A walk in my garden

I have a garden. I have a garden in my head. I have a garden in my head where I go to just be. This garden is my sanctuary when I’m tired, drained, worried, needing answers, just needing space. This garden gives me back what I need. Sometimes peace, sometimes energy, sometimes answers that I’ve been searching for but couldn’t see in my busy head and sometimes I meet loved ones there and stay a while and chat. It’s a place that gives me back…. well, me.

Do you have a place where you go? It might be a physical place or it might like mine, be in your head. It’s a place you can do anything, be anyone, sort through your thoughts with no interruption, ask yourself questions, answer your own questions or that which are being asked of you. It’s a sorting place. It’s a breathing space. 

If you don’t what would yours look like? In what space do you feel most safe, at peace, able to let go of whatever tensions you carry in the day? It may be a garden, a room, a place you hold dear. It may not be a place but a person. It may be someone special you go and meet in your head and put the world to rights. Today I chatted to my friends dad and my grandad. They aren’t physically there obviously but they are in my head and we chat. Sounds madness I am sure but it brings a calm to me and sometimes reassurance and sometimes the gentle shove I need to keep going.

Today a I started my day later than usual as I knew last night I needed rest so I switched off my alarm and had an extra hour and when I went to my garden during my meditation it was very much about restoring me. I chatted, I sat, I took just a few minutes in the warm sunshine, smelling the roses and listening to the stream gurgling past. So now I am ready for whatever the day brings and I can give me without fear of exhausting myself or letting those who need me down. It’s a vital part of who I am and what I do. It’s my time to make me a priority.

When do you make you a priority and how do you do it? If you don’t ask yourself who, apart from you, are you letting down by not being a priority in your own life? If you aren’t present, if you are tired, if you are worrying, stressed, anxious what have you got to give those you love? 

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The answers yes so what’s the question

The answers yes so what’s the question is a tag line from a local electrician I know and just this last week I heard Richard Branson use the same phrase! Different backgrounds, careers and lifestyles but their thinking is exactly the same. This attitude is spot on. Why do we spend so much of our lives turning things down, jobs, opportunities, relationships, dreams – all because we think we can’t do it or make it work.

I absolutely love the can do approach to anything and although I went through a phase of saying no before I even thought about whether I could actually doing something, my way of working has always been yes I can. My first job in London was accepted on a “can you do that”, “yes I can” approach. That was the longest weekend ever actually learning that software (80’s where you could still tell fibs about your abilities and keep your job)!

Never say no to an opportunity. You have no idea where it might lead you. What if it brings you your dream job, a new relationship, meeting someone who changes your life or simply makes you the happiest you have ever been. What a waste to let it pass because you think you can’t, shouldn’t or don’t deserve to.

What have you got in your life that would be transformed with a risk being taken? How different could you make your life by taking a chance? Who are you missing out on meeting or being with because you think you shouldn’t or can’t? Where will you be if you just say no without trying? Exactly where you are now I feel.

You always have to weigh risk against value gained but sometimes, just sometimes taking a chance and saying yes and learning how to later can be the most exciting, most productive, creative, empowering, life changing decision you make.

What are you willing to say yes to today? 

Scary is good

Being scared is on the same emotional spectrum as being excited. Being excited is a positive experience. That said we make being scared out to being negative. Why do we do that? And how often do we tell ourselves we are scared when actually we are a bit nervous or just plain excited?

Yesterday I took myself well away from where I am comfortable. I have never considered myself to be a natural speaker, especially with large groups of people but that was the old me who lacked confidence in her own abilities. Now I know I can if I actually make the effort and in fact have been told I speak naturally and easily in public. This still surprises me a little when that “you can’t do this” gremlin whispers in my ear but then I shake myself and admit that yes I can and I can do it well.

It’s so good to try something you are uncomfortable with because when you have done it, even if it wasn’t as fabulous as you would have liked, you have done it. You have achieved. Never again can you tell yourself “I can’t do this”. Being uncomfortable for that short time can lead to so much self confidence, an increase in self esteem, gives other’s a different you to look at and who knows what else. That choice would be yours!

I was interviewed on our new local ‘Ribble FM’ radio station with my networking hat on, discussing the pros and cons for businesses. I was unsure as the gremlin whispered in my head,  but as I was told I was doing it rather than being asked to, I thought I’d better get on with it! I loved it. Absolutely loved it. After the first few seconds I forgot there was anyone but the two of us. Only afterwards when someone passed comment did I remember there were people actually listening. 

So with that in mind…..the woman who always said she was shy, no good at speaking and had nothing of interest to say….you better move over as this woman is on a roll and there is no stopping me now!

You can do this, achieve this, feel like this. You can do this by pushing your own boundaries little by little. You can do this by allowing yourself to be uncomfortable for a few minutes at a time in an environment where you feel safe. You can do this because you are strong. You can do this because you deserve to be the best you can be. You can do this because life should be taken by the scruff of the neck sometimes and given a shake up. You can do this because you deserve to enjoy life and live rather than survive. You can do this…..

Living with second best

Do you accept mediocre? Do you expect great service wherever you go? Do you set high expectations from others when they provide a service or item or task? So why do you allow mediocre for yourself?

Of that’s harsh I hear you say. I do my very best I can hear you muttering. Well that’s all fabulous if you want to lie to yourself but really….do you accept mediocre from yourself? Many of us do and it’s normal but that doesn’t make it acceptable. If you aren’t sure, how many times do you catch yourself saying “oh that will do”, “oh it’s okay I will manage” or “no it’s fine as it is”. That is accepting mediocre. 

You are an amazing, loving, intelligent human being but sometimes, just sometimes, you need to stand up to yourself and say “that is not good enough and I won’t accept it”! Don’t accept not having enough money, working in a job you dislike, living somewhere that makes you unhappy, being with someone you no longer love or being let down by people who are supposed to be your friends. That is accepting second best. Making you second best. You are worth more than that.

Allow yourself to give you the very best in life. No it’s not easy but if you strive for perfection and you work hard what reason is there for not attaining it? I spent many years setting standards high and always being disappointed. Why? Because I didn’t take responsibility for them. I put the expectation on myself but actually wanted others to help me achieve them. Why on earth would they? These were my goals, my dreams, my desires and others were busy living their own dreams with no reason to create mine. Nowadays I set my goals, targets, plans, whatever you choose to call them and I am 100% responsible for the outcome. It’s empowering, exciting, challenging and achievable with the right determination and heart.

If you could achieve one thing today what would it be? What would success look like? How would achieving it feel to you? What energy would it give? Would you be willing to accept you’d not achieved, half accomplished, nearly did it? What would that feel like? Feel different don’t they? 

Dream big. Set yourself a high bar. Accept only the best as its what you deserve.

Stop fighting…. surrender

I was once so scared of my own emotions, so overwhelmed by them I fought them every single day. I was scared to love, scared to love me, scared to love others. The power of that emotion was so strong I thought if I allowed myself to feel I would lose every ounce of control and my world would fall apart. I felt that if I loved all the emotional baggage I carried would be released and I wouldn’t be able to cope. A bit like a dam, once there was a small crack in the wall the end result was too big to even consider.

To lose control and allow yourself to feel is, I have since learnt, the best thing you can do, the only thing to do. Until you surrender to your own emotions you will never gain. Without giving, giving you, you have a very lonely life ahead of you. People will try to penetrate this wall you are stood behind, they will chip away and chip away. Some will try harder than others but eventually they will all give up because the task is too hard, too big and with nothing but frustration and hard work there is no pleasure.

To make yourself vulnerable is one of the scariest things to do. To lay yourself naked of all barriers and say “this is me take me or leave me” is frightening as someone may well choose the latter. It’s okay. You will survive.

The freedom that surrender brings is quite indescribable for me. It’s a lightness, warmth, vivid colour. It’s a tinkling laughter, like that of a very small child. It’s the smell of freshly mown grass on a warm summers day. It’s a dark cavern lit by the vibrancy of diamonds as a light is shone. It’s silence, a silence so peaceful that it fills you with love and an overwhelming sense of just being. 

My purpose in life, through my massage, is to provide for you a safe haven, a place of calm, safety, security where it’s okay to just experience being you, to listen to your own thoughts. I keep the space. I watch over you while you surrender to your own emotions and let them go. My promise to all those lost, scared souls out there is to protect whilst you find your way home.

Surrender to your emotions and explore the world with eyes that you’ve never seen through. It’s amazing.

Be ridiculous, be the child

As an adult I think we tend to take the world a little too seriously sometimes. We forget to be children. We forget to look at life through the naivity of a child. We forget to have fun.

Yesterday I received a message from a friend, it was only an emoji, no words and it made me laugh out loud. The fact that it made me giggle made me giggle even more. Something so ridiculous brightened my whole day. We all need moments like this one. 

Just check with yourself about the last time you properly laughed. The last time something caught you off guard and made you giggle. The last time you cried with laughter. The last time you smiled a genuine smile. For some people that is an awfully long time. Too long. I can happily say that I have friends and loved ones who make me smile, giggle and laugh every single day but it hasn’t always been that way so I count my blessings for them.

Being the child sometimes doesn’t mean you are lacking in responsibility, it doesn’t mean you are stupid, it doesn’t mean you won’t be taken seriously. It simply is a way of releasing the stress, worries and seriousness that the life of an adult brings with it. It’s a release pure and simple. If you find you can’t see the answer to something, ask yourself to look again with the eyes of. Child. Keep it simple, look from a different angle, stop trying to make things mean something they don’t.

Life can be very stressful, there is pressure to achieve so very much. Deadlines. Targets. Be on time all the time. Dress appropriately. Mind what you say and to whom. Keeping the ‘executive’ head on at all times. Money. Work. Family….. The list is endless with very little room for freedom, fun, banter, laughter, giggles or silliness so you have to make sure you add that in. Ride the trolley in the supermarket, wear something just for fun (she says whilst sat in unicorn pjs), send someone a picture to make them smile. Sometimes a random act of madness makes everyone feel better.

Lighten up people! There is enough seriousness in the world right now so today be on a mission to have fun, giggle, be the child, be your inner child.

What are you worth?

How many things, people, jobs, tasks, journeys do you put ahead of you, your needs, dreams, thoughts, desires or space? How much love do you show yourself? Who looks after you?

What I do is heal. I take the beautiful gift I have been given and I heal the wounded soul, the burnt out, the stressed and those injured in mind or body. I was born to use touch to reenergise another human being, taking them from a perpetual state of flux to a lower vibration where calm meets an emotional feeling of comfort, warmth and serenity.

We all deserve to feel still, safe, loved. Man or woman. Young or old. Every human being has the right to find an hour or two of peace, pleasure, something to look forward to. In a world of rush, stressful decisions, juggling hats of all shapes and sizes, swapping masks and costumes to suit any occasion we deserve the gift of stillness.

So why do we put ourselves to the bottom of the pile? Why do we sometimes ignore totally our need to stop and breathe? Usually image. What would people say or think if they saw us taking time for ourselves before another in our family or before we finish that last job or be selfish enough to give ourselves a gift? What others say or think is none of your business.

What I do is heal. I take these hands and gently hold the space until you are ready to step into it. I wait. I invite you to step forward, step in and then stop. Many are worried about massage before they experience it, the fragility of self, giving control to another person. Trust is huge. Massage is about creating relationships, knowing each other, understanding, allowing control to be one sided and being open to the energy, the gift I give freely, openly, generously. Touch is still the most powerful experience and when done with intent to heal can only be a positive one.

So I ask again, when will you show yourself love? When will you allow yourself to be looked after? When will you diarise an hour each month for you to come alive again?

I am here to hold the space for you so you can come to me, just an hour of your time, to place yourself safely in my hands, to stop, to just be.

I invite you to breathe…..

Needing some answers

If you’ve always got the impression I am quite sane and life is perfect perhaps you shouldn’t read on today….. If you know, experience or understand mental health issues feel free to read on….

To understand I’ve always asked questions. To be at peace with something, even if it’s a bad thing, I’ve always needed to understand. Some things though you just have to accept and never know. This may be because there is no one to ask or just because no matter how many times you ask an answer, it just isn’t possible and the noise has to remain in your head.

Voices shouting. A tangled web of noise and spaghetti like mess intertwining and allowing those feelings of chaos of disorder. It’s about learning what’s normal in your head and what isn’t and then doing what you can to cope with it. Sometimes it is simply a feeling, an emotion and you have to accept it and wait for it to go away.

Visualisation. A fabulously useful skill to use. A powerful refuge when needing some peace from the chaos in your head. Today I can see the spaghetti but not like yesterday where there was no breaking through the noise. Today I can see the dog from ‘Lady and the Tramp’ at the table helping out. As silly as it sounds seeing that dog sucking on the length of pasta and slowly unraveling it on my behalf helps. Firstly it makes me smile, especially as the sauce is actually butter for some reason and it’s flicking off as he eats it but secondly I can see the pile of tangled pasta getting smaller and smaller and that gives me clarity.

The pasta is gone but he appears to have left some meatballs so clearly there is something to be dealt with but that’s the joy of being able to give myself  time and space, I can see there’s an issue and that gives clarity and understanding and eventually peace. If I can see it I can deal with it. Meditation being the first port of call and after that we will see.

It’s fabulous being in my head sometimes with its creativity and colour and freedom to think and be myself and sometimes it’s pretty scary as that big red self destruct button could easily be pushed. Thankfully I know now that if I do press that button all the hard work and the brilliant business I have created would be gone and that price is too high to pay. My family deserves more than that. I deserve more than that. So the loveable Tramp will have to continue to eat that spaghetti and I will have to try and turn down the volume on the noise until normality is resumed. 

Time to work on the meatballs…..

How fast we travel through life

Ever feel like things are moving so fast you can’t keep up. Driving the motorway back from Scotland nudged me into wondering why we insist on everything being so fast in life these days. Why do we feel the need to rush everywhere and everything we do? Why do we place so much importance on speed?

I need my internet connection to be fast, I need the ability to think quickly on my feet and I need to use my time wisely to get the most done in it BUT I do not need to rush my conversations, I do not need to rush into decisions and I do not need my relationships to move so quickly that I don’t really get to know someone properly.

I watched cars, trucks, motorbikes all rushing to reach their destination, sometimes putting their lives and those of the other road users at risk. Weaving in and out of traffic, not indicating so others had no idea of their intent and driving so close to each other they were nearly able to touch. 

How we do this too! We rush, bobbing in and out of people’s lives without thinking about our impact or what or who we stand on; we don’t give an indication of what we want or need yet expect others to understand and we can get so close that it’s suffocating because we don’t allow others their space.

What’s the need for this speed? Why can’t we slow down and enjoy the journey, the view, the experiences along the way? How do expect to gain anything from life if we go so quickly though the day that we miss out on what we did? Who are we missing out on by just putting our foot down and seeing only the destination?

Speed is sometimes essential but just remember to sometimes take the back road and look at the surroundings, talk to the people along the way and experience life.

Letting go

When you take your child back to uni (mine goes early after just three weeks as she’s studying nursing) it is one of the hardest and the best things in the world. Hard because they are going to be so far away (6.5 hours) and best because they are so happy studying what they love and what they were born to do. My daughter may not yet be qualified but she is and always has been a nurse. Caring, loving, a fixer, tactful, empathetic, understanding and a fabulous listener. Qualities I admire and love her for.

How many times do we let go with only sadness and yet if we step back just a little we could probably let someone go with happiness, pride, understanding and most of all, love. Even those leaving us when they no longer love us. Wouldn’t life feel easier if you see the good with someone going, thank them for what they gave rather than what they took away.

Many, many years ago I was in a very abusive relationship and the bruises remained inside long after the beatings stopped and for a long time I remembered only with hate that time in my life. Thankfully as I look back I can now look back and be thankful for all I learnt and who it made me. I am stronger because of of it. I know my self worth because of it. I love more because of it. I treat others with love even when it’s hard because of it.

Letting go isn’t just about letting a person go, it’s about letting go of emotional baggage, letting go of hurt, letting go of uncertainty and fear and letting go of the many layers of ourselves that we use and showing the real you. When you know who this is you can take life in your stride and enjoy it, love it, even when it has a temporary hurt.

So today I will do the 6.5 hour drive to Inverness, kiss my daughter goodbye and be thankful. Be thankful that I have such a beautiful, kind, loving, wise daughter who makes my heart burst with pride every time I think of her. I won’t be sad as she is happy, studying her passion in life, is loved and cared for by her friends and family and has her whole future to begin. How exciting a place to be. How could I be sad to see her go again.