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Fear

Debilitating 

You will never move forward with fear, it will either take you BACK to the past or a dark place in the present, from where your unable to move forward.

Destructive 

It infects relationships, careers, dreams and ambition, that little seed, left unchecked will cripple you mentally and physically.

Damaging 

Smashing self confidence, well being and failing to truly realising your true worth in this world.

Recognise it, understand it and overcome it.

Our time on this planet deserves so much more !!!

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Change

The unfolding process of change, will lead you to unthinkable possibilities.

Chances of Hope.

Greet & celebrate changes, allow the possibilities to unfold.

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“Conscious Living” !!!

Aimlessly subjecting yourself to what life has to throw at you is NOT LIVING. Conscious living equals adopting practices that lead to self awareness, self sufficiency and empowerment.

It entails mentally and physically investing your time and thoughts into activities that allow you to evolve as an individual.

The result, you looking no further for answers or solutions but yourself.

The beauty, is the knowledge that you, you alone have the ability and power to improve & move forward with your hopes & dreams.

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MIND CLATTER

That’s what I call it, mind clatter.

The working of your mind focused on your to do list,  pick up the groceries, need to order A,B,C…., wouldn’t it be nice if I managed to clean/clear this out……It doesn’t stop and its a daily habitual routine.

This is not LIVING, it is akin to acting like a human robot, regurgitating the same old without enjoyment of time or truly living and experiencing the days.

But I warn you now, it is one of the hardest tasks, to create new habits, to break down the old methods of doing things and re-learning, re-training your mind in the hope that you will live a more satisfied and fulfilled life.

Alas, that’s what my life cries out for, its non-negotiable, just as important as raising my son to the best of my abilities. I am determined to at least try.

When that clatter rears its ugly head in the back of my mind, I try and switch it OFF.

Choosing to live in the tiny moments that form my day, focusing my mind to truly experience, savour and devour those precious moments, whether that be feeling & breathing the air whilst walking the dog, creatively cooking a meal, savouring a sit down with a book and tea, beautiful details that that make up my days & ultimately my months & years. Memories of my life and the knowledge that it was lived in such a way that my heart jumped through the differing parts of routinely lived days.

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DON’T STOP, DO NOT GIVE UP OR GIVE IN

I have to get this message out there!

It is to important.

It’s one of the greatest lesson I’ve learned, particularly this last year and to be honest, i follow it now in the same way as i routinely get up every morning.

DON’T STOP, DO NOT STOP your day and just doing, i know the things you need to do will get done, but the things you love, i suspect they will be placed at the bottom of the list. Those chores that are necessary are done with in pilot mode, with little to no thought, the overriding purpose usually is to just get it done. Find joy in your ordinary, getting up at 6am is a blessing, eating the food you’ve cooked is to be savoured, walking the dog is an opportunity to feel the air in your face, the list can go on, if you just allow all these details to have a full & real effect on you, your perceptions, thoughts, feelings.

Don’t listen to that little voice in your head that questions your actions or firmly places your fear as a hurdle to you carrying out all that you hoped.

Ignore that voice and DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR MINDS EYE, FINISH IT & ALLOW IT TO MOVE YOU FORWARD. Not fulfilling every part of your being is nothing but damaging, its soul destroying.

THERE IS NO MUCH OUT THERE ON OFFER, countless options, ideas, thought processes that make you think and behave in an alternate way. Why personally & privately damage the very fibre of who you are and your very own potential.

We always find an excuse, a reason why we shouldn’t do something, the primary reasons usually include the following:_

Too hard

Inconvenient

Uncertainty

No time and or energy

It holds no promise of reward.

The list goes on, guaranteed we will find a reason!!

I promise you, you keep trying, you place all your efforts into your tasks which seek to better yourself, the rewards will come naturally.

I have a really bad habit of having a list of things to do and mindlessly going through that list until its complete. Through the process, i do nothing new, my actions are habitual, even the minor details. Guess what, i try nothing new so i don’t try and push myself to do things that I’ve never done before.

So, recently, i made a conscious decision to not only enjoy my tasks while actually completing them but to do things outside my comfort zone, like jogging up that hill rather than walking it, painting & sketching, something i haven’t done in years, or just trying a recipe my mother cooked so i could re-create them smells and feeling of nostalgia in my own home.

I do them things not for my son or husband, but selfishly for myself.

Why??? it leaves me feeling invigorated, like i am truly alive, i can do anything, i don’t have boundaries or a specific formula for my life. Every day has the potential of me learning something new. finding a skill i didn’t even know i had and growing, leaving me with more strings to my bow.

In truth, i don’t even want to recognise the old me, she holds no interest for me. I’m far more excited with truly living each and every day, each moment and my own dreams, whether they lead to something or not. The point, i enjoyed today!!!

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Stress….and those that give you stress.

ONE: Get away from them…..as far as possible. 

TWO: Don’t absorb the stress, either being forced or offered. 

THREE: Turn what can be a stressful situation on its head, consider it as an opportunity for change.

It sounds so simple, how can it be that simple ?

It really is that simple, but it is not simple acting out 1, 2 or 3, it is however, beneficial to follow the above steps in protecting your physical, emotional & mental well being.

The first task is to recognise it, acknowledge it and accept it with your eyes and a deeper understanding of a particular situation, environment, person, and then to just let it go.

Don’t over think it, play it over in your mind, dissect it, re-evaluate, question yourself & others, just accept it as being in existence, let it go and move forward knowing there will be a solution, an answer that will come in time.

Stress is a killer, it seeps into your body, mind & soul and slowly holds such power that it alters peoples mindsets, behaviours. reactions, thoughts and overall physical/mental well being.

There is always a choice, a choice to welcome & incorporate that event in complete acceptance so the stress falls away or to simply combat it by remaining clam, lucid & content.

I can hear it now, calm, content when faced with financial disaster, illness, or a really rough difficult few months. We have all been there, often, but truly realising that sleepless nights & driving yourself crazy would not change a thing, can only be the start of some form of healing.

On many occasions including being diagnosed I have automatically switched to warrior mode. I knew in that instance I risked fear of taking control that ultimately would lead to a slippery slope. So I regained my composure and figured out how best to deal with the Cancer & all the other events where my heart has been at risk of being damaged.

Thus I opened my arms to all those events, even greet it as if it was an old friend. Suddenly I regained a sense of control, clarity of mind and a certain peace that it was and will be ok.

Thats not to say there still wasn’t dark days but I, now recall tackling them head on, accepting the dark day but knowing another new day was just around the corner, waiting for me.

Now whatever happens, whether its regarded as good or bad, I automatically say its a blessing, that situation will allow me to step up, use my mind, consider my options and use my strengths in order to evolve.

Bad news for me leads to a shrug of the shoulders and getting on with the rest of MY day.

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Cancer Treatment – Chemotherapy & Radiotherapy 2018

2018 was entirely dominated by treatment for my Breast Cancer diagnosis which came on the 03 Jan 18. It’s been a journey!!!!

The process, for me, involved a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and finally radiotherapy, so a good chunk of what there was to offer, just to make sure I had the full experience.

Mentally I prepared myself as though not to expect anything, remain calm and just go through with what I needed to do in order to complete the treatment and get my life back. I had no alternative but to make this diagnosis a part of my life, for at least a year, I now know that it did dominate my life in its entirety, although I hated that with a vengeance i just had to accept it and move forward.

Chemotherapy, I’ve been wracking my brain how best to describe it, the best comparison I can give is that it takes your entire physical being. It not only kills the bad cells but also the good, so your left, effectively with nothing.

Bearing in mind how active and busy I was before diagnosis, during Chemo, I had to push myself to complete basic household chores, limited to usually one chore, i.e clean my kitchen, that alone would wipe me out, grateful just to collapse on the sofa.

I just felt so frustrated that I had been reduced to this ghost of a person. That really hurt & still does stick in my gut, but one thing that i retained and would not release, was my role as a mother. I was determined, absolutely determined to remain mum to my son.

The same wasn’t felt for the wife role but hey ho, something has to give !!

I still wanted to be there for my son in the same way I had been before so, not once, did I miss him leaving for school in the mornings. Cancer wasn’t going to take that away from me in addition to everything else.

Everyone knows the reputation Chemo has and what it does to a person, its all true!!! By the beginning of the 3rd week of my 1st session my hair started falling out and I mean clumps at a time. In the end I asked my hairdresser just to shave the whole thing off, I was fed up of finding hair all over the house, it would of been more distressing to watch it fall out slowly rather than let it go all at once, for me, anyway.

My husband came home shocked on seeing me with a shaved head. I knew he was a little devastated, it was confirmation that his wife was really not well, I think before then he just tried to carry on as normal, now the effects of this illness was staring straight at him, moving its way into our lives and trying for a permanent position.

My son, on the other hand, didn’t even look twice, shrugged his shoulders and said, you have to do what you have to. Proof that kids are far more flexible than us adults.

My cycle of Chemo was every 3 weeks, the first 2 weeks I would feel sick, quite literally, exhausted, I had to pull every ounce of energy just to fulfil my basic needs. The 3rd week I would feel a little human and then it would be time for another session. With each added session the side effects worsened. My oncologist, prescribed me the best medication she could to limit these but she couldn’t eradicate them. I lost about 5Kg in weight over the period, I had to lose weight anyway but this was a little drastic!! I couldn’t eat certain foods, traditional curries were out, anything spicy was a no no so I reverted to plain foods, mainly white bread toast & boiled eggs.

When your in the midst of feeling so damn ill you start thinking your’ll never be better again. During this time I desperately needed my family just to keep me sane. They did exactly that, the necessary. Close friends remained close, watchful and others just helped when it was needed. Ill be honest, I’ve been blown away by peoples kindness, it has been nothing short of extraordinary.

However the response has been varied, people react differently, some can swallow a loved one being sick , others just can’t. And then you have those that you secretly felt were always purely selfish just to re-affirm that belief via their lack of action, thought or regard. Oh yes, I had those in my pot as-well.

The old saying, when you get in deep your realise who your people are, never rang so true.

Radiotherapy was a walk in the park compared to chemo, the most difficult thing about it was travelling back and forth to hospital for an appointment that would usually last 10 minutes. 08 October was my last radiotherapy appointment. When I left the hospital I didn’t know whether to smile or cry.

My most precious lesson from radiotherapy was the commitment and love shown by my husband. Ordinarily, he has a life, a busy life, working, colleagues, friends, family. All that stopped for the month I was in treatment, he stayed by my side for each session, driving me an hour there & back every day, then treating me to lunch every day after an appointment.

I realised how gloriously beautiful his soul truly is, with that he gave me strength and the will to keep going.

Last week i received the all clear from a recent mammogram so now I’m on the road to getting my life back. However, I decided throughout this process to de-clutter my life, a close friend of mine referred to it as doing your personal laundry. There’s something to be said of living simply, making choices that free you and allow you to enjoy time as opposed to dragging yourself through it.

I promised after treatment never to waste a day again, never to waste my love, kindness, thoughts and care on things & people that just don’t make the cut. So I continue to invest in myself, be honest when asked and thankful.

Now I jump out of bed excited with each day and what it will bring, even though this Cancer was a nightmare I truly believe, in some ways it saved me, made me wake up and realise my worth and the importance of truly living.

No point waiting for things to happen, my advise, grab opportunities with both hands and take complete control of where and with whom you, just want to BE.

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Breast Cancer Diagnosis

On the 01 Jan 18 I instinctively knew that I had Breast Cancer. Before Christmas I underwent an ultrasound, mammogram and biopsy on my right breast. Subsequent to that the consultant sat me down and told me that the lump was highly suspicious.

It was confirmed on the 03 Jan 18, but thankfully it is Stage 1, albeit an aggressive, Grade 3.

I was devastated, it just felt might world had been pulled from underneath me, another life event to deal with, but this time, my physical health was on the line.

I quietly cried on the journey home on the date of the tests, but on diagnosis I was absolutely fine. I knew my options, the treatment I was going to face and more importantly, I could get rid of this thing for once and for all, well at least in the hope it wouldn’t return. My cancer had been discovered at its earliest stage so prognosis was 90% recovery.

The NHS and all the staff, surgeon, anaesthetist, nurses etc have been nothing short of amazing. Ive already had the lump removed, a lumpectomy and a couple of lymph nodes were removed for testing, which were thankfully negative. Today I’m in my second week of recovery. I walked my dog today in the country park, did my grocery shopping and made some dinner, a week ago i was lying on the sofa !!!!

Now I’m one of those people that won’t change her path unless absolutely forced to, well this diagnosis had forced me. On the 3rd of Jan 18 I made a promise to myself, to be kinder to me and jump off the hamster wheel. I felt this overwhelming blessing that I had been given a second chance.

I am not going to waste it, forget the guilt, I am going to start living whilst managing my treatment.

That’s exactly what I plan to do. To consciously decide how I want to spend the next 40 years.  Don’t get me wrong, I have loved what I did in terms of work before the diagnosis, but I was run ragged. On occasions I found it difficult to drag myself out of bed knowing the challenges I would face, coupled with the sheer exhaustion, some days were difficult to get through. It was never ending.

Whether you believe it or not, acting on the belief that we alone have the power to change our lives takes courage, strength & brutal honesty. It’s looking at yourself in the mirror and asking yourself whether your truly satisfied should your time end tomorrow. For me, my whispers were telling me there was so much more I could do, become, achieve. There was so much more I could feel.

Its remarkable, sometimes we need to be pushed to open our eyes, and I’m grateful that I’ve been pushed so that I questioned, re-thought my life, intending on more for myself.

Cancer is something I have to learn to live with until treatment is over, to incorporate my treatment into my life without letting it dominate entirely, physical it will but emotionally, I hope I can manage to hold on to who I was prior to diagnosis but it will require my time for now.

One thing I do know now, nobody’s superhuman or can escape illness, physical or mental. There will be a time when you can’t always do it all and really you shouldn’t neither.

Flexibility, acknowledgment & grace in allowing the changes to occur are strengths that make a journey easier.

Life is a precious gift, not a right that is automatically afforded to us. I have been granted each new day to wake, see, feel & appreciate my world and the people who surround me. To deicide the next steps to be taken so that i feel again feel enriched and alive by life. I am sure I will see those days again.

I thank God it wasn’t too late for me to realise that.

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New Years Day 2018

I’m not going to lie, 2017 was not the easiest of years, either physically or emotionally but it was a good year, in that 2017 shone a bright torch on my life.

2017 was the year that I threw my hands up in the air and said, give me anything, I will deal with it, not like a withering fearful wreck hiding away but with dignity and grace & in the full light, for all to witness.

I learnt to live for the now, in the moment, each day. This is the golden but simple advice i offer to all, but failed to live by,  until, of course, pushed, life will & did happen. I held not a fragment of power to halt or change it, it left me with no choice but to accept, cope & allow it to evolve me, that is what i have done this year. The result, rewarding and exciting for my future & the time that has been graced upon me.

Maybe, it’s the experience of being in your forties, it should be the experience of ALL, young & old. Allow your time spent,  to be rewarding, satisfying, exciting or inspiring, ranging throughout the experience of all your tasks, menial or otherwise. 

I write my blog on the first day of this year with the hope that i will be writing for the rest of the year with readers happy to read what I write. I have no expectations for 2018 and I’m already aware of challenges that I will face & excited to see them through with strength & clarity.

Enjoy your time everyone and Happy New Year !!!

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Progression

When I was younger I wanted to run away from everything, my home, my family, my environment, everything. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I recall that feeling as if it was yesterday and it drives so much fear into my heart, I can’t explain.

I did run, often, too often and on many occasions into circumstances and environments that were not safe for a young girl, but I just needed to breathe, to feel myself for a moment without the pressures of everyone and everything else.

I’m so grateful now that I’m safe and happy to the extent that I don’t feel that desire anymore, but I do recognise it in others, often…. and my heart goes to them. I know that urge to resolve matters by simply running away from them, you may leave the circumstance but nothing gets resolved, instead it festers so that it leaves a stench that neither you or anyone else feels they can deal with.

I understand, however that sometimes it doesn’t feel like you can tackle certain situations and just have to accept events as they unfold, during these times, cling onto your sanity, your instinct & knowing whats right for you. Find your spirit and keep it central to your mind, allowing it to affect your actions.

Don’t deviate from it or try and alter it, justifying the change to match the situation you find yourself in. Be honest with yourself and swallow the facts.

Progression is slow and sometimes like drawing blood, but it is undeniably there for all, whatever your circumstance, little steps and recognition of those steps will progress your life to a place you never imagined possible.

I am still surprised to this day that I can be categorised as a loving wife and mother and the scars of the past don’t re-surface too often in affecting me & my space.

In these cold winter months I hope your all safe and find some sanity within your space…..and if your not, please find a space where you are safe at least, the rest will come, guaranteed xxx