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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Sit Back and Watch Your Life

Have you ever just sat back and watched your own life? Have you ever stepped back, taken the emotion out and simply observed what you do, how you do things, what you say, how you react to others or who you interact with and their reactions to you? Have you ever just stopped and allowed life to happen?

It’s a big and sometimes uncomfortable time but you can learn so much. So much about life, about you, about change, about possibilities and what you need, don’t need, want or don’t want in life. Waiting for someone to show the real version of themselves is worth the journey too. You can find yourself in a place of exquisite clarity that may only be experienced when you completely surrender.

Do you ever find yourself asking what life is about or what are you meant to be doing? Are you beginning to question the rights and wrongs of where you are right now? Have you reached a point where you know the only way to achieve what you want is to turn your life upside down and simply begin?

The world is changing around us and we are changing within it. Some are discovering morals and values and belief systems they were previously unaware of. Some are walking away from all they have known just to experience or find something new. Some are simply saying ‘no’ this is not going to be the rest of my life – change has to happen. Some are unsure of their potential and whether they can do this, and some are going ahead all guns blazing.

Many of us are desperate for life to change, some know how and what and some do not even know where to begin, but beginning is all you have to do. Courage sits within each and every one of us and we can create all we need to be happy within ourselves. When you are not sure where the path ahead leads or even how to find it, sit back and watch your life for a while and the answer will be given.

You need to make time for this process, for it to germinate, begin, grow and develop and if this is important to you then you will make it. You need to be honest with yourself and open to what you find. You need to question what you do, how you do things, your values, your choices, what you are willing to release to move forward and you need to look through eyes that are open, not afraid to see and gentle enough to do it with love.

What you see now is simply that, now. What you will see if you objectively view, review, choose and act on what you know to be right (for you), will be…. well who knows…. that’s the excitement of it all.

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…

Creating Our Reality

Being part of society can be a great thing. For some it gives order, structure, rules, guidelines and a feeling of solid conformity. For others it gives labels, restrictions, fear, hardship, blindness to humanity and a sense of not belonging.

Society as we know it today was written many many many years ago, mainly by men, who decided how we live, where we live, what we can and cannot do, and have given us governance by a set of rules that all must follow.

This is not a political rant.

This is to discuss how this very society that was created for freedom, for a peaceful way of living and a safe environment to bring up the next generation, has actually created a sad, stifled, rigid and restrictive life for much of the human race.

Maybe it is time for people to step out courageously and create their own reality. Say no to how they are told they must live to be a happy civilised member of society. I’m not talking of breaking the law, but I am talking of finding out who you are and what your particular needs as a human being are, to achieve happiness and peace in your life.

We have become people who are told what they can and cannot be, maybe according to their faith, their race, their colour, their location or their status. And we seem to have become people who believe this is the only way to live. We have become people who are unhappy and angry and bitter but also reluctant to stand up, stand out and fight for what is right for our own happiness.

We have become people who believe that what we have is what we deserve or all we can ever expect to be. We have become people who are self centred, look after no one outside our immediate circle and trample over those who cannot fight and fight those who have achieved success by knowing what they want and ensuring they have it.

The so called odd members of society; the dreamers, the believers, the passionate about change, are shunned or made to feel that they cannot belong in the world man has created. Maybe it is time for the odd ones to join hands and co-create a race who dares to challenge, invent, find purpose, dream that there can be more and assure another to also believe that as they are, they are always enough.

The reality we live in should be the reality we choose. The reality we choose should be the one that makes us content, at peace with both ourselves and our choices, and the one that gives us a sense of purpose and achievement. This is not a selfish world. This is ensuring we are, and we have, the best possible to be happy, as this is when we have enough to help the person next to us achieve the same for themselves.

It is time to create a new world where we stand up for those who are weaker than we are, hold a hand to lift up another when they fall and have enough love in our hearts for ourselves, that we go with confidence and courage and give some to the one we see who needs it. It is now time to break the rules of society, in fact break free from society, and become individuals who think and choose and take responsibility for who they are and what they give to life.

It is time to create our new reality.

The Gateway to Goals, Dreams and Wishes

In December 2018 I created a book, a book for Goals, Dreams and Wishes. I spent time thinking about a dream board and how I could make this be a live project for the year and what I wanted for the year ahead. I tried to set goals and targets and tasks and it really wasn’t working for me, so I turned it on its head.

Instead of thinking how I would plan out the year and what I would do when, I looked at 31st December 2018 and what it was I wanted to look back and see I had achieved. I found some photos that depicted what I wanted to have experienced and allowed my deepest thoughts escape onto paper and create something that told me exactly what 2018 would have given me. Once these were set I allowed the universe to take a look and as I have gone through the year I have been journaling on how it is all going.

These were for me and for my children; some were heart led, they were all pushing my own boundaries; some were to give and some to receive and I felt every single one in my gut and knew they were just right. All a stretch and some may give what I wanted and some what I needed instead. Some may actually cause me heartache and loss. But, I knew all would give me adventure, opportunity, laughter, happiness and a sense of huge achievement.

How do they look as we reach the 31st December?

Complete and absolutely amazing and far more than I could have ever imagined. Each one achieved, none in the way I expected and I can honestly say this year has given more than I could ever have expected. Why I wonder? Maybe because I was never too specific, I was open to new things and to change and left the universe to set the path ahead. I knew my destination absolutely clearly but how I would get there? I neither cared or dared to decide – this was to be a year of adventure, growth, love and learning and oh my goodness how it delivered.

I have been courageous, I have believed and had faith and I have been open to all that was put in front of me. I never looked back with regret even when things went pear shaped and I have learnt from every experience. I have laughed, travelled, healed and been healed. I have grown, changed course, learnt to love and be loved and somehow created a world that I can share with anyone ready to experience it too.

So how have I spent the morning? Of course… creating 2019 and I am already excited as I know all I have just decided on will be experienced in some form or another. If you want to experience 2019 in a way you may have never experienced a year before, then be open to new ideas and experiences, be assured that the universe will deliver, walk alongside those you can learn from and share your experiences with everyone who will listen as they may learn from you. Know where you want to be on 31st December 2019 and have faith the universe will deliver – I dare you to try.

Watch out world….. she is on her way! Do you want to join me?

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.

Vulnerability is the beginning of growth?

When we as a society talk of being vulnerable we tend to use it in a negative, weak, and needs support, sense. Vulnerable to me is a sense of huge strength and courage and self power. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable you give yourself permission to feel, to experience, to accept and let go of things, of people, of expectations or emotional blockages.

Vulnerability has a certain beauty about it and I love the intimacy that allowing yourself to be vulnerable brings. When you truly trust and give yourself whole heartedly, then you are at your most vulnerable. When you truly love, unconditionally, you are at your most vulnerable. When you are at your most scared that what you give will take you to the edge of the universe, and you don’t know whether you will ever get back, that is you at your most vulnerable.

Scared, but empowered. Lost, but knowing, truly knowing this is the right direction. Loved, the all encompassing love that is almost impossible for many to experience.

“But while you say my name you’re under my skin. I try to walk away but the ice is thin. Something always pulls me back to you. So I keep my armour on, my walls are rigid. My gates are strong but you’re my weakness. You know, you’re the only one who makes me feel so vulnerable. So vulnerable.”

When you find that space inside you that is your vulnerable, embrace it, as it is there that you grow. You grow as a person. You grow as an individual. You grow as a wife, husband, brother, sister, child, lover, partner. When you allow yourself to give totally, unconditionally, with your heart; you are at your weakest and your strongest. There you can shake the hand of vulnerability knowing that you just experienced the most beautiful, exquisite and divine moment in time.

Be brave and allow your vulnerable to be seen. You will be beautiful. You will be bold. You will be… whatever you desire… as here is where growth just began.

Just Be You…

Life is all about you. You are life. If you are trying to live someone else’s life, who is living yours?

We spend so much of our time on planet earth trying to be someone else, like someone else, as good as someone else. What about being you? We have the media throwing information at us as to how we should look, what we should read, watch, listen to, and what we should and shouldn’t say. What about being you? It takes courage to be you and therein lies the problem.

Are you willing (be honest here), are you really willing to stand up and be counted? This could mean defending your beliefs, your truth, your honour or standing up for someone who cannot defend them self or even dressing as you want to dress, walking away from a job that doesn’t serve you, saying what you need to say or living the life you want to live. It could be walking away from an unhealthy relationship or a total life change. A simple “yeah of course” is not enough – I invite you to be really honest with yourself and see if it is true.

I always thought I was the one who stood up to be counted but as I look back I was lying to myself. I spent so long trying to conform that I didn’t even realise I was trying so hard and that it hurt. Nowadays I guess maybe I have reached an age where it isn’t important to me what others think of me, but I have also worked hard to reach a place where I simply like the person I am and most of all I am happy. That’s all any of us want right?

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken” is an Oscar Wilde quote that I just love and it resonates with what I try and help people achieve via my therapies, so it works well as a strapline on my business cards, but what does it actually mean? Is it just words?

To me (and it may be different for you) this quote is about living the life that ensures I live by my values of trust, honesty and integrity. This is ensuring that I am true to my belief that everyone has a right to be heard and listened to, and that everyone has a right to be loved and cared for and that everyone has a right to be happy. This does not mean these are simply gifts which are given, they have to be earned, but everyone should be allowed to receive and achieve them.

Being yourself is about feeling confident enough in your own skin to make a stand if challenged; doing, saying and feeling what is needed, maybe standing alone, letting people go or putting yourself in a place of vulnerability where you may just be hurt; and being yourself is acceptance that you are enough. I am enough, what about you? It is okay to say yes – it doesn’t mean you are not willing to grow or change, it means you are happy where you are, today.

People say, look inside yourself, you will find yourself there…. what on earth does that mean? If you are a literal person you are going to see bones, and blood and muscles and squishy stuff – is that who you are? Look inside me and and I am just the same as you in that department – all goo and sticky, icky bits, BUT, if looking inside means finding what your core values and beliefs are, how you want to live, how you will honour others beliefs and values or how you choose to communicate with others who cross your path, then we will probably all be very different. If you live every day the best way you can, accepting your good days and bad days, accepting the temper loss and frustration as well as the love and kind words,  then we will all be very different but possibly aiming at the same target – one of making ourselves and, in the process, making others, happy.

In a lunch break or maybe tonight over a glass of wine or beer or a cup of tea, I challenge you to take a look at you. Are you trying to blend in so you cannot be seen? Are you being someone you aren’t for the benefit of others – to please, to satisfy, to prove a point or because you have been told that is the only way? Are you ready to step up and step out and begin to find the you beyond the visual we all see?

What is to be done? Some will say transform. Some will say reconnect. Some will say change. Me? I say be brave and just be you, everyone else is taken.

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….

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Door Opens and the Dragonfly Takes Flight

So… having come to the end of a six day course this weekend, I find myself mulling over all I have learnt and what this has meant to me and what I take from it all.

As I drove home, the monotony of the motorway allowed me to mull, review, process and digest the course and in turn, my life. The more I drove, the more I was at peace and the more a smile from deep inside lifted my soul.

I had arrived at where I am meant to be.

Seven years ago this weekend I walked away from all I had known for 22 years and it’s been seven years of learning, tears, highs and lows, education, sadness, hatred, laughter, love, forgiveness, and positivity. Seven years ago I sat alone wondering whether to live or call it a day…. I am so very glad I stayed to see what life had to offer because, whilst it has been hard, I have learnt, battled, changed, survived and now arrived and the next chapter is about to begin.

Seven. A huge number in my life and one that brings wonderment, change, fear, apprehension, joy, progress and even in my darkest days, movement forward. To what? Who knows… but I have an excitement in my belly that I do not wish to dumb down.

It’s time to live the life I have dreamt of. To live the life I want. To explore, heal (myself and others), grow and be true to myself. It is time to leave the last seven years and step boldly, and with purpose, into the next seven.

Where will they take me? Across lands I have only ever dreamt of, to people I didn’t know I would meet, into cultures read about in storybooks and with communication I didn’t know was possible.

I have to give thanks to anyone and everyone who has been in, passed through or stayed in my life. I am totally blessed to have each and every one of you making a mark on who I am, what I do and how I live. Thank you for touching my life to enable me to touch anothers.

My purpose is to touch the world, to shine my light and never again live in the shadows. This dragonfly sees the door that has been opened and has no hesitation about flying through and high to whatever is on the other side.