Reblog guest post… ‘And then I met a duck.’

Hello there, and welcome!

I’d love to introduce you to a guest reblog post from Tanya of the incurable dreamer.

Her amazing blog is witness to her sheer determination to overcome and accept with grace, some of the greatest hardships that life throws her way.

This repost from her blog, is about an encounter with a duck that changed her life.

Tanya writes as she feels, full of raw emotion, honesty and passion, as we journey with her through the cascade of emotion from anger to acceptance in this piece.

I truly hope you enjoy this moving post, written by a very talented writer.

Tanya, thank you for your generous permission to repost… and now over to you…🌹

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Image  by Di

and then i met a duck

“I hate the saying ‘The universe only ever gives you what you can handle.’ Like, hate. it.  If someone ever says those words to me in my time of need or sorrow, I will have to refrain from punching that person in the throat (not really, but AHHHH!).  I think that quote is absolute crap and makes no sense at all.  The universe dishes out whatever the hell it wants, to whoever the hell it wants, and when it does, each of us is responsible for how we respond to it.

A few months ago, I was witness to a woman having a full-blown meltdown in a coffee shop.  She unleashed her wrath all over the barista because he had the audacity to tell her they were out of bananas – news that apparently had ruined her life.  Yeah, a banana.  She wanted a smoothie, and when she heard that they were a banana short, she totally lost her shit.  The abuse she spewed upon the staff was shocking.  I stood there mesmerized and appalled by her relentless tantrum but also felt deeply concerned, for her.  I thought to myself, ‘Wow.  If this is how she behaves over a banana how is she going to handle a real crisis?’  The universe isn’t going to care when it has a bomb to drop whether she can deal with it or not, it’s just going to drop – she is not exempt simply because she couldn’t keep it together over a stupid banana.

Anway, you get my point.  Right?

My ability to maintain my composure and deal with life has been put to the test often, and I am quite frankly of the belief that the universe seriously hates me and has it out for me.  I envision that some seriously twisted guy (like Doc from the movie Back to the Future) is in charge of my universe, and is sitting in a glass box with a bird’s eye view looking down on me snickering wildly.  And he takes a bite of a Twizzler and rips it viciously out of his mouth with a look of insane satisfaction every time he presses the ‘I am totally going to mess with her right now’ button.

If this is some karmic payback, then hey, I am willing to take my punishment like a champ – I know I have really annoyed some people – but this seems excessive.  Dude, I haven’t been this much of a jerk, ENOUGH ALREADY!

He has pressed that button more times than I can count in the past few years, and each time he did, I was left reeling.  That son of a bitch was ruthless at times.  But, unlike the banana lady, I chose to handle the circumstances that were thrown at me, differently.  I made a conscious choice to fight, to find my way back from the paralyzing darkness and to see beauty in tragedy and loss.  And I did.  It wasn’t easy, but I did.  I came out the other side enlightened, inspired and at peace with who I am.  I was ready to live the life I had always dreamed of living.  I was beginning to fly.

But, just when I was about to soar he pushed that damn button again and clipped my wings.

An ailment is impeding my ability to function at a normal level, and I struggle daily because my body won’t cooperate with my mind.  My mind is sharp, committed and ready to reach for the stars, but my body keeps me grounded, discouraged and battling to continue moving forward.  No matter what I will my body to do, fatigue and pain won’t allow it to do what I need it to do.

Then that guy, callously set his sights on my family, deciding it wasn’t enough that my stepmom has to fight a disease that will eventually take her, no, he thought it was best for her husband to now fight the same disease right along with her. ‘Why do it alone when you can do it together, amirite?’  That asshole must have thought.  He had no regard for how much they were already dealing with, the stress associated with it and what was already weighing them down.  Now, not only do they juggle endless appointments for her, but also for him.  The worry and uncertainty are staggering, and all of us are still trying to process what the hell is happening.

So, in the past month, the voice inside my head that so often whispers the words ‘just quit‘, has grown louder.  And I have begun listening. ‘Just quit‘ it continues whispering, each time nudging me a little closer to giving up.  I have struggled to see how it is possible to continue chasing my dreams when I feel the way I do, and awful things keep happening to those around me.  This past week, I looked into renting apartments, and instead of writing, I chose to get lost in the world of Hogwarts, wanting to be as far away from my world as possible.

Then, something incredible and unexpected happened.

I met a duck.

The duck, who belongs to the people next door, snuck into the yard of the people I am petsitting for and couldn’t find her way out.  The neighbour came and retrieved her, but not before I was able to get a few photos.  And as she was leaving to go back home, I was able to give her a little head rub (the duck, not the neighbour), and my heart melted.  The joy that little duck brought me is indescribable.

A couple of mornings after that I heard a duck squawking, but really loudly and close to the house.  It was 5:45 am, and the ducks are never up that early, so I knew right away one of them must be stuck in the yard again.  I ran to the living room and flicked on the light to the backyard and right outside the glass door was the largest raccoon I had ever seen.  My first thought was, ‘Oh shit, where is the duck?’  I hit the door to make the raccoon move, and when he turned, I saw the duck and screamed, ‘NOOOOOOO!’  The raccoon had the duck I had met only days earlier by the neck.  I hit the door again, and the raccoon released the duck and took off into the field.

My mind was racing.  I knew I had to get that duck.  I ran outside in my underwear and picked her up, and when I did, she didn’t resist.  Blood was oozing out of the wounds on her neck and had painted her back and tail red.  I needed to stop the bleeding.  I sprinted inside and immediately applied pressure to her neck, while whispering, ‘please don’t die, please don’t die.’  I kept telling her it was going to be ok, unsure if it actually was.  I kept waiting for her to fade, to show signs the end was coming, but instead, she just looked at me with her gentle eyes, her composure completely intact, as if to say, ‘it’s going to be ok.’  I couldn’t help but think in the midst of chaos, that her reaction to this horrific situation was remarkable.

After slowing the blood flow, I put her down, quickly dressed, and delivered her bloodied to the neighbours.  I apologized profusely for the horror I had bestowed upon them by knocking on their door at 6 am, but they, of course, couldn’t have been more thankful.

I turned and walked away with my head down, bloodied myself and completely disheartened.  ‘Did I do the right thing? ‘ ‘Is she suffering more now because of me?’ are the two questions I couldn’t stop asking myself.  I couldn’t believe what had happened and I couldn’t stop imagining her pain and fear.  I felt shattered.  I showered and returned to Hogwarts, desperately wishing I could board the train on platform 9 3/4.

The next day I hesitantly approached the neighbour and dared to ask the question, ‘Is she ok?’ I then braced myself for the dreaded words to come.  ‘SHE IS GREAT!’ she joyfully exclaimed.  ‘WHAT?’ I screamed back.  She went on to explain that she wasn’t sure she was going to make it because of the blood loss and the number of wounds, but she did pull through.  AND, not only did she pull through, but she had had enough of solitary confinement and was already back with the other ducks.  If I had known this woman better, I would have broken down right there.  The relief that flooded over me knowing the duck was okay was so powerful it almost knocked me over.

I couldn’t stop smiling and cried tears of joy when I went back inside.  For the first time in many days, something went right. Bless her; she was alive.

My mind went back to the moment I was holding her and the way she looked at me, ever so gently.  I don’t know if she chose her response to the horror that was unfolding around us, but I like to believe she did.  In the face of such adversity, she responded with grace and dignity, even with the knowledge it might not be ok.

I am watching her as I type this.  She is in the field – a little worse for wear – but she is alive.  Waddling side by side with her family, she has let go of what happened to her and is moving forward.  With her resiliency on full display, she reminds me that once again I have a choice to make.  To face it, handle it and keep living life with conviction and purpose, or crumble in the face of adversity.

I choose to be like her.

So, with the dignity and grace, she has shown me, I too will continue moving forward, chasing my dreams side by side with my family, facing whatever is to come.”

Thank you for reading and until next time…

Hugs to you,

Di

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Mist, Mindfulness and Dreams

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✨”As I pursued the misty morning air…

I realised she was forever eluding me…

It was a beautiful illusion to believe could I chase her…
and reach for her…
as she hung, heavy and still between the trees…

Longing to see her greyness at my fingertips…
softly laying her beads of dew upon me…

When I looked behind, she was there…
When I looked ahead she was there…
I’d already walked past her…

She fixed me with her gaze…
Waiting for me to behold her…

I hadn’t noticed when
she was right beside me…
when I was right beside her…

My sight was focused too far into the distance…

As I paused…
reflected…
tried to make sense of it…
I began to live in the moment…
I released my angst of never reaching her…

It was then I realised…
The mist and I had become one…
There was no longer any separation…”

‘Tread softly’, she whispered.

So as we put our dreams just a little ahead of us…
and cradle them in our heart…
let’s gently step into them like the mist…

Trust and Allow…
Just Allow…
with Love
and acceptance of ourselves…

Until we envelop each other…
Surrender…
And become one with them…“✨

Sometimes we can look too far ahead, striving, struggling, being unkind to ourselves, forcing our way into finding the right path, hoping to find the answers we seek.

These are not our dreams but are borne more from fears and resistance of where we are now, or an urgency to change direction.

This constant chasing may mean we overlook the fact, that which we seek, is within our grasp right now.
When we find contentment in what we already possess, the journey of our imagining begins in this moment with us, our thoughts and the decisions we make.

Positive practises and reminders daily are the kindest thing we can offer ourselves…
The more relaxed we are, the more we allow the benevolent, expansive universe to deliver us our ‘next’ and the more receptive we are to her treasures.
After all, this present moment is all we have and all we can possibly know…

…’I trust the process’…

💕

The magic of Encouragement

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🌹’We never appreciate the depth a word of encouragement means…until we receive one ourself.’ 🌹

Funny how things work…I have contemplated encouragement and what it means for a long time now.
What makes it so special? And if you’ll allow me, I’d love to offer two different forms of encouragement….

When I was an Educational support Aide in a secondary school, I worked with a vision impaired and intellectually disabled student. He was the most gregarious young man who struggled in many areas of school curriculum, vision impairment aside.
The important thing was always focus on the positives and encourage any gifts that we could see in the students. We knew everyone has a gift no matter how extreme their disability may be.
So we would tell ‘Jim’ that he was so friendly, knowledgeable about horses, kind to all the staff and… had an amazing memory.

We didn’t necessarily comment on that as a way to encourage him, but more as a running joke because he didn’t forget anything we ever told him about ourselves, good or bad, including our birthdays. So it came to be that we would began to refer to his awesome memory and share some laughs together.
In a way, we were passively encouraging him without this being our mindful intention…we were fostering his confidence.

You see, when he was asked if he would like to give the introduction speech on a parent information evening, he decided to act upon this newly realised gift of memory and put it to use. He set about memorising his entire speech.
And can you guess?
He presented it word for word perfectly and was praised highly afterwards for his brilliant speech and his ability to remember it without cue cards.
We could feel the pride welling up within Jim…he was being showered with accolades for being excellent at something. After that, he would make comment about never forgetting anything…it became a fun banter between himself and us, the staff.

I refer to this as ‘passive’ as opposed to ‘active’ encouragement. These are my thoughts and terms only, but Jim’s story started me thinking…

We all understand when we are actively encouraged, as in ‘go for it… you’ll be great’ or ‘don’t let the fear stop you… go and live your dreams…’

But I believe there is a second type of encouragement that’s more passive, often so much more subtle…

…the kind where you have to read between the lines…
…the kind that is disguised as a compliment…

If we are fortunate, they may arrive on those doubting days, in a small but meaningful way, that fills our heart with hope and confidence and dispels those pesky doubts.
People most likely don’t realise they are being encouraging. I’m sure they accept they are offering kind words, but frequently these words can rearrange themselves in the receiver’s mind as words of encouragement.
It can be as simple as;
‘I really resonate with…’
‘This painting is stunning…’
‘You have a way with words…’
‘You’re such a good cook…’
or having your photograph or other creations featured in a public forum.

Often we’re oblivious to our gifts until someone sees the goodness in who we are or what we’ve done. We can become too focused on the things we need to ‘improve on’ or any negativity that comes our way and we may find it hard to pursue the ‘active’ encouragement from other people.

I believe the passive form is such meaningful encouragement because it presents as a heartfelt word, an appreciation of something that others choose to comment about, without any expectation from either person.

I received an encouraging word a few days ago just when I was questioning myself…it was the passive kind, that serendipitously provided beautiful magic…enough to prompt my continuing with something I’d been working on.

Passive encouragement offers us food for thought, that perhaps we truly are where we’re meant to be…
‘Do they really see that in me…?’
‘Did my work really resonate positively…?’

So passive or active, let’s all keep the world spinning with our goodness and keep up the wonderfully encouraging words, dressed however we deliver them, accepting that maybe, just maybe…they have the power to change someone’s day more than we could ever realise.

May I offer this little affirmation for this post…
‘I AM…encouragement for others, by the words I choose.’

So I ask you to please enjoy the feeling, knowing that you truly are…and I personally thank you for the magic of encouragement.

Autumn leaves and…forgiveness

Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.” Dr Desmond Tutu.

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Walking through the mountains with the freshness of a new Autumn kissing the air, I paused to reflect on the leaves scattered over the dewy early morning forest floor. What could they teach me about life, and why did they manifest within me such a connection with forgiveness?

You see, I’ve always compared myself to everybody, and I mean everybody, and always came up short in my opinion. There were always people who were more of everything…self-assured, confident…knew how to be themselves… if only I could be a little more like them.
I’d be telling an untruth if I said I never became jealous…but not of material possessions; it wasn’t about that, unless you’d call someone embarking on a world trip a material possession, then no. It was more about the traits of a person really.
I would speak badly to myself when I failed to live up to my, and others’, expectations, or found myself in the middle of those pesky little ‘brain freeze’ moments …the EFTPOS machine is constantly yelling at me to remove my card from the machine while I’m ‘off with the fairies’ for which I was oft accused.
‘But it’s always such a happy place there…’ I would reflect.

Did any of this chastisement make me happy with myself at all?
Or aid in rectifying my shortcomings?

Not for one minute.

All it did was consolidate more of what I didn’t want through spending energy on my lack. Frequently, our perceived ‘lack’ has been pointed out to us by others too, on a fairly consistent basis.
Being a bit of an anxious and sensitive person, I wrapped them up and carried them with me wherever I travelled…they became who I was.

Where were my gifts?
How could I find them?

More feelings of inadequacy grew to become the elephant in the room….I knew it was there but didn’t quite know how to approach it.

Once I eventually discovered two tiny seeds labelled ‘forgiveness’ and ‘acceptance’ with my name on them, I planted them, watered them and nurtured them to life until they were able to reveal their elusive mysteries. As I began to inhabit these new thoughts through daily reminders such as affirmations, intentions and words from wise sages, they began to disperse their seeds, creating more growth. In time, they left no space for the weeds in the garden of my mind to continue to cultivate those negative beliefs about myself.

I now understand that discussing world affairs isn’t going to be something I will comfortably engage in, that team sports and competitiveness in the arena are not interesting to me, that parties and large gatherings frequently have me running for cover unless I can hide in a quiet corner with someone else who feels the same way, where we share our personal stories.
Acceptance of ‘what is’ creates space for new growth and is a necessary contribution towards self-love.

When we choose to focus on our positive qualities, we watch them grow, awakening to how beautiful life can become when we no longer admonish ourselves.

The freedom it affords us is empowering.

After deciding to focus on my strengths and realising I could re-write my inadequacies as positives, I discarded those detrimental beliefs and gave them permission to ‘fall from the tree’, like the leaves of Autumn that have served their purpose, slowly drifting to the ground, returning their nutrients to the soil…making space for the new growth.

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What if our evolution meant simply loving those parts of us we were trying to conceal?
What if our evolution meant we could see possibility instead of lack?
What if we forgave ourselves for those feelings of inadequacy and just said thank you…

So now the time had arrived…

Thank you anxiety, you showed me how to control my fear,
Thank you inadequacy, you showed me I AM enough,
Thank you over-sensitivity, you showed me how to feel for others,
Thank you worry, you showed me greater peace,
Thank you emotions, you showed me to release my fear of vulnerability,
Thank you solitude, you showed me how to listen to my deepest spirit callings,
Thank you pain, you slowed me down long enough for my heart to catch up,
Thank you, ‘too quiet’, you showed me how to listen,
Thank you jealousy, you showed me what’s important to me,
Thank you ‘day-dreamer’, you showed me the possibilities,
Thank you fear, you showed me how to push through my doubts,
Thank you inferiority, you showed me we are all equal, and all worthy of LOVE,
Thank you self-criticism, you showed me the way ahead can only be LOVE for myself.

May we find forgiveness in our lack of unconditional love towards ourselves.

I’d be honoured to offer you a small affirmation if this post resonated with you…
‘I AM loveable as I AM…I AM enough.’

Sending love,
Di 🦋❤
**Prompted by forgivingFridays challenge, through the beautiful blog ForgivingConnects

Love really is…all around us. Part two

IMG_0898Finally, the long awaited appearance of Adele, as she mellifluously sings “Hello’, dressed in glittering bronze. There is no doubt that her voice resonated perfectly throughout the enormous stadium. It became apparent very quickly we were going to be a willing participant in something greater than just hearing the vocal talent of this singer/songwriter…

I think for me, another reason for the emotion, was that first moment you see someone you’ve been admiring for a long time…I was so excited for my husband and everyone else who had made the journey to be present tonight…remember how that first glimpse can often release many pent up emotions?

As much as her songs do evoke emotion, it’s the ‘between songs’ conversation and banter where just as much magic occurs.

You see, I believe her gifts are more expansive than those mentioned above. She is able to foster a connection not only between herself and the audience, but within the audience…she brings out the best in us. I’ve had a little saying that came to me one day after a coffee catch up with a dear friend… ‘I like who I am when I’m with you’. I believe Adele offers us this gift.
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How does she create this atmosphere?
She is infectiously joyful in her banter with the audience, including swear words to convey how anxious and overwhelmed she feels by being in front of so many people…she can laugh at herself and not take herself too seriously. She is much grounded in reality.

During a pause in singing, Adele admitted to ‘facing her fears’ by playing to a stadium instead of a smaller arena, and for the little girls out there, also admitted to having so much makeup on… she doesn’t ‘look like this normally’, she reassured them.

Adele has remained unapologetically herself throughout her rise to fame, allowing her authenticity to practically become her trademark…the very thing that endears herself to so many of us. She brings her personality to her craft and doesn’t feel any requirement to fit into a box of how an entertainer ‘should’ look like or behave.

It was time for her to pull someone on stage and she remembered a gentleman in the nearby row that was crying during her opening song. So up he went. She gave him a hug and before we knew what was taking place, another gentleman was up on stage, proposing. He was hoping his dream may just come true tonight…and it did. There was a huge cheer and applause as these two men confirmed their love in such a public way, and in this political climate, this was a beautiful endorsement for people just wanting to love and be loved. It was very touching.

During a very short break, and still my tears flowed once ‘kiss cam’ commenced. This is the camera directed onto a few people in any given row, encouraging any who may be a couple, to face each other for a little kiss; they see themselves on the big screen, laugh, and wave to the rest of us as we cheered them on. For those few minutes again, we were united in an emotion of togetherness, fuelling feelings of connection between us all. Nothing else mattered but for love and friendships however they presented themselves… and later, the spotlight was shone onto the parents and their children. This relationship was also celebrated during a moving rendition of one of her popular songs.

Of course, throughout, Adele would say hello to those nearby holding posters, and at one point, paused to have fun dispatching signed tee shirts from a launching gun. We were able to see the recipients on screen…they were not anonymous…they had a face.

We experienced some raw emotion from Adele as she introduced one of her songs (I’ll keep something hidden in case you see her in your country one day too), explaining that she had written the song she needed to write as ‘a cleansing’ for the torment she felt during a relationship break up. She didn’t attempt to write a winning song…but wrote from her heart, compelled to put her thoughts on paper in order to make sense of what was crumbling around her. This was a gateway to a new beginning.
This actually resonated deeply with me as a new blogger. I actually expand a little more on that in a coming post, but for now, I believe it’s a brilliant message for us all to remember that in order to be authentic, we are invited to write, paint, dance… create, however we are called by the universe, and pursue our own truth…as we are inspired, there is a healing, a growth from a new awakening that envelopes us. If what we create resonates with only one other person, we have shared our gift for the benefit of another…fulfilled our purpose. What more could we ask in speaking our truth?

Some more inspiration from Adele…
She began singing with an audience of two, one being her Mother. And just look at her now, simply by being herself and writing for her own cleansing….truly awesome.
It’s a gentle reminder that we all start somewhere humble, and it can seem like nothing is changing…until one day, some things fall into beautiful place and it’s our turn to step up, face our fears and move to a new challenge in our evolution or creativity. This for me was incredibly powerful.

Finally, as she was pouring her heart out through her transparency, she explained how her tumultuous past enabled her to be the person she is today; happier and more content than before. She encouraged everyone who is feeling low, experiencing a relationship breakdown, or another difficult time in their life, that things will improve…that we can be happy, finding ourselves engaged fully in life once again, with renewed strength and resilience.

As one final little piece of the puzzle, on the trip back to the other end of the city, the trams were again full, with people sharing their excitement and I can now admit…I overheard some people sharing the moment they began welling with tears too…
So, in answer to why I, and it appears were many others, were moved by this concert…
…we were stirred by emotion, and invited to ‘feel’,
…we were experiencing mindfulness by being fully present in the music,
…we were a united consciousness for the evening, in flow, as possibly we could feel this oneness,
…we were inspired to remember that after the rain comes the sunshine,
…we understand what it takes to be authentic under all circumstances, resisting changing to simply fit a particular expectation.

Adele, you have a true gift of empowering your audience through your kind gestures, encouragement and connecting us through emotion…
You became one of us, unaffected by fame through your honesty and authenticity.
….You dared us to dream a little dream…to believe in fairy-tales again, as we thought perhaps…just perhaps…

Thank you, and bless you, Adele…❤

Love really is…all around us. Part One

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I have a confession to make… we were fortunate to acquire tickets for Adele’s final concert in Melbourne last night, and from the moment she walked on stage, I had tears rolling down my face. It is so embarrassing when other people are simply enjoying the moment, huge smiles on their faces, while there’s me, sitting stony faced like I wasn’t feeling a thing…unless you noticed the glistening of tears rolling down my cheeks…

This unbridled emotion appeared from seemingly nowhere, as you see, my husband is the one most likely voted to follow her every move. He has played her music for so many years now, and it was to ‘accompany’ him that I attended.

And… curiosity too.

What is it about her that captivates so many of us, from all ages, as attested by her audience last night? Yes, she has a beautiful voice that flows like honey the minute she sings a note. But there must be something more to her to attract crowds like she has. And was there something even bigger at play that had this over sensitive heart reeling with emotion?

Reflecting on it today, I think it began with the early dinner in the city. The restaurants were full with the buzz of something we were preparing for together…an anticipation that flowed effortlessly through the city. That was followed by a tram trip to the top end of town to the stadium. The tram stops were again full, after all, around 75,000 people were heading in the same direction.
We were packed into the tram like sardines, on a very warm Autumn evening. But there was a patience…an energy, a buzz, as people looked out for each other on the tram. Someone from deep within the bunch detected someone required alighting…clearly they were not a concert goer. We all shuffled to make space as best we could.
Some of us began chatting, sharing in the excitement of the moment. Some had travelled from Malaysia to attend. These lovely moments repeated themselves once we were at our seats, happily sharing travel stories with those next to us.

Before long, the great ‘Mexican wave commenced; we all eagerly awaited our turn for the wave to approach and then… smiles all around as our hands flew into the air. There was sheer joy in the concert goers’ faces. Why did this promote such joy? Me being me likes to contemplate these things…all the while, my husband is analysing the stage for the mechanics of how it was created, where Adele may be coming from, the lighting…you get the idea… we are very different in what takes up our ‘waiting time’ thoughts!

I believe the joy is found in the ‘unison factor’, apart from appearing very beautiful to witness around a grand stadium. We are ‘all in this together’, approach, with each person playing their part, to create a beautiful whole…happy, fully present and united through eagerness for what we were going to experience… our hearts and minds flowing as one. This feeling is now known as ‘Coherence’. There is some amazing work being done by HeartMath Institute who scientifically explores our connection with each other. They have a variety of videos on the subject and I’ve included one beautiful one here in case you enjoy this area of study.

The phenomenon occurs in many situations, including sporting events, but last night, there were no sides taken…no dividing into two… we, all 75,000 of us, were there to experience the gifts from one… only one, young lady who has mesmerised so much of the world.
It was palpable and was part of the reason for my tears; this is my default mode for anything ‘emotional, good or less so!…My heart was experiencing this coherence, with a deep feeling of connectedness overwhelming me.

Please join me for part two soon…Di 💕

A train journey to self acceptance.

IMG_0426.JPGHello beautiful!
I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve been watching some gorgeous English documentaries about train travel, but recently I woke up thinking how similar a train journey is to our discovering our calling, becoming comfortable in our own skin and simply just arriving at the stage where we can say the we love ourselves, including those parts we have found a challenge to love in the past.

You see, I think of the ‘passengers’ that enter and exit a train as our thoughts and the people who enter our lives …some climb aboard, stay for a single stop, or a few stops, and then depart, leaving us with only memories, experiences and their spirit…while some will stay aboard for the entire journey.

Sometimes, we can feel like we are stationary, like the train at a stop, and it can feel like we are there forever, as we peer outside at life passing us by… …as if we are by-standers in a life that’s not entirely of our making. We easily forget during these times that the engine is always running, ready to proceed towards our destination as soon as the new ‘passengers’ have begun the journey with us, and the ‘passengers’ who don’t further require our services have alighted.

There are days when we are flying with the wind in our hair, taking in the beauty that surrounds us, charging over beautiful old fashioned bridges with a view as far as the eye can see, all the while gathering momentum to sustain us between the stations.

From time to time, when we are busy thinking of other things, we jump on the ‘wrong’ train, but it becomes the gateway to an entirely new way of seeing the world…so in reality, there can rarely be a ‘wrong train’. We are able to change trains at the next stop should be still choose to, and continue on the journey we anticipated all along; but now we have seen a different route…and a seed is planted.

When we have no preconceived idea of what the destination may look like, this can often become our greatest journey of discovery, consisting of new worlds that hold our fascination and allow us to be fully present in the moment, brimming with wonder and awe.
Other days, the train trip becomes so predictable. We can still find beauty in these trips because of the comfort found in routine, and the familiar ‘passengers’ who commute alongside us. We feel safe there with them by our side…

And of course, there’s the good old express train…it seems to have it all worked out, with its correct combination and amount of ‘passengers’ to enable the journey to take place. It speeds through the stations, without stopping, not collecting those ‘passengers’ waiting to board, content with its fill for the moment. Meanwhile, our train is battling the rush hour ‘passengers’, and taking forever to reach its destination, stopping at every station. It seems like we will never make it to central station. Sometimes, just sometimes, we wish we could be the express train…

Occasionally, because many lines converge onto a central point, we must wait out in the rail yards. Patience is required while the train whose turn it is to arrive next at the central station has their moment. The trains have learnt to accept that they cannot all arrive at the central station at the same time. Some trains are slower, some have engine troubles, some signals are unreliable and the journey may become hampered, as too the lines become hampered with trees or other debris. But the point being there’s a time for all the trains to arrive safely and on time, with each one sturdy in its purpose to simply follow their own line and timetable. Naturally, they carry varied ‘passengers’ with many stories of their own, all with a set purpose, and the trains come from far and wide.

Finally, the signal is given for us to enter the tunnel and approach the central station…
We notice that there are lights shining to show us the way ahead…they emanate from the train. As well as this, the inside of the train seems to have become brighter, even as it’s enclosed by a dark tunnel…now we cannot see outside, only reflections of what’s taking place inside, as we gaze towards the windows. It’s during this time that we observe our companion ‘passengers’. They become more vibrant and we notice more. This affords us the time to really look at them…to take everything in, discover how they may teach us, merely by their presence.

All these lights have been shining the entire time, but until we entered the darkness, we weren’t able to see that we were the source for creating our own light. It’s so easy to forget this and we need reminding from time to time… but they were always there throughout the entire journey.

The last task on this train’s journey is cleaning, washing the windows and decluttering…but it cannot be done with passengers on board…it must be an empty train for the cleaners to enter and make the space comfortable for the new arrivals…again, some will stay for only a while… some will remain for the entirety. And thus, a new train journey commences, emerging from the dark tunnel, replete with new ‘passengers’ brimming with vitality and vigour, anticipating new adventure, and surrounded by beautiful scenery. The train is overwhelmed by its awareness that it created its own light, that it was always present, but not always easy to see. And grateful for the dark tunnel to highlight this awareness.

This time, it will remember…it has evolved…and sees its light leading the way for others, but above all, for itself first.

I do hope you enjoyed this little analogy that came to me, and my wish is for you to remember you are a bright light, that you are always being looked after and guided, even when the train is crowded and stationary. The dark times can deliver you the brightest light…and there is a time for us all to pull into central station, as we cheer on other trains from the sidelines while we wait our turn.
May you all be blessed wherever you are in your journey.
Di xx

The weight of a word

IMG_0768.JPG🌹”In the beginning was The Word.” The Holy Bible
🌹“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” Rumi

Hello beautiful!
Yes, you.

I just increased your ‘feel good hormones’ and created harmony in your body by having you read such a happy and positive word.
And by writing this, I’ve also induced changes in my brain that promote wellbeing!

You see, words have power. Words carry their own vibration. Their own energy. This post concerns the power of high vibrational words…those that contribute to our expansion and continue us on the path to evolution as a spiritual being.

Written, spoken or thought,
words, when used with the loving intention to foster harmony…
…Inspire
…Encourage
…Show respect
…Convey care
…Express emotions
…Uplift
…Heal
…Reassure
…Bless
…Show LOVE

One single word of appreciation, kindness, or a simple ‘hello’, or Good morning’, can change the course of someone’s day. Not only by affording them the luxury of being seen and validated, but also by promoting the release of these chemicals that literally change the way your brain functions.

I have a friend who was sitting alone one day on a pier just watching the fishermen. She was going through a really tough emotional time with some tragedies in her life and was visibly upset. And she proudly related this story to me when she revealed she was so touched when one of the fishermen came to her and simply said ‘Are you ok?’ She conveyed such feeling when sharing how important those few words were to her that particular day. She felt like she mattered and someone cared…

We all understand the power of a swear word when we’re upset. And that certain words can create a cold shiver upon speaking them. We are advised not to send an email when we are upset or angry, not only because we may say something we’ll regret, but because we have the potential to send negative energy into the world.

Our reality is created by what we think and say, therefore the more uplifting words we can consume on a daily basis, the more likely we will serve them to others as naturally as breathing. And the more positive words we will, in turn, notice in our day to day life. It’s truly a happy cycle that diffuses greater love into the world, one positive word at a time. Affirmations are a perfect example of the power of choosing our words. They must be in the present tense, and always positive. This is the reason the words ‘I AM’ are so powerful. When repeated on a regular basis, we can change our attitude by the thoughts we have.

We say we create a beautiful meal ‘with love’, meaning we pour our heart and love into the food and its preparation as a way to tend to our loved ones, and show we care, and subsequently share the meal. And so this same intention may be infused lovingly around our words.
When someone asks us how we are, what do we say? ‘Not bad’, even if we are feeling rather good that day? It becomes a habit to say this but we can create a new way of replying that is so much more energising and uplifting. I used to work with someone who would always respond with ‘awesome’, ‘stupendous’, or another equally positive and entertaining superlative…a lovely way to share space together.

I’m pondering why I have almost impulsively fallen in love with writing and consequently created this little ‘personal cyber real estate’ otherwise called my Blog.
I serendipitously stumbled across a new desire to express myself through words…with the intention of creating goodness for you as you read them.

So, as new as I am to the genre of creative and inspirational writing, all I can say to reassure you is that I choose my words very carefully. I completely understand how one word makes a difference.

I like to believe it began by immersing myself in nature in the wilderness of Tasmania last year.
At the same time as highlighting the beauty of the landscapes from photographic images I captured, the two seemingly melded together, leading me on a joyful pursuit of creating as much positivity and fostering wellbeing through words and images.
So far, it’s been a beautiful journey that had its genesis on another platform for personal expression. I wake up with words on my mind in the sleepy haze of my semi-consciousness, hoping to better what I had expressed on the screen the previous day. I’m a work in progress, aiming to become proficient at saying more with less as I evolve…

I wish us all more joy, contentment, happiness, encouragement, shimmer, kindness, wisdom, harmony, peace and above all, LOVE, from these words I refer to as my ‘beautiful’ words.
May we seek them out, beginning with our thoughts.
May we read them, write them, breathe them in then breathe them out for others to share in their healing power.

And above all, please offer yourself love using these words through your thoughts and how you speak about yourself; treat yourself kindly, with respect, because that’s where the magic begins.

Sending love and my best intentions as I send this post ❤️❤️

🌟If you would like to read more about the power of words, please feel free to follow the link I have attached. It contains some more of the scientific proof of how we change our brains when we focus on positive words. Really fascinating research and I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/420/

The magic of ‘bravery’.

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“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly ;… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”

Quote by Theodore Roosevelt, 1910. The ‘Man in the Arena’ speech.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Quote by Steve Jobs.

Hello to you,

As I have recently  been pondering the word bravery, it has appeared for me in many synchronistic ways this week. I have seen it in Instagram posts and heard it in podcasts. What is it to be brave? And why do we feel the need to see ourselves as ‘brave’ when there is no threat to our physical body? We tend to think of bravery as fronting up to a battle… to be placing our life in danger…overcoming fear.

So why is it that we feel so ‘brave’, and are encouraged to be courageous  when we decide to simply follow our dream?…begin something new?…show our true selves?

What is this new kind of battle?

For me, it is one or a combination of the following fears at any given time…

🌟The fear of how we are perceived and consequently, judged, is a major factor. ‘What will people think’ if I steer off course and appear different to what they are comfortable with? The person I, and they, are used to?
🌟The fear of embarrassment. Being on show in front of others if things don’t unfold as we hoped they would.
🌟The fear of others destroying our dreams by saying they are not valid or worthy of our time and attention.
🌟The fear of not gaining the approval of others with the path we have chosen. Especially if we are uncovering a part of ourselves we may have kept hidden.
🌟The fear of ‘I told you so…’

These are all valid, and many I’m sure we all share.

It requires bravery to push through these feelings, past our comfort zones and into the unknown.

There comes a time when we must reclaim the life we were given in this physical form in order to attain and live out our highest purpose.

To move forward, if our pursuit is one of personal evolution, we must refrain from outsourcing our happiness and joy to the opinions of others, and live in alignment with our own truth. Otherwise, we are handing over our power and our life to external sources.

We cannot permit ourselves to become caged in through fear of supposed failure… if someone begins working towards their dream, how can it ever ‘fail’? Things may not eventuate in the manner that we were hoping for, but we can’t always predict things will  work out according to our expectations…there may be a grander plan waiting for us that we are not aware of, with valuable ‘insights’ and ‘lessons’ learnt along the way.

Being BRAVE means we accept the ‘fear of what others will think’ is no longer an option…that to move ahead, we must live according to our own values and create that which brings us joy. Because in doing so, we bring joy to others purely because we become more content within ourselves. We learn after a first baby step forward… that it’s not as scary as we forecast.

This brings such a freedom that must be experienced and then enjoyed. I’m not saying it’s easy, and I’m a constant work in progress too, but with each tiny step towards our dreams, we become a little braver. In time, we will see it as part of a delicious journey we are undertaking.

There comes a time when the torment of not pursuing the endeavours that ignite us becomes too great. To stare down the fear of the judgement…and respond by simply being happier in our own skin is something palpable to others. Let this be the change we really wish for others to notice…

I have a saying, and I’m not sure where it came from, but I’ve used it many times…’close your eyes and go for it.’ Its relevance, to me, means through closing our eyes, we cannot see our fears, the darkness forcing us to go within and deeply feel our passions and desires. We leave our rational mind behind…the one that could talk us out of everything.
From that place, the emotions of feeling the dream becoming reality are too overwhelming to ignore.

By one person daring to be brave, it affords others to take the baby steps necessary for them, so in a way, each of us becomes a leader for others in a beautiful kind of ripple effect.

I have certainly benefitted from those whom I admire leading the way to show me what’s possible, that it’s safe to do so…when those pesky fears were winning the battle…

So together, let’s weave some magic. Let’s be the light that shows the way ahead for others. Let’s be brave. You’re a sheer work of art and truly amazing. Believe IT…feel IT…own IT. ❤

Bravery awards this week to my friends who are lighting the path ahead:
Leni, who has opened her brand new Etsy website this week where she displays her brand of beautiful calligraphy and hand lettered designs.

Louise Brister who has begun her new Facebook page where she shares her gentle spiritual wisdom.
Please find the links to their pages below.🌹

And much gratitude to Brené Brown’s book for opening the discussion about Bravery in the first place, and from where I discovered the opening quote.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/lightofleni
https://www.facebook.com/theinnercoursewithlouisebrister/
Brown, B 2015, Rising Strong, Vermillian, London.

Going deep to say hello.

Hello there!

Well, I’ve been pacing up and down the room to avoid writing this, my very first blog story. Why? Because I’m scared to bits. I was over the moon when I announced to you that I was beginning this next journey, but yesterday, all I thought was ‘what have I done? I can’t back out of it now.’

You see, it’s quite a different feel from adding words to an instagram post. Over there, I couldn’t always be sure if people apppreciated the photo or my words..whereas here, it’s predominantly about my words, my story. Those niggly thoughts fly into your head such as ‘who really wants to hear what I have to say?’ and ‘who am I to put myself out there?’ Not to mention the good old ‘what will people think, especially those who have seem me in one particular light?’

This is truly extending me out of my comfort zone- it’s something we hear we must do in order to move forward in life. But it’s also greater and more beautiful than that.

For me now, it’s an evolution of revealing myself like I couldn’t do before.

To earn the golden ticket meant I had to front up and appear perfect, like I had everything under control, to be the person my parents wanted me to be. Whilst at the same time, I was so aware of my inadequacies that were always highlighted to me from others. Consequently, I tried even harder to hide them.

In doing so, this still didn’t appear to make me ‘perfect’ and thus began a very long struggle with self-confidence and self-acceptance.

Being a quiet personality, it’s always been a challenge to say what is on my mind. May I rewrite that as ‘to express what’s in my heart…’. I’ve been accused of going too deep and over thinking everything. I’d look around me at people who could make fun of themselves, tease people in jest, put themselves out there, keep up to date with the occurrences of the world…not me. I’d ask myself repeatedly why it was so easy for them? I spent a lot of time alone as a teenager watching people and simply thinking…simply being. Most likely about where I fitted in to the world and what was my purpose.

So after a long time of feeling this way, there are things I’ve learnt about over this journey called my life that have brought me to this point. I’m actually feeling quite proud of myself. I’ll not go into it here…I’ll spare you the detail today!

We all have stories and our unique way of adding value to the world. Since beginning photography classes, I uncovered purely through listening to my heart in my quiet moments, that this is the platform through which I can add my value to the world, or at least that is my utmost intention and heartfelt wish. I have come to adore writing my thoughts and feelings down and if many of you hadn’t been as encouraging as you were, I’d have pulled my head back under my shell.

So it’s with a heartfelt thank you to you all for allowing me the space to dip my toes in the water and discover this side of me that I’d always secretly desired, but had no clue as to how I’d arrive at expressing myself through words.

I’d really like establish some things between you and me about things I might say in my blog…

🌟As a consequence of being real, raw and authentic, which is my goal always here, I may add some things that sound like I’m putting myself down. Please, in no way is this to incite compliments or any kind of comfort. I’m ok with the way I am now and I’ll intend to show you where I’ve been in order for you to see where I am and where I’m heading. Goodness knows I heard that line from a very young age at school if I said something nice about someone..’you’re just fishing for compliments!’ Lines such as this are, in my mind, utterly destructive, and had me avoid anything that would give people ammunition to shower me with that phrase.

🌟Being real about the things we feel are our greatest traits is not bragging. We are not alluding to the fact we are better than others when we do this. In fact, it’s much worse to be underplaying your gifts in order to appear modest. There’s quite the fine line to juggle here..

It’s taken a long time to overcome that fear, and you know the thing that has allowed me to reach this milestone? What everything can be reduced to… LOVE.

Love for myself and a realisation that I just love people. So doing what I can to make sure no one who knows me or comments on social media ever feels unworthy or unwanted is my motivation for being kind and saying pleasant things to people. That’s it…It’s that simple now…and I’m going to keep doing it.

🌟I think these are the stories I really wanted to share with you as a first post. And you know what? It’s been an amazing feeling to be real, honest and not try to hide anything. I’ve actually enjoyed writing this, being brave…being raw…and all it took was…

that first word… that first step.

All I have to offer is my side of the story and I’ll never intend to belittle a different way of looking at life… but this is all I’ve got to offer…my view. I truly hope it may resonate with you along the way.

If you have something inside your heart that you are waiting to share… I ask you this- how will you feel if you get to the end of your life and you didn’t share your gifts, your dreams, your means of expressing yourself? Those things inside your heart that you can feel joy just by thinking about them?

There are so many reasons why you need to share those things that ignite your fire
and it’s my intention to explore these here with you.

Please, I’d love t hear what you think. But this is along the lines of what my blog is about….and you will always be welcome to use this as way of taking your first step in expressing yourself, should you choose to. I’d be honoured if you did.

Thank you. I’m glad you’re here.

Love to you from Di ❤
Continue reading “Going deep to say hello.”