On the edge

Stood on the edge. Ahead I can see for miles and miles but no definition or detail of what’s there, just colour and shapes and a sense of peace. Below my feet is solid ground but just one step and I step into a space I cannot define, cannot see, just feel. I have faith that tells me it’s safe so here we go….

With one single bag containing nothing more than things; things I’m not sure I need but they are identity, a little bit of home and necessities (we all need a toothbrush and a hint of mascara). Mind you I don’t think this adventure calls for anything but me and my belief that out there in this awesome universe is a space for me and it can be filled with all sorts of wonders if I just allow it in. 

We hold onto much in life like a huge security blanket. Things we think keep us safe, happy and at peace. These feelings aren’t found in things. We hold onto people who we think are who we need to make us whole and happy. Happiness is being comfortable in your own skin and knowing yourself. We hold onto places thinking that anywhere else is dangerous as it’s not home. Home is inside you so you carry it with you. It’s time to let go and explore. Explore the world, explore a culture other than mine and explore me and find out who I am and what I am capable of. 

I am…. anything and anyone I choose to be

I am…. whole

I am…. enough

I wonder what you would put after ‘I am’? If you’re willing to share with me I’d love to know. 

Time for an adventure

In a weeks time I will be in the heart of the French countryside with people I’ve never met, taking part in classes that are new and gifting what I love, my massage and reiki, to my fellow travellers. I’m off to a retreat.

Many would love to take time out and do this, I know because they tell me, so what’s stopping them? Finances? Motivation? Fear? Commitments? Time? Some or all of these could be in their head but do you know if they really want it, they will do it. I’m blessed to be going and won’t waste a second. It wasn’t so very long ago I would have been appalled at the thought of doing this and yet this new version of me is beyond excited to be going.

This adventure all came from some beautiful photo’s that created a conversation, the joining of two like minded people and my courage to stand up and say who I am, express how good I am at what I do and their faith in me. If you think that is big headed I really don’t care. I am good at what I do and want to shout out (to anyone who will listen) how important it is for people to have a space to step into to become the person they were, are inside, could be again. I create that space.

I am about to meet people from across this marvellous planet of ours, all with stories of their own, all with reasons for coming together and just being. Learning, growing, being still, taking time, creating space and improving themselves; mind, body and spirit. There are no barriers, this is for everyone who  wants to “transform your existence into a life that matters“.

Why do this? I can only answer for me – it’s time in my life for adventures. I have  been to some pretty dark places in recent years and worked damn hard to step into the light. This is my way of celebrating, sharing, forgiving, learning, reflecting, growing, being still, going inside, reaching out into nature and the universe and saying thank you for everything I have. I have been blessed with two amazing children. I am loved. I have good health and I have a gift to share with those who can find themselves and it’s time in my life for adventure to live and no longer just exist.

Taking a week to myself, for myself is selfish? That depends on your viewpoint doesn’t it. Independence? Celebration? Gratitude? Giving? Learning? Loving? Silence? Inner strength? Being a better person to those I come home to? If all this is selfish then I will allow you to call me that but I ask you if you fancy being ‘selfish’ too. It is for everyone, anyone, you, me, him, her, young, old, male, female, strangers, couples, friends; anyone who is seeking “self-discovery and transformation. Time to think, space to breathe, learn to grow”.

What will I learn? What will I do with it all afterwards? How will it impact the future? I guess I can only answer that when I return and reflect. Will I be different? Absolutely yes. Will it be the biggest adventure I’ve ever had? Oh yes. Am I excited? Imagine a bottle of pop that has been shaken and released…. does that tell you? You CAN have this. You CAN find time. You CAN afford it. You CAN become whoever you want to be. Maybe it really is your time to step into your space.

 

 

 

Through the eyes of a child

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” This quote has rattled around my thoughts recently and I realise how much we lose becoming “man”. How we lose our sense of wonder. How we miss seeing the small things that create our happiness. What we fear. How we question. When did we become “man” and how sad is it that we seem unable to keep a thread of “child” in us as time passes by.

“When I was a child I spoke as a child”. I think we use the expression “out of the mouths of babes” and I really wish that more people had the courage to speak like a child. With honesty. With no filter. With heart. Without fear of judgement. With innocence and wonder at the words they are able to create and with joy.

“I understood as a child”. I would love to be able to recreate understanding as a child sometimes. Without complication. With questions. Without doubt that what I heard was the truth. With knowledge that I am growing and learning every time I find something new and it expands my world just a little bit more.

“I thought as a child”. As a child I never questioned what I was told by someone. As a child I lived sometimes in a world in my head. I was creative in what I did and how I approached things. I would capture all I saw, all I heard, all I felt and take those, not stress and worry, into my dreams. I thought the world was beautiful, I thought people good and had my best interests at heart and I thought everything lived for ever.

As I grew up and grew older I lost all this. I don’t know where. I don’t know when. I just know that when I looked recently it wasn’t there. Oh my god when did that happen? When did adulthood steal my childlike qualities. How did I allow this to happen? Why did I let it all slip out of my fingers and disappear into the ether? What happened that made me forget the innocent view of my surroundings, my peers, my adult relationships?  When did I begin to doubt someone’s words before I believed their truth? At what point did I put away childish things and destroy a part of me that was so very, very important to my adultness?

Now I’ve recognised that I need to see through my “child” eyes, or use my child’s eyes to remind myself of what I used to see. I can consciously remind myself to look at the world around me with wonder; allow it to surprise me; create with my “child” imagination a better world and then recreate it and live in it with the adult part of me. I can take people I see at face value first, trust, believe, love them for who they are not who society tells me they are because of their lifestyle, their religion, their colour or language. And I can love unconditionally, others and myself.

I can and will see as a child, hear as a child, speak as a child, think as a child, behave as a child. I can and will play, create, imagine, trust, believe and laugh as I did as a child and I will never again lose this part of me. Why? Because I am simply a better person to and for myself, my friends, my family, my community, my country, my universe since I found the child inside.

Want to come and play?

 

Heading into silence 

Have you ever experienced true silence? 

It’s really hard to find the time? It’s really hard to find a place? It’s really hard to do? It’s really hard to believe this can be anything useful?  To experience silence you have to stop. You have to listen. You have to keep trying to find it. You have to believe it’s worthwhile. 

When you find your way into true silence it can be the most powerful experience. It’s loud. It’s thought provoking. It helps you find your thoughts. It helps you find time and peace within it. It helps you find the strength and the belief in yourself that you can do, achieve, succeed in anything.

This morning, after many weeks of being unable to focus in my meditation, unable to quieten my thoughts long enough to focus, unable to hear myself think as there was so much in my head, this morning I found silence and it was beautiful.  It took me a while and a few attempts to focus and follow my own breath and it took a great deal of concentration on that breath to shut out the noise within my head and from the outside world but once I was there it was beautiful.

I was heading for the second migraine of the week, I was tired, I was emotionally bereft before I began. In twenty minutes I felt refreshed, my head was clearing and I felt strong enough to take back control of my day. All by persevering, believing, focussing and taking time to go inside and listen to my body, my thoughts, my own silence. That moment you hear your own intake of breath, your heartbeat, the air filling every space in your lungs. That feeling of the air gathering up all the negativity, stress, darkness and your body expelling it out and away and bringing in white light, cleanliness, positivity and peace. That is silence.

“Do this every day and your life will change”. Do you know I think it will. I am going to take the rest of this month doing just that, getting back into a routine, a pattern, taking time to stop and breathe and see what a difference it makes. I love a challenge and I think I’ve just been thrown one. How different? Well I guess that depends on me. I plan to take note now of how I feel, think, emotional aspects I want to experience or change, things I want to achieve, feel, do, things I want to come in and go out of my life and then revisit this at the end of the month. How much can I do? I guess that’s up to me too. I will say what I want and what I hope to gain and then compare my now to my then.

If you feel you want to do this too message me – why not do this together? Lifes easier with support sometimes and who knows where the adventure could take us…..

OMG is that me?

There is nothing more beautiful than seeing someone realise not only what they can do but who they already are.

Have you ever thought or heard yourself say “I am not the person I used to be” or “I don’t know who I am anymore” or “I don’t recognise the person I see in the mirror – where have I gone?” I’m not talking about others saying it of you – that says far more about them than it does you – but I do acknowledge they will make you feel the same emotions if you are already struggling with your self esteem and confidence.

I wrote a week or two ago (For Ladies of a Certain Age – 24 May) about how empowered I felt by having my photo taken professionally and today I went to see the results of those few hours in front of the camera and I was totally blown away by the beautiful woman I saw on the screen.

I saw strength, I saw courage, I saw nerve. I felt pride. I felt I was looking at many women even though they all had the same face.  She has captured so many aspects of my personality, a true artist at work. She found my vulnerable, my sexy, my coy, my strong, my determined and my playful. She enticed the inner me out into the open and then captured it with a single shutter click. She created a snapshot of who I am that will remain for all eternity and allow me to go back to if ever I need to remind myself or want to reminisce on the enormity of the day.

We all spend our days being so many people, I know I am mum, lover, chef, taxi driver, therapist, friend, sister et al, as you may be. Gentlemen this is for you too! You are dad, husband, lover, chef, sportsman, friend, strongman, shoulder to lean on and many, many other people. You may feel you have lost your identity and you are so many people that you never know which you want to be and most certainly lose who you can be.

It is a huge moment when you are faced with yourself on a 48″ screen with no filters, no retouching, no photo manipulation, just raw emotion captured by an artist. I watched this movie of me mesmerised by not what but who I saw. On this screen was exactly who I am but it was like seeing me for the first time and I fell in love. Does that sound ridiculous? I hope not because I was stunned as I saw who I have become on this journey of mine and I love her and with this comes who I can move on to be and the opportunities I can create and live in.

All from a click of the camera? No of course not but that click has shown me my own potential. I expected to be embarrassed, shy, appalled, disgusted, disappointed (says a great deal about my self confidence) but I was proud and as I wiped a tear away it dawned on me how big this moment was. This was another step on my journey of rediscovering me and I saw how far I have travelled and how far I can go. This was huge.

I’m not suggesting everyone do this in particular (although I do believe you should give it a go) but I do feel very, very strongly that everyone should step out of themselves and find a means to see themselves with new eyes. The euphoria is dreadfully difficult to capture here in words but I hope you can see how this has empowered, inspired and filled me with confidence and as you can see by the heading “the most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence”.

Clearing the weeds, losing control

Much weeding took place in the Energy Magnets garden this weekend. It can be a beautiful garden but if not tended regularly, can get overgrown very quickly and with the mix of sunshine and showers over the last couple of weeks, it resembled the jungle rather than an English county garden.

I’m sat this morning looking out on a newly weeded section and  the blackbirds, great tits, robins, sparrows and wrens are feeding greedily on the worms and other bugs that have surfaced and are now accessible. How this picture reflects life too.

We allow the weeds to grow around us. We allow life to tangle us up, entwining the beautiful and making it ugly. We allow our neat, orderly edges to become invisible so we can’t see where we begin or end. We sometimes cannot see out to see where we are going and we certainly stop the stunningly beautiful  flowers that we really are, be seen.

If we choose to, we can clear away the weeds. We can tend our own gardens and create order from the chaos, create beauty from the tangle and we can show all that we are for others to feed on. I say feed on because I wonder if you realise the impact you have on others (this it is not meant as a negative). When you are calm, happy and at peace with yourself, your thoughts and your actions, your energy is positive, large and infectious to others and they will feed from you and also begin to lose their weeds and begin to grow again. How you feel, how you act, how you grow will be visible and repeated by those closest to you.

My garden is large and needs constant attention. My life is busy and needs constant watching. I am complex and need constant growth. Attention, watching, growth and I have discovered recently; control. Even after all the personal development and growth I have achieved, I still need a high level of control, or believe I need it, for keeping life’s weeds at bay or catching curve balls and keeping them close to me or having all the answers to all the questions that keep me awake at night.

During the day I am busy, I am focussed, I am at peace with myself and what I’m doing and yet whilst I sleep, my brain, my unconscious thoughts, take hold like those weeds; fast moving and entwining themselves with my comfort, peace and stress free heart. At night I fall asleep but within a few short hours I’m awake again with thoughts, ideas, worries or questions racing around and I become strangled, unable to breathe properly and the night becomes long and I become frustrated once more.

I need to go back to why I still need, or again need this control. What is missing from my life, what I am searching for, why am I losing sleep in a life that is turning into perfection. I believe the answer can be summed up in one word…… CHANGE. I struggle with it and controlling things has become my way of handling it. Change – a subject for another day but at least I have found where to begin weeding.

 

 

She stepped to the edge

And she stood at the edge, took a breath and stepped into the unknown. Faith, trust, excitement and freedom. She doesn’t question, she simply believes the best is yet to come. When life throws her an opportunity she grabs it, runs free, runs wild and simply says thank you.  

There are chances given that you know you will always wonder about if you do not see them through. There are times when you have to decide if the opportunity of what might be, outweighs the unknown. There are moments where everyone else questions what you are doing or worries that you are stepping into something that you cannot control, not understanding that the lack of it (control) is what lights the fire in your soul. 

Step forward into the light. Step into your dreams. Step away from what holds you. Step away from your darkness into your light and shine.

If it feels good, do it. If it excites you, it’s meant to be. If it scares you, it will make you feel alive. If it challenges you, you will grow. If it succeeds you will be happy. If it doesn’t? So what, you have given it a go and learnt something new. 
Talk to new people, try new things, speak up about your desires and dreams, step forward and tell people what you really want from life. You never know who’s listening. Maybe just the universe, but be aware she’s pretty good at laying before you what you desire, if only you are brave enough to ask. Are you?

Forgive Me

“Forgive me father for I have sinned”… An expression we know well either from our own faith or from scenes within a tv programme but why do we feel compelled to ask others to figure us when we so rarely forgive ourselves?

How many times have you beaten yourself mentally, physically or verbally because of something you have felt, said or acted upon that you deemed to be ‘sinful’? Who in fact decides what is and isn’t sin? A holy book? A god we cannot see? A community? A government? Our family? Our history? A combination of who we are, right and wrong and what is instilled in us through the media, life or experience? Who knows and I’m neither stating fact or judging, just curious. Do we in fact label actions as sins to make sure we chastise rather than love, beat instead of hold, build guilt rather than self esteem?

I digress. In my lifetime I have done much, or thought things or behaved in a way I have deemed myself sinful, uncaring, unlovable and should therefore be punished with not succeeding, being financially bereft, unable to love myself and in turn deemed myself  unable to be loved by others and generally having nowhere to go that I am worthy of. I have thought and acted in this way and what has it brought me? Hardship, sadness, loneliness and brick walls, obstacles instead of happiness and mistrust in myself and others. What happens if you decide to forgive?

It is only very recently I decided I could do this after a healing session I took part in. During the session  I was asked point blank if I could forgive those around me who I believed hurt me and I heard a voice say yes. I was asked if I could forgive myself and again I heard a voice say yes. I heard the question, I heard my answer but I wasn’t sure what this meant or if by some magic it had all taken place? To be honest I’m still not entirely sure what or how it manifested in me but, I know in my heart I have done exactly that and have feelings and positivity and peace that I haven’t experienced before so why question, why doubt? 

In my past I made choices, I made decisions, I took action and I did what I felt was right at the time. This were never done with malice or violence or ill thoughts so why be so down on myself for making the wrong choices, because that is all they were. I began with forgiving those who have hurt me. I took responsibility for my part and forgave them for theirs. Some were harder than others but why hold them in bad light for choices they too made. They have to live with their consequences as I have lived with mine. The joy is being able to change how you see or feel about them. After forgiving them I turned the mirror on myself. I thought this was going to be easy and it would mean just denying I was responsible but this was far from the truth. Facing demons was tough and as they were all self made, only I could release them and therefore release me.

If you take away the guilt, if you take away the burden you place on yourself, if you take away the pain, you are left with a silence, a sense of peace, a light within. It’s very beautiful. With this you can light up a whole world by shining brightly and leading the way for anyone else who feels they are ready to do the same. This is no evangelical mission, this is love. This is being kind, generous, loving, at peace with yourself and your world and showing others how to do the same. It begins with the words…. forgive me? Yes I do….

Gratitude 

If you haven’t come across Timber Hawkeye and The Buddhist Boot Camp may I make a recommendation and suggest you give him some of your precious time. His book is common sense, thought provoking, all wrapped in gratitude. 

What is gratitude? According to Timber it is something that “has a way of turning what we have into enough”.

How often we yearn for more, seek, more, desire better than that which we have. A better job, more money, bigger house…. More, more, more. What about what we already have? When are we going to understand that what we have is simply enough and that ‘more’ doesn’t always mean happier, more fulfilled, richer, kinder, at peace? We can spend a lifetime wishing we had something else, something different, something someone else seemingly has but what about if we stopped for a second and we’re just grateful for what we have. Would this change how you feel about it?

How much do you need, how many things do you have to surround yourself with, what is it you seek before you say ‘I have enough’? How much will you own, what emotions will you experience, how many years will you have to lose before you say ‘I am enough’? For some it can take life changing moments but why wait for these? Why not stop this month, this week, today and look at what you have and be grateful. 

Look at your partner. They may not be perfect but be grateful for all you have experienced together and what you now have. Different is not always bad. Look at your children, family, friends and see how much joy they bring. Look at your home, your job, your lifestyle. Whilst they can always be improved you have these whilst others do not and they bring you stability. Look at yourself. You may be older, you may be a different shape or size or weight. You may not be all you’d hoped to be. Forgive yourself for not being your version of perfection and love who you are. Be grateful that you can love. 

Gratitude. It’s has amazing healing properties. You don’t need a doctor. You don’t need a religion. You don’t need to be in a certain income band or career. You don’t need to be famous. You simply need to look at what you already have and say thank you. Try it and you may find it transforms what you have into enough. 

Getting back into your own body

Do you ever have moments when you know you are in the room but you actually don’t feel present at all? It can feel a bit like drowning in your own noise and you simply can’t focus enough to rescue yourself. I’ve been experiencing this since I had my recent operation. I had no idea how much ‘damage’ an anaesthetic can do and how much your body is damaged whilst also being healed from a medical perspective.

I knew I was tired, I knew I was washed out and I knew I needed to rest but even after all of this I didn’t feel right. Someone even said “you are physically here but not with me”. It was as though I couldn’t quite focus or that I was sat on the outside watching my own life but unable to join in. I couldn’t shake it and after showing in tests that I was still really dehydrated and also  with blocked lymph glands I decided to take action.

Reflexology was the first key. For a woman with the worlds most ticklish feet this is, in itself, a feat of tolerance from me and patience from my reflexologist. If you haven’t tried it can I suggest you do. At least once put any reservations or scepticism on one side and give yourself up to the therapist as they will find things in your body that you knew were a problem but couldn’t really put your finger on it.

Healing. Kinesiology. Muscle testing. EFT. Cranial therapy. For all those who just rolled your eyes and said “hippie nonsense” I will ask if you’ve ever tried them. For those who have never heard of them I implore you to look them up and if you are comfortable enough speak to a therapist (recommendation rather than just googling for anyone) and for those who use it and get it, I’m also a massive advocate of these because, for me, they work.

I have had a day of self care and repair. I have loved me. I have made myself the priority because I have come to learn that I am no use to anyone if I don’t. I now feel like myself again. I feel strong, confident, courageous, full up and living in my own body. Most of all I am present in my life, on the right day, at the right time and ready to live again.

It doesn’t have to be as a result of medical intervention, it could just be life’s stresses, trials and tribulations that we all experience. When they get out of hand or aren’t addressed they can become stronger, more empowered and throw you off balance and take you out of your own life and sit you on the sideline. Maybe you recognise yourself in this and need support. I’m no miracle worker but I know what can work if you open your mind and heart and give something other than or in addition to, prescription drugs. Just ask…..