The Crone’s Weeping

As she sits, looking back at who she was, where she had been and who she had spent time with, she weeps. Not with tears from her eyes but from inside. She is hot, her internal combustion engine bursting into life and creating a fire inside but not one she welcomes.  As she sits, her body weeps and she doesn’t always understand why.

Deep down the Crone knows she had just reached a point in her life where she has stepped into her power. She no longer worries about speaking her mind; she no longer worries what others think of her, her words or her actions; she no longer needs someone in her life to advise, act as her voice, hearing or sight and in fact she is more than happy to stand alone, strong, courageous and fearless and yet her body still weeps.

The tears can flow from her at all times of the day, usually when least expected or wanted. Sometimes just heat and sometimes with the flowing tears. The desire or need to shower or change are constantly with her and she wishes this time gone and yet….

…no longer the girl, no longer with the chance of being a mother; she stands tall and proud, interacting with her new self with joy, dignity and power as the Crone. She isn’t fearful of grey hair and wrinkles; she doesn’t fear the young girls stepping into the spotlight of life; she doesn’t fear the final stage of death. She is woman. She is all she has ever been and she is beautiful.

The Crone is a wise woman who is happy to share her life experience to those who wish to hear and those who listen can feel the emotion and the power emanating from her. No longer “just mum, just the woman in the street, just the old woman who has nothing to say”. They see this woman and they know she is something special and has something most important to say to them. They listen and they learn and in that they grow. It is how it has always been – learning, growing, passing on the knowledge to those who wish to follow.

She has taken her claim on life and she is living it. For some this is the beginning of the most important journey they will take, for some it is hard work and with a lack of understanding they fight against these changes, but for most it is glorious, it is energy, it is freedom, it is a stage in life that is to be experienced and revered – as is she. Embracing change, defining all that is exquisite, taking control of what she wants from this final stage in her existence, and loving every single minute of it.

She  wants and she knows that she deserves only the best of everything. Whether that is man, woman, sex, partying, travelling, loving, exploring her life, herself, her world or expanding into areas of life that she never knew she could. Making her mark with a bold, confident step, her head held high and despite the changes and the weeping of her body, in her heart and in her mind she knows exactly who she is and she embraces her.

If you love the Crone; whether you are her, her offspring, her life choice or her friend; know you are witnessing something so beautiful evolving in front of your eyes that you should stand in awe, with respect and in celebration of all she is becoming, all she has given and all she is yet to become. Be amazed and simply accept and love the woman she is becoming, because she is becoming one hell of a woman.

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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?

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?

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.

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.

Time to Connect

There are times when I am sitting minding my own business when the voices in my head say “get on with it woman, get writing, it is time to talk”. I hate it when they do that as sometimes it really doesn’t sit with where I am in my day and can be a total inconvenience – but don’t do it and I will regret it later on as my thoughts will have vanished and I will have missed an opportunity to connect.

Connect with who? I have absolutely no idea but someone, somewhere will be reading this and know it is for them. They will know I am stood before them, looking into their eyes, holding their hand and no one else matters – it’s just me and them and a moment in time to connect.

Connection is a bloody powerful beast. When you connect with someone on a deep level – an ethereal level, a level of wisdom, passion, a level of intellect or just a level of peace – you both know it and it can blow you away. Connection is also vital to our survival as a species. I don’t just mean a sexual passing on of genes and life but a very important part of our personal survival and connection to the universe. We need people, even though sometimes we tell ourselves we can do this alone, telling ourselves that we don’t need people in our lives destroying what we have created, disturbing our sense of control and calm or getting in our way – actually, we just need to accept that we need people.

When someone stands before you, beside you or behind you and makes eye contact, takes your hand, or you just feel the energy they are sharing with you, you know you are safe, you know you are not alone and you know that you can conquer anything. It doesn’t have to be physical – this is sometimes just knowing that there is someone in this universe that cares where you are, what you are doing and they wish you well. That is connection.

Connection with another human; in body or in spirit is like giving life to the dead. Knowing you have someone else on this planet who knows you exist is huge. When you don’t have this… there is despair, loneliness, self destruction, lack of self confidence or awareness, hollowness, uncertainty and a loss of purpose.

Imagine. Close your eyes for a second and send away all those in your life you connect with. Put a wall or a deep dark chasm between you and them. You cannot see, hear, or touch them. They have forgotten you exist. You are totally alone. How that thought makes me shiver and sigh and feel cold and unloved and unworthy and damn damn damn sad. But hold that thought and really feel it inside you. This is reality for some….

Now reach out and touch another human. It could be a loved one, a friend, a perfect stranger, but touch them. Feel their skin on your skin. Feel the energy pass from you to them and back again. Feel the warmth. Feel the sunlight. Feel the peace that brings. Feel the connection. Feel the purpose you have been given.

What purpose? Your purpose is to touch another human being. It is to give life to a lost soul. It is to care and feel and love. It is to breathe breath into a shell. It is to add colour. It is to give life where there is none. You may have other purposes but your overall purpose as a human is to connect with another and give them all you have to give – to give them you. In whatever form that takes, however much you feel you can give but there is no denying, you have to give it. It is what you are on this earth for – to give to another human a little bit of you.

If you do one thing today – please just connect. Whether asking for connection or giving a connection – please do it. The world will be a better place if each day we gave to another, even the smallest of touches, compliments, assurance they are loved, smile or acknowledgement that they exist and have a place. Enjoy that connection. Feel that connection. Be that connection.

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.