March 2020 - Dale Darley

Archive Monthly Archives: March 2020

Seven Reasons To Start A Lockdown Journal Today

It’s raining. Again. I’ve lost count of what day of the lockdown it is (where I live it began on March 14th). In my what has now been renamed lockdown journal I am remembering to put the dates. For some reason, I don’t want to, but I know that it is important to remember how I felt and how I processed my emotions during this period.

The rain doesn’t stop our short walk. My dogs are lapping up every moment. They are used to four long walks a day. These walks, along with my journal, keep me sane. Right now I am having a few moments of it’s ok to not be ok.

Once again, journaling is saving my life.

This journal – my lockdown journal – feels more meaningful. I’m recording a momentous time in humanities evolution and an incredible time in my life.

A few days ago I noticed I was clenching my jaw and I swear this is not something I have done in many years. Doing a daily body scan enables you to notice tensions easily and then usually you can move the energy on. Right now I am finding this a tad harder, and that’s ok.

I have allowed the emotions to flow. There’s been a range, which started with anger at being bullied – or at least the person attempted to intimidate me. I decided to let it all flow, to become a witness and to enjoy sorting these pieces of the me jigsaw out.

Then I decided to play the appreciation game and to look at how I could count my blessings. Despite said rain when I was out with my three dogs, I did just that.

We live in a beautiful place with loads of space for them to run and explore. For me, every day is different on our walks. The air temperature, smells, sounds, new plants, the sky, cloud formations and simply life. There is a peace that always transcends me when I am in nature which also excites the pants off me.

I’ve also introduced Terrace Time, where I just stop and look around at the beauty of the world, to feel the energy, to say thank you and to do my morning energy routine. I’ve become quite addicted.

This morning as I stopped to wonder at the glory of Mother Nature, a song crept unbidden into my head. ‘What’s the story morning glory?’ the 1995 Oasis album and song of the same title. And then in a thrice, my mind tumbled backwards in time to that era.

1995 and life was very different. I was back in Wales after living in Reading for a few hectic years, working for an IT company, had a motorbike licence (exciting and scary) and a bike mad boyfriend. We used to head out on what I call ‘holidays from hell.’ (It always rains when you go on motorbike holidays. It does I promise you.) However, these are holidays that I will never forget; cold, wet, miserable weather, soaked leathers; yet full of excitement and mystery wondering where we would end up after a day’s ride.

My mind tripped to ten years later, and I was, heading through France to Spain in my motorhome, where again, I was reminded of so many other crazy holidays. On this journey, I remember being whisked back in time as the names of towns whizzed by. I love how my memory does a great job of delving inwards and resurfacing happy times.

There I was dancing in the streets of Cahors. We had happened upon a festival quite by accident. Impromptu, silly, drunken good-natured fun. From there back in time to Bayonne and a camping holiday when I was in my early 20’s. I think it was the world surfing championships. I had my first go on a surfboard – a never to be repeated event. I lost my bikini in the surf and a restaurant flooded in a deluge of rain as we ate one evening.

My walk became a time travelers convention, except, my feet were now very firmly on the ground, and I was in the country with the three dogateers doing their thing during what is currently the strangest period of my life.

Life is no longer as fast or mad, but life is full of adventure, despite being locked down. 

I wonder if you stopped for a moment where your memory will take you?

Fast forward post lockdown

Naturally, I have no idea when this will be over. However, imagine being able to not only process your emotions and thoughts through this but to be able to look back and remember how it was for you.

Your stories could inspire a generation of people looking for meaning in their lives. Your story could provide hope for someone so that they know that around the corner is a rainbow or a pot of gold. Your story can be happy or sad, born of tragedy or joy, about business or life’s adventures, inspired by revolution or evolution. Or maybe it’s a story that just needs to be told.

Start your lockdown journal today

The morning is a perfect time to put pen to paper. What if each morning you let your mind wander? Could you capture the story that you want (or need) to tell? What if you captured your story? How might it inspire others? How might it inspire you?

No one knows what is around the corner, there is no crystal ball. You do have a choice about how you move through this period. I choose to write, to express my deepest emotions and to record what is going on for me.

Reasons to start a lockdown journal

Process your thoughts, feelings and emotions. This is a strange and curious experience for us all. Journaling is a brilliant way to get it out, process and let it go.

Record of your life. You know when someone says, oh you should write a book, well you are now – the book of your life. Just imagine if you are minded to do so, how what you learn about you during this period could strengthen what you have to teach the world.

Learning and growth. Yeah and phew, what an opportunity to listen to your spirit (intuition, inner guide, magical muse) and do the personal growth stuff that your soul has been screaming at you to do.

Clarity and vision. Right now, you need to make sense of your life and the world around you. Writing in your journal will give you clarity, and you can use this to start envisioning how you want to be when this is all over.

Inner peace. I find that once I have splurged it all out, I feel so much more peaceful.

Appreciation. I’ve made gratitude journaling a big part of my life. I write three things, three times a week, along with an affirmation, what did I learn and wouldn’t it be nice. These really do help me to maintain perspective.

Ideas for a book. I love to write and to write books. Journaling is great way to find inspiration for that book you have always promised to write and never did. Want some help with how to do that – check out this course.

If you don’t know how to journal read this blog – How to start journaling when you don’t know how.

Also, take a look at are you ready to spin the wheel of fortune and ask where am I, followed by what do I want to create?

Daily prompts for your lockdown journal

In the evening

  • How did the day begin?
  • What happened as the day progressed?
  • What is today’s story?
  • What is the best thing that happened?
  • What am I grateful for today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • How did the day end?

In the morning

  • How do I feel today, and how would I like to feel?
  • What can I create today?
  • How can I be kind to myself and others today?
  • What am I looking forward to?

What about starting the 101 days of being me journaling adventure?

When I left the horrid husband and started a new life in a new country just six short weeks after discovering his double life, I started 101 days of being me.

Every day I put the camera in my face and talked about how I felt and then later, once in bed, I wrote my heart out. I created these prompts for others to follow and to explore the inner them.

You sign up down there at the bottom of the blog, and these will be delivered to your inbox daily. All you have to do to take action. Read, muse and write.

I’m journaling daily, will you join me?

And finally, we are all in this together, and together we heal and rise. It’s ok to not be ok, and please whatever you do, please do not be alone.

Inner Peace And The Importance Of Shaving Your Legs…

After a weekend of doing not a lot, the desire to get out of bed and resume ‘normal’ life was not strong. I was cosily snuggled with two doglets, despite being pushed to the edge of the bed. I was craving inner peace and space to just forget what was going on in the world.

The first thing I did was reach for my journal and start my usual Monday journaling – the prompt is always – what do I want to create?

What do I want to create as a question is a powerful motivator, and it allows the imagination to roam a while. I find that I start writing rather uninteresting things, then the important things come up and then the ideas.

Today it was about finding calm in both my body and mind. I’d noticed with everything going on how my jaw was tight, my spine aches and how I had the tiniest stirrings of a headache.

As I scribbled, a few things that could restore my inner peace came to mind. One drink even more water, two go and do Terrace Time more often and three, stop and do a short meditation a few times.

Terrace Time is a new activity which started when we were quarantined following a death in a nearby village. We had been told that under no circumstances could anyone, even those with dogs, leave the house.

I headed to the terrace several times with my dogs to try to get them to run around this small area and do their thing. What happened was I was treated to the first glimpses of a new day while I did my energy routine. They spent most of their time with their noses in my foo foo.

What has happened is that Terrace Time has become a habit and such a treat. I’m really enjoying kicking off my day this way.

Back to the journaling.

On Sunday I do a declutter and dump, which was quite funny recalling the days odd moments. Like thinking that there was a helicopter flying over the village and when I looked, it was a tractor disinfecting the area. To be fair, the noise was deafening.

These Sunday evening forays into my imagination are powerful, and I got some great ideas out, which were reflected in my Monday creations.

Finding inner peace in my new normal

After journaling, I knew what I needed was a hot, calming shower, and to wash my hair. I needed to tell myself Monday’s here, and it’s time to get back to ‘normal’.

Normal, that is my new normal, which given how I live is not that different to my old normal, except I am unable to walk my dogs as often and as far as I usually do, which is one of my life-saving inner peace strategies outside of journaling. And I can’t meet friends for yummy food by the sea. However, yay for technology and being able to have tea and cake online.

When all was done, in the shower, I remembered my legs. Well, who cares about them? No one can see them. Who cares if they are hairy?

But that’s the point. If you let things go, they will continue to slide. Sitting around eating cake in your PJ’s watching Judge Rinder and Loose Women is not a strategy. Although I do love a bit of Judge Rinder.

What I have noticed is that when my inner peace feels at risk, I start to feel anxious, which is not something I have experienced for a long time.

This morning I made a decision that I must stay with my inner peace. I don’t have to do or be anything else, I simply need to make a choice that my inner peace is important to me.

What is Inner Peace?

The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence. Norman Vincent Peale

Inner peace is a state of being not doing. We don’t travel there physically, although I believe we do mentally and in our hearts.

It’s not a thing that we do, more that we practice things, like smiling, kindness, compassion, walking, yoga, meditation, and journaling which helps us to maintain the state of inner peace.

When we stop fretting about the future because let’s face it, we do not have a crystal ball and dwelling in the past, we can find a place of peace. And yes I get that we are living in strange times, but we really cannot predict what will happen next.

Which leads me to say that inner peace is about acceptance of the moment we find ourselves in. Take a moment to appreciate where you are and what you have.

Inner peace brings a level of freedom. Of course, you will feel stressed or anxious about things, but hopefully less so than someone who cannot or has not experienced inner peace.

Now more than ever, we need to remember that searching for inner peace is futile. This practice takes time and a desire to turn away from the outer world and come inside where there is a rich abundance of stillness is waiting for you.

Inner peace is like your well of in-tuition, it sits deep within in you. It can be a natural state of being if you choose to let yourself experience it.

I’ve been on a massive healing journey where I have learned to love me and to enjoy being in my company. It can be hard to express what inner peace means to me other than I know I have it, and you will too.

What I notice about people who seem peaceful is that:

  • They smile and laugh more
  • Worry less, don’t play the victim and find solutions
  • Are content and appreciate all that they have, and they probably practice gratitude too
  • They have tools to deal with fearful, and negatives thoughts so usually have less mind mush
  • When it comes to drama they most definitely reserve that for theater shows
  • They have faith and trust that all will be well
  • They appreciate the world around them, especially Mother Nature
  • They are kind to themselves and others
  • They are compassionate and supportive
  • They can sit with themselves and do not need to be entertained
  • They can sit still and simply be

How does inner peace arrive?

It doesn’t come on a pink unicorn. I did ask, but my request from The Universe was denied. It is as I have said a choice. I do understand that it isn’t always that easy. We have a lifetime of baggage to dump – beliefs, fears, judgements, doubts, anxieties, anger, frustration, denial, resentment and regrets to name but a few things.

Inner peace comes when you make choices about how you want to be and to let go of what does not serve you.

If you can find a way to accept who you are, love you and all of your foibles, you will find that you waste less time worrying about what you cannot control and enjoying more of the present moment.

When you do this, you will awaken to the delight that is inner peace and the realisation that you are worthy of this place of being and everything that this life has to offer.

All you have to remember is that the teacher is in you.

I am reminded once again of the serenity prayer.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.
Reinhold Niebuhr

There are many things that you simply can’t change. The past, for example, is long gone. We cannot undo things that happened and the choices that we have made, but we can change how we feel about them and the lessons learned. We can also make conscious decisions about the things presented to us now. That brings inner peace.

Today I am

I love affirmations, try this one.

Today I am able to distinguish between what I can control and what I can’t, and I make a conscious decision to experience inner peace

Back to the hairy legs…

Get up and shave your legs. Keep things as normal as possible. Please be at peace with yourself, even if you cannot understand the world right now.

So here I am damp, fully shaved with a head of wet hair that needs taming, wondering ever so slightly – what is normal?

But ha! I have smooth legs.

And finally – What is the one thing that you can do right now that will bring some inner peace to your life?

Come and join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated. This month is all about simplicity, balance, flow and inner peace.

How To Start Journaling When You Don’t Know How

I confess that when it came to journaling last night I felt a tad stuck. Things were not flowing and the reason was I was not ok.

It’s ok to not be ok, but you wouldn’t want to be stuck in that state for long would you?

We had been confined to the house, we were told for ten days. I had visions of me screaming at the walls to get out and eating cardboard. After the village was disinfected the rules were changed to normal lockdown ones as long as we used a mask and gloves when we went out.

And so I grounded and centred, place a massive crystal between my breasts (at least it stays there) and breathed. As soon as I put pen to paper and scribbled anything, the words came.

And the words flowed, balance in the Daleyverse was restored. This morning I was full of beans, did my energy routine on the terrace with my bemused dogs while fighting to keep their noses out of my private place. I’m not sure they have fully grasped the concept of Terrace Time.

I hope that this inspires to go and grab a beautiful journal – no scrappy exercise books in my club please – and write.

Start with your environment

How and where do you like to write? In a crowded café, with hot chocolate and biscuits to dunk, or in a peaceful place with no noise or interruptions?

What about making your space comfortable? What do you need to make yourself a writing den? What about your desk and chair? What about the energy of the space?

If you have read any of my blogs you will know that I am the quiet writing type. And when it comes to journaling it is usually in bed.

Decide where you want to write. Is this in bed, on the sofa or somewhere else? Do you like smells, sounds, silence or something else? TV or radio on in the background? What about people? I find it a pain to be interrupted when I am writing, do you?

Being grounded and centered

When we are grounded, centered, in alignment, working from our heart and listening to the whispers of our soul, the Universe flows to us and through us. That’s when your writing will flow and you can create what you need.

Imagine that you have roots growing from your feet into Mother Earth, breathe that energy in, up into your heart and out through your head. Send it down into Mother Earth, breath the energy up again. Do this a few times.

Just write

Ha! I can hear you say, that’s easy for you. Really? I do have days when I look at my journal and can’t be arsed. These are the days that I need it most. I ground and then start writing rubbish and as that flows and I am engaged what I need to write comes flowing out.

So, yes, just write. Trust me I’m a coach and cake lover.

Other things to try

Mind Mapping

When I am stuck for putting structure around something, I simply create a mind map. A mind map is a collection of thoughts around a central idea. It is quick and simple and serves to ignite my imagination. I also use it for creating plans and developing ideas.

5-word mind-map

This is very simple and is similar to the mind mapping idea, except the word is a word for today.

Write a word in the middle of the page and then allow five other words to come and on each branch five and five more until you run out.

Try this: Put SMILE into a mind map and see what words come up for you.

Then you can write about what comes up for you.

Questions – journaling prompts

Of course, things are so much easier if someone asks us questions. If you struggle with the prompts in each of the sections, scribble them out and try one of these:

  1. How did the day begin?
  2. What happened as the day progressed?
  3. What is today’s story?
  4. What is the best thing that happened?
  5. What am I grateful for today?
  6. How did the day end?

Use prompts from journaling books

  1. When you think of where you are, what or who do you need to forgive or let go of this month so that you make space for new opportunities?
  2. What physical clutter has been complicating your life and diverting you from meaningful life experiences? How can you sort this out? What can you let go of?

Grab a journal on Amazon

Join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated.

My Mum And The Stuff She Teaches Me

It’s a few days after Mothers Day, mum and I haven’t been able to be together because of the lockdown.

We tried to execute a video call, but mum couldn’t find how to make her sound turn on her computer and I, already frazzled, didn’t have the patience today to work it out. I did try many things, honestly I did.

Instead, we chatted for a while, but because we are both isolated and bored it was hard to find anything much to talk about. This saddens me, because normally we can gas for ages.

What else I wondered would these strange times bring? What is wrong with me that I lost my sense of humour and just couldn’t find the patience to find the solution?

It makes me sad that I had let someone upset me on Sunday and the one person who has had endless patience with me, didn’t get that back.

However, getting this sorted when I see her will be a priority so that in future there can be no hold ups when we want to video call.

I sat reflecting on some of the things that mum has taught me, Readers of this blog back in 2016 will remember that I regaled you with tales of puberty, periods and menopause. These were, and still are some of my greatest mum lessons.

When I talk with mum later today, we shall have plenty to talk about because we shall reminisce.

So as I sit here, I’d like to share some of my musings.

I will always be her little girl

No matter how old I get, I will always be my mum’s little girl and there have been occasions when I have so needed her cuddles.

There was one evening when I was staying with her and I lay in bed tossing and turning over some stuff that was running around my head. By 2 am I couldn’t stand it any longer. I have no idea how she knew, but she was in my bedroom and arms around me while I sobbed in seconds.

She knows just what her little girl needs

As a young girl, my bedroom walls were adorned with posters, my favourite was the one with all of the words to Free’s Wishing Well. The chest of drawers next to said Free poster was where mum placed my special package. If you are of a similar age to me, you will no doubt remember packets of pads and delightful pink (in my case) belts to hold said pads in place.

Mum provided me with instructions on what to do when the blood arrived. What blood I wondered? It’s all very well to have a well-intentioned mum, but to my young mind, there was a disconnect between her words, the package and my body. To be honest, I had no clue about what she was on about. Until that day.

When that day arrived, as luck would have it I soon learned what that ‘stuff’ was for. Letting myself into the flat, I as usual padded off to the toilet where I was horrified that the blood that mum had previously described was here. I very carefully cleaned myself up and headed to unwrap my package.

Unwrapping and examining the contents again, I proceeded as instructed to place the unattractive belt around my waist and hook the pad on as she had described. Within no time doubts filled my mind.

What if, I speculated, this wasn’t one of them period things, what if, I contemplated I was mistaken and it wasn’t blood it was something else, what I wondered might this really be? The doubts circled like ravenous vultures to the point I removed all of my accoutrements and placed them very carefully back in the drawer and waited for mum to confirm that it was ok to wear my lovely new things.

Fast forward over 45 years and my mum just knows how to make sure I have the things I need. When I come to stay despite her knackered back she bakes me biscuits and cakes. Yum! Thank you, mum.

My Mum and her endless patience

Oh god, I will never forget my mum trying to teach me how to use tampons. This was my second lesson on becoming a woman. What possessed her to use this day for this tortuous experiment will forever elude me. From the comfort of her bed, she opened up the box of white sticks and suggested that I try one. Much more practical she advised. It seemed like a good idea.

I returned to her bed eight times for a practice sit down, only to discover that I hadn’t got it in quite right, and painfully staggered back to the toilet to try again. On my final attempt, it got stuck and mum, by now in fits of hysterical laughter, tried to get me to relax so that she could get it out.

Can you imagine that? Having your mum fish one of them out. Such trust.

I feared it would stay there forever. If you have ever heard or seen my mum laugh, you will know that once it starts, it takes some time to stop. More humiliation, I couldn’t join the grown up girls club just yet. It wasn’t until I lost my virginity that I realised that they would fit!

She always has endless patience, while I… well I don’t. Don’t even ask about the time I chopped up a catsuit I was making because I ran out of patience. She on the other hand would have sorted it with her endless capacity to want to sort things out.

I’m confess that I have learned to be a finisher, because of my mum.

Get to know your body

Another of Mum’s lessons was for me to examine my vagina, inside and out. She said if you don’t know what it feels like how can you tell if something isn’t quite right? I was packed off to the bathroom with a mirror and my instructions.

Seeing my vagina at close quarters was a shock. It was ugly, pink, chubby and wet. Despite the peculiar creature staring at me with disdain, I duly did as instructed. Finger in, soft and smooth, finger out and up to my nose, no smell. So that was the examination over, I was normal or at least I confirmed to myself that my vagina was normal.

This has never left me. No, I do not examine my vagina endlessly, more that I am incredibly in tune with my body and have been able to heal all kinds, just because I know my body.

It’s never too late to learn something new

My mum has always been an artist. I have always written. One Christmas or birthday I gifted mum a journal, pen and a book on how to write a novel and she has not stopped.

Now that her spine hurts so much, painting is harder so she writes. She has written several novels using her amazing imagination. One children’s book and another in the works.

At no time did she say I can’t do this, she just sat down and wrote. Me on the other hand has always been freaked about writing fiction.

What she shows me if it is possible in the world at any age, it is possible for me. I’m slowly losing my fear and have made 2021 the year of the novel.

My greatest cheerleader is championing me all the way.

Have a strong work ethic

By now, you will have guessed that my mum is a super human…

Now this one amazes me. She never gives up and what she starts she finishes. She is currently writing what has the working title of the Tree house and while she just wants it finished and is bored of it, she will get it done.

Me on the other hand would have put it away and found something more exciting.

Yet, these days when I feel like doing that I think of mum and she inspires me.

Of course, my mum isn’t a superhuman

I just happen to think my mum is super special, but there are some things that drive me insane – they do mum – if you are reading this….

It’s not much but it’s her worrying. She catasrophises like a demon. But we do laugh about it.

However, I do thank her for this. Because she worries about the oddest things I do stuff so that she doesn’t worry.

All in all, I am so blessed to have my mum as my mum and as my friend. I like that I can be her friend and still remain her little girl. Everyone needs their mum.

Thank you for being my mum.

14 life lessons that 2020 has taught me so far

2020 started well. I was feeling good and life felt full of promise. I wasn’t expecting do many life lessons to come at me so quickly.

I still had some pain in my spine from the 2018 fractures, but I have learned how to manage my energy. Even better I had it confirmed that my bone density continue to improve.

Then, out of the blue, I then found out that I had something called MGUS (it’s an overproduction of M protein in the bone marrow). At first, my brain flipped and I feared the worse. Once again, after I’d calmed down, I was sent for a full bone scan and yeah – everything was looking great. All I have to do now is have blood tests every 6 months. It is likely that I will take this to the grave.

And… Anyone who knows me knows that I will do whatever it takes to remain healthy. My doctor is always amazed when I come back with better blood results after being presented with something.

For example, I turned around an overactive thyroid in six weeks and lowered high cholesterol in about the same amount of time. You could say I like a challenge!

I started 2020 feeling that this would be my year. Surely after all of the things I’d had to cope with over the previous 5 years, this would be different?

Life lessons 1 to 5

#1 – stop or you will be stopped

I’ve put this one first because the world was stopped just a few weeks ago. Lockdown and social isolation have meant a whole new way of living.

As I sit here this morning, I feel alone. Yet nothing has really changed for me, I live in a remote place and I spend most days alone with my dogs.

Because I have dogs I can go out for short walks. So life as I know it hasn’t stopped, the world around me has slowed down.

I feel that Mother Earth has said enough, she needs to heal, just like I have. She needs to rest.

Today it’s raining and I can feel her feeling refreshed from the flow of unpolluted water.

Where I live you could be forgiven for thinking that she’s doing ok. Here is it still wild and unspoilt. But in so many places that is not the case.

Whatever the reason for the stop on the world, I think it’s a great message for us all. Stop or be stopped. I mean this in the kindest of ways, especially for myself.

I have a tendency to be a workaholic and know only to well what burn out and dreadful illness means.

While I am concerned about what all this means, I also know that to weather the storm, I need to be mindful of my energy.

#2 – journal

Now more than ever I am grateful for this habit. I am so happy that I can spill my guts on the paper and she forgives me. Not only that gratitude journaling really brings into perspective how much I truly have.

#3 – ask for help

Asking for help comes in many forms. From lying on the concrete almost passing out and calling for help, to asking someone to clean, do your shopping, bring in the wood, asking your divine inner wisdom to reveal your inner resources, and asking spirit, the Universe or God to show you what you need to see. Stop struggling and ask was a biggie for me. People love to help. I love to help. So opening my mouth and asking is a great thing to do for me and you to do.

#4 – be open to receiving

So here’s the thing, asking for help is one thing, but being open to receiving is quite another.

The stuff mentioned above was hard for me to do, but I learned that I had to because of my spine, so that made it easier.

Then something happened and I spent a day going around pondering and scribbling in my journal. The answer came slowly, but was rammed home after I asked my mum what I was like to give to.

Oh she said, you are a nightmare, you are such an independent little miss.

Ouch.

After this I started to use affirmations around this and be more graceful in receiving. After all I like to give don’t I?

My first affirmation was I am open to receiving all of the abundance that the Universe has to offer me.

In fact, it’s still my best affirmation.

My next best is – wouldn’t it be nice if…

#5 – breathe

I have worried about all kinds of things. Then I learned to ground and breathe. When you allow panic to invade your body, it changes everything. When you learn to ground yourself, breathe into it and let go, things get much easier.

When I feel that awful feeling rise up through my body, I have a few strategies; one is to walk, two is to practice energy management and three is to write.

Walking clears the mind and you can travel through many stories until you get to the oh what the hell, let’s get on with life part of the story.

Looking after your energy helps you to stay calm, balanced and connects me to Mother Earth, where I feel grounded.

Then when you write, you can declutter the last remnants and make space for inner peace. What I notice now is that I can connect with my breath more naturally.

Life lessons 6 – 10

#6 – connect with your inner muse

Writing has played a huge part in my life and personal growth. From journaling to writing books. When I log in with my inner muse as I have over many years, the downloads I get are incredible. My life has changed in many ways because of writing.

Journaling is something I recommend for all clients. Many feel that they cannot do it, but when they do directed journaling, in conjunction with listening to the muse the results are amazing. Your pen is connected to your unconscious mind, and it will tell you what you need to know.

When I write books, I get disheartened, just as you do, but when I read back what I have written after reflection, I am delighted. Clients books teach me so much and as they write they learn too.

The power of the pen is in the beautiful connection it has to your soul, your inner muse. Get connected to your inner muse she (or he) is indeed very wise.

#7 – tap into your divine inner wisdom

Many of you reading this already know that you have all of the resources inside of you that you will ever need. The problem is that we often switch off the inner wisdom listening. The noise of the outside world confuses and overwhelms us, and so the voice is rarely heard. Then when it speaks we do not trust it.

Right now, like no other time, I have tapped in and wow what a lot I know. You do too.

#8 – listen to spirit

Spirit for me are the team who guide me through life. You may of course call spirit something else.

I have learned that the voices in my head are there to guide me. Now I listen to them. In fact, I listen to all of the signals I receive.

Right now listening to spirit is working for me. I feel like I am surround and supported.

#9 – tell more people to f**k off

This is isn’t about being rude, it is ‘just get rid of the toxic people‘ who take up your space. You are a beautiful soul, and you deserve to be with people who nourish you and not destroy you.

Also, given where we find ourselves, protecting your heart, energy, sanity and space is vital now.

I have experienced wonderful community, but also some completely ignorant and rude people. The world will never be the same again – choose your company wisely.

#10 – invest in your personal growth

Invest in something that enriches your life. You might feel fearful that money is going out and at the moment nothing is coming in. I get it. And my goodness me, right now feels precarious, doesn’t it?

You have to invest in yourself if you expect others to invest in you, but it doesn’t need to be cash it could be some other resource.

What about journaling, walking or meditating?

I know that I have invested in lots of courses and never taken them. Guess what? Yeah. I’m doing them now.

At the beginning of the year, I went back in time and started studying energy medicine and connecting with spirit again. As well as learning things like Instagram. A girl needs variety – right?

I also signed up with Audible and I am loving learning new things this way.

Life lessons 11 to 14

#11 – practice gratitude

As bizarre as it seems. I am grateful for the oddness of this year. I continue to discover more about me, and who I want to become. When I write in my gratitude journal, I follow it with wouldn’t it be nice and a lesson learned. It has added a new dimension to appreciation.

It’s too easy to write the same old stuff every day. When you stop and connect to your divine inner wisdom, she guides you to fully understand a more fulfilling path to gratitude.

I only write three things and do this three times a week. I create a ritual, balance my chakras, connect to my breath and then write.

It’s powerful stuff this writing malarkey.

#12 – do the things you love

In August 2019 I started to create journals. Not just journals with lines in, journals with purpose. I discovered a passion. So far I have produced quite a few…

The ones that I am loving the most are the gratitude ones as they combine my love of healing through the chakras with journaling. I’ve done two so far with another five to do. And the course is being outlined as I go along.

#13 – practice strong boundaries

I’ve always considered myself a nice person. But over the years I have allowed myself to be taken for granted and then I have felt deep resentment. This year, I decided that NO was a complete word. And when someone thought that no didn’t mean no, they soon learned that I do not take prisoners.

This has been a hard, hard lesson and I am so glad that I know that I do not have to put up with ‘stuff’.

In case you are thinking that I must have been a pushover before. Not at all, more that I have practiced open borders, whereas now, I realise that this serves no one.

#14 – Expect the unexpected

Weeeelllllll. That’s an understatement isn’t it? The world on lockdown as we work to find a resolution to the virus.

I’m taking it in my stride and decided to stop the launch of Manifesting Magic. I looked at what content I had that I thought would be useful – things around journaling – this is a great time to heal with writing. And I asked what can I change? That was interesting, I decided to not be in fear. I’d felt it rising and after exploring in my journal decided to breathe and go with the flow.

So for you, what can you stop, start and change?

Other life lessons

  • People will still be dicks, just don’t react. I feel angry (breathing through this) at some people locally who have nine dogs trapped in their house and even with the opportunity to get out – all four humans are still inside. My heart is breaking for those poor babies
  • You don’t need to overstock, I bet like me you always have plenty of food, though I was pleased to find that I did have another foundation (ok not really stockpiling), as I am running out
  • Eat everything (within reason). Remember your parents telling you to clear your plate. There was a reason. Don’t waste your food, there are still many that don’t have that luxury
  • Sometimes rules aren’t for breaking…

Not a life lesson, but get a dog

I love my dogs like nothing else. The power in our unity is incredible. When I wake they are there, so close I am almost out of my kind size bed. In the evening I am reminded that they love me because they make horrible love farty smells – that kill me. They lick me when I least expect it, are at the fridge door before I even know I’m going to open it and know what order the treats come out of the drawer of love.

Best of all during the lockdown they are allowed to walk me.

There are so many abandoned dogs who will give you unconditional love and I am guessing that a lot more poor souls will find themselves homeless soon. Take them in – your life will never be the same again.

There are many more life lessons that have come to me over this last year, and I may be inspired to write some more, but for now, that’s it.

What has life lessons has 2020 taught you so far?

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Days Of Gratitude – Nature

Nature is often something that we can take for granted. It’s just there. The trees and flowers simply exist.

But that’s not true. Nature is an incredible ally, here supporting our lives and breathing out love in every moment.

When I am out walking, I’m often caught in surprise by a smell or a tiny flower pushing it’s way up through the rocks.

I remember one day stopping because of the overpowering smell of lavender, when I looked I was in a circle of it. It was quite magical. The smells always get me, perhaps it will be rosemary that seems to grow everywhere, fennel or thyme. Or there is that dank smell of wet earth after the rain. Sometimes I swear I can smell ginger biscuits cooking, but that is impossible.

I adore being in nature. Most days I walk my dogs at least three times and often four. It’s not only for them, but I also get such peace from being outside. Being in nature helps me to clear my mind and it allows whatever ideas and inspiration need to come to me.

I’ll stop to talk with the trees, placing my hand on their strong bodies so that I hear their great wisdom. Or to simply just rest my back against the bark to feel the energy connect and flow through me.

And what about the trees?

Have you ever looked at a tree? I am sure you have. They are fascinating.

Just this morning I noticed that the figs and nispero are starting to bud and the poppies are dying away. Just a few weeks ago there was a sea of poppies as far as the eye could see.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trees stand tall because of their healthy root system and grow towards the sky, where it has space to breathe. The roots on a tree bring nutrients and water to feed and nourish it. Which, in turn, helps it to grow. By creating strong roots, the tree has a robust foundation to help it withstand the storms of life.

Under the roots of all trees is Mother Nature which extends downwards to the centre of the Earth and for us the centre of our Universe. This is the place of beginnings. It is where you begin your journey to discovering you, creating strong roots and foundations to carry you through life.

When your roots are strong, you can anchor yourself, and with the right nourishment reach towards the heavens to be anything you want.

And what about you, where in nature do you find joy?

Most people instinctively head outside when their minds and souls need quieting. Being with the dogs, if you have any is the perfect way to find joy in the moment.

For you it could be:

  • A response to the stress of the day
  • An impulse to get away from a difficult encounter
  • That you just need some time to reflect

Perhaps our urge to merge with nature when feeling out of sorts has something to do with our internal “fight or flight” programming. “Flight” sends us looking for an escape route.

In nature, we are free. The return to freedom as we become one with the natural world makes a soothing balm for our vexed souls. It works for me every time.

Think about what utter delight nature brings to the senses.

There is a sense of homecoming, of finding our rightful place in the world again, when we connect with nature and engage all of our senses. In nature, we are healed. In nature, we can find joy. In nature, we are at one with ourselves.

No matter what spot on the map you call home, or even if there’s a nip in the air, you can always escape to the great outdoors when you’re in need of peaceful moments.

Even in the most bustling town or city, there will be a beautiful park to take a walk and hopefully a wonderful café to rest your bones in and grab a delicious cuppa as you witness the world.

For me, a bit of heaven lives in nature, and this calls to our souls to aid the replenishing process.

Today think of the gratitude you feel for what Mother Nature provides. And get out there (if you can) and enjoy it.

How to bring nature in

There will be times when you can’t get out, but you can bring nature in. I’m not a fan of uproot plants because in a short space of time they will soon be dead. Rather look at other ways.

  • Open the windows and let the fresh air in
  • Sit in the garden, on the terrace or with the window open and listen to the birds
  • Collect some stones, which you can paint
  • Take photos and frame them
  • Hang natural art (take a look at Deb Burrows art)
  • Create an indoor herb garden
  • Add in some house plants (remember to water them)
  • Use natural materials for home decorations, floors, walls, etc.
  • Display crystals – I have them everywhere
  • Make frames or wall hangings with drift wood
  • Craft a mobile made from things that you have found

Whether you can get out or have to stay in, nature can be with you all of the time. So make time for her abundance.

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which bring you peace in Mother Nature

Journal Gratitude and Nature Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. At least one visual impression that leaves its mark on your memory (for me it’s when the poppies are alive and there are carpets of red everywhere)
  2. A favourite sound that soothes your spirit (I adore the birds)
  3. An aroma that evokes a special feeling for you (usually lavender or fennel and then holding some to my nose to bring calm)

Grab a journal on Amazon

Gluten Free Banana Bread

This gluten free banana bread is super easy to make and can be amended to suit your diet. So if you are vegan, swap the eggs for soaked linseeds, chia or psyllium husks.

Today when I made this banana bread, I used up lots of left over flours. So I used a mix of rice, quinoa and soya flour.

Ingredients list

  • 300g/2 cups rice flour (or combination of flours – try your own mix) or use almond or coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp raw honey/maple syrup / sweet freedom (can replace with Stevia or Xylitol for Candida free) or you can soak a handful of dates and blend them
  • 1 packet baking powder
  • 125g olive oil / coconut oil / butter
  • 2 – 3 eggs*
  • 2 – 3 large ripe bananas – mashed (use Sweet potato for candida free)

*options

1 egg = 1 tablespoon of flax seeds or chia + 3 tablespoons water
1 egg = 3 tablespoons nut butter
1 egg = 1 teaspoon psyllium seed husk + 1/4 cup water (let it stand for 5 minutes; use = binding and moisture)

Other optional ingredients

I will often add . Another yummy ingredient is papaya or try adding raw chocolate and raw grated beetroot.

Directions for your gluten free banana bread

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 (my gas oven mark 3)
  2. Place flours and baking powder in a bowl and mix well
  3. Rub in butter or oil, until it is like fine breadcrumbs
  4. Add honey/maple/sweet freedom syrup
  5. Mix in beaten eggs (or substitute – see above)
  6. Add in banana little by little until you get dropping consistency
  7. Put into a greased bread tin
  8. Cook for approx. 40 minutes or until your knife comes out clean

Using a food processor

  1. Add all of the wet ingredients to the food processor and blend for a few minutes
  2. Add all of the dry ingredients and blend until well mixed

What to do if it seems stiff

Sometimes when you come to make your banana bread it doesn’t have a dropping consistency. All you need to do is to add something like plant-based milk, milk or water. The key here is to gently add in something until it looks right.

Other options to make your gluten-free banana bread yummy

  • Cinnamon
  • Raw chocolate
  • Raw chocolate and beetroot
  • Lemon and poppy seeds
  • Chopped up dates (do not use if you want to be candida free)
  • Goji berries (do not use if you don’t eat nightshades)
  • Nuts (obviously do not use if you have a nut allergy)
  • Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg

Basically, add in other stuff that you fancy.

Follow Your Arrow. Find Your Happy To Be Me

Being happy to be you has to start with self-acceptance. The bad pixie in your head whispers often whispers I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, tall enough – I’m simply not enough! Our beautiful bodies and minds that work so hard to keep us alive, get a pretty rough ride.

In the spiral downwards you may forget to follow your arrow. In the pursuit of happiness a fundamental fact of life is that we must connect to our hearts and forge a magical arrow that shows the way to the music of our soul.

I know when I haven’t followed my path or done what others have said I should do, I, inevitably sink into the mire.

The more that I have owned who I am and connected with the beauty of my soul the happier I have become.

More than that the I have simply accepted that this is me, the more I am happy to be me.

As I write this my mind is cast back to the last time I ran a writers retreat.

One evening we shared our YouTube favourites whilst supping a few wines. It was one of those indescribable evenings that got sillier and sillier. One of the attendees shared this song, to which I am now addicted. She had us all singing along and it has become one of those motivational songs I listen to before I need to knuckle down to some work.

I invite you to consider the words acceptance and following your arrow. Listen to this song and then get out your journal. Breathe and choose the words that resonate with your soul. How can you choose today to follow your arrow?

Writing uncovers all kinds of things that you may not anticipate. I’ve found myself discovering things that I want to do, but often haven’t dared to follow up on.

Over time as I have change, I have learned to get more connected with what I want. I ask does this speak to my heart? And am I following my arrow or following the crowd?

As Kasey says ‘Follow your arrow, wherever it points’

What I have discovered from writing is that it opens up my heart to what I want to create, have, be and do. It shows me how to bring meaning to my life and what brings me the most inner peace. When I feel blue, writing from the heart brings helps me to find my happy.

What I know is this, you can’t make anyone happy except yourself.

The bottom line is that you need to… follow your arrow wherever it goes.

Find what you love and do it. Simple.

Where does your arrow point?

Days Of Gratitude – Simplicity

Simplicity is the key to a peaceful life. Be grateful for the simple things in life

I wonder what simplicity means to you? To me, it’s about getting rid of stuff, saying no to things, not buying stuff that I don’t need and enjoying the simple things in life. Having a simple life is not dull, but sometimes it may seem that way. That is until you start enjoying a simplified version of how you are currently living.

Ask yourself – what would happen if I did lead a life of simplicity?

Right at the moment, everyone worldwide is being forced to live a simple life. In my country we are on lockdown. For me, not much is different. I live in a remote hamlet, I work from home and apart from walking my dogs, I don’t go far.

I believe that when you simplify, you’re left with a life filled with meaning, and a life that is lived on your terms. You have the time to pursue your interests and to create the life you truly desire. How does that feel? What if when you lived a simple life, you were able to find true happiness?

To create a simple life, it pays to consider your needs. You can start this by thinking about what is important to you. Ask what do you really need?

I know when I thought about how I was living, I, for example, found that I didn’t need so many shoes, handbags and clothes. I also discovered by planning my meals properly; I no longer bought food that used to end up in the bin.

Again right now, this is highlighted even more as I do not want to visit the supermarket, more than I have to. Last night I found a jar of something in the cupboard. Thinking how convenient it would be to make a massive veggie curry and freeze it, I set about creating some I thought would be yummy.

I was gutted. I reacted badly to the ingredients in sauce and itched all night. I ended up throwing my precious food away.

I am becoming EVEN more conscious of my choices. That has to be good for me and the planet.

To live a simpler life, examine what’s important to you, and acknowledge your choices and their impact on your life’s needs. There is peace to be found in the simplest of pleasures. Think about all of the activities you participate in each day.

My simple pleasures include walking the dogs and I am so grateful that I am still allowed to do this. Being remote I rarely meet a soul and I have worked out how to avoid everyone.

Today think of the gratitude you feel you let things go and enjoy the simple things in life

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which living a simple life brings you

Journal Gratitude and Simplicity Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. What does simplicity mean to you?
  2. What could you do today that helps you to live a simple life?
  3. What are the simple things in your life that you are grateful for?

How Did I Get Here And Manifest This Life?

I have often wondered how did I get here, how did I manifest this life?

The day I got expelled changed my life forever. My dad called me mental. Determined to be brave, I acted unconcerned and tried to relish my newfound freedom.

During the day I visited the beach, the pub for games of darts and pool, and trips to Cardiff. At night, I sat in my room and plotted my escape, freedom at last to be me.

Sitting alone in the pub, I was fresh meat for a new friend, an older, troubled woman, who took me under her wing. I soon discovered that this would be another fatal error in my plan to rule the world.

Thinking I was rather clever, I went away one weekend with an odd group of people. Much to my horror, I found myself with the Moonies. In case, you didn’t know the Moonies were a cult.

The next two days were hell on earth, trapped once more in the classroom, with no unescorted time to myself. I was followed everywhere by Richard new best friend. There were lectures from early in the morning to late at night, interspersed with food and lots of catchy little ditties. This was worse than school! The drone of the lecturers’ voice kept sending me into a lull, he was so boring I fell asleep a few times.

Coming around from a doze, I was shocked to hear that Reverend Sun Myung Moon was indeed the second coming of Christ. That’s what we were here for, the extra-terrestrials wanted to turn us into moon children! My heightened senses screamed escape, escape. These people were nuts, they weren’t the spiritual beings I had anticipated. I wanted to go home to face my punishment. My dad was right; I was mental.

With the weekend over, I went home once again to tell my tales of derring do. Home sweet home, angry parents, no money, no job, and no qualifications. Being made an example of seemed so much better than an arranged marriage and a life of walking the streets looking for others to brainwash. I was free.

As Oliver Hardy said in the 1930’s film – Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into. And it wasn’t the only one.

Life can be complicated and confusing, can’t it? Without a ‘how to be human’ handbook, we can only go down the path we think is right.

If you don’t know where you are going

There’s a wonderful saying that says if you don’t know where you are going any path will do.

When it comes to manifesting your desires, I believe that it’s equally important to consider how you got here. We often forget the twists and turns of the journey and all of the amazing or otherwise experiences we have had.

Although you don’t want to be held in the past, knowing what brought you here, can you help you to understand why you want to manifest what you do and what can potentially stand in your way.

What exactly brought you to this moment? An evolution or a revolution?

When you look back over the last 12 months, 3 years, 10 years or even back to childhood, what are those moments that caused a sharp and abrupt change and what are the moments that were slow, calm and filled with love? Did you get bolts from the blue followed by a period of resolution, understanding and then joy?

We rarely have time to ponder how we got here because we are busy working out how to sort out the latest crisis or thing that needs dealing with. When you understand more or how you got here and how you manifested your life, you can begin to perceive it differently.

Life is not one long period of ecstatic peace, love and harmony, it is made up of lessons for us to learn. Each lesson teaching you something amazing about yourself, and if you don’t learn the lesson the first time, it somehow creeps up and bites you on the bum.

Sometimes those dratted lessons keep spinning around until something jolts you awake. Then you often find that after a period of let’s call it grieving, you find a gorgeous peace once again descends, and you have a slow and enchanted growth period.

Life goes in revolutions and evolutions. Neither exists without the other, and both exist because of each other. Every step of your human journey has both revolution and evolution at its core. During this journey, life happened, chaos probably ensued, and often, like me, you had no idea who you were and what the hell was going on. You may have married (several times), had kids, took unsuitable jobs, dabbled at being an entrepreneur and all kinds of human existence and personal development stuff.

Either way, stuff happened, and without the fast rapid jolt that revolution provides, you could not have evolved into the beautiful person that you are today.

I wonder if what you want to manifest today is based on something that happened yesterday? Perhaps something you think needs fixing? Or something you are yearning for?

Grab your journal and take a moment to reflect on what brought you here and the part you played in manifesting the life you have had.

For me this is about acceptance. Accepting that I chose my life and I made the decisions that brought me to this place.

You can’t connect the dots going forward, or can you?

Steve Jobs says that you can only connect the dots backwards. Indeed, you might think that cannot connect them forward. You can learn from the past, accept it and then envision what you desire, set intentions and make more conscious choices.

I don’t believe in regrets. I’ve thought about this long and hard, and I believe that the choices that I made and the actions that were taken were meant to be. Regret is, therefore, a waste of energy. You may, of course, disagree. They could be big things that you regret or have emotions around. But the thing is you cannot change the past. It’s done. It’s gone.

I know that the shadows of the past haunt us and colour our lives. Childhood trauma cuts us life a blunt knife, slowly dragging our flesh through time.

When I look back, I wonder what would have happened if I had innocently picked up a knife and slit the throat of my sexual aggressor when I was a ten-year-old. I didn’t. Instead, I carried the wounds of lack of self-worth until I was able to and chose to love me.

Looking back over the dots for many people will drag up regrets. They will look back and regret the things that they didn’t do more than the great things that they did. It’s probably because as a species we are hard-wired to be away from, rather than towards. That is, we started our existence by running away from big creatures that wanted to eat us. Strange isn’t it to think that humans are naturally wired to move away from something rather than towards?

Do you have regrets? Perhaps about not looking after your health, taking or leaving a job, not seeing someone before they departed, not noticing that someone was in emotional pain…

For me, regret brings up the should word. It’s not a word I like to use. In fact, when I hear it coming off my tongue, I quickly catch it and chuck it back out into the Universe. There is nothing I should do, only what is right for me, my higher self and heart, at this moment.

What about the regrets though of who we think we could have become? I remember as a young, idealist 20-year old telling my mates over one too many strong ciders, that one day, I would be the CEO of a massive company and we would be changing the world.

It never happened. Or did it?

Though when I look at it sideways, I am part of a massive company, we are the people who are working to make a difference to our bit of the world, and I firmly believe that I am the CEO of my life.

If there is a regret about not reaching who you thought you ‘should’ have become or that so far you haven’t reached your full potential, what could you do at this moment to change that?

Or is right where you are where you need to be? And right where you will be in 2 months with a bit more learning under your belt, also perfect?

When I hear someone on TV saying I regret that I said that or did this, it feels like rhetoric. We like to hear that they are sorry and that they will make amends. Let’s hope that they do make amends. But regrets? It’s too late. It’s done.

There are steps you can take to be a better human or create more for you. But before you do that, I think that you need to accept that you are perfect just as you are. Yes, even with your bad temper and sarky ways.

Let’s not be people who regret. Let’s instead, look back with pride about how far you have evolved and choose to make better, more conscious decisions moving forward.

And leave regret behind in the dots, because if you cannot, as far as I know, alter time.

Join me for 8 weeks of Manifesting Magic – it’s a course, a program, a circle and most of all it’s a safe space to explore who you want to become on the way to getting what you want.

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