Sunday, 29 April 2012

Keep moving!

As I wait outside the school for my 11 year old son to appear I watch with bubbling laughter rising in my chest as the 5 & 6 year olds come bouncing, skipping, running and hopping out the school gates. The adults waiting for them try reining them in by holding a hand or clutching the straps on their bag, uneasy somehow at the freedom and energy pumping through their small person.  I love watching them, and I feel a heavy heart when I see an adult trying to dampen down their energy and enthusiasm. We are children for such a short time - this IS their carefree childhood - so let them bounce and hop for soon maturity, work and society will ensure they remain still a long time. 
Writing this I feel the need to get outside and do a cart wheel!  Perhaps my wrists and hips will prevent me from doing this sometime, but right now my 44 year old bones don't seem to mind, so for now I'll carry on. Be free, move with a spring in your step and celebrate that you have a body that enjoys being challenged!
"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." - Edward Stanley

Monday, 23 April 2012

Your life, your reality, your world.

We start off in this world with such an enthusiastic, optimistic view of all that surrounds us.  Sadly it seems, bit by bit, slowly but surely it can become more and more polluted.
Just like the moment when we notice our cherished medal from that 100metre race at school has somehow, without apparent warning become tarnished.  Suddenly it seems to have become so dull that no amount of rubbing, scrubbing or cleaning can get it back to its former glory.  That beautiful thing you were once so proud of,  that object that made you smile when you remembered that sunny day at the races now               permanently marked and irreversibly stained.
Do try not to let mind pollutants (or mind pollluters!) break you down and tarnish your view of your world.  Maintain your own sanctuary.  Put off the news if it affects you badly. Don't read the newspaper.  Walk away from those you don't trust.  You owe it to yourself.
"Don't compromise yourself.  You are all you've got." - Janis Joplin

Saturday, 21 April 2012

These days, I know my body is my temple.

I've not always thought of my body as being something precious that I should look after - seems obvious now of course - but when I was much younger and totally absorbed in having fun, I didn't spend too much time thinking of the effect my hedonistic life might take on me. I guess that rings true for most who are 40 years old and beyond!
Every generation can remember a time when their actions (and sometimes lack of knowledge about the consequences of their choices) had a knock on effect, and left them looking back and questioning their decision making at the time.  Hollywood in the 1930's made smoking glamorous, but we know now how detrimental it is on our health.  Promiscuity in the 60's, 70's & 80's became a death defying game of Russian roulette according to the statistics and scaremongering TV campaign of 1988 aiming to raise awareness of HIV/AID's with tomb stones falling over and the voice over man saying, "Don't die of ignorance!" I speak with people all the time who have beaten themselves up over life choices they made at a time when they were young, naively getting on with making choices based on, what was often, a very limited knowledge. If you're living differently now, you've learnt and evolved, you've made mistakes and you're now making better choices.  Give yourself a break, don't keep letting your thoughts about the past put you down, celebrate that you're looking after yourself now!  
"Take care of your body it's the only place you have to live." - John Rohn

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Time to bloom.

I was talking to Andrew the other day about his magnolia tree being much further on than mine, his is about to burst into bloom while the buds on my magnolia tree (20miles east) are quite small and still tightly shut.
Then last night my son started talking about his belief that he's not very "clever" and I reassured him that though learning at school is quite important, we don't all learn at the same rate and we do a lot more learning after school. What a shame we live in a society where so much emphasis is put on school tests and academia. When we discover what we love, following whatever makes our heart sing, we can become an expert in that field and achieve a great deal by simply doing what we feel passionately about.
We all bloom at different rates. If you know a young person who has lost belief in themselves as a result of not achieving what's expected of them by their schools system of scoring according to their age and stage, remind them of these great achievers as written about in, "The Denenberg Report," “Thomas Edison, thought by many to have the highest IQ in the last millennium, was dismissed from school because his teacher thought he did not have the intelligence to succeed academically. Albert Einstein could not read until he was seven and still was considered a slow learner in high school. Winston Churchill was last in his class in school but developed a remarkable vocabulary that led him to become one of the greatest orators of all time."

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Those of you who know me well will know I've had many house moves in my 44 years. In fact the standing count is 27 houses in 44 years. Where I live now, in a lovely renovated cottage in a small village in Angus is where (in my adult life) I've stayed the longest. 4 years... 4 YEARS..WOW! A friend called me yesterday when I was driving north having visited friends in Wiltshire. She said, "You've got friends everywhere!" and though on one hand this is a lovely truth it also makes for a bit of heartache at times. I'm not alone of course, in this time of near effortless travel to anywhere available to us, combined with folk looking further afield for work and choosing to re-settle in every corner of the world, our ability to maintain close contact with people who matter can be tricky - though not impossible! Andrew (boyfriend) has lived in his house for 24 years, we don't live together but I do go and stay at his for a few days here and there. So the 6 years of knowing Andrew (and being with him in his home) combined with the 4 years in my own place is helping the simmering, smouldering flame of wanderlust settle down to a more serene glow. Could it be that friends might be able to start writing my address in pen instead of pencil? Now that would be good! So to all my dear friends in Shetland, Moray, Argyll, London, Cornwall, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Sussex, Ireland, Australia, Canada, France & USA...I might not end up settling on your doorstep, but knowing I can speak with you on the phone, visit you (and vice versa) perhaps means I can stop tearing round wondering where I should settle content in the knowledge that though we're not in the same location we're always together in friendship.
"Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them but you know they're always there." - Author unknown.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Do you see shadows or the sunshine?

I met a woman yesterday, and ex-nursing colleague who I haven't seen since 1993. I was genuinely pleased to see her, she's aged amazingly well - in her 60's when I worked with her back then and still as sprightly and bright as I remember her.
1993 was as the Queen would say, my "annus horribilis" the sequence of events went from being assaulted in the street,to moving myself and my two children out of the matrimonial home and away from their father, to losing my mother to cancer, to being abandoned by many & held by a few.
At times I really wasn't sure I'd survive, as the turmoil and depth of sadness I felt at that time was all consuming. My 2 daughters, 5 years old and 3 1/2 years old were my focus, they held my heart and stopped me from running, and running, and running, and running.
Yesterdays meeting was fascinating, and I was enjoying chatting until 5 words fell from her mouth which made me baulk. It was a stark reminder, that for some at least the whispering campaign against me has left a shadow that in some circles follows me yet.
At home last night I shed some tears as I thought about that 24 year old beginning 1993 in such cold isolation. Counting my blessings, I reminded myself that I did make some mistakes. I learned and I grew.
Bringing myself back to NOW and not allowing my headmind to take me back there and leave me staring at a time that is simply too painful, I was reminded of the strength and love of the friends I have in my life! Hallelujah to each and every one of you! Especially those from '93 who didn't fan the flames and reduce me to cinders, I will forever be grateful to you.
Before passing judgement, ask yourself how it serves you to condemn another? Being kind doesn't make us a door mat or a walk over, it means we have a heart large enough to forgive and accept that to be human means to have faults.
"We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation." - Paulo Coehlo
"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven." - Luke 6:37