A precious moment in time…

 

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“Kindnesses, in the form of ‘micro-moments’, wait patiently…
Wishing to release their seeds… 
Knowing they will be planting love…
far and wide.” Di

 

 

(The term ‘micro-moments’ courtesy of Barbara Fredrickson from her beautiful book, LOVE 2.0 …..Review in a forthcoming post).

Hello there,

You may remember from last week’s post about Love, thanks to Nikki’s weekly prompt, I made mention that it can be found in the dabbing of tears using the corner of a tissue…well, I’d love to share the reason behind that thought.

I hope you enjoy my story…

I was sitting at a café recently, writing a draft for a post, when a message came through on my phone…

You see, my best friend, Jo, from school days, had been to visit with her unwell mum…
Jo and I met on day one of first year of secondary school and were inseparable for all of those six years.

Jo moved to Queensland from Melbourne within a few weeks after that final year. We haven’t seen each other frequently in the ensuing years, as life took a different path for each of us.

I remembered her dear mum fondly, as often you may with the parents of your school friends…watching how other parents ‘parented’ was always a fascination for me, and Jo’s mum, Helen was forthright in offering advice about shaving our legs, plucking our eyebrows, and had in fact, shown me how to hang socks on the clothesline to maximise their drying capacity!! These little things I’ll never forget…

Jo was bringing her mum to Melbourne for a visit and we were going to spend one precious afternoon in the city.
We simply loved our fleeting time together.

We laughed, shared a meal, walked around the city, mindful of the delicate nature of Helen’s health, and generally knew that the passing years had removed none of the affection we had for each other. We fell into ourselves as comfortably as if it were yesterday again.

We created many happy memories and to be totally yourself with someone you don’t see very often is a real privilege. The sense of connectedness, sharing of our past, remembering all the silly things we did as teenage girls…such as forgetting we were walking undercover while we huddled under an umbrella…brought pure joy at the reminiscing.

So, as with all things, it came to an end, and we reluctantly left each other later that evening, before new commitments took control of their final couple of days here.

 

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Jo and myself on an earlier visit last year

The message that came through while I sat at the café on my own?

It was a photo Jo had sent of the aeroplane they were about to board…they were now at Melbourne airport, about to board to return to Queensland.

It had a huge emotional impact on me and tears welled up as I was sitting in the café, my tissue stained with mascara.

…I was embarrassed to go and pay for coffee, with what I imagined were rivers of black streaks down my cheeks. Even walking to the bathroom would have created a visual stir for others, I was sure!

There was a lady sitting in front of me by herself too.

I had a thought….

And may I add that it would have been easy to talk myself out of reaching out to this lady…
‘I don’t want to bother her,’ ‘she may be busy,’ she may tell me to leave her alone’…

Something compelled me to proceed.

I excused myself and asked her if I was obviously mascara-stained because I’d had a few tears. Her beautiful response was this:

She turned to me, lightly put her finger under my chin to lift my face, reached for a clean serviette and began dabbing at my face. I can feel a welling of emotion just typing these words.

It was, at that moment, as if we were the only two people in the café-
we were so in tune and in the moment. I felt very seen and accepted as I presented my raw self to her. She didn’t ask the reason for my tears, but simply wished me well and said she hoped my day improved.

I could offer nothing but a heartfelt thank you in return.

I will never forget this moment of ‘love’ and it’s also a lesson for me that people like to show kindness, if we just give them half a chance. We often prefer to give than to humbly receive. I often wonder why this is?

Perhaps its due to those messages we have all heard many times…’It’s better to give that to receive’…

Maybe it should say, ‘In giving, we receive’, which I believe to be true if we offer without expecting anything in return.

But I see another way…

Perhaps in receiving, we are giving…

 I’ve never seen this kind lady again and chances are I never will.
She may never know what this seemingly simple act of kindness meant to me…

And now we all understand…

So, ‘just for today,’ let’s allow someone the chance to offer this to us… and just receive graciously.

It really can make the world go ’round.

Thank you for being here,

Di❤️

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“What is love, mummy?” A children’s story…❤️

 Hello to you,

This post is a contribution for Nikki’s inspiring blog, Flying Through Water and her creative weekly prompt. This week it was about Love.

I could have written about this in a million ways, but this is the piece I was called to create. It became my magical carpet on which to lay out my thoughts on this beautiful word, LOVE.

I do hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed producing it…🌹

 

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Love is kindness and compassion for all

 

 

       “There was once a sensitive little girl who always wondered about what love really meant.
Sure, she was part of a family and they existed under the one roof, but always with dinner on the table and some clean clothes to wear…

        She assumed she was loved, although no-one had ever really made a fuss about her or told her they loved her.
So she just went about her life, doing what she was told, hoping to be a good girl, wanting to make people feel happy. Happy meant more to her than love. And helping people. She knew what both of those things looked like.

        She would attend weddings of her older sisters and aunts and uncles, and at the back of her mind she was searching, watching, quietly observing for any hint of what love should look like.
It had a colour, didn’t it? She tried hard to find it. Was it more about a whirling in their hearts that she couldn’t see with her own eyes?

       Did the couple being married have a new sense of something being different? Was there a puff of pink sparkly mist that should accompany them like their own little cloud of joy? And so, love meant pink for her…

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And what about that phrase she heard about for so long…’being in love…’

She wondered what that felt like. Would she know when it was her time to be in it? In what exactly?

And so her time was spent pondering these questions.

She said she ‘loved’ chocolate… and climbing trees. Was that the same thing?

        She learnt at school that Jesus had taught us to ‘love one another as I have loved you.’
It was hard to make sense of it. ‘Don’t we just LOVE our family? And aren’t they just supposed to LOVE us?

How can you love other people that aren’t your family? What would that look like?

         One day, when she hadn’t quite finished school, she met a boy. He was at the school next door. They accidentally met on the train on the way home. He seemed to really like her even though she had no idea who or what she was about. But she knew he was something pretty special.

        As time went on she would assume she loved him too  because she discovered she couldn’t imagine life without him, and she really liked who she was when she was with him.

Did that mean ‘love’, she pondered?

       She felt very ‘loved’ by him because he thought she was beautiful whatever her mood, through her tears, through her times of fear, doubt, her self imposed thoughts of ugliness, her happy times, the times she was so frustrated that she would upset him… and always he would say he loved her. He never attempted to change her or ask why she couldn’t be stronger or less emotional.

He didn’t judge her either…

     This very quiet little girl became a nurse, simply because she wanted to make people feel better, to feel they mattered, to show compassion for them in their suffering. That idea had kept her going all those years when she felt like she didn’t fit in anywhere, when the world seemed too big for someone who just wanted to hold a person’s hand in their time of suffering.

So gradually, things began to make sense…

     Perhaps she was doing what Jesus was teaching when she was simply sitting with someone when they were sad or broken.

    Perhaps it was being loving to others when we can imagine what they are going through.

     She remembered the time she was still little and owned a pet bird that had died one day. It was possible to remember what sadness felt like when one of her school friends said they had lost a pet… or even their Nana or Pa..

    She never laughed when somebody tripped over or did something silly because she could feel how embarrassing that would be to have someone see you do that.

Was all of this ‘showing love?’

      Was it found in just being kind, imagining what it’s like to be someone else and feeling what they could be feeling, not laughing at others, being helpful?
She began to discover that it was…

She could feel a little flutter in her heart when she felt she was being ‘loving’ towards someone.

Was that what it felt like?

     Did she have to feel it every day with the boy she met on the train for the rest of her life? Does that feeling stay forever? Or does it change and grow to mean something different?

     She had three little babies with that boy who became her husband. They have all grown up now.
She learnt about love from watching them and accepting them when they were difficult, when they had a tantrum, and yet every day, she couldn’t wait to pick them up out of their cot and see them, as if for the first time…
They all had their own little personalities and one was not better than the other. She thought they were all beautiful. They didn’t have to be perfect for her. They were just being themselves.

Surely that was love?

      Gradually as the years passed, she realised that she could be even better if she learnt to love herself. That didn’t mean going around and telling everybody how good she was.
It was about accepting herself for all the things that make her the person she is.

Some days she was upset, some days she was happy, some days she forgot things, some days she said something accidentally to make someone sad. These were all the parts that made her whole and she was beginning to be alright with that.

     This little girl who grew up learnt that there is love to be found in a kind word to someone she didn’t even know. It could be a person in a shop, or someone she met on the way to somewhere else.
It’s giving someone a flower from the garden, hugging someone, writing to say ‘thank you’ when someone had shown love to her by bringing a flower or sending a tiny metal Angel in the post, wiping someone’s tears with the corner of a tissue, sitting next to someone who is sad, doing some fun things together and laughing, saying nothing at all, just listening…

…saying ‘I love you…’

      She came to discover it’s really a special word that means very simple but beautiful things and can be different for everyone…and we need to be shown love in our own special ways too. Ways that speak our language…

     Some of us like to be told we are loved, some of us like to be shown we are loved through gifts or spending time together, some of us just need a big bear hug to feel loved.

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 When we wish that someone can be as happy as us,

or we wish to say or do something that can make them feel better,

when we just want the best for them…without expecting anything in return…

when we don’t make someone feel bad about being who they are…

    That’s love, actually…”

 

….I also realise love can present itself as a little heart enclosing our written words, it can come draped around encouragement, as an extra ingredient baked into a cake, it can be buying a magazine from a homeless person, it can be many things, but what we do know is…

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******Song embedded for you… sung by Dionne Warwick, ‘What the World Needs Now’ 

 

I’d love to make mention of a book I bought quite a few years ago upon which some of this philosophy here is based…
‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. It appeared at a time I was questioning what it all was supposed to be about. I thought you may enjoy seeing this too.

Thank you for reading…I wish you much love in your life and some from me too…
Di 💕

Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP)?

Hello for another week,
This post is a big one for me…

You see, I’ve been sitting on this knowledge for a few years and waited for the right time and platform to share something that changed my life.

I discovered I was a HSP, short for a Highly Sensitive person.
I learnt there was such a trait after I heard it on a podcast and I literally bawled…I know there are reservations about labels, and having worked in Supported Education in a secondary school, I certainly know about the often overuse of labels.
But in my experience, sometimes it was a helpful diagnosis for the student, and other times it was requested to remain hidden and not discussed.
So it was with this in mind that I have held back.
After finding a wonderful post about this very topic by a a Psychologist, school professor blogger by the name of Dr Andrea Dinardo…. I knew what my next reblog had to be…

So it is with much pleasure that I’m helping to spread this information shared here by lovely Dr Dinardo from her inspiring blog about Positive Psychology (not to be confused with Positive thinking).
Our hope is for everyone who didn’t quite understand why they couldn’t just ‘fit in with the crowd’ for many reasons, who had been told to just ‘grow a thicker skin’, was made fun of for crying easily, over thinking everything… the list goes on, comes to accept there is nothing wrong with us. Dr Dinardo covers this topic beautifully below.

There are resource links in Dr Dinardo’s post, including that of Elaine Aron, who pioneered the research.

You will discover your sensitivity is a beautiful thing and something to be proud of, no longer wishing to hide it under the carpet for fear of ridicule. It’s in a way, like coming home to ourselves and feeling a new sense of belonging and purpose…

This just may be… your first step to that self-acceptance you have strived for throughout your life…
I’m with you in this HSP journey, and may just explain some of my musings in previous blog posts.
Wishing you well,
and I’d really welcome comments and thoughts if feel you have something to share about your experiences.

Much love,
Di 💜

Thriving Under Pressure

Cherish your sensitivity. It is your superpower.

Do you experience more stress than the average person? Are you overly sensitive to external stimuli. Chances are, there is nothing wrong with you or your coping strategies.

Instead, your brain may be more sensitive to stress than the average person. You may in fact, be what Dr. Elaine Aron has coined “A Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP).

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Neurological differences found in HSP’s.

Brain scans show that HSP’s have “heightened activity in empathy-related brain regions” including the anterior insula (insular cortex), highlighted in the brain scan below.

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The intensified response of highly sensitive people (HSP) to stress is not a choice – it’s biological. HSP brains are wired differently than the average person. This fact has been clearly supported by scientific research.

Self Test: Are You Highly Sensitive?

  1. Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens…

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Meaningful connections…

 

Brigid…

 

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Brigid’s lovely book

 

“There’s not yet a word for old friends who’ve just met.” Jim Henson

 

Hello and welcome,

This post is has been brewing since I began my blogging journey not that long ago…

It was within a very short time I realised the wonderful world I was entering…an amazingly welcoming platform, but one in which spreading the goodness through sharing each other’s blogs, and creating a giving community, reigns supreme.

Thank you to you all who have shown me the beautiful etiquette of this new world.
So in this true spirit, I’d like to share two new blogging friends, with very different reasons for our connection…

Firstly, many of you may know of Brigid from watchingthedaisies

I came across Brigid’s book, ‘Watching the Daisies’, pictured above, from following her lovely blog, where I discovered Brigid suffered from Fibromyalgia. She articulated her quest for holistic methods to manage her condition, and had written about it in her memoir.

Having a have a keen appreciation for alternative therapy, the idea of her book appealed to me greatly.
What I didn’t expect, was to grow so close to Brigid and her utterly fascinating life-story. I read a little every evening, tucked cosily into bed with the lamp on, ready to become part of Brigid’s amazing world…

When it was time to settle down, I felt a flutter of disappointment in the ‘sandman’, who  was calling me to yet another other adventure… sleep.

Brigid’s book is so much more than a quest for a cure…

It taught me a huge lesson… it’s not necessary to have prior knowledge of someone before becoming totally absorbed in their life.

Learning from others who discover and maintain their appreciation and zest for life, living large, despite experiencing the greatest of challenges, is truly uplifting and inspiring. (This is a theme I’m exploring in coming posts..)
I’d thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves spirituality, alternative healing modalities, travel, nature, overcoming difficulties, learning how to be your best self and the love of family. Basically life in general.

Thank you for a wonderful look inside your life, Brigid. 

(Brigid’s blog has an easy to find ‘Book’ link included in her menu).

 

Miriam…

 

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Beautiful Miriam

 

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too. I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis.

 

Here is where my second blogging-sphere encounter enters the scene…

I’d love you to meet Miriam, with whom I’m certain many of you will be very familiar.

She has a gorgeous, award nominated blog called Out an’ About – Loving Life On and Off the Tracks

She is another Melbourne blogger, where for a while, we tiptoed around planning a catch up face to face…

With each post’s comments, we edged ever closer to… ‘yes, I’d really like to meet. Let’s make a time…’

Finally we did…

on Friday, for a catch up over a coffee.

The thoughts were going through my head…’I hope she knows what I look like, and will I recognise her?’
Funny enough, I wasn’t at all nervous, but more honoured and excited to meet this published author and very highly praised blogger. Intuition reassured me we would have plenty to share and discover about each other.
My heart was put at ease as Miriam breezed through the door… we instantly found  each other, hugged and began to talk…

…and we talked some more.
Coffee became lunch…

What was the second most valuable realisation from our time together?

Written Words can foster real bonds between people. 

Written Words really can convey the spirit of someone, the essence of their heart.

Written words possess a great power.

And the most valuable realisation?

           I met the most beautiful soul, who is just as warm, genuine and giving as she radiates through her written words. It was such a pleasure to meet you, Miriam.

So if you have someone you connect with on social media, I’d say just go for it, reach out, if it’s at all possible to meet in person one day…
Social media certainly has a place and can be the gateway for meaningful connections.
Life’s too short and precious to put these things off: It may be the blooming of another wonderful friendship…and that’s where the magic happens.

 There is room for everyone: Those friends who have been part of our        lives forever, those we just met, and those we will meet in future…

 

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Image by Di

Much love, and thank you for reading…

Di 💕

 

*Sharing the light…*

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Image by Di

“What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?” George Eliot

Hello and welcome,

After beginning my blog, it evolved rather quickly into a journey of how I arrived here and also became an examination on the subject of self-acceptance.

I sought to find new purpose, and it’s not exactly where I assumed it would be…

For years, I thought the only way to make a meaningful contribution to others would be in a one on one setting through holistic health. No matter how many courses I pursued, I wasn’t rushing out to begin a business in energy healing, incorporating the hands on type of approach…
Why not?…

I had no clue…

There was always something niggling at me. I knew I wanted to add value and have a purpose in some tangible way.

But how?

How could I add value through this new creative outlet of photography and words? These were not what I had traditionally thought I’d pursue in a million years, but now I understand…
I chose to stop fighting against what I expected from myself and became open to a new paradigm…

Anything that lights us up…
That little spark of excitement…
The thing that has us day dreaming about possibilities…
and imagining…just imagining…
If it makes us feel happy, if it brings out the best in us…
it’s adding value to the world…
The world thrives on people feeling connected to their light…
And like this candle’s light, radiate a warm glow to those around us…
In the hope they may also ignite their own beautiful light.

 

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Image by Di

 

It’s sometimes mentioned that self- acceptance and self-love imply narcissistic or selfish tendencies. I don’t believe that to be the case. If anything, once we begin to accept ourselves as we are, sharing our light isn’t about being showy, but more about being quietly confident to live a life of Love….

It has potential for us to seek out the goodness in others.

It may foster more outward- focused living, where we are in a position to reach out more readily, see without judgement, open our heart, become more compassionate, purely because we are more aligned with our values, living a life that’s true to ourselves…

One where we are not afraid to share our vulnerabilities.

Through blogging and photography, I’ve found a home for these two new passions that are my means of reaching out to this world…
I’m not at all saying this blog is faultless by any means, as I’m very much a novice, but what I can honestly say is that I’m absolutely loving creating meaning from constructing letters that become words, to sentences and finally a post, with the intention they may resonate positively for someone. Even one person…

So my wish is to hopefully bring you comfort, encouragement or value by this means.

For this post, one that I’m intentionally keeping short ( by my standards!), I’d love to share with you an interview I discovered recently.
Ideas we have instinctively known for thousands of years are just beginning to be validated by Scientific method, which I personally find very interesting.

This interview shares much about what I’ll call the ‘Art of self-acceptance’ and reasons why it’s important and healthy to begin fostering a happy working relationship with ourselves…it also includes a discussion on Mindfulness and stress. It is on YouTube but doesn’t require watching, as its audio only. I hope you enjoy it. The quote below is a snippet if the interview is not something that resonates for you… 

‘Self-acceptance genuinely impacts the brain and genuinely decreases your anxiety so that you can use your vulnerability for good…’ Dr Srini Pillay, Psychiatrist and Brain Researcher.

How self talk changes your brain by Srini Pillay

Thank you for reading, and I wish us all the very best on this journey as we walk each other, hand in hand, to the finish line…
The line where we say to ourselves.. ‘I accept myself.’

Much love,
Di ❤️

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