Being gentle isn’t being weak

At what point did we as women decide that we had to be like a man? When did we think that matching them beer for beer, swearing, fighting and not allowing love in was a good thing? What happened to the women who are gentle, ladylike, who appreciate a door being held open, who take a compliment with thank you and who looked like women?

I love the fact that women can be who they need to be, are strong, courageous, doing jobs they choose not that are chosen for them but at what point did they think they had to behave like a man to do it. Feminine doesn’t mean giving in. Ladylike doesn’t mean inferior. Gentle doesn’t mean weak. 

I hope I have taught my daughter to be independent, strong minded, brave, to ask questions, to achieve everything she desires but I hope I have installed in her to love herself, care for what she looks like and how she comes across to others, is aware of her impact on others and to be gentle in her treatment of all she comes across in her lifetime. I hope I have taught her that she can know her own mind and still be cared for, romanced and treated with respect. Everything she gives herself she has a right to expect and allow from others.

There’s nothing wrong with drinking, dressing to please yourself, being the person you are inside and being true if, and only if, you are doing it because it’s who you are not who you think you should be to fit in.

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

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It’s like Finding Nemo

I hope you know this film otherwise this will make no sense at all ! Finding Nemo, the story of a small damaged fish looking for adventure, over protected by his loving father, always wanting him to stay in the ‘safe zone’ in his life, for all the right, good, loving reasons I hasten to add. 

What happens when we stay in our safe zone? That place where we know where we are, what everyone’s expectations on us are, there are no road bumps we can’t manage as we know where each of them are without looking and where the people around us have giant pieces of bubble wrap up for us to land on should we go too fast or fall over. What happens when we stay? Do we grow, thrive, expand our zone, learn? We may to a certain extent but not a great deal.

What happens if we knock all the walls down, jump straight onto a motorbike and race out into the unknown? Well I guess it would certainly be exciting and quite scarey and a little bit dangerous, especially if you don’t know how to ride and don’t have a licence.

What about taking the middle ground? Once you recognise the need or desire to expand your world away from the sea anemones and move you out towards the shelf that drops you into the deeper ocean, take a look at what this takes. See what you may need to take with you, what skills, what knowledge, where the dangers may be lurking and what they may be, tell people where you are going to make you accountable but keep you safe and most of all have fun on the adventure because an adventure it is. Preparation creates success and ensures you don’t dive back to your safe zone after one try.

You will meet people on your journey, embrace the new, the different and learn from them. You will know who is to become a friend and who is better left behind. Trust your judgement. You will learn many things about you, about life and about others. Enjoy the new experiences, make a mental note of what worked and what didn’t. Don’t shy away from standing out in a crowd. Regret nothing. Even if it didn’t work or you weren’t over excited or it took you down a path you then had to reverse up it doesn’t matter, it’s all part of learning, of the experience of living.

Life will happen, with or without you changing the status quo, it’s the natural order but life gives you choices, growth, fun, laughter, new experiences, self development and life allows you to live and feel alive. All you have to do is turn up and decide you want to take part. Nemo had his adventure and his father found him and saw a new Nemo, a well developed, stronger, braver, happier Nemo. Be Nemo!

Letting go

🎶I can’t seem to master the art of letting you go🎶.  Infamous song lyrics rear themselves in my thoughts this morning. 

I have been undertaking a mammoth adventure recently of letting go. Mainly letting go of emotions that I’ve held onto like a security blanket, but some people and some things. It’s a very difficult subject to approach because there are times when you don’t even know what you need to be letting go of, you just know there’s something. Be patient, the realisation will come if you are determined to allow change into your life.

You cannot just throw things out without understanding why you need to do it or I can assure you from experience, they sneak back in when you aren’t looking. Like when you try and spring clean in the house, there will be a sense of hoarding inside you where you find reasons why you need to keep something “just in case”. No. No. No. Let it go. Put it in the proverbial bin bag and throw it out. Don’t box it and put it back in the cupboard or you will experience the desire to open it again one day.

Feeling certain emotions can be a habit and why do we acquire habits? Because they give us a feeling, a sense of achievement, a buzz, a kick that we enjoyed and want to feel again. Even if it’s a negative feeling, it’s powerful and makes us feel alive. Having a clear out of emotions that don’t serve us breaks that habit and yes there will be a sense of loss, of bereavement and emptiness but do you know, you will grow, in strength, in a feeling of empowerment and in worth.

Emotions are one thing, letting people go is hard. A void in their shape seems to stay and you can feel like you are carrying it constantly at your side but again you have to wean yourself away. For a while, if it helps, avoid places you’d see them, go to, associate with. If you have a chance  of bumping into them, imagine and practice what it will feel like to be able to acknowledge them and wish them well without hankering on like a lost puppy. If you will never see them again, think of them in a good place, a happy place and attach a good strong emotion to it without feeling sad. Again this takes practice.

Emotional baggage, habits, fear…. You aren’t unique, we all carry them round with us but it is what you do with it that is the difference between a sense of freedom and restriction or sadness. Imagine what it will feel like when you have decluttered your head, your heart and that sense of pride, satisfaction, empowerment, strength, peace that you will feel inside, the things you will see and hear like its the first time because this blockage has been removed. Huge. Hold onto that and when you are struggling, take yourself there, see it, feel it, touch it, taste it, smell it, allow it to overpower your senses and it will get you through.

Letting go is a massive step in being a stronger, more determined, healthier you. Enjoy the journey, make it a game if you have to, just don’t avoid doing it because of fear. Remember the why. Imagine how fabulous you will feel. Imagine the freedom. I know you can do this….

It’s good to talk – it’s an art form to listen

Everyone needs someone they can talk to, even the most stable appearing person has issues so don’t assume they don’t need you to listen to them.

Not everyone is loud and spills their innards at a moments notice to anyone who is passing by, so watch the quiet ones carefully and be ready to lean into them and hear their whispers.

Even the most eloquent speaker can struggle finding words to express their innermost thoughts and insecurities so take time and wait whilst they gather their thoughts.

Everyone is different, that’s what makes us such amazingly interesting humans, different abilities, different gifts, different needs but that also means we handle things differently but one thing we definitely have in common is the need to talk to someone, especially when we are troubled, confused, sad or frustrated by that marvellous adventure we call life.

Listening to another is a skill. Sometimes we hear words but not their meaning and sometimes even when we’ve listened intently we are helpless to offer anything but a hand to hold. Never assume that because you are listening that you need to also be the resolution. Sometimes you cannot help, occasionally you have to just be the ears and not the voice returned.

Listen today. Listen for the small silent cries for attention or help or advice or guidance. Watch for signs but don’t assume that someone’s silence is a cry for help. Sometimes they just need to be in their own space.  

Listening is an art form, a skill, a gift and if you have it use it well and use it wisely. If you don’t why not learn, you never know when you might feel it’s time to use it.

The flowing river

Life begins like the very beginning of a river, whether that be from a mountainside, a forest, or just a hole in the ground where it’s managed to break through the dry ground…it begins.

The river will follow the natural landscape it finds and where it finds a blockage in its way it will find another, gently moving, searching, finding. As it grows, increases in size it gains momentum, strength, power and those blockages stand less chance against it. Where before it may have found another route now, with its power, it can push them out of its way or simply ride over it. 

Continually flowing, growing, and with strength and beauty it finds its way, even when huge from rainfall and overpowering the environment around it, it has a natural beauty. It can be dangerous if not respected. It can take life. It can be a source of inspiration, fun and playfulness. It’s a creator of life and a home.

We have much to learn from this God given source of life, of beauty, of strength and yet we abuse it by taking away the environment it exists in, we ruin it by polluting it with our human rubbish, we block its flow to serve our own purpose, we fail to see the beauty because we do not look at it. Is this how we treat our fellow humans too?

Water is precious, water is life giving, water is beauty, water is a home. You are precious, you give life, you are beautiful, you are a home, a home for love. Don’t abuse your body, don’t pollute others with your rubbish, don’t block anothers way to serve yourself and look and see the beauty in yourself and others and be a home for love.

We have much still to learn from nature.

When your world awakes

Sat in what you think is silence, the moment you really focus on where you are now you find the birds singing in the garden, a gentle rumble of farm equipment in the distance, a rhythmical beeping that you can’t quite place and a thumping, almost pounding noise that is alien to you. The latter being your own heartbeat.

The world is never silent but when you really live in that single moment so much noise is going on around you but not the usual crash and bang of a day but simple noise, noise that makes you smile and an awareness of your own humanity is experienced.

That pounding that you can hear and feel in your ears and your chest is you, it’s life, its freedom, it’s courage, it’s excitement, it’s the rhythm to which you live, it’s a miracle and it is yours as a gift and one that you are totally responsible for. How you use it, care for it, prolong its existence is entirely up to you. You can choose to live by its beat or try and set another. That I think you will find is more hard work than necessary. Go with the beat, go with the rhythm. It is yours at the end of the day, no one else’s.

With a gentle rain falling and birds swooping and gliding, chasing the morning bugs for breakfast. An owl. An early bird enjoying the morning or late one heading home I wonder. The purple headed flowers, well weeds but too pretty to pull out, waving in a gentle breeze. The quiet broken by a single car and then back to the birdsong of the wren, the robin, the blackbird, the blue tit and the goldfinch all going about their morning rituals. The house begins to wake in the background as I hear a bed creak in the distance, feet padding to the bathroom, the dog sniffing at the door and still the thump in my chest reminding me to enjoy this moment.

When you take just a few moments to really hear, see, smell and feel it, you will realise what a beautiful world we live in. We have no control of all the atrocities taking place, we can only pray for their peace to come. We can control our world here and now and we can enjoy this moment because no sooner as we enjoy it, it is lost once more to time and time passes quickly as we know only too well. 

So when you can take time and hold it for a moment, listen to your world awake as you listen to your surroundings and feel the space you hold. Listen to your world as it will tell you all you need to know if you just listen with care and attention. When your world awakens enjoy all the gifts it brings and be thankful.

Letting go and having faith

Control has always been a strength of mine but that means it’s also my greatest weakness. I have been a slave to my own need to control situations, people, the past, the present and the future. By being a slave to control I have lost control of all the important things that I should be doing, making decisions that don’t serve me or others and working so hard to control my future I’ve nearly destroyed it.

I have discovered that by trying to create a future I have actually stopped it being what it should be so I’m stepping back. Just a step but letting go of some things that I’m stressing over and if it’s meant to be it will happen, with or without me trying to decide what it looks like. 

This is a new way of working for me and I know some people really won’t understand but I’ve never been one for doing what people expect and I know it is the right thing to do. I’m letting go of some things to see what they become when I let them go. That’s scarey and exciting and a little bit of bonkers all thrown in. I can’t wait.

I’ve been searching for home but whilst I hold onto that seven letter word control I will never find it. Home is in my heart and when I don’t love all that I do I don’t love me and when I don’t love me I’m not home. Therefore it holds out that when I let go of control and stop trying to make my future look a certain way I will love what life becomes and when I do that I begin to love what I do and who I do it with. With that I’m happy and with happy I love the person I become and am very definitely home.

So here’s to a few small changes, a little bit of insanity, a different way of thinking and doing and…. I have no idea what else but that’s kind of the point of letting go of control isn’t it. 

Fake or Real

Do we live in a world where we know what is fake and what is real any more. Fake appears to be acceptable. To recreate your body, to add or enhance the norm but when you go to bed at the end of the day and the false lashes are off, the nails your own, the tan washed down the plug hole and the naked you is before you in the mirror is that the real or the fake?

Do we know who is who anymore? Do we now which is the real version of a person? Do we know what lies beneath what we see? I’m not sure we do.

I feel really let down sometimes by people, people pretending to be something they aren’t. Pretending to gain approval, friendship, love. People saying one thing doing another. People hiding behind a text or an email. People hiding behind an image that really isn’t them. For what purpose? To deceive? To lie? To gain power? To commit a crime? I’ve no idea but I know it makes me sad, so sad inside that I can feel physically sick at the thought of being lied to on a daily basis by people I thought I knew.

Can I control how they work, what they do, how they go about their lives? That’s a resounding no. Can I control how I feel about it, how this affects me, whether I interact with them or not? That’s a resounding yes and it’s the only thing I can control, that and what I choose to do with these emotions.

Today I choose to turn away from the false, the liars, the dupers, the thieves, the cruel, hard faced concealers of the truth. Today I live my life with choice. With choice to be happy, to trust those I believe in and a world I want to live in. The rest I’m afraid will have to line up outside, they can knock but they can’t enter again unless it’s my choice.

Hitting your ceiling and smashing it

If you’ve read other blogs from this week you will see that life is extremely good for me right now so why am I sat here feeling rather like the day outside, grey, flat and a bit like wanting a good cry like rain falling from the sky.

Because I’ve hit my ceiling…..

(I do just have to briefly interrupt myself there as I’m opposite the window to my front garden and a black and red woodpecker just appeared right in front of me. A first for the garden. Now that bought a smile to an otherwise miserable face.)

….. My unconscious mind has said, “life is really good right now what on earth do you think your doing enjoying it. You don’t deserve to be this happy. You shouldnt feel this good. Stop.” 

Not so long ago I would have gone “quite right I will stop”, but thankfully that is no longer the woman I am and yes a couple of road bumps have been laid in front of me this week but do you know, I can see them, I can acknowledge they are higher than I would like but I have the ability to step right over them. A couple of them may need a longer run up but ultimately they are bumps in the road not permanent mountains, I can and I will get over them. 

Why bother? Because like is good, life is mine to do with it what I want and I want the feeling I’ve had all week not this one. I give myself permission to wallow in self pity for a moment because it’s good to remind myself of the world I used to live in permanently but a moment is all I’m getting. I have hit my ceiling but it’s only made of my thoughts, my restrictions and I have the ability to remove it. Smash it into a million pieces. 

I am strong. I am worthy. I am beautiful. I am worth loving. I am a woman who has come from the darkness to my sunshine and no one, especially me, is allowed to make me step back there. Come on day do your worst because your are messing with the wrong woman!

The long farewell

How many years can you take to say goodbye? How many times can you say I love you knowing it’s not enough? At what point do you say enough, life has to change, for me I have to, it’s time to move on? It can take forever to let go and it can feel like longer and impossible and hurtful and exhausting.

Whether this is saying goodbye to another human being or your old self, it’s a really hard thing letting go and saying goodbye. When you know you need to do it to secure your future, your sanity, your health, even when it’s hard it’s so very courageous to do it. If you’ve done it my heart goes to you and I truly believe you are the most courageous person I’ve never met. If you need to do it but haven’t yet quite managed as of yet be assured if it’s the right thing to do you will feel more like you when it’s done.

Letting go, saying goodbye and wishing someone well is hard but do you realise it’s probably the best thing you’ve ever done. It’s your choice, it empowers you, it gives you an inner strength. It’s gives you a future to do whatever you are required to do to make your life happier, more peaceful.

It maybe the first time you’ve ever really taken control of your life and it maybe the only time you need to as the only way from here is forward. Don’t look back. Don’t do what if and maybe. There is no need. If you’ve said goodbye it’s because you had to, because it’s the only way for your to feel better in the long term and because you know deep down its right. If it was for someone living they’ll understand, if it’s someone past they too would understand.

Goodbye is forever, goodbye is not easy, goodbye leaves a hole but it is the right thing, it’s is the best thing and you are the most courageous person for taking this decision, making this choice. Be prepared to congratulate yourself when time has passed and you can see straight once more as you deserve your own praise.

The long farewell today may feel like you’ve got lost but believe me when I say you are totally on the path you are meant to be on. Be strong. Have faith. I’m proud of you.