My ‘light’ soul comes calling

As I was driving around North Yorkshire running my usual Monday morning errands, I re-started listening to a book I started about 6 months ago.  “Light is the new Black” by Rebecca Campbell.  And I know now that I am ready to hear her teachings, because her strange accent no longer grates on me and her consistent message at the end of each chapter “work your light” didn’t make me want to scream.

 

And the chapter I restarted on was clearly the focus I needed to hear today.

 

Leap into yourself.  You are ready.  You know the next step….” 

 

And I do.  And I have.  And I have received my first response back and I am itching to take the next step and the next step after that.

 

I am self aware enough to know that with each leap, there is a hesitation, a thrill of fear.  And my hesitation comes from my old self, the one who likes to know how it will all turn out, how everything with slot in to place, how and when it will end?

 

The big question then – does that really matter and does it really need to end?

 

Right now, my soul answers that question.  The soul ache that has been buried underneath so much emotional turmoil, heartache and anxiety is finally speaking out.  My soul is calling me and giving me courage to keep taking those little leaps forward, whispering in my ear, “Don’t die with your dream hidden under your pillow.”

 

And she is backed up by Rebecca – “work your light!”

 

rebecca campbell

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Good to go!

In a day, or a morning when I just couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong (probably a mixture of tiredness and the hangover of receiving an unwanted text message during an evening with friends), I could see so clearly what was right.

The kitchen, terrace and dining room littered with empty bottles, glasses and the countertops piled with dirty dishes just meant it was a great night.

The rain drenched chair just meant we could sit outside for brunch, because it had stopped raining…

A front doorstep untidy with scattered muddy trainers signified an adventure in our new surroundings, along the river banks and through the fields.

The heavens opening gave me an excuse to watch the intro videos for my new course and cook up a Sunday roast for the family.

A different breakfast request and setting for each member of the family, doesn’t even phase me as everyone is fed and watered, washed and clean by 7pm and the table is laid (despite a table leg malfunction) and we are good to go for the week ahead!

There have been few evenings of late, when I felt huge waves of gratitude of an overwhelming nature.  Tonight as I kissed the soft downy warm necks of the boys, and held on to their strong, lean, wirey little bodys, I could have cried.

This Saturday, I go to bed a happier girl than the shamed, angry, hateful and hurt one of last week.  I go to bed after a peaceful, relaxed and fun evening with the friends who are true friends.

And because I have decided to remember the lovely message of a good friend who felt my words would help a friend, so forwarded my blogs to share the messages of light and deleted the long, unnecessary, opinionated message of someone else who interrupted my Saturday evening and that could have thrown me into the darkness.

This 3rd chapter will be one of light, and be the realisation of the future that we dreamed of and painted a picture of, all those years ago, on the warm sand of a beach in the T&C.  The moment captured by an old, old camera and painted as a surprise and as wedding gift.  A painting kept to ourselves in our bedroom, now thrown in to the light for all to see, proudly displayed in our new dining room.

The future of the alisandwiches

And quite by surprise, I discover that I have been writing publicly and daily for 2 years.  Just like that.

 

With the onslaught of opinion, most negative recently, I question the future of the alisandwiches.

 

When I started 2 years ago, I didn’t realise that the first year would be the story of grief and the slow and final loss of my Mumbo.  I learnt that grief has no timeline, that there is no shame in grieving and that sharing heals through the empathy and compassion that is wrapped around you by those that are willing to sit in your darkness with you.  Something that prepared me for the year that followed.

 

When I continued into the next year, I didn’t realise that I was about to learn that you could lose joy so suddenly, nor be able to find the strength and courage to rebuild it, and keep rebuilding each time it left.  That was just one of the lessons that the challenges and knockdowns of this second year have taught me.

 

I have also learnt the very hard way that hitting rock bottom can be a good thing, if you are open to seeing it that way.  That at rock bottom, you find yourself, you find out what is important to you and that the way to get back up is to follow the path to the light by following the diamonds and jewels within you.  The things that shine are so much easier to see in the dark – funny that.

 

Last weekend was a very harsh lesson in understanding that putting family first and ensuring that we are ‘ok’ first, rather than listening to the opinions of what other people think of our family.  If we are ok, if we are solid, they can throw stones, but they won’t even damage the brick work, let alone the foundations.

 

Over the course of the year, I have learnt that doing what is uncomfortable takes courage.  And that many people don’t like understanding your discomfort because it makes them feel uncomfortable too.  And when they share their discomfort, it drives you back in to shame; that shame which triggers anger, frustration and fear enough to make you retreat back to the darkness where you feel there is no love, no belonging and therefore, only suffering remains.

 

Standing alone, without support, leaves you vulnerable, open to risk and challenge.  And that can be lonely, make you feel like you are stranded in a wilderness, exposed.

 

Until you hear the words of Maya Angelou and Brene Brown, that explain that true belonging and the only way to never feel alone, is to belong to yourself, to be true and authentic to yourself.  Authenticity to me, means doing what brings me joy and then regardless of the exposure and in whatever kind of wilderness I find myself, I can stand tall and smell the pines, the fresh air and not care about anything or anyone else.

 

And writing daily and publicly brought me back to joy.  So why would I stop?

 

There is mention of the impact it may have on my boys when they read it.  And I am sure one day they will, as all children of writers or creatives eventually do.  But what will they read?  And what will they learn?  That there is no shame in sharing pain or sharing shame?  That the challenges in life are there to be overcome by learning the lessons they bring?  That mistakes are made… and can be rectified in the presence of determination, hardwork and above all love?  That life isn’t perfect?  That out of tragedy, you can triumph?  Aren’t those the lessons we want our children to learn?

 

AS I embark on the next chapter and the 3rd year, I hope that the future I write about continues to be one of love, joy and the pursuit of happiness and less about grief and heartbreak.  I hope that this year is about spreading light and love in a way that makes me happy, as well as others too.

 

maya angelou belonging

A day of supercharging

Supercharging was the theme of today.

Firstly, with the new wheels – I am beginning to get the hang of the ‘supercharge’ necessity on long journeys, not only do you ‘fill up’ the car with energy but also oneself as you have no other option other than ‘fill up’ on caffeine or juice boosts to pass the time.

And secondly and the real supercharge, which came from spending a day with the people I have loved the longest, trust the most and am my most authentic self with.  That’s where true energy, power and inner peace comes from – being surrounded by unconditional love and a true sense of belonging.

My original family have been the consistent supercharging force that has helped me rebuild my current family.  And as I snuggle under fresh smelling daisy covered sheets, that is what I am most grateful for tonight.

Game Plan

In a day where I focussed on all the activities to tick off the lists of a mother, wife, housewife, project house developer, I found a few minutes to put my thoughts on paper on answering the exam question ‘WTF do I do now?’

I am realising that my days are quite long while the boys spend about 10 hours at school most days of the week, and my other activities and jobs are all well and good, but what about stimulation, satisfaction and solely for me (other than exercise..)?

I rather surprised myself with the first bullet point in answer to the question – update my CV.

Not that I intend on pursuing my career back in the corporate world, but more of a self confidence boost to remind myself thatI haven’t been idle in the 4 years I left it all behind and to hone out which bits of that I want to take forward, and that which I want to leave well and truly behind.

I already set the intention a couple of weeks ago that I was ready to re-involve myself in some sort of volunteering or charity work, and the Universe has already provided after a conversation on a park bench during a boys’ play date.

So now it is about getting clear on my intention of what it is I am looking for, for how long, who with and what arena.  Once I know the answers to those questions, I will know exactly where to go looking and I have faith everything will fall into place just as it should.

I have been looking daily at the 5G’s from Lewis Howes and the one that stumped me, that I glossed over while life was just too overwhelming and felt it was more important to focus on the first G, Gratitude, was the 4th G – Game Plan.  A game plan has to have absolute clarity and with my diminished drive and ambition towards my business and my book, I faltered and stuck my head in the sand.

It is time to write a new Game Plan and I can already feel it taking shape, and I feel better for having the first draft to answer the question ‘WTF do I do now?’

Quiet, evaluation, peace

After an emotional storm, there is always the quiet.  Just as after loss, there is always evaluation.

In the quiet, and in the evaluation, it is clear to see the important aspects of life that need to be cherished.

And so the quiet, and the evaluation bring peace.  And in that peace, I drank tea and cherished the moment.