It’s a hard knock life

If you read that title and went “yes it is and I wish it was easier” or “yes it is and why me” can I suggest you stop feeling sorry for yourself and make the choices that will set about a change.

We spend an inordinate amount of time moping round, feeling sorry for ourselves on how we deserve more, better, something that someone else has. If you want more, if you want different, if you want a different life, there’s only you that will go and get it. No one ever said this life was going to be easy. No one ever told you it would all be handed on a plate. If you are in a place you are not comfortable with, take a look at the choices you’ve made and decisions you’ve taken. The emphasis on you.

We all want more or different in some capacity and the only thing different between what you have and what you want is what you do to get it. Life is ours for living and if you aren’t living it the way you’d like you have to find another way until you are happy.

Too many times I hear or read woe is me stories and yes some people have hard lives, there is no doubt about it, but if you are in a position to make a difference and you aren’t doing, please stop moaning. Life is too short to be unappreciative about what you have so take the focus off what you don’t have and put it on what you do.

I recently had to really give myself a talking to because I was feeling sorry for myself and where I am right this minute when actually when I started to look at what I do have I was overwhelmed with the good fortune, the joy and the friendship I have in my life. I am totally blessed by what I do have. Yes I would like more or different, so I have to set my mind to getting it instead of wishing it was here. I have to appreciate what I do have as I have loads.

Life is hard. Life is a worry sometimes. Life is complicated and can make you cry. Life is also full of joy and happiness and friendships and love, of opportunities and journeys for us all to share if we want to go on them. Life is a fabulous concoction of low and high, excitement and worry and can change in the blink of an eye. Not from misfortune or others doing, but from the choices you make and the attitude you carry with you.

Make this the beginning of the rest of your life. It’s your story so write a fabulous one.


Forgive Yourself

How many times have you made a decision that you have later regretted? It may have been a good idea at the time or it felt the right thing to be doing, but when it came to it, it was wreckless, stupid, selfish or not worth the pain you’re experiencing.

We all do it and can spend hours, years or even a lifetime making ourself feel bad. We are only human and to make bad choices is actually okay, if you learn from them.

Recently I made a decision and immediately my gut said it was the wrong one. I made it for all the right reasons but the petulant child in me wasn’t prepared to wait, I had to have it now! I have since spent time arguing with myself over the decision to go ahead or change the original plan, knowing all the time that the latter was actually the only option.

Due to this argument I beat myself with a stick on a daily basis, arguing the point until I had paralysed myself and couldn’t go forward and couldn’t go back.

Something had to give and a choice, one with a clear head and an ear on my gut instinct had to be made. Even though I made a decision and knew the decision was right, I made myself feel so guilty. Only once the tears had come, a great surge like a tidal wave hitting me could I move on. Tears like I’ve not let go in many years. Tears for what, sadness, guilt, acceptance? No. Simply feeling sorry for myself, like the tantrum throwing child who didn’t get their own way

My goodness! I’m an adult and the only person making the original decision was me, the only person creating the guilt was me, the only person reversing the decision, me and the only person embarrassed was me. How soon and how easily we revert to a childlike state. Only after a friend gave me a verbal slap for being so ridiculous did I realise I had to forgive and again it wasn’t for anyone else, it was for me.

You just have to accept sometimes that you are human, that you make decisions that are wrong, even though they feel so right and that you will probably do something similar another day. Forgive yourself, draw a line under it, learn and move on or you will paralyse yourself from doing anything again. Learn, listen to your own instinct as to what is right and what is wrong, what is good for you and what is going to cause you stress or pain. 

It’s taken me days to forgive myself for making the wrong decision. It’s okay to want something so bad that you don’t think it through. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to go back on a decision but it’s essential to forgive.

What the eyes don’t see

In the world today everyone seems to live their life so publicly and whilst I like the connection with the world I sometimes wonder what it is they don’t share. I have realised that even I hide behind posts and blogs sometimes. What people see is what I want them to see. Yet another mask and I’m not sure that’s who I want to be. I thought I had stopped hiding behind a facade.

I used to wear different masks for different people and occasions, sometimes I wore them that often I believed that they were who I was. They were not.

Nowadays what you see is what you get. You get the good days, the bad days and the naked. No I don’t mean I’m going to torture people with my physical nakedness, just that I cover me with nothing. I may not always share at the time as I think it’s vital to protect yourself until you can cope or are ready to share but when I do, I give it all.

I have suffered from depression. This means therefore that I will always suffer with depression. Not because I don’t have it under control, not because I want it, not because I like being in that state of mind. Depression is part of who I am and in some respects makes me the person I am for the better as I see, hear, understand, empathise with so many more people. I can sense another sufferer without them telling me. I can empathise with good and bad days. I can help because I know, I have been there, I’ve lived their life and they have lived mine.

When you see the laughter, the parties, the earning loads of money posts. When you see the lovely homes, the holidays, the flash car, the perfect family, remember this is what you are meant to see. Do not judge. Do not assume life is perfect. They are telling you a story, a lifestyle, values, dreams and some, but only some, reality. Underneath there are people the same as you. They still cry, hurt, laugh, struggle to get up, have hangovers, row, get frustrated with themselves and those they love. They are still human.

Next time you see someone’s on line life remember they are human too and sometimes need to reach out, they don’t always know how but if they do don’t judge or assume, just take their hand and lend them your ears to listen and your heart for compassion. Your hand can be what saves them from themselves that day. 

What the eyes don’t see….is the person behind the mask.

Decision Making

Have you ever been in a place where things are swimming round and round in your head and you don’t know which way to go with any of them? How satisfying and comfortable is it once you just decide! You may still not be totally agreeable with the decision, especially if the alternative is something you desperately need to do and experience, but at least you have decided instead of giving your head the constant grief of an internal battle.

As a child I know what I was like if my mum said no (dad never did). I would pout a bit, roll my eyes, stamp around for a while, huff quite a lot and once I’d got all of that out of my system I’d accept the decision and get on with things. I don’t think I’ve changed much, it’s just now its me making my own decisions and like my mum did, I ignore the postulating and wait for the calm to reappear.

Right this minute I have so much going on in my life, all of which is good and exciting, that I think I can fit in even more, that I need even more to be enjoying it. NO! Ladies and gentlemen let me tell you, when you have lots going on and think there is space for another idea listen to your gut. If your gut says “yes we can do this and still enjoy it all”, then do it. If your gut says “are you crazy this is going to tip you over the edge emotionally, physically and mentally” listen to it.

I have found over time it’s good to write it down. Send yourself, or someone you trust, a letter with your plans written down. You don’t have to follow it up, just listen to what your body tells you when you’ve done it. If you are an intuitive kind of person who can hear your own thoughts, hear your instinct and trust it, you will know what is right and what isn’t. The decision you have been traumatising yourself over is made. It doesn’t mean you won’t go back to it, it means it’s not for now. Make a note of it, write it down, play with it when you have a quiet time and make sure you plan in time to recreate it all again. Make it part of where you are going and don’t lose sight of the emotions it brought about.

Making a decision should be satisfying, creates space in your head and brings a sense of peace as long as you see it as a positive. Don’t berate yourself. If you are doing that it was probably the wrong decision and you need to go back and reassess. 

Don’t tell yourself you’ve failed because you aren’t doing it now. Don’t allow yourself to worry about what others think. Don’t allow guilt or self beating take place. Park it, add it to your to do list and get back to enjoying and working on all the other things which also bring joy. All you have done is reduce your stress levels. 

Your dreams and ideas are just parked up in a garage, like a rag top car under a tarpaulin until the summer comes when you can go back out, take the top down and feel the wind through your hair on a beautiful day.

When your eyes deceive you

This week I met a most creative couple, one being an artist and in front of me were these beautiful pictures; photographs of a woman, some knickerbocker glories and some wine. Oh how my eyes deceived me as these were no photographs, these were his paintings. Absolutely outstanding.

It made me wonder though how else our eyes deceive us and wonder if what we see is reality, a photograph or a painting created by an artist? 

When you see yourself in the mirror do you see reality, authenticity, something your can touch and feel the warmth of? Do you see a snapshot, an image taken at a moment in time that is still the same, doesn’t age, doesn’t change, is always as you see it? Do you see a painting, someone created with love, artistry, creativity, capturing fine details and leaving people unsure as to whether you are real or not?

What do you see and what would you like to be there? 

Between two worlds

I read a beautiful blog today and it spoke of a woman between two worlds. The one where she is caught between fight or flight, not knowing where she’s going, fearful of what she is currently experiencing and the consequences of both staying and going. She holds tension in her body and yet that tension isn’t fear, it’s simply breath.

She breathes to see clearly and not panic, she breathes to let go of the conditioning she and her ancestors have gone through so she doesn’t make a judgement call that doesn’t suit, she avoids the fight or flight impulse. She breathes to give herself time.

This woman, this courageous soul is making decisions which will carry her on a new path. A path she cannot clearly see but she is brave enough to walk along. She is stood at the crossroads where there is no signpost so she listens, she listens to her inner self for guidance. She is breathing to look inside to feel her own inner strength rise to the surface, to experience new, different, alternative choices. This is the dawn of a new day and it begins with a single breath.

How much do you want to draw that new breath? How much do you value yourself to learn how to breathe again? What are you willing to change to give yourself choices? Where will a single breath take you?

We can spend many years living a life we think is okay but one single breath can begin a life that is spectacular, enlightening, free, empowering, beautiful, strong, loud in colour and silent in thought. It takes courage to step forward and say “this has to change”, that’s the toughest decision you can ever make and the journey along this new path you have created will still have twists and turns and the occasional speed bump to trip you. The difference is the road has been laid down by you and the twists and turns are your choices and the speed bumps are simply the decisions you need to make, can now make.

If you are standing between two worlds, learn to breathe.

Oh that unconscious mind….

The inside of my head is sometimes like a debating arena and the two representatives are my conscious and unconscious minds. I say minds in the plural, not mind in the singular as they are distinctly separate and in the past were rarely at one. I find this in itself surprising as they both have the same goal; to keep me safe, clothed, fed, financially abundant and well.

So are they even equal in stature and status or is one very much in charge? 

There is no equality in that arena, the unconscious mind is in charge at every stage and I have learnt that it has its quirks….the major one being it DOES NOT UNDERSTAND NEGATIVES! Do not go near the busy road….guess where I go? Do not buy that you don’t need it….guess what I take home? Do not trust that person….. Do not, do not, do not…. The list is endless but the result is always the same, the unconscious mind does not understand the negative and the debating begins.

Watching what I think and what I say are absolutely vital. When there is disharmony between my conscious and unconscious mind, a debate begins and I feel irritated, fuzzy in thought, not satisfied with where I am in life, desperation sets in and it begins to feel like walking in treacle. I’m irritated because I am feeding my unconscious mind the wrong words.

I need to breathe on these occasions. With each breath I feel a sense of order returning. I feel a sense of calm and control. I hear silence. I see clearly. I feel like someone has touched my heart and slowed it down. When I breathe I remember where I am going and I can see the path I am taking and with that comes 20:20 vision.

When you argue internally with yourself you are creating a feeding ground for negativity, from yourself, to yourself and from the universe to you. When there is peace inside it is also what you give out and also receive. No more complicated that that. The journey you take to get there will be a little bumpy and usually uphill but boy when you reach the top and take in the view it’s indescribable.

You need a guide? A hand to hold? Someone to shove you uphill from behind? An ear to listen? A space to do it that’s yours and yours alone? Just call my name, tell me you’re ready and the journey will simply begin.

Anyone can do easy? 

I’ve never been known to take the easy option in life, although there are times when I wish I had. Today I met my friend in my garden and he reminded me that I am better than this, that I am meant to be more and he’s right. We stood, he and I, and watched the world go by in front of us and he reminded me that I can either stand this side of the gate looking in or I can climb over and live it.  My choice? I jumped the fence, kissed him on the cheek and stepped forward into another day.

It’s easy to sit back and let the world go by. Even if there are daily struggles, fears or hardships, it’s easy to ride with them. It’s harder to fight back and make changes so that you take control. Or is it?

Control is something we should all experience. It’s empowering, it’s enlightening, it’s life giving. To know that what happens to you is created by you is a huge emotion. Pride some may call it perhaps. To be able to stand up, look out onto your life and think “I did that” is an amazing feeling. To see people you love growing because of how you interacted with them, to see a business evolving maybe or to see your own self grow in courage and knowledge. Totally awesome.

I don’t think its ever been in my nature to do easy. I’ve always been comfortable in being different and doing things against expectations. Yes it was hard, yes it meant I was bullied, yes it meant I didn’t have a great friendship group, yes it meant I sometimes had to go without but I wouldn’t swap it for the world. If I’d taken easy I would be in a very different place to where I am now and whilst others may be comfortable there, it just wasn’t for me.

Some are happy being in a place they know isn’t what their heart desires but it’s comfortable and safe. That’s totally okay as long as you are happy there. Some people will put up with what they have because it easier than changing it, the pain, the hurt, the world of uncomfortable are all a step too far for what might or might not be better. Me? I just assume it will be better and go for it. 

If where you are in life is comfortable, not perfect but comfortable and you don’t think that changing it will be better, then where you are stay and make the most of what you have. You are in a lucky and blessed place if you can say life is actually okay. If where you are frustrates you to the extent where you know in your heart there is something more then ask yourself if you want to stay or move. 

As I write though, I wonder if easy is the right word! It’s not easy to accept that you cannot change even though you’d like to. It’s not easy to accept that for one reason or another, totally out of your control, you have to stay. Maybe that is the harder option when you can see your life’s potential but can’t step into it. Maybe it is easier to step away and make change….

I guess it’s down to where you are to say whether you are taking the easy or the hard option. Maybe we should just ensure we make the most of whatever options we have or take. I wonder your thoughts on is….

Letting the sunshine in

How often do we intentionally block out the sunshine from our lives because we are too scared by what it may bring? I notice talking to people that we accept negativity as normal and are suspicious of anything that is good. 

Today I had a message about signing up to get a free card from a supermarket. My immediate reaction was ‘great I could do with that’ but when it didn’t work like I expected and asked for others contact details I became suspicious. I didn’t complete and warned others of using it but still there is a part of me that wonders….just wonders what I may have missed out on.

We don’t believe in good anymore without suspicion and doubt. We don’t believe that good things can be for free. We don’t believe in the good intention of others without wondering what they get or if it’s a scam. How sad is our world? How sad am I not to trust? 

With people I meet, whether they be friends, acquaintances or even complete strangers, I like to give the benefit of the doubt and trust who they are and what they say to me. I don’t do that with things I can’t see or businesses or the Internet. Does that indicate we have lost our sense of belief, of wonder, of goodness in our world? I really hope not.

If we lost belief in good what would it leave us with? Mistrust in everyone we meet? Assuming everyone as an alternative reason for helping us, talking to us, wanting to know us? We mustn’t let that happen. We mustn’t stop the sunshine coming into our lives. We may miss out on so much if we mistrust.

Bask in the sunshine that new friends, relationships, opportunities bring. If you are aware but not mistrusting you can deal with whatever comes. At least you would feel the warmth on your face and the light it would give.

Your reason for being is what?

I lived inside the corporate world for 25 plus years. I had a good job, I worked hard, I had a good work life balance. I had a good marriage. I had a happy family. Didn’t I? Five years ago my happy world imploded and I had none of those. I don’t believe I really had had that for a long time before, I just didn’t see it.

One Friday after work, I found myself sat in a house that I didn’t own, on furniture that wasn’t mine, on my own and I was sad and lonely.Two days later I found myself sat in a house that I didn’t own, on furniture that wasn’t mine, on my own and I had no idea where that time had gone. I hadn’t eaten, drunk, slept or moved. I don’t want anyone else to ever lose those two days or their life.

I rebuilt me. I looked hard at myself, didn’t like what I saw and rebuilt me. I looked deep inside and found my reason for being here on planet earth. I simply wanted to do something I was good at, something I loved. I wanted a purpose. With that purpose I wanted to make sure my children had a mum that was there for them, that I loved myself again and ensure that no other person should have to experience where I had just been. I wanted people to have choice. My why became clear.

What’s your why? What gets you out of bed in the morning and up doing what you do? If you are self employed what makes you carry on when you could easily give up on tough days and become another one on the employment ladder again? If you are employed what’s your reason for being in that job? What is it that lights a fire inside and gives you purpose? If you can answer that honestly and feel excited by what you say, you have found your purpose and should be thankful. If you don’t know the answer but you really wished you did then talk to me.
I heal people, I take time and make it feel longer, I take stresses and ease them away. I take chaos and return calm. I give back what is lost. I hold the space for you to step into when the world gets too much. I bring peace and share it with you.

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”  What is your fire that burns inside?