Here Comes Summer…

Inspired by a friends daughter on this one – only a child could be out today (it’s about 1 degree Celsius, sunny and winter) with no clothes on her bottom half, makeup on her face, an Easter bonnet on her head shouting “it’s summer”. Just how wonderful to be able to find summer no matter what the outside elements are telling you. I think as adults we forget that sometimes we can make it feel like summer any time we desire.

I look ahead at my office wall and see my 2018 achievements posted there – the ones I will be saying “yes I did that” by December 31st and I smile – there was summer. I think of my kids and what fabulous human beings they are becoming as they grow older, learn life skills and explore their worlds – there was summer. I think of those who hold my heart and I theirs – yes you guessed it – there is summer. I see my clients’ faces and hear them breathe deeply for the first time in ages – my summer.

All I am saying is no matter what type of day, week, month or year you are having, if you really want it to be it can always be summer – you just have to think out the box on days where winter feels like it is holding you firmly in its grasp.

Seeing this reminded me of something I wrote quite some time ago and I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you…

I have spent pretty much my whole life wanting to know what was coming next in life. So focused on the future and its possibilities that I’ve missed spring and much of summer. The last few days have shown me that I need to look up not forward. What I have here and now is here to enjoy, nurture, enjoy and live in. What happens tomorrow is all related to what I do and how I live today, this morning, now.

I know what I want for tomorrow and I’ve put that out to the universe, I don’t need confirmation I just need faith that it will be. I finally have that faith and it’s massively empowering. In your life have you ever wanted something so bad that all your focus went to working towards it then one day you realised your wishes? That is exactly what I’m talking about.

I am so blessed to be living in this life, right here, right now. To know that sleeping upstairs I have a son who is kind, caring, loving, bright, fearless and many miles away I have a daughter who is living her dream, intelligent, wise, loving and beautiful is proof itself. I am creating my business, shaping it daily, working hard, growing it with my own hard work and determination and support from people who mean so much to me. I am loved.

We get into patterns of living, always wishing for more, always wanting the next best thing, always wanting to know if there is more out there for us that we forget to appreciate what is happening right here, right now. If we are meant to travel, cross continents, meet new people, have new adventures then they will happen whether we plan them in or not but if we spend our days searching for them, working out how best to get them and being so focused on the end result that we will wake one day to find its winter and we missed it all. All that we’ve done, achieved, loved and laughed in, we have only been a spectator to. We have missed out on being the main player in our own lives and it’s gone.

I’m not suggesting we don’t dream, I’m not suggesting we don’t wish for better, for more, for love, for new, for exciting, for good health, for all that we as human beings desire. I am suggesting you look at today, now, who you are with, what you are doing, where you are and appreciate all that you see, feel, smell, taste and touch. It’s called life and it’s short and we mustn’t waste a single second by wanting more and not being grateful for what we already have. Your future will come and your future will be what it will be. It’s not easy but by bringing yourself back to the now when you find yourself wandering will eventually become second nature and you will be truly living the moment.

Thank goodness I realised before Autumn or winter came and I’d wasted all the seasons in my life.


What is Woman? Finally the conundrum is answered?

Have I got your attention gentlemen? Is this the place you finally find out what the hell we are and how to engage with us? Am I just about to assist you with the “men are from mars/women are from venus” conundrum? Read on and see….

This question came to me this morning. What is a woman? How do we feel? How do we behave? How and why do we react like we do? What issues do we experience? In life what do we give up and what do we gain? Who are we? What are we willing/wanting/needing to change? What are our gifts and what are our faults? What should we love most about us?

If you want answers then look in the mirror, look inside yourself – I cannot give those. It’s personal. This will be a general take and more based on me as I am a fairly typical woman I think… I was going to say average but I have NEVER considered myself average!

What is woman? Well if you google WOMAN this is what you get “A woman is a female human being. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent.” Entirely accurate I think you will agree. If you Google woman within images you get a whole host of head shots – each one like the last – mainly white women, a pretty oval shaped face, long hair, mainly brown but the occasional blonde, pretty smiles, white teeth, no wrinkles and very, very similar. The banner across the top gives descriptive words such as cute, giant, warrior, attractive, fit, beach, modern, military, fashion, professional, police to enable you to be more specific in your search. What marvellous descriptions!

I went into the ‘cute’ category just out of curiosity and it came up with very similar styled photos and headings such as innocent, chunky, country, small and stylish. My female brain went into action and I clicked on ‘chunky’ – it showed a couple of ladies about size 16/18 and the rest were 8/10 possibly stretching to a 12 – I hold no hope for the obese category!

Don’t get me wrong – I am no women’s libber who will march, protest or claim I have special rights BUT I do think, as a woman, we need to know who we are… I think we are more than Google offers.

What is a woman – anything she choose to be.

She is strong. She is worthy. She is beautiful. She is worth loving. She is someone who can come from the darkness into her sunshine and no one,is allowed to make her step back there unless she chooses to herself.

Recently I listened to a lady who spoke but didn’t hear her own words like we did. She spoke with such confidence about her plans, with such passion about why she wanted to achieve them and swiftly followed her ideas with comments similar to ‘I don’t know my purpose in life’. Oh my, how blind we can be sometimes. This lady is an amazing speaker, a teacher, and a facilitator and has no idea how inspirational she is to those around her, those that work for her and those who simply sit on the sidelines and listen. I wanted to record her words and play them back to her and ask her to listen to the woman on there as she was clearly a different woman to the one she sees in the mirror.

Being a woman is the most fabulous thing in the world. Embrace the woman you are, embrace the woman you have in your life, not the one you think society and peers expect you/her to be. Be/allow here to be all that is feminine, whatever that means to you/her and be it with confidence.

I am the woman I want to be. I need to be the woman I am. It’s amazing who you can be when you give your head space to simply be. And this life is all about being who you are…. I have spent many, many years, possibly all my life being someone I thought people wanted me to be. Only now have I realised the only person I can be is the one I am. It’s too tiring being someone else.

 I love being independent and I always have been. (As an aside, I have taught my daughter to be independent and my son to understand and respect a woman when it’s his time to take part in this world of men on mars.) It’s great to be able to manage your life and do what you need to do. Your choices, your responsibility, your life. But ladies, how does it work when you get someone holding out their hand to offer you support, guidance, love? To learn and to grow you need others. You need to accept others into your world, you need to listen, you need to share yourself, you need to trust. Being independent is great as long as you balance it with humility; to ask for help when you need it; to accept help when others can see you need it. It’s not a weakness, it’s not a failure, it’s an opportunity to grow and become a better, bigger, more generous, more loving and well-rounded person.

What is woman? She is raw, She is passionate, She is loving and needs loving, She is someone who is caring and a healer and loves the people in her life who love her back. She is ‘woman’ and proud to be that woman and will continue being her and improving on her. Take her or leave her. That’s your choice.

Me? I plan to be awesome for the rest of my days! Today I am the woman I want to be. I need to be the woman I am. Tomorrow? I will see what I feel like and be her then – but that’s tomorrow…

Don’t show me the hand

Rejection – the murderer of contentment. Self confidence – the victim. Insecurity – the life sentence (but only for me – rejection walks free).

“You aren’t good enough.” Whether said as bluntly or with a wrapping of pink fluff and gentle words or somewhere in-between, it is still rejection and I don’t know anyone who feels comfortable with that. Being rejected in whatever form or for whatever reason hurts.

Not saying I was insecure as a child but when I sent out birthday invitations I was traumatised by the fear that when the hour came for everyone to arrive, that no one would show! Utterly ridiculous I know, but even now I can feel that sense of rejection, all self inflicted, in the pit of my stomach and in fact, it still stops me doing things today. A battle I am yet to conquer.

Putting on events for me is the pits. what if people don’t want to come? What if they say no? What if they say yes and then don’t show? Would they go if it was someone else asking? Are they laughing behind my back at me even asking? OMG it’s like being in a horror story all of my own making! Logic and reason against years of insecurity, battling to the death.

It’s no good you sitting there and saying “but you are grown woman! Get a grip!” This is not something you can just slip off like a silk gown falling to the floor after a night at the theatre. This is not like having a door closed in your face and you just being able to push it back open. This is not like dropping something you don’t need into the bin and forgetting its existence. This is inbuilt trauma. This is breath catching horror. This is panic, fear, blinding paralysis and suffocation. This is an insecurity and my ego feeds on it. It devours it like a magnificent feast and is never sick after the party!

But, as you so rightly pointed out – I am a grown woman and I should not care whether people like what I do, whether they come and play and party the night away or whether they talk about me behind my back. BUT IT DOES – why? Oh that is simple – because I haven’t taken control of that just yet and need to seek out someone who can take that step back with me and then hold me there whilst I see what needs fixing. Until then? well I will continue to do what I must but with the knowledge that all those feelings are only in my head and not my reality.

When you have a fear that is ridiculous to everyone else it makes it worse knowing they are right. That doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up, berate yourself for your insecurity or inadequacy that you now feel or stop doing whatever puts that fear in control. You work through it. You find a coping mechanism. You seek support but you NEVER, EVER GIVE IN.



So Damn Unpretty

“You can buy your hair if it won’t grow.  You can fix your nose if you say so.  You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make.  But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too. Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty.  Yeah, I’ll make you feel unpretty too.”

Have you had or do you have someone in your life who makes you feel unpretty? Or maybe you are the one who makes someone else or yourself feel unpretty?

What does pretty mean? What image springs into your head when you hear that word? Have you created a person, place or object? If a person, were they young or old? What features did you create first? Was there a particular look or style or colour or religion? What is pretty?

To me pretty is not about looks, pretty is something far deeper, something from someone’s soul and it is something so delicate it is like cradling a newborn child in your hand. It is so delicate that “pretty” can become “unpretty” in the blink of an eye. You can make and be made unpretty with a word, a glance, an action or a thought and it is a wound that goes deep and can take a lifetime to heal.

I was made to feel so unpretty for years. To me that meant not looking in the mirror and if I did being unable to see anything worth looking at. It meant being self conscious around anyone – even people I knew. Worthless. That was a word that was used many times and after a while you believe it. Stupid. Do you know when someone tells you that constantly you become it as you stop using your brain. Selfish. So you stop caring about yourself and live for others and its exhausting as you never replenish what you have inside to give. You become barren emotionally. So few words and yet so deep and so painful to reflect on them, even now.

I’m talking about this as an adult but lets ask ourselves about when you speak to your children…. what words do you use?

If they ask something too often, if they don’t understand something you’ve said or if they’ve made a mistake – does STUPID in any form come from your lips…. it stays with them and they believe what you say. Do you BELITTLE them inadvertently when you are tired or busy?  Do you MAKE LIGHT of their achievement because actually it isn’t over and beyond YOUR expectation… they will eventually try too hard and that will destroy all the confidence they have in doing anything with success. Do you do things for them for so long that they fear to try it themselves? Do you ACTIVELY LISTEN to them when they tell you about their day, how they felt and what they achieved…. your lack of hearing their words impacts their self worth – if no one listens why do I talk….

Be aware of your impact. Whether it is thoughts, words or deeds, they impact someone or something – don’t let it be in a negative way – choose your words carefully and as my mother always said… “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t speak.”

Make someone feel pretty today. You will feel pretty from the inside out too.


Not Just Massage

You may know, if you already read my blogs, that I am a massage therapist. That’s nice isn’t it – someone you call upon when you are needing some pampering or have an ache or pain – someone you call upon to make you feel better and heal whatever is causing you to not quite feel yourself. I am honoured to be the one you choose but this is not just massage….

Why are you so tired? What has caused you to be so stressed you need somewhere to go to have time alone? When did you notice that you weren’t quite feeling yourself? How have you put extra pressure on yourself to pull that muscle or make that back ache quite so much as it does? Why don’t you take this time each month to rebalance you?

This is not a luxury! This is an essential part of being the best you can be. Being on your game. Being happy and relaxed with yourself, your family and with life. This is not a treat so why do we think that we should only give ourselves some love and care when we have some spare cash or its our birthday? This time out, just for you, is a vital part of your healthcare, self love, timeout – call it what you will.

But what if the very thought of a massage puts you in a cold sweat – touch is not for everyone. Getting semi naked for someone you don’t know or don’t know well in itself can be a trauma and then of course you are required to relax! Relax when you have 101 other things to be doing – really! And then, when you finally switch off you are sent packing back to reality with no ongoing support! What if you could do this another way?

At Body and Soul Therapies we do just that – – if you love the outdoors we walk and talk; if you want to learn how to meditate, we do that too; what about reiki (energy work) do you fancy trying that? And sometimes we are just a phone call away to listen – you know when the day has been too much and you need to offload – maybe you don’t want to trouble your family or friends, maybe they are too close, maybe they just don’t see it how you do – we are there to hear your words – not to pass judgement or necessarily offer advice unless its asked for. Maybe it’s too hard to do this alone and you feel you want to share in a group environment and explore life that way – we do that too.

We are holistic – that means the whole you (mind, body, soul) and that means offering various means of therapy so you can find what is right for you. The how doesn’t really matter – what matters is that you take a step away from your world and take some care of you – an hour here and an hour there will make a huge difference. A massage is a fabulous form of therapy but there is so much more if you just ask for it.



The Flight of the Goose

Are you that goose – that one at the front? I am and I learnt a beautiful thing this morning – that I don’t have to be – I can move along to the back and let someone else take the lead a while – my time will come again before the journey is over or the destination reached.

The freedom of just knowing that if I step back someone else will step up is unbelievably exhilarating and why I have been fighting this all this time I do not know. I am arrogant and stubborn enough to think I have to live at the front at all cost… oh how the body cries “noooooo” as does my mind. Without these working well, my soul weeps quietly in the corner.

Now when I say I have moved to the back – that does not mean in any shape or form that any other physical being is now doing my work – it simply means that I have let go. I have stopped battling against all that I have to do to make my life a success and surrendered to the fact that sometimes you just have to stop pushing for things to happen and let the universe / fate / God / destiny (whichever feels right for you) take the front seat. Trying too hard is as detrimental to you, your business and your health as doing nothing at all.

It is scary stepping into a place you haven’t been before. It is that leap of faith that we love to talk about. Imagine that moment when you have nothing beneath your feet, no safety net and only trust and faith (one on either side of you) holding your hands. Close your eyes just for a second and try and picture yourself stood, maybe on a cliff edge, and simply stepping forward. Nothing beneath you but air and sky and yet low and behold you experience the comfort and security that a concrete floor provides.

Did you get that sick feeling in the bottom of your stomach? Fabulous if that is a yes as it means you really did give yourself to nothingness.

Did you fall or did you stand tall? I hope for the latter as that is faith – faith in you and faith in something or someone else.

Did you sense, even for a second, a sense of freedom, elation, breath? Imagine that 1000 times bigger and every day.

Are you still the goose in the lead or can you take a rest and let go of control and direction and enjoy the view? (You will take your turn back up there when it’s your time I promise).

Time for me to sit at the back of this glorious formation and take the energy and direction from something far higher than myself.





The Pain Junkie

So things aren’t going so well today? What’s hurting? Head, heart, stomach, joints, limbs, chest or something or somewhere else? How often do you feel like this? Is it a long term problem, short term, just begun or have you been carrying this for as long as you can remember? What causes it? What do you do or what happens in life to make you feel this way? How long do you allow the pain to stay?

I know there will be some out there with the physical illnesses that can be seen, touched, felt but I am speaking to those experiencing the ones no-one can see as you do, the ones that begin in your head but manifest themselves elsewhere too, the ones that you cover up or only share with those very few around you that understand. I am talking to those suffering with mental health issues, depression, anxiety, PTSD.

I am no expert and I apologise if I don’t see this as you would like or as you experience it, but I have been there and I know what I felt like, I know what I experienced and that is all I can give you.

Why the heading of the pain junkie? Honestly I don’t know. As I go through my day I know I need to write and the rest just comes. This is not some thought out, drafted blog – this is as thoughts come to me and I know that when I lived each day with depression this is what I became – a Pain Junkie. Not because I wanted pain or because I needed it in my life – believe me I lived every minute wishing it would go away and leave me alone – BUT at least with the pain I felt something. That had to be better than feeling nothing at all – imagine if you can having no emotion, about anything, nothing at all.

I would be grateful each day for the headaches, the exhaustion from lack of sleep, the throbbing ache of my joints, the tightness in my chest and the erratic heartbeat. I would be grateful because that meant I was still alive and I was experiencing something of life even if not in a very positive or productive form. I wanted pain because that meant I hadn’t yet taken the last step over the cliff. It meant I, my body, my mind and my soul still had enough fight left inside to give me hope.

With time,  learning skills such as breathing, meditation for focus and finding space to let my thoughts be still and the inordinate amount of support from those who didn’t really know me at all but could see and empathise with my pain, I found my way through. Having people who didn’t know the old me, the me I used to be, somehow helped because they weren’t getting frustrated with who I had become and couldn’t tell me to “pull myself together” or “you will get back to where you were”. I didn’t want to do either of those things.

The stubborn me wanted more, the inner me knew I was so much more than I had ever been and the core of me stored all that I needed to persevere and beat this. I didn’t want who I had been, I simply wanted to be the me I was born to be, the me I could be, the bigger, better, more positive me – the happy me. Even on my darkest day I knew I was better than this. Bigger than the darkness. Stronger than the thoughts in my head. More courageous than the ones who gave up on me. So I wanted to feel that pain to remind me every single day that I could do this and could not give up.

Your pain can be your friend. It can be the one who stands by your side and gives you the strength and the courage to take another baby step forward. But, in time, friends may change, some have to change, some came with no invitation and must leave with no explanation. Acceptance of this is paramount. Pain can be your friend but pain cannot be allowed to stay. Pain in the end has to be evicted from the building it has lived in and gently moved on.

Why? Because we cannot be dependent, we cannot have a live in friend who eventually stops being a positive and turns into a festering worm making its way round your body and your mind and taking over your life completely. There is a fine line and you must be aware and you must be in control.

Be a Pain Junkie if it serves you but always be aware that when it becomes an unwelcome guest you are the one in control and must be ready to say goodbye. You can and will do this…. I have faith and I believe in you.






A Mothers Love

Today would have been the birthday of my mum and my unborn daughter, so “A Mothers Love” goes both ways – from my mum to me and from me to my daughter. If you are new to my writing I will give you a synopsis – I lost my daughter nearly 30 years ago when I was 5 months pregnant ( and then my mum 22 years ago to a brain haemorrhage when I was 9 months pregnant with my gorgeous daughter Amber.

It is an odd sense of loss as it’s also one which gets easier to manage with time. Sarah I have only recently learnt to grieve for and through that make her real in my life – I tucked her away in my memories for too long to protect my heart. Now I can share her with the other half of the miracle creator and that makes it all okay and she finally lives. My mum I didn’t grieve for, for 15 years – again I tucked the pain away to deal with another day – it’s not a coping mechanism I would recommend. When I did grieve, the rainbow shone bright and it was all manageable again.

I am very thankful that I was loved by my mum. She was always there for me. She never made plans for me or lived my life for me – she was always just there, supporting, encouraging, nurturing and sometimes rolling her eyes, but always picking me back up when I repeated some disasters time and time again! We hugged, we shouted, we fell out and we made up – all the usual mother/daughter emotions but I still wish I could have been more for her – I am aware that I got so wrapped in my life I probably didn’t give her all she deserved. I am so proud of my mum – she had great faith in her God, she gave, gave, gave to everyone who needed it, she put herself last and her children first and she was a huge advocate of the underdog. I guess I have some of her traits.

I didn’t get to be a physical mum to Sarah as I couldn’t even give her life, but that doesn’t mean I am not her mum or she my daughter – we just didn’t get to do it physically. I do miss that and it’s my biggest regret but it is how so many women live.

So today I close my eyes, picture them both and send them my love.

If you are missing someone – a mother, a daughter, a wife, a husband, a son, a friend or anyone else then my heart is yours. Remember to cherish any time you had and mourn as you feel you should. I would encourage you to keep them in your heart and not lock them away but it’s whatever is right for you. I implore you to find your grief inside and embrace it, as it can, done with care and the desire to say goodbye and let them go, bring them even closer but in a more positive and happier way. That may sound madness and it’s just my experience but something to consider maybe when the time is right.

As a mother to my daughter and a daughter to my mother – happy birthday and thank you xxx


Ice Skates and Singing

What do you love to do? What did you used to love to do but no longer do it? Amongst other questions I recently asked these of myself and I found that two things that appeared on the list were ice skating and singing. I will quickly follow that up and say I am no expert at either, in fact bordering dangerous on both might be more accurate, BUT I LOVED THEM!

So I loved them and now I don’t do them – I have a choice here – I can just remember that I loved them and remember the happy times doing both or I can do them again and see if the buzz is still there. Guess what! I’m doing them both!

I guess with creating my lists and then thinking about them, I have put it out to the universe (thoughts become actions) and as usual, she delivers. I mentioned skating to one person last night and she quickly said “I’ll come with you – I love skating”. That did put me on the back foot a little as I got the impression she may actually be able to skate which worried me! Then, this morning I was doing my usual social media hike and saw another friend post a singing session (for fun) on 10 March. Whilst in the mood and before I lose my nerve I have committed to both!

Just the commitment to getting out and doing them has fired a sense of excitement in me. I feel like a kid again and the buzz I used to get before I did a performance is back in my belly and feels absolutely brilliant. A small light has ignited inside and I can feel the burning embers creating a warmth that I’ve not had in a while. It is wonderful.

So, enough about me and going back to the original questions, “what do you love to do and what did you used to love to do but no longer do it?” Seriously, just creating the list, especially if you don’t think too hard and just allow your brain to create it unconsciously, will give you a buzz. Don’t start berating yourself as to why you don’t do them anymore, that is not the point of the exercise, this is simply to ignite the fire inside and who knows where it might lead!

Once you have your lists, are there things on there that when you read through really catch your eye? Is there one thing that makes you think “I’d love to do that again”. Yes? Then what’s stopping you?

With my skating I am much older and yes, if I fall I might do some damage, but do you know, the feeling I got just gliding across the ice at relatively high speed is still within me and that is overshadowing any fear. The same with my singing, whilst I struggle now to hold a top note after years of abuse to my body, that feeling of being in my own world, surrounded by music that grabs my heart and soul is enough. I don’t care if someone else sings better or thinks my singing is bad – it will come from my soul and I will enjoy it – that is what counts after all.

Get that list written and see what happens.

I’ll Give You a Year

You need a pen and paper for this…..

I am thankful for all I have but sometimes I wish I could just get up and go and live my dreams with no exceptions and with no fall out or consequences.  I have already asked myself this very question that I am now asking you. I would love you to really do this and then post your outcome. This is an interactive exercise after all. Communicate with me!

So – I’m going to give you all the cash you need, time off work, the ability to never fail and the freedom to choose. The only ‘catch’ to this is that you only have a year left of your life to use. Are you up for this?

I wonder, will you travel, if so where are you going and who with? Will you purchase a fast car and race against your favourite driver? Maybe you have a secret passion that you can now fulfill. Maybe you have a special someone you want to share this with (that’s doable as it’s your choice remember). Maybe you want to create something for someone else – something to make their life better. Let your imagination run riot.

You can do anything, anywhere with anyone – but you only have 365 days! Don’t take too long deciding and don’t procrastinate – he is the thief of time remember…. Me? I thought you may ask.

I took an hour or two in advance of answering and asked myself what I loved to do, then what I love but no longer do and then what I would love to do in the future and what I really don’t love right now. Once those lists were complete I was ready for my year. As you can imagine I am not sharing it in detail as this is a really personal experience but in a nutshell….

I am asking the love of my life to join me in the most magical 12 months of our lives, where we will travel the world experiencing the cultures, the people and the countries we have always dreamed of. We will laugh a huge amount of the time, we will share experiences that may make us exhilarated or excited or moved and we will laugh, cry and share our hearts over sunsets and sunrises.

I will provide for my children in both a financial and emotional way so they are ready to be better, passionate lights to themselves and those around them for the years to come.

I will allow myself freedom so say F*** It to all that has ever held me back and I will be a free spirit, at one with nature and, upholding my values and belief in myself and the world around me, I will have understood the journey I came to this world for and to have loved, laughed, shared, succeeded and learnt along the way.

Wait a minute – I’ve given us all the cash we need, time off work, the ability to never fail and the freedom to choose, but looking back at what I just wrote we can do all this now… we need nothing more than courage, imagination, passion for living and belief in ourselves and we get as much time as we want to enjoy it in – its infinite this thing called life – IF you live it.

Really try this – get writing and find out what your life could be and if you can, share it with me.