Playground Capers

I’m sat watching the children playing on swings and climbing frames and whooshing down slides. What joy. 

Joy for them, sharing space, laughter, a few tears but mainly friendship and fun. Joy for parents having space to breathe, chat, taking time to enjoy the few minutes of freedom. I’m not sure who’s enjoying the freedom the most. 

These moments of pure joy and freedom are short and should be treasured. As adults perhaps we should take lessons from these noisy, excited and free spirits. 

Their boundless energy should be an example to us all. They live in the moment, live it to the full and take every opportunity to have fun. 

When do we lose this ability to just enjoy life? If I hear anyone say well they don’t have responsibilities, they don’t have stresses, they don’t know how hard things are I will scream back at you that these are self made issues and at no point are they forced on us. It’s choices we make and how we interact with life that provides these. 

We could learn from these little humans. They make friends easily. They fall out and make up without grudges or hatred. They don’t see colour, creed, religion or disability, they see someone to play with. They give all they have to the moment and they don’t worry about tomorrow. 

Picture yourself on a swing or roundabout or maybe sliding down a slide. How does it feel? Feel the air rushing past. Experience the exhilaration of freedom. Hear your own laughter and scream of joy. Taste the tears running down your cheeks as the wind makes your eyes run. Touch the hand of the person next to you and share the moment. 

Live for today. I’m not suggesting you don’t plan or work for the future. I’m not saying don’t learn from your past. I am asking you to be aware of where you are right now, how you feel, enjoy the company, laugh, love, cry, feel and live because today, right now is actually all you have that’s certain. 

A moment of meditation?

Meditation. What’s that all about then? Sitting cross legged like some monk with your eyes shut, humming? Far too difficult, time consuming? Doesn’t really work does it? I hear these sorts of comments often but think about it…..

Taking time to sit, bring your focus into your own body, checking how you are feeling, breathing, enjoying the quiet of the moment and feeling refreshed afterwards, still, at peace, ready to get back into the busy we call living. Is it such a bad thing to do? Is it so weird to be still and regenerate your energy?

Yesterday I did a meditation in the shower, washing away all the negativity I’d felt around me during the day, the weariness of my own body and mind, the noise and stresses of being around too many people. Today I walked. Never really thought about walking as a meditative practice but with my headphones on, the sun shining, the quiet country roads I stepped forward. 

I didn’t hum, I didn’t om, I didn’t ahhh. I just stepped one foot at a time and felt every step. I felt the movement under my feet, I felt how the gravel felt in comparison to the Tarmac, I felt the soft movement of the earth beneath my foot as I stepped onto the grass  verge when a car came by. I heard every songbird, every moo from the cows, every buzz of a fly as it zipped past my face. I felt the breeze gently caress my face, teasing my hair and brushing across the back of my neck as I stepped on.

I felt every single drop of sweat run down through my hair, my neck and soak into my t-shirt. The music lulled me into a rhythm, interrupted every five minutes as my walking app updated me as to how I was doing. Determined to beat yesterday’s time I increased my pace and then came back inside to how I was feeling, listening to my heartbeat through my headphones as a the music swapped and there was a silent pause. It wasn’t long before there was nothing but my breath, a beat from the background music and my feet as I pounded that Tarmac road. No birdsong, no trees, no traffic, just the inner me creating its own rhythm to walk to.

I was aware of how my muscles felt, how my arms were feeling heavier and I had a slight pull in my right shoulder. I was aware of the blister forming on my toe as I wasn’t wearing socks. The occasional thought of the outside world popped in, I acknowledged it and let it go. My dreams and ambitions flashed in but I just moved them gently to one side for later as now was time for me, my here, my now, my present moment was all that I wanted to enjoy.

As I took my last few paces I began to recognise the outside world again and thanking myself and thanking the universe for the walk, I stepped back inside and back to… life. Much refreshed, rejuvenated, alive again. If this isn’t a form of meditation that anyone can do, I don’t know what is.

My Sarah

Oh how a word, a sound or an action can drag an emotion buried so deep inside, up to the surface so fast that it’s like a sledgehammer hitting you in the chest. It can stop you dead and it can make you cry. 

Many moons ago I lost a baby girl and being the person I am I simply picked myself up, dusted myself down and got on with life. Because  I had to and because I had no one else to share the burden with. I had no one to mend my broken heart so I put my heart in a box and left it with her. 

Only recently has she been spoken of and only recently has she been named (my beautiful Sarah) and only recently did I have to deal with the pandoras box that had been opened. All because of the birth of another child, not even related to me. 

She was my secret. She was my joy. She was beautiful. She was mine. She never got to breathe her first breath. I loved her. I loved her father. I miss her. 

The loss that is spilling out of my eyes is undefinable but I know it hurts. 

I’m not the first and sadly I’m not the last and grief is felt and is dealt with in many ways. I know nothing about dealing with it as I chose not to. How many parents I wonder never grieve for an unborn baby or acknowledge their death, because that is what it is. It’s not a miscarriage or a stillbirth or any other medical term people choose to use. It’s a death and with that comes grief. A pat on the shoulder, a hug or a “never mind there will be others” just doesn’t touch it. 

Grief needs talking about. Grief needs facing head on. But how? I have no answers. I have to work it out day by day. I have to acknowldge how I feel and forgive myself for feeling the way I do. It’s okay. It’s okay to miss my Sarah. 

People. People who need people 

We can all have our moments of feeling independent. We can all have times when we don’t want others around us and just need to be alone. We can also have times when we just need another’s company, communication, touch, words and when that doesn’t happen it’s a hard road to walk. 

How many times have you forgotten to talk? How many times have you forgotten to ask someone how their day has gone or if they are feeling okay? How many times have you thought I’ll call them tomorrow and suddenly tomorrow is weeks or months or years? We move so fast, live such busy lives that sometimes it’s easy to forget time has passed. 

People need people. No matter how many times or ways we say we don’t to ensure others understand our independence or focus, we need human contact. 

Imagine if you will, a world without words. Imagine silence all the time. Imagine no eye contact or touch. Imagine life without hello how are you. Imagine a world where we are so wrapped in ourselves that we no longer care how others are getting on. I don’t want to live in this world. 

I’m a great advocate of just saying hello. You never know where hello leads. Sometimes nowhere. Sometimes to relationships you wish you’d never started. Sometimes to the most glorious conversations and sometimes to the most important other human in your world. Hello how are you costs nothing but can have riches beyond imagination. 

Reach out. Touch another’s life with your hello. You can only be more and never less for making the first move. Pride, anger, self indulgence or pity; these are never reasons for stopping hello. Will you regret not speaking to a certain person ever again? Then say hello. 

People need people (Barbara Streisand sang that loud and true). You can’t make someone say it back but if you don’t try you will never know their response. Loved ones, old friends or perfect strangers who could become the most important person in your life… life with them begins at hello. 

Can I walk with you?

🎼 I love my life. I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am free. I love my life. I am wonderful, I am magical, I am me.

Thank you Robbie Williams for creating a song that reads like my life right now. This was playing on the way home from one of the biggest, most important weeks of my life. A week where it became absolute to me where I am supposed to be in life. My purpose. It’s an enormous emotion when it’s hits you and takes some getting used to. A couple of weeks on and I think I’m finally comfortable with this new version of me.

I give thanks every morning to be in this place. It’s been a long journey with many tears, frustrations, physical and mental bruises and having to face a lot of things I’d rather have avoided (and that includes many things about me). Worth every step now I’m this side of my own fears. 

I wonder how many people in the world are blessed to know what they need to do with their time on this planet. I wonder how many know and how many care. Many are just happy to travel through and make the best life they can and that is absolutely fine but I needed more because I knew there was more for me, I knew I was more than who I saw during that bad time. 

When all you see is bad, depressing, going nowhere and makes you sad to your very core I beg you not to give in. Facing it all and standing up to yourself is the hardest thing you may ever do because in doing that you have to face up to others, make painful decisions and choices and maybe go so far as walking away and beginning again but it can be done. Easy for me to say as I’m in a good place now? Actually no because I know how hard the journey is but is it worth it? Absolutely yes. 

It may not feel like it but there are people willing to listen, help, support and love you even when you can’t love yourself. You just have to choose to change and then ask for help. All I have to give is my experience, my heart to care, a pair of ears to listen and legs to walk alongside someone who’s been courageous enough to say help me change. I am humbled to be trusted to share someone else’s journey and blessed that I’ve had a tough road to understand. 

We are all human after all 

I am independent, courageous and strong and value the solo part of me but no man (or woman) is an island and at times we need physical contact with another human. Loneliness or aloneness? 

I recently led a reiki session and experienced the loneliness they were feeling in their life and, just for a split second, it remained with me; I guess to remind me what it feels like. 

This is how it felt and what I wrote immediately afterwards….. ‘There are times in my day and in my life where I have an overwhelming need to be held. Not sex. Not caressing. Not cuddled. Held. Held so tight I can barely breathe and yet it gives me life. 

There are times in my day and in my life where I need a strong loving man to wrap me in his arms and hold me all night. Not because he loves me but because he cares and is strong enough to carry me through the night with the strength in his arms and his heart. 

There are times in my day and in my life where I just need to be vulnerable. I need to know fear. I need to feel lost. With these come courage, strength and purpose. With these come security in the knowledge that I can take another step, walk forward into the future and be happy in my own aloneness. 

There are times in my day and in my life where I need to be held. Hold me.’

I guess this is to say that every one of us is human, vulnerable and alone and it’s perfectly okay to need others support, love and protection sometimes. You aren’t a lesser person. You aren’t weak. You aren’t losing it. You aren’t desperate. You are human and needing another human to acknowledge you and comfort you is normal. You are okay.  Never forget your humanness. 

A love letter to my ego?

My dearest Ego

When you pay me attention my heart skips a beat. When you whisper sweet nothings in my ear it makes me melt. When you call my name I sometimes stumble. I love you. 

Why you ask? That’s simple. You remind me why I’m strong. You remind me why I fight for all I have and all I am. You remind me why every time I fall that I am able to stand back up again. 

For all those times you’ve made me anxious. For all those times you’ve made me needy. For all those times you made me irritate others because of my lack of self esteem and confidence. For all those times you made me defensive. For all those times you made me doubt myself and my words. For all this I love you. 

My darling Ego you give me strength, strength to say no to you and follow what is right for me. You empower me to be a better person when you continually tell me I am not worthy. You make me smile when you say I can’t and I know deep down I can. You make me listen carefully and act on what I hear. You make me strong as you hold me down and I push past your power. You make me laugh when you say the same thing time and time again and expect me to listen.

My darling Ego, thank you for all you have taught me, for being there and helping me create me in my darkest days, for if you had not I wouldn’t be the strong, independent, beautiful, loving and extremely happy and grateful woman I am today. Thank you. 

Love, me x

Step into your fear to find your dream

🎼Tell the devil that he can go back from where he came. His fiery arrows drew their beat in vain. And when the hardest part is over we’ll be here. And our dreams will break the boundaries of our fears.🎼

These song words resonated loud and clear as I travelled back home after an absolutely epic week where I found me, I found home and I fell in love; in love with me, with all I am, with all I have, with life itself. I look like a giddy 16 year old, free from worry, free from the stresses of life, free from all that has kept me down for so long, yes she, that ego of mine. 

How did this come about then? Surely it’s not an easy process, it’s not magic, it’s not a miracle, it’s not some highbrow business tool. No, it’s belief, it’s realisation that I control my life and no one else and it’s loving myself for what I’ve achieved, how far I’ve come and being grateful for all that held me back for so long, just so I could learn from it all. 

My dreams have become my reality at long last. My dreams are now palpable. My dreams are no longer dreams as they have become my present moment, my now. I stepped into and then through the fear and there they were. The devil, more commonly known as my ego, who has stood in my way for so long has been sent back to where she began and is no longer free to roam and cause havoc. Yes she occasionally shouts quite loud and yes I tend to shout back but she’s caged and I have the only key. 

Your dreams are always alive and waiting but you have to step into your fear to make them a reality. It may be change, it may be facing others opinions, it may be new, it may be letting go but it’s holding you back from where your heart says you should be. You can do this if you take a deep breath and step forward. Fear is only in your head. Fear is only your ego telling you all the reasons you shouldn’t step forward and why you should stay where you are or where you have been. 

Are you willing to risk losing your ego’s approval and following your heart instead? It’s a risk but personally it was the worth the small amount of uncomfortable to be in the place I’m in right now. 

Sorry for being sorry

I have spent much of my adult life apologising. Apologising for who I am, what I’ve said, where I’ve been, what I’ve done and who I’ve done it with or for. How many years does it take to change those words into something more positive? For some a short time, some an eternity and some just never quite achieve it.

What a wonderfully different mindset you can achieve just by thinking about that “I’m sorry” differently and with that thought in mind I would like to share with you a quotation I saw today….

“”Lately I’ve been replacing ‘I’m sorry’ with ‘thank you’s’, like instead of ‘sorry I’m late’ I’ll say ‘thanks for waiting for me’, or instead of ‘sorry for being such a mess’ I’ll say ‘ thank you for loving me and caring about me unconditionally’ and its not only shifted the way I think and feel about myself but also improved my relationships with others who now get to receive my gratitude instead of my negativity (quote from Vijara)

Isn’t this beautiful? I had no idea, until a colleague pointed it out to me some years ago  (thank you Rachael), that I apologised for being me so very often and with that I realised how negative I had become – I was so fixated on desperately wanting to fit in and not upset anyone, my ego found this a great solution – I certainly kept me in my own place as well as irritating those who had to listen to me insipidly apologising, even before I said what I had to say!

Now, whilst I have worked on it over the last five years I know that even now I say it. Today this quotation pulled me up short and I will no longer apologise for who I am, how I live my life, what I think or how I choose to spend my time. This is my life and I am a strong, courageous, loving woman who doesn’t need to excuse herself. I know my own mind, have my own thoughts, do everything with the best intent and with love so why would I ever apologise for being me?

Mrs Ego is a funny thing, I’ve learnt a great deal about her over the last couple of years and whilst she is a permanent house guest I keep her under house arrest as much as possible and do not let her have any form of freedom or escape. If I do I become down on myself, negative, shy, inward looking; I bow my head and allow others to rule my life, rule me. I would very much love to provide her with a hug and an eviction notice but maybe I am not yet far enough along my personal development to be able to do that just yet. What about you?

Where do you sit with self confidence and positivity? Do you find it easy to just say what is inside and not be afraid to stand your ground? Do you apologise for having your own ideas and thoughts and then air them, even when someone else disagrees with you? Are you the one who is a crowd pleaser? Are you the peace keeper but never courageous enough to tell others to sort it out and walk away? Do you apologise on another’s behalf? Do you have a partner or friend who you continually apologise for because of their behaviour instead of speaking with them and allowing them to see their mistakes and deal with them?

I can say this because I lived it. I can say this because it is who I was and I’m ashamed of myself but instead of apologising for who I was I embrace who I have become and say thank you to all those who have taught me and continue to teach me. I listen, I learn and I grow.

 

 

 

 

 

Silent speaking 

I don’t say a lot (although some of my friends may beg to differ) but I listen and I feel. 

I feel your pain, your love, anger and jealousy. I feel you strength, your beauty, your joy and your frustrations. I see inside, deep inside and I know what is trapped, desperate to escape the prison walls of your ego, pride and socially induced thoughts. 

I feel through touch, my skin against yours. My hands listen to what your unconscious mind verbalises through that layer that traps emotions, feelings, thoughts and brings them out and up through me to the universe. 

When you cry inside I feel your pain. When your have joy that you won’t allow to escape I set it free. When you hide in your own head I sit awhile with you in silence. I am your voice. I am your prayers. I am your entrance to the ears of the universe. 

Your energy is one with mine and all other living beings around us but we have to be able to set it free. All those negative or sad or bereft feelings you contain, locked deep in boxes, some never wanting to revisited and opened but open them you must. Only then, when these are empty can they be filled with infinitely more beautful feelings and emotions. Only then can they be filled with what you need for yourself and for others, indeed for all of humanity. Love. Love is the biggest most beautiful energy you can ever experience and it begins with you. 

“Let there be love shared amongst us. Let there be joy in our hearts….. Let there be love.”