Are you coping, or living ?

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
― Dawna MarkovaI Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion

 

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‘ We are so often unaware that we are coping rather than living’  – John Hamwee , Touching the energy of bone. 

This quote leapt off the page at me recently, while reading a text book about Zero Balancing.  ZB  uses touch and  the energy of bone to rebalance a person’s energy and structure.  The words enabled me to see that I had indeed been coping and not living – saying yes to any work that came my way , from a fear of financial lack , and not  building in any down time to recharge my batteries.

I have found the therapy has been a  wonderful reset for me and helped me to feel very still, calm and grounded. I took part in a 4 day introductory training earlier this year, partly to learn new skills and techniques to help others, and partly, as is so often the case, to enhance and build on my own personal self development. Amongst many insights I gained from it has been a greater awareness of my own needs and how I really need to take care of and invest in my own health and wellbeing as a continuous and intentional journey, and not simply dabble in it.

For this reason, so that I can move from simply ‘coping’ , to a life which has more pleasure and more joy and more  beautiful moments which I am present to , I am taking some time over the next few weeks of summer , to :-

a) declutter and reorganise my home – not to live a minimalist lifestyle, I enjoy my home comforts and cosiness, but to ensure that everything in my home does indeed bring me joy, here and now, and is part of the me I want to move towards in the future. There is plenty of space for memories and keepsakes, I simply need to be sure I still want to keep things. It also involves moving items around the home to a different place – yesterday I moved a beautiful bright painting, from a place out of sight upstairs, to a place in the entrance hall and it is now the first place my eyes rest when I come home. I smile every time I see it. This is the energy I want in my home,not stuck and stagnant energy from times now past. I have items brought here from my childhood home 5 years ago,which  I needed then – and now many I no longer need to have stored away in a box in the loft.

Following a recent art retreat in Italy , I now also want a dedicated space to paint.

b) I am also taking some time out to focus on the direction I want to take my business in,  going forward from here – and to create a way to bring those services to the wider public eye.

I do know that focusing on work which brings me the greatest joy and is a pleasure to offer, is my way forward now. I intend to live my life fully and not just cope with it.

Mainly, I want to use the skills and talents I have learnt from investing in myself over recent years , to help and empower others to find the joy in their own lives and together practice techniques to help manage anxieties, overwhelm and stress.

This may start with telling the truth to yourself, understanding and owning your emotions, and really knowing that we can learn various techniques to manage our feelings.

I have a wish that we all feel as supported in our lives as I did in this thermal pool in Ischia recently.

May we all float calmly through our lives and ask for the support we need ,when we need it, knowing that support is always available to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye, thank you, and awesome wonder.

img_7802-1How do you say Good bye to your mother for probably the last time?

Stroke her hair
Hold her hand
Gently rub her feet
Smile
Eye contact

She smiled in recognition when she saw me

Answer the repeated question numerous times
‘Are you my eldest daughter? Are you Mary ?’

Yes, yes I am.


In spite of the tears,
Whisper ‘  Thank you ‘
and say

‘ It’s time, go to sleep when you are ready’

Repeat. and repeat

And then
A kiss on the forehead
A last shared smile
One more look over my shoulder
A wave, turn
and
leave the room.

and go for my train

home.

Later, I wrote these words to be spoken at her funeral.

Beryl’s Legacy

Mum was born in 1930, deep in the woods at a house called Brockadale Edge, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

It feels so right and perfect that she has chosen a woodland burial, so that she has come from, and will now return to, the woods, and that we are blessed that in the future, we will be able to come back to the woods, to this lovely sacred spot, to remember her life here amongst the trees.

She has left a legacy within us all, of her love and enjoyment of nature,
Of her delight in each sunrise,
In noticing the shape of a tree against the sky,
Of watching the formation of clouds,
Of feeding and observing the garden birds, (as did her mother before her),
To exclaim with joy at the first snowdrop appearing in Spring
And of appreciating the glorious colours of the leaves in the Autumn.

The words of the hymn How Great Thou Art come to mind

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
thy power throughout the universe displayed:

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze;

She gave us a sense of ‘ Awesome wonder’ and for this, on behalf of us all, children and grandchildren and generations to come, we say Thank you and, as we used to say, when I was away at sea for months and months , where ever you are in the world, we can still see the same moon.

Curiosity – the stories begin here

Two days ago I created a vision page in response to the question , what are you curious about ?
Sometimes when I vision, a page just falls together and as I cut and glued, I wrote the words ‘ I am curious to discover, if I went away to a cottage by myself, how would I spend my time? Would I watch the sky, listen to the wind and begin to write my stories ?’
Yesterday,I carried in from my garage several boxes of memories, diaries and letters and souvenirs from my travelling days ,and overnight a feeling has been growing that it is time to start my book, if only for my daughters and their families in the future.
Then a friend directed me to nanowrimo – National November Writing Month , and it feels as if events are pointing me in this direction. I’m excited, and a little scared too – I’ll keep you posted.

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Sacred pause

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Recently I  spent almost a week in Bristol, in the south west UK – 5 days of Deep Massage Training with David Lauterstein from Austin, Texas , with a travel day each side of the course. The course content was transformational for me – anatomy came alive and made sense in a way that it never did before -muscles began to make total sense and my confidence grew that I could be effective, not just in delivering a relaxing massage experience, but that I could deliver an efficient massage offering pain relief. At another level, the week was a very spiritual experience as we opened each day to a wonderful meditation, as David played his guitar, and discussed breathing, centring, our quality of touch, facilitating the client to release from the inside and take ownership of  their healing experience and so much more.

It has been some years since I landed alone in,  and set out to explore , and  discover , a brand new city and I remembered the power of how we grow through opening ourselves to new experiences, and limit ourselves if we don’t. While I was working at sea in my 20’s I explored so many different ports and cities in the world – I realised it had been a while and was delighted to remind myself how it felt.

One evening I set out and walked for 3 hours, discovering the city, absorbing new sights and choosing where to eat. I realise how often back home I tell myself the story that I don’t have time ,or am too tired to go for long walks and now I know I can – simply put one foot in front of another and discover where my feet take me – the benefits are huge.

As I left the flat where I had been staying with a friend, something prompted me to pause and take a photo of my feet – I had a strong feeling of stepping out in the new, of new beginnings, of wondering who I was now, after this experience, and with this new found knowledge and knowing,  and how will it change me.

The very next day, via a visioning prompt in Sheila Howe’s ( @The Willow’s Raven) #sacredmagic course, I realised that what I photographed was a sacred pause, and fully appreciated the value of stopping , take an inhale, let your breath exhale and then move into the day. ( Thank you Sheila )

I will simply add that the words ‘feel the magic’ literally jumped onto the image of my pause.

Where can you find, and take, a pause in your day today ?

 

 

 

 

Light yourself up

Do you know what lights you up? Makes you feel sparkly and glow and warm from the inside out? Do you take time to do those things ? Do you follow your yes, your want?

I have thought this week that at times I feel like a lighthouse – at different times, I have guided someone, shone a light , helped steer back to safe water , and I see a reflected glow in their face of how I am feeling – and I realised that to be able to do this, to light others up, I first have to know how to, and take time to, light myself up.

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I do this in a number of ways – I do a daily self reiki practice, and lately use the more ‘whooshy’ Seichem energy ,  I get as much sleep as I can, I drink lots of water, I stretch, I move, I love taking time to read or write poetry and recently to draw and sketch how I am feeling first thing in the morning – I have found that showing up to a blank sketch book has moved from being scary to being a really enjoyable practice and taking time to vision feels so important to me too.

One night this week, I came in from work, exhausted , and awfa grumpy – I had stopped to buy crusty bread and stinky cheese on my way home , and sat down to eat while catching up on facebook news of the day. I suddenly noticed how sluggish I felt, I was adding to the grumpy and not addressing it. I recalled my word of the year Vibrant, and knew I was not feeling it, or supporting myself to feel it.

I literally jumped up and went through to the kitchen, chose some pleasant back ground music,  and within minutes made a citrus and ginger juice, and felt the goodness swirling around my body. I then began gathering veg to make soup , and soon the smells and flavours in the kitchen were uplifting me  and bringing me back to Vibrant,

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and I knew I had done right to  follow my intuition – the crusty bread and runny cheese were not the best choice that night.

So, sometimes I need to remind myself that I know how to light myself up , before I can pass that energy on to others

 

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How do you light yourself up, fill your own well, top up your tea pot, bring back the extraordinary,  so that you have enough for yourself and for others?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me Time

How and when do you claim your ‘me ‘ time , and what gets in the way ? Sometimes, it is only ourselves and our old stories that get in the way.

On Friday afternoon, I finished a session with a client around 1 pm, and he enquired what was next in my day- I had no further appointments booked in the afternoon and as I was driving homewards , I noticed that after an extremely wet start to the day, the sky was now blue and the sun was shining. I realised I had that ‘Friday feeling’ and that the day was mine to do with as I chose. What a privelege and what a joy.

My plan had been to go home and do my accounts and paperwork for the week. As I drove past the Riverside Museum in Glasgow and saw the masts of the tall ship Glenlee against the sky – I felt an old familiar urge to go down to the sea .. Continue reading

2016 – Foundation, Whoosh, and Vibrant 

As we moved towards 2016, I was drawn to choosing the word and the intention of Foundation as my guiding word for the year.

I first became aware of a resonance around it during Day 1 of Carrie Hensley’s 30 days of self care during September 2015 . It took me until Day 8 to take time to do day 1 video,  and when I did it lit me up in so many ways and I felt such a difference in my body.

I don’t do yoga regularly and was unfamiliar with the concept of Foundation, and quickly realised that this is where I have to start – creating and developing a strong foundation and building on that to go forwards

“As the foundation is laid, so the walls of the house will rise.”

Foot massage was included , to my surprise, who knew foot massage and foot care was part of yoga?  I did not know this before .  Of course, if I do not look to and look after my feet, which are such a big part of my foundation, my strength and my steadiness, then I will not be in a fit place in a few years time to continue offering massage, which I am passionate about. This was a lighbulb moment – I massage other peoples feet with great love,  care and attention several times a week,why was I not massaging my own regularly? I sometimes did, but this moment set my intentions on creating a practice around it. Why not take a few minutes after my morning shower and again before bed, and give my own feet some love?

I believe that the feet are  like our second heart, they move  the blood back upwards around our body and if mine are not in good health, then my circulation is not all it could be.

Foundation also means other important things to me – it is creating a solid base from which to move forward into my 59th year, into my 60’s and onwards. This is a crucial time in my life where my health seems to matter far more then ever before and I have such an awareness that I cannot take it for granted.

Foundation is having an awareness of how my life has brought me here to this point and of how I can choose my way forwards. I have strong roots from which to fly.

It is about ensuring I have enough rest, when I need it; when I need to recharge my own batteries. When I spotted this gorgeous velvety chaise lounge jewellry box

  I knew it was just what I needed, as when my gaze settles on it, I exhale and check in with my energy levels – do I need to stop and take 3 slow deep breaths ? do I need a nap ? Or I do feel just fine ? Plus it brings me great joy.

Foundation means keeping myself fully hydrated – I fill a beautiful jug full of water and fill it with lemon and lime, or grapefruit, or mint and cucumber – the more I drink the more I seem to crave and become aware of how much my body needs it.

 It is about continuing to create a space to live my life in ,that I am happy in, which is clear and spacious and contains treasured things which are relevant to me now, and letting go of clutter from the past. This process is ongoing and I feel lighter every time I make more space. Space to be me. Space to breathe. Space to create and to flow and to grow. Space to dance and to cook. Space to enjoy my own company and space to enjoy the company of others when I choose to do so.

Foundation is about fully knowing the state of my finances and knowing how much income I need and what I need to do each week and month to assure that, and this takes me back to my feet – if I do not look after my feet and and my body, and ensure their health, and if I am not careful about what I put into my body , and about how  I choose physical activity to move my body , then I will not be healthy and able to earn  my living.

Paying attention to my body and my heart and then taking action. I have been showing up to a blank page each morning and sketching how I feel in that moment , and today, I painted a feather with acrylic paint. Creativity and having fun with it, and the courage to try new art mediums is playing a major part of my life in 2016.

and then the word Whoosh found me … I realised I felt excited about 2016 and I told a friend I wanted to Whoosh into 2016, to live an uncorked life – like a champagne cork popping..

Clearly, if I do not tend to my Foundation, I will be unable to Whoosh..

and then ,on New Year’s Eve, an online meditation around how I want to feel in 2016 brought me to the feeling of Vibrant, and so Vibrant it is – I intend to radiate vibrancy .

( Oh yes, and I am co hosting a Simple Sanctuary Retreat in Tuscany,in May, and this will be another post – Foundation, Whoosh and Vibrant all rolled into one week ❤ )