There is a huge hole in the heart of all our educations. It is where the skills and abilities of self-management should be. No one teaches us how to manage our thoughts, feelings, attitude and behaviour so we find it hard to manage the four “Rs” – relationships, roles, responsibilities and resources.
Choose the quality of your thoughts today – accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and clean up the waste. Everything which means everything in your life, begins with your thoughts.
It’s always a challenge to start writing when I haven’t written for so long. I experience writers block and my thought process is stagnant which is odd because my thoughts have been all over the place recently! When I was a drugs and alcohol support worker, an important part of my work involved encouraging clients to manage their thoughts, the starting point for their harmful behaviours. So when the above “daily thought” dropped into my email today, I decided it was a good reference point to get me started!
But how should I begin exactly? By reading through that which I have posted before to ensure a seamless joining up from the last entry (more than 6 months ago) to this one? Or should I just get on and write despite the risk of confusing the reader (hmmm what reader apart from me and my husband if I can persuade him!). Why would I confuse the reader? Because I know some of the goals which I had talked about at the end of 2016 have changed a little, some have not been achieved at all and some of those are now not going to be but some have been, continue to be and will be! Phew! Complicated!
Writing is my creative outlet and when I start writing after such a long period I feel a glad sense of relief for the opportunity to project my thoughts, feelings, beliefs and memories into words, this just simply helps me to process things; I don’t write this because I feel a need for people to know about me. I do however enjoy writing and for some reason I want to share what I have to say regardless of whether anyone is reading! It is an ode to myself, from my heart; therapy for my soul; reminding me of what I want to do; generating the understanding that there are some things I cannot do; reassuring me that is OK; permitting me to accept my limitations; encouraging me to stick at what I know and empowering me to find the energy and strength to accomplish what I desire; guiding my wild ideas and ambitious plans; providing me with a record of past successes and failures; joy and sadness; darkness and light; distinguishing what have been the causes and those methods that have served to improve the situation or mood; identifying what drives and motivates me, my vision and aspirations; my dreams and hopes!
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”
– Benjamin Franklin
Having briefly read back through the last few posts, I can safely say that this post will continue in the same vain as them and all that came before! (pretty boring for anyone but me, even my husband gets bored reading it!) Up until now, this blog has been all about my growth as a person; that which and who inspire me; my sense of purpose; my pain with the world; my heightened urgency to live life fully and properly; my goals and plans; my attitude, behaviour and my physical and mental health. This post will be no different but after this post, I hope to change the direction of this blog to reflect the ambitions of both myself and Robbie to follow our vocation. Our journey together is edging ever closer to our vision of how we want to live than ever before, we are possibly only less than 3 years away from a drastic change in life style! I want this blog to be a diary of our journey towards our destination.
Life is not complete unless you move. Our journeys are constant and our transitions are infinite. Our health is merely a vehicle to enjoy all that’s in between.
So, why haven’t I written for 6 months? Nothing to write about perhaps? The first couple of months of 2016 were uneventful. I seemed to get through Winter and felt fairly content for a while. Sometime in March, I believe it started to go slightly awry. Aside from the fact that I developed proper flu (!) and felt unwell for nearly three weeks, my hormones seemed to be all over the place, making me emotional much of the time. After the flu, I took the decision to take matters into my own hands and started, and continue to take a handful of supplements every day. I believe absolutely, that they have had a very positive effect on my physical health.
However, emotionally, spiritually, and socially I was starting to feel restless. My internal climate was in turmoil. The energy of my consciousness was out of control. My mind was agitated. I became obsessed with finding a new job, believing this was the answer; I completely immersed myself in organising care for my very dear friend Jac and drowned myself in sorrow and misery for the challenges she is facing; I offered my services for two more volunteering opportunities that, in my chaotic mind, I felt were created just for me and fate had dropped them in my lap! And I started Yoga to cope with it all! I distanced myself from my husband, putting up an invisible glass door between us – self-preservation. He, in turn, reacted against this and eventually things came to a head which brought me back down to Earth with a huge bump and forced me to, once again, appreciate what I have already in abundance.
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big that we fail to notice the little things that give life its magic.
Since then, I have managed to step back, without guilt or a sense of failure, from two of my previous existing voluntary positions that had been causing me so much stress: I was going to help set up a Youth Café with my friend but realised that I just was not able to devote the time and energy that it needed. It was not a hard decision and my friend was totally understanding. I had been looking forward to being involved with the Youth Justice Service also, both these positions giving me a chance to work alongside Young People again, but the realisation of how much energy this needed has finally forced me to recognise where my boundaries fundamentally stop!
In the meantime, I was inconceivably offered a job interview for an amazing role. Going to the interview was the culmination of a job search that I realise now was unnecessary and pointless. I already have a fantastic, well paid, interesting and important job that gives the time and flexibility I need to spend time with my family and Jac, and importantly, enables me to volunteer my time elsewhere! I have needed to come full circle to be reminded of that. Yet I do still feel restless in my present position and yearn for the simplicity of a paid role that would allow me to be more dynamic in more complex voluntary roles! Unfortunately, that paid role will unlikely pay like the more difficult roles I am used to!
It is easy to create new things, change places or do something different. To keep that sense of newness that creates enthusiasm is more difficult.
The secret of newness in life is not to do new things constantly, but to see everything you do with new eyes, new insights and a new perspective.
Since my unwelcome wander into mania, I have changed my viewpoint to look out over my own landscape with an altered and healthier attitude and I have established, what I believe and hope to be a personal strategy which I can manage and stick to. I have adjusted my internal climate to calm. I have detached myself from the inner storms and the hurricane has passed. I am feeling a sense of melancholy, anticipation, willingness and gratitude. Another era has ended and a new one is about to begin as I put the last months behind me, move forward without jumping the fence and concentrate on all the projects, aims and aspirations I already have on this side!
The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.”
– Robert Fulgham, Author
Most significantly, however, Robbie and I have spent beautiful and memorable times together which has healed me completely and given me the strength to cope with recent family hiccups comprising of a very unwell daughter resulting in a weekend stay at hospital and a down hearted son experiencing relationship problems! Happily, Bleu has made a full recovery and Matthew is finding his way through rocky landscape of heartbreak with the help of his family and friends.
So, What next? It is July, my daughter will be sixteen in three days; I have nearly completed a work project that took months of planning; We are going on holiday in four weeks. There is much to look forward to.
Every Situation in life is temporary. So, when life is good, make sure you enjoy and receive it fully. And when life is not so good, remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way.
– Jenni Young
However, I need to move forward with care and diligence. The approach to my “game plan” needs to be developed sensibly and with due thought rather than being led by my heart. I still find many reasons every day to feel utterly devastated, devoid of hope with a pain that consumes me. This is my life. Would I want it any other way? Possibly – I wish I didn’t feel such anguish. It is responsible for the frequent damage to my emotional, mental and spiritual being. At the same time, I want to be awake to the pain and destruction of our world because that is what generates the positive vibrations that radiate through my life and create the small ripples that make the small differences and tell me that my actions have consequences and are meaningful.
If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.
– Roy T Bennet, Author
Change begins now, with you and me, and our knowledge that the things we do today will make a difference to the future
– Earth Pathways
As I write this, watching the rooks, green woodpecker, pigeons, magpies, sparrows, blackbirds and a squirrel sharing our garden in harmony, I am reminded as ever to live in the moment as they do. To go with the flow and navigate the disturbances with grace. To remember that I am part of a system that influences other systems and that each system on the planet is connected. Systems act through their parts, as in starling murmurations, where each bird is contributing to the whole system. Each small action we take is part of a bigger story. Everything we say, think or do, influences what happens next. We do nothing in isolation. Whenever we do something or act in a certain way, we can ask ourselves what is it a part of? What am I part of? What flow am I contributing to?
Everything that comes to us, comes to pass or, more accurately, for us to pass on. Not just the money in our pocket, but wisdom, objects, ideas, even opportunities, all come to us, so that, at the right moment, we can pass them on. This is called flow. Being in the flow means being aware that the river of life is flowing to us at every moment. Being in the flow means accepting whatever comes and putting it to good use, before passing it on.
Going with the flow means allowing whatever comes to move on freely, without holding on in any way. If we do not pass on, we are trying to block the flow, and that’s when we feel pressure in our life. Pressure is always self-inflicted. Every time you feel ‘under pressure’ look at what you need to release and to pass on to someone else. Once you do you can …relax…again.
My challenge now is more to avoid reaching the point when I am struggling, rather than recognising when I am. By mastering the art of acknowledging what I can and want to do as opposed to what I can’t and don’t want to do due to lack of time or physical or emotional energy, I hope this will be possible. I do believe I may have finally reached that point, after many years of having my fingers in so many pies that I was never able to give properly to any one cause. It has been a voyage of discovery, introspection and contemplation to reach this destination and by no means is it journeys-end. But it is manageable and meaningful for now and I will continue to learn to pass on what I need to, when I need to.
Self Observation is the First Step of Inner Infolding
And who and what is at that destination?
My Husband, my Children and my furry friends are right there in the foreground; Jac is right behind them with Elaine, Steve and Young Dementia UK right behind; alongside them is my school work with Animal Aid along with the public outreach to raise awareness of my biggest passion, Animal Rights. In between all of them are my friends, this blog, yoga, my PPG work and behind them, my paid work. Encompassing, Underpinning and Encircling all of this is my Inherent Connection with Mother Nature. She seduces me with her beauty and helps the path of my heart to be open and dance however resistant it is!
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order
– John Burroughs, American Naturalist 1837 – 1921
I look forward to continuing to write about my new inner landscape, beginnings and fresh foundations for change. It is up to me to set off in the right direction and to step consciously into the life I want to live; To balance my outer actions with my inner journey and knowing, giving equal value to both. I have set my intentions for my higher good and the higher good of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. I will use all the skills, wisdom, knowledge, resources and networks I have accumulated to transform the old, begin the new and make a difference.
Abundance and Appreciation go hand in hand. When we can feel gratitude for what we have and what is around us we open to feelings of satisfaction, awe and harmony. We can celebrate our harvests. We can celebrate the learning that we gain from our mistakes and congratulate ourselves for the efforts made. We can celebrate what we have done rather than focusing on what we still have left to do. Gratitude starts with appreciation of ourselves. Within each of us is a store of skills, talents, purpose, passion, energy and enthusiasm.
The lens of abundance thinking is most influential when we use it first to reflect our internal landscape, to shed light on our inner abundance. When we are in touch with our inner resources we are more able to see clearly the abundances around us. It is through internal discovery that we can make the greatest changes and unearth the most valuable gems. It is through acknowledging and celebrating ourselves that we find a fulfilling world around us.
The frame of gratitude is a potent frame for change. From the viewpoint of gratitude, we can feel excitement, resilience, confidence and flow
– Earth Pathways
Till and If we meet again thru this virtual world…….