Category Archives: parenting

The gift of calmness

Music: ‘Grief back to love’ (part one) by Jeremy Christopher, from the album ‘In defiance of the fading light’

There are many things in our lives that cause upset, anger and stress. Our families, our relationships, our work, even our leisure activities. We compete, we feel inadequate, we mistrust, we push ourselves too hard, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. To top it all, we feel guilty about the things we are not doing.  Not spending enough time with our family, not eating healthily, not exercising, not living up to the impossible standards that society dictates.

Sometimes we need to just stop, take a breath, then take another and maybe even sit down and give ourselves a break. After all, time spent doing nothing, if you enjoyed it, was not wasted time. We are not little mice that need to be on a tread wheel constantly, although we often think we should be. We are in fact sentient beings. We are spirit in a human body, therefore slowing down, calming down and quietening our minds, opens us up to reconnecting with our spirit, and ultimately will make us far more efficient in the long run.

Think about the last time you got angry, (we all do from time to time), now picture the exact same scenario except this time you remained calm…. The situation or argument would have played out very differently indeed wouldn’t it? In anger we become blinded and can often – quite literally – see red!

Simple-fun-with-inspire-even-the-most-hectic-life-28NovAllowing ourselves time to breathe, to just be in the moment, helps us to become centred, to become calmed, and in calmness we find clarity.

Unknown-3Having been a primary school teacher for many years, I have learnt that the only way to deal with aggression from children, parents, or other adults is to remain calm. Indeed I have mastered this skill so well that the more incensed a person becomes, the calmer I become. In doing so, it takes the wind out of their sails, (for it is nigh on impossible to argue with a person who refuses to meet like for like), whilst allowing me to see the situation as it truly is. To hear the pain behind the words. Having said this, it is far easier to remain calm when one is not emotionally involved, my own children know just how to push my buttons – on those extremely rare occasions 😉.

5b5bf0f50176416c51cfbe270d30c7e6Nowadays, after years of parenting, teaching and through many hours of meditation, I have mastered the art of remaining calm (in most situations – we are after all a work in progress) and it has improved the quality of my life sevenfold. It also opened my eyes to the reality of all my relationships & brought about reconnection on a profound level with my own spirit & my spirit guides.

In truth, learning to control the stress factors in our lives, to take hold of the steering wheel and leave the drama behind, or to slam on the brakes before the drama erupts, also has huge health implications. Stress is a very real trigger for many ailments, from headaches to IBS and anything else in between, learning to control what you allow to get under your skin is not just a spiritual issue. Remember, he who angers you controls you, and at any given moment you are capable of reclaiming that control. Being aware of this is half the battle.

I made this movie during my walks on the beach with my familiars and have repeated it quite deliberately, as I find it so calming and hope you will too.

I wish you much success in your endeavours to remain calm and reclaim your life and hope that you have taken some small pleasure from my ramblings. Thank you for reading it 🙂

Peace & light to you 🙏🏽🌟ૐ )0(

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IMG_1320 (1)Be guided by spirit. This is a phrase commonly used, but what does it mean?

Within each of us lies the key to our problems & the answers to most of our questions, however the real challenge we face is discovering this knowledge. Of course when I speak of problems, I mean deeper issues pertaining to your mind, body and soul, not material or superficial issues like being caught without matching undies 😳 or stresses at work, although don’t get me wrong, these are still pretty serious issues that can impact your life and levels of mortification!

quote-do-you-believe-in-reincarnation-i-was-wondering-why-some-connections-seem-so-easy-so-nora-roberts-120-61-22In all our life journeys, each and every one of us have accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and a vast amount of experience. There are things that we know yet do not know we know, (sounds convoluted right?). It is indeed both complicated and very simple.

We live busy lives and in this day and age we are driven more and more to have instant access to everything; instant streaming, instant gratification, instant information etc. all handed to us in a quick and easily decipherable manner. We have become impatient – I know for sure that I was a slave to this for a long time, that pinwheel on my iMac or the sand timer (for all you Microsofties out there), would drive me insane, queues and any other form of waiting annoyed me. What changed for me? Spirituality and above all else, meditation.

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As a child I would spend endless hours outdoors playing with ladybirds and talking to the fairies at the bottom of my parents garden (or dressing up as a nurse 😉).
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As an adult I retained my love of all things natural, being most at home in the arms of Mother Nature (although I have a somewhat different nurses outfit now 😳).

Some of us are naturally predisposed to connect with our spirit, to be brief; much depends on our personalities, upbringing and current state of affairs at any given point in our lifetime. For example, my own life has progressed in stages:

  • As a child I was naturally drawn to nature. I would spend endless hours lying in the garden watching ladybirds crawl over my hand, fascinated by the trees and the fairies that lived at the bottom of my parents garden.
  • As a teen I was a little wilder and consumed copious amounts of alcohol, however I still enjoyed stillness, solitude and being immersed in music – Guns and Roses & AC/DC were very soothing.
  • Motherhood brought endless amounts of love and fatigue into my life so stillness pretty much went out the window, along with my figure and my sanity 😂.
  • But everything in life is cyclical and now with my four daughters nearly all grown and having flown or preparing to fly the nest, I once again find myself taking time to bask in the arms of Mother nature, to meditate and to live a more mindful life.

 

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This link is to a webpage called “An open letter to my abusive husband.” (narcissistswife.com)

When I look back over my lifetime so far there is much comfort in knowing that there were no coincidences. Everything that has gone before me has been cumulative in creating the person I am today, if you take time to consider it, this is true for everyone. From being the disgraced 5th child of seven, in a strict Catholic family,who came home pregnant and dropped out of university; to being so young and caught in an abusive marriage; to bringing further disgrace when I filed for divorce and was locked in the house by a deranged husband who decided to smash up our family home, (I filed for an injunction to get him to leave); to finally going back to university to complete my teacher training, which I began with two young daughters and finished – with honours – with four. My life has been tough and joyful and magical and there is not one part of it that I would go back and change, for it created me. We all have our own challenges and demons to face, the key is not to let it consume you, and connecting with spirit is a sure fire way to walk through the flames, relatively unscathed, to discover that you have emerged as a stronger and wiser  version of you. I hope in some way to inspire any women (or men) in similar situations to stand strong, you are not alone and there is always a way out.

 

IMG_6488I once more hear and have reconnected with my spirit (although in truth I never really disconnected), and live a life assisted by my angels, spirit guides and ancestors. A life that is now filled with magick.

Meditation is the key: This is the simple part. Don’t worry about things like transcendental meditation, or images of Buddhist monks or any other concept in your mind that might make meditation feel inaccessible to you. Meditation is fundamentally about controlling your breathing and stilling your body and mind. So basically sit still and breathe. Anyone can do this! At first you may feel that you have to quiet or suppress your thoughts, this is a misconception, let the thoughts come and then let them go, as if you are observing your mind from the outside.

Visualisation: When things or people bother me, I visualise them floating away on a big black cloud, and as they float away I breathe deeply and slowly, focussing only on my body, my lungs and on releasing all the tension, (particular tense spots tend to be the jaw, neck, face, shoulders and sometimes your tummy – so pay close attention to these areas). Visualisation can also be positive; one really effective method that I use is to ‘earth’ my energies and draw positive energy through the earth into my body, visualising it as a golden light that flows into and fills me, healing and cleansing as it courses throughout.

Unknown-1Your mind is a powerful tool, and once you begin to harness it and become the master of your thoughts, instead of allowing your thoughts to rule you, you will find that many stresses ease or disappear from your life.

Finding time to still your mind and body, in the busy world we live in, is a true act of self love, for you are taking care of you. Once you begin to make small changes to your daily life, taking time to be still, this is when you allow yourself to connect and begin to hear spirit; the small wise voice that guides and advises us throughout all our incarnations.

I hope this has been in some small way beneficial to you and I thank you for the time taken to read any part of my ramblings.

Remember if you find yourself walking through flames, keep walking, safe in the knowledge that it will not consume you unless you allow it. We are all a work in progress.

In humility, I wish you peace & light in your darkest times my friends.ૐ 🙏🏽

Blessed Be )0(

 

Life on rewind

 

img_2030My 18 year old daughter sat griping at me today, complaining that I shouldn’t talk when she’s watching a movie. I said, “Babe, movies can be paused, you can’t pause life.”

This week I’m talking about families and living in the moment. The four beautiful girls above are my children and over the past 26 years we have been to heaven, hell and every place in between – emotionally. It was indeed a ride worth taking and there is nothing I would change about them or the past.

Of course it’s impossible to rewind life. We all know this and yet a lot of the time we live as if it is possible. If only we’d all inherited the skill Tim Lake had in ‘About Time’ being able to go back in time and relive or alter the past. Alas, even he eventually recognised the importance of simply living each day as if it were his last. Obviously let’s be realistic, it’s not like we can blow all our cash, tell people we dislike to ‘go procreate’ and head off to the Caribbean, we have responsibilities. I’m talking about the little things, the little moments that, looking back, we realise were the big moments. Hindsight is a great thing.

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Now far be it for me to lay any claim to being the worlds best parent. I don’t know all the answers, as I frequently told my eldest child Rose, I may occasionally make a mess of things, you’re the first 12, 16, 18 year old I’ve ever had. This, I learned, was one of the best lessons I could have taught my girls, that we are all fallible, and actually by owning this we created an environment where it was ok to mess up once in a while. But we did try to be good parents and that turned out to be a fairly decent job in the end. Of this we are incredibly proud.

We did our best to live in the moment.

img_2063We always ate dinner together at the dining table or breakfast table and dinner times became a time when we sat and talked, learned to take turns – or shout the loudest to be heard, we listened – or debated, we laughed – and occasionally cried, we chastised, praised and ‘discussed’ the necessity for rules. We played hangman on the whiteboard in the kitchen whilst waiting for the slowest eater to finish. We practised times tables and spellings, told jokes, shared riddles, discussed ideas and dreams and friends and enemies. But mostly we laughed – a lot. We never allowed phones at the table, which was much easier several years ago, but even then we let the answering machine pick up at mealtime, and as the years passed we banned mobiles at the dinner table, (this rule still applies, even with our two older girls when they come home to visit, and they are happy to keep up traditions).  Dinner time is family time.

A few years back, I was teaching a class of Year 1 children, that’s 5 and 6 year olds. During our little introduction to the lesson I asked them to raise their hand if they had a dinner table at home. Out of a class of 30 children 2 had a dinner table at home. I was flabbergasted to say the least. This meant that 28 out of 30 children regularly ate their dinner in front of the TV every night. This made me very sad indeed.  If you have a choice between watching TV and talking to your children, how can there be choice? It’s got to be a no-brainer right?

If we live by the rule that if it can be paused or rewound then it can wait, life would suddenly become so much more meaningful. Life cannot wait, people are real, our children are real, they are ours for such a short time and they’re a long time grown.

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Our fridge at home with many photos from theme parks – collected over many years – don’t zoom in, there are some really embarrassing but funny ones in there!

We weren’t particularly wealthy but we were rich in so many other ways. We went without holidays when we couldn’t afford them, and one summer I suggested my husband take his holiday in a different way. We couldn’t afford a holiday that year, so he took every Thursday and Friday off over the 6 week summer holiday and we had days out every week, using supermarket vouchers to purchase theme park tickets, we went swimming at the local baths, and went to the park with our dog. The school holidays flew by and we spent so much quality time together. It turned out to be a very memorable summer indeed. Over the years we had many days out at theme parks.

Don’t get me wrong, we watched TV. We all have days when Teletubbies or similar are a godsend when you’re tired, but we tried not to make it the norm. If we watched TV we watched together. For a long time Friday nights were movie nights, (my girls would often moan when I tried to sneak my book in and craftily read instead). We all became avid Disney fans. It’s funny how each of our girls had a favourite movie for their age. With Rose it was Beauty and the Beast, Holly’s was The Lion King. It was hilarious as she went through a phase where we had to lift her up like a little lion cub every time the movie started whilst ‘The Circle of Life’ blasted out.  Meg’s was Hercules (in fact Meg got her name as we said Rose could pick one and she also loved Hercules and chose Meghara, we tweaked it to be Megan), and Beth’s was Monsters Inc, and for many years she was called ‘Boo’.

IMG_5003We would go to the park with our various dogs and play or feed the ducks and geese. I remember one time when Beth was about 3 and a half, we were feeding the Canadian Geese when they all decided to come up on the river bank. One gave me a gentle peck on my leg telling me to hurry up and hand over the bread, I suddenly realised that these birds were as tall as Beth and turned to tell her to run back a little only to find that she’d already taken off and was halfway down the path – not bothering to look back -leaving me to be eaten alive by the crazy and somewhat overzealous geese 😂. Another time Meg, whilst feeding the ducks, didn’t notice the ground ended and stepped into the lake 😱. It was a fairly cold day, but her daddy took off his socks and let her have them while he walked back with boots and no socks.

roses-birthday-1Birthday parties were a hoot – and were bloody exhausting for me! We had no production line ball pit parties, no, ours lasted many hours, with bouncy castles and face painting (by me) with bubble blowing machines in the garden and ham sandwiches, jelly, home made birthday cakes and bucket loads of fun.

We lived and learned and grew and throughout it all we tried to seize the day, carpe diem, savouring the time we have with our girls.

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My girls at Thorpe Park last year

 

We all work so hard, like salmon swimming upstream, yet if we slowed down and learned to flow, learned to savour each day, hour, minute, moment, knowing that once it’s passed it can never be relived, we might just realise that the things in our lives that can actually be paused should be. For no amount of TV watching , Playstation gaming, or internet browsing can ever replace the feel of the sun on your skin, or wind in your hair, the joy of laughter, or the fun of talking, singing, dancing together. We live on this incredible Mother Earth, and are given so many free gifts in nature. Each day is precious and sadly there is no rewind button for our lives, so live it to the best of your ability on the first take, savouring every moment you can.

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3 of my girls and I – they’re all taller than me, but I am only 5ft 1″ 😉

Thank you for reading my ramblings, now go outside and play! xx

Peace & light to you all 🌟ૐ )0(

 

Self Love; Self Acceptance

The only thing you can truly control is yourself. Think about this, I mean, really think about this. Everything in your life involves and revolves around you. Everything in your life influences you – or not – and the choice is always yours.

So your child/friend/mother is annoying you. You can react by yelling, telling them to shut the hell up, walk away, or you can choose a different way to react entirely, (I know you might expect me to suggest other ways to react around about now, I’m not going to do that, because, as I said, the choice is yours).

img_1122So you’re in a difficult relationship, you feel unheard, unnoticed, unappreciated. Why do you feel this way? No one can make you feel less without your permission. I know there’s a whole lot of shit that people go through in their lives, abusive relationships, violence, manipulation (this is a fairly long list), but the choice to be in the relationship is yours. The choice to perpetuate childhood mistreatments and to continue to let them control you is yours.  You are not a tree, you can move. Even prisoners are free to choose their own thoughts. So now you think: I can’t afford to move, what does she know anyway about my life, my kids, my situation?

img_2238Well let’s start here; when you hold too tightly to anything, be it property, possessions, children, people, then that thing or person controls you. You can love without possessing, you can live without limits, as the need to control, possess, or limit others is unnecessary, because, as I said above, the only thing you can ever truly control is yourself. Children grow up and fly away, partners might leave or die, you might break or lose your possessions. What matters is you, your life, your health. The things money can’t buy are the things that are real. Love, peace, happiness. It all starts with you.

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Deepak Chopra, shared from @angelic.light (instagram)

If dharma is the focus of life and the root of dharma is compassion, then the focal point of your compassion has to be YOU. We live in a society that expects us to live up to impossible standards, to be these manufactured, silicone filled, cosmetically enhanced caricatures of real human beings.These images lead us to dislike who we are and what we naturally look like and that really sucks! The most beautiful enhancement you can give yourself is to smile 😀.

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18 year old student Shea Glover films people before and after telling they are beautiful 

Try thinking of it in this way; to give love and live fully you need to feel loved – first and foremost by your own self – you need to fill you up with self love before you can give or receive it, otherwise you’re just trying to pour from an empty vessel. So quit berating yourself and start loving yourself.

img_1608-2Many relationships, however brief, often become a game of power and control. Don’t believe all the bullshit people might tell you. If he/she wanted to be with you they’d find a way, as the saying goes, find a way or find an excuse. This is the whole point of this week’s blog, never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. You are responsible for your own happiness and you have to know that it’s an inside job, so walk your own path with pride. Stop making excuses for people who bring you down or cause you feel rejected in any way, shape or form, you are awesome and you are worthy of love, appreciation and all good things.

Some people – usually insecure people – need to control others, keeping them hanging on, making false promises, playing the field to boost their own ego and self-worth. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, remember you always have choice. Take hold of the steering wheel of your own life and drive away. When a person truly loves and cares for you, you’ll know by how that person makes you feel. Energy & intuition never lie. Always listen to your gut. I was in an extremely corrosive marriage when I was younger, I was manipulated and controlled. He did this by making me feel less, unattractive etc and I allowed it. When I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I caught flu – proper flu – and dropped 2 stone, my confidence grew and eventually I was able to end that marriage (it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it).img_1317

img_7281Always remember you are worthy of all good things. You matter. In this great tapestry of life every single thread has a role to play in the bigger picture. Remove a single thread and the whole piece of art is ruined. Seeing  the whole picture is irrelevant, what is important is knowing that you are part of this great tapestry and that YOU MATTER!

img_1621Happiness is an inside job, and a person who is happy with their lot whilst striving to achieve their dreams, exudes confidence and an inner beauty that simply cannot be replicated because it is the beauty of your spirit and soul that’s shining through your whole body.

We all do it, we all let other people become the source of our happiness, and that can be truly wonderful, but if it goes wrong then we’re left feeling devastated and lost.

Don’t allow it. Don’t accept it.img_0195

I have some really effective happiness ‘go to’ stimulants (not drugs unfortunately 😂), that give me an instant lift:

  • I have certain songs or pieces of music that pick me up (Soul Deep by Lisa Stansfield is one of my favourites);
  • I play with my dogs or cat;
  • I stand in the sunshine or the rain just to feel the warmth or droplets on my face;
  • I go outside and sit in nature, (under a tree or on the beach or walk in the park);
  • I dance – and I don’t care who’s watching! 😂;
  • I chant “Om Namo Narayani” (sanskrit) meaning “I surrender to the Divine Mother”
  • I ask my angels  and spirit guides to lift my burden – it works every time, I just suddenly feel lighter, (every faith & most cultures in the world recognises the angelic realm in one form or another, so nobody is excluded here 😉).

These pick-me-ups are amazing, free and are instant for lifting me up when I’m feeling down. Try it, or come up with a few of your own (if you have some suggestions of your own, I’d love to hear them, please share them in the comments box below). The only thing to remember is that your happiness cues can never be linked to another person, it’s just got to be all about you, your heart, mind, body & spirit.

I wish you happiness & light in your darkest moments. Remember you are beautiful and worthy of all good things.

 

Peace & light to you ૐ🙏🏽🌟 )0(