feel?

Once in a lifetime, if we are blessed, we can go back to something we thought we had lost and not necessarily relive it (otherwise we will repeat history) but take what we had, see what we have learnt or how we have grown and then create something even more beautiful.

Whether you learn and let go or revisit and grow, you definitely get to walk a new path…. if you dare to tread. Everything is connected….. what you do with it all is called choice.

 

 

Such Love – No Words

Don’t you sometimes wish you had a camera or the time was appropriate to use the one on your phone! There is nothing more powerful or more beautiful than witnessing the love between two people when nothing is being said. I was blessed to see such a thing recently and it filled my heart. The love of two brothers, no words, simply love and adoration and a lifetime of memories.

Love. You can try not to feel it, you can attempt to choke back the words but you can never ask your eyes to lie for you – they simply cannot do it.

The eyes, they say, are the window to our soul and on witnessing this totally selfless act of love, I can truly believe it. Why? Because one of those brothers has severe disabilities and is unable to communicate and yet, through that one simple gesture I not only saw years of being distant from each other melt away, I saw the inner man speak the words no one could possibly hear – I know you, I remember you, I love you.

How do you look at those around you? Worth checking as your eyes will say far more than your words sometimes. No matter how much you smile, how often you say I’m fine or I love you, if the truth isn’t behind them, your eyes, I promise, will give you away and those who know you, those who care for you; they will know.

How do those you love and care about look at you? Are their words matching what you see when you look into their eyes? Is the smile diverting you from an inner hurt that you are missing. Take one more look. Look hard. Really see.

My eyes? They are rubbish at lying ! My eyes give me away every time – good or bad, truth or lie. You want the truth from me….. ask the eyes!

If you cannot express your truth. If you cannot express your love. If you cannot express how you feel for another or are hurting too much, or the distance between you has been too long, I implore you to take them by the hand and simply see into their eyes. No words required; allow your soul to speak to theirs – it’s all in and through the eyes.

Orgasmic Thinking

I do not apologise for the opening paragraph – if you are sensitive then this will be too much and perhaps best you stop reading now.

“When every emotion rolls into one huge expanse and the explosion created is silent and huge. It feels like it’s above you, part of you but higher. If it was a colour it would be crimson red with a vortex of gold swirling through its core like the man between your thighs. It’s breath. A breath that is held for an eternity, suspended but never exhaustive. Control is no longer possible and surrender is inevitable. The place where there are no thoughts. No words. The silence is deafening and the world has just stopped spinning, for a split second there is a stillness and then a release. Physically it’s powerful, it’s vibration, it’s atoms bouncing against atoms and no longer possible to control. It’s where you take me.”

We are passionate beings. We are creative beings. We are intelligent beings. We think both logically and outside the box. We speak many languages and can share a million variations on a theme. We are alone and yet we can be together as one. We are human.

And yet…. we can be afraid to dig deep into the very core of who we are and what we are to express ourselves. It’s not nice, not polite, not encouraged.

And yet…. it is creation itself. It is where we all begin. It is life – vivacious, creative, amazingly beautiful life.

This is not about creation or pleasure – this is about creativity and the passion with which we live or at very least, should live, our lives. How do you live yours? Have you grabbed life with both hands and put into it every ounce of passion and creativity that you have inside you or have you accepted that what you have and do as “this is the best I can have”? This is no judgement – this is facing you with you and asking if you are living life to the fullest of its potential.

I watched a video this morning of a young man, not even beginning his career, cut down by cancer and three weeks to get treatment or die. Harsh, yes? He was a total inspiration to me because he intended to attack what he has left with passion and not give up and just exist in what time he has. He talked about “standing on the shoulders of giants…because we are lifted up and borne upon the gigantic stature of and knowledge of those who went before”. He talked about “daring to make a difference”. He talked about “life being about those who do the deed, put themselves in places that are hard, scary, and difficult and if they fail at least they do so while daring greatly”. He spoke of “moral strength; not giving up when its easier to; of facing the fear of falling short, being a fool, not being enough and facing these every day”. He was a young man living, even with a death sentence on his shoulders.

We are creation. We are born from that ‘crimson red with a vortex of gold swirling through its core’ and none of us get out of life alive, so be gracious, be courageous, gallant and great; learn from those who have gone before you and those who walk beside you. The future, your future, is in your hands – be ambitious, continue to grow and work with passion and pride as we don’t know where we might end up tomorrow.

We began from a brief second of silence that filled the universe and we end the same way. Don’t waste the beautiful noise of life in-between.

 

 

 

Music – the emotion of the soul

Music is…

If you have read my blogs before you will know that music is hugely important to me. It is part of my past, my present and now also my future. My music choices are extremely eclectic and I love everything from musicals and classical, through heavy rock to jazz. It makes me human and I express my emotions through it; in fact as Justin R. Melville states in the attached link, it “connects you to an emotion”.

I was always surrounded by music, I had the radio on, or my own personal music playing and my iPod attached to me 24/7. I used to fall asleep to music and I woke to it. I sang. I hummed. I ate and slept with music and then…. I stopped. I didn’t even realise I had lost my music but when I look back now I lost my music when I lost my mind. When diagnosed with depression I lost my heart and I lost my connection with my emotions – it was safer to stay away from those. I lost the ability to feel. I lost the ability to create. I lost the ability to express myself in any shape or form. I used to express myself through all things creative and then I simply forgot how to do it.

Recently I woke up and realised that to be me I need music. I needed to listen to the music playing in my soul and soon found that it was creeping out and I found myself humming in the car or singing in the shower. (In fact these were the moments when I realised that I had actually lost the tune inside me – that made me sad).

I have recently found a ‘Singing for Wellbeing’ session and attended with a little apprehension but curiosity. Oh my – singing releases all you hold onto inside and sets you free!

At first I was quite tentative and I was acutely aware of the sound coming from me, compared to the exquisite sound coming from my right and left but then I realised this was safe, this was a group of people all feeling like I did and I began to relax. As the words ran across my tongue and my lips the melody grabbed hold of my heart and squeezed and the harmony ran inside my veins and it felt like I was suddenly alive again. To hear this group of non-singers, mostly strangers, join together in noise and end up, in a very short space of time, harmonising tunefully and with passion and freedom was an absolute delight.

Music is a language and just as speech or movement, it creates a means of expression. Think about it. When you are happy you can catch yourself singing along to a favourite tune; when you are sad or have fallen out of love you find those powerful ballads that can reduce you to tears and allow the sadness out; when you are angry putting all that aggression behind a song releases it out and you calm down.

Music is also a physical exercise in that you are using your stomach muscles and lungs in ways that you don’t tend to do in everyday life; it helps mental acuity and is a superb therapy for those with dementia and finally it helps with your breath. Think how many times you hold your breath when you are stressed, or experience shallow breath in the upper chest when you are anxious or panicking – singing encourages you to breathe and acts as a mood enhancer and brings about a new state of mind.

When was the last time you sang? Maybe you’ve never tried? Maybe you’ve been told you shouldn’t? Maybe, just maybe, you’d love it….

Music is an extraordinary vehicle for expressing emotion – very powerful emotions. That’s what draws millions of people towards it. And, um, I found myself always going for these darker places and – people identify with that.” ―Annie Lennox