My hands are my gift

My hands. They are nothing special to look at. The usual fingers and thumbs, short quite stubby fingers, short well maintained nails and starting to look a little old. They are nothing special to look at but they are magic. 

I discovered that when my hands touch another, something rather amazing happens. We connect. There is an energy that travels from me to them and them to me. By holding a hand, touching a cheek with my palm, rubbing their skin in a massage or gently touching their arm with my fingertips whilst talking, something happens.

We connect. My hands say “it’s okay, you are cared for, safe, loved, thought of, protected, reenergised and you don’t need to worry any more we are here”. We connect through touch not words. My hands reassure another that the world is okay, I’m taking control and they, for that moment in time, do not have to do anything but be themselves.

My hands are very special because they can do this at any time and anywhere. I could be in the supermarket and see an older lady looking lonely and whilst I stop to chat they make contact with her arm and do their magic. I could see a small child fall and whilst picking them up my hands may rub the knee they just banged and do their magic. I may see a friend who has lost a parent and whilst I hug them my hands may rub their back or give them a squeeze and they do their magic. 

My hands are magic? No. My hands are just an extension of me and when I offer support, love and kindness the energy I have in my heart just travels through my hands to them. I am nothing special as everyone has this gift, just not everyone knows or wants to use it.

My hands are a gift when I massage. My hands heal and that is a gift. Healing is a gift I cherish, never take for granted and practice giving every day. When I massage another human being who may be stressed, needing peace and needing a space in their heads and hearts to just breathe, it is the most humbling experience in the world to be able to give that gift, that space to them. To feel someone physically relax when my hands make contact is amazing. When they come into my treatment room tired, stressed and in pain and leave at peace and pain free I’m extremely grateful for my hands.

So, my hands are magic because I choose to give what I have been given but everyone has this gift to a certain extent and can give the gift of love and peace and security to another human being every day. But only if they chose to give the gift from their heart.

Advertisements

Who takes the wheel

When you are struggling with life, no matter on what scale or level who takes the wheel for you whilst you regroup, rest, calm, find your peace? If you could name someone read no more…..

If you weren’t sure on that answer or you decided that you don’t need anyone to do that or you are just too frightened of what will happen if you do, read on….

I was the captain of my own ship. That is fabulous, positive and commendable except when you also insist on also being the cabin boy and the crew and a storm has hit and the engine has broken. At this point you may want to rethink your solo voyage. It’s not clever, brave or a sign of strength to control your whole life and not allow anyone else to help and you may wish to add a new strategy for those moments when you lose control.

I chose to be arrogant enough to think I could manage everything by myself. This wasn’t just managing my life, this was that of my husband, my kids and my friends who had problems. I seemed surprised when my body, but more so my head, imploded and said stop. It took me a broken marriage, hurting my kids and rebuilding every fibre of me to be able to sit here and say to you now, before you too implode, stop.

When you can admit you have taken your eye off the ball, you no longer control anything, you are dropping most of the balls you are juggling or you simply cry an awful lot of the time, it’s time to let go of the wheel and allow someone else to steer, even for a little while. It’s not being weak, it is being courageous. It’s admitting you are not superhuman and it’s the first step to becoming a better you. 

So who will take your wheel. Don’t tell me no one because I bet if you are honest there have been people hammering at your door offering help, a hand or giving you support in a whole host of small ways. You have to be brave enough to turn and ask them. This is the biggest, bravest, most courageous thing you will ever do but you have to be ready to take both hands off and allow them to steer a while or it won’t work.

I still battle today, well until relatively recently when I finally learnt what it means to share the driving. I cannot tell you what a relief it is when you can, at any moment in time, ask someone else to step up whilst you just recharge. This could be anyone in your life but maybe the person that wants to step up most is your wife, husband, parent, best friend. You may find the one person you didn’t think cared, you didn’t want to burden, you think is the biggest issue is the one standing right behind you, waiting for you to ask.

I am honoured, lucky, blessed to have that someone and it wasn’t about their capability it was about my vulnerability. It was about me being brave enough to show how vulnerable I am and simply admitting I no longer want or can tolerate a solo voyage for the remainder of my days.

Who’s your second in command and when will you be willing to ask them to take control to allow you to step back and regroup?

Post retreat

Last week I took two days away from the world that I know to just give myself time and space to allow my creativity to flow. I have been running my business for six months now and it’s been absolutely full on but it had got to the point where I was that busy I could no longer see where I was going and wasn’t having fun with it. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t enjoying it but I was making it harder work than I needed to.

I found a wooden ‘hobbit house’ in the fabulous Yorkshire countryside and took myself off with just some food, my paints, my music, my journal and an open mind as to what was coming back with me. When I arrived it was everything I had dreamed it would be, the sun was out and the world was good. I spent the next 48 hours doing whatever felt right at the time, whether that was cat napping (I had no idea how tired I actually had made myself), painting whatever came into my head although that was mainly nature inspired by what I felt and the great outdoors I had around me and singing (thank goodness no neighbours).

I wrote, I planned, I created the buds of new ideas to work on over the next six months. I let any frustrations I had allowed myself to build up to be released and I meditated to bring back some calm and a level where I was at peace again. I said goodbye to those who no longer serve me, or those I have to stop helping as they don’t want to be helped. I realised to love I have to allow love in or the balance is all wrong and I let myself just be. By that I mean I just lived in that moment, neither past or present existed. I read some fabulous books and released negative energy and learnt how to do that within my home when I arrived back too.

So, once home how’s it been? Amazingly different. I know what I need, what I want, who I can and can’t share life with, work with, be with. I’ve cleaned the house of the past that was no longer required and that has allowed me to look only forward. I don’t need things to remind me of good times, they are always in my heart. I feel strong, as a woman, a business woman, a lover, a mum and an entrepreneur. I’m ready to take on the next six months with clarity, with passion and with a strength that just six months ago I had no idea existed in me.

Taking time out, I know two days is a luxury for many people, but taking any time out to reflect, create, play with your own thoughts and getting rest is absolutely vital. We can all plan time out, it’s whether or not we have the courage to see it thorough and face ourselves for that time. It’s not easy, it’s a bit ugly if you are willing to be brutal with yourself but the release, the pleasure, the possibilities that emerge are priceless.

Friendship, High Days and Holidays

Friendship, High Days and HolidaysThis life will always give us people who have an impact on our lives and when they are no longer around, for whatever reason, we miss them, especially on birthdays and special occasions. In our hearts we wish them well and may even lift our faces to the universe and wish them a happy day, hoping with all hope they get the message. 

What about people still in our lives, in and around every day but feeling like strangers? Can we have different versions of friendship do you think? Is it possible that people see it as different things? I know the answer is yes from experience. Friendship to me is looking out for my friends, checking on them, sometimes just saying hello when I have nothing else much to say. Friendship is not just about work. Friendship is not just about gain. Friendship is not just good days or when the mood suits. 
So what is it if this is what it’s not? It’s sending a random text just so they know you are thinking of them. It’s listening when they are having a tough time. It’s seeing or hearing that they aren’t themselves and calling round just to give them a hug. It’s supporting and nurturing. It’s having a giggle. It’s about giving you, all of you, the good, bad and all bits inbetween. It’s knowing who someone is and what makes them tick and it’s being there when they need you. It’s laughing together, crying together and sharing life. 
Being away from it all on a retreat makes you think a lot and really review if you are who you think you are, if you are doing what you say you do and if you are being the person you are meant to be. Being away with just yourself to contend with means you have to look inside and it’s not always pleasant but this is not meant as a time to beat yourself up, it’s time spent building back the person you are inside. As a special lady recently said its finding the time to turn up the colour of your dreams.  
To all those friends I have now and have seen pass through my life … I love you, miss you, care for you and need you to know I would walk to the end of the earth if you needed me. That what I do. To my inner me … I will learn to do the same. To my future …. You will be bold, bright, vivid, clear and powerful. 
To have high days, holidays and friendship how blessed we are. I am. 

Reevaluate Life

Have you ever suddenly stopped and wondered how did I get here, how did I get myself in this situation or when did I allow life to get ahead of me so I didn’t know where I was or how I got here? So stop!

There are times when you have to just stop, stand still, breathe and take a look around you. Are you where you want to be? Have you achieved what you want to achieve? Are you doing what you need to be doing to get to where you want to be? If the answer is no to any of these then it’s time to step back and reevaluate.

Life moves at a hugely fast pace sometimes and we get pulled along in the flow and can’t get off. It’s a bit like a small twig in a raging river, bouncing along, being thrown about by the power of the river and never being able to rest or get to the side to step away from the rush, the noise, the speed. You have to try. You have to find a way to step away and take stock.

If you find you aren’t sure what is going on around you, who people are that you are interacting with (on a personal level) or you aren’t finishing anything you start or keep repeating what you do as you can’t remember where you got to or even worse you do nothing but seem to be permanently busy, then again it’s time to step away and take stock.

I hear so many people around me saying they don’t have time. We all have time as we are the creators of our own time. There are obvious restrictions on time when you work for someone else but how you deal with your own time is your choice. Ask yourself if you really need to be doing what you are doing. Are you spending an hour and a half just poking round someone else’s life on Facebook, do you need to watch that soap? I’m not saying you shouldn’t but if you say you don’t have time to read or meet up with a loved one or take your kids somewhere or take a painting class or learn a new language then you have to be really brutal with yourself and see where you are wasting your time.

Try taking ten minutes today to really take a look at your life and ask yourself a few hard questions. Are you doing what you want to be doing as a career? Are you living where you want to live? Are you sharing life with the loved ones and friends who you want to spend time with or are they that river dragging you faster than you want? Do you take time out, even an hour a week, just for you? Are you doing too much for everyone else and is it because you have to, because it’s a habit or because they are taking advantage of your willingness to do it? Hard questions and be honest.

The next ten minutes is to evaluate where you want to be. This is possibly easier. And use this time as a ‘no barriers / no filters’ session where it can be anything at all. Dream big. 

The final ten minutes you can start to think how to get there. Bite size wins, take the easy ones first so you really feel the achievement. None of this has to be earth shattering, it’s whatever gives you time to be the person you were always meant to be. Even just doing these three things you have given yourself thirty minutes time back and had your thoughts and some peace and reevaluated who you are and where you want to go next on the journey that we call life! 

Four letters, enormous possibilities

LOVE. 

Such a little word isn’t it and spoken far too often in some situations and never felt in others. It’s a word that we are sometimes desperate to hear and sometimes find it gets in the way when decisions have to be made. 

Just because you love someone, it doesn’t make it possible to be with them, or tell them, or show them. You can quietly love someone and yet they may never know. It may be that you love someone you can’t be with or you love someone you know can never love you back because of capacity or situation.

To be in love is a very different place to loving someone and I fear an experience very few people truly experience. I think we can say that we are in love but I’m not absolutely convinced that feeling of undying, unconditional love is experienced where they would do anything, go anywhere or give up one life to be with another.

We love our children, we love our partners, we love our home, we love our pets. We can love the place where we live, we can love those special shoes. We love the beach or climbing mountains and we love being out at sea. We love being touched, we love being held, we love being kissed and we love being loved. 

We love an awful lot don’t we and yet we struggle to love someone who is homeless, depressed, disabled or just different to us. We struggle loving someone we don’t understand or we don’t share a common language with and we struggle loving people who aren’t like us. We allow sports, religion and politics to decide who, why and how we love and when we disagree we turn to hate, the polar opposite. We don’t just choose to disagree – we fight, maim, kill for what we love…..

LOVE. A small word that can make or break someone’s day or someone’s heart. If you use it, use it wisely and with thought and care and honesty. If you think you aren’t sure, don’t use it. If you see someone in need, show them love, a smile, a touch, a kind word is all it takes. By sharing love for another human being maybe, just maybe, we can set a chain reaction going and it can spread like the fastest travelling disease. What a perfectly beautiful disease to have.

Pooh Bear Adventures

This week is a bit different for me as I am taking myself off just to be creative. I am taking with me some music, paints, my journal and my imagination. Nothing more. Two days to find all those ideas, thoughts, new ways of doing and living and getting them from the inside, out. It was to be a tent and nature but due to the weather being so unpredictable and the need for dry space to work in I have hired a hobbit pod (wooden tent for those who don’t know).I have been so busy working that I have not kept up my end the bargain with myself to allow me to exist on a creative front. Being free to do, to choose, to live and to be is why I do what I do after all. This is my time to reenergise, find any new business ideas, life needs, personal development needs and act on them. No distractions. No technology (apart from what is necessary). Me and Mother Nature enjoying each other’s company.
Sometimes you can find life or your head is so busy that you cannot think and you need to press the pause button where everything stops except you and you then have the freedom and the time you choose to get on and do until your feel you are back at the place you need to be and then you can hit that button again. That is what I’m doing.
Have a I set goals? Nearly. I have outlined the big picture goals and broken them down into more manageable sizes and before I go I need to break those down into specifics. But that makes it structured and not creative? Possibly a bit but without knowing what I’m trying to get out could waste precious time. 
Am I taking enough to achieve what I want? Everything I ever need is inside me so that is an easy yes. My thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams and belief are in my head and in my heart and therefore as long as I have a means to get those from within, for me that is meditation, music and artistry, I have all I need.
I feel a bit like Pooh Bear heading off into the hundred acre wood on his latest adventure, I may stop a whole and play pooh sticks, I may sit on a stone and just think or I may put on my boots and remember his words…. “When you see someone putting on their big boots, you can be pretty sure an adventure is going to happen”.

Make a difference

Are you aware of what impact you can have on another human beings life? What words you say to them, the actions you take, the gifts of support you give them, they may just create a spark, a new thought, a confidence they didn’t have. This can be a positive or a negative.

Yesterday I spent the evening working with some teenage girls. They were open to new ways of thinking, acting, living but on that verge of where they could make the right or the wrong choices. I learnt so much from them. I learnt to chill, have fun, discuss subjects openly that in my day would have been taboo and share life with friends. They were amazingly open young ladies full of life, new ideas, open to options, funny, caring, supportive and eager to learn.

I may never now whether what we did or discussed will have impacted them but that’s the joy, I may have just sparked one of them to think differently, give themselves choice, look at a career they want differently and with a wider scope for using their skill set or to always be themselves.

I don’t need to know, what I need to do is ensure that when I talk or interact with, listen to or discuss things with people that it’s positive, encouraging, empathetic and honest. If they get something from that moment that creates a spark then how brilliant is that!

You never know what your words or deeds do to another persons life and it can be huge, so be aware of you, your actions, your words, your deeds. Be kind, caring, smile at people, say hello, hold out the hand of friendship and wish someone well. It doesn’t take any effort and it doesn’t cost anything but the gift you have then given to that person can be life changing and priceless. 

Be the catalyst of change in someone, be the difference in their day.

No expiry date on dreams

There are times when our dreams, hopes, wishes, whatever you may call your future ‘things to achieve’ list, seem so very far away or that they are just not happening. Who told you there was an expiry date on dreaming? If there’s no expiry date the only way they get stale and end up in the bin is if you let it happen.

Dreams are meant to be exciting, a stretch, what we strive for, what we get out of bed for, and they are ever lasting.

At no point did anyone ever say you have five years to achieve this or it’s no longer an option. At no point did anyone ever say if you don’t get this done by March 2017 I’m afraid we have to give it to the second person with that dream. This is what you aspire to. This is your timeframe and do you realise it’s you in charge of the time it takes! No one can tell you that you have to have achieved it within a certain time or in a certain way or for a particular purpose. This is your dream, no one else’s and that puts you firmly in control.

How you dream, what you dream, when you achieve it is yours. This also means that if you don’t work towards it, don’t keep focused on it or don’t ever make it reality, it is also yours. You cannot blame others for stealing them. They can make it hard and you have a choice as to whether to give up on your dreams or carry on but they cannot take them away. People call them dream stealers but if you are in control the only one allowing someone to steal is you.

Step away from the negative. Step away from the nay Sayers. Step away from the those who don’t serve you in your dream creating. Step away from everything that, in your head, makes dreams unachieveable, far away, only something someone else gets to make real. Step up and say out loud what your dreams are, tell the world, make them so real your senses go into overdrive when you picture them because one day those senses will know them as ‘normal life’ and the dreams will be new ones.

There is NO expiry date on your dreams.

Do what you love or love what you do

I totally get the fact that you can’t always do a job you love. I’ve spent my career doing pretty much that but if you cannot do what you love then you should at least make the effort to love what you do.  The majority of folk are in work for a major part of their day and if you don’t find something about that job to love it makes it the longest day ever, every day of every week of every month. 

What are you doing? You have choices, even when you tell yourself that you can’t get that salary somewhere else, that there are no jobs out there or that family circumstances means you can’t do anything else. 

If these are absolutely genuine and you can tell yourself that you have tried every option (I don’t mean you thought about it and it didn’t seem possible) then try and find something in that job that you love. It may be the hours are flexible or you can work so that you can spend time doing something you love. It may be that you like the people you work with or it may be that although you aren’t enamoured with what you do, you are actually really good at it. Celebrate the good bits and be thankful you have a job.

If you have only told yourself in your head that there are no options then you best pull your head out of the sand and at least try because if you don’t, you’ve no one else to thank for your circumstance than you. If you’ve looked in the paper or online once and not seen your dream job are you seriously thinking this was enough? 

Do you know what you love about your job? There was usually something that made you do it in the first place or has kept you in it for so long so what is it? Make a list, write it down and keep it in a place you can look at it on the bad days. If you really can’t find anything perhaps it’s time to put your big girl/boy pants on, pull them up as high as they will go and do something different. I know it’s not easy, I know sometimes it’s like doing the impossible but if you want it there is a way. 

You may need help, advice, support and training on a practical level but the first thing you need is to  grab hold of those pant tops, find the courage you have locked inside and decide change is what is needed. Believe it’s possible, believe it’s in your power, believe you can because you can and if you really want it, you will. Have courage my friend and find what you love or love what you do – if you are lucky you will do both in time.