I’m speaking

I didn’t speak for so long. I don’t mean I was mute of course or a hermit. I didn’t speak, I didn’t verbalise what I held inside, I didn’t choose to express myself because I didn’t have the confidence in myself that the words were worth listening to. Now?

Now is so very different and I know that to keep words inside is a very destructive and indeed self destructive thing to do. Words need expressing otherwise all that goes with them, the emotions, feelings, life, death, future, possibility, healing, love, pain, passion or truth, get stuck in a place inside and decay. As the words die and decay, so do you.

By speaking I thought I would lose but realistically because I didn’t speak I lost everything, especially myself and I was hurting. Words saved me to a certain respect. Words were my medication. Words were the healing force. Words were my peace. I needed to express why I was hurting, why I was dying inside and when I did the world outside opened up and gave me colour and safety and love.

I wonder how often you use the expression “I had to bite my tongue”. I wonder how many times you’ve been dying to say something but stopped yourself because you thought it was inappropriate or would be taken the ‘wrong way’. Is this possible if your intent is good, said with love and to help the other person/people understand how you feel? What was it that stopped you expressing what was inside? Fear? Fear of being misunderstood, fear of letting go, fear of the impact or the outcome if the truth was out there? 

You will NEVER know someone’s thoughts or reaction to truth and if you are wanting or needing to say something it is your truth and needs to be said. If you keep a secret, and let’s be honest, that is what an unspoken thought is, you are living a lie, you are living in your own lie and that cannot be a good thing surely? Speak. Verbalise. Open your mouth and let the words escape, let your truth out. How refreshing, how liberating, what freedom to be open, to be honest, true and expressive.

What’s to lose? If your intent is true and your words chosen and thought through (not said in anger or to hurt) all you have to lose is the secret life you live. I told a secret once and let the words out that I had needed to express for so many years and it gave me a peace I cannot describe but it gave me so much more; friendship, growth, love, new opportunities and laughter. What’s not to like about speaking words….

In the world I lived I was sad and very lonely. This new world of truth, of honesty or enjoying words, speech, thought, conversation, expression is something I can’t give up. It’s where I belong. 

If I could see you

If I could see out from this page who would I see? A tall, handsome man. A petite lady of 32. A millennial with firey red hair. Grey hair and wrinkles from a life well lived. A 45 year old man rushing to or from his office. A stay at home dad making breakfast. A retired solicitor. A nurse on her wind down after a long shift. I often wonder who I would see if only I could look out from this page.

I’ve described you but only the outer you. If I could see past the external layers, into your eyes and deep inside I wonder who I would see. There are times when you look at someone, face to face, eye to eye and you can read through to their very soul if they allow you to. Yes, you know those moments don’t you, the ones of which I speak, those moments when nothing and no one else exists, the moment where a hundred emotions are expressed and yet not a word is said. Those moments when you cannot lie.

What about another moment, a normal day, a stressful time, an average day in the life of a friend, a lover, an acquaintance. Can you read them? Can you see who they are? Do they show you all or only what they want you to see? If I stepped from the page now and looked how much would you, could you, should you reveal? I’d love to say I’d like it to be everything, the real you, the human you, the excitable, compassionate you, the fighter, the dancer, the lover, the racer, the philanthropist, the entrepreneur, the mum, the husband, the sad you. But I think not. 

I think I would see only the outer you in most cases because it’s all you allow the world to see. It’s all you can be because it’s all you know. You would allow me to see the one dimensional you, the cardboard cutout, the pasted on version, the masked you because it’s all you can allow, all you are able to give. I get it. Reveal anything else, even a glimpse of who you are inside and I will see it all. It’s who I am and what I do. How? Because I’ve been there so know the signs. Why? Because I don’t want anyone else to sit where I sat. I care for the inner you, the one you hide and I have a space which I hold where it’s safe to let them out.

When you look at this page, who do you see looking out? A nosey woman, an older woman, a fighter, a lover, a carer, a passionate woman but with fear still in her eyes, a sad woman, a lonely one, a loved person with good family and friends, a depressed or angry person, a writer, a dancer, a whizz in the kitchen, a therapist, a compassionate human, a giggler or just words on a page which catch you unawares sometimes? I have no idea and it’s up to you to paint the picture from what I reveal. 

Create me, paint me, give me shape and form. Give me a personality, a face, a life you think I could lead, then reveal some of you for others, for me, to see. Show them, show me what hides behind those eyes reading these words. You are not just a face, a pair of eyes, a reader. To me you are human, a person, a personality, a bundle of emotions, flesh, raw and maybe you are scared to let go of this facade you show, but it’s okay, it’s safe because most of all, you deserve to be seen.

The self belief thief

You know you are good at what you do. You know you have a special gift. You know you have business potential, a good client base, talent, good customer service skills and yet one day you wake and doubt creeps in. Damn you self belief thief!

Am I good enough? Can I really do this? Will I bring in enough income this month? Do people think I’m good enough? Should I give up and get a salaried job? Is it time to admit defeat? Why did I risk everything? Have you ever heard yourself asking these questions? I used to say this all the time, self doubt picking, picking, picking. 

Like a hen pecking corn, the thief is picking away at the bucket full of confidence and self belief that you carry round with you. He’s sneaky and only takes a little at a time so you don’t notice him there. Sometimes he brings some of his friends; hormone overdrive, peer pressure, tiredness and overwhelm and all together they feast. They feast on you and you don’t even notice.

You can stop him you know! It’s in your power. You are in control. It may take an hour or two, it may take a few days, it might even take months but you will do this. If you give in now he’s won, he’s beaten you and all your hard work and effort will have been wasted and for what? To let your ego win. Again! If you’ve done it now, you’ve probably done this before and you allowed him to win last time and maybe the time before that. He always wins doesn’t he? Not this time. Not now. Not ever again. It’s time, time to take your life back. It’s yours and you are in total control of where it goes from here on in.

So what’s it going to be today? Are you winning or are you calling it quits? Are you fighting or are you going to lie down and call it a day? Your call….

If it helps I stood up to them all and fought so I know what it feels like. I know how hard it is but I also know it’s possible to beat this, beat them. I know you will doubt, I know you will question and some days will be better than others but you will be able to get to a place where you are comfortable with who you are and what you are a capable of and you will be successful. That’s then and this is now, so today pick yourself up, dust yourself down and tell yourself you can beat this for the next hour or two. After that do it all again! By the end of the day you will be a bigger, stronger, braver version of you.

Take a breath

Take a deep breath in, yes now. Hold it for four counts when you feel like you can take in no more and then let it out, slowly and hear that breath as it leaves you.  Do it again and this time breathe in something beautiful, clean, fresh, alive, whatever that may be to you. Hold it. Breathe out all that is bad, stressed, angry, disappointing, sad. And repeat. Repeat until there is no more dark, bad breath coming out, only breath.

I use this technique or some similar version every morning before I do anything else and at any point during the day or night when my world gets too much. I take five. I take a breath. I breathe. I don’t think we consciously do this as often as we should and sometimes people don’t know how to. Some have forgotten what it’s like to breathe. That makes me very sad.

Taking a breath, even one long one gives you back time. It gives you a moment to stop the chaos, anger, hurt or whatever else is sticking inside you and blocking the good energy that you need to be alive and be happy. It gives you peace. It gives you a sense of perspective and it stops you saying things that are usually best left unsaid or, if it needs to come out, it will give you the courage to say it but with clarity and forethought.

If you are sat thinking, is she mad, I don’t have time to do this, then you are exactly who I am speaking to. What if this breath I’ve just given you was the last one you were allowed? Wouldn’t you want it to be the longest breath ever to give you time? Time to love, time to say goodbye, time to say and do all the things you’ve forgotten to say and do in your busy world. It’s you who makes it busy, for whatever reason; you are are responsible for the busyness. So what you going to do with this one last long breath? Who are you spending it with? How are you feeling about life knowing this is it? Are you going to make this as drawn out and as beautiful, filled with as much love and happiness as possible?

Last breaths need not be dramatic like on the movie screen. Last breaths should be spent with those you love and be peaceful. I know where and with whom I’d spend mine but meantime I make sure I make the ones I have count. I will make sure they are deep, fresh and clear of anger or hurt or disappointment. Life is short enough without their intervention. I will take time to just stop for a few minutes each day and just breathe, reflect on my day, my time, my now and enjoy it.

You have one breath left to make more time for yourself, for those you love and for your life to be more fulfilled, happier, beautiful. You have one more breath to give you time to do what’s inside you, what you’re passionate about. One breath to live the dream. One more breath to be the you that you are born to be. Don’t waste it.. Promise me, promise yourself not to waste it.

And the competition winner is…

Do you ever enter competitions? I do occasionally, always assuming I won’t win and therefore I’m always right. This time I entered something because I thought it would be fun, take me out of my comfort zone and be a lovely keepsake too and, I win.  A photo shoot being the prize. Now I know there were many winners because this is part of their marketing strategy and provides them with new clients but do I care? No I do not because this gives me exactly what I wanted when I entered.

I guess I am trying to get across that what you expect you get, it may not always be at the time you want it, therefore it’s comes at the time you need it, but it does come. I think sometimes the universe plays with us and has a fairly naughty sense of humour in that they make us learn, play, grow, experience patience, love and give on the way. This is why we have to repeat experiences at times, because the universe doesn’t think we learnt from it the time before.

It’s time for some fun for me. I have always been relatively serious but lurking inside is a cheeky, naughty, sense of humour that on occasions comes out. Surprises people too sometimes as its always been enclosed by the serious, harsh facade on a general day to day basis. Now there will be some reading I am sure who know me and think this is odd as all they see is the fun one….. That’s because I’m always the real me, the inner me with them. They know me, I trust them and therefore allow the real me out.

My inner child needs to come out and play. My inner child doesn’t worry about tomorrow. My inner child doesn’t have responsibility in this particular moment. My inner child lives to love life. Do you need to set yours free too? Has life, have you, become a little too serious? Are you only ever seeing things, situations, people, work, finances, life through an adults eyes? 

Just for today how about looking with the eyes of a child and seeing the wonder around you, the magic in the things we do, the colour, the noise, the joy. We have all this but as adults we choose not to see it, usually because of the expectations we put on ourselves and allow society to put on us. It’s time to break free from these bonds, these restrictions and play a little. Remember that you get what you need and you need to enjoy life. If you think it, you will get it. 

Why is the photo shoot going to be fun? Ha ha ha! Maybe I will post a picture and you will see for yourself….

Giving it all up

Sat late in the day wondering if you have ever had to give something up even when it’s the last thing you want to do? There are times when you feel you simply can’t have what you want and whilst it hurts it is the right decision and you may regret it forever and a day but it’s the only option. Do you ever get a second chance? Maybe….

I wonder if you have ever had to give something up that you wanted with all your heart? I wonder…

🎶Say something, I’m giving up on you. I’ll be the one, if you want me to. Anywhere, I would’ve followed you. Say something, I’m giving up on you. Say something. 🎶

I watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tonight and my favourite bit is where the two old friends and lovers find each other once more and just hold each other one last time. It was the last but for them it was perfect. Maybe one more time does come…. maybe.

You should never give up on dreams because they do come true. You may wait for what feels like forever but you may just get that chance. That chance for one more moment of perfection, for one more go at what  you’ve always seemed could be. Don’t give up today because tomorrow may be the day….

Make me a channel of your peace

I’ve been reading a new book this week and it begins early on talking about the prayer of St Francis of Assisi  and it flew me back to my childhood, singing with my mum in church. I loved the hymn based on this prayer….. 

🎶Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon Lord. And where there’s doubt, true faith in you. Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness ever joy

Oh, master grant that I may never seek. So much to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love with all my soul. 

Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. In giving to all men let we receive. And in dying that we’re born into eternal life. Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness ever joy. 🎶

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake every day with a peace inside that fills you up for the day? So confident in your beliefs, in who you are and what you do and say that there is no need to worry incessantly about what is to come. To wake believing that the day is yours and will be all you want it to be. That is not to say you live in a bubble and there aren’t struggles, I don’t think that is possible as you are a human being, but to not stress about the unnecessary and just have the confidence that everything will work out how you need it to, wow that would be amazing wouldn’t it?

It is possible! I speak to the universe quite a lot. In my car, when I wake and when I go to bed, as I go about my day, in moments of tiredness or over dinner. When I think about it the universe must wear ear plugs some days! I make my thoughts clear and ask that, if they are meant to be, the universe guide me, give me signs and help me deliver. 

Synchronicity springs to mind as I write that. You know those moments when you really need a friend and someone appears unexpectedly, when you need money for something and you suddenly get a refund on your tax or just moments when you find what you’ve been searching for just as you need them most. Some may call that luck, I call it the universe delivering.

To find that peace I find if I give myself without asking for gain. If I have doubt, I find my faith; if I see despair I give hope; if I see someone hurt I give love; if someone has hurt me I forgive their actions; when someone is in darkness I give them a light to help them see. From living that way I gain all I need, peace and comfort and the rest then follows. 

Magical.

Was it you?

Was it you who brushed against me and spoke to my soul telling it to be strong and keep moving on? Was it you who held my hand when I was falling? Was it you who said it was okay to cry when I thought I needed to stay silently strong? Was it you who came and held my hand one last time when my world was ending?  If not you, who?

We all have different faiths and beliefs and none should ever be judged or questioned. It’s all about your belief. Belief makes you strong, belief gets you from where you are to where you need to be. Belief can be our saviour and our strength. Do not ever question what you know deep down to be your truth. Do not listen to someone’s else’s version of what you truly believe if they are there only to make you doubt.

Belief in yourself, belief in who you are and your values is what makes you able to conquer anything and everything that you come across in life. That may be emotional struggles where there seems to be a never ending darkness inside. It may be physical struggles when your body says it’s too sick, too old, too weary to continue down this path you are asking it to travel. It maybe be mindset and your use of negative words, battling against your ego, fighting the questioning doubts of your inner self. But believe, I beg you.

When I was stood on the edge of the blackest black, who took my hand and pulled me away from the edge? I’d like to believe those who’d passed saved me and sent me home because they knew there was work for me to do and not seeing doesn’t mean I don’t believe but if I look deep inside I know it was me. I chose to stay and fight and rid myself and my life of those demons holding me back from being who I was meant to be, who I am today. It was me.

If you ever feel close to the edge of a pool of blackness and think its a good idea to keep walking, please pause for just a second and ask yourself what this life, your life, is all for. I can’t stop you, pull you back or make you stay as you still have the ability and desire to make choices but humour me and ask yourself “am I better than this, can I be more, is there someone, something worth fighting my inner me for”. I hope that is a yes and you stay a while so you can ask the question later “was it you who held my hand”. That would be a yes from me.

Press the pause button

Have you ever felt like life is moving too fast for you and you just need a minute to catch your breath? Oh how useful to have a pause button to press, just for a second or two, just whilst you catch up with life or it with you. You do know there is one don’t you and you have the ability and permission to press it?

You maybe need five minutes, a few hours or a day (longer if it’s life changing stuff), but stopping and taking stock is absolutely vital. I find my body normally does this for me when change is due and I have very little energy to do anything so am somewhat forced to sit and reflect. Saturday for me was one of those days. I’m not entirely sure I was able to move off the sofa all day. My head needed to switch off and my body needed rest. Did I feel guilt? Not guilt as such but it did take a while before I accepted that nothing was the only thing on the agenda that day.

You can press the pause button on your life for five minutes by taking yourself to a place where only you go. Somewhere safe, secure, precious to you and in your minds eye. Go there, breathe, be quiet and catch up with yourself, be kind to yourself and let yourself rest. 

You could take a couple of hours and head out for a walk, bike ride or drive and switch off. Switching off for me by the way is sometimes thinking one thing through to resolution, it’s not always thinking nothing. It can be choosing one thing that needs resolving to give me peace.

Press the button for a weekend or a few days and go on retreat. This can be organised for you or one you create yourself. Those of you who come here regularly will know last year I created my own retreat: paints, music, journal and me in the middle of nowhere in my little hobbit house for two days.

This is something you need to do alone. This is not a joint effort, even if someone else needs to be in the discussions afterwards, to switch off its only you. Only you can stop. Only you knows what is needed. Only you understands your issues. Only you knows you well enough to do this. Only you has the ability to press your own pause button. 

Listen to your body. Are you struggling physically, getting sick, experiencing more aches and pains than usual for you? Listen. It’s telling you to slow down. Are  you unable to keep a train of thought through to its end or flitting around unsure of what to think next as there are so many things? Listen. Your head is asking, begging you to slow down. Are you present in your own life and know all that is going on not only for yourself but also those around you? No? Then listen to yourself and stop. Press that pause button.

If your finger is hovering above that button, stop procrastinating and press it. If you don’t there is no one else to blame for your short comings, your lack of energy, your lack of productivity and focus, your lack of progress. This is your button, your control, your life and for it to be all it can be, all you want it to be, sometimes you have to accept that you need to stop, pause, reenergise and go again. It’s not failure, it’s the doorway to a new beginning.

Hold me a little more

Have you ever had a hug from someone that is so beautiful that you didn’t want it to end, that you didn’t want to let them go because of how it would feel to be without their arms around you. Knowing that you would feel lost, cold, empty without them, did you just want to stay there forever?

I have experienced that a few times in my life and take joy in the fact that, (as some of those people I was letting go of never to hold them again), I can still feel what it was like because the emotion created is tattooed into my skin, literally and emotionally.

Some days I would love to go back there for just one more minute to hold or be held. Those goodbyes at the train station moments. Those keep safe I love you moments. Those saying goodbye to life moments. Just one more minute there? We know that’s a no and yet sometimes we would surely like to repeat them again.

The inner peace of letting go and the acknowledgment of a person, an event, a situation that has now been hugged and passed on, given away, spoken of, is huge. Recently I did this ‘speaking of’ and from that moment have found an inner peace I had no idea could possibly exist. It laid to rest some worries, some demons and answered far more questions than I actually realised I had to ask or answer. The expression of weight being lifted off is how I feel and yet I hadn’t realised the weight was even there so imagine if you can just how light I feel.

Silence, inner silence. Calm. At ease with my thoughts and my actions. Forgiveness of myself. Hope for what will now be. Openness has been created by speaking up and acknowledging and I don’t feel I have to hide anymore. This is huge and very very beautiful. I feel like a flower that has finaly unfurled her petals and is basking in the warm sunshine with just the hint of a warm summer breeze rocking me.

I feel that warm closeness of a hug that just cannot and will not end.

Just stop for a second and see in your head the last hug you had that was so precious that you can still feel it. Was it gentle, tight, warm, squishy or firm? Was it letting go, saying goodbye, saying hello or saying I love you? Were they tall or small, slight or large, human or animal, a love or a friend? Why so beautiful? Enjoy that thought….