Repost of a repost…

Hello again,

Just an extra post this week because, well, we all have dreams…

Last night my kind friend Miriam, posted about Hayley’s dream of becoming published, with her very own inspirational book of comforting words. She requested that fellow bloggers could help by voting for Hayley’s book to be chosen by Hay House publishing. Instead of starting again, Miriam had said it perfectly, so you will find Miriam’s blog post link and from there you will see a link to Hayley’s video for voting.

Below image and words…courtesy of Hayley’s blog and Miriam’s link. Both are beautiful inspiring blogs…💜





Originally posted on Dear Dad: Welcome to my twenty-seventh instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul. For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A…

via Soulful Sunday #27: Can You Help? — Out an’ About

Releasing the little person within.

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better”. Albert Einstein

Hello and welcome…let’s share another cuppa together this week 🦋

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Well, Autumn lends itself to much contemplation for me…

I had the opportunity of sitting in a beautiful country village nestled in the mountains, watching the golden or red leaves gently float towards the ground. As they released themselves from the tree, some would not make it all the way, but would become wedged on a branch… it was if it were not quite ready to complete its journey yet, but still hung on to the tree, as if for comfort, as if for fear of fully surrendering to its transformation.

I also wondered…
Does the tree decide it’s time to release something that doesn’t serve it any longer?
What is it about that particular instant when the leaf begins to retreat?

Or…
Do the leaves decide it’s their time to fall away from the tree…
Relinquishing to something that’s been its support and nourishment for so long?

After my last three huge posts, things were presented as if I had made great progress in accepting myself and moving forward, finally content in the knowledge that I am comfortable in my own skin…

That’s all very well to believe, until something seemingly benign pushed that big red button on my back…
It’s usually a passing comment said by someone who doesn’t know our sensitivity to that particular topic… how could they really, if we have tried to hide it or disown it…
And in the freedom of being myself, I am learning that I must also afford others the same benefit to say what they need to, remembering we are all at different stages of this journey of evolution.

Until that moment, I’d thought…’I’ve got this now! You go girl! You’ve learnt much and worked hard on yourself…’

It was a welcome gift in retrospect.

These are my beautiful new awakenings from moments like this….

🌹 You see, it enabled me to discover those things that still push my ‘big red button’, that were next in line to be healed.
🌹It taught me that there is still a little more work to be done in my acceptance of those things I was ashamed of… that there is some more love to be generated towards myself.
🌹I understood that everything and everyone is here to help me evolve, no matter how much discomfort is stirred within.
🌹That it’s ok to be stirred by something. Evolution isn’t a static thing but like a mountain where each step takes you to the top, building on each other to get you closer to where you’re headed.
🌹It taught me there are some well worn beliefs that also must become like the leaves from the tree…they have served their purpose, but for growth to occur, they need to be discarded.

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So what did I do to comfort myself when I was triggered?

✨Firstly, I sat with my feelings of sadness and disappointment. It was what it was, and denying it would only keep my truth even further from me.
✨I searched deeply to work out why it hurt so much.
✨I spent some more time alone in nature, where I feel she accepts me as I am.
✨I discovered I treated myself gently during times like this… I’d walk slower, drive slower ( oh dear! Those people behind me, I’m sorry!) It was like I was cradling myself towards healing.
✨I decided that progress had occurred, in that I wasn’t beating myself up for becoming upset over the triggers, congratulating myself on this shining breakthrough.
✨I decided I was proud of my traits and next time, I’ll be more able to make light of a situation and perhaps again laugh at them too.
✨A serendipitous conversation with a friend eventuated very recently. It provided the  opportunity to search for photo of myself when I was a little girl.

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The mere sight of this innocent little thing with her life ahead of her.. tears effortlessly rolled down my cheeks while I was looking at the image of myself… I imagined wrapping my arms around her saying ‘I love you, gorgeous girl. You are precious.’ I told her she was beautiful, had a kind heart, just wanted to be understood and I reassured her that I understood her and had done so all her life…’but those pesky outside opinions and hand-me-down beliefs somehow had you all confused and unsure of who you were or had to be’.

Last week, I remembered this little girl…
…and just nurtured her back to love, by love. ‘It’s safe now to show your hyper sensitivity, it’s safe now to say you’re a dreamer, it’s safe now to show that child-like sparkly excitement over things that you are passionate about…’

I found this a very powerful part of my journey to acceptance…and now, the more layers I peel back, the more I’m realising I haven’t changed that much at all. What was required of me was to find those things that mattered to that little girl and let them shine, let them be used as a force for good for others. And to be proud of who she has become.

“I am worthy of love and acceptance as I am.”

It’s said that the path to self-forgiveness and acceptance is releasing shame and guilt. I realised this piece is really about these, so it’s with my pleasure that I offer this as part of Debbie’s ForgivingFridays

May you also feel you can love that little person in you…
Tell yourself the words you wished you could have heard back then, especially if you are finding parts of yourself difficult to accept or if certain things repeatedly push your buttons.

I wish you well in your journey, and please remember, we are all in this together. As always, you are very welcome to contribute anything here that has perhaps been on your mind.

Thank you for reading,
much love from Di ❤️

Curiosity and the Blessings of Back pain… Part Three

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Image by Di. Captured during some alone time last year.

‘Before you can love yourself, you have to BE with yourself.’ by Matt Kahn.

Prophetic words indeed….

So after I read Dr. Sarno’s book, it resonated strongly with me due to no pathological reason for my back pain… So deep diving into what was really going on in my mind was something I wanted to explore. It came quite naturally when I remembered I possessed the healing power of Reiki in my hands.
Giving myself the time to slow down, I could allow emotions to rise that I hadn’t addressed before…what I believe my body was craving was firstly to grieve and then accept.

During the time of an afternoon I’d spend on the floor because my back wouldn’t allow me to be upright any longer, the Reiki promoted permission to lie still, with beautiful angelic music playing in my darkened room.
May I share a beautiful piece of piano music that I hope you find angelic…
‘Maybe’ By Yiruma

Whilst lying there, the tears flowed freely, realising the fact my children had grown up and left home leaving me with this huge hole to fill. I’d also cared for and lost, ageing parents during my children’s adult years as well.

In my mind, they were the best years and now they were over…So you see  I’d been quite busy before last year and had thought I’d moved on quite well…

So that this post isn’t another very long one, suffice to report to you that within a week, both of my health issues had begun to subside noticeably. Perhaps my dear friend was right and the two were connected to my feelings of loss and grief in that part of my body. To this day, there has been no recurrence of either issue. I was able to join a yoga class and still attend weekly.

This is my story and I’m just happy to share what worked for me.

So, what were the beautiful blessings from my back pain, and indeed, the events leading up to that experience?

Here are my reflections…

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‘Who am I when no one is looking?’       *Words by Matt Kahn.       *Image by Di

🌟 It taught me to slow down long enough to listen to my heart. You don’t need to perform Reiki on yourself, but to lie or sit in the presence of music that may bring you to tears…to really feel it’s resonance through to your very soul… Incredibly nurturing and healing itself.

🌟 I learnt life is too short to continue with something just because you started it. There are always benefits to beginning something that perhaps you won’t see through. We’ve all heard the expression to finish something we start. Why not see it as having an attempt at something to see if it’s for you? When we really think of it, it’s perhaps the fear of failure too. Grab it head on and give it a go, I say. Fear of beginning something that you may not complete could prevent you from a short period of something beautiful that contributes to your growth and new ideas. It’s like the glass half full… ‘well, it didn’t work out but I sure as anything met some new friends, learnt some new skills’, to name only a couple. That is certainly the case for me after leaving my university course.

🌟 Resistance of issues and suppressing emotions does us no favours. Keeping busy and not affording ourself the space to really process a life changing time is not actually moving on at all, but more like closing the surface on a gaping hole hoping it will hold. Exploring emotions is nothing shameful and releasing them can promote a clear view and renewed vigour for life.

🌟 It taught me to give meaning to every event that occurs in my life, especially those that on the surface appear unlovable.

🌟 I discovered Self- appreciation by acceptance and nurturing myself. We all have those stories that were told to us about how we should be, how we could be better, stronger, smarter, less this and less that. In time we walk around with everybody’s baggage in our heart and on our mind. True freedom is living the life you want and to come to accept all those perceived ‘weaknesses’ as strengths. I wrote about here it in Autumn leaves and forgiveness

🌟  Spending quality and necessary time alone, preferably in nature, afforded me breathing room to catch up with myself. I liken it to growing pains whereby I had to be stretched in order to become more aware of the person I was…and being cracked open to make room for new growth…

🌟 I discovered I’d been on this spiritual quest in the hope of eradicating those undesirable traits… but in reality, the journey I’d taken only helped me realise the key to contentment… ….Is loving what is, and loving who we are already. That in no way means I’m not striving to be more loving, kind, compassionate and caring… these are noble traits that involve a spiritual growth and evolution, all part of our expanding inherent nature. Just as in Mother Nature herself. We already possess all of these things and  becoming more aware of opportunities to share and cultivate them are my goal.

🌟 l learnt that Photography and words have now become my new life, thanks to the powerful kindness from my friends, family, Photography Facebook, and Instagram friends. I now feel something very profound when I post an image and write some words to accompany it.

🌟 Oh, and also…
I learnt I must stay curious…
… Because we’ll never know what’s on the other end of our curiosity.
…. all because of that hot Summer’s day with my new iPhone…

Thank you so much for riding alongside me on my journey. I hope you found some goodness out of my sharing this and remember… you are worthy, you are enough, you are love…

I’d would like to feature some more images captured during last year that were part of my healing journey. I hope you enjoy a little explosion of nature🌹

Wishing you peace and happiness,

Di 💜

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Adding some magic to the nature wonderland where I spent much of my time.
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After my back was almost healed, we travelled to Tasmania, which consolidated my love of landscape and reflection photography. This is Cradle Mountain lodge.
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Having some fun with Macro photography to highlight the beauty of flowers. Not to mention loving raindrops and fully appreciating them for the first time…

Curiosity, and the blessings from back pain… Part One

IMG_1198.JPG‘Whichever path you take, you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.’ Di

Hello there,

I’ve been on a personal development journey for many years now, reading, listening, learning and using myself as a crash test dummy if you like, by experiencing many modalities for emotional and physical healing.
…Last year, from the most unlikely experience, it became more of a concentrated spiritual path to self-acceptance. A happy journey in retrospect but firstly I have to set the scene for you.

I define my spiritual journey as an awareness of myself, lessons I’ve learnt, tools for personal evolution, where I fit into the world, what I believe is my wider purpose.
It’s not about becoming elitist or superior. Absolutely not. It’s more about how I can become a better version of myself. Does that mean finding perfection and eliminating my ‘flaws’ and imperfections?
Please come, as we uncover some universal truths.

For most of my adult life, I’d been on a health and nutrition path and dreamt of attending a university here in Melbourne dedicated to all matters of Health. In between times, I’d taken myself off to study alternative health certificates. But still I ached for a Nutrition or Naturopathic Degree. Perhaps this Degree was my means of validation and showing myself the acceptance to quell my feelings of inadequacy.

Part of this ache was to write for one of my favourite health publications, Nature and health magazine. My intention was to become published and share important health information. Blogging, and writing was always at the back of my mind. I’d scribble down blog post ideas in the quiet spaces. It became a gentle dream for ‘one day….’

So, at the end of 2014, with the support of my husband, I decided it was now the time to leave my job and pursue this dream of becoming a Naturopath or Nutritionist. Perhaps I’d made peace with the fact the fair thing to do for us all was leaving my job if I was seriously going to follow my dreams. Time had arrived to be true to myself and stop wondering ‘what if…’ and that other big one…’if only…’

I enrolled.

Excitedly, I began study in 2015. I adored the science and learnt about research papers, how to put together a paper myself, including references. It was the most intense year I’ve ever experienced but unfortunately it took every minute of my being to stay up to speed with the work.
It was meant to be fun, which it was in its own way, but at the expense of everything else I loved…and I had five more years of living like this…
So at the end of the exam period, I made the difficult decision to walk away…which in effect, also entailed walking away from my dream…

Over the ensuing weeks, I became crazed at finding my new path.
…I now had no job,
…No study.

And not long after, a funny thing happened…I suddenly stopped being so fanatical about health and watching everything I ate, as I realised that emotional health and contentment is a huge part of being well and healthy. I just didn’t feel as intense any longer about scrutinising every mouthful I ate.

I hadn’t yet received my opportunity to connected the dots…

My satisfaction level towards myself was really now confined to having only passed Year 1 of university. I based my self-worth on achieving that piece of paper because that’s what society expects from us…to have some formal qualification and to participate actively in the workforce.
The anxiety to fill the void grew….

People were suggesting I just take some time out after bringing up the children and simply enjoy being an empty nester. It’s not that easy when hedonistic pursuits are not your main driver.
I strained and forced to find a new purpose, often pushing myself at things hoping to find a path there. I met dead ends.

This is when a little seed began to grow about thoughts, affirmations and positive psychology.
I know! I’d heard about these things forever and attempted to use them before to become more confident and overcome my flaws and become well…’normal’, whatever that was for me at the time. Most likely becoming the life of the party, standing up giving talks and presentations as effortlessly as how everyone else appeared, not being so easily wounded about simple things. In effect, getting that thick skin that people had been suggesting I acquire for much of my life…
I had no idea how I could grow that thick skin to be more acceptable in the world.

It was then that I came across this quote…I wrote it on a sticky note and attached it to my bathroom mirror.

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And so I worked on allowing myself to become comfortable with the unknown…
that meant to some extent, I was to hand my future over to the universe who, I trust, has plans for a person with my traits and dreams.

I have to admit I found it challenging at the checkout, if someone would ask me what I had on for the rest of the day…that became another source of embarrassment and angst…

And so I cooked, devised new recipes, even offering my local greengrocer some recipes…tried to keep busy any way I could. I began to take photos of the dishes with my iPhone after a friend showed me a beautiful cake website… the images of the cakes were inspiring…
My daughter was being married the March of 2016, so I was able to become more fully engaged in the details for that special day, doing what I could to help out with last minute planning.

Christmas time, 2015 arrived, and my husband presented me with the new iPhone…

One hot, quiet afternoon in January last year, I became curious…

‘How does this iPhone camera work?

Thank you so much for reading part 1 and coming along for the ride. I hope you will come by again for a visit and a cuppa for part 2 next time.

With Love,

Di

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 💕