FMF: Pass

Joining in with Five Minute Friday. This week’s word: pass.

 Contentment7

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“This too shall pass”

I clearly heard it – very clearly heard it – voiced out to me as I was giving birth to my son (six and a bit weeks premature he was….birthed with the help of Drs and nurses who didn’t speak English and me, at that time, with my Spanish limited to ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’).

I, also, very clearly heard it voiced out to me a few days after the day I knelt down, in desperation, to ask for help from above, from within (from wherever that helps lies), because I simply couldn’t cope on my own any more. 

Where did these proclamations come from?

I don’t know. I still don’t know.

But I know, now, that He, the Universe, has my back.

“This too shall pass”

It’s kind of become a motto for me.

It has transmuted in to many different forms of/tactics for overcoming. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I try to act. Try to always think outwards and not inwards. Realising, now, that it all shall pass. 

By doing this, by adopting this attitude, I found that once I’d acquired this habit of looking outwards (which was initially a mechanism for self-protection), to find opportunities to serve, to be kind, to add light to the life around me, then my life began to change and, indeed, much of the mess that had surrounded me did pass.

Experience – more specifically my traumatic experiences – have taught me how to recognise pain, to recognise the help that people might need (even when they don’t necessarily want to acknowledge they need help).

It’s made me more sensitive to where the light needs to go.

When you’ve experienced not being able to eat for weeks, because you’ve not had enough money to feed three, you simply cannot walk past someone in the street who’s obviously hungry. You can’t let it pass. 

When you meet a young woman, shy, furtive about her situation, you recognise the signs, you encourage her to seek help. You can’t let it pass. 

And in the process, this not letting it pass converts in to this too shall pass: instead of being part of the problem, you become part of the solution.

And a solution is always better than a problem!

Always.

(And, yes, Universe, I am actually thankful that I lived through what I have lived through because this opening/widening of my eyes? This knowing where the light needs to go? It’s the only way to live).

END

If you haven’t already, do check out my contentment series, with guest posts from Michelle, Gabriele and Joy.

Have a lovely weekend!

Helen xxx

FMF: Unite

Joining in with Five Minute Friday: this week’s word…..Unite

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The world’s gone mad, bonkers, it’s falling apart, everywhere you look. I’m sure every generation has their reasons for saying this but, honestly, I daren’t even turn the news on most days.

Ancient temples destroyed, earthquakes in Ecuador sparking looting….shootings, peace processes failing left right and centre…Trump promising to deliver hate, hate and more hate…people voting for this hatred…bombings, drowned toddlers, magazine employees shot dead at work….where, when, how will it end?

How bad does it have to get until it can’t get any worse any more?

I walk around, bee in my bonnet, talking about kindness, definitely rosy glasses leading me to suggest that only when we re-find our shared humanity will we be able to unite, as the humans we all are, and move forward positively.

Don’t people ever get tired of fighting, of negative, of always acting from a place of lack, from a place devoid of love?

When will we unite?

When will we realise that we humans have, here on Earth, all we could possibly need – indeed more than we could possibly ever need – all the technology’s there, all the knowledge is there – with the potential for this knowledge to be literally at the fingertips of every bloody person in the world if only the world weren’t so unjust…how can it be that researchers in the developing world can’t access research articles or that a mother I know has no access to cancer medication for her 8 year old daughter? How’s that even possible???

How can we call ourselves human when those things happen? How?

I’m ashamed to call myself human, sometimes, deeply ashamed of my fellow humans in my community, the city where we live (one of the most violent in the world), the country where we live (top five highest murder rate in the world), of the continent we live in, of the world we live in…..

We live in a world where there’s no need for anyone to go hungry. No need for anyone to lack an education. For anyone to fail to receive healthcare they need.

Where there’s more than enough to go round. For everyone.

Yet people die every day due to lack, due to poor distribution of resources, due to the birthplace lottery.

I don’t see a way round this until a critical mass of people decide to unite and say no….

No more. This is not OK. 

It’s happened before. Strong men and women standing up and saying no. Gandhi. MLK. Mandela. Rosa Parks. Defending their countries, their people. Their right to a decent way of life. Their right to be recognised as human, and to be treated with humanity. 

Where’s the MLK, the Gandhi, the Rosa Parks for our globalised world? Who will it be, that person who stands up and convinces us all that no, just no. This is no longer OK and we won’t accept it any more. 

How will that happen and when? 

This uniting of human with human to say no. Enough. No more. We can’t take this any more.

We deserve so much better than this. All of us. 

We all deserve so much better than this.

END

Helen xxx

P.S. Sparked by a Very moving TED talk by Hugh Evans about the world citizen movement he founded

P.P.S. My wonderful FMF and blogging friend – Gabriele’s – guest post for my Contentment series is here and Michelle’s post is here. Do pop over and read!

P.P.P.S. Thanks for those who have filled out my survey. If you haven’t yet, and have time, it’s still open! All responses welcome. Thanks xxx

Cuadruple P.S. (!) Don’t know how many FMFs I’ll be able to read/comment on this week as I slipped at home on Monday and am still in terrible pain. Banged my head/neck/shoulder and my cervical hernia didn’t like it one little bit. Computer time is around 15 minutes every few hours at the moment 😦 Unfortunately….

Contentment: Gabriele

Continuing my Contentment series, Gabriele’s here with a guest post.

Gabriele is one of my dearest online bloggy friends and blogs at Back on the Floor Again (this post forms part of Gabriele’s year-long mindfulness journey, which you can read more about here).

I continue to learn so much from Gabriele and am always enchanted by her beautiful, acutely observational, writing style.

Hoping you all love her post as much as I do! (I know you will!)

GabrieleMindful

“I’m going to meditate for 15 minutes. In and out, my breath seems jagged. Wish I had more stomach muscles so that I could feel them engage when I hold my breath. Hold my breath? Why am I holding my breath? Oh yeah, extend your breath by slightly holding at the inhale and the exhale. My foot feels jammed into the floor. I should put a blanket on my mat to make it softer. Knees are tight but not bad. Ahh, my knees, when will I get a doctor’s opinion about whether they are shot? I hate doctors. No time to start that process. I’m holding my breath again. Long exhale………I should scan my shoulders. Are they tight? Tiny twinge in my neck. That is where I hold all my tension. I’ll put my shoulders back and sit up straighter. That feels good. Has it been 15 minutes yet? Peeking at the clock……What, only three minutes have passed. I think I may have found the secret to stopping time. Meditation!”

I posted those words on Facebook some time ago and many people commented with laughter and agreement. I was taken back because I thought I was being fairly serious, yet, it came across so funny. Perhaps we all have an unsettling relationship to the notion of meditation. It helps to keep it light and friendly. But, seriously, I came to meditation through a call for more mindfulness. It really was a call from a higher source, and it was insistent.

On an early Thursday morning, I was driving to do some shopping. I approached what I thought was a flashing red light, and seeing that it was my turn to proceed through, I did so. Car horns blared, brakes screamed and I instantly knew I had made a terrible mistake. I made it through the light and slowly processed what had happened. The light was not flashing and I almost caused an accident. In the shopping parking lot I tried to regain equilibrium. Sensing that someone was watching me I walked into the store, shaken emotionally. When I came back I saw a piece of paper attached to the windshield. Shame flooded my head to my heart. I just knew this message was intended to severely criticize me. It said.

“I watched you run a red light on Roxbury. A woman in a silver Prius had to suddenly brake to avoid being hit by you. She had a child in the car. Please be careful. Stay safe.”

Even as I read these words today I am amazed at the daring of this observer and also at the kindness. I needed to pay more attention to what I was doing. Mindfulness was thrust upon me and I grabbed it like a life-preserver.

Now I have motivation to meditate because I believe that meditation will strengthen my ability to pay attention. For almost two months I have been faithful to sitting each morning for at least ten minutes, mostly twenty. It has offered me a refuge from negative thoughts, solace from feeling lonely, and peace from futurizing. That freedom may be short lived but it is available every time I sit.

In everyday there is contrast. Even as dark recedes and light shines forth there is hope in change. But, everyday also reveals variations of color which are infinitely interesting. Paying attention, or being mindful brings up a rainbow of experiences which we could miss because of preoccupation with a past mistake or future success.

Thanks, Gabriele. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece (and found myself chuckling at the first part, too!) and hope everyone else will too!

Helen xxx

P.S. The introduction to the contentment series is here and you can find the first guest post in the series, from Michelle, here.

FMF: easy

Joining in with Five Minute Friday. This week’s word: easy.

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“Mama, I don’t want to do it” she frowns, “I just don’t want to…” and, with that, she throws her pencil down on the desk and stumbles off, running towards her room, crying.

It’s not normal behaviour for her, at all, so I leave her for a while (I can hear her talking to her dolls) and then I go and see how she is. “It’s the teacher, Mama…she makes everything seem so difficult“.

My little girl isn’t someone who finds things difficult and I don’t like the idea of anyone putting ideas in her mind, that she’s somehow not able to understand something or not able to do something.

[I realise there will be things in her life that she can’t do but I don’t need someone putting limits on my girl’s beliefs in herself at this stage of her life, especially not a teacher that’s not taken the time to understand and find the way to get through to my child].

So now, through the careless words of one silly teacher, my littlest little one, my beautiful, open-hearted, open-minded and carefree girl, has been introduced to the concept of ‘it’s not easy’ and ‘you might find this difficult’.

Yes, things are sometimes not easy. Yes, life is hard. But everything’s going to be a whole lot harder, a whole lot more difficult – a whole lot more likely to fail – if we approach it with the mindset of can’t or might fail. 

Easy very rarely teaches us anything of value and if we begin something difficult – anything difficult – with the ‘Can’t….it’s not easy….it might be difficult’ mindset, our mind will be so closed that we won’t learn the lessons that the journey towards completing the difficult task could, potentially, teach us. The stress and lack of self-belief would cloud any learning that might occur during the journey.

Perspective is everything.

END

Helen

P.S. I’d be really grateful if you’d take a few minutes to fill out my survey here: about the future of I Will Bloom. The original post is hereThanks so much!

P.P.S. Check out Michelle’s post for my Contentment series….it’s here…definitely worth a click through!

Contentment

Contentment. Not happiness. Contentment.

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It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, wondering how to achieve it (or, better, perhaps, how to keep it for a bit longer when it does arrive), because contentment always feels, to me, like something that goes beyond happiness, calling, as it does, to a deeper, a more stable, state.

I’ve been deeply unhappy, very unsatisfied, for many years, whilst managing to find pockets  of happiness in my life (a life which, for many reasons, is being lived way below parr).

These pockets of happiness include seeing my littles grow up and witnessing their growth and their joy in life, moments of beauty that arrive to me as and when I open my ‘heart eyes’ and moments of creative stimulation and pure creativity when I feel I’ve reached my flow and what I’ve managed to realise approximates, somewhat, my ideal of it.

But, together, and overlying, as they do, my sense of deep dissatisfaction, these moments of happiness never seem to reach what I’d label a satisfactory level of contentment.

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So I set out on a journey, to try and discover what I’d class as contentment (after all, if you want to get to point b, you need to know the coordinates for point b).

For me it looks a lot like freedom, includes a lot of beauty (external and self-made) and includes – most definitely – love (in heaps). All mixed with kindness and jumbled around with light [you can move over darkness; I’ve had enough of you already]

Then I started to examine where the lack was, to examine which areas of my life were lacking (in any or all of these ingredients for contentment). I also dusted off my dust-smeared glasses and rubbed them clean; after all, you can’t see you way forward if you’re being blocked by poor vision and bogged down by poor perspective. It was important that I come to the search with fresh, hopeful, eyes.

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Upon reflection….

I suffer from a lack of freedom: I’m stuck here, in a place I don’t want to be, a place that’s dangerous, where frightening incidents happen frequently, where I don’t want to be raising my children…. freedom is definitely the weak link in my contentment equation. That’s an immovable fact at the moment, unfortunately [meaning I’m going to have to work double hard on improving the other components….]

I crave more beauty in my life: not only am I stuck here but this place is, in general, ugly as Hell. It’s a typical developing country city, a mess at all and every levels, survival of the fittest on display at every turn whilst the rich strut, peacock-like, shaking their voluminous tail feathers obliviously, over and above it all. Ugly buildings, ugly infrastructure, ugly hearts, small small minds. But I’m a biologist and this place does have lots and lots of beautiful Nature so I make a point of seeking it whenever I can.

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I’m deprived of love. But, as Krista Tippetts states – which resonated with me at a very deep level – “I can’t name the day when I suddenly realized that the lack of love in my life was not a reality but a poverty of imagination and a carelessly narrow use of an essential word”. I can’t imagine ever again accepting romantic love in to my life but this sense that I’m lacking love has started gripping me with panic, as a lack of romantic love means, surely, endless days of ‘alone-ness’, of loneliness and a lack of companionship. And that most definitely puts a major dampener on contentment. But love doesn’t have to mean romantic love. Living with love can mean doing all things with love…showing love and compassion in all moments….deciding to live in love – with life itself, with one’s life….to walk in love to make your environment better (be this your home or your community).

My own, personal, life is awash with kindness (as it sort of forms the basis of my own personal religion) and this has helped me to forgive and it helps me to hope, to remain optimistic (despite my circumstances) and to always give the benefit of the doubt. In hindsight, I think my openness to kindness has kept me buoyant during times that should have sunk me. So kindness is definitely compensating for the lack of freedom, beauty and love.

I’ve definitely not got enough light in my life. Not enough laughter, or fun (or, perhaps, too much heavy that weighs everything down, not allowing light to breathe and to propagate). It’s sadly lacking in moments of light, those moments that come when you’re with those you love, those who’ve known you always, those people you just feel totally comfortable with.

And…the list went on….as the reflections went deeper…(I won’t bore you with any more of the stuff…)

 Contentment7

What I did discover from this reflection on contentment was that, for me, I could remember what contentment felt like and I could identify what was (is) blocking my pathway to contentment at this place in my life (I hesitate to label it a stage).

Following this reflection, I could then attempt to develop some contentment goals (however strange that sounded to me at first): little steps to take me away from where I am to where I’d like to be (all the while accepting that the maximum level of contentment here will be way below where it would be if I was in more desirable surroundings).

For me, these steps were (are) really important, as depression was starting to take a hold, causing inertia: if I had a set of trackable small steps to follow, which would eventually make me feel better – perhaps even content – then I’d have to force myself to take action (otherwise I’d only have my inaction to blame for my unhappiness, for my situational discontent).

People Dancing Outside That You Have Rarely Seen Today (5)

So what were my small steps? Quite simple things, really. To continue my meditation practice and to live more mindfully (not only in my actions but also in my thought and speech). To go to one new place each week. To make a new recipe (or eat something new) each week. To have guests over more often (not just play dates!). Many of them were, actually, based around self-care: trying new make-up; not skipping runs (I always know I’m in the throes of a depressive episode when I start skipping exercise); getting small treats for myself (going to see a film at the cinema, making time to read or to scrapbook guilt-free etc.).

I’ve been doing this for a month or so and it is having an effect. I feel that, whilst they’re far from being rose-tinted, the glasses through which I now view my life are definitely less dusty and jaded and that, as such, I’m walking around with a new perspective. And I hope this new perspective will lead to new places.

Contentment still isn’t viewable on any close horizon but my happiness levels are rising and that has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

Helen xxx

Note:

I asked, a few weeks ago, for people to contribute to this contentment series and many of you replied saying they’d love to. Thanks so much for that! I know I’ll be very interested to read your perspectives on contentment and I’m sure my readers will be intrigued. (I will be emailing you all back this week; I was very ill with a horrid virus last week, which knocked me for six…)

In these times in which we live, with most of us living on edge (because of world events), busy (because of our hectic lives), unhappy/frustrated (because of a disconnect with self and the environment of inherent ‘comparison’ that social media breeds), I’m sure hearing about how other people consider/reflect upon contentment will be of interest and might stimulate some changes in our own lives.

I hope you all enjoy the guest posts in this series (they’ll be posted on Wednesdays).

[Michelle will be up first on the 6th, then Gabriele on the 13th]

If anyone else would like to contribute a guest post….just email me…I don’t bite and everyone is welcome….iwillbloomblog – at – gmail dot com

FMF: Decide

Joining in with Five Minute friday. This week’s word: Decide

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Decide.

When it comes down to it, that’s all it takes, really: to decide you’re going to do something and then follow through. 

Your mind is your most powerful ally.

Train your mind – harness and direct your thoughts – and your decisions become your reality.

Decide then commit. 

It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

Don’t let your mind become your worst enemy.

Decide to free yourself to believe and decide, every day, to muster the discipline it takes to follow through.

You’ll thank yourself in the end.

No-one wants to get to the end regretting not having made the extra little bit of effort/not doing things because they feared being shown up/not having pushed past shyness/[insert whatever excuse you’re using to stop yourself]

Decide to use all of you, to flourish, to spend every bit of all your glorious talents.

Decide then commit.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Excellence lies in the strength of your belief and the steadfastness, and ongoing repetition, of your commitment.

END

Thanks to everyone who emailed me (or contacted me) about the Contentment series. Am flattered and honoured. My little boy’s been ill – and off school – this week, sending everything a bit pear-shaped, but I’ll be emailing details out over the weekend….thank you!!! [It’s going to be a good one, I know it]

Helen xx

P.S. The little boy riding the tortoise, encouraging it with what looks like a sausage, makes me laugh every time I see it!

FMF: alive

After a very busy week (during which I didn’t even have time to reply to the comments on my last post – sorry sorry sorry to you all……I have now done so….thank you all for your kindness), I’m joining in with Five Minute Friday.

This week’s word: Alive

(My first thoughts went, immediately, to Andrew, such a valuable and valued member of the FMF community…)

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An evocative word this week – even more so than usual – coming, as it does, in the aftermath of yet more senseless deaths (I know all of our hearts go out to those affected by the events in Turkey and Brussels) and as we pass through Easter, a time of deep reflection on what being alive signifies, on what our responsibilities are in this life.

It’s become so watered down, it’s almost a bumper sticker, a sort of plaster for the self-help generation, but it’s a fact…

…life is precious.

We only get so many days to be alive. We never know when it’s our time. When our time will come to exit life.

Yet we often live our lives on mute, on standstill……moving through our days as if they’re endless, as if we get to press repeat on our journey here on Earth. Continuing with habits that don’t bring us joy, that don’t lead to us realising our best selves. Not doing all we can to make our time on Earth mean all it could.

But our days? They’re not endless and we don’t. There’s no repeat button.

Hopefully we’ll be gifted a long life.

But maybe we won’t.

I reflect on this often and remember Mary Oliver, who taunted, so powerfully, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”

I smile when I think of this because I remember my old life, which used to be wild – full of adventure, full of travel and laughter and real, tangible, gems every single day. A life that brought me so much joy, made me feel so alive. Like I was grabbing life itself and shaking it and squeezing the juice out of all of it.

Those memories make me smile whilst shedding tears of nostalgia.

I feel – have felt for a long time now – an ache, a deep soul-level longing – for more. To not only know I’m alive but to feel like I’m truly living. To use my capabilities more often, for more.

But the baggage that weighs me down seems to get heavier each day (trauma is a many-headed beast, a veritable hydra of shocks and nasty surprises). Daily rainstorms turn the baggage to lead on my back. Concrete powder wetting and setting at my feet, slowing me down, rooting my feet to the spot whilst my body is ready, poised for action.

I look at my now….not wild, not exciting, not full of adventure…but, still, a life that makes me smile. My littles, a source of constant joy. My role of ‘Mama’ enveloping my time. Finding lifelines where I can, how I can. Slowly pulling myself up from my concrete bath and loosening weight from my baggage.

My smiles are now internal smiles, of the ‘resigned contentment’ type, that this is where I am. Knowing that this utterly boring has to be enough for now. Has to be. Or all is lost.

I lean on gratitude: it’s my miracle maker. I’m thankful every single day that I’ve woken up, that I’m alive. That I came through – am coming through – insidious abuse and that I manage to keep the hydra under control. And that she seems to be retreating, slowly but surely.

And I’m hopeful that things will change, that somehow I’ll be able to find the wild again, that I’ll hear it’s call and one day be able to run free after it. It’s a waiting game that’s teaching me patience and the wonder of grace.

It’s horrible, this stasis: is there anything worse than being alive (and healthy) and not really living?

But how how how?

[This is the question I need answering, You. Please].

END

P.S. I am hoping to get I Will Bloom up and running properly again and am going to be running a series on contentment – like the How to Fall in Love With Your World series – and would love to have some volunteers for guest posts…..hopefully my request won’t fall flat on it’s face and that you’ll come forward…..email me for details at iwillbloomblog – at – gmail dot com.

I promise I don’t bite.

Helen xxxx

FMF: surprise

Joining in with Five Minute Friday and this week’s word: Surprise…..

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START

A knock at the door. The police. Two of them. Huge, both of them. Telling me I’d been accused of having kidnapped my children (a false accusation). My children’s eyes wide, wondering what on Earth their Mum had done wrong, that the police were visiting at that hour of the night. The sound of fear-filled, but calm, steps across the entrance of that beautiful floor of the High Court, the Christmas tree lights twinkling ‘Merry Christmas’ (I now know how those people sentenced to death in the States must feel as they walk their last walk and, now, even Christmas tree lights, if I’m caught off guard, cause my trauma responses to flare). All these things…things I thought I’d never have to experience. Bad surprises. Very bad.

The failure of my marriage. The turning of my husband in to a beast before my very eyes. His illness set forth, Hulk-like, pouncing on me every chance it couldn’t be controlled any longer. The violence. The bruising. The taunts and thefts. The despair. Disbelief. Self-doubt. The loneliness. The vast loneliness. A whole other round of most definitely not welcome and certainly unwanted bad surprises.

But, with the bad, always comes good. Yin yang. Karma. Entropy. Call it what you will but I’ve found that if life takes something out of one hand, it’ll pop something back in your other hand. Maybe not right away but it’ll come. There’s a certain art to be appreciated, I’ve found, in this patience game.

I found my yellow brick road. My calm. In the very eye of the storm. I found I have a talent for seeing the beauty in an ordinary, difficult, life. For finding hope where none seems to exist, where the earth seems so bare nothing would be likely to grow. I have an eye for pleasant surprises.

And finding a whole host of small pleasant surprises – in the least likely times – leads one to think that maybe there’s something to this God lark. Maybe God is the raindrop shining diamond-like on the fresh born leaf, maybe he is the hope that filled my soul and guided me through it all. Guides me through it all.

And the biggest surprise of all? I’ve let go and I’ve never felt calmer in all my life. I couldn’t fight any more, couldn’t do it. Not physically (my body told me I should give up a while ago, all it’s systems so out of whack; cortisol turns in to a poison when it’s seeing so many ‘fight or flight’ episodes so frequently). Not emotionally. Not in any way (I’m not a fighter at the best of times, my way is the Ghandi way). And to fight against such evil on one’s own: that was too big a fight. So I let go. And when I’d let go of that, I realised how little control I have over anything. And, my, what freedom there is in that letting go. What joyous, joy-filled, freedom.

I see God. Every day. I feel him. I hear him, even, when I meditate. I see the vastness of everything and my surprise at it’s beauty, that surprise I feel every single time, at the perfection and simplicity of it, it stuns me to tears. Silences me before it so that I now understand those people who kneel and believe and submit and let go. I understand the Dalai Lama’s smile that was always so puzzling – so enticing – to me as a child.

You see something so beautiful, it’s all you can do to keep standing, all you can do to not want to smile all the time. But the beauty of it is that it’ll give you wings, give you strength, hold you up when you literally can’t stand up because the weight of it all is just too much. You see such beauty, you don’t have room for the evil that tries to visit you, you don’t have room for ‘petty’ or threats or violence. You’re above it. “You’re better than this, Mama” (as my son says to me).

Thank you, you, whatever, however, you are. Thank you. I see you, I feel you, and I want to thank you. For giving me back my life. For showing me how to stand up not just straight but tall again, head held high. Ready for what’s at the end of this yellow brick road.

Thank you.

END

[Thought you might like to read this beautiful piece from the BBC: What writing about death taught one woman about life]

FMF: Share

Joining in with Five Minute Friday – after too long a break – with this week’s word Share…..

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START

To share with others is one of the most life-giving things you can do: a shared meal, a shared laugh, a shared hug, a shared ‘Me too’….moments like these bond, provide glue not only for the friendship but for ourselves, for our ‘me’.

Nothing – nothing – beats an ‘I understand’ or ‘I hear you’ to make you feel whole again.

Empathy is, after all, the most life-affirming glue we humans have. [What a shame it is that so many of us have lost our capacity for empathy].

Let’s not forget the other side of ‘share’, however….the one that leaves you feeling vulnerable – because you suddenly feel you’ve shared too much (something you’ve created, a thought you’ve had…)……you know those moments, the ones where you’ve definitely ‘put yourself out there’ and you’re hanging, waiting for a reaction, waiting to see what people will make of it….[not that you define yourself by other’s opinions; does creativity even require an audience?]…

Those moments, those ‘ooooh my goodness, what have I done?’ moments, they’re definitely not glue-like; they’re the moments that make you come undone at your seams. They loosen your stuffing a bit and you feel all ruffled, not quite ‘you’.

And afterwards, you’re never quite ‘you’ again because you’ll have had to re-accommodate but – somehow – through sharing this glimpse of pure you, you’ll get stronger and more confident, that little bit more ready to share more, to offer more of you.

Eventually, after much toe-dipping in to this theatre of ‘testing your limits of comfort’, you’ll learn to shine your own light and, through this, others might be encouraged by your bravery [Encouragement: showing people how to find their own courage to shine?]….you’ll light the path for others….and your act(s) of bravery, who knows, it might start a chain reaction….

As Marie Forleo, one of my entrepreneurial heroes, says, “The world needs that special gift that only you have”…..and when you think of it like this….

….it’s actually kind of selfish not to share your talents just because you’re slightly afraid….

Perhaps the ‘afraid’ feelings – the goosebumps and the other signs we’re bumping against our vulnerability boundaries – are actually beacons to light our way to where we should be going?

[As Seuss says, there’s no-one that’s you-er than you; how strange, then, that we so often get to a position where we try to hide our light, to dampen our capacities for encouragement…]

Imagine a world where everyone felt free to share their talents, to share their passions, their joys, their sadnesses…..where solutions, help, encouragement were offered as the norm….imagine the sheer joy it would cause, to yourself and others, being you, totally you…..

[I like the idea of that kind of freedom]

END

[For some reason, I still can’t leave comments on blogger blogs….sorry! I am going to dedicate some time this weekend to try and find out what’s happening…]

Missing you…

MissingYou

I have a confession to make….

It’s been three months since I even looked at my blog

(I’d forgotten the password to log in – yikes!)

It’s also been three months since I got hooked on Instagram.

(Yes, there is a direct correlation; Instagram, you’re a sneaky little minx! So sneaky, in fact, that you’ve even managed to cure my Pinterest addiction, Heaven forbid!)

And you know what?

I miss you….all of you…my readers….

And I miss my blog….

(and doing the rounds of everyone’s blogs)

But the words just aren’t coming…..

(Well, they are, but book-related words not bloggy-words)

So I just wanted to say….

I miss you all….

and I’ll be back as and when the bloggy muse hits and I feel I’ve something ‘worthwhile’ to say….

(If I don’t fall fast asleep with the littles on Thursday, I really want to do an FMF post….I’m missing FMF sooooooo much….)

Love,

Helen xxx