GUEST POST by Susannah Bec

A New Chapter

As we make our journey through life we gather memories on the way. The happy moments that we treasure become part of the fabric of our lives, the shared family stories that anchor us and give us a sense of belonging, that let us know that we are a part of something bigger than just our solitary selves. They strengthen us and our bonds with others. The sharing of our memories and the retelling of our stories is an ancient thing. People gathered around a fire sharing the myths and legends of the tribe was the way in which knowledge and folklore was passed from generation to generation.

We too have our personal myths and folklore, made up of the stories we have heard about ourselves. Maybe you heard – “She is such a good girl” or “He is useless at sports, his brother is the sporty one, he has two left feet”. Positive or negative, these too become anchors, ways of being. Then over the years we add the ones we tell about ourselves, “Oh no, I am useless at that!!” – “I will never be able to do it!” – “Just my luck” – “I am so unlucky with men” – “Nothing ever goes right for me”. These beliefs and repeated stories become part of our ‘script’.

The truth of the matter is, that as good as memories are for keeping us grounded and for continuity, they are based on the past, and the people and situations that we once were, and situations that once existed. We are constantly growing and evolving and if we are conscious of the negative elements of the story we tell about ourselves, then we can choose to change that too.

“Whatever your past has been, you have a spotless future.”– Melanie Gustafson

Life is based on the choices we make every day, the book we are writing of our lives. We can write a comedy or a tragedy. We can write ourselves a part as a hero or heroine, or we can be the poor soul, the victim, the martyr. We can write a tale of drudgery and lack, or one filled with sparkling happy moments. If you thought about your life so far, what sort of book would it be? how would you as a character be cast? It is an interesting exercise to realise that we have a choice in how we want our ‘story’ to play out, what do we want to write in for our character? What adventures could we put in there for him/her? What hidden qualities could you find in your lead character? What baggage could they drop? What choices does she / he need to make in the coming pages? What is your ‘happy ending’?

All the things you have experienced, have made you who you are right now. The good, the bad, the joy and the pain. But whatever your life has been, right up to this second, you have a choice in where it goes from here. Every moment is a place we have never been before, every day, a new day. Every day is a chance to add happy moments, as the future is lived one day at a time. The future is still unwritten. You have a blank canvas, a clean white page.

The new year is coming up, a time when lots of us look back over the year just passed and make resolutions for the coming one. This year why not do it a little differently and think of which stories you want to leave behind and which new ones you want to write in. Think of it as the start of a new chapter in the book you are writing about your life.

Susannah Bec first started blogging at the beginning of this year and took to it like a duck to water! She lives in the UK with her partner Joe and three adorable cats. Check out Susannah’s great and inspirational blogs at Joy Frequencies and My Name Is Zing.

Honouring The Past

November is an odd month. A million years ago I worked in the travel business and I hated November. It was ‘the dead month’. Work was so quiet and so the days were long and boring. Nothing defined November except tedium. No bank holiday to cheer us up and the Christmas social whirl was still weeks off. It was like the big anti climax after the fun of Halloween.

And I have always loved Halloween. My childhood memories are dressing up every year as a gypsy with swirly skirt and big hoop earrings and of the excitement of wandering around the neighbourhood in the dark. The air was full of the smell of damp leaves and smoke with the faint tang of gun powder or whatever it is they put in bangers! I loved it all. And I still do. Halloween is an ancient celtic, pagan feast and although it has been somewhat Americanised with sophisticated decorations and readymade costumes, its essence still links us with our past and those who have passed. Halloween to me has always been the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.

And so as we get over Halloween, the Catholic Church borrows from this ancient past and makes the month of November the month of All Souls – the month for remembering our relatives and friends who have left this world for the next.

So I hope you embraced Halloween and had great craic. And as November arrives take a minute and give thanks for those whose lives touched yours. Make a little time to talk to your children about their grandparents and others who may no longer be with you. November is a quiet month which allows us that pause to honour the past and those who inhabited it with love.

Dylan da dog, spent the evening trying to work out if he was delighted at having people call to the house or terrified of the noise of fireworks and bangers outside!
In the end he took up a post on the armchair in the hall, where he could mind the sweets and get a glimpse of who was at the door without risking his personal safety!!

My inner child still loves Halloween and I don‘t know what I will do when my own kids (the two hippies pictured above) decide they are too old for it all and I am embarrassing them by still decorating the house!

And finally, how cool is it to have a Birthday on Halloween? Very cool – Happy Birthday Roisin who turned 11 on Saturday – she is the hippie in the big hat!