Know who you are: I know this sounds maybe a little like psychobabble but I really think it is important to know yourself. We all wear masks and play parts much of the time, trying to be a great daughter, mother, sister or friend. Trying to be capable and strong or perhaps shy and retiring and put upon. But it is vital to spend some time really searching within, in order to find out who we are. Take away all the labels and masks and think of yourself by your first name. I am Barbara – but who is that? Who are you? Who is the real you? What are your passions? What really makes you tick?
Slow down. We can often live our lives at breakneck speed. Charging through our days in a very task orientated way. Perhaps we think we are really good at multi tasking and getting lots done. And that is good but not if it is at the expense of noticing beauty and joy all around us. I really think we all need to slow down. We need to develop the habit of taking time each day to just be! And the problem is that when we do stop, we feel guilty. We need to realise that by caring for ourselves, we are practicing self love and that so good for all the parts of yourself. Minding yourself will improve your physical, emotional and psychological health.
Live in the moment. Be in the Now. Be conscious of when your energy flies off in all directions. We spend endless hours worrying about the future and fretting about the past. We need to develop the habit of checking ourselves regularly. Where is your energy now? Drop the worry habit. It serves no purpose. It achieves nothing but ill health for yourself and it poisons the world around you. A great way to do this is to hand your worries/concerns to God or the Angels or Allah or the Universe or whatever. Hand them over and then hold your energy in the now.
Choose every day to be joyful, happy and positive. We choose our emotions. Learn to regularly take your emotional temperature. How am I feeling? If you are in some negative mood, make a conscious effort to bring your focus back to all that is good and positive. And smile a lot!
Remember that life is mainly a bit of a laugh. All of us have traumatic events in our lives, but never lose your sense of humour. See the ridiculous as often as you can. Live life lightly.
So yes, life is about chasing your dreams, fulfilling your wishes and ‘a daring adventure’. Perhaps some of the points I have raised might help a little along the way.
What say you?
I am sure that all of us want to live our best life. We only get one shot at this particular existence and so we owe it to ourselves and to those with whom we share our life to ensure it is the very best version we can make it.
The Butterfly. Symbol of transformation… he has to ensure he lives his best life as he only has a day to do so!
But we are clearly not ready for autumn yet. The kids still have another month off school and we still have hope in our hearts that the sun will return during this month to allow us some more time to dine in the garden and bathe our bones in the heat.
However, as we turn into the month of August, we are aware of the shortening of the days. Evening comes just a little earlier each day and we are reminded that, like it or not, we are sliding into autumn.
But there is something immensely comforting in the relentless turning of the Wheel of the Year. No matter what is going on in your life, the Earth continues her journey through the seasons, just as she has done forever. And that is reassuring. Earth’s whisper is always the same. – “all is well”.
So take that thought with you – all is well. And allow the heart beat of Mother Nature calm and soothe you.
Here are mine (in no particular order).
Red Wine – have I a problem? Don’t think so, but am big enough to admit that as the week rolls on and as Thursday and Friday afternoon heads towards 5pm, I like nothing better than the pop sound of the cork being wrenched out of the bottle, followed by the glug, glug of the red nectar splashing into a suitably large glass!! And the first sip of red wine.. mmm.. What time is it?
Books – what’s to explain? I always have at least one novel on the go and possibly have another one for dipping in and out of being read also. I get very antsy if I don’t have another 3 or 4 lined up waiting for my attention.
Baths – really cannot understand how some people get rid of their baths in order to make way some huge, fancy, jets coming from all angles shower. Showers are OK for waking you up and revitalising you. But for relaxation and the sensual pleasure of sinking your weary bones into warm, perfumed, bubbly water – YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BATH. Most of my days finish with a lovely, lazy soak…
Cats – As regular readers of my blog will know I have a dog I adore and who adores me. But I also have 4 cats who treat me with differing attitudes but none of whom adore me. All like (and probably love) me, but they balance their affection with occasional sympathy (like they know it all and I am more than a little daft), contempt (try moving a cat off your place on the sofa) and sometimes they just like to ignore me – no doubt ‘cos they think that I am getting ideas above my station. Even though I spend my life getting rid of cat hairs from everywhere, I love the way my four cats decorate various corners of my home and garden. And cats always know how to look terrific!
Chinese Take Out – I can’t wax lyrical about Chinese food cos I know it’s full of msg and stuff that makes you fall asleep about an hour after eating it! But Friday nights in front of the telly in my PJs (having had an early bath), book at the ready in case the telly is crap, cat beside me (and hubby beside cat!), glass of wine in hand is complete when the ‘chinky’ arrives!
M&S €12.50 dinners for two are a newcomer to my list and may replace the Chinese in time.
Anyway there are mine! Now what are yours?
OOPS….. forgot to mention… wonderful photos by some hot shot photographer called Paul Sherwood…. see my favourite websites!
So how do I know that I have neglected my spiritual side – other than my recognition of the fact that some of my normal practices have fallen by the wayside over the last few weeks. Is this due to the unstructured days of summer holidays, unfettered by routines and school timetables? Possibly. But I just feel somewhat at sea with myself. A bit lost and very ungrounded.
My inner self, my deepest self, my god self, needs quiet time each day in which to reassure my other selves (physical, emotional and psychological) that all is well. My deepest self is what communicates with God, with all that is, with the Universe and with life itself. My spirit or deepest self, is what enables me to keep everything in perspective. My deepest self is always calm, always happy and always serene. And so if I ignore my spirit, I lose all perspective on life. Instead of seeing the big picture and being able to discern what is important and (more importantly) what is not in life, I get bogged down in the nonsense.
Having a spiritual dimension to one’s life is not something that is automatic, no matter how practiced one is. Lessons I have learned over the last seven years or so of my personal journey can be so easily forgotten. But at least now, I can recognise the symptoms of my own, albeit unintentional, spiritual apathy. Being ungrounded is one of the main ones and leaves me feeling unconnected to life. I feel out of synch somehow.
So at the first recognition of spiritual lack, I ground myself by doing something creative. And so I baked scones. My spiritual scones! I will also make time to pray and to meditate. My favourite affirmations will also help me to facilitate an immediate change of gear. ‘All is in divine and perfect order’, ‘Thank you God/Universe for blessings already on their way to me (and thanks Susannah for reminding me of that one!).
And already I begin to feel better. Feel more me. Feel more relaxed. More trusting that this world we live in, is just full of abundance and miracles. I have reminded myself to look out for them. And to remember the attitude of gratitude! Thank you God and so it is!
I was very thrilled and flattered to have been asked to ‘Guest Blog’ on one of my favourite blogs – ‘Writer on the way Home’ – a blog written by Niamh Griffin. Niamh spent many years living abroad and so her blog is all about moving to Ireland – whether you are returning to your homeland or making a new home here. It’s usually great reading and often gives us another way look at ourselves in Ireland.
Anyway, my post ‘GAA is the way to go’ has just appeared. Check it out at www.writeronthewayhome.blogspot.com.
So, then what to tell you?
England was full of….
It was busy and funny and tiring and great! And so easy to pack up the car and jump onto the ferry (dog and all). Not sure why more Irish don’t head to England for a holiday. It’s good value now too!
The Summer Solstice.
I am pretty sure that in a previous life I was a witch or a Pagan Priestess as the Solstices (and indeed Halloween) in particular resonate with some very deep place within my soul.
I am greatly comforted by the reminder of the turning of The Wheel of the Year.
A marker in time that at Summer Solstice reminds us of all we have to celebrate and to be grateful for.
Nature is at its busiest.
Flowers in full bloom.
Vegetables growing and ripening.
The sun reaching it’s zenith.
The Summer Solstice reminds us to take this time to enjoy all of nature in its abundance.
And to be grateful for all the bounty that Mother Earth provides for us!
And so today make sure you in some small way, capture the spirit of this magical day.
Run wildly through the garden
And then give a big, loud exuberant thanks for all that is given to you.