#12 Grateful for Moments of Madness

Moments of madness inject my thoughts with creative overflow. I am grateful for this. I am grateful when chaos settles, condensation moistens the air and all clears so I can notice the view.

Madness is seeing the world in a way that exceeds conservative imaginations, to look beyond the valley towards details of distant unknowns. To smoothly soar into realms thought crazy yet visited by millions before, where ancestors dwell to recognise their awakenings in us.

No human has gone without moments of madness. Yes, some may feel more deeply than others but art and literature and music thrives in minds hosting such diagnoses. We are all tales of mad happenings, we are all the duality of sanity and madness yet these words are only a consequence of human understandings, understandings that cannot begin to comprehend the magnitude of our expansive senses. We cannot hide from corners our ourselves so today I am grateful for knees cradled as I curl within dark spaces of myself. To know myself is not to fear myself. I no longer want to fear who I am.

#11 Grateful for New Moon Fog.

This morning the sun rose early – well it didn’t, we just put the clocks back an hour so us humans can sync with the sun and enjoy brighter mornings. Great, I can get out for run earlier… I’m not actually so pumped to run that I can’t wait to get out, it’s more that if I wake and it’s still dark, I wait until the sun rises and by that point I’ve talked myself out of going. So, this morning, the sun was up but the sky was as grey as grey can be. I couldn’t see three steps ahead of myself due to fog. It’s also halloween weekend and after passing a few houses with dead mannequins outside their doors, it was a spooky, grey, damp, chilly run.

This new moon has me feeling all hazy, my mind pretty much resembling the fog I ran through this morning. Isn’t it incredible how we’re faced with what we’re trying to run from and this morning it was like ‘you’re gonna run straight through what you’re avoiding!’ I’ve always kept my head down this time of year, there is something about the energy of late October, early November. Maybe it’s to do with the darkness of nights, and the entering into the cooler, more contracting days. The clouds appear lower and we wrap up to keep warm when all i want to do is shed, constantly. However, I know that I can’t keep shedding otherwise all I’d have to let go of is my own skin and bones. I run from everything and this time of year its harder to blank what I’m not wanting to face as the longer nights evoke hibernation mode and when in hibernation, mostly we have only ourselves for company and when we’ve ourselves for company, we’re faced with ourselves and.. well you get where I’m going with this. So the veil is thin, I am feeling prickly and during previous years I’ve fallen victim to the sting that injects deeply during in the month of Scorpio.

This year feels different. The only example I can give of this is during my run this morning. Striding through the thick fog obstructing the familiarity of surrounding streets, all I could do was notice what is often overlooked on clear, sunny days.

Hello spiderwebs!

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I believe that spiderwebs are the most beautiful pieces of art (I know they’re as natural to a spider as breath is to us but if only they knew how influential their gift was – but that’s the beauty of existence, non of us really know the significance we may hold in others lives). I was once terrified of spiders but since noticing the intricacy of their magnificent creations, I have turned full circle, admiring them so. This morning I was surrounded by dewy webs scattered everywhere. I went for a walk yesterday and noticed not one. Today, because of the fog they stood out like pieces of wonderland, luring me to magical understandings.

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Thing is, I can’t escape the fog, not in my mind or on the street. It just gets foggy sometimes – all part of the cycle that is life. What I can do is become aware of what stands out in the fog, those intricate, enchanted threads that can so easily disguise themselves as part of the scenery. Yet every part of the scenery is essential in making the scenery so fucking beautiful. I saw that this morning. What we see outside of ourselves is often a reflection from within. This new moon sure got me on my knees in total wonder of how beautiful all those ‘scary’ parts of me can be. I guess it just depends on the ever-changing weather conditions and how willing I am to appreciate the art that is me :).

#10 Grateful for Days Lived A Million Times Over

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Have you had one of those days when you feel like you’ve lived it a million times before and you’re lost in the routine?  Today was one of those days. I find routine kinda uncomfortable. I know we’re habitual creatures, we like to know the ways of things, to not dwell for too long in the unknown but I really find routine difficult. I’m not sure why, I’m sure I could look into my psychological profile and find a reason as to why this may be but at the moment, I’m trying to lesson my thinking and heighten my feeling. Today I was firmly cemented in the feeling of routine and that made me squirm.

So, in my attempts to feel not think, and for the first time in, well ever, I thought ‘fuck it, I’m not even gonna try and fight this’. So I didn’t. I just felt crappy and uncomfortable and did absolutely nothing to distract from feeling and asked no questions.

Then, with no reflection or forcing answers came a deep knowing, like I’d known all along (which I have but just ignored) that it ALL boils down to control. Routine ties me in, it binds me to whatever it is I’m to do regularly. This could be anything from taking a multivitamin everyday, to committing myself to a relationship. Everything becomes routine eventually and this sets an alarm of ‘I gotta get free from this because it’s beginning to control me, not me controlling it’.

But why do I have to control anything? I thought I had this all figured out over a year ago but news flash, I really don’t!

One thing I do know is this: I’ve never really found an outlet or understood how to process the amount of feelings that rummage around my mind minute by minute SO I have to find a way to control the way I’m feeling by controlling something outside of myself as I’ve often believed this to be the only thing I have control over. Logically I know this is BS, I know the reality I experience is a result of what I’m thinking so trying to control what’s outside of me is basically saying I’ve no control over what’s going on inside. It’s like I’ve lost all trust, in myself. I don’t feel like this everyday, but I am grateful when these feelings do rise as although it’s tough to sit in whatever comes up during those moments of ‘losing’ control, feelings that often arise during the routine of everyday, I know that each time I get to feel discomfort, it’s a new understanding that unfolds.

Life is hard sometimes but tough days squeeze doses of forgotten courage from frightened bones and this give us the sweet nectar to soothe and revive tired wounds.

#9 Grateful for Grumpy Grandmas

Ok, my grandma isn’t grumpy, not all the time anyway. I just always thought of her as grumpy when growing up because when I stayed with her as a kid, she’d mostly tell me what I shouldn’t do rather than what I could.

She’s been staying with us for 3 weeks, basically my uncle has been poorly and there is a huge possibility he could have pancreatic cancer. He’s in the middle of having tests at the moment and as my grandma lives alone, she didn’t want to be on her own during the stressful time of waiting to find out what exactly is the matter with him.

Previously, when she’d stay with us in London (she’s from Leeds in Yorkshire), I’d find it a little stressful, only because I was focusing on the idea that we are completely different. I always found it exhausting defending my views on life during conversations with her about this and that. However, this visit has been like no other. It hasn’t been hard or stressful or challenging at all. We’ve got on, we’ve talked about opposing views but I haven’t flared like I may have done in the past. I’ve stopped judging her (I realise I’ve been very judgemental in the past, obviously the less I judge myself the less I feel the desire to judge others). I have enjoyed her company and appreciated her for who she is, rather than finding fault as she’s not living up the expectations I was imposing upon her. She’s 90! I can learn so much from her… yes she may eat cheap meat and not worry about animal welfare and has very conservative opinions about political affairs but she’s also caring and strong and vibrant and loves meeting people and enjoys her life.

I have been amazed these past few weeks with how much I have learnt about her as I loosen those judgement reigns. I haven’t built the usual ‘I’m not going to talk to you much because you’re just going to upset me’ wall that I’ve been hauling around in her company for the past 10 years. I am so grateful for that, so grateful that I have been able to listen to her, to witness her softer side and to feel a genuine warmth between us that may have previously frozen due to frosty bites I’d use to defend against something that was never attacking me. That’s the point isn’t it, we can build up so much attack in our systems that everything outside begins to resemble a dangerous weapon of mass destruction.

These few weeks I’ve seen many of my weapons melt in the fire that has kept grandma and I warm as we play cards and I show her how to make a almond milk hot chocolate. Turns out, she likes my plant-based cooking and has now bought herself a blender to make smoothies like the one’s she’s enjoyed here.

Life throws us surprises every single day and for me it’s just being receptive, showing an openness to learn rather than defend. Learning to love is the greatest lesson so far (and I can’t imagine it ever gets better than that).

#5 Grateful for magic Trees

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All trees are magic, fact. However, there are a few trees in my life which have been integral to the magic that has graced my life. I know, the word magic takes on many different interpretations but for me, when I say magic, I mean those moments when life feels perfect and light and beautiful and expansive. You know those moments, when you are so engrossed in something or you’re so calm that all worries melt away and those invisible wings we all knot so tightly to our back spread, leading us to where we’re supposed to be. Magic is so very vital and magic trees are my reminder.

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This tree lives in the next road from mine, it’s huge! Luckily it has a preservation order so no naughty developer can chop it down as the huge house who’s land it grows on has just been sold.  I’ve can’t remember walking past this tree without stopping, just to absorb its magnificence, and that is enough. Absorbing beauty is proving more healing to me than examining it. I think as our minds like to organise and connect through verbalisation or intellectual understandings we forget that what we see in nature has only the role to exist, as it is. It’s not here to be deciphered by humans (although I’m the first to be fascinated by learning how different life survives in their environment), different species exist to play their role in the complex entanglement that is life on earth.

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So this morning, I stopped and absorbed this magic tree. Magic because I’m lost within the absolute perfection that is. Each branch, each leaf, each line in the bark is perfect. If I can see perfection outside then surely I can find it inside too.

 

#4 Grateful for Silent Knowings

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There are days when all you need is for your cat to come into your room and sit on your work and purr until you stroke her and then get comfortable and not move for 20 minutes, not even when you leave to room to make a cup of tea. That day was today (every day really).

Animals are the best. They just know things, lots of things. Everything.

I have a dog and a cat and what I love about the relationship I have with each is the silent knowings we share. I’ve pretty much perfected the art of understanding my hound by the tilt of his head or his stare (there are many different stares wanting very different things). My cat reads my body language like no-one else. She knows when I’m about to get up from the chair before I’ve even made the decision to move. If I’m feeling a little low or weepy, she’s there like a flash, rubbing her head against my hand (then a little bite if she gets over excited).

I’ve been spending lots of time with the both of them recently and to be honest, speaking without words can feel more comfortable than human chat, less seems to be lost in translation and the response is truthful and immediate. Basically, if I don’t give them attention when they want it, no peace for me. When they’ve had enough of my affection, they go do their thing. No worries, no obligations. That’s what I love, no pretence, no bullshit conversation, no saying one thing but meaning another. Animals are the best and I am grateful for their presence every single day.

Change Happens

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Ok, so I’m making some changes, some serious changes. These intentions to change have not grown overnight, it’s been two years of crying, aching, hibernating, facing a trauma that happened when I was 6, which I’ve not had the courage to face until now. It’s taken a breakdown, or as I like to think of it, a breakthrough for me to reach this point when I can begin to see the shifts happening in my life.

  1. De – Cluttering. I’ve decided to get rid of most of my material shit… and it really was that, useless shit. Again, this has taken time. I live with my folks in London, I am a 34 year old woman who moved back in with her parents when she was 31 and no longer am I ashamed of this fact. I moved back because –  well firstly, I came out of a 4-year relationship and needed a place to live. I was living with him, I worked with him and as a result, the breakup meant I lost pretty much everything, well except for the dog, he came to live with my family, lucky fella. Secondly, I’m broke. London is not a place to live comfortably when you’ve little funds and as a writer, beginning her career, I knew money was going to be tight for the next couple of years. Thirdly, as I mentioned above, I suffered a breakdown, mentally I was incapable of many things, including leaving the house and it’s pretty hard to function when you can’t even step over the Welcome mat without having a panic attack. It was pretty shitty, ok really shitty but honestly, I wouldn’t change one thing… through all the crap something miraculous happened, I changed in ways I’d never thought possible and I saw a strength in me that has blown me out of the water (muddy waters to be precise). So, de-cluttering, old shit had to go, it was time to invite space for new and that is where I’m at, letting go of what no longer serves me.
  2. Letting go of what no longer serves me. I know, that sounds like it’s a part of de-cluttering, especially as I wrote it above but putting a bag in the charity shop of material stuff is so much easier than knowing what mental habits are hurting me rather than assisting growth. Where do you even start with that? So, I know I don’t have the all the answers and everyone’s journey to their truth is different but I knew I had to make a few changes in daily habits. I’ve stopped watching the news – It doesn’t really inform me what’s going on in the world, it gives me a point of view and it’s so flipping negative! The media is so controlled now and I get so angry when I watched it, so I stopped. Big news has a way of filtering into social media anyway so I guess I’m still in the loop of international activity. Diet changes – so listening to my body rather than enforcing a change because I think it might add an extra few years onto my life, that has been key here. I don’t eat meat because I can’t put the flesh of an animal in my mouth. I don’t eat diary because I taste animal and that makes me feel sick. I don’t eat gluten because it makes me constipated and I don’t really drink alcohol as I don’t like the way if makes me feel. Having said that, I will have a glass of wine if I fancy one, I’ll drink a coffee if I want one (even though I recently wrote an article about giving up coffee, what can I say, I gave in) and I’ll eat a packet of salted crisps because I love them. Saying No – If I don’t want to do something, I say no. It sounds simple but it’s not always. I might not want to let people down or I think I should be doing something rather than what it is I want to. Stop using the word ‘should’ – should is a crap word. I should be feeling this or I should be doing that… nope, should makes you feel like you’re not doing enough or you’ve made the wrong choice even though the choice you made was right for you. ‘Should’ has to go.
  3. Trust. This is a big one, a work in progress. Trusting goes much further than lets say trust in a relationship (although that’s important), for me it’s a process of trusting the outcomes of life, of each moment, every event that happens. Knowing the result of a ‘problem’ or crisis will always be for your greater good, even if it feels like the world is falling down around you, it’s right, it’s perfect. Tough, I know.
  4. Facing fears. Massive!… and not done in day. I have grown up as a fearful person. Afraid of the dark, of spiders, of hurting myself and others, of what people might think, of disaster happening if I leave the house… blah blah blah… the list goes on. I respect these fears as some are still part of the story of me (for now) but I know that to feel truly alive, to live the life I want, I have to face them. I do acknowledge them, I accept them as part of my growth (fear can be our greatest teacher) but I will try my very best to no longer allow them to drive every decision I make. To think, is this decision out of fear or out of love. I once heard the quote ‘a life lived in fear is a life half lived’… oh how true that is.
  5. Loving myself, unconditionally. This is beautiful but really bloody hard. It’s only since I’ve been consciously pouring love into myself and my daily habits that I realise how little I loved who I am. I was hating on myself, every single day! This is changing and boy, are the differences noticeable. I am truly starting to believe that all we need to do in life is love ourselves, unconditionally and all the rest seems to fall into place. It’s a beautiful journey, not always easy but who wants easy anyway!
  6. Spiritual practice. It’s about finding one that works for you. At the very beginning of my spiritual adventure about 3 years ago (although we’re all spiritual beings, I guess my adventure started when I got curious) at first it was Law of Attraction, then Kundalini, then meditation, then vinyasa yoga, then Reiki, then Shamanic practices, then Ashtanga yoga… it’s a pretty long list. I’ve honed down since then, now I mainly practice Ashtanga yoga, meditation (I’m learning more about Buddhism) and I love learning about astrology, although more about our energetic make-up (birth charts) than predictions etc. Point it, spiritual practice is a long life affair and it’s been rocky to say the least but to have tools to calm, ground, stir up the shit when it needs to come out, to have ways to bring me closer to me has been invaluable. I feel blessed to have many teachings in my life.
  7. Hmmmm, i think that might be it, for now. There’s always more to discover, more journeys to go on but I really wanted to share the beginnings of what I feel is going to be an epic adventure. We all live such incredible lives, no matter what happens and I want to fill my life with as much love and happiness as I can. I believe we are ALL perfect in our own unique ways, and I going forward on this blog, I plan to share more of my adventures back to self, back to love.

Thank you for reading! From my heart to yours, sending so much love.

Happy Friday.

 

Trust over Fear.

I don’t feel so crappy, so overwhelmed by anxiety like I used to. Those days of fretting about how to cope with unwanted yet invited fears tease me less and less. The fear is still there but slowly what once felt like a foot off deathly heights, now feels like softer footprints in the sand, I’m managing more comfortably.

Those ‘sick’ thoughts have taken a back seat on the bus, chilling with memories of youth.

What the hell do I do now?

Weakness and sickness has been my story, my velvet pillow to curl up on and prove to myself that limiting beliefs were my truth. Don’t we have such a wonderful ability to manifest anything we want, even truths that damage; they seem more real to us than intangible oxygen.

I was the woman to ‘suffer’ to blame anyone, anything for failings that I now see were never really failings in the first place. Even writing is hard at the moment, old ground is being covered and poetry doesn’t flow like it once did. I don’t want to write about pulling thorns from bloody flesh anymore, the wound is healing.

The word healing is also taking on different connotations. Was I ever really broken in the first place, was all that led me to this moment, to write this, all part of the perfect timing that is my evolution? If I wasn’t broken, where does healing come in? However, I’ve deeply surrendered to my intentions to ‘heal’. It has been monumental in allowing me the space to find love and unconditional support that fills every cell of my being.

Is that it, is self love all we need to find? (Or re-find as I don’t think it’s gone anywhere, we’ve just forgotten how to love ourselves completely). Not needing to worry about the words we use or the rituals we adopt, just finding a way to uncover the gem within.

I am different now.

I say no when I want to and I bless myself each morning with as much love as I can muster when I wake. I’m taking time to tune in and assess my wellness. I’m no longer ashamed to talk about my journey, my life, as it feels worthy, not so detached. In actual fact the more I share, the more connected I feel. Not so much on a physical level, I’ve certainly found much needed peace in my own company. Maybe that’s the next chapter, finding peace amongst the busy I’ve previously found so hard to withstand.

We are not living life detached from each other, even though we might want to think we are. We’re much bigger than that, connected on many levels, so mysteriously intertwined in ways we still cannot comprehend. I am only beginning to truly understand this and yes, I’ve still a long distance to travel but don’t we all. It’s the middle of a story that keep us intrigued not the ending. Each day as I learn something new about myself, I learn more about being human and how we thrive off the invisible thread that binds us together.

I’m scared shitless though, the ground beneath is violently shaking and patterns or habits that no longer serve me and disintegrating. I feel like loose tea in a cup of hot water, finding a different leaf and new taste sensations with each stir.

I guess we are more afraid of our power than our failings. There’s an illusion of security in our failings, like we know what we’re getting. Yet really all we’re doing is staying on our knees where our body gets bored and our joints stiffen, a painful position to keep. Faith in our power means trusting, it means standing up and loosening stiff joints. It means trusting we have all we need is within, not so easy when we’ve grown to believe that the tools to keep our lives enriched comes from external ‘stuff’. Who knows what can be achieved if we just trust and believe.

Home

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Many times I’ve doubted the strength I have to carry myself.

‘Am I enough or are broken pieces of me distributing weight unevenly?’

I wasn’t enough, or so I believed.

My knees ached as I dragged conflicting reasoning’s everywhere I travelled, not truly feeling safe anywhere. Mainly blaming environment or circumstance.

I’m claustrophobic because feeling confined within the dark space of my mind dampens my palms and revs up the heat, exhausting vitality. In the company of so many people I feel anonymous, I feel alone and my thoughts are deafeningly loud. Did I feel so unworthy that I never screamed, never vented any of my worries?

‘Fuck you life, Fuck you!’

I never did screamed, ever. I swallowed instead.

And anxiety grew, rooting deeply into my pelvic bone, unsettling every step I took.

The inhospitable me that I’d grown to accept, to misunderstand was the only reality I knew when I slept, when I roamed, when I sat to eat dinner at the kitchen table.

Safety in my shell, was this ever a possibility when attacks from within were so violently satisfying? Sharp blades of self-hatred pierced through my gut lining. I was a walking battlefield.

But not anymore…

I am fed up with fleeting doubts that poison my power.

So my shell is a little dented and scarred tissue decorates my flesh, so what?

I am unravelling restrictive bands from around my lungs, it is safe for me breathe as deeply as when I first arrived into this world.

Breathing life into the only home I’ll ever need to invest in

Investing in me

I am home.

Mission to LOVE

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I’m on a mission to Love. Myself. Completely.

The kind of love that never depletes, love that overspills and never empties, filling density and space.

I’m on a mission to Love because there ain’t no medicine like it and as a woman who’s smashed her toes on the very bottom, Love was the only nectar that tenderly held my bones together for long enough to repair.

I cannot despair at the vicious behaviour of others if I am unable to witness my own destructive actions, the daily whips and slaps and disgraces that riddle my thoughts. What is the difference between my violence and theirs? Attacking internal landscapes only fuels disruption, when I hurt myself I want others to suffer, no soul is exempt from that.

Without Love I’ve dragged my flesh over broken shell and bitten the healing skin only to watch it bleed again. Without loving myself I’ve wanted the love of another to heal what I keep pulling apart, piercing their frailty in the expectation they’ll understand mine.

I don’t want to pick at open wounds anymore, expecting the needle of another to sew me back together. I am no longer a victim begging for another’s arms to save me. I have enough love to know I am already saved. Some days I believe this more than others.

I’m on mission to Love the crap as much as the good, merging the two into a golden thread used to strengthen the bond between pains and perfection.

To embody what’s already within me without fear or trepidation. To Love who I am utterly and completely with every cell of my being, every second of everyday – That is my mission.