The Art of Hibernation

Hibernation: the condition or period of an animal or plant spending the winter in a dormant state. May I remind you that we are all animals and whilst we don’t tend to hide ourselves away with no food, asleep and waiting until spring arrives, many of us still need or wish to go through this process. But, how possible is this?

In today’s world of rush and instant access and the need for answers right here and right now, my guess would be that for most this is simply not possible. The need to do, to work, to allow ourselves to be judged by another’s standards or values can all lead to a fear…. a fear to remain where you are and simply enjoy the time you have and what you have and who you have it with.

For nearly a year now I have tried to live by the moons cycle rather than a daily, weekly, monthly calendar and it’s not always easy – especially when the world around you works at another pace and to another structure. Working to the moons cycle means I am living to and by the seasons and with that, as winter came, I knew it was time (like the animals and nature) to rest a while and wait for spring. Has it been easy to slow, stop, rest, grow? Some days absolutely not and I’ve found myself frustrated and anxious. Some days yes and these have been beautiful, chilled and I am discovering changes in my thoughts, my attitude towards people and life. I am a work in progress but I have realised after many years of doubting my worth, that I am worth the effort, and in turn, what I am then able to give to people and the planet is huge and beneficial.

Am I watching others do and achieve things I wish to? Yes. Am I getting frustrated that I have to wait until I can begin? Yes. Do I realise I am becoming a solitary individual rather than a member of a crowd? Yes, but this feels right, it feels comfortable and I have learnt to love being away from the noise. It has been essential and actually impossible to live any other way – I listened to my body and my mind and it said “its time to slow down, rest, rejuvenate, re-energise, evaluate where you are and where you are going, allow plans and thoughts to just come to you and take time away from people, even those you love, to listen to your heart”.

I have not had the heart or the energy to do otherwise but instead of being the old me and ploughing through, I listened, I understood the why and have done something that a while ago would have been impossible. I stopped, I stepped away from life, I rested and like the snowdrop, the daffodil, the crocus or the tortoise or any other hibernating creature, I allowed myself time to grow; away in the dark, in the warmth of my world, in the security and knowledge that coming out the other side I would be stronger, refreshed, I will have learnt more about me than I have ever known before and I will be a better person for it.

Spring is on its way and nature is beginning to awaken as am I. I am starting to unfurl. I am itching to poke my head out of the ground and feel the sunshine on my skin. I am discovering there is an art to hibernation and it takes effort, self discipline and giving yourself the permission to step away from what is the norm within society. I am fortunate in that I chose a way of life a few years ago that allows me the flexibility to what my body has told me to do and I know not everyone is able to do this but everyone can take some away from their world, switch off the electronic devices or at least use them less and then undertake things that really help them slow their lives down. Reading, writing, learning what silence is and how you can use it to your best interest. Sewing, painting, singing, listening – to music, to the silence, to an audio book – all allow time to be felt, heard, touched, found.

Spring is for me a new beginning and I have grown in so many ways. How this time of quiet contemplation, learning, quiet hibernation will show itself as the seasons progress is yet to be seen, but I know I am ready and prepared with open eyes and heart. I dare you to discover and know the seasons within yourself and see how they manifest within you and what changes they bring. It is just a year of observation, reflection, listening, accepting and growing. Just a year that could change all you are and all you have. Why would you not at least try?

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Silence – Can You Handle It?

We sometimes catch ourselves wishing for quiet or silence but when we have it can we handle it?

We sometimes catch ourselves asking for everything to stop so we can just enjoy the stillness, but do we have the ability to actually sit with it?

We sometimes catch ourselves asking for more time, but when we have it do we know what to do with it or how to use it wisely?

Speaking for myself I not only love all three of these, but I ensure I include them into my day; every single day. Why? Because I need that time, quiet and ‘my’ space to reflect, re-energise and breathe. It doesn’t take up much of my day – perhaps 15 minutes, perhaps an hour if I am particularly low or rundown, overwhelmed or tired (yes I get all of those even though I do all this religiously. I am human after all.)

Let’s take what quiet is…. I actually find quiet with music in my ears. I put my headphones on and whilst I know the music is playing, it creates enough distraction for my mind to be unable to process thoughts that may disturb my quiet. Weird but true. To find this I have to sit or lie down (the latter is sometimes fatal as I can fall asleep), usually in my office where I have a sofa and I am far away from the noise of day to day life. I also have to close my eyes and breathe until the music takes the thoughts and I am left with the silence in my own head.

Quiet to me is usually blackness – not a sad, depressing blackness, but a beautiful star filled night sky kind of blackness. Quiet seems to move my eyes from focusing outwardly to inward looking, even though they are closed. It is as if I am inside my own head or heart, depending on where I decide my focus needs to be. When finally the thoughts are silenced by the music and my breath is relaxed and even, the darkness begins to play with me.

Into the darkness can come colour, faces, or movement but all silent and gently passing in and out of my minds eye – never stopping, never giving me enough to focus on and never taking my attention away from the quiet they are moving through. And then, when my body and my mind has had enough, the music seems to come to the forefront of my thoughts, my body decides it needs to move and I am done. I am done, I am re-energised and ready to tackle the world.

Quiet to you may be different but do you dare go and find it? Quiet can be too much for some, especially when you first venture there – your ego constantly poking you, telling you that you can’t do this, that it’s is no good for you, that you don’t have time, that you have bills to pay, debts, personal worries, family worries, work upset or stress…. the list is endless. (Try and create a persona for your ego, one you can see, feel, touch and one you can therefore send to the naughty step like a child, until you are done). Your ego has to be tamed, controlled, silenced (and it is possible when you take back your voice), and then your quiet can show its face.

Quiet can be the place your demons play. Quiet can be the box that you have kept the lid tightly shut on for years. Quiet can be the memory box of random thoughts and worries. Quiet can be all you feel you don’t have the energy, the willpower or the capacity to sit with…. but you can, if you just try. Every day try. Once is not enough to justify not visiting again. Small, consistent attempts, will help you find the quiet you seek.

Quiet is beautiful. Quiet is healing. Quiet gives you a sense of calm and power. Quiet fits into your life, no matter who or where you are or what you do. Quiet is essential for peace of mind, mental health, stress level reduction and all that is good.

Quiet is free, available to all and somehow creates the time you so desperately need in your day. I dare you to try and find yours…

Black Dog Barking

I wake each morning and I am grateful. This is my way of waking and saying f**k you depression, you cannot have me today.

I give. I heal. I touch. I love. I am happy.

And yet…. my life is not perfect. I hurt. I cry. I miss my loved ones. I yell out loud to be touched. I beg for affection. I desire perfection. I want to be happy. I want someone to tell me for a change that my world is going to be okay. I want someone to lift my chin and wipe away my tears. I want someone to just text me and say “are you okay I worry about you”. I want my kids with me and not feel second best or a failure. I want people to notice I hurt too and then offer to pick me up, brush me down and get me walking again.

Why? Because I am that statistic. I am that one in four. I battle with depression. I have a black dog and he barks too damn loud some days.

Label me. Talk behind my back. Avoid me. Pity me. Don’t believe me because “she always has a smile and time for people – she can’t be that bad”. Or…. maybe read my words, feel what I feel, try and understand the dark and lonely days, know Christmas is hell, as are the days where life went wrong and haunt me year in year out.

Know that a kind word, a smile, a hug are like magic and send through me a warmth like a fire being lit inside. You don’t have to try to and nor can you ever hope to fix me. Just walk by my side, acknowledge the dark days and celebrate the good ones. Hold my hand, ask me questions, light up my world and give me hope that tomorrow is another day and I will be there too. Help me, allow me, to lower my guard and open my heart as well as my mouth.

Remember that I wake every morning and I am grateful. This is my way of saying f**k you depression, you cannot have me today.

I write not for your pity. I write because this is how I express myself. If it makes you uncomfortable I thank god, as it means you have a heart filled with compassion for another human being. I am truly blessed as I am loved and I have purpose so my world is a good one and I can silence my friend, the black dog. But… many they cannot quiet him because they don’t know how. Many suffer in silence because they cannot find the words. Many take their lives because it is the only way to take away the pain. Hear them, see them, listen to them. They need you too.

My black dog was barking this morning but a walk, a hard conversation with myself, the chatter in my head told to shut up and me knowing I have people who love me, he was silenced for another day.

Maybe you have the dog that barks… you get this… know I am here for you.

Merry Christmas

It’s a couple of days. It really is just a couple of days.

For those who believe in god this is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, hope for the future, blessings and love.

For those who don’t it’s about Santa Claus, tradition, gifts and good food.

For many it is joy, happiness, spending time with loved ones and peace on earth.

For others it is loneliness, anxiety, stress and a time they wish it was all over.

For all of us it is just a couple of days and has to be managed – whatever you believe and however you feel.

If you are in a good place seek those who are not and share your time and love. If you find this time hard accept the support and love you are offered and know tomorrow will come.

My purpose is to give to those who are in need and I hope today that this reaches all those who need to hear it, feel it or be touched by it.

I am here on this earth to give but all I have is my heart and today this is being sent from me to you.

It’s A Privilege…

What does the word PRIVILEGE mean to you? Is it about rights? Is it about the life you were born into? It is a gift? Is it a pleasure?

I cannot say for you but for me, I have used this word this morning when someone asked what my work means to me. When someone invites me into their life with my work (and by invitation is the only way I do or can work), is when I use this word. It is a privilege that they will share with me their deepest darkest thoughts, worries, fears, their highs and their lows and the thoughts and words no one else in the universe has heard them voice sometimes. 

This invitation that they give is an invitation into their very soul and that my friends, is a privilege. I cannot think of any greater honour than for another human trusting me enough to share a part of their life.

When we are vulnerable, lost, in pain, sick or hurting, it takes a huge amount of courage to ask for someone to support, help, guide, lead and just be with us during this very difficult time. This time of development, grieving, learning and growth.

You may wonder why the elephant photo when this is about being there for someone else…. this elephant, without knowing it, moved me from the place where I stood to a place I needed to go. This elephant listened to my innermost thoughts, dreams, sadness and wishes for the future and gave me courage. This elephant showed me how to be brave, creative and how to understand someone else’s need for love, and then give it unconditionally. This beautiful beast was tender, quiet, still, patient, and touched a part of me I thought I had closed off – my heart.  This elephant laid her head on mine whilst I stood beneath her with my head against her chest and said “it’s okay to hear your own heart beating, listen to mine, it does the same. Whilst we are in different skins, we are the same and we need to give and receive love.”

I try to take this with me into my world every single day. I try to hold a stillness, a sense of quiet for someone else to step into and borrow until their own world is quiet. I try to give my heart openly and honestly to anyone who needs to hear and feel that it is okay to trust and love again. I use the creative inside me to allow another to connect in a way they can communicate. This is not about work, although that is how I use it there too, this is about being a human who is there for others. This is about living my life in a way that allows others to use my courage, my strength, my belief and my love whilst they search to find their own. This is about unconditional love for another human. No more, no less. It is being human.

So when we look and think of our lives versus others; when we compare and believe we are less or someone else is or has more; when we have someone open up to us and we turn away; think again. Your life, how you lead it, what you say and what you do can impact on another human being, even if you are not aware of it. This, my friend, is a privilege. Don’t miss it. Don’t mistake it for being a burden to you. Don’t turn another away because you think you aren’t enough. You being in someone else’s life even for a moment in time, is a privilege that cannot and should not be overlooked.

Here’s to Farewell

Do you like to say goodbye? Gosh I am rubbish at it and it takes me forever to say it, especially if it’s a permanent goodbye. It doesn’t matter if someone has been toxic or loving in my life, letting go is just the hardest thing for me to do.

But I also know that it is a most important thing we have to do in life sometimes, that is to let things and people go when the time comes. Sometimes you are ready and sometimes you are not but let them go (with love and kind thoughts) you must.

I fall in love with people so easily. I just love people. I love their highs and their lows, I love their good bits, quirky bits, happy and sad bits, funny and unusual bits. I just love people. I know when someone new comes into my life it is for a reason and we are going to have fun, learn, exchange thoughts, emotions, ideas and I absolutely love, love love the whole relationship. I am just rubbish when it ends. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t weep and mourn for months on end as I know that we each have a journey and that one has ended but I miss them and what we had.

So, how do we manage when someone leaves or we choose to leave them? For many of us, badly. And do you know, this is okay. Even if the relationship has been toxic or has ended abruptly or badly, at some point we had an affinity, a love and connection with that person, and to lose that leaves a gap.

It is about how you fill that gap and in my experience the first thing to fill it with is love. No, not just jumping into another relationship, business partnership, friendship, or finding someone to give your heart to, it is love for yourself. You have to remind yourself that you are the most important one at that moment and you have to show yourself care, and gentleness, give yourself time to grieve that relationship and show yourself some love. Don’t beat yourself for things that were said or not said. Don’t rake over things and play ‘what if’ over and over again in your head. Don’t stay sad. Be sad but don’t stay there. Allow the overwhelm to come, if that is what you feel. Allow the tears to flow if they begin. Allow your heart to break a little or a lot BUT repair it with love and kindness for yourself.

These relationships are not just the loves of your life. These relationships are business, friends, family, acquaintances. It matters not the type of relationship, the end result can be the same. In a business sense it is not that you fell in love as you did your wife, husband, partner but you did create a bond with that person or those people and you did share respect, get to know each other on some level and yes they have probably been a financial benefit, but you have to still grieve in a sense when they leave. You have to backfill, maybe begin again with a new strategy, create new relationships or widen your client base but you simply have to pick yourself up and start again. The minute you choose anger, disappointment or frustration to stay you have given yourself a huge hill to climb in moving on and getting back on track on so many levels.

When they walk away, especially if you don’t really understand why, it can be a real wrench and you find yourself in a bit of a turmoil wondering what you did, blaming yourself, or going back through conversations. When you decide that it is time for the journey with this person or these people to be ended it can be hard finding the right words or time – I can usually find a hundred reasons to stay. The only time I can walk away easily and never look back is if someone crosses my values – if they lie, if they cheat or if they are dishonest in any way, I have no qualms about turning and walking away. I do not give second chances in these situations. I am curious as to what would make you walk with ease.

I love people. People inspire me, shape me, grow me. I love listening to them. I love being part of their time here. I love being trusted to support, listen, guide, walk alongside. What they get from being in touch with me I cannot say – that is for them to know. I hope it is positive (but being realistic I am sure that is not always the case) and I hope they feel a better person for spending time with me. All I can do is make sure I give all I have and everything I do is with openness and honesty and love. What they take away from this is up to them. I cannot control that bit.

Farewell, goodbye, au revoir, auf weidersehen, namaste – it doesn’t matter what word you use as it has a finality, an ending, a closure and must be accepted. It must be given or accepted with dignity, love, kindness and for the very best of reasons – whatever that is depends on the situation and the relationship you have. On a whim or in anger is not goodbye – it is a reason to drag it out and create pain and no space for closure for anyone.

I have said goodbye many times in my life and some took longer than others – some a few minutes and some 30 years but I found that in saying goodbye I also felt a sense of peace. A sense of personal power, courage, strength, closure and managed to take a step forward into something new. That has got to be good hasn’t it?

If today you are saying goodbye, whether to friendship, business, a loved one, or a part of you that no longer serves you, try and do it with care and love and gentleness to yourself and to them. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Life continues but sometimes differently to the plan you had in mind.

 

 

 

 

What Makes Me, Me

I have asked myself to look inside and see what is there. I don’t mean the physical sh*t; heart, lungs, liver, bones and so on, I mean what is inside that makes me who I am. Indeed – who am I?

Don’t you just love it when you get a profound question running through your head on a Friday morning!

Who am I? Wow that is a biggie.

I know who I have been so that is a start, right? I know I have been a dancer. I know I have been a lover. I know I have been a wife, a mum and a daughter, sister and aunt. I know I have been a failure. I know I have been a success. I know I have been a trier and I know I have been courageous. I know I was a giggler. I know I was a soft touch. I remember being brave and I remember being weak. I vaguely remember being a teenager, all full of dreams and angst and sadness as well as romance and learning and joy. I know I have loved and have been loved. I know there have been days when I wanted to end it all but then I have also known that even my flaws are fabulous.

I have been many things to many people and some I carry into today and some I leave where they need to stay – in the past. So who am I today?

I am a woman. I am bold. I am beautiful. I am open and honest to anyone who truly wants to know me. I have a heart that I will give to anyone who needs it. I am still a giggler. I am a lover – a lover for people, of people, with people, of life. I am a writer in my own way. I am most definitely a healer. I am sparkle. I am heart. I am laughter when the mood strikes me. I am….

(wait a second – as an aside as I write this….. when I write like this, am I just reading my ego’s words – I, me… Is this my ego or do I have accept that my ego is always a part of what makes my physical side? That is not wrong is it? If I allow my ego to become the centre of attention to be praised and looked upon as special, that is wrong isn’t it? My ego is my state of mind? My ego is the external object but that doesn’t make it a bad thing – not always?  If I tell you who I am, does that open the door for you to do the same with me? That’s good right? The “I”, the “me” I talk about here is the spiritual me. The true me. The me I only give to a few, to allow them to become the “me” they need to be. The me and the I here is my soul.)

Anyway… back to what makes me, me…. I am made by the people around me. I am made with the love I am given, I am made by the challenges set me. I am made by empathy and forgiveness for my flaws. I am made by support and I am made by their need to be better – that allows me to give back what they give me. I am alive and I am living life – that is most important for me to remember – I have made choices, some easy and some more difficult, but choices which allow me to be the me I am today.

I am ridiculously forgiving unless someone lies to me. I am still a dancer. I am nauseatingly (for some) positive. I am a mother and that is the most rewarding, joyous gift I have been given. I am a woman with questions about people, about life, about love, about possibility (yes I am nosey). I am sensitive – sensitive to criticism but also to touch and emotions and energy. I am naughty. I can still be silly and let my hair down. I am a reader – of books and of people.

So why do I need to know all of this? Because it is the only way I will know what I want for my tomorrow. If I do not understand myself, how can I possibly understand my purpose, what others see, what others need from me, or what I am capable of achieving. If I know who I am, I am stronger, wiser, more courageous and I am able to give myself to others without the fear of being lost to them. If I don’t know me, how can I possibly know you and that is, at the end of the day, what I want to do.

I want to know the you inside. I want to know your highs, your lows. I want to see what makes you laugh, get angry or frustrated, cry. I want you to know that I hold all you tell me inside and never share it with another soul. I want you to trust that what I tell you about me is what you get. I want you to talk so I can listen. Most of all I want you to be happy, (btw has anyone asked you that today? I bet they asked how you are, but I bet they never asked if you are happy). I tell you about me, so you know what you are getting when you stop by to say hello, not because I want my ego stroking, not because I want someone to tell me I do a good job but because I need you as much as you need me.

I am a healing, loving soul reaching out to you in order to serve my purpose. No other agenda. No other desire. No dreams of creating something for me. Just knocking at the door, laying flowers for you to take or not. In the words of Nanny McPhee “when you need me but do not want me I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, I must go.” (and I have no idea why I wrote that but there it is – my thoughts know more than I most days).

I lay these flowers at your door. I step back and wait….

You only have to open the door….

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Long Have You Held That Grief Inside?

Just how long have you held your grief inside? How long have you denied facing your emotions and letting them go in peace? How long have you ‘managed’?

I managed 15 years.

I didn’t begin because I had just given birth and I didn’t have the capacity. I didn’t begin because time moved on and I had to cope. I didn’t begin because others needed me. I didn’t begin because time had passed and I should be over it – right? I didn’t begin because my mental health was already in decline and this would make it worse. I didn’t begin because I didn’t know how. I didn’t begin because it was 15 years ago and it’s too late. I didn’t begin because I was too bloody scared to.

That list could go on and on and on and I wish with all my heart I had had someone there who simply gave me space and silence to fact my fears, whilst knowing they were there to metaphorically hold my hand. I wish I had moved into and through the pain and to the calm and quiet and freedom I now know exists when you do.

It felt like I was lost in a forest with no obvious paths (all the ones that do exist are dead ends), no signs (not that I could stop to read as my eyes are full of tears), and no light coming through the trees to show me the way. I was lost and I wanted someone to show me the way home. I wanted my mum – the very person I was trying to get over.

Mum came but in the form of people I had never met before – the perfect strangers who, with her help, took my hand and told me it would all be fine. I found a precious song, I found her favourite flowers and I stood in my kitchen and sang to her. I said my goodbye and I allowed the tears to flow and I took a breath so I could finally grieve for the woman who gave my life. I was able to move on and begin to live again. This was the second time she had given me permission to live.

If you know deep inside that it is time then find the one who will give you space and permission to say goodbye – a friend, a family member, a stranger – it actually doesn’t matter who as long as you know they will keep you safe and stand and metaphorically hold your hand until you are ready to step into the next phase of life.

How Do You Want to Die?

“Everybody’s got a story. Let it be your blaze of glory. Burning bright, never fade away. And when the final curtain falls, we could say we did it all. The never ending of a perfect day… when I go out, I wanna go dancing.” Kylie Minogue, 2018

I was pottering in the kitchen this morning, making my breakfast and a cup of tea with radio 2 on, and out popped the lovely Kylie and the words really caught my attention. Whilst her meaning was probably quite different to how I interpreted them, (that is the joy of music, you interpret how you feel), I found myself considering my death. No, not because I am feeling forbid but because I have come to realise that what time I have on this wonderful planet, I will use wisely and with joy.

I want to go out dancing! I have absolutely no intention of leaving this planet weeping or with regret, no matter what the circumstances, and if someone can say “she went doing what she loved” my soul will be at peace. So let me ask you something – what is your blaze of glory and what if today was the last; would you be doing “what they loved” or would you be in a different place?

Once I drove my car and all I could think about was pressing the pedal hard and hitting a wall to end it all; nowadays I think of pressing the pedal as I drive through a foreign land with the wind blowing through my hair, as I head towards another adventure. No I am not living in a fantasy, it is soon to be my reality, and all it took was courage, time, effort, support and a desire to be better – better for myself and better for my children. I can look back now and watch it all play back without emotion – I have zero emotional attachment to the circumstances, the people or how poorly I was (I have let go) and that helps me see just how far I have come. You, if you feel even close to how I did, can do the same. You just got to want to dance!

If you want your favourite music playing in your head, whilst you dance through your day, or even hum to yourself as you get on with your work (hmmm think about it – when was the last time you did that), it is down to you. No one can fix you. No one else can give you answers. No one is going to make it all go away. This is your responsibility. This is your life.

Harsh words? Maybe, but when you want someone else to fix you, you will never get the answers you want to hear, because they will always tell you things that you need to do. When you want someone else to make life better, take away the pain, make you laugh, play the music for you to hear; you won’t ever listen for long. You will give up. You will give up, because you are not owning your own life.

When you take back control, when you decide that change has to happen, then all the support you receive will be meaningful and productive. It is your choice what music you put on and if you dance….

So…. how will you die? I have no idea of what, how, when, where and nor do I think or worry about it any more. I am living now and that is what counts. I am alive, loved, giving what I have to those I care for and most of all, I am happy. What more could I ask for than what I have now, right this minute.

What’s playing in the background now as I write?

“I’ve been to a marvelous party, I must say the fun was intense. We all had to do, what the people we knew might be doing a hundred years hence. We talked about growing old gracefully and Elsie who’s seventy-four, said, “A, it’s a question of being sincere. B, if you’re supple you’ve nothing to fear. Then she swung upside down from a glass chandelier and I couldn’t have liked it more.”

That’s how life should be thought of… “I couldn’t have liked it more.”

 

 

Is housework really therapy?

Hmmmm housework…. not my idea of pleasure and the ironing pile has to get to taking over a room status before I can bear to tackle it. But, yesterday I realised I could make this ‘me time’. Possibly not the spa or a massage but me time just the same.

How on earth can you make housework a pleasure and a therapy? By being in the moment and using it to your advantage I discovered today.

So I’d done breakfast and cleaned the kitchen, got the school run out of the way and there really is no avoiding this huge pile of clean clothes staring at me from the corner of the room. The wardrobe is empty, it has to be done…

Out came the ironing board and the iron and on went the music… I have known for a long long time that dancing whilst you iron makes it more manageable. I began and honestly after two shirts and a t-shirt I was already thinking of giving it up but then took a deep breath and focused on the dress – who in their right mind buys linen – it is a nightmare to make look half decent. Sorry I digress.

I began to look at the dress, the weave of the fabric, the memories of India and Greece woven in the fibres. I looked at the patterns the natural creases made, the texture and the colour and lost myself for a few minutes. It was fabulous. Onto the ironing board came a favourite top and again I made a conscious effort to really see the top, it’s colour, it’s texture and the memories entwined in it. The noise the steam made as it was released between the fibres. The heat absorbed by my fingers close to the irons metal plate. The movement of the iron and its hiss, slightly out of time with the beat of ELOs Mr Blue Sky playing in the background.

All of a sudden the pile of ironed clothes was higher than the un-ironed and I was genuinely enjoying this time and felt focussed, relaxed and quite chilled by the whole experience. Living in the moment I think is the marketing speak. It was quite beautiful.

When you take what you are doing and give it your total undivided attention, paying homage to the shape, size, texture, sound and movement of all you do, suddenly you find yourself absolutely in the moment. Suddenly the mundane brings a certain pleasure and peace with it. No frustration, no feelings of wasting time, just the simple pleasure of doing whatever it is you have to do thoroughly, with full attention and gaining a sense of being that is indulgently pleasurable.

So, next time you are faced with a task you see as daunting, terrible, boring and mundane or you just need some space in your head for nothing to sit in, give the task your focus, look really carefully; see it, feel it, hear it, and touch it in a way you haven’t done before and find the rest of the world is standing still, quietly waiting for you, until you are ready to join it once more.

Housework as therapy? Why not…