Friday, 23 February 2018

Time For Me


As most of you will know I recently got back from an EPIC trip to Bali. I took myself off to a retreat for a week. ALL BY MYSELF.

I will admit to you now that a couple of weeks before I was due to depart I was overcome with anxiety about what was ahead. Should I really be travelling to the other side of the world on my own? Did I deserve to go on a retreat? Was I even in the headspace to do that? Have I worked hard enough to justify this? Will I let myself down? Will it change me for the better or the worse? Will I connect with people?

Well THANK GOODNESS I got on that plane and went. 

At the airport, my boyfriend dropped me off and after we said our goodbyes, I checked in and made my way through security it suddenly hit me.

THIS IS IT.

I plucked up the courage after pacing past Jamie's Bar five times - yes, you did read that right - FIVE times it took me to actually feel brave enough to go and sit with a glass of fizz on my own while I waited for my gate number. Sipping on my Elderflower Fizz I had a strange sense of calmness creep over me. This was something I hadn't felt in months - I think I had prepared myself for total mascara-running-down-the-face-meltdown!

Sitting there watching other passengers bustling about beneath me, I won't forget the calmness I felt in my body. It was like a fog had lifted from my eyes, my shoulders were lighter and my mind felt still and grateful. 'Thank You' my head told me. 'Thank you for making you do this.'

The 10 days that stretched out before me were just for me. It felt fresh, exciting and what I knew my mind, body and my heart and soul needed.

In that moment I felt free. Suddenly I wasn't controlled by the time on the clock, schedules, routines or work. I liked that feeling. I was liberated.

Why do we push ourselves to the bottom of the pile?

Why do we not allow ourselves time for true reflection? To forget responsibilities and just be. To really connect with ourselves.

We all get complacent I think. We all rush around life ticking off the next task or going to the next event in our diaries. We have moments of time for us in that bubble bath we prepare, the quick shopping trip we sneak in before the school run or the quiet night with a book.

But when do we really just have time for us? Time when we aren't distracted or interrupted?

We look forward to quality time (by this I mean an extended amount of time from a day to a few weeks or months) with loved ones and friends but ask yourself this; when was the last time you had quality time just for you?

For some, like me, it may be you've never had that before or perhaps you've tried to avoid it?

I really encourage you to book in that time.

Take yourself off for a week or a long weekend. If that's too much spend a day out walking in your favourite place, treat yourself to a pub lunch, take yourself off to the spa. Just you. Just be.

Allow yourself to be free. To be open. To fully embrace every single moment of time for you. Have time to reconnect with yourself. Take your journal and just write whatever comes to you. Get clear on you and where you are at with yourself. What changes do you want me make? What are you grateful for? What's next?

It will work wonders.

Your body will thank you. Your mind will thank you. And most of all your heart and soul will thank you.

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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Reflections Change



Growth. Change. Development. Transformation. Evolution.

We are constantly changing. From baby to toddler, toddler to teen, teen to adult. Life is this ever changing cycle we are all part of. Every living thing is part of. The flowers, the trees, the birds, the sky, the stars...it's all always changing, always moving, always growing.

Even ancient ruins. Even pathways that have held the footsteps of many for thousands of years. These homes of 'forever' have changed over time.

A little bit mind blowing when you think about it.

I've been thinking a lot about change recently. Triggered by a quote I read in Grief Works by Julia Cohen - a book I read after the passing of my beautiful Nanny Pat.

When we look in the mirror the person we see has changed. We look at a photograph of ourselves, and wonder at the innocence of that smile.

Undoubtably there is so much truth in this. But it wasn't until I sat with it for a while and really thought about what this was all telling me about life.

We grow, we learn and we develop ourselves on the inside through experience, stories, books, conversations and therapy but why is it we look at our physical reflection or a photograph and think, who is that person? Why do we suddenly disassociate our physical self with the emotional challenges and changes that life brings every single one of us?

Why do we look at a reflection and feel saddened at what stares back at us?

Perhaps its a way of disassociating ourselves with what life has presented us with? Perhaps its denial? We all have a story. We all have wounds. And we all have chapters in our life we'd like to turn the clock back on.

But what about if we started looking at our reflections and at those photos of years gone by with a little more acceptance? Pride. Gratitude. What if we started to really connect with the changes and the growth inside of us throughout life instead?

Imagine for a second that we could take a photograph of our emotions. Imagine the changes in your mindset that you could see. Think about what those changes would look like. Visualise it for a moment or two. Something about this suddenly feels different...

Now what do you see when you look in the mirror?
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