Today I Am Grateful For …

I have spent the last few days at my best friends house. Circumstances had sadly prevented me from visiting for a while, so I am especially delighted to be here now. I’ve been having lots of fun with her two sons who are full of cuddles and “I Love You!!”s. I can soak that kind of stuff up all day long. Who wouldn’t enjoy such squishy salutation every half an hour or so?

In a quiet moment (which to be fair come few and far between in a house that contains young boisterous boys) I thought I would share a little practice I took up a few years ago, which helps me to capture such smile inducing moments as these, as well as giving me a space to consider the gifts that the harder days in life may have to offer.Read More »

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Poison Ivy & Ninja Skills

It is the darndest thing. When you have a mind that, for whatever perverse reason, would rather see you suffer than be at peace. It looks for things to worry about. It looks for things that will hurt you. And, if it cannot find them readily, it will invent them. And my God is it good at that!

I have such a mind.

As I wrote in my last post, some good things have happened for me of late. They had been a long time in coming. Prior to their arrival, I was battling hard to keep on top of the anxiety monsters that were growling and growing in my stomach. Though winning most rounds in this bare-knuckle fight, some days it was a very close run thing. There were many days I had to talk myself down from a full-blown panic attack.

Then these good things came along all of a sudden. And my anxiety got really confused, and not a little angry. And ever since, it has been trying its damnedest to find new things to trouble me with. Read More »

Inspiration From The New Kids On My Block

I spent a few days at my brother’s last weekend. It was so lovely to see him and his gorgeous family. I felt the most myself I have felt for a good while – briefly stepping away from current stresses (which have been causing regular nausea and anxiety), and just being with this person – who in many ways feels like the other half of the person I am. Though we do not live near one another (sadly) our shared experiences attach us with a bond that I could feel with no other human being. I don’t have to ‘Be’ anything with my brother. I am just me and he is just he. I don’t have to pretend I’m fine if I’m not, or hide the things that are not working right now, and I am pleased to say he doesn’t do that with me either. Even though we are both struggling in our different ways at present, it felt good to be there for one another. As it has always been. As it always will be.

It was so joyful (as ever) to see my niece and nephews too. What beautiful, humour filled, captivating people they are. So full of what they are doing and what comes next in their lives. I am truly envious of them sometimes. With it all ahead of them.

All of their choices there for the taking

All possible mistakes there for the making

And their young hearts open to the inevitability of breaking

Read More »

Lessons Learned Log: My mind is not a sausage machine

Some of the best advice I was ever given was by a friend of mine who knew I was wrestling with a particular problem, and making myself sick trying to force the answer to emerge. She bought me a greeting card and gave it to me, a few days before I took myself off on my first ever silent retreat, to try and figure out what on earth I was going to do next with my life.

The card shared the following words from Rainer Maria Rilke:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves”

These words (taken from a letter written by Rilke in 1903) continued ….Read More »

The Writing Cat Is Out Of The Bag

So, I got found out.

I had already openly volunteered the fact I had been doing some writing to the people closest to me. A number of them had said they would like to read what I had been writing, asking me where they could find my blog etc, etc. I have however, been very protective of it to date, explaining that right now I am writing anonymously, because that is the only way it is going to work. Putting myself out there in this way was hard enough. I knew fine well that my creative spirit would be well and truly squished by an awareness of family, friends (worse still minor acquaintances), looking on, discussing, judging. That was not what this blog was about. Read More »

Little Droplets of Self Love

Just like integrity, self-care is that right thing that you do when nobody else is watching. It is those tiny little acts to show yourself that you are worth a little kindness, a little time, a little love. It is something that we forget to do. It is something we might consider for others, but often neglect to do for ourselves.

If we are depressed, we may actively prevent ourselves doing such things, because we do not believe we warrant the trouble, the effort, the consideration. We might savagely do the opposite, to punish ourselves or perversely confirm some perceived failing.

It doesn’t have to be Mediterranean meditation, or mountain top yoga, or that super expensive spa thing that you like (though that would be lovely of course, if it were possible, on occasion).

It is those simple, tiny, everyday things you can do for yourself to show love.Read More »

The Revelatory Reset

A few weeks ago I made a complete haimes of something.
I sent an email with an error in it.
To an ex-boss.
What I considered to be an important email.
And what, honestly, was quite an important error.
In an already awkward email.
Where errors were definitely not required.

I couldn’t believe it had happened.
That would never have happened to ‘Old Me’.
The ‘Check everything 600 times’ me (and then 37 more for luck).
The ‘Reread that same email a further 90 times post-send’ me – to make sure it set the right tone, and it couldn’t possibly hack anybody off, and wouldn’t cause any discomfort, or annoyance, or be a burden on anyone else’s day.
The me who would apologise for the inconvenience and presumption of taking up space in somebody else’s inbox. The sheer effrontery!Read More »