….but giving life

If yesterday was the beginning of letting go, today was the release. Deep rooted, gut wrenching, sorrow filled sobbing. I guess letting go means that you have to empty all that you are, all that you have inside  and only then can you have truly released all.

It began with a massage yesterday and I felt from the very core of me, deep inside my womb the stirring of a memory. It was astonishingly realistic and I guess that’s because to my physical and mental being, my daughter was real. She may have lived for only a short time and then became a memory but my body remembered her.

It ended with a massage. As with yesterday, when deeply relaxed and in another world the stirring began and I knew this was it… she wanted to go home and yet I wanted to hold her hand a little while more. That voice inside told me it was time and with a wrenching deep inside, just like giving birth to her, she was free. It was the most surreal experience, so real and yet just an emotional energy being released from the first home she knew.

The tears began and even though I stifled them, I held them in, I breathed to keep myself calm, they were out; she was free and I had to let her go. With her went my love, my heart, my soul and I asked the universe to keep her safe. Sobbing like a child, I had to just let the tears roll uncontrollably down my cheeks until the breathing settled, a calm was felt and my baby was gone.

She’s gone home but always here, just around me rather than kept inside. I was keeping her from moving on and in turn keeping myself in the same state. I had to take the responsibility of being a mummy and let her go, just as you do when they take their first steps, start school or find a love of their own. Letting go so they can fulfil their own destiny.

I thought I’d feel lost and empty and sad but I actually feel calm, peaceful and silent. A foundation for a feeling I thought wouldn’t come. Life from death. It can take a moment or forever but you have to choose it, you have to release whatever your hurt is and you have to say thank you for all you’ve gained from that moment in time; for me, five months where it was just she and I. My Sarah.

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Not giving birth…

I’m speaking mainly to ladies but maybe the men will hear the words if not the emotions. I’m a woman so I don’t know the experience of a man during a pregnancy. 

Giving birth to a little person is the biggest, most overwhelming, emotional experience I have ever had. It’s huge. Its beautiful. It’s painful. It’s an emotional roller coaster from the first moment of morning sickness to the actual holding of this new little life, this miracle that you’ve created. 

When you begin with the morning sickness but never get to the delivery stage it’s like all the emotions your body should be feeling can’t be completed and they get locked inside. Never to leave you. Never to be let loose into the universe. You grieve. 

You grieve for the loss of a baby, the new life you should be holding not mourning. You grieve for the loss of something in your relationship. You grieve for the part of you that is now locked up. If you have the support you can let this grief do its thing then let it go. This may take a minute or it may take a lifetime but you can and will let go. 

It doesn’t just go all at once and you may have to live with some things for many years but some thing at some time will tell you it’s time… today was my day. 

Today that little voice inside “it’s okay to let me go mama” and this writing is my means, my voice, my emotional release. The words from my heart to paper keep the feelings alive, keep Sarah alive, but not inside me anymore. Now they and she are free and back in the universe where they always belonged.

A song to be sung

“To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and sing it to them when they have forgotten it”.

What beautiful words that have captured my thoughts today. I feel that sometimes I have to be in peoples lives to sing their song and its the biggest honour I could be given. I am blessed to have people in my life who trust me and that alone is something we should all be grateful for – to have someone or to be someone where trust is earned, built and maintained. Without it you have nothing.

When I was deep in my depression; stuck, walking in treacle, when every movement and every thought took a huge effort, I forgot how to sing. I mean this literally as well as figuratively. I used to love to sing – it was my expression of exactly how I felt and during this time, particularly on my worst days I could no longer see, feel or hear music. Emotionless. Barren. Uncaring. Silent. Silence being the worst as then there is you and your own thoughts and that is a very unpleasant place to be when you already hate all you are and all you pertain to be.

I forgot how to sing and yet someone, my beautiful Jane, took me by the hand and sang back to me the soul she saw. Even now I get goosebumps when I see myself, the me I had lost, reflected back in her eyes. She saw inside and knew I was more than I said or thought I was and she began to hum the tune that was in time with the rhythm of my soul. I neither wanted to or could join in but she didn’t care and she kept on humming. In time as she saw a flicker in me, she added words. Those words were the very essence of my own song long since forgotten….. love, care, courage, harshness (yes that is needed too to face reality), kindness, confidence and most of all trust. Eventually I heard myself hum along and that was it I was on the road to be a singer once more. She sang alongside until we both needed to sing for others but for the song and the singer I am eternally grateful.

If you feel you can no longer hear the tune you used to sing along to; maybe because you have lost someone, have an illness that has become larger than yourself, are lost and afraid of who you have become or indeed who you have lost along the way, or just need to move from where you are, listen to those around you and see if they are singing it instead. You may find you don’t want to listen, you may not be ready to listen but note who is singing as they will still be there when you are ready. They are holding space for you and it will always be for you, no matter how long you need to take. Maybe no one around you is able to sing your song and you have to search a little wider – you may come across them in the oddest and most unexpected places but if you are looking they will know and you will find each other.

I have known it be the case that you don’t even know that you are humming a tune for someone, so if people appear in your life but you don’t really understand why, trust. Trust that you are meant to be there for them and do not mistrust them or the instinct in your heart to hum or give words (more commonly know as hope). Go with it as you may just be the singer they need. Be honoured – its a gift and blessing that you don’t own – you have earned it somehow and they deserve to learn to sing once more.

 

 

 

 

Time

What is time? We hear ourselves say all the while that we don’t have enough or it’s running short or we’ve wasted it but what is it?

Lineal time is what we live by. That clock, that watch, the routines, the structure of our work day, the tick tick tick of the hands we constantly watch, eating away at our lives second by second.

I lived by the clock for so many years and became totally dependent on it for what I was doing and where I was. At no point did I think I could stop and take as long over something as it required my attention. Never did I realise I was living by the clock, and living by the clock for others and never myself.

When I was younger and hadn’t chosen to live by the clock I danced and sewed and painted. Never did I once say I’d do this for ten minutes or an hour, I gave it whatever time I felt it needed, I needed. How soon we forget that experience. I lived then by my internal clock, the one that healed me, made me who I was and the one that had no relevance to what the clock on the wall or the external world told me to work by. I didn’t give it up for anyone out of choice, I had a husband and a family and a job and naturally felt they all needed me, so divided my time up (and therefore me) accordingly. I didn’t once think about finding time for me to make sure that at some point I pulled all the sections of me that I had chosen to divide up, back to one, to be one. I never realised that by not including myself and thinking I was being something to all, I was actually being nothing to anyone.

I lost the ability to hear my internal clock and I lost the ability to self heal, love myself, be the person inside and I stepped out of myself and dictated what and who and where and when by the hands tick, tick, ticking on the watch attached to my wrist. My heart began to beat to this new time.

Only on reaching rock bottom did I realise I had to take the watch from around my wrist and throw it away. Never have I put it back on and never have I lived by it beyond the extent I felt in control of it. It can be done. I found time again and I made new time. Time to heal, time to live, time to laugh, time to love, time to protect, time to grow, time for my family and my friends and time to do whatever I felt I’d like to do, and no longer what I thought I should do. I live within a world of lineal time but I’m alive by being in my internal time.

When you hear yourself say “I don’t have time” or you wonder where the day has gone when all you’ve done is run around for everyone else or you get to the end of the week and lie exhausted on the sofa – ask yourself why you didn’t find time for yourself. An hour or two a week – are you not worth it? You may find giving yourself an hour gives your loved ones a much happier, livelier, fun version of the person who stretches themselves beyond reach. Hmm, I wonder which they’d choose?

Finding time is about being present and that takes no time at all.

 

 

Words Create Pictures

A beautiful post this morning made me realise how we can create the perfect picture in our minds. “Rest your soul next to mine. Know that you are enough, just being you… Let’s sit and rest while together on our journey.”  These words create a picture in mind that are so powerful I can not only see it in my minds eye, I can feel it deep inside and smell the surroundings and the world around me.

I’m not going to share the picture it creates as its very personal and it may distort what you see when you read those words but trust me this is a beautiful place and the silence and soul sharing is beyond anything I could ever have wished for and yet it became my reality.

How often we see pictures on our tv screens creating images of people and countries that we know nothing about and how that causes us to create a picture about who they are, how they live and what impact they have on our world. Little of this is positive, little of this is showing all the generous, kind, loving people in the world. We are shown violence, sadness, aggression, humanity at its very worst, creating pictures in our heads of a world (other than our own obviously) who are out to cause harm, pain, and destroy the world and the people we love.

I know this is true for a minority but I have to ask why we aren’t shown the good, the caring, the generosity, the lovers, the children, the laughter, the peacemakers? Why? Because that is not what those who rule want us to think, believe or feel and the media certainly don’t seem to think they can make money from good. I’m not normally passionate about the government and how we are fed what we are expected to think but I genuinely feel this is becoming more and more prevalent and how our world as a whole is being fed. Their words create pictures and we see what we are fed. Their pictures create emotions and we feel what they want us to feel. That is not what words should be for.

Words are tools to create inspiration. Words are tools to create authenticity and fact. Words are tools to create truth and allow the human race to draw its own conclusions. Words can be manipulative, words can be cruel, words can bring out many negative aspects of the human persona but this is not how words should be used. I take you back to the quotation I began with, “Rest your soul next to mine. Know that you are enough, just being you… Let’s sit and rest while together on our journey.”  Those words for me bring a sense of peace, they bring caring, love, support, nurturing and they bring my soul to rest and for that I am grateful as I begin my day.

I don’t interact with the news very often as it creates pictures in my head of an evil, harsh and dangerous world that I don’t wish to be part of. No I am not so naïve that I don’t think there are places and people like this, but I know we still have a world that is mostly filled with good, kind and generous people who want only a place to live and bring up their families in a peaceful society. This is the world I live in and this is where I will stay, trying to share what I have in my heart as I sit with those who choose to sit alongside me.

I wish you well today, I wish you good health and happiness and I wish all souls well. I cannot impact the world by myself but if I live my life this way maybe, just maybe, the ripple effect of my words will begin to create pictures for the whole world to see.

 

 

 

 

 

Burning Bright

On my desk is a small card and I glance its at every morning and it reminds me of a few things. My beautiful friend far away in America, how light is one of the most beautiful gifts we have and how words can bring peace to even the most troubled of hearts.

Candle Prayer at a Time of Distress – Beloved and gracious God, I am in need of your presence in my life. I know that you are hidden in the midst of my daily activities but I need some sign that you are with me at his difficult hour. You are the light eternal, may this candle be a sign of your presence, as I place myself in your hands. Amen”

I am holding this until I see my friend as I picked it up after leaving a prayer in Ripon Cathedral, for her, her husband and her son Jake who is hand in hand with angels. As some of you will know I am not a religious person but I do have faith and I do believe there is more to us than this body and mind that we live in and when the urge takes me I will enter a house of God and stay a while, light a candle and enjoy the peace these magnificent buildings can provide.

The candle seems to hold me like a moth who is drawn in by the warmth and light, offering solace, protection from the dark, sustenance and peace. Light. It’s just light and yet how powerful that light is. As a child afraid of the dark, a small light would calm me from all I thought lay in the shadows. As an adult is brings that sense of calm and yet something more that I struggle to put into words. I light candles every day as I prepare my massage room but why do I do that? To symbolise hope, love, faith, warmth, nurturing, protection? The lighting of a candle is important and as each one is lit I say a gentle hello to those I love, some here, some gone, some far away and some walking alongside me.

We as simply mortals can be a light. Some shine brighter than others but always shining. We guide, inspire, attract like a moth to a flame and sometimes aren’t even aware that we do this. It is a beautiful thing, to show another human who us struggling, lost or hurting that from their darkness comes the dawn and it begins with a single light that they can choose to follow if they so desire or are ready to bask in its glow.

How often do we knowingly hide our light? How often do we let it fade, as if blown by a breeze? How often do we allow others to extinguish it or let it die? Shine, shine bright. Shine as if there is only you to light the world around you. Glow like a beacon and draw in those moths who need your energy, your light and your warmth. Live your life as if you are the only one left to shine and never let your light die because with its death you die inside, as do those around you who need you.

We all live lives where our light fades and dwindles, though stresses, life drama, failure, bereavement, mental health decline or sickness and yet if we each day take a few minutes to find what we have, rather than focussing on what we haven’t, that light will burn a little brighter. Find time to look inside and find your glow. What keeps it burning? Knowingly take time to reignite the flame and allow it to shine, if not for you, do it for others who seek its life giving power.

Today I light a candle and it is for you.

 

 

Playground Capers

I’m sat watching the children playing on swings and climbing frames and whooshing down slides. What joy. 

Joy for them, sharing space, laughter, a few tears but mainly friendship and fun. Joy for parents having space to breathe, chat, taking time to enjoy the few minutes of freedom. I’m not sure who’s enjoying the freedom the most. 

These moments of pure joy and freedom are short and should be treasured. As adults perhaps we should take lessons from these noisy, excited and free spirits. 

Their boundless energy should be an example to us all. They live in the moment, live it to the full and take every opportunity to have fun. 

When do we lose this ability to just enjoy life? If I hear anyone say well they don’t have responsibilities, they don’t have stresses, they don’t know how hard things are I will scream back at you that these are self made issues and at no point are they forced on us. It’s choices we make and how we interact with life that provides these. 

We could learn from these little humans. They make friends easily. They fall out and make up without grudges or hatred. They don’t see colour, creed, religion or disability, they see someone to play with. They give all they have to the moment and they don’t worry about tomorrow. 

Picture yourself on a swing or roundabout or maybe sliding down a slide. How does it feel? Feel the air rushing past. Experience the exhilaration of freedom. Hear your own laughter and scream of joy. Taste the tears running down your cheeks as the wind makes your eyes run. Touch the hand of the person next to you and share the moment. 

Live for today. I’m not suggesting you don’t plan or work for the future. I’m not saying don’t learn from your past. I am asking you to be aware of where you are right now, how you feel, enjoy the company, laugh, love, cry, feel and live because today, right now is actually all you have that’s certain. 

A moment of meditation?

Meditation. What’s that all about then? Sitting cross legged like some monk with your eyes shut, humming? Far too difficult, time consuming? Doesn’t really work does it? I hear these sorts of comments often but think about it…..

Taking time to sit, bring your focus into your own body, checking how you are feeling, breathing, enjoying the quiet of the moment and feeling refreshed afterwards, still, at peace, ready to get back into the busy we call living. Is it such a bad thing to do? Is it so weird to be still and regenerate your energy?

Yesterday I did a meditation in the shower, washing away all the negativity I’d felt around me during the day, the weariness of my own body and mind, the noise and stresses of being around too many people. Today I walked. Never really thought about walking as a meditative practice but with my headphones on, the sun shining, the quiet country roads I stepped forward. 

I didn’t hum, I didn’t om, I didn’t ahhh. I just stepped one foot at a time and felt every step. I felt the movement under my feet, I felt how the gravel felt in comparison to the Tarmac, I felt the soft movement of the earth beneath my foot as I stepped onto the grass  verge when a car came by. I heard every songbird, every moo from the cows, every buzz of a fly as it zipped past my face. I felt the breeze gently caress my face, teasing my hair and brushing across the back of my neck as I stepped on.

I felt every single drop of sweat run down through my hair, my neck and soak into my t-shirt. The music lulled me into a rhythm, interrupted every five minutes as my walking app updated me as to how I was doing. Determined to beat yesterday’s time I increased my pace and then came back inside to how I was feeling, listening to my heartbeat through my headphones as a the music swapped and there was a silent pause. It wasn’t long before there was nothing but my breath, a beat from the background music and my feet as I pounded that Tarmac road. No birdsong, no trees, no traffic, just the inner me creating its own rhythm to walk to.

I was aware of how my muscles felt, how my arms were feeling heavier and I had a slight pull in my right shoulder. I was aware of the blister forming on my toe as I wasn’t wearing socks. The occasional thought of the outside world popped in, I acknowledged it and let it go. My dreams and ambitions flashed in but I just moved them gently to one side for later as now was time for me, my here, my now, my present moment was all that I wanted to enjoy.

As I took my last few paces I began to recognise the outside world again and thanking myself and thanking the universe for the walk, I stepped back inside and back to… life. Much refreshed, rejuvenated, alive again. If this isn’t a form of meditation that anyone can do, I don’t know what is.